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Sample records for improve lv function

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. The Structural Basis of Functional Improvement in Response to Human Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in Hearts with Post-Infarct LV Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yong; Ye, Lei; Zhong, Jia; Li, Xin; Yan, Chen; Chandler, Margaret P.; Calvin, Steve; Xiao, Feng; Negia, Mesfin; Low, Walter C.; Zhang, Jianyi; Yu, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Cellular therapy for myocardial repair has been one of the most intensely investigated interventional strategies for acute myocardium infarction. Although the therapeutic potential of stem cells has been demonstrated in various studies, the underlying mechanisms for such improvement are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the long-term effects of stem cell therapy on both myocardial fiber organization and regional contractile function using a rat model of post-infarct remodeling. Human non-hematopoietic umbilical cord blood stem cells (nh-UCBSCs) were administered via tail vein to rats 2 days after infarct surgery. Animals were maintained without immunosuppressive therapy. In vivo and ex vivo MR imaging was performed on infarct hearts ten months after cell transplantation. Compared to the age-matched rats exposed to the identical surgery, both global and regional cardiac function of the nh-UCBSC-treated hearts, such as ejection fraction, ventricular strain and torsion, were significantly improved. More importantly, the treated hearts exhibited preserved fiber orientation and water diffusivities that were similar to those in sham-operated control hearts. These data provide the first evidence that nh-UCBSC treatment may prevent/delay untoward structural remodeling in post-infarct hearts, which supports the improved LV function observed in vivo in the absence of immunosuppression, suggesting a beneficial paracrine effect that occurred with the cellular therapy. PMID:24332083

  3. Endoventricular patch plasty improves results of LV aneurysmectomy.

    PubMed

    Jakob, H G; Zölch, B; Schuster, S; Iversen, S; Hake, U; Lippold, R; Erbel, R; Oelert, H

    1993-01-01

    From May 1985 to December 1991 52 patients were operated upon for postischemic left ventricular aneurysm (LV-A). Between May 1985 and July 1989 25 patients (group I) with a mean age of 59 (46-72) years underwent conventional aneurysmectomy with direct closure of the left ventricle (LV) and a mean of 1.9 (0-3) additional bypass grafts (54% triple-vessel disease). The hospital mortality was 8% (2/25) and the late mortality during a median follow-up time of 34 months was 28% (7/25) with a 4-year survival of 66%. Improvement in the quality of life (NYHA from 2.6 to 2.1, P = 0.078) and global left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) (from 35 to 38%) proved to be unsatisfactory in conjunction with the high late mortality rate. Between August 1989 and December 1991 a prospective series of 27 consecutive patients (group II) with a mean age of 61 (45-71) years underwent endoventricular patch plasty guided by two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) before and after surgery. The patch size and position were calculated preoperatively by measuring the distances from the mitral annulus to the infarct area which were reproduced during surgery with a simple ruler. A mean of 2.1 (0-4) bypass grafts were added with 62% of the patients having triple-vessel disease and 19% left main stenosis (P = 0.05, group I versus II). All patients have survived to date. One patient had to be excluded, giving a median follow-up time of 14 months for 26 patients. At the 6 months' control, the mean NYHA class was improved from 2.7 to 1.6, (P = 0.0001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  4. A targeted mutation within the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) envelope protein immunosuppressive domain to improve a canarypox virus-vectored FeLV vaccine.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Evaluation of Long Term Effect of RV Apical Pacing on Global LV Function by Echocardiography

    PubMed Central

    Tilkar, Mahendra; Jain, Siddhant; Mondal, Subrata; Sarkar, Piyabi; Modi, Nitin

    2016-01-01

    Introduction We very often face pacemaker implanted patients during follow-up with shortness of breath and effort intolerance inspite of normal clinical parameters. Aim The aim of our study is to evaluate the cause of effort intolerance and probable cause of sub-clinical Congestive Cardiac Failure (CCF) in a case of long term Right Ventricular (RV) apical pacing on global Left Ventricular (LV) function non- invasively by echocardiography. Materials and Methods We studied 54 patients (Male 42, Female 12) of complete heart block (CHB) with RV apical pacing (40 VVI and 14 DCP). Mean duration of pacing was 58+4 months. All patients underwent 24 hours Holter monitoring to determine the percentage of ventricular pacing beats. 2-D Echocardiography was done to assess the regional wall motion of abnormality and global LV ejection fraction by modified Simpson’s rule. These methods were coupled with the Doppler derived Myocardial Performance Index (MPI), tissue Doppler imaging, and mechanical regional dyssynchrony with 3-D Echocardiography. Data were analysed from 54 RV- apical paced patients and compared with age and body surface area of 60 controlled subjects (Male 46, Female 14). Results Evaluation of LV function in 54 patients demonstrated regional wall motion abnormality and Doppler study revealed both LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction compare with control subjects (regional wall motion abnormality 80±6% vs 30±3% with p-value<0.0001) which is proportional to the percentage of ventricular pacing beats (mean paced beat 78%). Global LVEF 50±4% vs 60±2% (p-valve <0.0001) and MPI 0.46 ±0.12 v/s 0.36±0.09 (p-value <0.0001). Conclusion RV–apical pacing induces iatrogenic electrical dyssynchrony which leads to remodeling of LV and produces mechanical dyssynchrony which is responsible for LV dysfunction. Alternate site of RV pacing and/or biventricular pacing should be done to maintain biventricular electrical synchrony which will preserve the LV function. PMID

  7. Identification and function analysis of a novel vascular endothelial growth factor, LvVEGF3, in the Pacific whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiwei; Li, Shihao; Li, Fuhua; Xie, Shijun; Xiang, Jianhai

    2016-10-01

    VEGF signaling pathway is first discovered in mammals and proved to play important roles in the biological processes of angiogenesis, tumor migration, cell differentiation, apoptosis, host-virus interaction etc. Three members in the VEGF signaling pathway, including LvVEGFR, LvVEGF1 and LvVEGF2 in shrimp have been proved to be related with WSSV infection in our previous studies. Currently, another member of VEGF family, LvVEGF3, was isolated and its function during the WSSV infection of shrimp was studied. The deduced amino acid sequence of LvVEGF3 contained a signal peptide, a typical PDGF/VEGF domain and a cysteine-knot motif (CXCXC). Tissue distribution analysis showed that LvVEGF3 was predominantly expressed in hemocytes. The transcriptional level of LvVEGF3 in hemocytes was apparently up-regulated during WSSV infection. Silencing of LvVEGF3 with double-stranded RNA caused a reduction of the cumulative mortality rate of shrimp during WSSV infection. The expression of LvVEGFR was apparently down-regulated after LvVEGF3 silencing and up-regulated after injection of recombinant LvVEGF3 protein, suggesting an interaction between LvVEGF3 and LvVEGFR. Furthermore, the interaction between LvVEGFR and LvVEGF3 was confirmed using the yeast two-hybrid system. The results provided new insights into understanding the role of VEGF signaling pathway during virus infection.

  8. Methods used for the assessment of LV systolic function: common currency or tower of Babel?

    PubMed

    Marwick, Thomas H

    2013-08-01

    The last decade has produced a proliferation of techniques for the assessment of left ventricular systolic function, and there now seems to be more choice than seems rational for the questions that we need answers to. In some instances, simple estimation is all that is required-the risk stratification process is inexact, as emphasised by the variety of modalities used to characterise ejection fraction (EF) in studies that validated the efficacy of treatments selected on the basis of EF. Nonetheless, while technical advances often cause disruption and confusion, it would be wrong to dismiss them as lacking benefit. The purpose of this review is to try to provide rational grounds for selecting both test modality and physiological parameter in various specific clinical situations.

  9. Heavy chain (LvH) and light chain (LvL) of lipovitellin (Lv) of zebrafish can both bind to bacteria and enhance phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xue; Hu, Yu; Feng, Shuoqi; Zhang, Shicui; Zhang, Yu; Sun, Chen

    2016-10-01

    Lipovitellin (Lv) is an apoprotein in oviparous animals. Lv consists of a heavy chain (LvH) and a light chain (LvL) which are traditionally regarded as energy reserves for developing embryos. Recently, Lv has been shown to be involved in immune defense of developing embryos in fish. However, it remains unknown if each of LvH and LvL possesses immune activity; and if so, whether or not they function similarly. Here we clearly demonstrated that recombinant LvH (rLvH) and LvL (rLvL) from zebrafish vg1 gene bound to both the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Vibrio anguillarum and the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus luteus as well as the pathogen-associated molecular patterns LPS, LTA and PGN. In addition, both rLvH and rLvL were able to enhance the phagocytosis of bacteria E. coli and S. aureus by macrophages. All these data suggest that both LvH and LvL, in addition to being energy reserves, are also maternal immune-relevant factors capable of interacting with invading bacteria in zebrafish embryos/larvae.

  10. Assessment of Longitudinal Reproducibility of Mice LV Function Parameters at 11.7 T Derived from Self-Gated CINE MRI

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Zhi; Subgang, Anne; Abaei, Alireza; Rottbauer, Wolfgang; Stiller, Detlef; Ma, Genshan

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this work was the assessment of the reproducibility of self-gated cardiac MRI in mice at ultra-high-field strength. A group of adult mice (n = 5) was followed over 360 days with a standardized MR protocol including reproducible animal position and standardized planning of the scan planes. From the resulting CINE MRI data, global left ventricular (LV) function parameters including end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), stroke volume (SV), ejection fraction (EF), and left ventricular mass (LVM) were quantified. The reproducibility of the self-gated technique as well as the intragroup variability and longitudinal changes of the investigated parameters was assessed. Self-gated cardiac MRI proved excellent reproducibility of the global LV function parameters, which was in the order of the intragroup variability. Longitudinal assessment did not reveal any significant variations for EDV, ESV, SV, and EF but an expected increase of the LVM with increasing age. In summary, self-gated MRI in combination with a standardized protocol for animal positioning and scan plane planning ensures reproducible assessment of global LV function parameters. PMID:28321415

  11. Partial LVAD restores ventricular outputs and normalizes LV but not RV stress distributions in the acutely failing heart in silico

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Kevin L.; Baillargeon, Brian; Acevedo-Bolton, Gabriel; Genet, Martin; Rebelo, Nuno; Kuhl, Ellen; Klein, Liviu; Weiselthaler, Georg M.; Burkhoff, Daniel; Franz, Thomas; Guccione, Julius M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Heart failure is a worldwide epidemic that is unlikely to change as the population ages and life expectancy increases. We sought to detail significant recent improvements to the Dassault Systèmes Living Heart Model (LHM) and use the LHM to compute left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) myofiber stress distributions under the following 4 conditions: (1) normal cardiac function; (2) acute left heart failure (ALHF); (3) ALHF treated using an LV assist device (LVAD) flow rate of 2 L/min; and (4) ALHF treated using an LVAD flow rate of 4.5 L/min. Methods and Results Incorporating improved systolic myocardial material properties in the LHM resulted in its ability to simulate the Frank-Starling law of the heart. We decreased myocardial contractility in the LV myocardium so that LV ejection fraction decreased from 56% to 28%. This caused mean LV end diastolic (ED) stress to increase to 508% of normal, mean LV end systolic (ES) stress to increase to 113% of normal, mean RV ED stress to decrease to 94% of normal and RV ES to increase to 570% of normal. When ALHF in the model was treated with an LVAD flow rate of 4.5 L/min, most stress results normalized. Mean LV ED stress became 85% of normal, mean LV ES stress became 109% of normal and mean RV ED stress became 95% of normal. However, mean RV ES stress improved less dramatically (to 342% of normal values). Conclusions These simulations strongly suggest that an LVAD is effective in normalizing LV stresses but not RV stresses that become elevated as a result of ALHF. PMID:27646633

  12. LV software for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1992-01-01

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

  13. Intra-Myocardial Injection of Both Growth Factors and Heart Derived Sca-1+/CD31− Cells Attenuates Post-MI LV Remodeling More Than Does Cell Transplantation Alone: Neither Intervention Enhances Functionally Significant Cardiomyocyte Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaohong; Li, Qinglu; Hu, Qingsong; Suntharalingam, Piradeep; From, Arthur H. L.; Zhang, Jianyi

    2014-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) are two potent cell survival and regenerative factors in response to myocardial injury (MI). We hypothesized that simultaneous delivery of IGF+HGF combined with Sca-1+/CD31− cells would improve the outcome of transplantation therapy in response to the altered hostile microenvironment post MI. One million adenovirus nuclear LacZ-labeled Sca-1+/CD31− cells were injected into the peri-infarction area after left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation in mice. Recombinant mouse IGF-1+HGF was added to the cell suspension prior to the injection. The left ventricular (LV) function was assessed by echocardiography 4 weeks after the transplantation. The cell engraftment, differentiation and cardiomyocyte regeneration were evaluated by histological analysis. Sca-1+/CD31− cells formed viable grafts and improved LV ejection fraction (EF) (Control, 54.5+/−2.4; MI, 17.6+/−3.1; Cell, 28.2+/−4.2, n = 9, P<0.01). IGF+HGF significantly enhanced the benefits of cell transplantation as evidenced by increased EF (38.8+/−2.2; n = 9, P<0.01) and attenuated adverse structural remodeling. Furthermore, IGF+HGF supplementation increased the cell engraftment rate, promoted the transplanted cell survival, enhanced angiogenesis, and minimally stimulated endogenous cardiomyocyte regeneration in vivo. The in vitro experiments showed that IGF+HGF treatment stimulated Sca-1+/CD31− cell proliferation and inhibited serum free medium induced apoptosis. Supperarray profiling of Sca-1+/CD31− cells revealed that Sca-1+/CD31− cells highly expressed various trophic factor mRNAs and IGF+HGF treatment altered the mRNAs expression patterns of these cells. These data indicate that IGF-1+HGF could serve as an adjuvant to cell transplantation for myocardial repair by stimulating donor cell and endogenous cardiac stem cell survival, regeneration and promoting angiogenesis. PMID:24919180

  14. Predictors of improved left ventricular systolic function in an urban cardiomyopathy program.

    PubMed

    Sam, Flora; Halickman, Isaac; Vita, Joseph A; Levitzky, Yamini; Cupples, L Adrienne; Loscalzo, Joseph; Allensworth-Davies, Donald

    2006-12-15

    After long-term therapy, some patients with systolic heart failure (HF) display improved left ventricular (LV) function over time, a response that is associated with improved long-term outcomes. To investigate predictors of improved LV function in an ethnically diverse HF cohort, we selected 71 patients with HF who had baseline ejection fractions (EF) <40%, follow-up EFs > or =50%, and >20% increases on follow-up echocardiography performed > or =6 months later. Their clinical features were compared with 142 age- and gender-matched control patients with baseline EFs <40% and no change or worse EFs on follow-up echocardiography. The baseline EFs were similar between patients and controls. Compared with controls, patients had a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus (19.7% vs 36.6%, p = 0.01), a lower prevalence of an ischemic cause of disease (8.4% vs 35.2%, p <0.001), but a higher prevalence of a hypertensive cause of cardiomyopathy (29.6% vs 12%, p <0.001). Fewer patients than controls used aspirin (p = 0.04) or statins (p = 0.001) or had previous cardiac procedures (p = 0.009). In a multivariate conditional logistic regression model adjusting for age, gender, disease cause, statin use, cardiac procedures, change in heart rate, and follow-up time, hypertensive etiology was most strongly associated with improved LV function (adjusted odds ratio 9.73, 95% confidence interval 1.44 to 52.76, p = 0.02). In conclusion, patients with hypertensive causes of HF are more likely to demonstrate improved LV function over time than patients with ischemic causes of HF. Because long-term prognosis and indication for defibrillator implantation may be affected by changes in LV function, the present study provides additional support for the importance of evaluating the cause of HF to guide management.

  15. Retraction: 'rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in-hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta-analysis' by Ming-Yi Lv, Shu-Ling Deng and Xiao-Feng Long.

    PubMed

    2016-05-01

    The above article, published online on 28(th) November 2015 in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcp.12788/full), and in volume 81, pp. 174-185, has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor in Chief, Professor A Cohen, and John Wiley & Sons Limited. The retraction has been agreed owing to evidence indicating that the peer review of this paper was compromised. The authors were unaware of the actions of the third party responsible for compromising the peer review. Reference Lv M-Y, Deng S-L, Long X-F. rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in-hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta-analysis. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016; 81: 174-85. doi:10.1111/bcp.12788.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. Teneligliptin improves left ventricular diastolic function and endothelial function in patients with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Hashikata, Takehiro; Yamaoka-Tojo, Minako; Kakizaki, Ryota; Nemoto, Teruyoshi; Fujiyoshi, Kazuhiro; Namba, Sayaka; Kitasato, Lisa; Hashimoto, Takuya; Kameda, Ryo; Maekawa, Emi; Shimohama, Takao; Tojo, Taiki; Ako, Junya

    Incretin hormones have been reported to have cytoprotective actions in addition to their glucose-lowering effects. We evaluated whether teneligliptin, a novel dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, affects left ventricular (LV) function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Twenty-nine T2DM patients not receiving any incretin-based drugs were enrolled and prescribed with teneligliptin for 3 months. Compared to baseline levels, hemoglobin A1c levels decreased (7.6 ± 1.0 % to 6.9 ± 0.7 %, p < 0.01) and 1,5-anhydro-D-glucitol levels increased (9.6 ± 7.2 μg/mL to 13.5 ± 8.7 μg/mL, p < 0.01) after treatment. Clinical parameters, including body mass index and blood pressure, did not show any difference before and after treatment. Three months after treatment, there were improvements in LV systolic and diastolic function [LV ejection fraction, 62.0 ± 6.5 % to 64.5 ± 5.0 %, p = 0.01; peak early diastolic velocity/basal septal diastolic velocity (E/e') ratio, 13.3 ± 4.1 to 11.9 ± 3.3, p = 0.01]. Moreover, there was an improvement in endothelial function (reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry [RH-PAT] index; 1.58 ± 0.47 to 2.01 ± 0.72, p < 0.01). There was a significant negative correlation between changes in the E/e' ratio and RH-PAT values. Furthermore, circulating adiponectin levels increased (27.0 ± 38.5 pg/mL to 42.7 ± 33.2 pg/mL, p < 0.01) without changes in patient body weight. Teneligliptin treatment was associated with improvements in LV function and endothelial functions, and an increase in serum adiponectin levels. These results support the cardio-protective effects of teneligliptin in T2DM patients and increase in serum adiponectin levels.

  18. Cardiac resynchronization therapy improves the uptake of MIBI-99mTc and cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Simone Cristina Soares; Giorgi, Maria Clementina; Nishioka, Silvana D'Orio; Martinelli Filho, Martino; Soares, José; Meneghetti, José Cláudio

    2008-09-01

    This case shows the improvement promoted by cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) on myocardial perfusion and left ventricular (LV) performance assessed by gated myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. The patient had idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, left bundle branch block and severe heart failure despite optimized medical treatment. After CRT, clinical improvement, QRS reduction and improvement of previously hypoperfused anterior and septal walls were observed. There was also decrease in LV end-diastolic and systolic volumes and increase in LV ejection fraction.

  19. LV software support for supersonic flow analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, William A.

    1991-01-01

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

  20. Qishen Yiqi Drop Pill improves cardiac function after myocardial ischemia

    PubMed Central

    JianXin, Chen; Xue, Xu; ZhongFeng, Li; Kuo, Gao; FeiLong, Zhang; ZhiHong, Li; Xian, Wang; HongCai, Shang

    2016-01-01

    Myocardial ischemia (MI) is one of the leading causes of death, while Qishen Yiqi Drop Pill (QYDP) is a representative traditional Chinese medicine to treat this disease. Unveiling the pharmacological mechanism of QYDP will provide a great opportunity to promote the development of novel drugs to treat MI. 64 male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into four groups: MI model group, sham operation group, QYDP treatment group and Fosinopril treatment group. Echocardiography results showed that QYDP exhibited significantly larger LV end-diastolic dimension (LVEDd) and LV end-systolic dimension (LVEDs), compared with the MI model group, indicating the improved cardiac function by QYDP. 1H-NMR based metabonomics further identify 9 significantly changed metabolites in the QYDP treatment group, and the QYDP-related proteins based on the protein-metabolite interaction networks and the corresponding pathways were explored, involving the pyruvate metabolism pathway, the retinol metabolism pathway, the tyrosine metabolism pathway and the purine metabolism pathway, suggesting that QYDP was closely associated with blood circulation. ELISA tests were further employed to identify NO synthase (iNOS) and cathepsin K (CTSK) in the networks. For the first time, our work combined experimental and computational methods to study the mechanism of the formula of traditional Chinese medicine. PMID:27075394

  1. LvDJ-1 plays an important role in resistance against Vibrio alginolyticus in Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Huang, Mingzhu; Liu, Yuan; Xie, Chenying; Wang, Wei-Na

    2015-05-01

    DJ-1 was first identified as an oncogene that transformed mouse NIH3T3 cells in cooperation with activated Ras. It has since exhibited a variety of functions in a range of organisms. In this study, the DJ-1 gene in Litopenaeus vannamei (LvDJ-1) was identified and characterized. A recombinant protein LvDJ-1 was produced in Pichia pastoris. LvDJ-1 expression in vivo was knocked down by dsRNA-mediated RNA interference (RNAi), which led to significantly decreased levels of LvDJ-1 mRNA and protein. When the L. vannamei were challenged with RNAi and Vibrio alginolyticus, the transcription and expression of copper zinc superoxide dismutase (LvCZSOD) in the hepatopancreas were dramatically lower in shrimp with knocked down LvDJ-1 than in controls. Transcription and expression of P53 (LvP53) were significantly higher in shrimp lacking LvDJ-1 than in controls. Hepatopancreas samples were analyzed using real time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Moreover, blood samples from the shrimp, assessed with flow cytometry, showed significant increases in respiratory burst and apoptosis in those lacking LvDJ-1 compared to the controls. Cumulative mortality in the shrimp lacking LvDJ-1 was significantly different from that in the control group after challenge with V. alginolyticus. Altogether, the results prove that LvDJ-1 regulates apoptosis and antioxidant activity, and that these functions play an important role in L. vannamei resistance against V. alginolyticus.

  2. Recombinant feline leukemia virus (FeLV) variants establish a limited infection with altered cell tropism in specific-pathogen-free cats in the absence of FeLV subgroup A helper virus.

    PubMed

    Bechtel, M K; Hayes, K A; Mathes, L E; Pandey, R; Stromberg, P C; Roy-Burman, P

    1999-03-01

    Feline leukemia virus subgroup B (FeLV-B) is commonly associated with feline lymphosarcoma and arises through recombination between endogenous retroviral elements inherited in the cat genome and corresponding regions of the envelope (env) gene from FeLV subgroup A (FeLV-A). In vivo infectivity for FeLV-B is thought to be inefficient in the absence of FeLV-A. Proposed FeLV-A helper functions include enhanced replication efficiency, immune evasion, and replication rescue for defective FeLV-B virions. In vitro analysis of the recombinant FeLV-B-like viruses (rFeLVs) employed in this study confirmed these viruses were replication competent prior to their use in an in vivo study without FeLV-A helper virus. Eight specific-pathogen-free kittens were inoculated with the rFeLVs alone. Subsequent hematology and histology results were within normal limits, however, in the absence of detectable viremia, virus expression, or significant seroconversion, rFeLV proviral DNA was detected in bone marrow tissue of 4/4 (100%) cats at 45 weeks postinoculation (pi), indicating these rFeLVs established a limited but persistent infection in the absence of FeLV-A. Altered cell tropism was also noted. Focal infection was seen in T-cell areas of the splenic follicles in 3/4 (75%) rFeLV-infected cats analyzed, while an FeLV-A-infected cat showed focal infection in B-cell areas of the splenic follicles. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the surface glycoprotein portion of the rFeLV env gene amplified from bone marrow tissue collected at 45 weeks pi showed no sequence alterations from the original rFeLV inocula.

  3. Cholinergic stimulation with pyridostigmine improves autonomic function in infarcted rats.

    PubMed

    de La Fuente, Raquel N; Rodrigues, Bruno; Moraes-Silva, Ivana C; Souza, Leandro E; Sirvente, Raquel; Mostarda, Cristiano; De Angelis, Kátia; Soares, Pedro P; Lacchini, Silvia; Consolim-Colombo, Fernanda; Irigoyen, Maria-Cláudia

    2013-09-01

    In the present study we evaluated the effects of short-term pyridostigmine bromide (0.14 mg/mL) treatment started early after myocardial infarction (MI) on left ventricular (LV) and autonomic functions in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into control, pyridostigmine, infarcted and infarcted + pyridostigmine-treated groups. Pyridostigmine was administered in the drinking water, starting immediately after MI or sham operation, for 11 days. Left ventricular function was evaluated indirectly by echocardiography and directly by LV catheterization. Cardiovascular autonomic control was evaluated by baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), heart rate variability (HRV) and pharmacological blockade. All evaluations started after 7 days pyridostigmine treatment and were finalized after 11 days treatment. Pyridostigmine prevented the impairment of +dP/dT and reduced the MI area in infarcted + pyridostigmine compared with infarcted rats (7 ± 3% vs 17 ± 4%, respectively). Mean blood pressure was restored in infarcted + pyridostigmine compared with infarcted rats (103 ± 3 vs 94 ± 3 mmHg, respectively). In addition, compared with the infarcted group, pyridostigmine improved BRS, as evaluated by tachycardic (1.6 ± 0.2 vs 2.5 ± 0.2 b.p.m./mmHg, respectively) and bradycardic (-0.42 ± 0.01 vs -1.9 ± 0.1 b.p.m./mmHg) responses, and reduced the low frequency/high frequency ratio of HRV (0.81 ± 0.11 vs 0.24 ± 0.14, respectively). These improvements are probably associated with increased vagal tone and reduced sympathetic tone in infarcted + pyridostigmine compared with infarcted rats. In conclusion, the data suggest that short-term pyridostigmine treatment started early after MI can improve BRS, HRV and parasympathetic and sympathetic tone in experimental rats. These data may have potential clinical implications because autonomic markers have prognostic significance after MI.

  4. Effect of operation for Ebstein anomaly on left ventricular function.

    PubMed

    Brown, Morgan L; Dearani, Joseph A; Danielson, Gordon K; Cetta, Frank; Connolly, Heidi M; Warnes, Carole A; Li, Zhuo; Hodge, David O; Driscoll, David J

    2008-12-15

    Our objective was to examine the outcomes of patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction who underwent operation for Ebstein anomaly. From April 1, 1972 to January 1, 2006, 539 patients with Ebstein anomaly underwent operation at Mayo Clinic. LV function was determined by echocardiography. Of the 495 patients with preoperative echocardiographic assessment of LV function, 50 had moderate or severe LV systolic dysfunction. In patients with LV dysfunction, the tricuspid valve (TV) was repaired in 12 patients and replaced in 36 patients; 1 patient had a 1.5 ventricle repair, and 1 patient had cardiac transplantation. There were 5 early deaths (10%). LV function improved in all but 4 patients after operation. In no patient did LV function worsen after operation. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year survival was 86%, 77%, and 67%, respectively. On univariate analysis, absence of sinus rhythm at dismissal (p = 0.003) was associated with greater overall mortality. For the entire cohort of 539 patients, LV dysfunction was independently predictive of late mortality (hazard ratio 3.76, p <0.001). At late follow-up (mean 6.9 years), 86% of patients were in New York Heart Association class I or II. In conclusion, LV systolic dysfunction occurs infrequently in patients with Ebstein anomaly and is a risk factor for increased late mortality. Although early mortality is greater in patients with LV dysfunction, the late results are favorable. Decreasing LV function should be an indication to promptly restore TV competence rather than a contraindication to TV operation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Efficacy of an inactivated FeLV vaccine compared to a recombinant FeLV vaccine in minimum age cats following virulent FeLV challenge.

    PubMed

    Stuke, Kristin; King, Vickie; Southwick, Kendra; Stoeva, Mira I; Thomas, Anne; Winkler, M Teresa C

    2014-05-07

    The aim of the study was to determine the efficacy of an inactivated feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine (Versifel(®) FeLV, Zoetis.) compared to a recombinant FeLV vaccine (Purevax(®) FeLV, Merial Animal Health) in young cats, exposed under laboratory conditions to a highly virulent challenge model. The study was designed to be consistent with the general immunogenicity requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia 6.0 Monograph 01/2008:1321-Feline Leukaemia Vaccine (Inactivated) with the exception that commercial-strength vaccines were assessed. Fifty seronegative cats (8-9 weeks old) were vaccinated subcutaneously on two occasions, three weeks apart, with either placebo (treatment group T01), Versifel FeLV Vaccine (treatment group T02), or Purevax FeLV Vaccine (treatment group T03) according to the manufacturer's directions. Cats were challenged three weeks after the second vaccination with a virulent FeLV isolate (61E strain). Persistent FeLV antigenemia was determined from 3 to 15 weeks postchallenge. Bone marrow samples were tested for the presence of FeLV proviral DNA to determine FeLV latent infection. At week 15 after challenge with the virulent FeLV 61E strain, the Versifel FeLV Vaccine conferred 89.5% protection against FeLV persistent antigenemia and 94.7% protection against FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells. In comparison, the Purevax FeLV Vaccine conferred 20% protection against FeLV persistent antigenemia and 35% protection against FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells following challenge. The data from this study show that the Versifel FeLV Vaccine was efficacious in preventing both FeLV persistent p27 antigenemia and FeLV proviral DNA integration in bone marrow cells of cats challenged with this particular challenge model under laboratory conditions and provided better protection than Purevax FeLV in this experimental challenge model with highly virulent FeLV.

  7. Algisyl-LVR™ with coronary artery bypass grafting reduces left ventricular wall stress and improves function in the failing human heart☆,☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Lik Chuan; Wall, Samuel T.; Klepach, Doron; Ge, Liang; Zhang, Zhihong; Lee, Randall J.; Hinson, Andy; Gorman, Joseph H.; Gorman, Robert C.; Guccione, Julius M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Left ventricular (LV) wall stress reduction is a cornerstone in treating heart failure. Large animal models and computer simulations indicate that adding non-contractile material to the damaged LV wall can potentially reduce myofiber stress. We sought to quantify the effects of a novel implantable hydrogel (Algisyl-LVR™) treatment in combination with coronary artery bypass grafting (i.e. Algisyl-LVR™+CABG) on both LV function and wall stress in heart failure patients. Methods and results Magnetic resonance images obtained before treatment (n=3), and at 3 months (n=3) and 6 months (n=2) afterwards were used to reconstruct the LV geometry. Cardiac function was quantified using end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), regional wall thickness, sphericity index and regional myofiber stress computed using validated mathematical modeling. The LV became more ellipsoidal after treatment, and both EDV and ESV decreased substantially 3 months after treatment in all patients; EDV decreased from 264±91 ml to 146±86 ml and ESV decreased from 184±85 ml to 86±76 ml. Ejection fraction increased from 32±8% to 47±18% during that period. Volumetric-averaged wall thickness increased in all patients, from 1.06±0.21 cm (baseline) to 1.3±0.26 cm (3 months). These changes were accompanied by about a 35% decrease in myofiber stress at end-of-diastole and at end-of-systole. Post-treatment myofiber stress became more uniform in the LV. Conclusions These results support the novel concept that Algisyl-LVR™+CABG treatment leads to decreased myofiber stress, restored LV geometry and improved function. PMID:23394895

  8. Novel approach for automatic segmentation of LV endocardium via SPCNN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Yurun; Wang, Deyuan; Ma, Yide; Lei, Ruoming; Wang, Kemin

    2017-02-01

    Automatic segmentation of Left Ventricle (LV) is an essential task in the field of computer-aided analysis of cardiac function. In this paper, a simplified pulse coupled neural network (SPCNN) based approach is proposed to segment LV endocardium automatically. Different from the traditional image-driven methods, the SPCNN based approach is independent of the image gray distribution models, which makes it more stable. Firstly, the temporal and spatial characteristics of the cardiac magnetic resonance image are used to extract a region of interest and to locate LV cavity. Then, SPCNN model is iteratively applied with an increasing parameter to segment an optimal cavity. Finally, the endocardium is delineated via several post-processing operations. Quantitative evaluation is performed on the public database provided by MICCAI 2009. Over all studies, all slices, and two phases (end-diastole and end-systole), the average percentage of good contours is 91.02%, the average perpendicular distance is 2.24 mm and the overlapping dice metric is 0.86.These results indicate that the proposed approach possesses high precision and good competitiveness.

  9. Early improvement in cardiac function detected by tissue Doppler and strain imaging after melphalan-dexamethasone therapy in a 51-year old subject with severe cardiac amyloidosis.

    PubMed

    Ballo, Piercarlo; Motto, Andrea; Corsini, Francesca; Orlandini, Francesco; Mondillo, Sergio

    2008-11-12

    We report the case of a 51-year old man with symptoms of heart failure due to severe cardiac amyloidosis, in whom treatment with melphalan and dexamethasone yielded significant improvement in clinical status and both systolic and diastolic left ventricular (LV) function over a 12-week follow-up. The improvement in LV performance was detected by Tissue Doppler (TD) and strain analysis, despite no changes in standard indices such as ejection fraction and Doppler pattern of mitral inflow. Color TD-derived myocardial velocity and deformation indices also revealed a reduction in intra-ventricular early diastolic asynchrony after therapy. In addition, an improvement in intra-ventricular systolic synchrony was detected by strain rate and strain, but not by color TD velocity imaging. These findings suggest that treatment with melphalan and dexamethasone may improve symptoms of heart failure and LV performance in subjects with cardiac amyloidosis, and that TD and particularly strain imaging could represent useful techniques to monitor the effect of therapy on LV function in the follow-up of these patients.

  10. Association Between Myocardial Mechanics and Ischemic LV Remodeling.

    PubMed

    D'Elia, Nicholas; D'hooge, Jan; Marwick, Thomas H

    2015-12-01

    The outcomes associated with heart failure after myocardial infarction are still poor. Both global and regional left ventricular (LV) remodeling are associated with the progression of the post-infarct patient to heart failure, but although global remodeling can be accurately measured, regional LV remodeling has been more difficult to investigate. Preliminary evidence suggests that post-MI assessment of LV mechanics using stress and strain may predict global (and possibly regional) LV remodeling. A method of predicting both global and regional LV remodeling might facilitate earlier, targeted, and more extensive clinical intervention in those most likely to benefit from novel interventions such as cell therapy.

  11. Weight reduction via life-style modifications results in reverse remodelling and cardiac functional improvement in a patient with obesity.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chang; Zheng, Bo; Yang, Ying; Wang, Xin-Gang; Zhang, Bin; Shi, Qiu-Ping; Chen, Ming

    2017-03-09

    The prevalence of obesity has increased strikingly in recent years. Obesity is associated with increased left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVEDD), ventricular wall thickness, left ventricular (LV) mass, left atrial diameter, subtle myocardial systolic as well as diastolic dysfunction and has been identified as an independent predictor of these changes. It's convinced that weight reduction results in cardiac reverse remodelling, while the functional changes after weight reduction are variable. Here, we present a recent case of man with moderate obesity who acquires favourable regression in chamber size, wall thickness and significant improvement in cardiac function. Briefly, after life-style modifications and comprehensive secondary prevention, great amounts of weight loss was achieved simultaneously with decreased LVEDD and increased LV ejection fraction. As dietary intervention and regular physical activity are pivotal for these benefits, this non-invasive approach for weight loss should be advocated in selected patients.

  12. [FeLV infection in the cat: clinically relevant aspects].

    PubMed

    Boretti, F S; Lutz, H; Hofmann-Lehmann, R

    2011-11-01

    The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus of the domestic cat that was described almost 50 years ago. The FeLV-infection may lead to fatal diseases in domestic and small wild cats. The use of efficacious diagnostics assays and vaccines led to a reduction of the FeLV prevalence; however, FeLV still poses a problem for the cat presented with the infection. This article aims to describe recent developments in diagnostics and findings in the infection pathogenesis that are clinically relevant.

  13. Improvement of impaired diastolic left ventricular function after diet-induced weight reduction in severe obesity

    PubMed Central

    Karimian, Sevda; Stein, Juergen; Bauer, Boris; Teupe, Claudius

    2017-01-01

    Background/objectives Obesity is independently associated with left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction and altered cardiac morphology. Morbidity and mortality in patients with diastolic dysfunction are similar to values observed in patients with systolic heart failure. We hypothesized that dysfunctional cardiac responses in people with obesity are reversible after weight loss. Thus, we studied the effect of dietary weight reduction on LV diastolic function as well as on cardiac structure using transthoracic echocardiography and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). Subjects/methods Thirty-two subjects with obesity underwent a 12-week low-calorie fasting phase of a formula diet. Echocardiographic tissue Doppler indices of diastolic function and measurements of cardiac size were obtained prior to and after the fasting phase. Results A 12-week diet significantly reduced body mass index from 40.3 ± 6.6 kg/m2 to 33.2 ± 6.1 kg/m2 (p < 0.01). Weight loss was associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure and heart rate. Echocardiography revealed diastolic dysfunction in subjects with obesity, which was improved by dieting. After weight loss, trans-mitral Doppler echocardiography showed a significant reduction in A-wave velocity, from 65.8 ± 19.2 cm/s to 57.0 ± 16.8 cm/s, and an increase in E/A ratio from 1.2 ± 0.4 to 1.4 ± 0.5 (p < 0.01). TDI displayed a significantly lower a′-wave velocity (10.3 ± 2.3 cm/s and 8.9 ± 1.7 cm/s; p < 0.01). Left atrial and LV dimensions were normal and remained unchanged after weight loss. Conclusion Obesity is associated with diastolic dysfunction. A 12-week low-calorie diet with successful weight loss can reduce blood pressure and heart rate and partially normalize diastolic dysfunction. PMID:28123309

  14. Retraction: ‘rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in‐hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta‐analysis’ by Ming‐Yi Lv, Shu‐Ling Deng and Xiao‐Feng Long

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The above article, published online on 28th November 2015 in Wiley Online Library (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bcp.12788/full), and in volume 81, pp. 174–185, has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor in Chief, Professor A Cohen, and John Wiley & Sons Limited. The retraction has been agreed owing to evidence indicating that the peer review of this paper was compromised. The authors were unaware of the actions of the third party responsible for compromising the peer review. Reference LvM‐Y , DengS‐L , LongX‐F . rhBNP therapy can improve clinical outcomes and reduce in‐hospital mortality compared with dobutamine in heart failure patients: a meta‐analysis. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016; 81: 174–85. doi:10.1111/bcp.12788.26382927 PMID:27086732

  15. Improving functional value of meat products.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wangang; Xiao, Shan; Samaraweera, Himali; Lee, Eun Joo; Ahn, Dong U

    2010-09-01

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to develop meat and meat products with physiological functions to promote health conditions and prevent the risk of diseases. This review focuses on strategies to improve the functional value of meat and meat products. Value improvement can be realized by adding functional compounds including conjugated linoneleic acid, vitamin E, n3 fatty acids and selenium in animal diets to improve animal production, carcass composition and fresh meat quality. In addition, functional ingredients such as vegetable proteins, dietary fibers, herbs and spices, and lactic acid bacteria can be directly incorporated into meat products during processing to improve their functional value for consumers. Functional compounds, especially peptides, can also be generated from meat and meat products during processing such as fermentation, curing and aging, and enzymatic hydrolysis. This review further discusses the current status, consumer acceptance, and market for functional foods from the global viewpoints. Future prospects for functional meat and meat products are also discussed.

  16. The surface glycoprotein of a natural feline leukemia virus subgroup A variant, FeLV-945, as a determinant of disease outcome.

    PubMed

    Bolin, Lisa L; Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S

    2011-10-15

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a natural retrovirus of domestic cats associated with degenerative, proliferative and malignant diseases. Studies of FeLV infection in a cohort of naturally infected cats were undertaken to examine FeLV variation, the selective pressures operative in FeLV infection that lead to predominance of natural variants, and the consequences for infection and disease progression. A unique variant, designated FeLV-945, was identified as the predominant isolate in the cohort and was associated with non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma. FeLV-945 was assigned to the FeLV-A subgroup based on sequence analysis and receptor utilization, but was shown to differ in sequence from a prototype member of FeLV-A, designated FeLV-A/61E, in the long terminal repeat (LTR) and the surface glycoprotein gene (SU). A unique sequence motif in the FeLV-945 LTR was shown to function as a transcriptional enhancer and to confer a replicative advantage. The FeLV-945 SU protein was observed to differ in sequence as compared to FeLV-A/61E within functional domains known to determine receptor selection and binding. Experimental infection of newborn cats was performed using wild type FeLV-A/61E or recombinant FeLV-A/61E in which the LTR (61E/945L) or LTR and SU (61E/945SL) were exchanged for that of FeLV-945. Infection with either FeLV-A/61E or 61E/945L resulted in T-cell lymphoma of the thymus, although 61E/945L caused disease significantly more rapidly. In contrast, infection with 61E/945SL resulted in the rapid induction of a multicentric lymphoma of B-cell origin, thus recapitulating the outcome of natural infection and implicating FeLV-945 SU as a determinant of disease outcome. Recombinant FeLV-B was detected infrequently and at low levels in multicentric lymphomas, and was thereby not implicated in disease induction. Preliminary studies of receptor interaction indicated that virus particles bearing FeLV-945 SU bind to the FeLV-A receptor more

  17. Noninvasive LV pressure estimation using subharmonic emissions from microbubbles.

    PubMed

    Dave, Jaydev K; Halldorsdottir, Valgerdur G; Eisenbrey, John R; Raichlen, Joel S; Liu, Ji-Bin; McDonald, Maureen E; Dickie, Kris; Wang, Shumin; Leung, Corina; Forsberg, Flemming

    2012-01-01

    To develop a new noninvasive approach to quantify left ventricular (LV) pressures using subharmonic emissions from microbubbles, an ultrasound scanner was used in pulse inversion grayscale mode; unprocessed radiofrequency data were obtained with pulsed wave Doppler from the aorta and/or LV during Sonazoid infusion. Subharmonic data (in dB) were extracted and processed. Calibration factor (mm Hg/dB) from the aortic pressure was used to estimate LV pressures. Errors ranged from 0.19 to 2.50 mm Hg when estimating pressures using the aortic calibration factor, and were higher (0.64 to 8.98 mm Hg) using a mean aortic calibration factor. Subharmonic emissions from ultrasound contrast agents have the potential to noninvasively monitor LV pressures.

  18. Acute monoblastic leukemia in a FeLV-positive cat.

    PubMed

    Prihirunkit, Kreangsak; Narkkong, Nual Anong; Apibal, Suntaree

    2008-03-01

    A 1.6-year-old male domestic short hair cat was brought to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Kasetsart University, with signs of severe anemia, depression, and general lymph node enlargement. Complete blood count revealed leukocytosis and massive undifferentiated blasts. Testing for antibodies specific to feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was positive, and FeLV nucleic acid was confirmed by nested polymerase chain reaction. Base on cytochemistry and ultrastructure, the cat was diagnosed with acute monoblastic leukemia.

  19. Therapeutic effects of recombinant feline interferon-omega on feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-infected and FeLV/feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-coinfected symptomatic cats.

    PubMed

    de Mari, Karine; Maynard, Laurence; Sanquer, Annaelle; Lebreux, Bernard; Eun, Hyone-Myong

    2004-01-01

    The clinical efficacy of a recombinant feline interferon, rFeIFN-omega, was evaluated for the treatment of cats presented with clinical signs associated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection and FeLV/feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) coinfection in the field. In this multicentric, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 81 cats meeting the inclusion criteria were randomly placed into 2 groups and treated subcutaneously with rFelFN-omega (1 million [M]U/kg per day) or placebo once daily for 5 consecutive days in 3 series (day 0, 14, 60). The cats were monitored for up to 1 year for clinical signs and mortality. During the initial 4-month period, interferon (IFN)-treated cats (n = 39) had significantly reduced clinical scores compared with placebo (n = 42), with all cats having received concomitant supportive therapies. Compared with the control, the IFN-treated group showed significantly lower rates of mortality: 39% versus 59% (1.7-fold higher risk of death for controls) at the 9-month time point and 47% versus 59% (1.4-fold higher risk of death for controls) at the 12-month time point. The IFN treatment was associated with minor but consistent improvement in abnormal hematologic parameters (red blood cell count, packed cell volume, and white blood cell count), apparently underlying the positive effects of IFN on clinical parameters. These data demonstrate that rFeIFN-omega initially has statistically significant therapeutic effects on clinical signs and later on survival of cats with clinical signs associated with FeLV infection and FeLV/FIV coinfection.

  20. Peptide Mimetics of Apolipoproteins Improve HDL Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Shrimp with knockdown of LvSOCS2, a negative feedback loop regulator of JAK/STAT pathway in Litopenaeus vannamei, exhibit enhanced resistance against WSSV.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng; Song, Xuan; Zhang, Zijian; Li, Haoyang; L, Kai; Yin, Bin; He, Jianguo; Li, Chaozheng

    2016-12-01

    JAK/STAT pathway is one of cytokine signaling pathways and mediates diversity immune responses to protect host from viral infection. In this study, LvSOCS2, a member of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) families, has been cloned and identified from Litopenaeus vannamei. The full length of LvSOCS2 is 1601 bp, including an 1194 bp open reading frame (ORF) coding for a putative protein of 397 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of ∼42.3 kDa. LvSOCS2 expression was most abundant in gills and could respond to the challenge of LPS, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Staphhylococcus aureus, Poly (I: C) and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). There are several STAT binding motifs presented in the proximal promoter region of LvSOCS2 and its expression was induced by LvJAK or LvSTAT protein in a dose dependent manner, suggesting LvSOCS2 could be the transcriptional target gene of JAK/STAT pathway. Moreover, the transcription of DmVir-1, a read out of the activation of JAK/STAT pathway in Drosophila, was promoted by LvJAK but inhibited by LvSOCS2, indicating that LvSOCS2 could be a negative regulator in this pathway and thus can form a negative feedback loop. Our previous study indicated that shrimp JAK/STAT pathway played a positive role against WSSV. In this study, RNAi-mediated knockdown of LvSOCS2 shrimps showed lower susceptibility to WSSV infection and caused lessened virus loads, which further demonstrated that the JAK/STAT pathway could function as an anti-viral immunity in shrimp.

  2. Treatment of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, K; Block, A; Ferk, G; Beer, B; Vollmar, A; Lutz, H

    1999-09-01

    FeLV infection is still considered to account for most disease-related deaths in pet cats. Different treatment attempts with various drugs were performed in the past but none resulted in healing or complete virus elimination. Therefore, it caused a sensation when Horber and Mayr [Horber, D., Mayr, B., 1991. Prax. 19, 311-314; Horber, D., Schnabl, W., Mayr, B., 1992. Tierarztl. Umschau 47, 556-560; Mayr, B., Horber, D., 1992. Kleintierprax. 37, 515-518] published that they were able to cure 80 to 100% FeLV-infected cats from viremia by using an immunomodulating compound. Articles in cat breeder and cat owner journals appeared assuming that obviously there is a rescue for FeLV-infected cats suffering from this deadly infection. The immunomodulator [Buttner, M., 1993. Comp. Immun. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 18, 1-10] used in those studies was the so-called 'paramunity inducer' PIND-ORF (Baypamun, Bayer, Leverkusen, Germany) consisting of inactivated parapox ovis virus. Since that time, Baypamun is the most commonly used drug for treatment of FeLV infection in Germany and other European countries. Four placebo-controlled double-blind trials were performed to determine the therapeutic efficacy of Baypamun and other compounds in naturally FeLV-infected cats under controlled conditions.

  3. Improved Approximate Profile Function of Hedgehog Skyrmion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Yong-Lin; Jia, Duo-Jie; Xi, Guo-Zhu; Liu, Feng

    The profile function for Skyrme model is investigated in Hedgehog ansatz. An improved analytical solution to the Hedgehog Skyrmion is obtained by using tentative function method. It is found that ensuing calculated static energy is smaller than that in Ref. 13, and the isoscalar electric mean square radius √ {< r2>}I=0 and the isoscalar magnetic mean square radius √ {< r2>}M,I=0 well agree with experiment results.

  4. Dendritic cell functional improvement in a preclinical model of lentiviral-mediated gene therapy for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

    PubMed

    Catucci, M; Prete, F; Bosticardo, M; Castiello, M C; Draghici, E; Locci, M; Roncarolo, M G; Aiuti, A; Benvenuti, F; Villa, A

    2012-12-01

    Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked primary immunodeficiency caused by the defective expression of the WAS protein (WASP) in hematopoietic cells. It has been shown that dendritic cells (DCs) are functionally impaired in WAS patients and was(-/-) mice. We have previously demonstrated the efficacy and safety of a murine model of WAS gene therapy (GT), using stem cells transduced with a lentiviral vector (LV). The aim of this study was to investigate whether GT can correct DC defects in was(-/-) mice. As DCs expressing WASP were detected in the secondary lymphoid organs of the treated mice, we tested the in vitro and in vivo function of bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs). The BMDCs showed efficient in vitro uptake of latex beads and Salmonella typhimurium. When BMDCs from the treated mice (GT BMDCs) and the was(-/-) mice were injected into wild-type hosts, we found a higher number of cells that had migrated to the draining lymph nodes compared with mice injected with was(-/-) BMDCs. Finally, we found that ovalbumin (OVA)-pulsed GT BMDCs or vaccination of GT mice with anti-DEC205 OVA fusion protein can efficiently induce antigen-specific T-cell activation in vivo. These findings show that WAS GT significantly improves DC function, thus adding new evidence of the preclinical efficacy of LV-mediated WAS GT.

  5. Rapid Surface Cooling by ThermoSuit System Dramatically Reduces Scar Size, Prevents Post-Infarction Adverse Left Ventricular Remodeling, and Improves Cardiac Function in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Wangde; Herring, Michael J; Hale, Sharon L; Kloner, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    Background The long-term effects of transient hypothermia by the non-invasive ThermoSuit apparatus on myocardial infarct (MI) scar size, left ventricular (LV) remodeling, and LV function were assessed in rat MI model. Methods and Results Rats were randomized to normothermic or hypothermic groups (n=14 in each group) and subjected to 30 minutes coronary artery occlusion and 6 weeks of reperfusion. For hypothermia therapy, rats were placed into the ThermoSuit apparatus at 2 minutes after the onset of coronary artery occlusion, were taken out of the apparatus when the core body temperature reached 32°C (in ≈8 minutes), and were then allowed to rewarm. After 6 weeks of recovery, rats treated with hypothermia demonstrated markedly reduced scar size (expressed as % of left ventricular area: hypothermia, 6.5±1.1%; normothermia, 19.4±1.7%; P=1.3×10−6); and thicker anterior LV wall (hypothermia, 1.57±0.09 mm; normothermia, 1.07±0.05 mm; P=3.4×10−5); decreased postmortem left ventricular volume (hypothermia, 0.45±0.04 mL; normothermia, 0.6±0.03 mL; P=0.028); and better LV fractional shortening by echocardiography (hypothermia, 37.2±2.8%; normothermia, 18.9±2.3%; P=0.0002) and LV ejection fraction by LV contrast ventriculography (hypothermia, 66.8±2.3%; normothermia, 56.0±2.0%; P=0.0014). Conclusions Rapid, transient non-invasive surface cooling with the ThermoSuit apparatus in the acute phase of MI decreased scar size by 66.5%, attenuated adverse post-infarct left ventricular dilation and remodeling, and improved cardiac function in the chronic phase of experimental MI. PMID:26116692

  6. Does bariatric surgery improve adipose tissue function?

    PubMed Central

    Frikke-Schmidt, H.; O’Rourke, R. W.; Lumeng, C. N.; Sandoval, D. A.; Seeley, R. J.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Not only do these types of surgeries produce significant weight loss but also they improve insulin sensitivity and whole body metabolic function. The aim of this review is to explore how altered physiology of adipose tissue may contribute to the potent metabolic effects of some of these procedures. This includes specific effects on various fat depots, the function of individual adipocytes and the interaction between adipose tissue and other key metabolic tissues. Besides a dramatic loss of fat mass, bariatric surgery shifts the distribution of fat from visceral to the subcutaneous compartment favoring metabolic improvement. The sensitivity towards lipolysis controlled by insulin and catecholamines is improved, adipokine secretion is altered and local adipose inflammation as well as systemic inflammatory markers decreases. Some of these changes have been shown to be weight loss independent, and novel hypothesis for these effects includes include changes in bile acid metabolism, gut microbiota and central regulation of metabolism. In conclusion bariatric surgery is capable of improving aspects of adipose tissue function and do so in some cases in ways that are not entirely explained by the potent effect of surgery. PMID:27272117

  7. Diacerein Improves Left Ventricular Remodeling and Cardiac Function by Reducing the Inflammatory Response after Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Torina, Anali Galluce; Reichert, Karla; Lima, Fany; de Souza Vilarinho, Karlos Alexandre; de Oliveira, Pedro Paulo Martins; do Carmo, Helison Rafael Pereira; de Carvalho, Daniela Diógenes; Saad, Mário José Abdalla; Sposito, Andrei Carvalho; Petrucci, Orlando

    2015-01-01

    Background The inflammatory response has been implicated in the pathogenesis of left ventricular (LV) remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI). An anthraquinone compound with anti-inflammatory properties, diacerein inhibits the synthesis and activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor and interleukins 1 and 6. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of diacerein on ventricular remodeling in vivo. Methods and Results Ligation of the left anterior descending artery was used to induce MI in an experimental rat model. Rats were divided into two groups: a control group that received saline solution (n = 16) and a group that received diacerein (80 mg/kg) daily (n = 10). After 4 weeks, the LV volume, cellular signaling, caspase 3 activity, and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcription were compared between the two groups. After 4 weeks, end-diastolic and end-systolic LV volumes were reduced in the treatment group compared to the control group (p < .01 and p < .01, respectively). Compared to control rats, diacerein-treated rats exhibited less fibrosis in the LV (14.65%± 7.27% vs. 22.57%± 8.94%; p < .01), lower levels of caspase-3 activity, and lower levels of NF-κB p65 transcription. Conclusions Treatment with diacerein once a day for 4 weeks after MI improved ventricular remodeling by promoting lower end-systolic and end-diastolic LV volumes. Diacerein also reduced fibrosis in the LV. These effects might be associated with partial blockage of the NF-κB pathway. PMID:25816098

  8. Clinical aspects of left ventricular diastolic function assessed by Doppler echocardiography following acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, S H

    2001-11-01

    properties are related to progressive LV dilatation, development of heart failure and cardiac death following MI. The beneficial effects of BB on morbidity and mortality in post-MI patients are well established. Recently, it has been demonstrated that BB has beneficial effects on progressive CHF and cardiac mortality in patients with chronic heart failure and moderate to severe systolic dysfunction. The mechanisms behind these effects are not fully understood. However, improvement of both systolic and diastolic function during BB therapy are demonstrated in patients with CHF. A few studies in patients with MI indicates that long-term BB therapy improves LV diastolic function which seems to be followed by improvement in systolic function. BB has the potential to lengthening diastole, improving subendocardial myocardial perfusion and affecting symptomatic amd neurohumoral activation following MI which might affect LV systolic and diastolic function and thereby improving outcome. Functional capacity following Ml is a well known predictor for outcome in MI patients. LV diastolic function a closely related to exercise capacity in contrast to measures of systolic function. BB therapy in patients with mild to moderate systolic dysfunction seems to improve exercise capacity which is related to improvement in LV diastolic function. Thus, BB improves exercise capacity and diastolic function by increasing LV compliance which might have prognostic implications. Even though LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction coexist, few two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiographic variables combine measurements of both phases of the cardiac cycle. Recently, the MPI has been suggested as a measure of combined systolic and diastolic myocardial performance which is based on Doppler time intervals of the systolic and diastolic phases. The MPI is easily obtained, reproducible, non-geometric and seems less dependent on heart rate and load conditions compared to traditional Doppler measurements. In

  9. Decoupled external forces in a predictor-corrector segmentation scheme for LV contours in Tagged MR images.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Barnes, Jaume; Andaluz, Albert; Carreras, Francesc; Gil, Debora

    2010-01-01

    Computation of functional regional scores requires proper identification of LV contours. On one hand, manual segmentation is robust, but it is time consuming and requires high expertise. On the other hand, the tag pattern in TMR sequences is a problem for automatic segmentation of LV boundaries. We propose a segmentation method based on a predictor-corrector (Active Contours - Shape Models) scheme. Special stress is put in the definition of the AC external forces. First, we introduce a semantic description of the LV that discriminates myocardial tissue by using texture and motion descriptors. Second, in order to ensure convergence regardless of the initial contour, the external energy is decoupled according to the orientation of the edges in the image potential. We have validated the model in terms of error in segmented contours and accuracy of regional clinical scores.

  10. Respiratory muscle training improves hemodynamics, autonomic function, baroreceptor sensitivity, and respiratory mechanics in rats with heart failure.

    PubMed

    Jaenisch, Rodrigo B; Hentschke, Vítor S; Quagliotto, Edson; Cavinato, Paulo R; Schmeing, Letiane A; Xavier, Léder L; Dal Lago, Pedro

    2011-12-01

    Respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves functional capacity in chronic heart-failure (HF) patients, but the basis for this improvement remains unclear. We evaluate the effects of RMT on the hemodynamic and autonomic function, arterial baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and respiratory mechanics in rats with HF. Rats were assigned to one of four groups: sedentary sham (n = 8), trained sham (n = 8), sedentary HF (n = 8), or trained HF (n = 8). Trained animals underwent a RMT protocol (30 min/day, 5 day/wk, 6 wk of breathing through a resistor), whereas sedentary animals did not. In HF rats, RMT had significant effects on several parameters. It reduced left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure (P < 0.01), increased LV systolic pressure (P < 0.01), and reduced right ventricular hypertrophy (P < 0.01) and pulmonary (P < 0.001) and hepatic (P < 0.001) congestion. It also decreased resting heart rate (HR; P < 0.05), indicating a decrease in the sympathetic and an increase in the vagal modulation of HR. There was also an increase in baroreflex gain (P < 0.05). The respiratory system resistance was reduced (P < 0.001), which was associated with the reduction in tissue resistance after RMT (P < 0.01). The respiratory system and tissue elastance (Est) were also reduced by RMT (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). Additionally, the quasistatic Est was reduced after RMT (P < 0.01). These findings show that a 6-wk RMT protocol in HF rats promotes an improvement in hemodynamic function, sympathetic and vagal heart modulation, arterial BRS, and respiratory mechanics, all of which are benefits associated with improvements in cardiopulmonary interaction.

  11. Cross-Functional Team Processes and Patient Functional Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Jeffrey A; Lichtenstein, Richard; Jinnett, Kimberly; Wells, Rebecca; Zazzali, James; Liu, Dawei

    2005-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that higher levels of participation and functioning in cross-functional psychiatric treatment teams will be related to improved patient outcomes. Data Sources/Study Setting Primary data were collected during the period 1992–1999. The study was conducted in 40 teams within units treating seriously mentally ill patients in 16 Veterans Affairs hospitals across the U.S. Study Design A longitudinal, multilevel analysis assessed the relationship between individual- and team-level variables and patients' ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) over time. Team data were collected in 1992, 1994, and 1995. The number of times patient data were collected was dependent on the length of time the patient was treated and varied from 1 to 14 between 1992 and 1999. Key variables included: patients' ADL scores (the dependent variable); measures of team participation and team functioning; the number of days from baseline on which a patient's ADLs were assessed; and several control variables. Data Collection Methods Team data were obtained via self-administered questionnaires distributed to staff on the study teams. Additional team data were obtained via questionnaires completed by unit directors contemporaneously with the staff survey. Patient data were collected by trained clinicians at regular intervals using a standard assessment instrument. Principal Findings Results indicated that patients treated in teams with higher levels of staff participation experienced greater improvement in ADL over time. No differences in ADL change were noted for patients treated in teams with higher levels of team functioning. Conclusions Findings support our premise that team process has important implications for patient outcomes. The results suggest that the level of participation by the team as a whole may be a more important process attribute, in terms of patient improvements in ADLs, than the team's smooth functioning. These findings indicate the

  12. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Virtual reality training improves balance function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Effect of coronary artery bypass graft surgery on left ventricular systolic function

    PubMed Central

    Koene, Ryan J.; Kealhofer, Jessica V.; Adabag, Selcuk; Vakil, Kairav

    2017-01-01

    Background Changes in left ventricular (LV) systolic function in response to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) have not been fully assessed. Methods Between January 2001 and December 2014, 2,838 consecutive patients underwent isolated CABG at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Of these, 375 had echocardiographic assessment of LV function before (within 6 months) and after (3 to 24 months) CABG and were included in this analysis. Results While the mean LV ejection fraction (LVEF) did not change following CABG [(49±13)% vs. (49±12)%, P=0.51], LVEF decreased in the subgroup with normal (≥50%) pre-operative LVEF [from (59±5)% to (56±9)%, P<0.001] and improved in those with decreased (<50%) pre-operative LVEF [from (36±9)% to (41±12)%, P<0.001]. There was a significant reduction in LV internal diameter during end-diastole (LVIDd) (5.4±0.8 vs. 5.3±0.9, P=0.002) and an increase in left atrial diameter (LAD) (4.4±0.7 vs. 4.6±0.7, P<0.001). There were no perioperative changes in LV internal diameter during end-systole, LV mass, posterior wall thickness, or septal wall thickness. LVEF improved by >5% in 24% of the study population, did not change (+/− 5%) in 55%, and worsened by >5% in 21%. Patients with improved EF were less often diabetic and had lower pre-operative LVEF, and greater LV dimensions at baseline. Conclusions After CABG, there was a decrease in LVIDd and an increase in LAD. Also, a decrease in LV systolic function with CABG was observed in patients with normal pre-operative LVEF and an improvement in LV systolic function was observed in patients with decreased pre-operative LVEF. PMID:28275473

  16. Lanczos steps to improve variational wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Improvement of Right Ventricular Hemodynamics with Left Ventricular Endocardial Pacing during Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

    PubMed Central

    HYDE, EOIN R.; BEHAR, JONATHAN M.; CROZIER, ANDREW; CLARIDGE, SIMON; JACKSON, TOM; SOHAL, MANAV; GILL, JASWINDER S.; O'NEILL, MARK D.; RAZAVI, REZA; RINALDI, CHRISTOPHER A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) with biventricular epicardial (BV‐CS) or endocardial left ventricular (LV) stimulation (BV‐EN) improves LV hemodynamics. The effect of CRT on right ventricular function is less clear, particularly for BV‐EN. Our objective was to compare the simultaneous acute hemodynamic response (AHR) of the right and left ventricles (RV and LV) with BV‐CS and BV‐EN in order to determine the optimal mode of CRT delivery. Methods Nine patients with previously implanted CRT devices successfully underwent a temporary pacing study. Pressure wires measured the simultaneous AHR in both ventricles during different pacing protocols. Conventional epicardial CRT was delivered in LV‐only (LV‐CS) and BV‐CS configurations and compared with BV‐EN pacing in multiple locations using a roving decapolar catheter. Results Best BV‐EN (optimal AHR of all LV endocardial pacing sites) produced a significantly greater RV AHR compared with LV‐CS and BV‐CS pacing (P < 0.05). RV AHR had a significantly increased standard deviation compared to LV AHR (P < 0.05) with a weak correlation between RV and LV AHR (Spearman rs = −0.06). Compromised biventricular optimization, whereby RV AHR was increased at the expense of a smaller decrease in LV AHR, was achieved in 56% of cases, all with BV‐EN pacing. Conclusions BV‐EN pacing produces significant increases in both LV and RV AHR, above that achievable with conventional epicardial pacing. RV AHR cannot be used as a surrogate for optimizing LV AHR; however, compromised biventricular optimization is possible. The beneficial effect of endocardial LV pacing on RV function may have important clinical benefits beyond conventional CRT. PMID:27001004

  18. Transcriptional promoter and enhancer elements in the long terminal repeats (LTR) of endogenous murine leukemia virus (MuLV)-related proviral sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Ch'ang, L.Y.; Myer, F.E.; Yang, D.M.; Koh, C.K.; Yang, W.K.

    1987-05-01

    Mouse genome harbors 2 families of MuLV-related proviral sequences, which do not directly produce infectious virus, but may express RNA transcripts in a tissue-specific manner. The LTRS of MuLV-related sequences contain a mid-U3 inserted segment (IS) of approx. 200 bp not found in the LTR of infectious MuLVs. To test for the LTR promoter and enhancer activities, chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene, alone or carrying SV40 promoter, was linked to various LTR sequences of 2 MuLV and 6 representative MuLV-related DNA clones and the recombinant genes were examined for transient CAT expression in mouse NIH-3T3, mink CCL64 and human HT1080 cells by DNA transfection. While the CAT expression was high with the 2 ecotropic MuLV LTRs, very little to undetectable activities were obtained with all MuLV-related LTRs. To determine the basis for the very low activity of the MuLV-related LTRs, series of experiments were performed, which indicate that the TATA- and CCAAC-containing domain, downstream of the IS, is functionally intact as a promoter and that the IS sequences, while inactive as a promoter by itself, could provide a bi-directional enhancer-like activity to its own or MuLV LTR or SV40 promoter. Further studies suggest the presence of a cis-acting negative regulatory element in sequences upstream of the IS in both the 2 subfamilies of MuLV-related LTRs.

  19. Correcting For Seed-Particle Lag In LV Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  20. Impact of surgical correction of tetralogy of fallot on short-term right and left ventricular function as determined by 2-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuman; Wang, Xinfang; Lv, Qing; Wang, Jing; Yang, YaLi; He, Lin; Yuan, Li; Zhang, Li; Xie, Mingxing

    2016-08-01

    Right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is an important determinant of poor clinical status in repaired patients with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). The purpose of our study is to assess the impact of surgical repair on short-term RV and LV function by 2-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE).Sixty-seven patients (median age 12 months) with TOF before and 6 months after repair and 35 healthy subjects were studied. The patients were divided into the younger (age at surgery ≤12 months) and older (age at surgery >12 months) subgroups. RV and LV global longitudinal systolic strain and strain rate (SR), and LV global circumferential and radial systolic strain and SR were measured by STE. After repair, RV longitudinal strain and SR increased in the younger patients, whereas RV longitudinal SR was decreased in the older patients. LV deformation parameters were unchanged in all patients. In the multivariate analysis, patients with better RV and LV deformation parameters preoperatively were identified to have better RV and LV strain and SR postoperatively (P < 0.05 for all). The surgical approach of the pulmonary valve ring was predictive of RV and LV systolic function postoperatively (P < 0.05 for all).After TOF repair, short-term RV function improvement is identified in the younger but not in the older patients, whereas LV function is unchanged in all patients. The preoperative RV and LV deformational indices are the determinant of postoperative biventricular function improvement. STE appears to be a valuable tool for assessment of biventricular function after congenital heart disease surgery.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

  2. Impact of surgical ventricular restoration on ventricular shape, wall stress, and function in heart failure patients.

    PubMed

    Zhong, L; Su, Y; Gobeawan, L; Sola, S; Tan, R-S; Navia, J L; Ghista, D N; Chua, T; Guccione, J; Kassab, G S

    2011-05-01

    Surgical ventricular restoration (SVR) was designed to treat patients with aneurysms or large akinetic walls and dilated ventricles. Yet, crucial aspects essential to the efficacy of this procedure like optimal shape and size of the left ventricle (LV) are still debatable. The objective of this study is to quantify the efficacy of SVR based on LV regional shape in terms of curvedness, wall stress, and ventricular systolic function. A total of 40 patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after SVR. Both short-axis and long-axis MRI were used to reconstruct end-diastolic and end-systolic three-dimensional LV geometry. The regional shape in terms of surface curvedness, wall thickness, and wall stress indexes were determined for the entire LV. The infarct, border, and remote zones were defined in terms of end-diastolic wall thickness. The LV global systolic function in terms of global ejection fraction, the ratio between stroke work (SW) and end-diastolic volume (SW/EDV), the maximal rate of change of pressure-normalized stress (dσ*/dt(max)), and the regional function in terms of surface area change were examined. The LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes were significantly reduced, and global systolic function was improved in ejection fraction, SW/EDV, and dσ*/dt(max). In addition, the end-diastolic and end-systolic stresses in all zones were reduced. Although there was a slight increase in regional curvedness and surface area change in each zone, the change was not significant. Also, while SVR reduced LV wall stress with increased global LV systolic function, regional LV shape and function did not significantly improve.

  3. Daily prickly pear consumption improves platelet function.

    PubMed

    Wolfram, R; Budinsky, A; Efthimiou, Y; Stomatopoulos, J; Oguogho, A; Sinzinger, H

    2003-07-01

    Prickly pear is traditionally used by Pima Indians as a dietary nutrient against diabetes mellitus. We examined the effect of daily consumption of 250 g in 8 healthy volunteers and 8 patients with mild familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia on various parameters of platelet function. Beside its action on lipids and lipoproteins, prickly pear consumption significantly reduced the platelet proteins (platelet factor 4 and beta-thromboglobulin), ADP-induced platelet aggregation and improved platelet sensitivity (against PGI2 and PGE1) in volunteers as well as in patients. Also plasma 11-DH-TXB2 and the WU-test showed a significant improvement in both patients and volunteers. In contrast, collagen-induced platelet aggregation and the number of circulating endothelial cells showed a significant response in patients only. No influence of prickly pear ingestion on peripheral platelet count was monitored. The dietary run-in period did not influence any of the parameters of haemostasis examined. No sex difference was seen. Prickly pear may induce at least part of its beneficial actions on the cardiovascular system via decreasing platelet activity and thereby improving haemostatic balance.

  4. Improving information retrieval in functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Juan C; González, Germán A; Fresno, Cristóbal; Llera, Andrea S; Fernández, Elmer A

    2016-12-01

    Transcriptome analysis is essential to understand the mechanisms regulating key biological processes and functions. The first step usually consists of identifying candidate genes; to find out which pathways are affected by those genes, however, functional analysis (FA) is mandatory. The most frequently used strategies for this purpose are Gene Set and Singular Enrichment Analysis (GSEA and SEA) over Gene Ontology. Several statistical methods have been developed and compared in terms of computational efficiency and/or statistical appropriateness. However, whether their results are similar or complementary, the sensitivity to parameter settings, or possible bias in the analyzed terms has not been addressed so far. Here, two GSEA and four SEA methods and their parameter combinations were evaluated in six datasets by comparing two breast cancer subtypes with well-known differences in genetic background and patient outcomes. We show that GSEA and SEA lead to different results depending on the chosen statistic, model and/or parameters. Both approaches provide complementary results from a biological perspective. Hence, an Integrative Functional Analysis (IFA) tool is proposed to improve information retrieval in FA. It provides a common gene expression analytic framework that grants a comprehensive and coherent analysis. Only a minimal user parameter setting is required, since the best SEA/GSEA alternatives are integrated. IFA utility was demonstrated by evaluating four prostate cancer and the TCGA breast cancer microarray datasets, which showed its biological generalization capabilities.

  5. Sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition with empagliflozin improves cardiac diastolic function in a female rodent model of diabetes.

    PubMed

    Habibi, Javad; Aroor, Annayya R; Sowers, James R; Jia, Guanghong; Hayden, Melvin R; Garro, Mona; Barron, Brady; Mayoux, Eric; Rector, R Scott; Whaley-Connell, Adam; DeMarco, Vincent G

    2017-01-13

    Obese and diabetic individuals are at increased risk for impairments in diastolic relaxation and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The impairments in diastolic relaxation are especially pronounced in obese and diabetic women and predict future cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in this population. Recent clinical data suggest sodium glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibition reduces CVD events in diabetic individuals, but the mechanisms of this CVD protection are unknown. To determine whether targeting SGLT2 improves diastolic relaxation, we utilized empagliflozin (EMPA) in female db/db mice. Eleven week old female db/db mice were fed normal mouse chow, with or without EMPA, for 5 weeks. Blood pressure (BP), HbA1c and fasting glucose were significantly increased in untreated db/db mice (DbC) (P < 0.01). EMPA treatment (DbE) improved glycemic indices (P < 0.05), but not BP (P > 0.05). At baseline, DbC and DbE had already established impaired diastolic relaxation as indicated by impaired septal wall motion (>tissue Doppler derived E'/A' ratio) and increased left ventricular (LV) filling pressure (function improved with EMPA treatment. In DbC, myocardial fibrosis was accompanied by increased expression of profibrotic/prohypertrophic proteins, serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1) and the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), and the development of these abnormalities were reduced with EMPA. DbC exhibited eccentric LV hypertrophy that was slightly improved by EMPA, indicated by a reduction in cardiomyocyte cross sectional area. In summary, EMPA improved glycemic indices along with diastolic relaxation, as well as SGK1/ENaC profibrosis signaling and associated interstitial fibrosis, all of which occurred in the absence of any changes in BP.

  6. A hemocyte-expressed fibrinogen-related protein gene (LvFrep) from the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei: Expression analysis after microbial infection and during larval development.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Jaqueline da Rosa; Barreto, Cairé; Silveira, Amanda da Silva; Vieira, Graziela Cleusa; Rosa, Rafael Diego; Perazzolo, Luciane Maria

    2016-09-01

    Fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs) comprise a large family of microbial recognition proteins involved in many biological functions in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. By taking advantage of publicly accessible databases, we have identified a FREP-like homolog in the most cultivated penaeid shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei (LvFrep). The obtained sequence showed a conserved fibrinogen-related domain (FReD) and displayed significant similarities to FREP-like proteins from other invertebrates and to ficolins from crustaceans. The expression of LvFrep appeared to be limited to circulating hemocytes. Interestingly, LvFrep gene expression was induced in shrimp hemocytes only in response to a Vibrio infection but not to the White spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Moreover, LvFrep transcript levels were detected early in fertilized eggs, suggesting the participation of this immune-related gene in the antimicrobial defenses during shrimp development.

  7. Acupuncture improves cognitive function: A systematic review☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 77 FR 21620 - Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-10

    ... Federal Railroad Administration Notice of the Buy America Waiver Request for Vossloh 101-LV Concrete Ties... requirements for the purchase of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties, which contain certain components not... consist of the installation of Vossloh 101-LV concrete ties. FRA has received this request from the...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  10. Pharmacoeconomic analysis of adjuvant oral capecitabine vs intravenous 5-FU/LV in Dukes' C colon cancer: the X-ACT trial.

    PubMed

    Cassidy, J; Douillard, J-Y; Twelves, C; McKendrick, J J; Scheithauer, W; Bustová, I; Johnston, P G; Lesniewski-Kmak, K; Jelic, S; Fountzilas, G; Coxon, F; Díaz-Rubio, E; Maughan, T S; Malzyner, A; Bertetto, O; Beham, A; Figer, A; Dufour, P; Patel, K K; Cowell, W; Garrison, L P

    2006-04-24

    Oral capecitabine (Xeloda) is an effective drug with favourable safety in adjuvant and metastatic colorectal cancer. Oxaliplatin-based therapy is becoming standard for Dukes' C colon cancer in patients suitable for combination therapy, but is not yet approved by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the adjuvant setting. Adjuvant capecitabine is at least as effective as 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV), with significant superiority in relapse-free survival and a trend towards improved disease-free and overall survival. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant capecitabine from payer (UK National Health Service (NHS)) and societal perspectives. We used clinical trial data and published sources to estimate incremental direct and societal costs and gains in quality-adjusted life months (QALMs). Acquisition costs were higher for capecitabine than 5-FU/LV, but higher 5-FU/LV administration costs resulted in 57% lower chemotherapy costs for capecitabine. Capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV-associated adverse events required fewer medications and hospitalisations (cost savings pound3653). Societal costs, including patient travel/time costs, were reduced by >75% with capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV (cost savings pound1318), with lifetime gain in QALMs of 9 months. Medical resource utilisation is significantly decreased with capecitabine vs 5-FU/LV, with cost savings to the NHS and society. Capecitabine is also projected to increase life expectancy vs 5-FU/LV. Cost savings and better outcomes make capecitabine a preferred adjuvant therapy for Dukes' C colon cancer. This pharmacoeconomic analysis strongly supports replacing 5-FU/LV with capecitabine in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer in the UK.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Behlau, Mara; Madazio, Glaucya; Oliveira, Gisele

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Litopenaeus vannamei sterile-alpha and armadillo motif containing protein (LvSARM) is involved in regulation of Penaeidins and antilipopolysaccharide factors.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Litopenaeus vannamei inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (LvIAP1) is essential for shrimp survival.

    PubMed

    Leu, Jiann-Horng; Chen, Yen-Chen; Chen, Li-Li; Chen, Kuan-Yu; Huang, Huai-Ting; Ho, Jan-Ming; Lo, Chu-Fang

    2012-09-01

    The members of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family are involved in the regulation of diverse cellular processes, including apoptosis, signal transduction and mitosis. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of three IAP genes from Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei: LvIAP1, LvIAP2 and LvSurvivin. LvIAP1, the orthologue of Penaeus monodon IAP (PmIAP), consists of three BIR domains and one RING domain; LvIAP2 consists of two BIR domains and LvSurvivin has only one BIR domain. Expression profiling by absolute quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that of the three IAP genes, LvIAP1 had the highest expression levels in almost all examined tissues and LvSurvivin had the lowest expression levels. Furthermore, among the examined tissues, the lymphoid organs most strongly expressed all three genes. When LvIAP1 expression was silenced by injection of its corresponding dsRNA, the shrimp died within 48h after injection, whereas injection of the other two dsRNAs did not cause shrimp death. In LvIAP1-silenced shrimp, the number of circulating haemocytes decreased dramatically because of extensive apoptosis. This suggested that LvIAP1 is central to the regulation of shrimp haemocyte apoptosis.

  15. Improved algorithm for calculating the Chandrasekhar function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jablonski, A.

    2013-02-01

    algorithms by selecting ranges of the argument omega in which the performance is the fastest. Reasons for the new version: Some of the theoretical models describing electron transport in condensed matter need a source of the Chandrasekhar H function values with an accuracy of at least 10 decimal places. Additionally, calculations of this function should be as fast as possible since frequent calls to a subroutine providing this function are made (e.g., numerical evaluation of a double integral with a complicated integrand containing the H function). Both conditions were satisfied in the algorithm previously published [1]. However, it has been found that a proper selection of the quadrature in an integral representation of the Chandrasekhar function may considerably decrease the running time. By suitable selection of the number of abscissas in Gauss-Legendre quadrature, the execution time was decreased by a factor of more than 20. Simultaneously, the accuracy of results has not been affected. Summary of revisions: (1) As in previous work [1], two integral representations of the Chandrasekhar function, H(x,omega), were considered: the expression published by Dudarev and Whelan [2] and the expression published by Davidović et al. [3]. The algorithms implementing these representations were designated A and B, respectively. All integrals in these implementations were previously calculated using Romberg quadrature. It has been found, however, that the use of Gauss-Legendre quadrature considerably improved the performance of both algorithms. Two conditions have to be satisfied. (i) The number of abscissas, N, has to be rather large, and (ii) the abscissas and corresponding weights should be determined with accuracy as high as possible. The abscissas and weights are available for N=16, 20, 24, 32, 40, 48, 64, 80, and 96 with accuracy of 20 decimal places [4], and all these values were introduced into a new procedure GAUSS replacing procedure ROMBERG. Due to the fact that the

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Improving Sensorimotor Function Using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during spaceflight, particularly during G-transition phases. Post flight sensorimotor changes may include postural and gait instability, spatial disorientation, and visual performance decrements, all of which can degrade operational capabilities of the astronauts and endanger the crew. Crewmember safety would be improved if these detrimental effects of spaceflight could be mitigated by a sensorimotor countermeasure and even further if adaptation to baseline could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate the potential use of stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a technology to improve sensorimotor function. We hypothesize that low levels of SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through stochastic resonance (SR). The SR phenomenon occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. Two studies have been initiated to investigate the beneficial effects and potential practical usage of SVS. In both studies, electrical vestibular stimulation is applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes using a constant current stimulator. The first study aims to determine the repeatability of the effect of vestibular stimulation on sensorimotor performance and perception in order to better understand the practical use of SVS. The beneficial effect of low levels of SVS on balance performance has been shown in the past. This research uses the same balance task repeated multiple times within a day and across days to study the repeatability of the stimulation effects. The balance test consists of 50 sec trials in which the subject stands with his or her feet together, arms crossed, and eyes closed on compliant foam. Varying levels of SVS, ranging from 0-700 micro A, are applied across different trials. The subject-specific optimal SVS level is that which results in the best balance performance as measured by inertial

  19. Moderate exercise training does not worsen left ventricle remodeling and function in untreated severe hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Boissiere, Julien; Eder, Véronique; Machet, Marie-Christine; Courteix, Daniel; Bonnet, Pierre

    2008-02-01

    Exercise training and hypertension induced cardiac hypertrophy but modulate differently left ventricle (LV) function. This study set out to evaluate cardiac adaptations induced by moderate exercise training in normotensive and untreated severe hypertensive rats. Four groups of animals were studied: normotensive (Ctl) and severe hypertensive (HT) Wistar rats were assigned to be sedentary (Sed) or perform a moderate exercise training (Ex) over a 10-wk period. Severe hypertension was induced in rat by a two-kidney, one-clip model. At the end of the training period, hemodynamic parameters and LV morphology and function were assessed using catheterism and conventional pulsed Doppler echocardiography. LV histology was performed to study fibrosis infiltrations. Severe hypertension increased systolic blood pressure to 202 +/- 9 mmHg and induced pathological hypertrophy (LV hypertrophy index was 0.34 +/- 0.02 vs. 0.44 +/- 0.02 in Ctl-Sed and HT-Sed groups, respectively) with LV relaxation alteration (early-to-atrial wave ratio = 2.02 +/- 0.11 vs. 1.63 +/- 0.12). Blood pressure was not altered by exercise training, but arterial stiffness was reduced in trained hypertensive rats (pulse pressure was 75 +/- 7 vs. 62 +/- 3 mmHg in HT-Sed and HT-Ex groups, respectively). Exercise training induced eccentric hypertrophy in both Ex groups by increasing LV cavity without alteration of LV systolic function. However, LV hypertrophy index was significantly decreased in normotensive rats only (0.34 +/- 0.02 vs. 0.30 +/- 0.02 in Ctl-Sed and Ctl-Ex groups, respectively). Moreover, exercise training improved LV passive filling in Ctl-Ex rats but not in Ht-Ex rats. In this study, exercise training did not reduce blood pressure and induced an additional physiological hypertrophy in untreated HT rats, which was slightly blunted when compared with Ctl rats. However, cardiac function was not worsened by exercise training.

  20. Antioxidant treatment improves neonatal survival and prevents impaired cardiac function at adulthood following neonatal glucocorticoid therapy

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Youguo; Herrera, Emilio A; Evans, Rhys D; Giussani, Dino A

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are widely used to treat chronic lung disease in premature infants but their longer-term adverse effects on the cardiovascular system raise concerns. We reported that neonatal dexamethasone treatment in rats induced in the short term molecular indices of cardiac oxidative stress and cardiovascular tissue remodelling at weaning, and that neonatal combined antioxidant and dexamethasone treatment was protective at this time. In this study, we investigated whether such effects of neonatal dexamethasone have adverse consequences for NO bioavailability and cardiovascular function at adulthood, and whether neonatal combined antioxidant and dexamethasone treatment is protective in the adult. Newborn rat pups received daily i.p. injections of a human-relevant tapering dose of dexamethasone (D; n= 8; 0.5, 0.3, 0.1 μg g−1) or D with vitamins C and E (DCE; n= 8; 200 and 100 mg kg−1, respectively) on postnatal days 1–3 (P1–3); vitamins were continued from P4 to P6. Controls received equal volumes of vehicle from P1 to P6 (C; n= 8). A fourth group received vitamins alone (CCE; n= 8). At P100, plasma NO metabolites (NOx) was measured and isolated hearts were assessed under both Working and Langendorff preparations. Relative to controls, neonatal dexamethasone therapy increased mortality by 18% (P < 0.05). Surviving D pups at adulthood had lower plasma NOx concentrations (10.6 ± 0.8 vs. 28.0 ± 1.5 μm), an increased relative left ventricular (LV) mass (70 ± 2 vs. 63 ± 1%), enhanced LV end-diastolic pressure (14 ± 2 vs. 8 ± 1 mmHg) and these hearts failed to adapt output with increased preload (Δcardiac output: 2.9 ± 2.0 vs. 10.6 ± 1.2 ml min−1) or afterload (Δcardiac output: −5.3 ± 2.0 vs.1.4 ± 1.2 ml min−1); all P < 0.05. Combined neonatal dexamethasone with antioxidant vitamins improved postnatal survival, restored plasma NOx and protected against cardiac dysfunction at adulthood. In conclusion, neonatal dexamethasone therapy promotes

  1. Assessment of left ventricular function by three-dimensional echocardiography

    PubMed Central

    Krenning, Boudewijn J; Voormolen, Marco M; Roelandt, Jos RTC

    2003-01-01

    Accurate determination of LV volume, ejection fraction and segmental wall motion abnormalities is important for clinical decision-making and follow-up assessment. Currently, echocardiography is the most common used method to obtain this information. Three-dimensional echocardiography has shown to be an accurate and reproducible method for LV quantitation, mainly by avoiding the use of geometric assumptions. In this review, we describe various methods to acquire a 3D-dataset for LV volume and wall motion analysis, including their advantages and limitations. We provide an overview of studies comparing LV volume and function measurement by various gated and real-time methods of acquisition compared to magnetic resonance imaging. New technical improvements, such as automated endocardial border detection and contrast enhancement, will make accurate on-line assessment with little operator interaction possible in the near future. PMID:14514356

  2. Tissue kallikrein-modified human endothelial progenitor cell implantation improves cardiac function via enhanced activation of akt and increased angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuyu; Sheng, Zulong; Li, YeFei; Fu, Cong; Ma, Genshan; Liu, Naifeng; Chao, Julie; Chao, Lee

    2013-05-01

    Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been shown to enhance angiogenesis not only by incorporating into the vasculature but also by secreting cytokines, thereby serving as an ideal vehicle for gene transfer. As tissue kallikrein (TK) has pleiotropic effects in inhibiting apoptosis and oxidative stress, and promoting angiogenesis, we evaluated the salutary potential of kallikrein-modified human EPCs (hEPCs; Ad.hTK-hEPCs) after acute myocardial infarction (MI). We genetically modified hEPCs with a TK gene and evaluated cell survival, engraftment, revascularization, and functional improvement in a nude mouse left anterior descending ligation model. hEPCs were manipulated to overexpress the TK gene. In vitro, the antiapoptotic and paracrine effects were assessed under oxidative stress. TK protects hEPCs from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis via inhibition of activation of caspase-3 and -9, induction of Akt phosphorylation, and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor. In vivo, the Ad.hTK-hEPCs were transplanted after MI via intracardiac injection. The surviving cells were tracked after transplantation using near-infrared optical imaging. Left ventricular (LV) function was evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography. Capillary density was quantified using immunohistochemical staining. Engrafted Ad.hTK-hEPCs exhibited advanced protection against ischemia by increasing LV ejection fraction. Compared with Ad.Null-hEPCs, transplantation with Ad.hTK-hEPCs significantly decreased cardiomyocyte apoptosis in association with increased retention of transplanted EPCs in the myocardium. Capillary density and arteriolar density in the infarct border zone was significantly higher in Ad.hTK-hEPC-transplanted mice than in Ad.Null-hEPC-treated mice. Transplanted hEPCs were clearly incorporated into CD31(+) capillaries. These results indicate that implantation of kallikrein-modified EPCs in the heart provides advanced benefits in protection against ischemia-induced MI by

  3. Astakine LvAST binds to the β subunit of F1-ATP synthase and likely plays a role in white shrimp Litopeneaus vannamei defense against white spot syndrome virus.

    PubMed

    Liang, Gao-Feng; Liang, Yan; Xue, Qinggang; Lu, Jin-Feng; Cheng, Jun-Jun; Huang, Jie

    2015-03-01

    Cytokines play a critical role in innate and adaptive immunity. Astakines represent a group of invertebrate cytokines that are related to vertebrate prokineticin and function in promoting hematopoiesis in crustaceans. We have identified an astakine from the white shrimp Litopeneaus vannamei and named it LvAST in a previous research. In the present research, we investigated the interactions among LvAST, the envelope protein VP37 of white spot syndrome virus (i.e., WSSV), and the β subunit of F1-ATP synthase (ATPsyn-β) of the white shrimp (i.e., BP53) using binding assays and co-precipitations. We also examined the effects of LvAST on shrimp susceptibility to WSSV. We found that LvAST and VP37 competitively bound to BP53, but did not bind to each other. Shrimps that had been injected with recombinant LvAST exhibited significantly lower mortality and longer survival time in experimental infections by WSSV. In contrast, shrimps whose LvAST gene expression had been inhibited by RNA interference showed significantly higher WSSV infection intensity and shorter survival time following viral challenges. These results suggested that LvAST and WSSV both likely use ATPsyn-β as a receptor and LvAST plays a role in shrimp defense against WSSV infection. This represented the first research showing the involvement of astakines in host antiviral immunity.

  4. Cloning and characterization of a novel hemocyanin variant LvHMCV4 from shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Lu, Hui; Guo, Lingling; Zhang, Zehui; Zhao, Xianliang; Zhong, Mingqi; Li, Shengkang; Zhang, Yueling

    2015-10-01

    Recently, we found 3 variants of hemocyanin subunit with higher molecular weight in shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (Named as LvHMCV1-3). In this study, a novel L. vannamei hemocyanin variant (Named as LvHMCV4) was further cloned and characterized. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that LvHMCV4 contains one open reading frame of 2137 bp and encodes a polypeptide of 678 amino acids. It shares 84-99% cDNA sequences identity to that of the classical form of L. vannamei hemocyanin (LvHMC, AJ250830.1) and LvHMCV1-3. LvHMCV4 possesses a conserved structure characteristic of the hemocyanin family and can be clustered into one branch along with other arthropod hemocyanins in a phylogenetic tree. Further, the full-length DNA of LvHMCV4 contains 2660 bp and two introns, which are located at the 80-538 bp and 2063-2227 bp regions, respectively. In addition, the mRNA transcript of LvHMCV4 was expressed highly in the hepatopancreas, lymphoid, brain and hemocytes, and weakly in the heart, intestine and gill, while no expression was found in the muscle, stomach and gut. Infection by Escherichia coli K12, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio fluvialis, Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus up-regulated significantly LvHMCV4 mRNA expression in the hepatopancreas. Furthermore, the recombinant protein of LvHMCV4 (rLvHMCV4) was prepared, which showed agglutination activities against six pathogenic bacteria at concentrations ranging from 15.6 to 125 μg/ml. When co-injected with V. parahaemolyticus in L.vannamei, rLvHMCV4 significantly increased the survival rate after 48 h injection. Together, these studies suggested that hemocyanin variant, LvHMCV4, might be involved in shrimp resistance to pathogenic infection.

  5. A Test in Context: E/A and E/e' to Assess Diastolic Dysfunction and LV Filling Pressure.

    PubMed

    Mitter, Sumeet S; Shah, Sanjiv J; Thomas, James D

    2017-03-21

    Diastolic dysfunction represents a combination of impaired left ventricular (LV) relaxation, restoration forces, myocyte lengthening load, and atrial function, culminating in increased LV filling pressures. Current Doppler echocardiography guidelines recommend using early to late diastolic transmitral flow velocity (E/A) to assess diastolic function, and E to early diastolic mitral annular tissue velocity (E/e') to estimate LV filling pressures. Although both parameters have important diagnostic and prognostic implications, they should be interpreted in the context of a patient's age and the rest of the echocardiogram to describe diastolic function and guide patient management. This review discusses: 1) the physiological basis for the E/A and E/e' ratios; 2) their roles in diagnosing diastolic dysfunction; 3) prognostic implications of abnormalities in E/A and E/e'; 4) special scenarios of the E/A and E/e' ratios that are either useful or challenging when evaluating diastolic function clinically; and 5) their usefulness in guiding therapeutic decision making.

  6. Surface glycosaminoglycans mediate adherence between HeLa cells and Lactobacillus salivarius Lv72

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The adhesion of lactobacilli to the vaginal surface is of paramount importance to develop their probiotic functions. For this reason, the role of HeLa cell surface proteoglycans in the attachment of Lactobacillus salivarius Lv72, a mutualistic strain of vaginal origin, was investigated. Results Incubation of cultures with a variety of glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin sulfate A and C, heparin and heparan sulfate) resulted in marked binding interference. However, no single glycosaminoglycan was able to completely abolish cell binding, the sum of all having an additive effect that suggests cooperation between them and recognition of specific adhesins on the bacterial surface. In contrast, chondroitin sulfate B enhanced cell to cell attachment, showing the relevance of the stereochemistry of the uronic acid and the sulfation pattern on binding. Elimination of the HeLa surface glycosaminoglycans with lyases also resulted in severe adherence impairment. Advantage was taken of the Lactobacillus-glycosaminoglycans interaction to identify an adhesin from the bacterial surface. This protein, identify as a soluble binding protein of an ABC transporter system (OppA) by MALDI-TOF/(MS), was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified and shown to interfere with L. salivarius Lv72 adhesion to HeLa cells. Conclusions These data suggest that glycosaminoglycans play a fundamental role in attachment of mutualistic bacteria to the epithelium that lines the cavities where the normal microbiota thrives, OppA being a bacterial adhesin involved in the process. PMID:24044741

  7. Functional significance of the discordance between transcriptional profile and left ventricular structure/function during reverse remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Topkara, Veli K.; Chambers, Kari T.; Yang, Kai-Chien; Tzeng, Huei-Ping; Evans, Sarah; Weinheimer, Carla; Kovacs, Attila; Barger, Philip; Mann, Douglas L.

    2016-01-01

    To elucidate the mechanisms for reverse LV remodeling, we generated a conditional (doxycycline [dox] off) transgenic mouse tetracycline transactivating factor–TRAF2 (tTA-TRAF2) that develops a dilated heart failure (HF) phenotype upon expression of a proinflammatory transgene, TNF receptor–associated factor 2 (TRAF2), and complete normalization of LV structure and function when the transgene is suppressed. tTA-TRAF2 mice developed a significant increase in LV dimension with decreased contractile function, which was completely normalized in the tTA-TRAF2 mice fed dox for 4 weeks (tTA-TRAF2dox4W). Normalization of LV structure and function was accompanied by partial normalization (~60%) of gene expression associated with incident HF. Similar findings were observed in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who underwent reverse LV remodeling following mechanical circulatory support. Persistence of the HF gene program was associated with an exaggerated hypertrophic response and increased mortality in tTA-TRAF2dox4W mice following transaortic constriction (TAC). These effects were no longer observed following TAC in tTA-TRAF2dox8W, wherein there was a more complete (88%) reversal of the incident HF genes. These results demonstrate that reverse LV remodeling is associated with improvements in cardiac myocyte biology; however, the persistence of the abnormal HF gene program may be maladaptive following perturbations in hemodynamic loading conditions. PMID:27158672

  8. Optimization of cDNA amplification of Apricot Latent Virus (ApLV) from various plant tissues sources.

    PubMed

    Gumus, M; Sipahioğlu, H M; Paylan, I C; Erkan, S

    2007-03-15

    Although the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) procedure is basically simple operation, often it is not possible to achieve optimum results without optimizing the protocols. An RT-PCR method targeting a 200 bp sequence of the CP gene of Apricot Latent Virus (ApLV) was used as a model to improve the detection limit and to compare the behavior of three different plant tissues in a RT-PCR assay. A number of factors should be considered when selecting the optimal system for RT-PCR. Important considerations include the optimal concentrations of MgCl2, dNTP, Taq DNA polymerase enzyme, specific primer and the amount of cDNA for the downstream applications. This study therefore discusses a series of critical PCR parameters and feasible strategies for optimization of RT-PCR detection of ApLV.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Improving Density Functionals with Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkatchenko, Alexandre

    2013-03-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) is the most widely used and successful approach for electronic structure calculations. However, one of the pressing challenges for DFT is developing efficient functionals that can accurately capture the omnipresent long-range electron correlations, which determine the structure and stability of many molecules and materials. Here we show that, under certain conditions, the problem of computing the long-range correlation energy of interacting electrons can be mapped to a system of coupled quantum harmonic oscillators (QHOs). The proposed model allows us to synergistically combine concepts from DFT, quantum chemistry, and the widely discussed random-phase approximation for the correlation energy. In the dipole limit, the interaction energy for a system of coupled QHOs can be calculated exactly, thereby leading to an efficient and accurate model for the many-body dispersion energy of complex molecules and materials. The studied examples include intermolecular binding energies, the conformational hierarchy of DNA structures, the geometry and stability of molecular crystals, and supramolecular host-guest complexes (A. Tkatchenko, R. A. DiStasio Jr., R. Car, M. Scheffler, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 236402 (2012); R. A. DiStasio Jr., A. von Lilienfeld, A. Tkatchenko, PNAS 109, 14791 (2012); A. Tkatchenko, D. Alfe, K. S. Kim, J. Chem. Theory and Comp. (2012), doi: 10.1021/ct300711r; A. Tkatchenko, A. Ambrosetti, R. A. DiStasio Jr., arXiv:1210.8343v1).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-28

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

  13. Matrix metalloproteinases and left ventricular function and structure in spinal cord injured subjects.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Roberto; Paim, Layde R; de Rossi, Guilherme; Matos-Souza, José R; Costa E Silva, Anselmo de A; Souza, Cristiane M; Borges, Mariane; Azevedo, Eliza R; Alonso, Karina C; Gorla, José I; Cliquet, Alberto; Nadruz, Wilson

    2014-11-01

    Subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) exhibit impaired left ventricular (LV) diastolic function, which has been reported to be attenuated by regular physical activity. This study investigated the relationship between circulating matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) and echocardiographic parameters in SCI subjects and the role of physical activity in this regard. Forty-two men with SCI [19 sedentary (S-SCI) and 23 physically-active (PA-SCI)] were evaluated by clinical, anthropometric, laboratory, and echocardiographic analysis. Plasmatic pro-MMP-2, MMP-2, MMP-8, pro-MMP-9, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and zymography. PA-SCI subjects presented lower pro-MMP-2 and pro-MMP-2/TIMP-2 levels and improved markers of LV diastolic function (lower E/Em and higher Em and E/A values) than S-SCI ones. Bivariate analysis showed that pro-MMP-2 correlated inversely with Em and directly with E/Em, while MMP-9 correlated directly with LV mass index and LV end-diastolic diameter in the whole sample. Following multiple regression analysis, pro-MMP-2, but not physical activity, remained associated with Em, while MMP-9 was associated with LV mass index in the whole sample. These findings suggest differing roles for MMPs in LV structure and function regulation and an interaction among pro-MMP-2, diastolic function and physical activity in SCI subjects.

  14. Improved functional vasodilation in obese Zucker rats following exercise training.

    PubMed

    Sebai, Mohamad; Lu, Silu; Xiang, Lusha; Hester, Robert L

    2011-09-01

    Obese individuals exhibit impaired functional vasodilation and exercise performance. We have demonstrated in obese Zucker rats (OZ), a model of morbid obesity, that insulin resistance impairs functional vasodilation via an increased thromboxane receptor (TP)-mediated vasoconstriction. Chronic treadmill exercise training improves functional vasodilation in the spinotrapezius muscle of the OZ, but the mechanisms responsible for the improvement in functional vasodilation are not clear. Based on evidence that exercise training improves insulin resistance, we hypothesized that, in the OZ, exercise training increases functional vasodilation and exercise capability due to decreases TP-mediated vasoconstriction associated with improved insulin sensitivity. Six-week-old lean Zucker rats (LZ) and OZ were exercised on a treadmill (24 m/min, 30 min/day, 5 days/wk) for 6 wk. An oral glucose tolerance test was performed at the end of the training period. We measured functional vasodilation in both exercise trained (spinotrapezius) and nonexercise trained (cremaster) muscles to determine whether the improved functional vasodilation following exercise training in OZ is due to a systemic improved insulin resistance. Compared with LZ, the sedentary OZ exhibited impairments in glucose tolerance and functional vasodilation in both muscles. The TP antagonist SQ-29548 improved the vasodilator responses in the sedentary OZ with no effect in the LZ. Exercising training of the LZ increased the functional vasodilation in spinotrapezius muscle, with no effect in the cremaster muscle. Exercising training of the OZ improved glucose tolerance, along with increased functional vasodilation, in both the spinotrapezius and cremaster muscles. SQ-29548 treatment had no effect on the vasodilator responses in either cremaster or spinotrapezius muscles of the exercise-trained OZ. These results suggest that, in the OZ, there is a global effect of exercising training to improve insulin resistance and

  15. Peripheral Sweat Gland Function Improves With Humid Heat Acclimation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-04-01

    Individual variations in structure and function of human eccrine sweat gland . Am. j. Physio!. 245, R203-R208. strydom, N.B .. Wyndham, e.H., Williams, e.G...Naval Health Research Center Peripheral Sweat Gland Function Improves With Humid Heat Acclimation . M. J. Buono S. L. Martha...Biology E!.SFVILR journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jtherbio Peripheral sweat gland function is improved with humid heat acclimation Michael

  16. Recombinant Expression and Characterization of α-Conotoxin LvIA in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    α-Conotoxin LvIA is derived from Conus lividus, native to Hainan, and is the most selective inhibitor of α3β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) known to date. In this study, an efficient approach for the production of recombinant α-Conotoxin LvIA is described. Tandem repeats of a LvIA gene fragment were constructed and fused with a KSI gene and a His6 tag in a Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression vector pET-31b(+). The recombinant plasmids were transformed into E. coli and were found to express well. The KSI-(LvIA)n-His6 fusion protein was purified by metal affinity chromatography and then cleaved with CNBr to release recombinant LvIA (rLvIA). High yields of fusion protein ranging from 100 to 500 mg/L culture were obtained. The pharmacological profile of rLvIA was determined by two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing rat nAChR subtypes. The rLvIA antagonized the α3β2 nAChR subtype selectively with a nano-molar IC50. The rLvIA was analgesic in a mouse hot-plate test model of pain. Overall, this study provides an effective method to synthesize α-conotoxin LvIA in an E. coli recombinant expression system, and this approach could be useful to obtain active conopeptides in large quantity and at low cost. PMID:26742048

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Modelling passive diastolic mechanics with quantitative MRI of cardiac structure and function.

    PubMed

    Wang, Vicky Y; Lam, H I; Ennis, Daniel B; Cowan, Brett R; Young, Alistair A; Nash, Martyn P

    2009-10-01

    The majority of patients with clinically diagnosed heart failure have normal systolic pump function and are commonly categorized as suffering from diastolic heart failure. The left ventricle (LV) remodels its structure and function to adapt to pathophysiological changes in geometry and loading conditions, which in turn can alter the passive ventricular mechanics. In order to better understand passive ventricular mechanics, a LV finite element (FE) model was customized to geometric data segmented from in vivo tagged magnetic resonance images (MRI) data and myofibre orientation derived from ex vivo diffusion tensor MRI (DTMRI) of a canine heart using nonlinear finite element fitting techniques. MRI tissue tagging enables quantitative evaluation of cardiac mechanical function with high spatial and temporal resolution, whilst the direction of maximum water diffusion in each voxel of a DTMRI directly corresponds to the local myocardial fibre orientation. Due to differences in myocardial geometry between in vivo and ex vivo imaging, myofibre orientations were mapped into the geometric FE model using host mesh fitting (a free form deformation technique). Pressure recordings, temporally synchronized to the tagging data, were used as the loading constraints to simulate the LV deformation during diastole. Simulation of diastolic LV mechanics allowed us to estimate the stiffness of the passive LV myocardium based on kinematic data obtained from tagged MRI. Integrated physiological modelling of this kind will allow more insight into mechanics of the LV on an individualized basis, thereby improving our understanding of the underlying structural basis of mechanical dysfunction under pathological conditions.

  19. Does repair of pectus excavatum improve cardiopulmonary function?

    PubMed

    Jayaramakrishnan, Kumara; Wotton, Robin; Bradley, Amy; Naidu, Babu

    2013-06-01

    A best evidence topic was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was 'Does repair of pectus excavatum (PE) improve cardiopulmonary function?' One hundred and sixty-eight papers were found using the reported search, 19 level III evidence papers and three meta-analyses were relevant. Studies were divided into four groups based on the surgical technique applied and pulmonary and cardiac functions in these groups were analysed. The meta-analyses show conflicting results for improvements in pulmonary and cardiac functions when comparing surgical techniques, while four more recent studies show improved long-term results using the Nuss technique. The best evidence of papers studying the PE repair using the minimally invasive Nuss technique demonstrates a decrease in pulmonary function during the early postoperative period, however, there is a small but significant improvement during the late postoperative period and after bar removal. The best evidence for cardiac function in this group suggests an early improvement that is sustained during further follow-up. The best evidence of papers studying the PE repair using the Ravitch technique shows that pulmonary function decreased during the early postoperative period, however, there is a small but significant improvement during the late postoperative period. The best evidence for cardiac function in this group suggests an early improvement that is sustained during further follow-up. The best evidence of papers studying the PE repair using other techniques (modified Daniel's technique, modified Baronofsky's technique, sterno-costal turn-over technique and sterno-costal elevation technique) or where surgical techniques used were not described (preceding year 1985) suggests that there is no improvement in pulmonary function after surgery. There is some evidence that certain aspects of cardiac function improved after surgery in this group.

  20. Comparative Efficacy of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) Inactivated Whole-Virus Vaccine and Canarypox Virus-Vectored Vaccine during Virulent FeLV Challenge and Immunosuppression.

    PubMed

    Patel, M; Carritt, K; Lane, J; Jayappa, H; Stahl, M; Bourgeois, M

    2015-07-01

    Four vaccines for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are available in the United States. This study's purpose was to compare the efficacy of Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (an inactivated, adjuvanted whole-virus vaccine) and PureVax recombinant FeLV (a live, canarypox virus-vectored vaccine) following FeLV challenge. Cats were vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks with Nobivac feline 2-FeLV (group A, n = 11) or PureVax recombinant FeLV (group B, n = 10). Group C (n = 11) comprised unvaccinated controls. At 3 months postvaccination, cats were immunosuppressed and challenged with FeLV-A/61E. The outcomes measured were persistent antigenemia at 12 weeks postchallenge (PC) and proviral DNA and viral RNA at 3 to 9 weeks PC. Persistent antigenemia was observed in 0 of 11 cats in group A, 5 of 10 cats in group B, and 10 of 11 cats in group C. Group A was significantly protected compared to those in groups B (P < 0.013) and C (P < 0.0001). No difference was found between groups B and C (P > 0.063). The preventable fraction was 100% for group A and 45% for group B. At 9 weeks PC, proviral DNA and viral RNA were detected 1 of 11 cats in group A, 6 of 10 cats in group B, and 9 of 11 cats in group C. Nucleic acid loads were significantly lower in group A than in group C (P < 0.01). Group A had significantly lower proviral DNA loads than group B at weeks 6 to 9 (P < 0.02). The viral RNA loads were significantly lower in group A than in group B at weeks 7 to 9 (P < 0.01). The results demonstrate that Nobivac feline 2-FeLV-vaccinated cats were fully protected against persistent antigenemia and had significantly smaller amounts of proviral DNA and plasma viral RNA loads than PureVax recombinant FeLV-vaccinated cats and unvaccinated controls.

  1. Scientific Benchmarks for Guiding Macromolecular Energy Function Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Leaver-Fay, Andrew; O’Meara, Matthew J.; Tyka, Mike; Jacak, Ron; Song, Yifan; Kellogg, Elizabeth H.; Thompson, James; Davis, Ian W.; Pache, Roland A.; Lyskov, Sergey; Gray, Jeffrey J.; Kortemme, Tanja; Richardson, Jane S.; Havranek, James J.; Snoeyink, Jack; Baker, David; Kuhlman, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Accurate energy functions are critical to macromolecular modeling and design. We describe new tools for identifying inaccuracies in energy functions and guiding their improvement, and illustrate the application of these tools to improvement of the Rosetta energy function. The feature analysis tool identifies discrepancies between structures deposited in the PDB and low energy structures generated by Rosetta; these likely arise from inaccuracies in the energy function. The optE tool optimizes the weights on the different components of the energy function by maximizing the recapitulation of a wide range of experimental observations. We use the tools to examine three proposed modifications to the Rosetta energy function: improving the unfolded state energy model (reference energies), using bicubic spline interpolation to generate knowledge based torisonal potentials, and incorporating the recently developed Dunbrack 2010 rotamer library (Shapovalov and Dunbrack, 2011). PMID:23422428

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Improving structure-based function prediction using molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Glazer, Dariya S.; Radmer, Randall J.; Altman, Russ B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The number of molecules with solved three-dimensional structure but unknown function is increasing rapidly. Particularly problematic are novel folds with little detectable similarity to molecules of known function. Experimental assays can determine the functions of such molecules, but are time-consuming and expensive. Computational approaches can identify potential functional sites; however, these approaches generally rely on single static structures and do not use information about dynamics. In fact, structural dynamics can enhance function prediction: we coupled molecular dynamics simulations with structure-based function prediction algorithms that identify Ca2+ binding sites. When applied to 11 challenging proteins, both methods showed substantial improvement in performance, revealing 22 more sites in one case and 12 more in the other, with a modest increase in apparent false positives. Thus, we show that treating molecules as dynamic entities improves the performance of structure-based function prediction methods. PMID:19604472

  5. Characterization of Thiobacillus thioparus LV43 and its distribution in a chemoautotrophically based groundwater ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Vlasceanu, L; Popa, R; Kinkle, B K

    1997-01-01

    Bacterial strain LV43 was previously isolated from a floating microbial mat located in Movile Cave, the access point to a chemoautotrophically based groundwater ecosystem in southern Romania. This gram-negative, rod-shaped organism grows autotrophically through the oxidation of thiosulfate and sulfide, but it does not grow heterotrophically. Strain LV43 grows over a pH range of 5.0 to 9.0, with an optimum near 7.5 at 28 degrees C. The pH of the medium decreased from 7.5 to 6.5 during growth on thiosulfate. Carbon isotope fractionation values for strain LV43 were within the previously reported range of fractionation values for the overall floating microbial mat in Movile Cave and were similar to values reported for chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing strains of Thiobacillus neapolitanus and Thiomicrospira sp. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain LV43 was determined, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain LV43 was most closely related to Thiobacillus thioparus and the uncultured bacterial strain Strip2, which is represented by a 16S rRNA clone obtained by direct PCR from the Stripa research mine in Sweden. This identification of strain LV43 is supported by its G+C content of 62%, which is within the range reported for strains of T. thioparus. Fluorescently labeled polyclonal antibodies specific for strain LV43 were used to locate and enumerate this strain at different locations in Movile Cave and in nearby surface-water and groundwater sources. Strain LV43 was found only at aerobic, neutral-pH sites within the cave. Strain LV43 was also found outside Movile Cave in surface waters and in groundwater believed to intercept the same sulfurous aquifer as Movile Cave. PMID:9251199

  6. Insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances ventricular hypertrophy and function during the onset of experimental cardiac failure.

    PubMed Central

    Duerr, R L; Huang, S; Miraliakbar, H R; Clark, R; Chien, K R; Ross, J

    1995-01-01

    To determine whether additional hypertrophy would be beneficial or maladaptive in cardiac failure, the effects of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) were investigated in rats with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction. In normal rats, 3 mg/kg per d of recombinant human IGF-1 for 14 d augmented LV wt (32%) and increased LV/body wt ratio (P < 0.01). 2 d after coronary occlusion, rats were randomized to IGF-1 (3 mg/kg per d) or placebo. After 2 wk, IGF-1-treated rats showed significant increases in LV wt (13%) and LV wt/tibial length ratio, but LV/body wt ratio was unchanged. By microangiography, compared with controls (n = 12) IGF-1-treated rats (n = 16) showed increased LV end-diastolic volume (19%) and stroke volume (31%) (both significant normalized to tibial length, but not to body wt). Average infarct size did not differ between groups. The LV ejection fraction (EF) was not significantly different between groups, but estimated cardiac output was higher in treated rats; there was a significant interaction for the EF between infarct size and treatment (P = 0.029) and a trend for EF to be higher in treated rats with large infarctions (EF 33.4 vs 25.1% in controls). Myocyte cross-sectional areas in noninfarcted LV zones tended to be larger in treated rats (232.1 vs 205.4 microns 2; P = 0.10), but there was no difference in capillary density and collagen content did not differ between groups. In conclusion, IGF-1 administration caused hypertrophy of the normal heart in vivo. When stimulated by IGF-1, the severely dysfunctional heart in evolving myocardial infarction is capable of undergoing additional hypertrophy with evidence of improved function, suggesting a beneficial effect. Further investigation of the potential role of growth factor therapy in heart failure appears warranted. PMID:7860746

  7. Walnuts improve neuronal and behavioral function in aging

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and polyphenols which have been shown to improve neurochemical and behavioral function. Objectives This study investigated the mechanisms associated with age-related behavioral improvements in rats fed diets supplemented with walnu...

  8. [Improving functional outcome of schizophrenia with cognitive remediation].

    PubMed

    Franck, Nicolas; Demily, Caroline

    2015-03-01

    The functional outcome of schizophrenia is partly conditioned by cognitive disorders associated with this disease. The functional outcome of schizophrenia depends not only on psychotropic medications, but also on non-pharmacological measures and in particular on cognitive remediation. All patients suffering from schizophrenia should benefit from a multidisciplinary functional evaluation including neuropsychological assessment. The restitution of the functional evaluation's results values preserved skills rather than deficits. Cognitive remediation should be considered when cognitive disorders have a functional impact. It reduces the impact of the patient's cognitive disorders and improves the success of his/her concrete projects.

  9. Improved variational wave functions for few-body nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Wiringa, R.B.; Arriaga, A.; Pandharipande, V.R.

    1995-08-01

    We continued to work on improvements to our variational wave functions for use in Monte Carlo calculations of few-body nuclei. These trial functions include central, spin, isospin, tensor, and spin-orbit two-body correlations and three-body correlations for the three-nucleon potential. In the last two years we studied a variety of extra three-body correlations. Our search for possible forms was guided by comparisons made with 34-channel Faddeev wave functions provided by the Los Alamos-Iowa group. The new trial functions reduce the discrepancy with exact Faddeev calculations in {sup 3}H and Green`s Function Monte Carlo (GFMC) calculations in {sup 4}He by about 40%. This work is now being written up for publication. We hope to use similar comparisons with GFMC calculations in the six-body nuclei to find further improvements for the light p-shell nuclei, where the variational wave functions are not as good.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Text Mining Improves Prediction of Protein Functional Sites

    PubMed Central

    Cohn, Judith D.; Ravikumar, Komandur E.

    2012-01-01

    We present an approach that integrates protein structure analysis and text mining for protein functional site prediction, called LEAP-FS (Literature Enhanced Automated Prediction of Functional Sites). The structure analysis was carried out using Dynamics Perturbation Analysis (DPA), which predicts functional sites at control points where interactions greatly perturb protein vibrations. The text mining extracts mentions of residues in the literature, and predicts that residues mentioned are functionally important. We assessed the significance of each of these methods by analyzing their performance in finding known functional sites (specifically, small-molecule binding sites and catalytic sites) in about 100,000 publicly available protein structures. The DPA predictions recapitulated many of the functional site annotations and preferentially recovered binding sites annotated as biologically relevant vs. those annotated as potentially spurious. The text-based predictions were also substantially supported by the functional site annotations: compared to other residues, residues mentioned in text were roughly six times more likely to be found in a functional site. The overlap of predictions with annotations improved when the text-based and structure-based methods agreed. Our analysis also yielded new high-quality predictions of many functional site residues that were not catalogued in the curated data sources we inspected. We conclude that both DPA and text mining independently provide valuable high-throughput protein functional site predictions, and that integrating the two methods using LEAP-FS further improves the quality of these predictions. PMID:22393388

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Diagnosing and improving functioning in interdisciplinary health care teams.

    PubMed

    Blackmore, Gail; Persaud, D David

    2012-01-01

    Interdisciplinary teams play a key role in the delivery of health care. Team functioning can positively or negatively impact the effective and efficient delivery of health care services as well as the personal well-being of group members. Additionally, teams must be able and willing to work together to achieve team goals within a climate that reflects commitment to team goals, accountability, respect, and trust. Not surprisingly, dysfunctional team functioning can limit the success of interdisciplinary health care teams. The first step in improving dysfunctional team function is to conduct an analysis based on criteria necessary for team success, and this article provides meaningful criteria for doing such an analysis. These are the following: a common team goal, the ability and willingness to work together to achieve team goals, decision making, communication, and team member relationships. High-functioning interdisciplinary teams must exhibit features of good team function in all key domains. If a team functions well in some domains and needs to improve in others, targeted strategies are described that can be used to improve team functioning.

  15. Secondary surgery for functional improvement after hand transplantation.

    PubMed

    Cavadas, Pedro C; Ibañez, Javier; Thione, Alessandro

    2011-10-01

    Unilateral and bilateral hand transplantations have been performed worldwide with good midterm functional results. The role of secondary surgery to improve function in the patients with hand transplant has not been uniformly agreed upon. A series of 10 secondary procedures were performed in 5 surgeries on 3 patients with bilateral upper extremity transplantation. There was 1 incidence of acute rejection after 1 procedure. The functional improvement was evaluated subjectively by the patients as substantial. Secondary procedures can upgrade function after hand transplantation and provide unique opportunities for deep-tissue biopsies. The proinflammatory stimulus of the surgery can theoretically precipitate an acute rejection. The pharmacologic interference of some immunosuppressive drugs with wound healing should also be considered.

  16. Adeno-associated Virus Serotype 9 – Driven Expression of BAG3 Improves Left Ventricular Function in Murine Hearts with Left Ventricular Dysfunction Secondary to a Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Knezevic, Tijana; Myers, Valerie D.; Su, Feifei; Wang, JuFang; Song, Jianliang; Zhang, Xue-Qian; Gao, Erhe; Gao, Guofeng; Muniswamy, Madesh; Gupta, Manish K.; Gordon, Jennifer; Weiner, Kristen N.; Rabinowitz, Joseph; Ramsey, Frederick V.; Tilley, Douglas G.; Khalili, Kamel; Cheung, Joseph Y.; Feldman, Arthur M.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that gene delivery of BCL2-Associated Athanogene 3 (BAG3) to the heart of mice with left ventricular dysfunction secondary to a myocardial infarction could enhance cardiac performance. Background BAG3 is a 575 amino acid protein that has pleotropic functions in the cell including pro-autophagy and anti-apoptosis. Mutations in BAG3 have been associated with both skeletal muscle dysfunction and familial dilated cardiomyopathy and BAG3 levels are diminished in non-familial heart failure. Methods Eight-week-old C57/BL6 mice underwent ligation of the left coronary artery (MI) or sham surgery (Sham). Eight weeks later, mice in both groups were randomly assigned to receive either a retro-orbital injection of rAAV9-BAG3 (MI-BAG3 or Sham-BAG3) or rAAV9-GFP (MI-GFP or Sham GFP). Mice were sacrificed at 3 weeks post-injection and myocytes were isolated from the left ventricle. Results MI-BAG3 mice demonstrated a significantly (p < 0.0001) higher left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 9 days after rAAV9-BAG3 injection with further improvement in LVEF, fractional shortening and stroke volume at 3 weeks post-injection without changes in LV mass or LV volume. Injection of rAAV9-BAG3 had no effect on LVEF in Sham mice. The salutary benefits of rAAV9-BAG3 were also observed in myocytes isolated from MI hearts including improved cell shortening (p<0.05), increased systolic [Ca2+]i, increased [Ca2+]i transient amplitudes and increased maximal ICa amplitude. Implications The results suggest that BAG3 gene therapy may provide a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of heart failure. PMID:28164169

  17. ILNCSIM: improved lncRNA functional similarity calculation model.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yu-An; Chen, Xing; You, Zhu-Hong; Huang, De-Shuang; Chan, Keith C C

    2016-05-03

    Increasing observations have indicated that lncRNAs play a significant role in various critical biological processes and the development and progression of various human diseases. Constructing lncRNA functional similarity networks could benefit the development of computational models for inferring lncRNA functions and identifying lncRNA-disease associations. However, little effort has been devoted to quantifying lncRNA functional similarity. In this study, we developed an Improved LNCRNA functional SIMilarity calculation model (ILNCSIM) based on the assumption that lncRNAs with similar biological functions tend to be involved in similar diseases. The main improvement comes from the combination of the concept of information content and the hierarchical structure of disease directed acyclic graphs for disease similarity calculation. ILNCSIM was combined with the previously proposed model of Laplacian Regularized Least Squares for lncRNA-Disease Association to further evaluate its performance. As a result, new model obtained reliable performance in the leave-one-out cross validation (AUCs of 0.9316 and 0.9074 based on MNDR and Lnc2cancer databases, respectively), and 5-fold cross validation (AUCs of 0.9221 and 0.9033 for MNDR and Lnc2cancer databases), which significantly improved the prediction performance of previous models. It is anticipated that ILNCSIM could serve as an effective lncRNA function prediction model for future biomedical researches.

  18. ILNCSIM: improved lncRNA functional similarity calculation model

    PubMed Central

    You, Zhu-Hong; Huang, De-Shuang; Chan, Keith C.C.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing observations have indicated that lncRNAs play a significant role in various critical biological processes and the development and progression of various human diseases. Constructing lncRNA functional similarity networks could benefit the development of computational models for inferring lncRNA functions and identifying lncRNA-disease associations. However, little effort has been devoted to quantifying lncRNA functional similarity. In this study, we developed an Improved LNCRNA functional SIMilarity calculation model (ILNCSIM) based on the assumption that lncRNAs with similar biological functions tend to be involved in similar diseases. The main improvement comes from the combination of the concept of information content and the hierarchical structure of disease directed acyclic graphs for disease similarity calculation. ILNCSIM was combined with the previously proposed model of Laplacian Regularized Least Squares for lncRNA-Disease Association to further evaluate its performance. As a result, new model obtained reliable performance in the leave-one-out cross validation (AUCs of 0.9316 and 0.9074 based on MNDR and Lnc2cancer databases, respectively), and 5-fold cross validation (AUCs of 0.9221 and 0.9033 for MNDR and Lnc2cancer databases), which significantly improved the prediction performance of previous models. It is anticipated that ILNCSIM could serve as an effective lncRNA function prediction model for future biomedical researches. PMID:27028993

  19. Cardiac resynchronization therapy evaluated by myocardial scintigraphy with 99mTc-MIBI: changes in left ventricular uptake, dyssynchrony, and function

    PubMed Central

    Nishioka, Silvana A. D.; Giorgi, Maria C. P.; Chen, Ji; Abe, Rubens; Filho, Martino Martinelli; Hotta, Viviane T.; Vieira, Marcelo L.; Garcia, Ernest V.; Meneghetti, José C.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose 99mTc-MIBI gated myocardial scintigraphy (GMS) evaluates myocyte integrity and perfusion, left ventricular (LV) dyssynchrony and function. Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) may improve the clinical symptoms of heart failure (HF), but its benefits for LV function are less pronounced. We assessed whether changes in myocardial 99mTc-MIBI uptake after CRT are related to improvement in clinical symptoms, LV synchrony and performance, and whether GMS adds information for patient selection for CRT. Methods A group of 30 patients with severe HF were prospectively studied before and 3 months after CRT. Variables analysed were HF functional class, QRS duration, LV ejection fraction (LVEF) by echocardiography, myocardial 99mTc-MIBI uptake, LV end-diastolic volume (EDV) and end-systolic volume (ESV), phase analysis LV dyssynchrony indices, and regional motion by GMS. After CRT, patients were divided into two groups according to improvement in LVEF: group 1 (12 patients) with increase in LVEF of 5 or more points, and group 2 (18 patients) without a significant increase. Results After CRT, both groups showed a significant improvement in HF functional class, reduced QRS width and increased septal wall 99mTc-MIBI uptake. Only group 1 showed favourable changes in EDV, ESV, LV dyssynchrony indices, and regional motion. Before CRT, EDV, and ESV were lower in group 1 than in group 2. Anterior and inferior wall 99mTc-MIBI uptakes were higher in group 1 than in group 2 (p<0.05). EDV was the only independent predictor of an increase in LVEF (p=0.01). The optimal EDV cut-off point was 315 ml (sensitivity 89%, specificity 94%). Conclusion The evaluation of EDV by GMS added information on patient selection for CRT. After CRT, LVEF increase occurred in hearts less dilated and with more normal 99mTc-MIBI uptake. PMID:19145431

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Are Clinicians' Assessments of Improvements in Children's Functioning "Global"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Los Reyes, Andres; Alfano, Candice A.; Beidel, Deborah C.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined the relations among clinician ratings of treatment improvement and discrepancies between parent and blinded laboratory rater reports of child social functioning administered before and after treatment for social anxiety disorder. Participants included a clinic sample of 101 children (7-16 years old; M = 11.67,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagano, John

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Increased catalase expression improves muscle function in mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Selsby, Joshua T

    2011-02-01

    It has been well established that oxidative stress contributes to pathology associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). I hypothesized that overexpression of the antioxidant enzyme catalase would improve muscle function in the mdx mouse, the mouse model of DMD. To test this hypothesis, neonatal mdx mice were injected with a recombinant adeno-associated virus driving the catalase transgene. Animals were killed 4 or 6 weeks or 6 months following injection. Muscle function was generally improved by catalase overexpression. Four weeks following injection, extensor digitorum longus specific tension was improved twofold, while soleus was similar between groups. Resistance to contraction-induced injury was similar between groups; however, resistance to fatigue was increased 25% in catalase-treated soleus compared with control muscle. Six weeks following injection, extensor digitorum longus specific tension was increased 15%, while soleus specific tension was similar between treated and untreated limbs. Catalase overexpression reduced contraction-induced injury by 30-45% and fatigue by 20% compared with control limbs. Six months following injection, diaphragm specific tension was similar between groups, but resistance to contraction-induced injury was improved by 35% and fatigue by 25%. Taken together, these data indicate that catalase can improve a subset of parameters of muscle function in dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscle.

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

    PubMed

    Cowen, Virginia S

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Lentivirus-mediated inhibition of tumour necrosis factor-α improves motor function associated with PRDX6 in spinal cord contusion rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao; Shi, Lan-lan; Gao, Xia; Jiang, Di; Zhong, Zhan-qiong; Zeng, Xi; Rao, Ying; Hu, Xi; Li, Tian-zhi; Li, Xiu-juan; Li, Lei; Chen, Jian-min; Xia, Qingjie; Wang, Ting-hua

    2015-02-16

    The recovery of motor function in rats is inhibited following contusion spinal cord injury (cSCI). However, the mechanism of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in motor function after cSCI associated with peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) remains unknown. We randomly divided rats into four groups: sham, cSCI, vector and lentivirus mediating TNF-α RNA interference (TNF-α-RNAi-LV) group. The Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) scale was used to evaluate motor function. Real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blotting were used to detect the expression of TNF-α and PRDX6, which were located in neurons using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence. Subsequently, lentiviral-mediated TNF-α was used to determine the role of TNF-αand the relationship of PRDX6 and TNF-α in cSCI. After cSCI, the motor capability of hind limbs disappeared and was followed by recovery of function. IHC analysis indicated that TNF-α and PRDX6 were primarily located in spinal cord neurons. TNF-α interference significantly improved neural behaviour and increased expression of PRDX6. Our study suggests that inhibition of TNF-α can promote the recovery of motor function. The underlying mechanism of TNF-α-promoted motor function may be connected with the up-regulation of PRDX6. This provides a new strategy or target for the clinical treatment of SCI in future.

  6. Using Operational Analysis to Improve Access to Pulmonary Function Testing

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Ada; Asamoah-Barnieh, Raymond; Bischak, Diane P.; Davidson, Warren J.; Flemons, W. Ward; Pendharkar, Sachin R.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Timely pulmonary function testing is crucial to improving diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary diseases. Perceptions of poor access at an academic pulmonary function laboratory prompted analysis of system demand and capacity to identify factors contributing to poor access. Methods. Surveys and interviews identified stakeholder perspectives on operational processes and access challenges. Retrospective data on testing demand and resource capacity was analyzed to understand utilization of testing resources. Results. Qualitative analysis demonstrated that stakeholder groups had discrepant views on access and capacity in the laboratory. Mean daily resource utilization was 0.64 (SD 0.15), with monthly average utilization consistently less than 0.75. Reserved testing slots for subspecialty clinics were poorly utilized, leaving many testing slots unfilled. When subspecialty demand exceeded number of reserved slots, there was sufficient capacity in the pulmonary function schedule to accommodate added demand. Findings were shared with stakeholders and influenced scheduling process improvements. Conclusion. This study highlights the importance of operational data to identify causes of poor access, guide system decision-making, and determine effects of improvement initiatives in a variety of healthcare settings. Importantly, simple operational analysis can help to improve efficiency of health systems with little or no added financial investment. PMID:27445545

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Inosine improves functional recovery after experimental traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Dachir, Shlomit; Shabashov, Dalia; Trembovler, Victoria; Alexandrovich, Alexander G; Benowitz, Larry I; Shohami, Esther

    2014-03-25

    Despite years of research, no effective therapy is yet available for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The most prevalent and debilitating features in survivors of TBI are cognitive deficits and motor dysfunction. A potential therapeutic method for improving the function of patients following TBI would be to restore, at least in part, plasticity to the CNS in a controlled way that would allow for the formation of compensatory circuits. Inosine, a naturally occurring purine nucleoside, has been shown to promote axon collateral growth in the corticospinal tract (CST) following stroke and focal TBI. In the present study, we investigated the effects of inosine on motor and cognitive deficits, CST sprouting, and expression of synaptic proteins in an experimental model of closed head injury (CHI). Treatment with inosine (100 mg/kg i.p. at 1, 24 and 48 h following CHI) improved outcome after TBI, significantly decreasing the neurological severity score (NSS, p<0.04 vs. saline), an aggregate measure of performance on several tasks. It improved non-spatial cognitive performance (object recognition, p<0.016 vs. saline) but had little effect on sensorimotor coordination (rotarod) and spatial cognitive functions (Y-maze). Inosine did not affect CST sprouting in the lumbar spinal cord but did restore levels of the growth-associated protein GAP-43 in the hippocampus, though not in the cerebral cortex. Our results suggest that inosine may improve functional outcome after TBI.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the enhanced functional characteristics of enzymatic hydrolysates of whey proteins (WPHs) in food applications compared to intact whey proteins (WPs). WPs are applied in foods as whey protein concentrates (WPCs), whey protein isolates (WPIs), and WPHs. WPs are byproducts of cheese production, used in a wide range of food applications due to their nutritional validity, functional activities, and cost effectiveness. Enzymatic hydrolysis yields improved functional and nutritional benefits in contrast to heat denaturation or native applications. WPHs improve solubility over a wide range of pH, create viscosity through water binding, and promote cohesion, adhesion, and elasticity. WPHs form stronger but more flexible edible films than WPC or WPI. WPHs enhance emulsification, bind fat, and facilitate whipping, compared to intact WPs. Extensive hydrolyzed WPHs with proper heat applications are the best emulsifiers and addition of polysaccharides improves the emulsification ability of WPHs. Also, WPHs improve the sensorial properties like color, flavor, and texture but impart a bitter taste in case where extensive hydrolysis (degree of hydrolysis greater than 8%). It is important to consider the type of enzyme, hydrolysis conditions, and WPHs production method based on the nature of food application. PMID:26761849

  10. Improving the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment.

    PubMed

    Chaytor, Naomi; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Burr, Robert

    2006-04-01

    The current study investigated ways to improve the ecological validity of the neuropsychological assessment of executive functioning through the formal assessment of compensatory strategies and environmental cognitive demands. Results indicated that the group of executive functioning tests (i.e., Trail Making Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test) accounted for 18-20% of the variance in everyday executive ability as measured by the Dysexecutive Questionnaire and Brock Adaptive Functioning Questionnaire. The addition of extra-test variables significantly increased the variance in everyday executive ability accounted for. The current study adds to the literature on the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment by highlighting the importance of extra-test variables when trying to understand the complex relationship between cognitive testing and real world performance.

  11. Methylphenidate improves motor functions in children diagnosed with Hyperkinetic Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Stray, Liv Larsen; Stray, Torstein; Iversen, Synnøve; Ruud, Anne; Ellertsen, Bjørn

    2009-01-01

    Background A previous study showed that a high percentage of children diagnosed with Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKD) displayed a consistent pattern of motor function problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on such motor performance in children with HKD Methods 25 drug-naïve boys, aged 8–12 yr with a HKD-F90.0 diagnosis, were randomly assigned into two groups within a double blind cross-over design, and tested with a motor assessment instrument, during MPH and placebo conditions. Results The percentage of MFNU scores in the sample indicating 'severe motor problems' ranged from 44–84%, typically over 60%. Highly significant improvements in motor performance were observed with MPH compared to baseline ratings on all the 17 subtests of the MFNU 1–2 hr after administration of MPH. There were no significant placebo effects. The motor improvement was consistent with improvement of clinical symptoms. Conclusion The study confirmed our prior clinical observations showing that children with ADHD typically demonstrate marked improvements of motor functions after a single dose of 10 mg MPH. The most pronounced positive MPH response was seen in subtests measuring either neuromotor inhibition, or heightened muscular tone in the gross movement muscles involved in maintaining the alignment and balance of the body. Introduction of MPH generally led to improved balance and a generally more coordinated and controlled body movement. PMID:19439096

  12. Berberine improves kidney function in diabetic mice via AMPK activation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Long; Sun, Li-Na; Nie, Hui-Bin; Wang, Xue-Ling; Guan, Guang-Ju

    2014-01-01

    Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. Effective therapies to prevent the development of this disease are required. Berberine (BBR) has several preventive effects on diabetes and its complications. However, the molecular mechanism of BBR on kidney function in diabetes is not well defined. Here, we reported that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is required for BBR-induced improvement of kidney function in vivo. AMPK phosphorylation and activity, productions of reactive oxygen species (ROS), kidney function including serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine clearance (Ccr), and urinary protein excretion, morphology of glomerulus were determined in vitro or in vivo. Exposure of cultured human glomerulus mesangial cells (HGMCs) to BBR time- or dose-dependently activates AMPK by increasing the thr172 phosphorylation and its activities. Inhibition of LKB1 by siRNA or mutant abolished BBR-induced AMPK activation. Incubation of cells with high glucose (HG, 30 mM) markedly induced the oxidative stress of HGMCs, which were abolished by 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside, AMPK gene overexpression or BBR. Importantly, the effects induced by BBR were bypassed by AMPK siRNA transfection in HG-treated HGMCs. In animal studies, streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemia dramatically promoted glomerulosclerosis and impaired kidney function by increasing serum BUN, urinary protein excretion, and decreasing Ccr, as well as increased oxidative stress. Administration of BBR remarkably improved kidney function in wildtype mice but not in AMPKα2-deficient mice. We conclude that AMPK activation is required for BBR to improve kidney function in diabetic mice.

  13. Study of the Reaction 48Ca + 248Cm → 296Lv* at RIKEN-GARIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaji, Daiya; Morita, Kosuke; Morimoto, Kouji; Haba, Hiromitsu; Asai, Masato; Fujita, Kunihiro; Gan, Zaiguo; Geissel, Hans; Hasebe, Hiroo; Hofmann, Sigurd; Huang, MingHui; Komori, Yukiko; Ma, Long; Maurer, Joachim; Murakami, Masashi; Takeyama, Mirei; Tokanai, Fuyuki; Tanaka, Taiki; Wakabayashi, Yasuo; Yamaguchi, Takayuki; Yamaki, Sayaka; Yoshida, Atsushi

    2017-03-01

    The fusion reaction 48Ca + 248Cm → 296Lv* was investigated using the gas-filled recoil ion separator GARIS at RIKEN. The reaction was studied at excitation energies of 41.3 and 38.2 MeV. A total of seven decay chains were observed. Three of the chains were assigned to the decay of 292Lv and three to the decay of 293Lv. A possible observation of an α-decay branch of 284Cn populating the new spontaneously fissioning nucleus 280Ds is discussed. The assignment of one of the decay chains to the 3n evaporation channel, resulting in a spontaneous fission branch of 285Cn, or to the 2n channel, resulting in the population of the new fissioning nucleus 286Cn, is ambiguous. Measured cross sections are in agreement with previously published values.

  14. Considerations to improve functional annotations in biological databases.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Páez, Alfonso

    2009-12-01

    Despite the great effort to design efficient systems allowing the electronic indexation of information concerning genes, proteins, structures, and interactions published daily in scientific journals, some problems are still observed in specific tasks such as functional annotation. The annotation of function is a critical issue for bioinformatic routines, such as for instance, in functional genomics and the further prediction of unknown protein function, which are highly dependent of the quality of existing annotations. Some information management systems evolve to efficiently incorporate information from large-scale projects, but often, annotation of single records from the literature is difficult and slow. In this short report, functional characterizations of a representative sample of the entire set of uncharacterized proteins from Escherichia coli K12 was compiled from Swiss-Prot, PubMed, and EcoCyc and demonstrate a functional annotation deficit in biological databases. Some issues are postulated as causes of the lack of annotation, and different solutions are evaluated and proposed to avoid them. The hope is that as a consequence of these observations, there will be new impetus to improve the speed and quality of functional annotation and ultimately provide updated, reliable information to the scientific community.

  15. Improved regional ventricular function after successful surgical revascularization

    SciTech Connect

    Brundage, B.H.; Massie, B.M.; Botvinick, E.H.

    1984-04-01

    Left ventricular segments with reversible asynergy at rest demonstrate reversible myocardial perfusion defects on exercise thallium-201 scintigrams. To determine if improved perfusion eliminates asynergy at rest, 23 patients with angina (stable in 21, unstable in 2) were studied before and after coronary artery bypass surgery. All patients underwent exercise myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, contrast ventriculography and coronary arteriography before and after surgery. Selective graft angiography was performed during the postoperative catheterization to determine graft patency. Segmental ventricular function was quantitated by a regional fraction method. The scintigrams were divided into five regions and compared with the corresponding regions of the ventriculogram. Seventy-one of a possible 142 ventricular segments exhibited exercise-induced perfusion deficits. Preoperative regional ejection fraction was normal in 42 of these segments and abnormal in 29. Postoperatively, in 19 of the abnormal segments, function improved or normalized. All these segments had improved perfusion during exercise after surgery and were supplied by a patent bypass graft. Nine of the 10 segments in which abnormal wall motion persisted postoperatively continued to have exercise-induced perfusion deficits, and 9 of the 10 segments were supplied by an occluded or stenotic graft or one with poor run off. Of the 42 segments with normal wall motion preoperatively, 30 had improved perfusion after surgery and 35 maintained normal function. This study indicates that asynergy at rest is permanently reversed after coronary bypass surgery if improved myocardial perfusion can be documented. These findings are consistent with but do not prove the concept that reversible rest asynergy may reflect chronic ischemia or a prolonged effect from previous ischemic episodes.

  16. SIRT1-PGC1α-NFκB Pathway of Oxidative and Inflammatory Stress during Trypanosoma cruzi Infection: Benefits of SIRT1-Targeted Therapy in Improving Heart Function in Chagas Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Jian-jun; Liang, Lisa Yi

    2016-01-01

    Chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCM) is presented by increased oxidative/inflammatory stress and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics. SIRT1 senses the redox changes and integrates mitochondrial metabolism and inflammation; and SIRT1 deficiency may be a major determinant in CCM. To test this, C57BL/6 mice were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc), treated with SIRT1 agonists (resveratrol or SRT1720), and monitored during chronic phase (~150 days post-infection). Resveratrol treatment was partially beneficial in controlling the pathologic processes in Chagas disease. The 3-weeks SRT1720 therapy provided significant benefits in restoring the left ventricular (LV) function (stroke volume, cardiac output, ejection fraction etc.) in chagasic mice, though cardiac hypertrophy presented by increased thickness of the interventricular septum and LV posterior wall, increased LV mass, and disproportionate synthesis of collagens was not controlled. SRT1720 treatment preserved the myocardial SIRT1 activity and PGC1α deacetylation (active-form) that were decreased by 53% and 9-fold respectively, in chagasic mice. Yet, SIRT1/PGC1α-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis (i.e., mitochondrial DNA content, and expression of subunits of the respiratory complexes and mtDNA replication machinery) was not improved in chronically-infected/SRT1720-treated mice. Instead, SRT1720 therapy resulted in 2-10-fold inhibition of Tc-induced oxidative (H2O2 and advanced oxidation protein products), nitrosative (inducible nitric oxide synthase, 4-hydroxynonenal, 3-nitrotyrosine), and inflammatory (IFNγ, IL1β, IL6 and TNFα) stress and inflammatory infiltrate in chagasic myocardium. These benefits were delivered through SIRT1-dependent inhibition of NFκB transcriptional activity. We conclude that Tc inhibition of SIRT1/PGC1α activity was not a key mechanism in mitochondrial biogenesis defects during Chagas disease. SRT1720-dependent SIRT1 activation led to suppression of NFκB transcriptional

  17. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Powner, Michael B.; Salt, Thomas E.; Hogg, Chris; Jeffery, Glen

    2016-01-01

    Global pollination is threatened by declining insect pollinator populations that may be linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use. Neonicotinoids over stimulate neurons and depolarize their mitochondria, producing immobility and death. However, mitochondrial function can be improved by near infrared light absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondrial respiration. In flies, daily exposure to 670nm light throughout life increases average lifespan and aged mobility, and reduces systemic inflammation. Here we treat bumble bees with Imidacloprid a common neonicotinoid. This undermined ATP and rapidly induced immobility and reduced visual function and survival. Bees exposed to insecticide and daily to 670nm light showed corrected ATP levels and significantly improved mobility allowing them to feed. Physiological recordings from eyes revealed that light exposure corrected deficits induced by the pesticide. Overall, death rates in bees exposed to insecticide but also given 670nm light were indistinguishable from controls. When Imidacloprid and light exposure were withdrawn, survival was maintained. Bees and insects generally cannot see deep red light so it does not disturb their behaviour. Hence, we show that deep red light exposure that improves mitochondrial function, reverses the sensory and motor deficits induced by Imidacloprid. These results may have important implications as light delivery is economic and can be placed in hives/colonies. PMID:27846310

  18. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides.

    PubMed

    Powner, Michael B; Salt, Thomas E; Hogg, Chris; Jeffery, Glen

    2016-01-01

    Global pollination is threatened by declining insect pollinator populations that may be linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use. Neonicotinoids over stimulate neurons and depolarize their mitochondria, producing immobility and death. However, mitochondrial function can be improved by near infrared light absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase in mitochondrial respiration. In flies, daily exposure to 670nm light throughout life increases average lifespan and aged mobility, and reduces systemic inflammation. Here we treat bumble bees with Imidacloprid a common neonicotinoid. This undermined ATP and rapidly induced immobility and reduced visual function and survival. Bees exposed to insecticide and daily to 670nm light showed corrected ATP levels and significantly improved mobility allowing them to feed. Physiological recordings from eyes revealed that light exposure corrected deficits induced by the pesticide. Overall, death rates in bees exposed to insecticide but also given 670nm light were indistinguishable from controls. When Imidacloprid and light exposure were withdrawn, survival was maintained. Bees and insects generally cannot see deep red light so it does not disturb their behaviour. Hence, we show that deep red light exposure that improves mitochondrial function, reverses the sensory and motor deficits induced by Imidacloprid. These results may have important implications as light delivery is economic and can be placed in hives/colonies.

  19. Modification of biochar for functionality improvement in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Corticosteroid transdermal delivery significantly improves arthritis pain and functional disability.

    PubMed

    Iannitti, Tommaso; McDermott, Michael F; Laurino, Carmen; Malagoli, Andrea; Palmieri, Beniamino

    2017-02-01

    Arthritis is characterized by pain and functional limitation affecting the patients' quality of life. We performed a clinical study to investigate the efficacy of a betamethasone valerate medicated plaster (Betesil) in improving pain and functional disability in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis. We enrolled 104 patients affected by osteoarthritis (n = 40) or arthritis (n = 64) in different joints. Patients received diclofenac sodium cream (2 g, four times a day) or a 2.25-mg dose of Betesil applied to the painful joint every night before bedtime for 10 days. Pain and functional disability were assessed, by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores. Redness was assessed by clinical inspection, and edema by the "fovea sign" method. C-reactive protein (CRP) was also measured; CRP can be used to cost-effectively monitor the pharmacological treatment efficacy and is increased during the acute-phase response, returning to physiological values after tissue recovery and functional restoration. All measurements were at baseline and at 10-day follow-up. At 10-day follow-up, a greater improvement in VAS and WOMAC pain and WOMAC stiffness and functional limitation scores from baseline was observed in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). At 10-day follow-up, improvement in redness, edema, and CRP levels from baseline was also greater in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). This study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of transdermal delivery of betamethasone valerate in patients affected by arthritis and osteoarthritis.

  1. Enzyme functional evolution through improved catalysis of ancestrally nonpreferred substrates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ruiqi; Hippauf, Frank; Rohrbeck, Diana; Haustein, Maria; Wenke, Katrin; Feike, Janie; Sorrelle, Noah; Piechulla, Birgit; Barkman, Todd J

    2012-02-21

    In this study, we investigated the role for ancestral functional variation that may be selected upon to generate protein functional shifts using ancestral protein resurrection, statistical tests for positive selection, forward and reverse evolutionary genetics, and enzyme functional assays. Data are presented for three instances of protein functional change in the salicylic acid/benzoic acid/theobromine (SABATH) lineage of plant secondary metabolite-producing enzymes. In each case, we demonstrate that ancestral nonpreferred activities were improved upon in a daughter enzyme after gene duplication, and that these functional shifts were likely coincident with positive selection. Both forward and reverse mutagenesis studies validate the impact of one or a few sites toward increasing activity with ancestrally nonpreferred substrates. In one case, we document the occurrence of an evolutionary reversal of an active site residue that reversed enzyme properties. Furthermore, these studies show that functionally important amino acid replacements result in substrate discrimination as reflected in evolutionary changes in the specificity constant (k(cat)/K(M)) for competing substrates, even though adaptive substitutions may affect K(M) and k(cat) separately. In total, these results indicate that nonpreferred, or even latent, ancestral protein activities may be coopted at later times to become the primary or preferred protein activities.

  2. Enzyme functional evolution through improved catalysis of ancestrally nonpreferred substrates

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ruiqi; Hippauf, Frank; Rohrbeck, Diana; Haustein, Maria; Wenke, Katrin; Feike, Janie; Sorrelle, Noah; Piechulla, Birgit; Barkman, Todd J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the role for ancestral functional variation that may be selected upon to generate protein functional shifts using ancestral protein resurrection, statistical tests for positive selection, forward and reverse evolutionary genetics, and enzyme functional assays. Data are presented for three instances of protein functional change in the salicylic acid/benzoic acid/theobromine (SABATH) lineage of plant secondary metabolite-producing enzymes. In each case, we demonstrate that ancestral nonpreferred activities were improved upon in a daughter enzyme after gene duplication, and that these functional shifts were likely coincident with positive selection. Both forward and reverse mutagenesis studies validate the impact of one or a few sites toward increasing activity with ancestrally nonpreferred substrates. In one case, we document the occurrence of an evolutionary reversal of an active site residue that reversed enzyme properties. Furthermore, these studies show that functionally important amino acid replacements result in substrate discrimination as reflected in evolutionary changes in the specificity constant (kcat/KM) for competing substrates, even though adaptive substitutions may affect KM and kcat separately. In total, these results indicate that nonpreferred, or even latent, ancestral protein activities may be coopted at later times to become the primary or preferred protein activities. PMID:22315396

  3. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Association of left atrial reservoir function with left atrial structural remodeling related to left ventricular dysfunction in asymptomatic patients with hypertension: evaluation by two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Hirokazu; Oishi, Yoshifumi; Mizuguchi, Yukio; Iuchi, Arata; Nagase, Norio; Ara, Nusrat; Oki, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Left atrial (LA) structural and functional abnormalities are vital steps on the pathway toward heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in asymptomatic patients. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of LA function, particularly reservoir function, with LA structural remodeling related to the left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in asymptomatic patients with hypertension (HT) using conventional, tissue Doppler, and 2-D speckle-tracking echocardiography. Fifty age-matched healthy individuals and 140 patients with HT, including 75 with LA volume index (LAVI)<29 ml/m2 (normal LA group) and 65 with LAVI≥29 ml/m2 (large LA group), were enrolled. We defined peak early diastolic transmitral flow velocity/peak early diastolic mitral annular motion velocity (E/e')/peak systolic LA strain (S-LAs) as LA diastolic stiffness. The LV mass index, relative LV wall thickness, peak atrial systolic transmitral flow velocity, LA total, active, and passive emptying volume indexes, and E/e'/S-LAs were greatest, and S-LAs, peak early diastolic LA strain, peak systolic LV longitudinal strain and circumferential strain rate, and peak early diastolic LV radial strain rate were lower in the large LA group compared with control and/or normal LA group. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that aging, LA remodeling, and LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction are defined as strong predictors related to increased LA diastolic stiffness in the large LA group. HT alters LA dynamics significantly, with resultant increased LA volume and diastolic stiffness related to LV diastolic and systolic dysfunction, even in asymptomatic patients. Earlier treatment with renin–angiotensin system inhibitors may improve abnormal LA-LV interaction in this patient population.

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

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Electrochemically polymerized conjugated polymer films: Stability improvement and surface functionalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Bin

    Conjugated polymers have been widely used in various applications including organic solar cells, electrochromic devices, chemical sensors, and biomedical devices. Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and its derivatives have received considerable interest because of their low oxidation potential, relatively high chemical stability, and high conductivity. Electrochemical deposition is a convenient method for precisely fabricating conjugated polymer thin films. Here, we report the stability improvement and surface functionalization of electrochemically polymerized PEDOT films. The long-term performance of PEDOT coatings is limited by their relatively poor stability on various inorganic substrates. Two different methods were used to improve the stability of PEDOT coatings, one involved using carboxylic acid functionalized EDOT (EDOT-acid) as adhesion promoter. EDOT-acid molecules were chemically bonded onto activated metal oxide substrates via chemisorption. PEDOT was then polymerized onto the EDOT-acid modified substrates, forming covalently bonded coatings. An aggressive ultrasonication test confirmed the significantly improved adhesion of the PEDOT films on electrodes with EDOT-acid treatment over those without treatment. The other method was to use an octa-ProDOT-functionalized POSS derivative (POSSProDOT) as cross-linker. PEDOT copolymer films were electrochemically deposited with various concentrations of POSS-ProDOT. The optical, morphological and electrochemical properties of the copolymer films could be systematically tuned with the incorporation of POSS-ProDOT. Significantly enhanced electrochemical and mechanical stability of the copolymers were observed at intermediate levels of POSS-ProDOT content (3.1 wt%) via chronic stimulation tests. Surface functionalization of conducting polymer films provides a potential means for systematically tailoring their chemical and physical properties. We have synthesized, polymerized and characterized a dialkene-functionalized

  7. Epidemiology and Natural History of Recovery of Left Ventricular Function in Recent Onset Dilated Cardiomyopathies

    PubMed Central

    Givertz, Michael M.; Mann, Douglas L.

    2013-01-01

    Although the long term prognosis of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) remains poor, approximately 25% of DCM patients with recent onset of heart failure (< 6 months) have a relatively benign clinical course with a spontaneously improvement in symptoms and partial, or in some cases complete, recovery of left ventricular (LV) function. Despite the longstanding recognition of the clinical phenomenon of LV recovery, relatively little attention has been paid to the etiology and natural history of this important group of DCM patients. Accordingly, in the present review we will focus on the epidemiology and natural history of recent onset DCM in patients who undergo spontaneous resolution of symptoms that is accompanied by recovery of LV function. PMID:24014141

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Intracoronary administration of cardiac stem cells in mice: a new, improved technique for cell therapy in murine models.

    PubMed

    Li, Qianhong; Guo, Yiru; Ou, Qinghui; Chen, Ning; Wu, Wen-Jian; Yuan, Fangping; O'Brien, Erin; Wang, Tao; Luo, Li; Hunt, Gregory N; Zhu, Xiaoping; Bolli, Roberto

    2011-09-01

    A model of intracoronary stem cell delivery that enables transgenesis/gene targeting would be a powerful tool but is still lacking. To address this gap, we compared intracoronary and intramyocardial delivery of lin(-)/c-kit(+)/GFP(+) cardiac stem cells (CSCs) in a murine model of reperfused myocardial infarction (MI). Lin(-)/c-kit(+)/GFP(+) CSCs were successfully expanded from GFP transgenic hearts and cultured with no detectable phenotypic change for up to ten passages. Intracoronary delivery of CSCs 2 days post-MI resulted in significant alleviation of adverse LV remodeling and dysfunction, which was at least equivalent, if not superior, to that achieved with intramyocardial delivery. Compared with intramyocardial injection, intracoronary infusion was associated with a more homogeneous distribution of CSCs in the infarcted region and a greater increase in viable tissue in this region, suggesting greater formation of new cardiomyocytes. Intracoronary CSC delivery resulted in improved function in the infarcted region, as well as in improved global LV systolic and diastolic function, and in decreased LV dilation and LV expansion index; the magnitude of these effects was similar to that observed after intramyocardial injection. We conclude that, in the murine model of reperfused MI, intracoronary CSC infusion is at least as effective as intramyocardial injection in limiting LV remodeling and improving both regional and global LV function. The intracoronary route appears to be superior in terms of uniformity of cell distribution, myocyte regeneration, and amount of viable tissue in the risk region. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that intracoronary infusion of stem cells in mice is feasible and effective.

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

    PubMed

    Breucker, Laura; Landfester, Katharina; Taden, Andreas

    2015-11-11

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

  11. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Liu, Su; Shen, Guangyu; Deng, Shukun; Wang, Xiubin; Wu, Qinfeng; Guo, Aisong

    2013-12-15

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury; however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney's free falling method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats' spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly improves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is mediated by metabolic changes and nerve cell restoration in the hippocampal CA3 region.

  12. Computational nano OPC DFM for LV Fin-type SRAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadota, Kazuya

    2016-05-01

    Design For Manufacturing (DFM) where the state-of-the-art nano-devices of the sub-20nm node to a subject, for each of the technology has been intricately sophisticated, comprehensive optimization to predict the performance of the device came become very important. [1] To get effective solutions on these subjects, one of the lithographic key is a nano Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) control with SMO technology, and another is TCAD approach using the most advanced computer simulations. And, it is very important to obtain DFM solutions by integrating both. On the other hand, to meet the needs of low-voltage drive and the characteristic variability reduction, in order to obtain a state-of-the-art device performance, the Fin-type transistors are introduced globally as the mainstream because of wider process control margin. This paper, from the point of view of the sub-20nm node DFM, the simulation are conducted on ArF-imm. technology with SMO in SPT, DPT and QPT on TachyonTM [2], and the guideline of design rules are obtained. Furthermore, the simulated transistor pattern shape are directly migrated into TCAD process flow on HyENEXSSTM [3]. Then calculated I-V characteristics on 6 transistors under the various parameters on TCAD, and finally summarized Static Noise Margin (SNM) of SRAMs. Here, various parameters that determine the performance of SRAMs (Fin width, height, angle, dopant concentrations, electric field strength, work function, drive voltage, and operation speed) are intentionally varied and calculated on the TCAD. This computational method is highly sophisticated DFM technology to predict for the leading-edge nano-devices toward for the sub-20nm nodes era [4] [5] [6] [7] .

  13. Improvement of endothelial function following initiation of testosterone replacement therapy

    PubMed Central

    Tucky, Barbara; Polackwich, Allan S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Isolated recent studies have suggested an increased risk of heart attack as early as 3 months following testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Such a rapid risk increase would likely require rapid deterioration of arterial endothelial function. Our goal was to assess arterial endothelial function in hypogonadal men prior to and at least 3 months after initiation of TRT. Methods Adult men were consented if they had symptoms of hypogonadism, a total testosterone <350 ng/dL, and planned to begin TRT. Endothelial function was non-invasively assessed using the EndoPAT-2000 machine. We measured the augmentation index (AI) (normal <3%), a measure of arterial stiffness and reactive hyperemia index (RHI), a measure of endothelial vasodilation (normal >1.69). Prior studies suggest that a 10% level of day-to-day test variability is expected. Endothelial function was reassessed at the next clinic visit, between 3 and 6 months if the patients were compliant with therapy. Changes in continuous variables were assessed with the paired t test. Results Twenty-three patients were consented with a mean age of 52.7 years (range, 34–68 years) and starting testosterone 196.9 ng/dL (range, 35–339 ng/dL). There was a history of diabetes in four, hypertension in ten and coronary artery disease in five. Mean RHI was 1.67±0.37 (70% were abnormal) and mean AI was 2.57%±14.0% (39% were abnormal). There were no cardiac events. At follow-up 20 patients were compliant with therapy and retested. Mean testosterone increased from 203 to 511 (P<0.0001). Mean RHI improved from 1.70 to 2.14 (P=0.01). Mean AI improved from 2.9% to −1.75% (P=0.01). In four men RHI worsened but in each case less than the 10% error of the test. No man had worsened AI. Conclusions Men with symptomatic hypogonadism often have abnormal arterial endothelial function. Following TRT, endothelial function either remains unchanged or improves. PMID:28078212

  14. Isolation and characterization of flat revertant cell lines from A-MuLV-transformed fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Glass, D J; Rees-Jones, R W; Goff, S P

    1990-01-01

    Transformation of lymphoid and fibroblastic cells by Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV) is mediated by the viral tyrosine protein kinase. We do not yet know the important target proteins in the cell, the host proteins that modulate the kinase activity, or the host proteins involved in the signal-transduction pathway ultimately leading to altered patterns of cell growth. As a first step toward identifying these host proteins, we have isolated and characterized several flat revertant cell lines from transformed lines carrying v-abl. Clonal transformed cell lines used as parental strains were prepared by infecting Rat-2 fibroblasts with A-MuLV, using M-MuLV as helper. A rhodamine dye screening procedure was used to obtain three clones of morphologically flat revertant cells. Each of the three lines was non-refractile and contact inhibited. All the lines retained a transformation-competent copy of A-MuLV; all released high titers of virus capable of inducing foci on previously uninfected Rat-2 cells. Analyses of the revertant lines suggest that diverse mechanisms can lead to loss of transformed morphology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Improvement in cerebral function with treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael J; Francis, Jennifer; Friedlander, Joshua; Banks-Williams, Lisa; Lande, Raymond G; Taylor, Patricia; Blair, James; McLellan, Jennifer; Law, Wendy; Tarpley, Vanita; Patt, Ivy; Yu, Henry; Mallinger, Alan; Difede, Joann; Rizzo, Albert; Rothbaum, Barbara

    2010-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are signature illnesses of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but current diagnostic and therapeutic measures for these conditions are suboptimal. In our study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to try to differentiate military service members with: PTSD and mTBI, PTSD alone, mTBI alone, and neither PTSD nor mTBI. Those with PTSD are then randomized to virtual reality exposure therapy or imaginal exposure. fMRI is repeated after treatment and along with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores to compare with baseline. Twenty subjects have completed baseline fMRI scans, including four controls and one mTBI only; of 15 treated for PTSD, eight completed posttreatment scans. Most subjects have been male (93%) and Caucasian (83%), with a mean age of 34. Significant improvements are evident on fMRI scans, and corroborated by CGI scores, but CAPS scores improvements are modest. In conclusion, CGI scores and fMRI scans indicate significant improvement in PTSD in both treatment arms, though CAPS score improvements are less robust.

  17. Improving nonlinear modeling capabilities of functional link adaptive filters.

    PubMed

    Comminiello, Danilo; Scarpiniti, Michele; Scardapane, Simone; Parisi, Raffaele; Uncini, Aurelio

    2015-09-01

    The functional link adaptive filter (FLAF) represents an effective solution for online nonlinear modeling problems. In this paper, we take into account a FLAF-based architecture, which separates the adaptation of linear and nonlinear elements, and we focus on the nonlinear branch to improve the modeling performance. In particular, we propose a new model that involves an adaptive combination of filters downstream of the nonlinear expansion. Such combination leads to a cooperative behavior of the whole architecture, thus yielding a performance improvement, particularly in the presence of strong nonlinearities. An advanced architecture is also proposed involving the adaptive combination of multiple filters on the nonlinear branch. The proposed models are assessed in different nonlinear modeling problems, in which their effectiveness and capabilities are shown.

  18. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers' Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sabik, A. Gołek, F.; Antczak, G.

    2015-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Sabik, A; Gołek, F; Antczak, G

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Landslide risk assessment in the Göta Älv river valley to limit consequences of climate change on society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedlund, Jonas; Lind, Bo; Tremblay, Marius; Zackrisson, Peter; Cederbom, Charlotte

    2010-05-01

    Higher temperatures, higher average precipitation and increased occurrence of extreme rainfall events are some expected climate changes in Sweden during the coming 70-100 years. Due to the changing climate the risk for floods, erosion and landslides are expected to increase. in large parts of the country. To prevent extensive floodings and damages of cities and infrastructure around Lake Vänern, it is necessary to allow controlled overflow from Lake Vänern through the river Göta Älv. An overflow in the river, in turn, leads to increased risk for erosion and landslides along the Göta Älv valley. In order to meet the upcoming climate changes and to handle the increasing flows through the river, we need to improve the knowledge of the stability of the entire river bank. The Swedish Government has commissioned the Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) to investigate the landslide potential of the Göta Älv valley, taking the predicted climate changes into consideration. The investigated area includes the parts of Göta Älv that could be affected by the increased flows from Lake Vänern; areas where the increased flow will affect stability and where landslides could cause serious damages or damming of the river. The investigation area includes c. 90 km of the Göta Älv river plus tributaries in connection to Göta Älv. In the landslide risk analyses developed for Göta Älv, the likelihood of landslides and estimation of the subsequent consequences are included. The methodology involves mapping of landslide hazards and a judgement of the risk area on the basis of a risk matrix. The landslide risk analysis allows for an assessment of where geotechnical reinforcements would be necessary. A cost estimation for the required reinforcement measures is also provided. In areas where the estimated risk for a landslide is low (e.g. limited consequences), stability mapping in accordance with the model used by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is developed

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Dental implants present several advantages over other tooth replacement options. However, there has been little research on masticatory function in relation to implant treatment. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the improvement of masticatory function two weeks after implant restoration. Methods Masticatory ability was evaluated with the subjective food intake ability (FIA) and objective mixing ability index (MAI) methods. Fifty-four subjects with first and second missing molars completed the study. The subjects were asked to complete a self-reported questionnaire about 30 different food items, and to chew wax samples 10 times both before and two weeks after implant restoration. A total of 108 waxes were analyzed with an image analysis program. Results Dental implant restoration for lost molar teeth on one side increased the FIA score by 9.0% (P<0.0001). The MAI score also increased, by 14.3% after implant restoration (P<0.0001). Comparison between the good and poor mastication groups, which were subdivided based on the median MAI score before implant restoration, showed that the FIA score of the poor group was enhanced 1.1-fold while its MAI score was enhanced 2.0-fold two weeks after an implant surgery. Conclusions Using the FIA and MAI assessment methods, this study showed that masticatory function was improved two weeks after implant restoration. In particular, the enhancement of masticatory function by implant restoration was greater in patients with relatively poor initial mastication than in those with good initial mastication. PMID:26734490

  3. Astym therapy improves function and range of motion following mastectomy

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Claire C; Brockopp, Dorothy; Moe, Krista

    2016-01-01

    Hypersensitive scar tissue formation along the incision line and drain site is a common side effect following mastectomy. If this scar tissue is not addressed, it can lead to decreased flexibility and function in the involved upper quadrant. Astym® treatment is a new approach to soft tissue injuries, and is evidenced in animal studies to promote the healing and regeneration of soft tissues. It has also been found to reduce pain and increase function in people with soft tissue dysfunction. The aim of Astym treatment is to engage the regenerative mechanisms of the body in order to resorb scar tissue, stimulate tissue turnover, and regenerate soft tissues. Handheld instrumentation is applied topically to locate and treat the underlying dysfunctional soft tissue through specific protocols for the application of particular pressures and shear forces. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Astym treatment on activities of daily living in women who had undergone a mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. A quasi-experiment involving 40 women, following a mastectomy, evaluated five outcome measures pre- and post-Astym treatment. All five measurement scores: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Outcome Measure; a clothing questionnaire on their ability to wear a bra; Patient-Specific Functional Scale; active range of motion of shoulder flexion; and active range of motion of abduction were also measured and all demonstrated significant changes. In this study, Astym treatment improved active range of motion in the involved quadrant and also improved function in patients following a mastectomy. PMID:27022302

  4. Could training executive function improve treatment outcomes for eating disorders?

    PubMed

    Juarascio, Adrienne S; Manasse, Stephanie M; Espel, Hallie M; Kerrigan, Stephanie G; Forman, Evan M

    2015-07-01

    Current gold standard treatments for eating disorders (EDs) lack satisfactory efficacy, and traditional psychological treatments do not directly address executive functioning deficits underpinning ED pathology. The goal of this paper is to explore the potential for enhancing ED treatment outcomes by improving executive functioning deficits that have been demonstrated to underlie eating pathology. To achieve our objective, we (1) review existing evidence for executive functioning deficits that underpin EDs and consider the extent to which these deficits could be targeted in neurocognitive training programs, (2) present the evidence for the one ED neurocognitive training program well-studied to date (Cognitive Remediation Therapy), (3) discuss the utility of neurocognitive training programs that have been developed for other psychiatric disorders with similar deficits, and (4) provide suggestions for the future development and research of neurocognitive training programs for EDs. Despite the fact that the body of empirical work on neurocognitive training programs for eating disorders is very small, we conclude that their potential is high given the combined evidence for the role of deficits in executive functioning in EDs, the initial promise of Cognitive Remediation Training, and the success in treating related conditions with neurocognitive training. Based on the evidence to date, it appears that the development and empirical evaluation of neurocognitive training programs for EDs is warranted.

  5. Effects of verapamil and propranolol on left ventricular systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease: radionuclide angiographic studies at rest and during exercise

    SciTech Connect

    Bonow, R.O.; Leon, M.B.; Rosing, D.R.; Kent, K.M.; Lipson, L.C.; Bacharach, S.L.; Green, M.V.; Epstein, S.E.

    1982-06-01

    To determine the effects of verapamil on left ventricular (LV) systolic function and diastolic filling in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), researchers performed gated radionuclide angiography at rest and during exercise in 16 symptomatic patients before and during oral verapamil therapy (480 mg/day). Twelve patients were also studied during oral propranolol. LV ejection fraction at rest was normal in 13 patients, but abnormal diastolic filling at rest, defined as peak filling rate (PFR) less than 2.5 end-diastolic volumes (EDV)/sec or time to PFR greater than 180 msec, was present in 15. During verapamil, resting ejection fraction decreased, but resting diastolic filling improved: PFR increased and time to PFR decreased. Exercise ejection fraction did not change during verapamil, but exercise PFR increased, and exercise time to PFR decreased. In contrast, propranolol did not alter ejection fraction, PFR, or time to PFR at rest or during exercise. Thus, LV ejection fraction is decreased by verapamil at rest but is unchanged during exercise. While LV systolic function is not improved by verapamil, LV diastolic filling is enhanced by verapamil, both at rest and during exercise. These mechanisms may account in part for the symptomatic improvement in many patients during verapamil therapy.

  6. [Chronic aortic and mitral valve regurgitation. Effects of isosorbide dinitrate on systolic function and passive elastic properties of the left ventricle (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Herreman, F; Cosma, H; Degeorges, M

    1982-06-10

    A haemodynamic and cineangiographic study was conducted in 20 patients with chronic aortic regurgitation alone or associated with mitral regurgitation before and during i.v. administration of isosorbide dinitrate 5 mg/hour. Freedom from coronary disease had been ascertained. The heart rate and aortic pressure (initially normal), cardiac index (initially low), pulmonary pressures and pulmonary and systemic resistances (slightly raised initially) remained unchanged. On the other hand, the left ventricular (LV) filling pressure, distinctly raised before treatment, was reduced by 17% (p less than 0.05). There was also a 10% reduction in LV end-diastolic volume (from 204 +/- 60- cm3.m2 to 184 +/- 56 cm3,m2; p less than 0.001) and a 14% reduction in LV end-systolic volume (from 104 +/- 39 cm3.m2 to 89 +/- 40 cm3.m3; p less than 0.001). LV geometry, stroke volume and regurgitation volume were unmodified. There was a significant improvement in ventricular function indices, globally reduced before treatment: + 8% for the fiber shortening amplitude (p less than 0.025), + 6% for the ejection fraction (p fiber shortening (p less than 0.01), and + 15% for the ESP: ESV ratio (p less than 0.05). The passive elasticity indices, all increased before treatment, also improved. It is concluded that isosorbide dinitrate improves LV systolic and diastolic functions in patients with chronic valve disease.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Rouba; Campbell, Brian M; Strick, Christine A; Horner, Weldon; Hoffmann, William E; Kiss, Tamas; Chapin, Douglas S; McGinnis, Dina; Abbott, Amanda L; Roberts, Brooke M; Fonseca, Kari; Guanowsky, Victor; Young, Damon A; Seymour, Patricia A; Dounay, Amy; Hajos, Mihaly; Williams, Graham V; Castner, Stacy A

    2014-08-06

    The elevation of kynurenic acid (KYNA) observed in schizophrenic patients may contribute to core symptoms arising from glutamate hypofunction, including cognitive impairments. Although increased KYNA levels reduce excitatory neurotransmission, KYNA has been proposed to act as an endogenous antagonist at the glycine site of the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and as a negative allosteric modulator at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Levels of KYNA are elevated in CSF and the postmortem brain of schizophrenia patients, and these elevated levels of KYNA could contribute to NMDAR hypofunction and the cognitive deficits and negative symptoms associated with this disease. However, the impact of endogenously produced KYNA on brain function and behavior is less well understood due to a paucity of pharmacological tools. To address this issue, we identified PF-04859989, a brain-penetrable inhibitor of kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), the enzyme responsible for most brain KYNA synthesis. In rats, systemic administration of PF-04859989 dose-dependently reduced brain KYNA to as little as 28% of basal levels, and prevented amphetamine- and ketamine-induced disruption of auditory gating and improved performance in a sustained attention task. It also prevented ketamine-induced disruption of performance in a working memory task and a spatial memory task in rodents and nonhuman primates, respectively. Together, these findings support the hypotheses that endogenous KYNA impacts cognitive function and that inhibition of KAT II, and consequent lowering of endogenous brain KYNA levels, improves cognitive performance under conditions considered relevant for schizophrenia.

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Detection of antibodies to the feline leukemia Virus (FeLV) transmembrane protein p15E: an alternative approach for serological FeLV detection based on antibodies to p15E.

    PubMed

    Boenzli, Eva; Hadorn, Maik; Hartnack, Sonja; Huder, Jon; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Lutz, Hans

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this report was to investigate whether the diagnosis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection by serology might be feasible and useful. Among the various viral proteins, the FeLV env-gene product (SU) and the envelope transmembrane protein p15E were considered promising candidates for the serological diagnosis of FeLV infection. Thus, we evaluated p15E and three other FeLV antigens, namely, a recombinant env-gene product, whole FeLV, and a short peptide from the FeLV transmembrane protein, for their potential to detect FeLV infection. To evaluate possible exposure of cats to FeLV, we tested serum and plasma samples from experimentally and naturally infected and vaccinated cats for the presence of antibodies to these antigens by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). The serological results were compared with the p27 and proviral real-time PCR results. We found that p15E displayed a diagnostic sensitivity of 95.7% and a specificity of 100% in experimentally infected cats. In naturally infected cats, p15E showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 77.1% and a specificity of 85.6%. Vaccinated cats displayed minimal antibody levels to p15E, suggesting that anti-p15E antibodies indicate infection rather than vaccination. The other antigens turned out to be too unspecific. The lower specificity in cats exposed to FeLV under field conditions may be explained by the fact that some cats become infected and seroconvert in the absence of detectable viral nucleic acids in plasma. We conclude that p15E serology may become a valuable tool for diagnosing FeLV infection; in some cases, it may replace PCR.

  11. Creatine supplementation does not improve cognitive function in young adults.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Eric S; Lieberman, Harris R; Walsh, Talia M; Zuber, Sylwia M; Harhart, Jaclyn M; Matthews, Tracy C

    2008-09-03

    Creatine supplementation has been reported to improve certain aspects of cognitive and psychomotor function in older individuals and in young subjects following 24 and 36 h of sleep deprivation. However, the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in non-sleep deprived young adults have not been assessed with a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive tests. The primary objective of this study was to examine the effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in young adults. Twenty-two subjects (21+/-2 yr) ingested creatine (0.03 g/kg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks in a double-blind placebo-controlled fashion. Subjects completed a battery of neurocognitive tests pre- and post-supplementation, including: simple reaction time (RT), code substitution (CS), code substitution delayed (CSD), logical reasoning symbolic (LRS), mathematical processing (MP), running memory (RM), and Sternberg memory recall (MR). There were no significant effects of group, no significant effects of time, and no significant group by time interactions for RT, CS, CSD, LRS, MP, RM, and MR (all p>0.05), indicating that there were no differences between creatine and placebo supplemented groups at any time. These results suggest that six weeks of creatine supplementation (0.03/g/kg/day) does not improve cognitive processing in non-sleep deprived young adults. Potentially, creatine supplementation only improves cognitive processing and psychomotor performance in individuals who have impaired cognitive processing abilities.

  12. An immunostimulatory dual-functional nanocarrier that improves cancer immunochemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yichao; Xia, Rui; Huang, Yixian; Zhao, Wenchen; Li, Jiang; Zhang, Xiaolan; Wang, Pengcheng; Venkataramanan, Raman; Fan, Jie; Xie, Wen; Ma, Xiaochao; Lu, Binfeng; Li, Song

    2016-01-01

    Immunochemotherapy combines a chemotherapeutic agent with an immune-modulating agent and represents an attractive approach to improve cancer therapy. However, the success of immunochemotherapy is hampered by the lack of a strategy to effectively co-deliver the two therapeutics to the tumours. Here we report the development of a dual-functional, immunostimulatory nanomicellar carrier that is based on a prodrug conjugate of PEG with NLG919, an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitor currently used for reversing tumour immune suppression. An Fmoc group, an effective drug-interactive motif, is also introduced into the carrier to improve the drug loading capacity and formulation stability. We show that PEG2k-Fmoc-NLG alone is effective in enhancing T-cell immune responses and exhibits significant antitumour activity in vivo. More importantly, systemic delivery of paclitaxel (PTX) using the PEG2k-Fmoc-NLG nanocarrier leads to a significantly improved antitumour response in both breast cancer and melanoma mouse models. PMID:27819653

  13. Valuing preferences over stormwater management outcomes including improved hydrologic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LondoñO Cadavid, Catalina; Ando, Amy W.

    2013-07-01

    Stormwater runoff causes environmental problems such as flooding, soil erosion, and water pollution. Conventional stormwater management has focused primarily on flood reduction, while a new generation of decentralized stormwater solutions yields ancillary benefits such as healthier aquatic habitat, improved surface water quality, and increased water table recharge. Previous research has estimated values for flood reduction from stormwater management, but no estimates exist for the willingness to pay (WTP) for some of the other environmental benefits of alternative approaches to stormwater control. This paper uses a choice experiment survey of households in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to estimate the values of several attributes of stormwater management outcomes. We analyzed data from 131 surveyed households in randomly selected neighborhoods. We find that people value reduced basement flooding more than reductions in yard or street flooding, but WTP for basement flood reduction in the area only exists if individuals are currently experiencing significant flooding themselves. Citizens value both improved water quality and improved hydrologic function and aquatic habitat from runoff reduction. Thus, widespread investment in low impact development stormwater solutions could have very large total benefits, and stormwater managers should be wary of policies and infrastructure plans that reduce flooding at the expense of water quality and aquatic habitat.

  14. Baduanjin Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Executive Control Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H.; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8 weeks (90 min/day, 5 days/week). Each participant was administered the shortened Profile of Mood States to evaluate their mood status and the flanker task to evaluate executive function before and after training. While performing the flanker task, the NIRS data were collected from each participant. After training, individuals who have participated in BMB exercise showed a significant reduction in depressive mood compared with the same measure before the intervention. However, participants in the control group showed no such reduction. The before vs. after measurement difference in the flanker task incongruent trails was significant only for the Baduanjin intervention group. Interestingly, an increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in the left prefrontal cortex was observed during the Incongruent Trails test only after the BMB exercise intervention. These findings implicate that Baduanjin is an effective and easy-to-administering mind-body exercise for improving executive function and perhaps brain self-regulation in a young and healthy population. PMID:28133453

  15. Improving outcome of sensorimotor functions after traumatic spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, Volker

    2016-01-01

    In the rehabilitation of a patient suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI), the exploitation of neuroplasticity is well established. It can be facilitated through the training of functional movements with technical assistance as needed and can improve outcome after an SCI. The success of such training in individuals with incomplete SCI critically depends on the presence of physiological proprioceptive input to the spinal cord leading to meaningful muscle activations during movement performances. Some actual preclinical approaches to restore function by compensating for the loss of descending input to spinal networks following complete/incomplete SCI are critically discussed in this report. Electrical and pharmacological stimulation of spinal neural networks is still in the experimental stage, and despite promising repair studies in animal models, translations to humans up to now have not been convincing. It is possible that a combination of techniques targeting the promotion of axonal regeneration is necessary to advance the restoration of function. In the future, refinement of animal models according to clinical conditions and requirements may contribute to greater translational success. PMID:27303641

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. Comparison of three feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) point-of-care antigen test kits using blood and saliva.

    PubMed

    Westman, Mark E; Malik, Richard; Hall, Evelyn; Sheehy, Paul A; Norris, Jacqueline M

    2017-02-01

    Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) can be a challenging infection to diagnose due to a complex feline host-pathogen relationship and occasionally unreliable test results. This study compared the accuracy of three point-of-care (PoC) FeLV p27 antigen test kits commonly used in Australia and available commercially worldwide (SNAP FIV/FeLV Combo, Witness FeLV/FIV and Anigen Rapid FIV/FeLV), using detection of FeLV provirus by an in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay as the diagnostic gold standard. Blood (n=563) and saliva (n=419) specimens were collected from a population of cats determined to include 491 FeLV-uninfected and 72 FeLV-infected individuals (45 progressive infections [p27 and qPCR positive], 27 regressive infections [p27 negative, qPCR positive]). Sensitivity and specificity using whole blood was 63% and 94% for SNAP Combo, 57% and 98% for Witness, and 57% and 98% for Anigen Rapid, respectively. SNAP Combo had a significantly lower specificity using blood compared to the other two kits (P=0.004 compared to Witness, P=0.007 compared to Anigen Rapid). False-positive test results occurred with all three kits using blood, and although using any two kits in parallel increased specificity, no combination of kits completely eliminated the occurrence of false-positive results. We therefore recommend FeLV proviral PCR testing for any cat that tests positive with a PoC FeLV antigen kit, as well as for any cat that has been potentially exposed to FeLV but tests negative with a FeLV antigen kit, before final assignment of FeLV status can be made with confidence. For saliva testing, sensitivity and specificity was 54% and 100%, respectively, for all three test kits. The reduced sensitivity of saliva testing compared to blood testing, although not statistically significant, suggests saliva testing with the current generation of PoC FeLV antigen kits is unsuitable for screening large populations of cats, such as in shelters.

  18. EANM/ESC guidelines for radionuclide imaging of cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Hesse, B; Lindhardt, T B; Acampa, W; Anagnostopoulos, C; Ballinger, J; Bax, J J; Edenbrandt, L; Flotats, A; Germano, G; Stopar, T Gmeiner; Franken, P; Kelion, A; Kjaer, A; Le Guludec, D; Ljungberg, M; Maenhout, A F; Marcassa, C; Marving, J; McKiddie, F; Schaefer, W M; Stegger, L; Underwood, R

    2008-04-01

    Radionuclide imaging of cardiac function represents a number of well-validated techniques for accurate determination of right (RV) and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) and LV volumes. These first European guidelines give recommendations for how and when to use first-pass and equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography, gated myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, gated PET, and studies with non-imaging devices for the evaluation of cardiac function. The items covered are presented in 11 sections: clinical indications, radiopharmaceuticals and dosimetry, study acquisition, RV EF, LV EF, LV volumes, LV regional function, LV diastolic function, reports and image display and reference values from the literature of RVEF, LVEF and LV volumes. If specific recommendations given cannot be based on evidence from original, scientific studies, referral is given to "prevailing or general consensus". The guidelines are designed to assist in the practice of referral to, performance, interpretation and reporting of nuclear cardiology studies for the evaluation of cardiac performance.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Bcl-2 engineered MSCs inhibited apoptosis and improved heart function.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenzhong; Ma, Nan; Ong, Lee-Lee; Nesselmann, Catharina; Klopsch, Christian; Ladilov, Yury; Furlani, Dario; Piechaczek, Christoph; Moebius, Jeannette M; Lützow, Karola; Lendlein, Andreas; Stamm, Christof; Li, Ren-Ke; Steinhoff, Gustav

    2007-08-01

    Engraftment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from adult bone marrow has been proposed as a potential therapeutic approach for postinfarction left ventricular dysfunction. However, limited cell viability after transplantation into the myocardium has restricted its regenerative capacity. In this study, we genetically modified MSCs with an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 gene and evaluated cell survival, engraftment, revascularization, and functional improvement in a rat left anterior descending ligation model via intracardiac injection. Rat MSCs were manipulated to overexpress the Bcl-2 gene. In vitro, the antiapoptotic and paracrine effects were assessed under hypoxic conditions. In vivo, the Bcl-2 gene-modified MSCs (Bcl-2-MSCs) were injected after myocardial infarction. The surviving cells were tracked after transplantation. Capillary density was quantified after 3 weeks. The left ventricular function was evaluated by pressure-volume loops. The Bcl-2 gene protected MSCs against apoptosis. In vitro, Bcl-2 overexpression reduced MSC apoptosis by 32% and enhanced vascular endothelial growth factor secretion by more than 60% under hypoxic conditions. Transplantation with Bcl-2-MSCs increased 2.2-fold, 1.9-fold, and 1.2-fold of the cellular survival at 4 days, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks, respectively, compared with the vector-MSC group. Capillary density in the infarct border zone was 15% higher in Bcl-2-MSC transplanted animals than in vector-MSC treated animals. Furthermore, Bcl-2-MSC transplanted animals had 17% smaller infarct size than vector-MSC treated animals and exhibited functional recovery remarkably. Our current findings support the premise that transplantation of antiapoptotic gene-modified MSCs may have values for mediating substantial functional recovery after acute myocardial infarction.

  1. Improving Project Management with Simulation and Completion Distribution Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cates, Grant R.

    2004-01-01

    million per month is being spent on this project, which is scheduled to complete by 2010. NASA project stakeholders participated in determining and managing completion distribution functions produced from PAST. The first result was that project stakeholders improved project completion risk awareness. Secondly, using PAST, mitigation options were analyzed to improve project completion performance and reduce total project cost.

  2. PEDF improves cardiac function in rats with acute myocardial infarction via inhibiting vascular permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hao; Wang, Zheng; Feng, Shou-Jie; Xu, Lei; Shi, He-Xian; Chen, Li-Li; Yuan, Guang-Da; Yan, Wei; Zhuang, Wei; Zhang, Yi-Qian; Zhang, Zhong-Ming; Dong, Hong-Yan

    2015-03-11

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a pleiotropic gene with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic properties. However, recent reports about the effects of PEDF on cardiomyocytes are controversial, and it is not known whether and how PEDF acts to inhibit hypoxic or ischemic endothelial injury in the heart. In the present study, adult Sprague-Dawley rat models of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were surgically established. PEDF-small interfering RNA (siRNA)-lentivirus (PEDF-RNAi-LV) or PEDF-LV was delivered into the myocardium along the infarct border to knockdown or overexpress PEDF, respectively. Vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, myocardial infarct size and animal cardiac function were analyzed. We also evaluated PEDF's effect on the suppression of the endothelial permeability and cardiomyocyte apoptosis under hypoxia in vitro. The results indicated that PEDF significantly suppressed the vascular permeability and inhibited hypoxia-induced endothelial permeability through PPARγ-dependent tight junction (TJ) production. PEDF protected cardiomyocytes against ischemia or hypoxia-induced cell apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro via preventing the activation of caspase-3. We also found that PEDF significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and enhanced cardiac function in rats with AMI. These data suggest that PEDF could protect cardiac function from ischemic injury, at least by means of reducing vascular permeability, cardiomyocyte apoptosis and myocardial infarct size.

  3. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves aged brain function.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Satoru; Iwamoto, Machiko; Kon, Kazuo; Waki, Hatsue; Ando, Susumu; Tanaka, Yasukazu

    2010-07-01

    The effects of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), an acetyl derivative of L-carnitine, on memory and learning capacity and on brain synaptic functions of aged rats were examined. Male Fischer 344 rats were given ALCAR (100 mg/kg bodyweight) per os for 3 months and were subjected to the Hebb-Williams tasks and AKON-1 task to assess their learning capacity. Cholinergic activities were determined with synaptosomes isolated from brain cortices of the rats. Choline parameters, the high-affinity choline uptake, acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis and depolarization-evoked ACh release were all enhanced in the ALCAR group. An increment of depolarization-induced calcium ion influx into synaptosomes was also evident in rats given ALCAR. Electrophysiological studies using hippocampus slices indicated that the excitatory postsynaptic potential slope and population spike size were both increased in ALCAR-treated rats. These results indicate that ALCAR increases synaptic neurotransmission in the brain and consequently improves learning capacity in aging rats.

  4. Hydrogen sulfide improves neural function in rats following cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ji-Yan; Zhang, Min-Wei; Wang, Jin-Gao; Li, Hui; Wei, Hong-Yan; Liu, Rong; Dai, Gang; Liao, Xiao-Xing

    2016-02-01

    The alleviation of brain injury is a key issue following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiological process of ischemia-reperfusion injury, and exerts a protective effect on neurons. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of H2S on neural functions following cardiac arrest (CA) in rats. A total of 60 rats were allocated at random into three groups. CA was induced to establish the model and CPR was performed after 6 min. Subsequently, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), hydroxylamine or saline was administered to the rats. Serum levels of H2S, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100β were determined following CPR. In addition, neurological deficit scoring (NDS), the beam walking test (BWT), prehensile traction test and Morris water maze experiment were conducted. Neuronal apoptosis rates were detected in the hippocampal region following sacrifice. After CPR, as the H2S levels increased or decreased, the serum NSE and S100β concentrations decreased or increased, respectively (P<0.0w. The NDS results of the NaHS group were improved compared with those of the hydroxylamine group at 24 h after CPR (P<0.05). In the Morris water maze experiment, BWT and prehensile traction test the animals in the NaHS group performed best and rats in the hydroxylamine group performed worst. At day 7, the apoptotic index and the expression of caspase-3 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 region, while the expression of Bcl-2 increased in the NaHS group; and results of the hydroxylamine group were in contrast. Therefore, the results of the present study indicate that H2S is able to improve neural function in rats following CPR.

  5. Functional improvement of dystrophic muscle by myostatin blockade.

    PubMed

    Bogdanovich, Sasha; Krag, Thomas O B; Barton, Elisabeth R; Morris, Linda D; Whittemore, Lisa-Anne; Ahima, Rexford S; Khurana, Tejvir S

    2002-11-28

    Mice and cattle with mutations in the myostatin (GDF8) gene show a marked increase in body weight and muscle mass, indicating that this new member of the TGF-beta superfamily is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. Inhibition of the myostatin gene product is predicted to increase muscle mass and improve the disease phenotype in a variety of primary and secondary myopathies. We tested the ability of inhibition of myostatin in vivo to ameliorate the dystrophic phenotype in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Blockade of endogenous myostatin by using intraperitoneal injections of blocking antibodies for three months resulted in an increase in body weight, muscle mass, muscle size and absolute muscle strength in mdx mouse muscle along with a significant decrease in muscle degeneration and concentrations of serum creatine kinase. The functional improvement of dystrophic muscle by myostatin blockade provides a novel, pharmacological strategy for treatment of diseases associated with muscle wasting such as DMD, and circumvents the major problems associated with conventional gene therapy in these disorders.

  6. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the ADS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Metoprolol Improves Endothelial Function in Patients with Cardiac Syndrome X

    PubMed Central

    Majidinia, Maryam; Rasmi, Yousef; Khadem Ansari, Mohammad Hassan; Seyed-Mohammadzad, MirHossein; Saboory, Ehsan; Shirpoor, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Endothelial dysfunction which is manifested by the loss of nitric oxide bioavailability, is an increasingly recognized cause of cardiac syndrome X (CSX) and beta blockers are used for the treatment of this syndrome. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate effects of metoprolol, as a beta blocker, on endothelial function in CSX patients. The study included 25 CSX patients (20 female/ 5 male, mean age: 55.36±10.31 years) who received metoprolol (50 mg BID) for one month. In addition, 25 healthy controls (20 female/ 5 male, mean age: 54.32 ±9.27 years) were enrolled. Levels of endothelin-1, E-selectin, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in controls and CSX patients were measured, both at the baseline and after the treatment, by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In CSX patients, at the baseline, levels of E-selectin and VCAM-1 were significantly higher than those of the controls. In addition, levels of these biomarkers in CSX patients after the treatment significantly decreased compared to the baseline. In spite of similar tendency, these differences were not significant for endothelin-1. In conclusion, metoprolol therapy improves endothelial function. Thus, it may be a suggested choice for CSX treatment. However, further studies are needed to confirm the clinical significance of metoprolol therapy for CSX patients. PMID:27980592

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Lingo-1 is a negative regulator of myelination. Repairment of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS)/experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), requires activation of the myelination program. In this study, we observed the effect of RNA interference on Lingo-1 expression, and the impact of Lingo-1 suppression on functional recovery and myelination/remyelination in EAE mice. Lentiviral vectors encoding Lingo-1 short hairpin RNA (LV/Lingo-1-shRNA) were constructed to inhibit Lingo-1 expression. LV/Lingo-1-shRNA of different titers were transferred into myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced EAE mice by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection. Meanwhile, lentiviral vectors carrying nonsense gene sequence (LVCON053) were used as negative control. The Lingo-1 expression was detected and locomotor function was evaluated at different time points (on days 1,3,7,14,21, and 30 after ICV injection). Myelination was investigated by luxol fast blue (LFB) staining.LV/Lingo-1-shRNA administration via ICV injection could efficiently down-regulate the Lingo-1 mRNA and protein expression in EAE mice on days 7,14,21, and 30 (P < 0.01), especially in the 5 × 10(8) TU/mL and 5 × 10(9) TU/mL LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups. The locomotor function score in the LV/Lingo-1-shRNA treated groups were significantly lower than the untreated or LVCON053 group from day 7 on. The 5 × 10(8) TU/mL LV/Lingo-1-shRNA group achieved the best functional improvement (0.87 ± 0.11 vs. 3.05 ± 0.13, P < 0.001). Enhanced myelination/remyelination was observed in the 5 × 10(7) , 5 × 10(8) , 5 × 10(9) TU/mL LV/Lingo-1-shRNA groups by LFB staining (P < 0.05, P < 0.01, and P < 0.05).The data showed that administering LV/Lingo-1-shRNA by ICV injection could efficiently knockdown Lingo-1 expression in vivo, improve functional recovery and enhance myelination/remyelination. Antagonism of Lingo-1 by RNA interference is, therefore, a promising approach for the

  9. Analysis of critical operating conditions for LV distribution networks with microgrids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehir, M. A.; Batman, A.; Sonmez, M. A.; Font, A.; Tsiamitros, D.; Stimoniaris, D.; Kollatou, T.; Bagriyanik, M.; Ozdemir, A.; Dialynas, E.

    2016-11-01

    Increase in the penetration of Distributed Generation (DG) in distribution networks, raises the risk of voltage limit violations while contributing to line losses. Especially in low voltage (LV) distribution networks (secondary distribution networks), impacts of active power flows on the bus voltages and on the network losses are more dominant. As network operators must meet regulatory limitations, they have to take into account the most critical operating conditions in their systems. In this study, it is aimed to present the impact of the worst operation cases of LV distribution networks comprising microgrids. Simulation studies are performed on a field data-based virtual test-bed. The simulations are repeated for several cases consisting different microgrid points of connection with different network loading and microgrid supply/demand conditions.

  10. Resistance to RadLV-induced leukemia: non-participation of splenic natural killer cells

    SciTech Connect

    St.-Pierre, Y.; Hugo, P.; Lemieux, S.; Lussier, G.; Potworowski, E.F.

    1988-08-01

    The phenotypic expression of genetically determined resistance to radiation leukemia virus (RadLV)-induced leukemia in mice has been shown to reside in the bone marrow. Because the bone marrow contains precursors of natural killer (NK) cells, known to play a role in retrovirally induced infections, and because these cells have been suggested as participating in resistance to radiation-induced leukemia, it was pertinent to establish whether their levels differed in strains of mice susceptible and resistant to leukemia. We therefore tested splenic NK cell levels in C57BL/Ka (susceptible) and B10.A(5R) (resistant) mice before viral inoculation, immediately after viral inoculation, and throughout the preleukemic period and showed that they were not different. This indicates that splenic NK cell levels have no bearing on the resistance to RadLV-induced leukemia and that other immune or non-immune mechanisms must be sought.

  11. Ascribing Functions to Genes: Journey Towards Genetic Improvement of Rice Via Functional Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Mustafiz, Ananda; Kumari, Sumita; Karan, Ratna

    2016-01-01

    Rice, one of the most important cereal crops for mankind, feeds more than half the world population. Rice has been heralded as a model cereal owing to its small genome size, amenability to easy transformation, high synteny to other cereal crops and availability of complete genome sequence. Moreover, sequence wealth in rice is getting more refined and precise due to resequencing efforts. This humungous resource of sequence data has confronted research fraternity with a herculean challenge as well as an excellent opportunity to functionally validate expressed as well as regulatory portions of the genome. This will not only help us in understanding the genetic basis of plant architecture and physiology but would also steer us towards developing improved cultivars. No single technique can achieve such a mammoth task. Functional genomics through its diverse tools viz. loss and gain of function mutants, multifarious omics strategies like transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics provide us with the necessary handle. A paradigm shift in technological advances in functional genomics strategies has been instrumental in generating considerable amount of information w.r.t functionality of rice genome. We now have several databases and online resources for functionally validated genes but despite that we are far from reaching the desired milestone of functionally characterizing each and every rice gene. There is an urgent need for a common platform, for information already available in rice, and collaborative efforts between researchers in a concerted manner as well as healthy public-private partnership, for genetic improvement of rice crop better able to handle the pressures of climate change and exponentially increasing population. PMID:27252584

  12. High prevalence of non-productive FeLV infection in necropsied cats and significant association with pathological findings.

    PubMed

    Suntz, M; Failing, K; Hecht, W; Schwartz, D; Reinacher, M

    2010-07-01

    Applying a combination of semi-nested PCR and immunohistology (IHC), the presence of exogenous feline leukemia virus infection was studied in 302 necropsied cats with various disorders. 9% showed the classical outcome of persistent productive FeLV infection which was represented by FeLV antigen expression in different organs. 152 cats (50%) harboured exogenous FeLV-specific proviral sequences in the bone marrow but did not express viral antigen. These cats were considered as horizontally but non-productively infected. Statistical evaluation showed a significant association of non-productive horizontal FeLV infection with a variety of parameters. Non-productively infected cats were statistically significantly older and more often originated from animal shelters than cats without exogenous FeLV infection. Furthermore, some pathological disorders like anemia, panleukopenia, and purulent inflammation showed significant association with non-productive FeLV infection. No significant association was found with lymphosarcoma, known for a long time to be induced by productive FeLV infection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Boosting brain functions: Improving executive functions with behavioral training, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback.

    PubMed

    Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Huster, René J; Herrmann, Christoph S

    2013-04-01

    Cognitive enhancement is a popular topic, attracting attention both from the general public and the scientific research community. Higher cognitive functions are involved in various aspects of everyday life and have been associated with manifest behavioral and psychiatric mental impairments when deteriorated. The improvement of these so-called executive functions (EFs) is of high individual, social, and economic relevances. This review provides a synopsis of two lines of research, investigating the enhancement of capabilities in executive functioning: a) computerized behavioral trainings, and b) approaches for direct neuromodulation (neurofeedback and transcranial electrostimulation). Task switching, memory updating, response inhibition, and dual task performance are addressed in terms of cognitive functions. It has been shown that behavioral cognitive training leads to enhanced performance in task switching, memory updating, and dual tasks. Similarly, direct neurocognitive modulation of brain regions that are crucially involved in specific EFs also leads to behavioral benefits in response inhibition, task switching, and memory updating. Response inhibition performance has been shown to be improved by neurostimulation of the right inferior frontal cortex, whereas neurostimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex exerts effects on task switching and memory updating. Due to a lack of consistency in experimental methods and findings, a comparison of different training approaches concerning their effectiveness is not yet possible. So far, current data suggest that training gains may indeed generalize to untrained tasks aiming at the same cognitive process, as well as across cognitive domains within executive control.

  15. Improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity correlates with perception of improved hand function in patients after hand surgery.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Shuhei; Kon, Noriko

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to elucidate how well patients' perceptions related to the improvements in their hand function during hospitalization. [Subjects] Sixteen patients who were hospitalized after hand surgery. [Methods] Using the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand edition of the Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire; tactile roughness discrimination acuity, motor imagery, motor function, sensory function, and pain of the upper limb were assessed at admission and discharge. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficients were calculated using the differences in all assessment items at admission and discharge. A multiple regression analysis (stepwise method) was performed to investigate factors that correlated with improvements in Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores. [Results] The improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity was significantly associated with patient perception of improved hand function. [Conclusion] The results suggest that an improvement in tactile roughness discrimination acuity was most strongly correlated with patient perception of improved hand function.

  16. Changes in collagen metabolism account for ventricular functional recovery following beta-blocker therapy in patients with chronic heart failure.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Miho; Goda, Akiko; Komamura, Kazuo; Nakabo, Ayumi; Masaki, Mitsuru; Yoshida, Chikako; Hirotani, Shinichi; Lee-Kawabata, Masaaki; Tsujino, Takeshi; Mano, Toshiaki; Masuyama, Tohru

    2016-02-01

    While beta blockade improves left ventricular (LV) function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), the mechanisms are not well known. This study aimed to examine whether changes in myocardial collagen metabolism account for LV functional recovery following beta-blocker therapy in 62 CHF patients with reduced ejection fraction (EF). LV function was echocardiographically measured at baseline and 1, 6, and 12 months after bisoprolol therapy along with serum markers of collagen metabolism including C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CITP) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. Deceleration time of mitral early velocity (DcT) increased even in the early phase, but LVEF gradually improved throughout the study period. Heart rate (HR) was reduced from the early stage, and CITP gradually decreased. LVEF and DcT increased more so in patients with the larger decreases in CITP (r = -0.33, p < 0.05; r = -0.28, p < 0.05, respectively), and HR (r = -0.31, p < 0.05; r = -0.38, p < 0.05, respectively). In addition, there were greater decreases in CITP, MMP-2 and HR from baseline to 1, 6, or 12 months in patients with above-average improvement in LVEF than in those with below-average improvement in LVEF. Similar results were obtained in terms of DcT. There was no significant correlation between the changes in HR and CITP. In conclusion, improvement in LV systolic/diastolic function was greatest in patients with the larger inhibition of collagen degradation. Changes in myocardial collagen metabolism are closely related to LV functional recovery somewhat independently from HR reduction.

  17. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 activation in heart failure restores mitochondrial function and improves ventricular function and remodelling

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Katia M.S.; Campos, Juliane C.; Bechara, Luiz R.G.; Queliconi, Bruno; Lima, Vanessa M.; Disatnik, Marie-Helene; Magno, Paulo; Chen, Che-Hong; Brum, Patricia C.; Kowaltowski, Alicia J.; Mochly-Rosen, Daria; Ferreira, Julio C.B.

    2014-01-01

    Aims We previously demonstrated that pharmacological activation of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) protects the heart against acute ischaemia/reperfusion injury. Here, we determined the benefits of chronic activation of ALDH2 on the progression of heart failure (HF) using a post-myocardial infarction model. Methods and results We showed that a 6-week treatment of myocardial infarction-induced HF rats with a selective ALDH2 activator (Alda-1), starting 4 weeks after myocardial infarction at a time when ventricular remodelling and cardiac dysfunction were present, improved cardiomyocyte shortening, cardiac function, left ventricular compliance and diastolic function under basal conditions, and after isoproterenol stimulation. Importantly, sustained Alda-1 treatment showed no toxicity and promoted a cardiac anti-remodelling effect by suppressing myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis. Moreover, accumulation of 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE)-protein adducts and protein carbonyls seen in HF was not observed in Alda-1-treated rats, suggesting that increasing the activity of ALDH2 contributes to the reduction of aldehydic load in failing hearts. ALDH2 activation was associated with improved mitochondrial function, including elevated mitochondrial respiratory control ratios and reduced H2O2 release. Importantly, selective ALDH2 activation decreased mitochondrial Ca2+-induced permeability transition and cytochrome c release in failing hearts. Further supporting a mitochondrial mechanism for ALDH2, Alda-1 treatment preserved mitochondrial function upon in vitro aldehydic load. Conclusions Selective activation of mitochondrial ALDH2 is sufficient to improve the HF outcome by reducing the toxic effects of aldehydic overload on mitochondrial bioenergetics and reactive oxygen species generation, suggesting that ALDH2 activators, such as Alda-1, have a potential therapeutic value for treating HF patients. PMID:24817685

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. A device for the functional improvement of lagophthalmos.

    PubMed

    Aşik, Mehmet Doğan; Yaprak, Bülent; Güven, Erdem; Karabulut, Aylin Bilgin; Güçlü, Burak

    2013-07-01

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

  20. Applying Quality Function Deployment Model in Burn Unit Service Improvement.

    PubMed

    Keshtkaran, Ali; Hashemi, Neda; Kharazmi, Erfan; Abbasi, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    Quality function deployment (QFD) is one of the most effective quality design tools. This study applies QFD technique to improve the quality of the burn unit services in Ghotbedin Hospital in Shiraz, Iran. First, the patients' expectations of burn unit services and their priorities were determined through Delphi method. Thereafter, burn unit service specifications were determined through Delphi method. Further, the relationships between the patients' expectations and service specifications and also the relationships between service specifications were determined through an expert group's opinion. Last, the final importance scores of service specifications were calculated through simple additive weighting method. The findings show that burn unit patients have 40 expectations in six different areas. These expectations are in 16 priority levels. Burn units also have 45 service specifications in six different areas. There are four-level relationships between the patients' expectations and service specifications and four-level relationships between service specifications. The most important burn unit service specifications have been identified in this study. The QFD model developed in the study can be a general guideline for QFD planners and executives.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-21

    Age-related skeletal muscle dysfunction is a leading cause of morbidity that affects up to half the population aged 80 or greater. Here we tested the effects of increased mitochondrial antioxidant activity on age-dependent skeletal muscle dysfunction using transgenic mice with targeted overexpression of the human catalase gene to mitochondria (MCat mice). Aged MCat mice exhibited improved voluntary exercise, increased skeletal muscle specific force and tetanic Ca(2+) transients, decreased intracellular Ca(2+) leak and increased sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) load compared with age-matched wild type (WT) littermates. Furthermore, ryanodine receptor 1 (the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release channel required for skeletal muscle contraction; RyR1) from aged MCat mice was less oxidized, depleted of the channel stabilizing subunit, calstabin1, and displayed increased single channel open probability (Po). Overall, these data indicate a direct role for mitochondrial free radicals in promoting the pathological intracellular Ca(2+) leak that underlies age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle function. This study harbors implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies, including mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for treatment of mitochondrial myopathies and other healthspan-limiting disorders.

  2. Tridecanoin is anticonvulsant, antioxidant, and improves mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kah Ni; Carrasco-Pozo, Catalina; McDonald, Tanya S; Puchowicz, Michelle; Borges, Karin

    2016-07-14

    The hypothesis that chronic feeding of the triglycerides of octanoate (trioctanoin) and decanoate (tridecanoin) in "a regular non-ketogenic diet" is anticonvulsant was tested and possible mechanisms of actions were subsequently investigated. Chronic feeding of 35E% of calories from tridecanoin, but not trioctanoin, was reproducibly anticonvulsant in two acute CD1 mouse seizure models. The levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate in plasma and brain were not significantly increased by either treatment relative to control diet. The respective decanoate and octanoate levels are 76 µM and 33 µM in plasma and 1.17 and 2.88 nmol/g in brain. Tridecanoin treatment did not alter the maximal activities of several glycolytic enzymes, suggesting that there is no reduction in glycolysis contributing to anticonvulsant effects. In cultured astrocytes, 200 µM of octanoic and decanoic acids increased basal respiration and ATP turnover, suggesting that both medium chain fatty acids are used as fuel. Only decanoic acid increased mitochondrial proton leak which may reduce oxidative stress. In mitochondria isolated from hippocampal formations, tridecanoin increased respiration linked to ATP synthesis, indicating that mitochondrial metabolic functions are improved. In addition, tridecanoin increased the plasma antioxidant capacity and hippocampal mRNA levels of heme oxygenase 1, and FoxO1.

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

    PubMed

    McClements, David Julian

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-02-01

    This work presents an improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method (Kong et al., 2009; Campañá and Müser, 2004 [1,2]), which enables one to study the elastic response of a three-dimensional solid to an external stress field by taking into consideration only atoms near the surface. In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the Γ-point were altered to reduce finite size effects: their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes were set to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. It turns out that a violation of the acoustic sum rule for the effective elastic coefficients at Γ (Kong, 2010 [3]) was responsible for this behavior. In the new version, the acoustic sum rule is enforced by adopting an iterative procedure, which is found to be physically more meaningful than the previous one. In addition, the new algorithm allows one to treat lattices with bases and the Green's function slab is no longer confined to one layer. New version program summaryProgram title: FixGFC/FixGFMD v1.12 Catalogue identifier: AECW_v1_1 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AECW_v1_1.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 206 436 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 4 314 850 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++ Computer: All Operating system: Linux Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Yes. Code has been parallelized using MPI directives. RAM: Depends on the problem Classification: 7.7 External routines: LAMMPS ( http://lammps.sandia.gov/), MPI ( http

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, I.P.; McKnight, A.

    2011-06-20

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

  7. The immune responses triggered by CpG ODNs in shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei are associated with LvTolls.

    PubMed

    Sun, Rui; Wang, Mengqiang; Wang, Lingling; Yue, Feng; Yi, Qilin; Huang, Mengmeng; Liu, Rui; Qiu, Limei; Song, Linsheng

    2014-03-01

    CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) represent a kind of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) as well as a novel adjuvant that activate the innate immune system through interaction with Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in mammals. In the present study, the synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides, CpG ODN 2395, was employed to investigate the interactive mode of CpG ODNs with three known Tolls (LvToll1-3) from shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. The mature peptides of extracellular domains of LvTolls (LvToll-ECDs) were recombinant expressed and their binding activities to CpG ODN 2395 were further examined by ELISA. rLvToll1-ECD and rLvToll3-ECD exhibited affinity to CpG ODN 2395 in a dose-dependent manner when their concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 2.00 μmol/L, while rLvToll2-ECD did not show any binding activities to CpG ODN 2395 in tested concentrations. Additionally, after the stimulation of CpG ODN 2395, the luciferase activities of HEK293T cells transfected with LvToll1-mosaic or LvToll3-mosaic were significantly increased to 2.38-fold (p<0.01) and 1.56-fold (p<0.01), while that in the HEK293T cells transfected with LvToll2-mosaic declined to 0.41-fold. The TNF-α activities were significantly enhanced (p<0.01), and a significant increase (p<0.05) of the NO production was observed at 12h post CpG ODN 2395 stimulation. Moreover, the induced TNF-α activities and increased NO production triggered by CpG ODN 2395 were abolished after the treatment of chloroquine (CQ). The uptake of CpG ODN 2395 by shrimp haemocytes was investigated using the laser scanning confocal microscope, and CpG ODN 2395 was observed to be internalized by the haemocytes and distributed in the cytoplasm with aggregated signals around the nucleuses. It suggested that the interactions of CpG ODNs with LvToll1 and LvToll3 as well as the mature of endosomes in the haemocytes of shrimp L. vannamei were indispensable for the triggering of immune responses by CpG ODNs, and the results provided a foundation

  8. Functioning in the Real World: Using Storytelling to Improve Validity in the Assessment of Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Annotti, Lee A; Teglasi, Hedwig

    2016-08-02

    Real-world contexts differ in the clarity of expectations for desired responses, as do assessment procedures, ranging along a continuum from maximal conditions that provide well-defined expectations to typical conditions that provide ill-defined expectations. Executive functions guide effective social interactions, but relations between them have not been studied with measures that are matched in the clarity of response expectations. In predicting teacher-rated social competence (SC) from kindergarteners' performance on tasks of executive functions (EFs), we found better model-data fit indexes when both measures were similar in the clarity of response expectations for the child. The maximal EF measure, the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, presents well-defined response expectations, and the typical EF measure, 5 scales from the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), presents ill-defined response expectations (i.e., Abstraction, Perceptual Integration, Cognitive-Experiential Integration, and Associative Thinking). To assess SC under maximal and typical conditions, we used 2 teacher-rated questionnaires, with items, respectively, that emphasize well-defined and ill-defined expectations: the Behavior Rating Inventory: Behavioral Regulation Index and the Social Skills Improvement System: Social Competence Scale. Findings suggest that matching clarity of expectations improves generalization across measures and highlight the usefulness of the TAT to measure EF.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Physical capacity and functional abilities improve in young adults with intellectual disabilities after functional training.

    PubMed

    Barwick, Ryan B; Tillman, Mark D; Stopka, Christine B; Dipnarine, Krishna; Delisle, Anthony; Sayedul Huq, Mona

    2012-06-01

    Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) have higher rates of obesity, lower rates of physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular endurance than do typically developed individuals (TDI) and are twice as likely to develop chronic disease, living half as long as TDIs do. The purpose of this study was to examine the improvements in physical capacity and functional ability in Special Olympic Athletes (SOAs) aged 19-22 years after participating in a functional training (FT) program and compare these scores with those of the SOAs in a resistance weight training (WT) program. Twenty SOAs (13 men, 7 women with mild to moderate ID) participated in a 1-hour FT program, twice a week, for 10 weeks, compared with 22 same-aged SOAs (14 men, 8 women) participating in a 1-hour WT program (2× week for 8 weeks). Prefitness and postfitness tests consisting of heart rate (HR) for the 3-minute step test, static plank, body weight squats, static bar hang, and knee push-ups were conducted. Two-tailed, paired sample t-tests (p < 0.05) were used to evaluate the differences in the FT group. Change scores were used to compare FTG with the WT group. The HR decreased by 31.8 b·min⁻¹ pre-post in the FTG (p < 0.001). Static plank duration improved by 22.4 seconds in the FTG (p = 0.016); static plank change scores improved (p = 0.037) for the FTG (26.5 ± 32.1 seconds compared with that for the WT group (4.6 ± 22 seconds). Height and weight values were unchanged in both the groups. The results of this study demonstrate the value of FT programs for this population, because weight equipment is not always available in many settings.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

    index (LV-ESVI). This improved to 91.9% with inclusion of the RMS-P2PD biomarker and was congruent with improvements in both sensitivity for classifying patients and specificity for identifying asymptomatic controls from 82.6% up to 95.7%. RMS-P2PD, when contrasted against a collective normal reference, is a promising biomarker to investigate further in its utility for identifying quantitative signs of pathological endocardial function which may boost standard image makers as precursors of declining cardiac performance.

  12. Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

    Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during adaption to G-transitions that occur when entering and exiting microgravity. Post space flight, these sensorimotor disturbances can include postural and gait instability, visual performance changes, manual control disruptions, spatial disorientation, and motion sickness, all of which can hinder the operational capabilities of the astronauts. Crewmember safety would be significantly increased if sensorimotor changes brought on by gravitational changes could be mitigated and adaptation could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate and develop the use of electrical stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a countermeasure to augment sensorimotor function and facilitate adaptation. For this project, SVS will be applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes at imperceptible amplitude levels. We hypothesize that SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through the phenomena of stochastic resonance, which occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. In line with the theory of stochastic resonance, a specific optimal level of SVS will be found and tested for each subject [1]. Three experiments are planned to investigate the use of SVS in sensory-dependent tasks and performance. The first experiment will aim to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system through perception based motion recognition thresholds obtained using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform in the Jenks Vestibular Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. A range of SVS amplitudes will be applied to each subject and the subjectspecific optimal SVS level will be identified as that which results in the lowest motion recognition threshold, through previously established, well developed methods [2,3,4]. The second experiment will investigate the use of optimal SVS in facilitating sensorimotor adaptation to system

  13. Clinical Practice Guideline: Improving Nasal Form and Function after Rhinoplasty.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Lisa E; Tollefson, Travis T; Basura, Gregory J; Rosenfeld, Richard M; Abramson, Peter J; Chaiet, Scott R; Davis, Kara S; Doghramji, Karl; Farrior, Edward H; Finestone, Sandra A; Ishman, Stacey L; Murphy, Robert X; Park, John G; Setzen, Michael; Strike, Deborah J; Walsh, Sandra A; Warner, Jeremy P; Nnacheta, Lorraine C

    2017-02-01

    variations, and clinical concerns associated with this surgical procedure; it is not intended to be a comprehensive reference for improving nasal form and function after rhinoplasty. Recommendations in this guideline concerning education and counseling to the patient are also intended to include the caregiver if the patient is <18 years of age. Action Statements The Guideline Development Group made the following recommendations: (1) Clinicians should ask all patients seeking rhinoplasty about their motivations for surgery and their expectations for outcomes, should provide feedback on whether those expectations are a realistic goal of surgery, and should document this discussion in the medical record. (2) Clinicians should assess rhinoplasty candidates for comorbid conditions that could modify or contraindicate surgery, including obstructive sleep apnea, body dysmorphic disorder, bleeding disorders, or chronic use of topical vasoconstrictive intranasal drugs. (3) The surgeon, or the surgeon's designee, should evaluate the rhinoplasty candidate for nasal airway obstruction during the preoperative assessment. (4) The surgeon, or the surgeon's designee, should educate rhinoplasty candidates regarding what to expect after surgery, how surgery might affect the ability to breathe through the nose, potential complications of surgery, and the possible need for future nasal surgery. (5) The clinician, or the clinician's designee, should counsel rhinoplasty candidates with documented obstructive sleep apnea about the impact of surgery on nasal airway obstruction and how obstructive sleep apnea might affect perioperative management. (6) The surgeon, or the surgeon's designee, should educate rhinoplasty patients before surgery about strategies to manage discomfort after surgery. (7) Clinicians should document patients' satisfaction with their nasal appearance and with their nasal function at a minimum of 12 months after rhinoplasty. The Guideline Development Group made recommendations

  14. Development and evaluation of a semiautomatic segmentation method for the estimation of LV parameters on cine MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazonakis, Michalis; Grinias, Elias; Pagonidis, Konstantin; Tziritas, George; Damilakis, John

    2010-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a semiautomatic method for left ventricular (LV) segmentation on cine MR images and subsequent estimation of cardiac parameters. The study group comprised cardiac MR examinations of 18 consecutive patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. The new method allowed the automatic detection of the LV endocardial and epicardial boundaries on each short-axis cine MR image using a Bayesian flooding segmentation algorithm and weighted least-squares B-splines minimization. Manual editing of the automatic contours could be performed for unsatisfactory segmentation results. The end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), ejection fraction (EF) and LV mass estimated by the new method were compared with the reference values obtained by manually tracing the LV cavity borders. The reproducibility of the new method was determined using data from two independent observers. The mean number of endocardial and epicardial outlines not requiring any manual adjustment was more than 80% and 76% of the total contour number per study, respectively. The mean segmentation time including the required manual corrections was 2.3 ± 0.7 min per patient. LV volumes estimated by the semiautomatic method were significantly lower than those by manual tracing (P < 0.05), whereas no difference was found for EF and LV mass (P > 0.05). LV indices estimated by the two methods were well correlated (r >= 0.80). The mean difference between manual and semiautomatic method for estimating EDV, ESV, EF and LV mass was 6.1 ± 7.2 ml, 3.0 ± 5.2 ml, -0.6 ± 4.3% and -6.2 ± 12.2 g, respectively. The intraobserver and interobserver variability associated with the semiautomatic determination of LV indices was 0.5-1.2% and 0.8-3.9%, respectively. The estimation of LV parameters with the new semiautomatic segmentation method is technically feasible, highly reproducible and time effective.

  15. An efficient method for accurate segmentation of LV in contrast-enhanced cardiac MR images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryanarayana K., Venkata; Mitra, Abhishek; Srikrishnan, V.; Jo, Hyun Hee; Bidesi, Anup

    2016-03-01

    Segmentation of left ventricle (LV) in contrast-enhanced cardiac MR images is a challenging task because of high variability in the image intensity. This is due to a) wash-in and wash-out of the contrast agent over time and b) poor contrast around the epicardium (outer wall) region. Current approaches for segmentation of the endocardium (inner wall) usually involve application of a threshold within the region of interest, followed by refinement techniques like active contours. A limitation of this method is under-segmentation of the inner wall because of gradual loss of contrast at the wall boundary. On the other hand, the challenge in outer wall segmentation is the lack of reliable boundaries because of poor contrast. There are four main contributions in this paper to address the aforementioned issues. First, a seed image is selected using variance based approach on 4D time-frame images over which initial endocardium and epicardium is segmented. Secondly, we propose a patch based feature which overcomes the problem of gradual contrast loss for LV endocardium segmentation. Third, we propose a novel Iterative-Edge-Refinement (IER) technique for epicardium segmentation. Fourth, we propose a greedy search algorithm for propagating the initial contour segmented on seed-image across other time frame images. We have experimented our technique on five contrast-enhanced cardiac MR Datasets (4D) having a total of 1097 images. The segmentation results for all 1097 images have been visually inspected by a clinical expert and have shown good accuracy.

  16. Motor function improvement following intrathecal baclofen pump placement in a patient with locked-in syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cairns, Kevin; Stein, Joel

    2002-04-01

    We describe a patient with locked-in syndrome who had minimal volitional motor function and severe spasticity in all four extremities. The patient showed a significant improvement in volitional motor function following intrathecal baclofen pump therapy to control spasticity. This case study suggests that intrathecal baclofen pump therapy might improve motor function in select patients with locked-in syndrome.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Hypnotic Relaxation and Yoga to Improve Sleep and School Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perfect, Michelle M.; Smith, Bradley

    2016-01-01

    Sleep insufficiency, defined as inadequate sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness, has been linked with students' learning and behavioral outcomes at school. However, there is limited research on interventions designed to improve the sleep of school-age children. In order to promote more interest on this critical topic, we…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Executive function needs to be targeted to improve social functioning with Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Penadés, Rafael; Catalán, Rosa; Puig, Olga; Masana, Guillem; Pujol, Núria; Navarro, Víctor; Guarch, Joana; Gastó, Cristóbal

    2010-05-15

    While the role of impaired cognition in accounting for functional outcome in schizophrenia is generally established, the relationship between cognitive and functional change in the context of treatments is far from clear. The current paper tries to identify which cognitive changes lead to improvements in daily functioning among persons with chronic schizophrenia who had current negative symptoms and evidenced neuropsychological impairments. In a previous work, Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) was compared with a control therapy, involving similar length of therapist contact but different targets. At the end of treatment, CRT conferred a benefit to people with schizophrenia in cognition and functioning [Schizophrenia Research, 87 (2006) 323-331]. Subsequently, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted with baseline and cognitive change scores as covariates to test whether cognitive change predicted change in functioning. Additionally, statistical tests to establish the mediation path with significant variables were performed. Although verbal memory, but not executive functioning, was associated with functioning at baseline, it was the improvement in executive functioning that predicted improved daily functioning. Verbal memory played a mediator role in the change process. Consequently, in order to improve daily functioning with CRT, executive function still needs to be targeted in despite of multiple cognitive impairments being present.

  1. Improving compact gravity inversion based on new weighting functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghalehnoee, Mohammad Hossein; Ansari, Abdolhamid; Ghorbani, Ahmad

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a method to estimate the geometry, location and densities of anomalies coming from two-dimensional gravity data based on compact gravity inversion technique. Compact gravity inversion is simple, fast and user friendly but severely depends on the number of model parameters, i.e. by increasing the model parameters, the anomalies tend to concentrate near the surface. To overcome this ambiguity new weighting functions based on density contrast, depth, and compactness models have been introduced. Variable compactness factors have been defined here to get either a sharp or a smooth model based on the depth of the source or existence of prior information. Depth weighting derived from one station of gravity data whereas the effect of gravity data is two- and three-dimensional. To compensate this limitation an innovating weighting function namely kernel function has been introduced which multiplies with weight and compactness matrixes to yield a general model weighting function. The method is tested using three different sets of synthetic examples: a body at various depths (20, 40, 80 and 140 m), two bodies at the same depth but various distances to estimate lateral resolution and three bodies with negative and positive density contrast in different depths. The method is also applied to three real gravity data of Woodlawn massive sulfide body, sulfides mineralization of British Colombia and iron ore body of Missouri. The method produces solutions consistent with the known geologic attributes of the gravity sources, illustrating its potential practicality.

  2. Improving compact gravity inversion using new weighting functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghalehnoee, Mohammad Hossein; Ansari, Abdolhamid; Ghorbani, Ahmad

    2017-01-01

    We have developed a method to estimate the geometry, location and densities of anomalies coming from 2-D gravity data based on compact gravity inversion technique. Compact gravity inversion is simple, fast and user friendly but severely depends on the number of model parameters, that is, by increasing the model parameters, the anomalies tend to concentrate near the surface. To overcome this ambiguity new weighting functions based on density contrast, depth, and compactness models have been introduced. Variable compactness factors have been defined here to get either a sharp or a smooth model based on the depth of the source or existence of prior information. Depth weighting derived from one station of gravity data whereas the effect of gravity data is 2-D and 3-D. To compensate this limitation an innovating weighting function namely kernel function has been introduced which multiplies with weight and compactness matrixes to yield a general model weighting function. The method is tested using three different sets of synthetic examples: a body at various depths (20, 40, 80 and 140 m), two bodies at the same depth but various distances to estimate lateral resolution and three bodies with negative and positive density contrast in different depths. The method is also applied to three real gravity data of Woodlawn massive sulphide body, sulphides mineralization of British Colombia and iron ore body of Missouri. The method produces solutions consistent with the known geologic attributes of the gravity sources, illustrating its potential practicality.

  3. Red raspberries can improve motor function in aged rats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    BACKGROUND: Many foods rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds have been shown to increase health and reduce markers of aging. A number of berry fruits high in polyphenols are known to ameliorate age-related declines in cellular, cognitive and behavioral function in rats. OBJECTIVES: Thi...

  4. The Lean Reference Collection: Improving Functionality through Selection and Weeding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolan, Christopher W.

    1991-01-01

    Discusses references collections in academic libraries and offers guidelines for placing materials in a reference collection that focus on their suitability for true reference functions and the expected frequency of use. Problems with poorly managed collections are discussed, and the importance of selection policies and weeding are emphasized. (37…

  5. Improved response functions for gamma-ray skyshine analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-09-01

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

  6. Improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity correlates with perception of improved hand function in patients after hand surgery

    PubMed Central

    Fujimoto, Shuhei; Kon, Noriko

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to elucidate how well patients’ perceptions related to the improvements in their hand function during hospitalization. [Subjects] Sixteen patients who were hospitalized after hand surgery. [Methods] Using the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand edition of the Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire; tactile roughness discrimination acuity, motor imagery, motor function, sensory function, and pain of the upper limb were assessed at admission and discharge. Spearman’s rank-order correlation coefficients were calculated using the differences in all assessment items at admission and discharge. A multiple regression analysis (stepwise method) was performed to investigate factors that correlated with improvements in Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores. [Results] The improvement of tactile roughness discrimination acuity was significantly associated with patient perception of improved hand function. [Conclusion] The results suggest that an improvement in tactile roughness discrimination acuity was most strongly correlated with patient perception of improved hand function. PMID:27190473

  7. Training improves walking capacity and cardiovascular function in arteritis.

    PubMed

    Lima, Aluísio H R de A; Lins-Filho, Ozéas L; Soares, Antonio H G; Batista, Rafael M F; Ritti-Dias, Raphael M

    2014-06-01

    Patients with arteritis have a high risk of mortality from cardiovascular disorders. However, whether these patients benefit from an intervention involving exercise remains unclear. In this study, we assessed the effects of an unsupervised exercise program on walking capacity, quality of life, and cardiovascular parameters of a patient with arteritis. A 33-year-old man reporting symptoms of claudication during walking was studied. Imaging tests revealed severe atherosclerosis and arteritis was diagnosed. Five weekly sessions of walking for 16 weeks increased claudication distance and total walking distance, produced improvements in six out of the eight health-related quality-of-life domains, decreased systolic blood pressure, and changed cardiac autonomic modulation toward parasympathetic modulation. This case report showed that unsupervised exercise training improved walking capacity, quality of life, and cardiovascular parameters in a patient with arteritis.

  8. The frequency of occurrence and nature of recombinant feline leukemia viruses in the induction of multicentric lymphoma by infection of the domestic cat with FeLV-945.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Shamim; Levy, Laura S

    2010-08-01

    During feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection in the domestic cat, viruses with a novel envelope gene arise by recombination between endogenous FeLV-related elements and the exogenous infecting species. These recombinant viruses (FeLV-B) are of uncertain disease association, but have been linked to the induction of thymic lymphoma. To assess the role of FeLV-B in the induction of multicentric lymphoma and other non-T-cell disease, the frequency of occurrence and nature of FeLV-B were examined in diseased tissues from a large collection of FeLV-infected animals. Diseased tissues were examined by Southern blot and PCR amplification to detect the presence of FeLV-B. Further analysis was performed to establish the recombination junctions and infectivity of FeLV-B in diseased tissues. The results confirmed the frequent association of FeLV-B with thymic lymphoma but showed infrequent generation, low levels and lack of infectivity of FeLV-B in non-T-cell diseases including multicentric lymphoma.

  9. Long-term low dose dietary resveratrol supplement reduces cardiovascular structural and functional deterioration in chronic heart failure in rats.

    PubMed

    Ahmet, Ismayil; Tae, Hyun-Jin; Lakatta, Edward G; Talan, Mark

    2017-03-01

    A short-term exposure to resveratrol at high dosages exerts a remarkable cardioprotective effect. Whether a long-term exposure to resveratrol at low dosages that can be obtained through consumption of a resveratrol-rich diet is beneficial to heart diseases is unknown. We tested the effects of a resveratrol-enriched diet on cardiovascular remodeling of chronic heart failure (CHF) in rats resulting from permanent ligation of left coronary artery. Two weeks after surgery, rats were started on either a resveratrol-enriched (R; 5 mg/kg per day; n = 23) or normal (Control; n = 23) diet for next 10 months. Serial echocardiography in Control showed a significant decline in LV ejection fraction, increases in LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, and expansion in myocardial infarct from pre-treatment values. In R, compared with Control, there were substantial improvements in those parameters. End-point LV pressure-volume loop analysis showed a significantly improved LV systolic function and AV-coupling, an index of energy transfer efficacy between the heart and aortic tree, in R compared with Control (p < 0.05). Aortic pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, was significantly lower in R (389 ± 15 cm/s; p < 0.05) compared with Control (489 ± 38 cm/s). These results demonstrated that long-term dietary resveratrol supplement reduces cardiovascular structural and functional deterioration in CHF.

  10. Physical Rehabilitation Improves Muscle Function Following Volumetric Muscle Loss Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-19

    diabetes ) conditions [17,18]. For acute muscle injuries, it has been shown to accelerate muscle healing/ regeneration by modulating the immune response...The foot of the animal was strapped to a footplate attached to a dual-mode muscle lever system (Aurora Scientific Inc., ON, Canada), and the knee and...Combination of exercise training and diet restriction normalizes limited exercise capacity and impaired skeletal muscle function in diet-induced diabetic mice

  11. Analytic improvements to the atmospheric turbulence optical transfer function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tofsted, David H.

    2003-09-01

    The standard method used for modeling optical turbulence effects on imaging uses an optical transfer function (OTF). To model this function the short- and long-exposure limiting cases exist. The short-exposure case is handled by modifying the long-exposure case to remove wavefront tilt assessed at the sensor entrance pupil. Then, depending on whether one is in the "near-field" or the "far-field," one of two subcases is used. These evaluations require a model of the refractive index spectrum. Typically this model is assumed to be the Kolmogorov spectrum where an inner scale is set to zero and outer scale is infinite. However, for real atmospheres the inner and outer scales affect turbulence predictions through a modified spectrum. The difficulty using non-limiting values for these parameters is that double integrals must then be assessed. However, in this paper analytic forms are developed to describe the spectrum, permitting analytic solutions to these integrals. The result is that we can express quantities such as the Fried coherence diameter in closed form accounting for both inner and outer scale effects. Also, expressions for the inner and outer scales of turbulence can be written as functions of the atmospheric surface layer stability. Lastly, it is shown that the near/far-field effect does not easily subdivide into two cases. In fact, the distance dependence of the tilt effect is shown to span a range of 107 in the governing dimensionless parameter. To model this continuum a unified treatment is considered.

  12. Left ventricular morphology and function in mild to moderate essential hypertension.

    PubMed

    Niederle, P; Rakická, E; Koudelková, E; Hejl, Z; Gebauerová, M; Widimský, J

    1984-01-01

    150 males with mild to moderate essential hypertension [EH] were examined echocardiographically and the findings in the left ventricle [LV] were compared with those in 20 normotensive men. Increased LV wall thickness and LV mass was found in 81% and 67% of hypertensives respectively in contrast with a complete absence of LV hypertrophy in normotensives. The former showed also a tendency to the concentric type hypertrophy, which can be considered a characteristic feature of the 2nd stage [WHO] EH. There was an almost uniform incidence of asymmetric septal hypertrophy in the two groups [12 vs. 10%]. Decreased LV end-systolic wall stress in EH was a sign of compensatory myocardial hypertrophy without LV dilatation. The hypertensives exhibited a normal or slightly elevated systolic LV function. On the other hand, some indirect indices of LV properties [peak rate of LV relaxation and left atrial dimension] were indicative of diastolic function impairment. A slight but significant correlation between the degree of LV hypertrophy and systemic blood pressure at rest was found in a part of hypertensive patients. The study indicates that mild to moderate EH leads to some changes in LV morphology and function, which can be easily recognized by echocardiography.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-11-01

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

  14. Curva de rotação óptica de ESO-LV 5100550

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalho, D. B.; Soares, D. S. L.

    2003-08-01

    ESO-LV 5100550 é o membro mais fraco do par de galáxias austral SBG 357 (Soares et al. 1995). É classificada no catálogo RC3 como uma espiral ordinária de tipo inicial (early-type); porém, uma análise morfológica sugere que ela tenha uma grande barra. O objetivo do estudo é determinar sua cinemática de tal modo que possamos inferir mais a respeito de sua dinâmica, provavelmente perturbada, já que se espera que esteja sob forte influência da companheira ESO-LV 5100560. Apresentarei resultados parciais determinados a partir de espectros obtidos com o instrumento Double Spectrograph montado no telescópio Hale do Monte Palomar, EUA. As observações foram realizadas por D.S.L. Soares, P.M.V. Veiga e T.E. Nordgren, em 1998. Foram tomados espectros de fenda longa posicionada sobre a linha dos nodos do disco e ao longo da suposta barra. Os dados foram reduzidos com uso do pacote IRAF. Obtivemos o perfil de velocidades radiais na linha de visada ao longo das fendas e calculamos o desvio para o vermelho cosmológico do sistema, com base no espectro central. Determinamos as curvas de rotação deprojetadas, com base em cálculos para os valores teóricos esperados das componentes de velocidades puramente circulares em um disco inclinado. A inclinação do disco, dado fundamental nesta deprojeção, foi estimada através da média das elipticidades das isofotas mais externas.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Improving Kepler Pipeline Sensitivity with Pixel Response Function Photometry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Robert L.; Bryson, Steve; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Smith, Jeffrey C

    2014-06-01

    We present the results of our investigation into the feasibility and expected benefits of implementing PRF-fitting photometry in the Kepler Science Processing Pipeline. The Kepler Pixel Response Function (PRF) describes the expected system response to a point source at infinity and includes the effects of the optical point spread function, the CCD detector responsivity function, and spacecraft pointing jitter. Planet detection in the Kepler pipeline is currently based on simple aperture photometry (SAP), which is most effective when applied to uncrowded bright stars. Its effectiveness diminishes rapidly as target brightness decreases relative to the effects of noise sources such as detector electronics, background stars, and image motion. In contrast, PRF photometry is based on fitting an explicit model of image formation to the data and naturally accounts for image motion and contributions of background stars. The key to obtaining high-quality photometry from PRF fitting is a high-quality model of the system's PRF, while the key to efficiently processing the large number of Kepler targets is an accurate catalog and accurate mapping of celestial coordinates onto the focal plane. If the CCD coordinates of stellar centroids are known a priori then the problem of PRF fitting becomes linear. A model of the Kepler PRF was constructed at the time of spacecraft commissioning by fitting piecewise polynomial surfaces to data from dithered full frame images. While this model accurately captured the initial state of the system, the PRF has evolved dynamically since then and has been seen to deviate significantly from the initial (static) model. We construct a dynamic PRF model which is then used to recover photometry for all targets of interest. Both simulation tests and results from Kepler flight data demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. Kepler was selected as the 10th mission of the Discovery Program. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA’s Science

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayan, Roger Jagdish

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

  20. An Improved Green's Function for Ion Beam Transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tweed, J.; Wilson, J. W.; Tripathi, R. K.

    2003-01-01

    Ion beam transport theory allows testing of material transmission properties in the laboratory environment generated by particle accelerators. This is a necessary step in materials development and evaluation for space use. The approximations used in solving the Boltzmann transport equation for the space setting are often not sufficient for laboratory work and those issues are the main emphasis of the present work. In consequence, an analytic solution of the linear Boltzmann equation is pursued in the form of a Green's function allowing flexibility in application to a broad range of boundary value problems. It has been established that simple solutions can be found for the high charge and energy (HZE) by ignoring nuclear energy downshifts and dispersion. Such solutions were found to be supported by experimental evidence with HZE ion beams when multiple scattering was added. Lacking from the prior solutions were range and energy straggling and energy downshift with dispersion associated with nuclear events. Recently, we have found global solutions including these effects providing a broader class of HZE ion solutions.

  1. An improved Green's function for ion beam transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tweed, J.; Wilson, J. W.; Tripathi, R. K.

    2004-01-01

    Ion beam transport theory allows testing of material transmission properties in the laboratory environment generated by particle accelerators. This is a necessary step in materials development and evaluation for space use. The approximations used in solving the Boltzmann transport equation for the space setting are often not sufficient for laboratory work and those issues are the main emphasis of the present work. In consequence, an analytic solution of the linear Boltzmann equation is pursued in the form of a Green's function allowing flexibility in application to a broad range of boundary value problems. It has been established that simple solutions can be found for high charge and energy (HZE) ions by ignoring nuclear energy downshifts and dispersion. Such solutions were found to be supported by experimental evidence with HZE ion beams when multiple scattering was added. Lacking from the prior solutions were range and energy straggling and energy downshift with dispersion associated with nuclear events. Recently, we have found global solutions including these effects providing a broader class of HZE ion solutions. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Effects of percutaneous transluminal septal myocardial ablation for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy on systolic and diastolic left ventricular function assessed by pressure-volume loops.

    PubMed

    Meliga, Emanuele; Steendijk, Paul; Valgimigli, Marco; Ten Cate, Folkert J; Serruys, Patrick W

    2008-04-15

    The aim of the present study was to determine the long-term effects of percutaneous transluminal septal myocardial ablation (PTSMA) on systolic and diastolic left ventricular (LV) functions in patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). Ten consecutive patients with symptomatic HC despite optimal medical treatment were referred for PTSMA at our center. LV systolic and diastolic functions were assessed by online LV pressure-volume loops obtained by conductance catheter at baseline and at 6 months after the procedure. At follow-up, the mean gradients at rest and after extrasystole were significantly decreased compared with baseline (88 +/- 29 to 21 +/- 11 mm Hg and 130 +/- 50 to 35 +/- 22 mm Hg, respectively, p <0.01 for the 2 comparisons). End-systolic and end-diastolic pressures significantly decreased (p <0.01), whereas end-systolic and end-diastolic LV volumes significantly increased (p <0.01 for the 2 comparisons). Cardiac output and stroke volume were unchanged, as were ejection fraction (p = 0.25) and maximum dP/dt (p = 0.13). The slope of the end-systolic pressure-volume relation was not decreased, indicating a preserved contractility. The relaxation constant time, end-diastolic stiffness, projected volume of the end-diastolic pressure-volume relation at 30 mm Hg, and diastolic stiffness constant showed a significant improvement of active and passive myocardial diastolic properties. In conclusion, PTSMA is an effective method in the treatment of symptomatic patients with HC. At 6-month follow-up, the LV-aortic gradient was decreased and active and passive LV diastolic properties were increased. Myocardial contractility was not decreased and general hemodynamics was maintained.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  4. Seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in shelter cats on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

    PubMed

    Munro, Hannah J; Berghuis, Lesley; Lang, Andrew S; Rogers, Laura; Whitney, Hugh

    2014-04-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are retroviruses found within domestic and wild cat populations. These viruses cause severe illnesses that eventually lead to death. Housing cats communally for long periods of time makes shelters at high risk for virus transmission among cats. We tested 548 cats from 5 different sites across the island of Newfoundland for FIV and FeLV. The overall seroprevalence was 2.2% and 6.2% for FIV and FeLV, respectively. Two sites had significantly higher seroprevalence of FeLV infection than the other 3 sites. Analysis of sequences from the FeLV env gene (envelope gene) from 6 positive cats showed that 4 fell within the FeLV subtype-A, while 2 sequences were most closely related to FeLV subtype-B and endogenous feline leukemia virus (en FeLV). Varying seroprevalence and the variation in sequences at different sites demonstrate that some shelters are at greater risk of FeLV infections and recombination can occur at sites of high seroprevalence.

  5. Difficulties in demonstrating long term immunity in FeLV vaccinated cats due to increasing age-related resistance to infection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a pathogen causing fatal illness in cats worldwide, and as such there is a high demand for products to protect against disease. The duration of immunity provided by an inactivated FeLV vaccine, Versifel FeLV, when administered to cats of the target age was determined. Kittens received two vaccinations when aged 7 to 9 weeks old, and were subsequently challenged up to 36 months later with the FeLV-A Glasgow isolate. Results In all studies, all of the younger aged control kittens showed persistent FeLV p27 antigenaemia confirming that the challenge virus was severe and efficacious. In contrast, the control cats did not show the required level of persistent antigenaemia, with a maximum of 45% cats affected in the middle duration study and only 10% in the longer study. However, apart from one animal in the short duration study, all of the cats vaccinated with Versifel FeLV were negative for persistent antigenaemia and can be considered treatment successes. Conclusion In conclusion, we have shown that although age-related resistance to infection with a virulent FeLV challenge is evident from as early as 10 months of age, vaccination with Versifel FeLV may aid in the protection of cats from FeLV related disease up to three years after primary vaccination as kittens. PMID:22839692

  6. LV305, a dendritic cell-targeting integration-deficient ZVex(TM)-based lentiviral vector encoding NY-ESO-1, induces potent anti-tumor immune response.

    PubMed

    Albershardt, Tina Chang; Campbell, David James; Parsons, Andrea Jean; Slough, Megan Merrill; Ter Meulen, Jan; Berglund, Peter

    2016-01-01

    We have engineered an integration-deficient lentiviral vector, LV305, to deliver the tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 to human dendritic cells in vivo through pseudotyping with a modified Sindbis virus envelop protein. Mice immunized once with LV305 developed strong, dose-dependent, multifunctional, and cytotoxic NY-ESO-1-specific cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8) T cells within 14 days post-immunization and could be boosted with LV305 at least twice to recall peak-level CD8 T-cell responses. Immunization with LV305 protected mice against tumor growth in an NY-ESO-1-expressing CT26 lung metastasis model, with the protective effect abrogated upon depletion of CD8 T cells. Adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells, alone or together with CD4 T cells or natural killer cells, from LV305-immunized donor mice to tumor-bearing recipient mice conferred significant protection against metastatic tumor growth. Biodistribution of injected LV305 in mice was limited to the site of injection and the draining lymph node, and injected LV305 exhibited minimal excretion. Mice injected with LV305 developed little to no adverse effects, as evaluated by toxicology studies adherent to good laboratory practices. Taken together, these data support the development of LV305 as a clinical candidate for treatment against tumors expressing NY-ESO-1.

  7. LV305, a dendritic cell-targeting integration-deficient ZVexTM-based lentiviral vector encoding NY-ESO-1, induces potent anti-tumor immune response

    PubMed Central

    Albershardt, Tina Chang; Campbell, David James; Parsons, Andrea Jean; Slough, Megan Merrill; ter Meulen, Jan; Berglund, Peter

    2016-01-01

    We have engineered an integration-deficient lentiviral vector, LV305, to deliver the tumor antigen NY-ESO-1 to human dendritic cells in vivo through pseudotyping with a modified Sindbis virus envelop protein. Mice immunized once with LV305 developed strong, dose-dependent, multifunctional, and cytotoxic NY-ESO-1-specific cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8) T cells within 14 days post-immunization and could be boosted with LV305 at least twice to recall peak-level CD8 T-cell responses. Immunization with LV305 protected mice against tumor growth in an NY-ESO-1-expressing CT26 lung metastasis model, with the protective effect abrogated upon depletion of CD8 T cells. Adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells, alone or together with CD4 T cells or natural killer cells, from LV305-immunized donor mice to tumor-bearing recipient mice conferred significant protection against metastatic tumor growth. Biodistribution of injected LV305 in mice was limited to the site of injection and the draining lymph node, and injected LV305 exhibited minimal excretion. Mice injected with LV305 developed little to no adverse effects, as evaluated by toxicology studies adherent to good laboratory practices. Taken together, these data support the development of LV305 as a clinical candidate for treatment against tumors expressing NY-ESO-1. PMID:27626061

  8. Molecular characterization of LvAV in response to white spot syndrome virus infection in the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

    PubMed

    He, Shulin; Song, Lei; Qian, Zhaoying; Hou, Fujun; Liu, Yongjie; Wang, Xianzong; Peng, Zhangming; Sun, Chengbo; Liu, Xiaolin

    2015-07-01

    Litopenaeus vannamei is the most important farmed shrimp species globally, but its production is affected by several factors, including infectious disease. White spot syndrome virus (WSSV), in particular, causes significant shrimp losses. To understand the shrimp's immune response against WSSV, we cloned LvAV from L. vannamei and analyzed its expression pattern in different tissues, in addition to its expression following infection. We employed dsRNA and recombinant (r)LvAV to explore the potential role of LvAV in shrimp immunity when infected with WSSV. We find that LvAV is a C-type Lectin composed of 176 amino acids with a signal peptide and a specific C-type Lectin-type domain (CTLD). It shares 81% amino acid similarity with PmAV, an antiviral-like C-type Lectin from Penaeus monodom, and it is highly expressed in the hepatopancreas. Its expression is affected by infection with both WSSV and V. parahaemolyticus. Significantly, injection with rLvAV slowed WSSV replication, while injection with LvAV dsRNA initially led to enhanced virus propagation. Surprisingly, LvAV dsRNA subsequently led to a dramatic decrease in viral load in the later stages of infection, suggesting that LvAV may be subverted by WSSV to enhance viral replication or immune avoidance. Our results indicate that LvAV plays an important, but potentially complex role in the Pacific white shrimp's immune defense.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    This study was performed to discover and characterize the first potent α3β2-subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligand. A novel α4/7-conotoxin, α-CTxLvIA, was cloned from Conus lividus. Its pharmacological profile at Xenopus laevis oocyte-expressed rat nAChR subtypes was determined by 2-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology, and its 3-dimensional (3D) structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy. α-CTx LvIA is a 16-aa C-terminally-amidated peptide with 2-disulfide bridges. Using rat subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we found the highest affinity of α-CTxLvIA was for α3β2 nAChRs (IC50 8.7 nM), where blockade was reversible within 2 min. IC50 values were >100 nM at α6/α3β2β3, α6/α3β4, and α3β4 nAChRs, and ≥3 μM at all other subtypes tested. α3β2 vs. α6β2 subtype selectivity was confirmed for human-subunit nAChRs with much greater preference (300-fold) for α3β2 over α6β2 nAChRs. This is the first α-CTx reported to show high selectivity for human α3β2 vs. α6β2 nAChRs. α-CTxLvIA adopts two similarly populated conformations water: one (assumed to be bioactive) is highly structured, whereas the other is mostly random coil in nature. Selectivity differences with the similarly potent, but less selective, α3β2 nAChR antagonist α-CTx PeIA probably reside within the three residues, which differ in loop 2, given their otherwise similar 3D structures. α4/7-CTx LvIA is a new, potent, selective α3β2 nAChR antagonist, which will enable detailed studies of α3β2 nAChR structure, function, and physiological roles.—Luo, S., Zhangsun, D., Schroeder, C. I., Zhu, X., Hu, Y., Wu, Y., Weltzin, M. M., Eberhard, S., Kaas, Q., Craik, D. J., McIntosh, J. M., Whiteaker, P. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PMID:24398291

  11. Assessment of left ventricular function by indices derived from aortic flow velocity.

    PubMed Central

    Kolettis, M; Jenkins, B S; Webb-Peploe, M M

    1976-01-01

    The velocity and acceleration of aortic blood flow were measured by means of a catheter velocity probe in 40 patients during routine diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Ten different variables were derived from the aortic velocity measurements, and their ability to discriminate between good and bad left ventricular (LV) function was tested. By means of eight conventional indices of LV function derived from pressure, mean flow, and quantitative cineangiography, the patients were divided into 3 groups: group 1, good LV function; group 2, moderate LV function; group 3, poor LV function. Aortic peak velocity and maximal acceleration correlated well with stroke volume and were thus indices of LV pump function. Aortic peak velocity also showed a significant correlation with LV stroke work. Both aortic peak velocity and maximal acceleration failed to discriminate between the three groups of patients, and correlated poorly with conventional indices of LV function. The mean values of stroke volume differed significantly between groups 1 and 2, and between groups 1 and 3, and also correlated better with the conventional functional indices. The best discrimination between normal and abnormal LV function was provided by dividing stroke volume by maximal acceleration, but stroke volume divided by peak velocity discriminated better than stroke volume alone. Stroke volume divided by maximal acceleration also gave more significant individual correlations with the conventional functional indices than did any other variable derived from aortic velocity. PMID:1252292

  12. Improved ground-state electronic structure and optical dielectric constants with a semilocal exchange functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlček, Vojtěch; Steinle-Neumann, Gerd; Leppert, Linn; Armiento, Rickard; Kümmel, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    A recently published generalized gradient approximation functional within density functional theory (DFT) has shown, in a few paradigm tests, an improved KS orbital description over standard (semi)local approximations. The characteristic feature of this functional is an enhancement factor that diverges like s ln(s ) for large reduced density gradients s which leads to unusual properties. We explore the improved orbital description of this functional more thoroughly by computing the electronic band structure, band gaps, and the optical dielectric constants in semiconductors, Mott insulators, and ionic crystals. Compared to standard semilocal functionals, we observe improvement in both the band gaps and the optical dielectric constants. In particular, the results are similar to those obtained with orbital functionals or by perturbation theory methods in that it opens band gaps in systems described as metallic by standard (semi)local density functionals, e.g., Ge, α -Sn, and CdO.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Modelling wetland-groundwater interactions in the boreal Kälväsvaara esker, Northern Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaros, Anna; Rossi, Pekka; Ronkanen, Anna-Kaisa; Kløve, Bjørn

    2016-04-01

    Many types of boreal peatland ecosystems such as alkaline fens, aapa mires and Fennoscandia spring fens rely on the presence of groundwater. In these ecosystems groundwater creates unique conditions for flora and fauna by providing water, nutrients and constant water temperature enriching local biodiversity. The groundwater-peatland interactions and their dynamics are not, however, in many cases fully understood and their measurement and quantification is difficult due to highly heterogeneous structure of peatlands and large spatial extend of these ecosystems. Understanding of these interactions and their changes due to anthropogenic impact on groundwater resources would benefit the protection of the groundwater dependent peatlands. The groundwater-peatland interactions were investigated using the fully-integrated physically-based groundwater-surface water code HydroGeoSphere in a case study of the Kälväsvaara esker aquifer, Northern Finland. The Kälväsvaara is a geologically complex esker and it is surrounded by vast aapa mire system including alkaline and springs fens. In addition, numerous small springs occur in the discharge zone of the esker. In order to quantify groundwater-peatland interactions a simple steady-state model was built and results were evaluated using expected trends and field measurements. The employed model reproduced relatively well spatially distributed hydrological variables such as soil water content, water depths and groundwater-surface water exchange fluxes within the wetland and esker areas. The wetlands emerged in simulations as a result of geological and topographical conditions. They could be identified by high saturation levels at ground surface and by presence of shallow ponded water over some areas. The model outputs exhibited also strong surface water-groundwater interactions in some parts of the aapa system. These areas were noted to be regions of substantial diffusive groundwater discharge by the earlier studies. In

  15. Histamine H3 receptor blockade improves cardiac function in canine anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

    Chrusch, C; Sharma, S; Unruh, H; Bautista, E; Duke, K; Becker, A; Kepron, W; Mink, S N

    1999-10-01

    In anaphylactic shock (AS), the relative effects of the autacoids including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes on causing cardiovascular collapse and the extent to which receptor blocking agents and pathway inhibitors may prevent this collapse are not clear. In a ragweed model of anaphylaxis, we examined whether pretreatment with H1, H2, H3 receptor blockers, and cyclooxygenase and leukotriene pathway inhibitors was useful in preventing the depression in left ventricular (LV) contractility known to occur in this model. The dose of allergen was varied to produce similar degrees of shock between treatments. The animals were studied under pentobarbital anesthesia in which the treatment studies were approximately 3 wk apart. LV volumes were measured by sonomicrometric techniques. During challenge, mean arterial blood pressure (Pa), cardiac output (Q), and LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) decreased approximately 50% compared with preshock values in all treatments. Histamine H3 receptor blockade was associated with higher heart rates (HR) and higher stroke work (SW) (p < 0.05) as compared with the other treatment studies. We conclude that histamine H3 activation by inhibiting adrenergic neural norepinephrine release contributes to cardiovascular collapse in AS.

  16. Right ventricular hypertrophy causes impairment of left ventricular diastolic function in the rat.

    PubMed

    Lamberts, Regis R; Vaessen, Rob J; Westerhof, Nico; Stienen, Ger J M

    2007-01-01

    Right ventricular (RV) pressure overload causes right ventricular hypertrophy in several types of pulmonary and congenital heart diseases. The associated cardiac dysfunction has generally been attributed to alterations in RV function. However, due to global neurohormonal adaptations and mechanical ventricular interaction left ventricular (LV) function could be affected as well.Therefore,LV function, RV function and their interaction were studied in rats with monocrotaline (MCT)-induced RV hypertrophy and control rats. MCT (30 mg/kg) was used to induce pulmonary hypertension, which resulted, after 28 days, in marked RV hypertrophy (RV-weight: control 220 +/- 15,MCT 437 +/- 34mg,p < 0.05). In Langendorff-perfused hearts with balloons inserted in both the LV and the RV, the diastolic pressure-volume relations showed increased stiffness, and relaxation was prolonged in the LV and RV in the MCT group compared to controls. In the MCT group, developed pressures were increased only in the RV. An increase of LV volume increased RV diastolic pressure to a similar extent in both groups. However, an increase in RV volume did not affect LV diastolic pressure in controls, but significantly increased LV diastolic pressure in the MCT group. LV and RV developed pressure-volume relations were not affected. Calculated circumferential end-diastolic wall stresses (sigma) were larger in the MCT group (LV-sigma: 0.55 +/- 0.02, RV-sigma: 1.94 +/- 0.30 kN/m(2), both p< 0.05 to control) compared to controls (LV-sigma: 0.34 +/- 0.06,RV-sigma: 1.23 +/- 0.46 kN/m2). In the MCT group, collagen content was increased in the LV, septum and RV compared to controls. In conclusion, structural changes of the RV and LV result in depressed LV diastolic function during RV hypertrophy.

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

    SciTech Connect

    C. Aubin, K. Orginos

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.; Fleischer, Van Tran

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Comparative effects of propranolol and verapamil alone and in combination on left ventricular function and volumes in patients with chronic exertional angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover study with radionuclide ventriculography

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, D.L.; Gebhardt, V.A.; Donald, A.; Kostuk, W.J.

    1983-12-01

    With the use of equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography the effects on left ventricular (LV) function of 160 mg oral propranolol daily and 360 mg verapamil daily alone and in combination were compared in 18 patients with chronic exertional angina. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover protocol was used. The reduction in exercise rate-pressure product induced by the combination (118 +/- 28 mm Hg/min) was significantly greater than that by propranolol (135 +/- 27 mm Hg/min) or verapamil alone (163 +/- 28 mm Hg/min). In patients at rest, neither single nor combined therapy altered global or regional left ventricular ejection fractions (EFs). Verapamil, but not propranolol, increased cardiac volumes of resting subjects; used in combination, no further increase in LV volume occurred. With placebo, exercise global EF did not decrease from the level at rest and therefore no drug effect could be demonstrated for this parameter of LV function. By an evaluation of normalized regional EF measurements the combination was shown to reduce exercise-induced hypokinesis (placebo 52 +/- 20%, combination 61 +/- 23%. No significant improvement was noted with propranolol or verapamil alone; only the combination prevented a significant increase in end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes during exercise. Thus, propranolol and verapamil, used alone in moderate doses, exert no beneficial effect on exercise LV function as measured by EF and volume changes, and resting function deteriorates slightly with verapamil.

  20. Impact of protein binding cavity volume (PCV) and ligand volume (LV) in rigid and flexible docking of protein-ligand complexes.

    PubMed

    Saranya, N; Jeyakanthan, J; Selvaraj, S

    2012-12-15

    The importance of protein binding cavity volume (PCV) and ligand volume (LV) in rigid and flexible docking has been studied in 48 protein-ligand complexes belonging to eight protein families. In continuation of our earlier study on protein flexibility in relationship to PCV and LV, this study analyzes the importance of PCV and LV in the scoring and ranking of ligands in docking experiments. Crystal structures of protein-ligand complexes with varied PCV were chosen for docking ligands of varied volume in each protein family. Docking and scoring accuracy have been evaluated by self and cross docking of ligands to the given protein conformation. Effect of PCV and LV in rigid and flexible docking has been studied both in apo and holo proteins. Rigid docking has performed well when appropriate protein conformation is used. Selecting the proteins with appropriate PCV based on the LV information is suggested for better results in ensemble docking.

  1. The surface glycoprotein of feline leukemia virus isolate FeLV-945 is a determinant of altered pathogenesis in the presence or absence of the unique viral long terminal repeat.

    PubMed

    Bolin, Lisa L; Ahmad, Shamim; Lobelle-Rich, Patricia A; Ooms, Tara G; Alvarez-Hernandez, Xavier; Didier, Peter J; Levy, Laura S

    2013-10-01

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a naturally transmitted gammaretrovirus that infects domestic cats. FeLV-945, the predominant isolate associated with non-T-cell disease in a natural cohort, is a member of FeLV subgroup A but differs in sequence from the FeLV-A prototype, FeLV-A/61E, in the surface glycoprotein (SU) and long terminal repeat (LTR). Substitution of the FeLV-945 LTR into FeLV-A/61E resulted in pathogenesis indistinguishable from that of FeLV-A/61E, namely, thymic lymphoma of T-cell origin. In contrast, substitution of both FeLV-945 LTR and SU into FeLV-A/61E resulted in multicentric lymphoma of non-T-cell origin. These results implicated the FeLV-945 SU as a determinant of pathogenic spectrum. The present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that FeLV-945 SU can act in the absence of other unique sequence elements of FeLV-945 to determine the disease spectrum. Substitution of FeLV-A/61E SU with that of FeLV-945 altered the clinical presentation and resulted in tumors that demonstrated expression of CD45R in the presence or absence of CD3. Despite the evident expression of CD45R, a typical B-cell marker, T-cell receptor beta (TCRβ) gene rearrangement indicated a T-cell origin. Tumor cells were detectable in bone marrow and blood at earlier times during the disease process, and the predominant SU genes from proviruses integrated in tumor DNA carried markers of genetic recombination. The findings demonstrate that FeLV-945 SU alters pathogenesis, although incompletely, in the absence of FeLV-945 LTR. Evidence demonstrates that FeLV-945 SU and LTR are required together to fully recapitulate the distinctive non-T-cell disease outcome seen in the natural cohort.

  2. Oral iodinated activated charcoal improves lung function in patients with COPD.

    PubMed

    Skogvall, Staffan; Erjefält, Jonas S; Olin, Anders I; Ankerst, Jaro; Bjermer, Leif

    2014-06-01

    The effect of 8 weeks treatment with oral iodinated activated charcoal (IAC) on lung function of patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was examined in a double blind randomized placebo controlled parallel group study with 40 patients. In the IAC group, patients showed a statistically significant improvement of FEV1 baseline by 130 ml compared to placebo, corresponding to 8.2% improvement (p = 0.031*). Correlation statistics revealed that the improvement of FEV1 baseline was significantly correlated both to FEV1 post-bronchodilator (p = 0.0020**) and FEV1 post-exercise (0.033*) values. This demonstrates that the improved baseline lung function by IAC did not inhibit a further beta2-adrenoceptor relaxation, and thus that patients did not reach a limit for maximal improvement of the lung function after IAC treatment. Eight patients in the IAC group developed abnormal thyroid hormone levels transiently during the treatment. This side effect was not correlated to improvement of lung function (p = 0.82). No serious adverse effects directly related to the treatment were recorded. In summary, this study demonstrates that iodinated activated charcoal surprisingly and significantly improved lung function of patients with moderate COPD. The underlying mechanism of action is unclear, but is likely to be different from the drugs used today. The immediate conclusion is that further studies are now justified in order to determine clinical efficacy of IAC in COPD and explore possible mechanisms of action.

  3. Zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for skeletal patterning and for left-right but not dorsal-ventral specification in the sea urchin embryo.

    PubMed

    Piacentino, Michael L; Chung, Oliver; Ramachandran, Janani; Zuch, Daniel T; Yu, Jia; Conaway, Evan A; Reyna, Arlene E; Bradham, Cynthia A

    2016-04-01

    Skeletal patterning in the sea urchin embryo requires coordinated signaling between the pattern-dictating ectoderm and the skeletogenic primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs); recent studies have begun to uncover the molecular basis for this process. Using an unbiased RNA-Seq-based screen, we have previously identified the TGF-ß superfamily ligand, LvBMP5-8, as a skeletal patterning gene in Lytechinus variegatus embryos. This result is surprising, since both BMP5-8 and BMP2/4 ligands have been implicated in sea urchin dorsal-ventral (DV) and left-right (LR) axis specification. Here, we demonstrate that zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for normal skeletal patterning on the left side, as well as for normal PMC positioning during gastrulation. Zygotic LvBMP5-8 is required for expression of the left-side marker soxE, suggesting that LvBMP5-8 is required for left-side specification. Interestingly, we also find that LvBMP5-8 knockdown suppresses serotonergic neurogenesis on the left side. While LvBMP5-8 overexpression is sufficient to dorsalize embryos, we find that zygotic LvBMP5-8 is not required for normal DV specification or development. In addition, ectopic LvBMP5-8 does not dorsalize LvBMP2/4 morphant embryos, indicating that, in the absence of BMP2/4, BMP5-8 is insufficient to specify dorsal. Taken together, our data demonstrate that zygotic LvBMP5-8 signaling is essential for left-side specification, and for normal left-side skeletal and neural patterning, but not for DV specification. Thus, while both BMP2/4 and BMP5-8 regulate LR axis specification, BMP2/4 but not zygotic BMP5-8 regulates DV axis specification in sea urchin embryos.

  4. Acute limb heating improves macro- and microvascular dilator function in the leg of aged humans.

    PubMed

    Romero, Steven A; Gagnon, Daniel; Adams, Amy N; Cramer, Matthew N; Kouda, Ken; Crandall, Craig G

    2017-01-01

    Local heating of an extremity increases blood flow and vascular shear stress throughout the arterial tree. Local heating acutely improves macrovascular dilator function in the upper limbs of young healthy adults through a shear stress-dependent mechanism but has no such effect in the lower limbs of this age group. The effect of acute limb heating on dilator function within the atherosclerotic prone vasculature of the lower limbs of aged adults is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that acute lower limb heating improves macro- and microvascular dilator function within the leg vasculature of aged adults. Nine young and nine aged adults immersed their lower limbs at a depth of ~33 cm into a heated (~42°C) circulated water bath for 45 min. Before and 30 min after heating, macro (flow-mediated dilation)- and microvascular (reactive hyperemia) dilator functions were assessed in the lower limb, following 5 min of arterial occlusion, via Doppler ultrasound. Compared with preheat, macrovascular dilator function was unchanged following heating in young adults (P = 0.6) but was improved in aged adults (P = 0.04). Similarly, microvascular dilator function, as assessed by peak reactive hyperemia, was unchanged following heating in young adults (P = 0.1) but was improved in aged adults (P < 0.01). Taken together, these data suggest that acute lower limb heating improves both macro- and microvascular dilator function in an age dependent manner.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2011

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Heart failure: when form fails to follow function.

    PubMed

    Katz, Arnold M; Rolett, Ellis L

    2016-02-01

    Cardiac performance is normally determined by architectural, cellular, and molecular structures that determine the heart's form, and by physiological and biochemical mechanisms that regulate the function of these structures. Impaired adaptation of form to function in failing hearts contributes to two syndromes initially called systolic heart failure (SHF) and diastolic heart failure (DHF). In SHF, characterized by high end-diastolic volume (EDV), the left ventricle (LV) cannot eject a normal stroke volume (SV); in DHF, with normal or low EDV, the LV cannot accept a normal venous return. These syndromes are now generally defined in terms of ejection fraction (EF): SHF became 'heart failure with reduced ejection fraction' (HFrEF) while DHF became 'heart failure with normal or preserved ejection fraction' (HFnEF or HFpEF). However, EF is a chimeric index because it is the ratio between SV--which measures function, and EDV--which measures form. In SHF the LV dilates when sarcomere addition in series increases cardiac myocyte length, whereas sarcomere addition in parallel can cause concentric hypertrophy in DHF by increasing myocyte thickness. Although dilatation in SHF allows the LV to accept a greater venous return, it increases the energy cost of ejection and initiates a vicious cycle that contributes to progressive dilatation. In contrast, concentric hypertrophy in DHF facilitates ejection but impairs filling and can cause heart muscle to deteriorate. Differences in the molecular signals that initiate dilatation and concentric hypertrophy can explain why many drugs that improve prognosis in SHF have little if any benefit in DHF.

  7. Using Wannier functions to improve solid band gap predictions in density functional theory

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jie; Wang, Lin-Wang

    2016-01-01

    Enforcing a straight-line condition of the total energy upon removal/addition of fractional electrons on eigen states has been successfully applied to atoms and molecules for calculating ionization potentials and electron affinities, but fails for solids due to the extended nature of the eigen orbitals. Here we have extended the straight-line condition to the removal/addition of fractional electrons on Wannier functions constructed within the occupied/unoccupied subspaces. It removes the self-interaction energies of those Wannier functions, and yields accurate band gaps for solids compared to experiments. It does not have any adjustable parameters and the computational cost is at the DFT level. This method can also work for molecules, providing eigen energies in good agreement with experimental ionization potentials and electron affinities. Our approach can be viewed as an alternative approach of the standard LDA+U procedure. PMID:27114185

  8. Parents Perceive Improvements in Socio-Emotional Functioning in Adolescents with ASD Following Social Skills Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lordo, Danielle N.; Bertolin, Madison; Sudikoff, Eliana L.; Keith, Cierra; Braddock, Barbara; Kaufman, David A. S.

    2017-01-01

    The current study examined the effectiveness of a social skills treatment (PEERS) for improving socio-emotional competencies in a sample of high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Neuropsychological and self- and parent-report measures assessing social, emotional, and behavioral functioning were administered before and after treatment. Following…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. 493.2001 Section 493.2001 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical...

  11. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. 493.2001 Section 493.2001 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical...

  12. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. 493.2001 Section 493.2001 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical...

  13. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. 493.2001 Section 493.2001 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical...

  14. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. 493.2001 Section 493.2001 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical...

  15. Improving the work function of the niobium surface of SRF cavities by plasma processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyagi, P. V.; Doleans, M.; Hannah, B.; Afanador, R.; McMahan, C.; Stewart, S.; Mammosser, J.; Howell, M.; Saunders, J.; Degraff, B.; Kim, S.-H.

    2016-04-01

    An in situ plasma processing technique using chemically reactive oxygen plasma to remove hydrocarbons from superconducting radio frequency cavity surfaces at room temperature has been developed at the spallation neutron source, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To understand better the interaction between the plasma and niobium surface, surface studies on small samples were performed. In this article, we report the results from those surface studies. The results show that plasma processing removes hydrocarbons from top surface and improves the surface work function by 0.5-1.0 eV. Improving the work function of RF surface of cavities can help to improve their operational performance.

  16. Improving the work function of the niobium surface of SRF cavities by plasma processing

    DOE PAGES

    Tyagi, P. V.; Doleans, M.; Hannah, B.; ...

    2016-01-01

    An in situ plasma processing technique using chemically reactive oxygen plasma to remove hydrocarbons from superconducting radio frequency cavity surfaces at room temperature was developed at the spallation neutron source, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To understand better the interaction between the plasma and niobium surface, surface studies on small samples were performed. In this article, we report the results from those surface studies. The results show that plasma processing removes hydrocarbons from top surface and improves the surface work function by 0.5₋1.0 eV. Improving the work function of RF surface of cavities can help to improve their operational performance.

  17. AN IMPROVED CELL ISOLATION METHOD FOR FLOW CYTOMETRIC AND FUNCTIONAL ANALYSES OF CUTANEOUS WOUND LEUKOCYTES

    PubMed Central

    Brubaker, Aleah L.; Schneider, David F.; Palmer, Jessica L.; Faunce, Douglas E.; Kovacs, Elizabeth J.

    2011-01-01

    Isolation of leukocytes from full-thickness excisional wounds has proven to be a difficult process that results in poor cell yield and holds significant limitations for functional assays. Given the increased interest in the isolation, characterization and functional measurements of wound-derived cell populations, herein we describe a method for preparing wound cell suspensions with an improved yield that enables both phenotypic and functional assessments. PMID:21889511

  18. Effects of remission speed and improvement of cognitive functions of depressed patients.

    PubMed

    Gudayol-Ferré, Esteve; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan; Peró-Cebollero, Maribel

    2015-03-30

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) presents neuropsychological alterations which improve after the treatment, but it might be mediated by clinical variables. Our goal is to study whether the speed of remission of MDD bears any relation to the improvement of the patients' cognitive functioning after a successful treatment. We carried out clinical and neuropsychological assessments of 51 patients with MDD. After these procedures they underwent a 24-week treatment with fluoxetine, and were assessed again with the same battery used prior to treatment. They were arranged into three groups according to how rapid their symptoms remitted. The patients with a rapid remission presented improvements in working memory, speed of information processing, and some executive functions, unlike the other groups. Rapid remitters also improved in episodic memory and executive functions more than the other patients.

  19. Improved Roothaan-Hartree-Fock wave functions for atoms and ions with N <= 54

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koga, Toshikatsu; Watanabe, Shinya; Kanayama, Katsutoshi; Yasuda, Ryuji; Thakkar, Ajit J.

    1995-08-01

    Improved Roothaan-Hartree-Fock wave functions are reported for the ground states of all the neutral atoms from He to Xe, singly charged cations from Li+ to Cs+, and stable singly charged anions from H- to I-. Our neutral atom wave functions are an improvement over those of Clementi and Roetti [At. Data Nucl. Data Tables 14, 177 (1974)], Bunge et al. [Phys. Rev. A 46, 3691 (1992)] and Koga et al. [Phys. Rev. A 47, 4510 (1993)]. The ion wave functions are an improvement over those of Clementi and Roetti, and Koga et al. [J. Phys. B 26, 2529 (1993)]. In all cases, the current wave functions predict energies within 1.3×10-5 hartrees of the numerical Hartree-Fock limit.

  20. Weight loss improves endothelial function independently of ADMA reduction in severe obesity.

    PubMed

    Rudofsky, G; Roeder, E; Merle, T; Hildebrand, M; Nawroth, P P; Wolfrum, C

    2011-05-01

    This prospective study was performed in order to establish whether improvement of endothelial function after weight reduction can be explained by a decrease of elevated asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA), an inhibitor of endogenous NO-synthase (eNOS). Therefore, 21 obese subjects (BMI: 41.1±6.4 kg/m(2)) were studied at baseline and after 12 weeks of weight reduction with a very low calorie diet. Biochemical and clinical parameters of endothelial function were assessed before and after weight loss. Biochemical parameters were determined by measurement of ADMA and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM). Clinical parameters were assessed by pulse wave analysis (PWA). Weight intervention resulted in a 21.4±6.8 kg reduction of body weight from 119.7±12.8 kg at study start to 98.3±11.6 kg at study end (p<0.001). Accordingly, biochemical markers improved under weight reduction (ADMA from 0.47±0.07 mmol/l to 0.42±0.08 mmol/l; p=0.002; ICAM from 276±42 ng/ml to 236±29 ng/ml; p<0.001). Further, clinical parameters of functional endothelial function improved with an increase of deltaRI after salbutamol inhalation from -1% before to -9% after weight reduction (p=0.02). Interestingly, improvement of endothelial function correlated with improved HOMA index only (r=-0.60, p=0.04) but not with reduced ADMA levels, improved hypertension or reduced body weight. In conclusion, weight reduction with a very low calorie diet improves endothelial function measured by pulse wave velocity. The missing correlation with ADMA suggests possible further mechanisms underlying this observed effect, for example, improvement of insulin resistance.

  1. Coculture with mesenchymal stem cells results in improved viability and function of human hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Emer; Wu, Yue; Dhadda, Paramjeet; Hughes, Robin D; Mitry, Ragai R; Qin, Hong; Lehec, Sharon C; Heaton, Nigel D; Dhawan, Anil

    2015-01-01

    Hepatocyte transplantation is becoming an accepted therapy for acute liver failure, either as a bridge to liver regeneration or to organ transplantation. Hepatocytes provide liver function in place of the failing organ. The maintenance of sufficient viability and function of the transplanted hepatocytes is a concern. There is a lot of recent interest in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the provision of structural and trophic support to hepatocytes, but few studies currently use primary human hepatocytes. The aim of this study was to investigate if coculture of human MSCs with cryopreserved human hepatocytes may improve their function and viability, thus with potential for cellular therapy of liver disease. MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cord or adipose tissue. Hepatocytes were isolated from donor organs unsuitable for transplantation. MSCs and hepatocytes were cocultured in both direct and indirect contact. Conditioned medium (CM) from cocultured MSCs and hepatocytes was also used on hepatocytes. Viability and liver-specific function were compared between test and controls. Human hepatocytes that were cocultured directly with MSCs demonstrated improved production of albumin from day 5 to day 25 of culture. This effect was most prominent at day 15. Likewise, urea production was improved in coculture from day 5 to 25. Indirect coculture demonstrated improved albumin production by day 4 (1,107 ng/ml) versus hepatocyte monoculture (940 ng/ml). Hepatocytes in CM demonstrated a nonsignificant improvement in function. The viability of cocultured hepatocytes was superior to that of monocultured cells with up to a 16% improvement. Thus, coculture of human hepatocytes with MSCs demonstrates both improved function and viability. The effect is seen mainly with direct coculture but can also be seen in indirect culture and with CM. Such coculture conditions may convey major advantages in hepatocyte survival and function for cell transplantation.

  2. Do stimulants improve functioning in adults with ADHD? A review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Surman, Craig B H; Hammerness, Paul G; Pion, Katie; Faraone, Stephen V

    2013-06-01

    ADHD is prevalent in adulthood and stimulant pharmacotherapy is the primary treatment for uncomplicated presentations. ADHD is associated with significant functional impairment in major life roles. Measurement of the efficacy of stimulant treatment for adult ADHD therefore should include assessment of improvement in role function. A literature search was conducted to identify studies that measured change in function with stimulant treatment in adult ADHD using measures other than global clinical impression or global assessment of function ratings. Five studies were identified that met our search criteria. Evidence of functional improvement with stimulant treatment was found with the following validated self-report measures of functional wellbeing employed across these studies: the Medical Outcome Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey; ADHD Impact Module for Adults; Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction scale-Short Form; Sheehan Disability Scale, and Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report. We conclude that investigations using self-report scales provide evidence that stimulant treatment translates into measurable improvement in daily function for adults with ADHD. Further investigation could better characterize the mediators and moderators of individual improvement, an important step towards the personalization of treatment for ADHD in adulthood.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Novel Online Dimensionality Reduction Method with Improved Topology Representing and Radial Basis Function Networks.

    PubMed

    Ni, Shengqiao; Lv, Jiancheng; Cheng, Zhehao; Li, Mao

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents improvements to the conventional Topology Representing Network to build more appropriate topology relationships. Based on this improved Topology Representing Network, we propose a novel method for online dimensionality reduction that integrates the improved Topology Representing Network and Radial Basis Function Network. This method can find meaningful low-dimensional feature structures embedded in high-dimensional original data space, process nonlinear embedded manifolds, and map the new data online. Furthermore, this method can deal with large datasets for the benefit of improved Topology Representing Network. Experiments illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  5. Left Ventricular Remodeling and Function in Children with Biventricular Circulation After Fetal Aortic Valvuloplasty.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Kevin G; Freud, Lindsay; Escobar-Diaz, Maria; Banka, Puja; Emani, Sitaram; Tworetzky, Wayne

    2015-10-01

    Fetal aortic valvuloplasty (FAV) has shown promise in averting the progression of fetal aortic stenosis to hypoplastic left-heart syndrome. Altered loading conditions due to valvar disease, intrinsic endomyocardial abnormalities, and procedures that alter endomyocardial mechanics may place patients with biventricular circulation (BiV) after FAV at risk of abnormal LV remodeling and function. Using the most recent echo data on BiV patients after technically successful FAV (n = 34), we evaluated LV remodeling pattern, risk factors for pathologic LV remodeling, and the association between LV remodeling pattern and LV function. Median age at follow-up was 4.7 years (range 1.0-12.5). Cardiac interventions were common. At latest follow-up, no patient had hypoplastic LV. Nineteen patients (55 %) had dilated LV, and five (16 %) patients had severely dilated LV. LV remodeling patterns were as follows: 12 (35 %) normal ventricle, 11 (32 %) mixed hypertrophy, 8 (24 %) eccentric hypertrophy or remodeling, and 3 (9 %) concentric hypertrophy. Univariate factors associated with pathologic LV remodeling were long-standing AR, ≥2 cardiac interventions, EFE resection, and aortic or mitral regurgitation ≥ moderate at most recent follow-up. In multivariate analysis, only long-standing AR fraction remained associated with pathologic remodeling. Pathologic LV remodeling was associated with depressed ejection fraction, lower septal E´, and higher E/E´. Pathologic LV remodeling, primarily eccentric or mixed hypertrophy, is common in BiV patients after FAV and is related to LV loading conditions imposed by valvar disease. Pathologic remodeling is associated with both systolic and diastolic dysfunction in this population.

  6. Regulation of the immediate-early genes of white spot syndrome virus by Litopenaeus vannamei kruppel-like factor (LvKLF).

    PubMed

    Huang, Ping-Han; Lu, Shao-Chia; Yang, Shu-Han; Cai, Pei-Si; Lo, Chu-Fang; Chang, Li-Kwan

    2014-10-01

    Kruppel-like factors (KLFs) belong to a subclass of Cys2/His2 zinc-finger DNA-binding proteins, and act as important regulators with diverse roles in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and tumorigenesis. Our previous research showed that PmKLF from Penaeus monodon is crucial for white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection, yet the mechanisms by which PmKLF influences WSSV infection remain unclear. This study cloned KLF from Litopenaeus vannamei (LvKLF), which had 93% similarity with PmKLF. LvKLF formed a dimer via the C-terminal zinc-finger motif. Knockdown of LvKLF expression by dsRNA injection in WSSV-challenged shrimps was found to significantly inhibit the transcription of two important immediate-early (IE) genes, IE1 and WSSV304, and also reduced WSSV copy numbers. Moreover, reporter assays revealed that the promoter activities of these two WSSV IE genes were substantially enhanced by LvKLF. Mutations introduced in the promoter sequences of IE1 and WSSV304 were shown to abolish LvKLF activation of promoter activities; and an electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that LvKLF binds to putative KLF-response elements (KRE) in the promoters. Taken together, these results indicate that LvKLF transcriptional regulation of key IE genes is critical to WSSV replication.

  7. Ubiquinol-10 supplementation improves autonomic nervous function and cognitive function in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Sanae; Nojima, Junzo; Kajimoto, Osami; Yamaguti, Kouzi; Nakatomi, Yasuhito; Kuratsune, Hirohiko; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2016-07-08

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of oral ubiquinol-10 supplementation in CFS patients using an open-label study and a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled (RCT) study. Twenty patients with CFS were randomly enrolled in an 8-week open-label oral ubiquinol-10 (150 mg ubiquinol-10/day) study. The patients and the attending physicians were not blinded to the supplementation. Forty-three patients with CFS were randomly assigned to receive either ubiquinol-10 (150 mg/day) or placebo every day for 12 weeks. The patients and the attending physicians were blinded to the supplementation, and a total of 31 patients (N = 17 in the ubiquinol group and 14 in the placebo group) completed the study. The beneficial effects of ubiquinol-10 were observed in the open-label study we conducted prior to the RCT. The RCT results suggest that supplementation with ubiquinol-10 for 12 weeks is effective for improving several CFS symptoms. © 2016 BioFactors, 42(4):431-440, 2016.

  8. Irisin Increased the Number and Improved the Function of Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Diabetes Mellitus Mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinxiang; Song, Mingbao; Zhou, Fang; Fu, Dagan; Ruan, Guangping; Zhu, Xiangqing; Bai, Yinyin; Huang, Lan; Pang, Rongqing; Kang, Huali

    2016-01-01

    Abstract: The dysfunction of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) was found to be associated with vascular complications in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients. Previous studies found that regular exercise could improve the function of EPCs in DM patients, but the underling mechanism was unclear. Irisin, a newly identified myokine, was induced by exercise and has been demonstrated to mediate some of the positive effects of exercise. In this study, we hypothesize that irisin may have direct effects on EPC function in DM mice. These data showed for the first time that irisin increased the number of EPCs in peripheral blood of DM mice and improved the function of EPCs derived from DM mice bone marrow. The mechanism for the effect of irisin is related to the PI3K/Akt/eNOS pathway. Furthermore, irisin was demonstrated to improve endothelial repair in DM mice that received EPC transplants after carotid artery injury. The results of this study indicate a novel effect of irisin in regulating the number and function of EPCs via the PI3K/Akt/eNOS pathway, suggesting a potential for the administration of exogenous irisin as a succedaneum to improve EPC function in diabetic patients who fail to achieve such improvements through regular exercise. PMID:27002278

  9. Improved Constraint-based GGA Functionals in Extended Systems and Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trickey, Sam; Vela, A.; Pacheco Kato, Juan

    2010-03-01

    Despite wide-spread interest in explicitly orbitally-dependent exchange-correlation functionals, there is aimed at the basic vision of Density Functional Theory, orbital-free implementation. Here we report on further development of our non-empirical X functionals. We give results for the VMT functional (J. Chem. Phys. 130 244103 (2009)) combined with the PBE C functional on simple solids and ultra-thin films. We also give results for molecules for a more sophisticated family of functionals, VPTmn, which satisfy more constraints than VMT. VMT11 with PBE C tested on a widely used 20 molecule set shows essentially no change in atomization energies compared to VMT, an illustration that enforcing more constraints does not necessarily improve outcomes. We also consider VMT11 in extended systems and in combination with both the LYP and rev-TCA correlation functionals on molecules.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Metformin may produce antidepressant effects through improvement of cognitive function among depressed patients with diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Guo, Min; Mi, Jia; Jiang, Qiu-Ming; Xu, Jin-Mei; Tang, Ying-Ying; Tian, Geng; Wang, Bin

    2014-09-01

    Diabetes mellitus and depressive disorders are both common chronic diseases that increase functional disability and social burden. Cognitive impairment is a potentially debilitating feature of depression. Previous evidence indicates that the antidiabetic drug metformin could be suitable for diabetic patients with cognitive impairment. However, there is no direct evidence from clinical studies that metformin treatment improves cognitive function in diabetic patients suffering from depression. In the present study, 58 participants diagnosed with depression and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were recruited and divided into two groups, one treated with metformin and the other treated with placebo for 24 weeks. Cognitive function, depressive behaviour and diabetes improvement were evaluated. Chronic treatment with metformin for 24 weeks improved cognitive performance, as assessed by the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, in depressed patients with T2DM. In addition, metformin significantly improved depressive performance and changed the glucose metabolism in depressed patients with diabetes. Depressive symptoms were negatively correlated with cognitive performance in metformin-treated participants. Furthermore, associations were observed between the parameters of blood glucose metabolism and the depression phenotype. These findings suggest that chronic treatment with metformin has antidepressant behavioural effects and that improved cognitive function is involved in the therapeutic outcome of metformin. The results of the present study also raise the possibility that supplementary administration of antidiabetic medications may enhance the recovery of depression, comorbid with T2DM, through improvements in cognitive performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  13. Effective RNA-silencing strategy of Lv-MSTN/GDF11 gene and its effects on the growth in shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ji-Hyun; Momani, Jalal; Kim, Young Mog; Kang, Chang-Keun; Choi, Jung-Hwa; Baek, Hae-Ja; Kim, Hyun-Woo

    2015-01-01

    Myostatin (MSTN), also known as GDF8, is a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily and plays an important role in muscle growth, development, and differentiation. Recently, Lv-MSTN/GDF11, the primitive isoform of MSTN and GDF11, was identified from the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. The major production site for Lv-MSTN/GDF11 is in the heart, not the tail muscle, which differs from MSTNs in mammals. Among the three injected RNAs, long dsRNA was the most effective for Lv-MSTN/GDF11 knockdown and transcripts of Lv-MSTN/GDF11 decreased in both the heart (88.85%) and skeletal muscles (43.36%) 72h after injection of 10pmol of long dsRNA. We also found that higher doses of dsRNA did not lead to greater decreases in Lv-MSTN/GDF11 transcripts for amounts between 1pmol and 100pmol. Injection of Lv-MSTN/GDF11 dsRNA did not affect the upregulation of the skeletal actin gene (Lv-ACTINSK) in the tail muscle, but the expression of cytoplasmic and cardiac actins were upregulated in both the heart and tail muscle. Over the course of 8weeks of dsRNA injection, considerably higher mortality (~71%) was seen in the dsRNA-injected group compared to the control group (40%). Surviving shrimp in the dsRNA injected group had a lower growth rate due to the adverse effects of Lv-MSTN/GDF11 knockdown. Lv-MSTN/GDF11 appears to be involved in muscular or neuronal development, but not in doubling muscle fibers, as is the case with mammalian MSTN.

  14. Exergames: neuroplastic hypothesis about cognitive improvement and biological effects on physical function of institutionalized older persons

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro-Junior, Renato Sobral; Vaghetti, César Augusto Otero; Nascimento, Osvaldo José M.; Laks, Jerson; Deslandes, Andrea Camaz

    2016-01-01

    Exergames can be considered a dual task because the games are performed by a man-videogame interface, requiring cognitive and motor functions simultaneously. Although the literature has shown improvements of cognitive and physical functions due to exergames, the intrinsic mechanisms involved in these functional changes have still not been elucidated. The aims of the present study were (1) to demonstrate the known biological mechanisms of physical exercise regarding muscle adaptation and establish a relationship with exergames; and (2) to present a neurobiological hypothesis about the neuroplastic effects of exergames on the cognitive function of institutionalized older persons. These hypotheses are discussed. PMID:27073355

  15. New functional families (FunFams) in CATH to improve the mapping of conserved functional sites to 3D structures.

    PubMed

    Sillitoe, Ian; Cuff, Alison L; Dessailly, Benoit H; Dawson, Natalie L; Furnham, Nicholas; Lee, David; Lees, Jonathan G; Lewis, Tony E; Studer, Romain A; Rentzsch, Robert; Yeats, Corin; Thornton, Janet M; Orengo, Christine A

    2013-01-01

    CATH version 3.5 (Class, Architecture, Topology, Homology, available at http://www.cathdb.info/) contains 173 536 domains, 2626 homologous superfamilies and 1313 fold groups. When focusing on structural genomics (SG) structures, we observe that the number of new folds for CATH v3.5 is slightly less than for previous releases, and this observation suggests that we may now know the majority of folds that are easily accessible to structure determination. We have improved the accuracy of our functional family (FunFams) sub-classification method and the CATH sequence domain search facility has been extended to provide FunFam annotations for each domain. The CATH website has been redesigned. We have improved the display of functional data and of conserved sequence features associated with FunFams within each CATH superfamily.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Impact of Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Left and Right Ventricular Myocardial Function and Effects of CPAP Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wiesen, Martin; Momcilovic, Diana; Pabst, Stefan; Nickenig, Georg; Skowasch, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Background Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has deteriorating effect on LV function, whereas its impact on RV function is controversial. We aimed to determine the effect of OSA and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on left and right ventricular (LV, RV) function using transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and 2 dimensional speckle tracking (2D ST) analysis of RV deformation capability. Methods and Results 82 patients with OSA and need for CPAP therapy were prospectively enrolled and underwent TTE at study inclusion and after 6 months of follow up (FU). Multivariate regression analysis revealed an independent association between baseline apical right ventricular longitudinal strain (RV-Sl), BMI and the severity of OSA (apical RV-Sl: P = 0.0002, BMI: P = 0.02). After CPAP therapy, LV functional parameters (LVEF: P<0.0001, LV performance index: P = 0.03, stroke volume: P = 0.042), and apical RV-Sl (P = 0.001) improved significantly. The effect of CPAP therapy was related to severity of OSA (LVEF: AHI 5–14, 66.4±8.8%, 68.5±10.6% [P = ns]; AHI 15–30∶59.8±7.7%, 68.6±9.3% [P = 0.002]; AHI>30∶54.1±12.4%, 68.2±13.6%[P<0.0001]; apical RV-Sl: AHI 5–14: −17.3±8.7%, −16.0±10.8% [P = ns], AHI 15–30: −9.8±6.0%, −15.4±10.9% [P = 0.028], AHI>30: −6.3±5.7%, −17.9±11.2% [P<0.0001]). Conclusions OSA seems to have deteriorating effect on LV and RV function. We found a beneficial effect of CPAP on LV and RV functional parameters predominately in patients with severe OSA. 2D speckle tracking might be of value to determine early changes in global and regional right ventricular function. PMID:24146857

  18. Scaling study of the step scaling function in SU(3) gauge theory with improved gauge actions

    SciTech Connect

    Takeda, S.; Aoki, S.; Iwasaki, Y.; Kanaya, K.; Fukugita, M.; Ishikawa, K-I.; Okawa, M.; Ishizuka, N.; Kuramashi, Y.; Taniguchi, Y.; Ukawa, A.; Yoshie, T.; Kaneko, T.

    2004-10-01

    We study the scaling behavior of the step scaling function for SU(3) gauge theory, employing the renormalization-group improved Iwasaki gauge action and the perturbatively improved Luescher-Weisz gauge action. We confirm that the step scaling functions from the improved gauge actions agree with that previously obtained from the plaquette action within errors in the continuum limit at both weak and strong coupling regions. We also investigate how different choices of boundary counterterms for the improved gauge actions affect the scaling behavior. In the extrapolation to the continuum limit, we observe that the cutoff dependence becomes moderate for the Iwasaki action, if a perturbative reduction of scaling violations is applied to the simulation results. We also measure the low energy scale ratio with the Iwasaki action and confirm its universality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Multimarker assessment for the prediction of renal function improvement after percutaneous revascularization for renal artery stenosis

    PubMed Central

    Partovi, Sasan; Zeller, Thomas; Breidthardt, Tobias; Kaech, Max; Boeddinghaus, Jasper; Puelacher, Christian; Nestelberger, Thomas; Aschwanden, Markus; Mueller, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Background Identifying patients likely to have improved renal function after percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty and stenting (PTRA) for renal artery stenosis (RAS) is challenging. The purpose of this study was to use a comprehensive multimarker assessment to identify those patients who would benefit most from correction of RAS. Methods In 127 patients with RAS and decreased renal function and/or hypertension referred for PTRA, quantification of hemodynamic cardiac stress using B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), renal function using estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), parenchymal renal damage using resistance index (RI), and systemic inflammation using C-reactive protein (CRP) were performed before intervention. Results Predefined renal function improvement (increase in eGFR ≥10%) at 6 months occurred in 37% of patients. Prognostic accuracy as quantified by the area under the receiver-operating characteristics curve for the ability of BNP, eGFR, RI and CRP to predict renal function improvement were 0.59 (95% CI, 0.48–0.70), 0.71 (95% CI, 0.61–0.81), 0.52 (95% CI, 0.41–0.65), and 0.56 (95% CI, 0.44–0.68), respectively. None of the possible combinations increased the accuracy provided by eGFR (lower eGFR indicated a higher likelihood for eGFR improvement after PTRA, P=ns for all). In the subgroup of 56 patients with pre-interventional eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, similar findings were obtained. Conclusions Quantification of renal function, but not any other pathophysiologic signal, provides at least moderate accuracy in the identification of patients with RAS in whom PTRA will improve renal function. PMID:27280085

  1. Breaking through barriers: using technology to address executive function weaknesses and improve student achievement.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, David M

    2014-01-01

    Assistive technologies provide significant capabilities for improving student achievement. Improved accessibility, cost, and diversity of applications make integration of technology a powerful tool to compensate for executive function weaknesses and deficits and their impact on student performance, learning, and achievement. These tools can be used to compensate for decreased working memory, poor time management, poor planning and organization, poor initiation, and decreased memory. Assistive technology provides mechanisms to assist students with diverse strengths and weaknesses in mastering core curricular concepts.

  2. Improving gross motor function and postural control with hippotherapy in children with Down syndrome: case reports.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Danielle; Dugas, Claude

    2010-11-01

    The purpose of this case report is to describe the impact of an 11-week hippotherapy program on the gross motor functions of two children (respectively 28 and 37 months old) diagnosed with Down syndrome. Hippotherapy is a strategy that uses the horse's motion to stimulate and enhance muscle contraction and postural control. The children were assessed by the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and accelerometry. The results indicate that both children improved on many dimensions of the GMFM. Power spectral analysis of the acceleration signals showed improvement in postural control of either the head or trunk, because the children adopted two different adaptative strategies to perturbation induced by the moving horse.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Mousumi

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Rehabilitation and improvement of Guilin urban water environment: function-oriented management.

    PubMed

    Pei, Yuansheng; Zuo, Hua; Luan, Zhaokun; Gao, Sijia

    2013-07-01

    Economic development and population growth have deeply damaged the urban water environment of Guilin City, China. Main problems involved structural damage and functional deterioration of the urban waters. An integrated technical scheme was developed to rehabilitate the urban water environment and to enhance the waters' functions during 1998-2008. Improvement of waters' functions included water system reconstruction, water pollution control, water safety assurance, and aquatic ecological restoration. The water system was reconstructed to connect different waters and clean water supplies to the lakes. Moreover, water pollution was controlled to improve water quality by endogenous pollutant elimination and extraneous pollutant interception. In addition, ecological measures put in place serve to enhance water system functions and better benefit both nature and humans. The project has brought about sound ecological, economic and social benefits in Guilin City, which can potentially be extended to similar cities.

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-08-01

    control to 29 +/- 1 ms at the high dose) and increased the magnitude of LV -dP/dtmin in dogs with intact but not blocked ANS reflexes, suggesting that relaxation was enhanced by favorable changes in systemic hemodynamics or ANS activation and direct effects of this drug on lusitropic state. Levosimendan also increased dL/dtmax to a greater degree in ANS-intact dogs, indicating that improvement of rapid ventricular filling was also partially dependent on ANS tone. No changes in Kp were observed in either experimental group. The results indicate that levosimendan decreases preload and afterload and has positive inotropic and lusitropic properties. The actions of levosimendan on diastolic function are largely mediated by the ANS.

  6. Improved constraint satisfaction in a simple generalized gradient approximation exchange functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vela, Alberto; Pacheco-Kato, Juan C.; Gázquez, José L.; del Campo, Jorge M.; Trickey, S. B.

    2012-04-01

    Though there is fevered effort on orbital-dependent approximate exchange-correlation functionals, generalized gradient approximations, especially the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) form, remain the overwhelming choice in calculations. A simple generalized gradient approximation (GGA) exchange functional [A. Vela, V. Medel, and S. B. Trickey, J. Chem. Phys. 130, 244103 (2009), 10.1063/1.3152713] was developed that improves substantially over PBE in energetics (on a typical test set) while being almost as simple in form. The improvement came from constraining the exchange enhancement factor to be below the Lieb-Oxford bound for all but one value of the exchange dimensionless gradient, s, and to go to the uniform electron gas limit at both s = 0 and s → ∞. Here we discuss the issue of asymptotic constraints for GGAs and show that imposition of the large s constraint, {lim }nolimits_{s to infty } s^{1/2} F_{xc} (n,s) < infty, where Fxc(n, s) is the enhancement factor and n is the electron density, upon the Vela-Medel-Trickey (VMT) exchange functional yields modest further improvement. The resulting exchange functional, denoted VT{8,4}, is only slightly more complicated than VMT and easy to program. Additional improvement is obtained by combining VT{8,4} or VMT exchange with the Lee-Yang-Parr correlation functional. Extensive computational results on several datasets are provided as verification of the overall performance gains of both versions.

  7. Myocardial function improved by electromagnetic field induction of stress protein hsp70.

    PubMed

    George, Isaac; Geddis, Matthew S; Lill, Zachary; Lin, Hana; Gomez, Teodoro; Blank, Martin; Oz, Mehmet C; Goodman, Reba

    2008-09-01

    Studies on myocardial function have shown that hsp70, stimulated by an increase in temperature, leads to improved survival following ischemia-reperfusion (I-R). Low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) also induce the stress protein hsp70, but without elevating temperature. We have examined the hemodynamic changes in concert with EMF pre-conditioning and the induction of hsp70 to determine whether improved myocardial function occurs following I-R injury in Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals were exposed to EMF (60 Hz, 8 microT) for 30 min prior to I-R. Ischemia was then induced by ligation of left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) for 30 min, followed by 30 min of reperfusion. Blood and heart tissue levels for hsp70 were determined by Western blot and RNA transcription by rtPCR. Significant upregulation of the HSP70 gene and increased hsp70 levels were measured in response to EMF pre-exposures. Invasive hemodynamics, as measured using a volume conductance catheter, demonstrated significant recovery of systolic contractile function after 30 min of reperfusion following EMF exposure. Additionally, isovolemic relaxation, a measure of ventricular diastolic function, was markedly improved in EMF-treated animals. In conclusion, non-invasive EMF induction of hsp70 preserved myocardial function and has the potential to improve tolerance to ischemic injury.

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

    PubMed

    Shi, Benyun; Liu, Jiming

    2012-10-01

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

  9. Subclinical Myocardial Impairment Occurred in Septal and Anterior LV Wall Segments After Anthracycline-Embedded Chemotherapy and did not Worsen During Adjuvant Trastuzumab Treatment in Breast Cancer Patients.

    PubMed

    Lange, Stefan Andreas; Jung, Jens; Jaeck, Almut; Hitschold, Thomas; Ebner, Bernd

    2016-04-01

    In a previous study of breast cancer patients, we found changes in cardiac function and size during the early stages of adjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin(®)) therapy. Here we present a subgroup analysis of this patient cohort. This subgroup received a anthracycline-embedded chemotherapy followed by at least 3 months up to 6 months of adjuvant Herceptin(®) therapy. Twenty-seven female breast cancer patients with Her-2/-neu overexpression were studied using conventional echocardiography and 2D speckle tracking. These methods were done before anthracycline-embedded chemotherapy, before adjuvant trastuzumab therapy, and both 3 and 6 months after the start of the therapy (T3, T6). The LV-EF (Simpson biplane) decreased significantly from before the chemotherapy to after the chemotherapy and further decreased after 3 months of trastuzumab therapy (66.2 ± 1.5 vs. 58.7 ± 1.2 vs. 55.6 ± 1.3 vs. 55.9 ± 1.5 %; p < 0.05). The stroke volume index remained constant after chemotherapy (22.0 ± 0.8 vs. 22.6 ± 1.3 ml/m(2); p = 0.9), but increased significantly during trastuzumab therapy (26.7 ± 1.1 and 27.3 ± 1.0 ml/m(2); p < 0.01). Global longitudinal strain exclusively decreased during chemotherapy (-21.0 ± 0.5 vs. -18.9 ± 0.5 %, p < 0.001). Regional longitudinal strain decreased significantly after chemotherapy in septal, anteroseptal, anterolateral, and apex segments. Mitral valve regurgitation increased during the whole treatment, but especially during trastuzumab. Right ventricular function decreased exclusively during chemotherapy. Anthracycline-embedded chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer led to a decrease in LV function, especially of the septal and anterior segments, and did not worsen during adjuvant trastuzumab treatment.

  10. Intracranial gene delivery of LV-NAGLU vector corrects neuropathology in murine MPS IIIB.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Carmela; Villani, Guglielmo R D; Di Napoli, Daniele; Nusco, Edoardo; Calì, Gaetano; Nitsch, Lucio; Di Natale, Paola

    2009-06-01

    Mucopolysacccharidosis (MPS) IIIB is an inherited lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGLU). The disease is characterized by mild somatic features and severe neurological involvement with high mortality. Although several therapeutic approaches have been applied to the murine model of the disease, no effective therapy is available for patients. In this study, we used the lentiviral-NAGLU vector to deliver the functional human NAGLU gene into the brain of young adult MPS IIIB mice. We report the restoration of active enzyme with a sustained expression throughout a large portion of the brain, and a significantly improved behavioral performance of treated animals. Moreover, we analyzed the effect of therapy on the expression profile of some genes related to neurotrophic signaling molecules and inflammatory cytokines previously found altered in MPS IIIB mice. At 1 month from treatment, the level of cerebellin 1 (Cbln1) was decreased while the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) expression was increased, both reaching normal values. At 6 months from treatment a significant reduction in the expression of all the inflammation- and oxidative stress-related genes was observed, as well as the maintenance of the correction of the Bdnf gene expression. These results indicate that NAGLU delivery from intracerebral sources has the capacity to alleviate most disease manifestations in MPS IIIB mice; furthermore, Bdnf might be a response-to-therapy biomarker for MPS IIIB.

  11. Regional assessment of LV wall in infarcted heart using tagged MRI and cardiac modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahanzad, Zeinab; Miin Liew, Yih; Bilgen, Mehmet; McLaughlin, Robert A.; Onn Leong, Chen; Chee, Kok Han; Aziz, Yang Faridah Abdul; Ung, Ngie Min; Lai, Khin Wee; Ng, Siew-Cheok; Lim, Einly

    2015-05-01

    A segmental two-parameter empirical deformable model is proposed for evaluating regional motion abnormality of the left ventricle. Short-axis tagged MRI scans were acquired from 10 healthy subjects and 10 postinfarct patients. Two motion parameters, contraction and rotation, were quantified for each cardiac segment by fitting the proposed model using a non-rigid registration algorithm. The accuracy in motion estimation was compared to a global model approach. Motion parameters extracted from patients were correlated to infarct transmurality assessed with delayed-contrast-enhanced MRI. The proposed segmental model allows markedly improved accuracy in regional motion analysis as compared to the global model for both subject groups (1.22-1.40 mm versus 2.31-2.55 mm error). By end-systole, all healthy segments experienced radial displacement by ~25-35% of the epicardial radius, whereas the 3 short-axis planes rotated differently (basal: 3.3° mid:  -1° and apical:  -4.6°) to create a twisting motion. While systolic contraction showed clear correspondence to infarct transmurality, rotation was nonspecific to either infarct location or transmurality but could indicate the presence of functional abnormality. Regional contraction and rotation derived using this model could potentially aid in the assessment of severity of regional dysfunction of infarcted myocardium.

  12. Implementation of time-efficient adaptive sampling function design for improved undersampled MRI reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Jinhyeok; Kim, Hyeonjin

    2016-12-01

    To improve the efficacy of undersampled MRI, a method of designing adaptive sampling functions is proposed that is simple to implement on an MR scanner and yet effectively improves the performance of the sampling functions. An approximation of the energy distribution of an image (E-map) is estimated from highly undersampled k-space data acquired in a prescan and efficiently recycled in the main scan. An adaptive probability density function (PDF) is generated by combining the E-map with a modeled PDF. A set of candidate sampling functions are then prepared from the adaptive PDF, among which the one with maximum energy is selected as the final sampling function. To validate its computational efficiency, the proposed method was implemented on an MR scanner, and its robust performance in Fourier-transform (FT) MRI and compressed sensing (CS) MRI was tested by simulations and in a cherry tomato. The proposed method consistently outperforms the conventional modeled PDF approach for undersampling ratios of 0.2 or higher in both FT-MRI and CS-MRI. To fully benefit from undersampled MRI, it is preferable that the design of adaptive sampling functions be performed online immediately before the main scan. In this way, the proposed method may further improve the efficacy of the undersampled MRI.

  13. Ventricular Reconstruction Results in Improved Left Ventricular Function and Amelioration of Mitral Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Kaza, Aditya K.; Patel, Mayank R.; Fiser, Steven M.; Long, Stewart M.; Kern, John A.; Tribble, Curtis G.; Kron, Irving L.

    2002-01-01

    Introduction Surgical restoration of the left ventricular wall (Dor procedure) has been advocated as a therapy for left ventricular dysfunction due to ischemic cardiomyopathy. This procedure involves placement of an endoventricular patch through a ventriculotomy. Methods We reviewed our series of patients that underwent the Dor procedure within the past 4 years and examined their pre and postoperative ventricular function and mitral valve function. Pre and postoperative ejection fraction and degree of mitral regurgitation were analyzed using the paired Student t-test. We hypothesized that this procedure would result in improved ventricular function and that it would also help improve mitral valve function. Results Thirty-four patients underwent this procedure, with one death. Of these, 30 patients underwent concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting and 8 patients had mitral intervention (seven had an Alfieri repair of the mitral valve, and one had mitral valve annuloplasty). The average preoperative ejection fraction among these patients was 26.8% (range 10–45%). The postoperative ejection fraction was significantly higher at 35.4% (range 25–52%) (P < .001). We noted an improvement in ejection fraction in 27 patients (82%). We also noted that 21 of 33 patients (64%) had improvement in the degree of mitral regurgitation based on echocardiography data (P < .001). Conclusions We conclude that the Dor procedure results in improvement in the left ventricular function. Furthermore, we also note that this procedure ameliorates mitral regurgitation in a majority of these patients even in the absence of associated mitral valve procedures, probably due to reduction in the size of the ventricle and improved orientation of the papillary muscles. PMID:12035039

  14. A degradable, bioactive, gelatinized alginate hydrogel to improve stem cell/growth factor delivery and facilitate healing after myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Della Rocca, Domenico G.; Willenberg, Bradley J.; Ferreira, Leonardo F.; Wate, Prateek S.; Petersen, John W.; Handberg, Eileen M.; Zheng, Tong; Steindler, Dennis A.; Terada, Naohiro; Batich, Christopher D.; Byrne, Barry J.; Pepine, Carl J.

    2013-01-01

    Despite remarkable effectiveness of reperfusion and drug therapies to reduce morbidity and mortality following myocardial infarction (MI), many patients have debilitating symptoms and impaired left ventricular (LV) function highlighting the need for improved post-MI therapies. A promising concept currently under investigation is intramyocardial injection of high-water content, polymeric biomaterial gels (e.g., hydrogels) to modulate myocardial scar formation and LV adverse remodeling. We propose a degradable, bioactive hydrogel that forms a unique microstructure of continuous, parallel capillary-like channels (Capgel). We hypothesize that the innovative architecture and composition of Capgel can serve as a platform for endogenous cell recruitment and drug/cell delivery, therefore facilitating myocardial repair after MI. PMID:22939314

  15. Cardiac autonomic function in patients with diabetes improves with practice of comprehensive yogic breathing program

    PubMed Central

    Jyotsna, Viveka P.; Ambekar, Smita; Singla, Rajiv; Joshi, Ansumali; Dhawan, Anju; Kumar, Neeta; Deepak, K. K.; Sreenivas, V.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to observe the effect comprehensive yogic breathing (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga [SKY] and Pranayam) had on cardiac autonomic functions in patients with diabetes. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled intervention trial. Cardiac autonomic functions were assessed in 64 diabetics. Patients were randomized into two groups, one group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and the other group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and comprehensive yogic breathing program. Standard therapy included dietary advice, brisk walking for 45 min daily, and administration of oral antidiabetic drugs. Comprehensive yogic breathing program was introduced to the participants through a course of 12 h spread over 3 days. It was an interactive session in which SKY, a rhythmic cyclical breathing, preceded by Pranayam is taught under the guidance of a certified teacher. Cardiac autonomic function tests were done before and after 6 months of intervention. Results: In the intervention group, after practicing the breathing techniques for 6 months, the improvement in sympathetic functions was statistically significant (P 0.04). The change in sympathetic functions in the standard therapy group was not significant (P 0.75). Parasympathetic functions did not show any significant change in either group. When both parasympathetic and sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions were considered, there was a trend toward improvement in patients following comprehensive yogic breathing program (P 0.06). In the standard therapy group, no change in cardiac autonomic functions was noted (P 0.99). Conclusion: Cardiac autonomic functions improved in patients with diabetes on standard treatment who followed the comprehensive yogic breathing program compared to patients who were on standard therapy alone. PMID:23869306

  16. iPFPi: A System for Improving Protein Function Prediction through Cumulative Iterations.

    PubMed

    Taha, Kamal; Yoo, Paul D; Alzaabi, Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    We propose a classifier system called iPFPi that predicts the functions of un-annotated proteins. iPFPi assigns an un-annotated protein P the functions of GO annotation terms that are semantically similar to P. An un-annotated protein P and a GO annotation term T are represented by their characteristics. The characteristics of P are GO terms found within the abstracts of biomedical literature associated with P. The characteristics of Tare GO terms found within the abstracts of biomedical literature associated with the proteins annotated with the function of T. Let F and F/ be the important (dominant) sets of characteristic terms representing T and P, respectively. iPFPi would annotate P with the function of T, if F and F/ are semantically similar. We constructed a novel semantic similarity measure that takes into consideration several factors, such as the dominance degree of each characteristic term t in set F based on its score, which is a value that reflects the dominance status of t relative to other characteristic terms, using pairwise beats and looses procedure. Every time a protein P is annotated with the function of T, iPFPi updates and optimizes the current scores of the characteristic terms for T based on the weights of the characteristic terms for P. Set F will be updated accordingly. Thus, the accuracy of predicting the function of T as the function of subsequent proteins improves. This prediction accuracy keeps improving over time iteratively through the cumulative weights of the characteristic terms representing proteins that are successively annotated with the function of T. We evaluated the quality of iPFPi by comparing it experimentally with two recent protein function prediction systems. Results showed marked improvement.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  18. CUDA implementation of histogram stretching function for improving X-ray image.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yong H; Kim, Kwan W; Kim, Soon S

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a method to improve the contrast of digital X-ray image using CUDA program on a GPU. The histogram is commonly used to get the statistical distribution of the contrast in image processing. To increase the visibility of the image in real time, we use the histogram stretching function. It is difficult to implement the function on a GPU because the CUDA program is due to handle the complex process to transfer the source data and the processed results between the memory of GPU and the host system. As a result, we show to operate the histogram stretching function quickly on GPU by the CUDA program.

  19. Theophylline treatment improves mitochondrial function after upper cervical spinal cord hemisection.

    PubMed

    Hüttemann, Maik; Nantwi, Kwaku D; Lee, Icksoo; Liu, Jenney; Mohiuddin, Syed; Petrov, Theodor

    2010-06-01

    The importance of mitochondria in spinal cord injury has mainly been attributed to their participation in apoptosis at the site of injury. But another aspect of mitochondrial function is the generation of more than 90% of cellular energy in the form of ATP, mediated by the oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) process. Cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) is a central OxPhos component and changes in its activity reflect changes in energy demand. A recent study suggests that respiratory muscle function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is compromised via alterations in mitochondrial function. In an animal model of cervical spinal cord hemisection (C2HS) respiratory dysfunction, we have shown that theophylline improves respiratory function. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that theophylline improves respiratory function at the cellular level via improved mitochondrial function in the C2HS model. We demonstrate that CcO activity was significantly (33%) increased in the spinal cord adjacent to the site of injury (C3-C5), and that administration of theophylline (20mg/kg 3x daily orally) after C2HS leads to an even more pronounced increase in CcO activity of 62% compared to sham-operated animals. These results are paralleled by a significant increase in cellular ATP levels (51% in the hemidiaphragm ipsilateral to the hemisection). We conclude that C2HS increases energy demand and activates mitochondrial respiration, and that theophylline treatment improves energy levels through activation of the mitochondrial OxPhos process to provide energy for tissue repair and functional recovery after paralysis in the C2HS model.

  20. Connective Tissue Growth Factor Regulates Cardiac Function and Tissue Remodeling in a Mouse Model of Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Koshman, Yevgeniya E.; Sternlicht, Mark D.; Kim, Taehoon; O'Hara, Christopher P.; Koczor, Christopher A.; Lewis, William; Seeley, Todd W.; Lipson, Kenneth E.; Samarel, Allen M.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac structural changes associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) include cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and myocardial fibrosis. Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF) has been associated with tissue remodeling and is highly expressed in failing hearts. Our aim was to test if inhibition of CTGF would alter the course of cardiac remodeling and preserve cardiac function in the protein kinase Cε (PKCε) mouse model of DCM. Transgenic mice expressing constitutively active PKCε in cardiomyocytes develop cardiac dysfunction that was evident by 3 months of age, and that progressed to cardiac fibrosis, heart failure, and increased mortality. Beginning at 3 months of age, PKCε mice were treated with a neutralizing monoclonal antibody to CTGF (FG-3149) for an additional 3 months. CTGF inhibition significantly improved left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function in PKCε mice, and slowed the progression of LV dilatation. Using gene arrays and quantitative PCR, the expression of many genes associated with tissue remodeling were elevated in PKCε mice, but significantly decreased by CTGF inhibition. However total collagen deposition was not attenuated. The observation of significantly improved LV function by CTGF inhibition in PKCε mice suggests that CTGF inhibition may benefit patients with DCM. Additional studies to explore this potential are warranted. PMID:26549358

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

    PubMed

    Cai, Zi-Jian

    2015-05-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Mineralocorticoid Receptor Stimulation Improves Cognitive Function and Decreases Cortisol Secretion in Depressed Patients and Healthy Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Otte, Christian; Wingenfeld, Katja; Kuehl, Linn K; Kaczmarczyk, Michael; Richter, Steffen; Quante, Arnim; Regen, Francesca; Bajbouj, Malek; Zimmermann-Viehoff, Frank; Wiedemann, Klaus; Hinkelmann, Kim

    2015-01-01

    Memory and executive function are often impaired in patients with major depression, while cortisol secretion is increased. Mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) are abundantly expressed in the hippocampus and in the prefrontal cortex, brain areas critical for memory, executive function, and cortisol inhibition. Here, we investigated whether MR stimulation with fludrocortisone (1) improves memory and executive function and (2) decreases cortisol secretion in depressed patients and healthy individuals. Twenty-four depressed patients without medication and 24 age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy participants received fludrocortisone (0.4 mg) or placebo in a randomized, double-blind, within-subject cross-over design. We measured verbal memory, visuospatial memory, executive function, psychomotor speed, and salivary cortisol secretion during cognitive testing between 1400 and 1700 hours. For verbal memory and executive function, we found better performance after fludrocortisone compared with placebo across groups. No treatment effect on other cognitive domains emerged. Depressed patients performed worse than healthy individuals in psychomotor speed and executive function. No group effect or group × treatment interaction emerged on other cognitive domains. Fludrocortisone decreased cortisol secretion across groups and there was a significant correlation between cortisol inhibition and verbal memory performance. Our data suggest a crucial role of MR in verbal memory and executive function and demonstrate the possibility to improve cognition in depressed patients and healthy individuals through MR stimulation. PMID:25035081

  4. A Bayesian Method to Incorporate Hundreds of Functional Characteristics with Association Evidence to Improve Variant Prioritization

    PubMed Central

    Gagliano, Sarah A.; Barnes, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    The increasing quantity and quality of functional genomic information motivate the assessment and integration of these data with association data, including data originating from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We used previously described GWAS signals (“hits”) to train a regularized logistic model in order to predict SNP causality on the basis of a large multivariate functional dataset. We show how this model can be used to derive Bayes factors for integrating functional and association data into a combined Bayesian analysis. Functional characteristics were obtained from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), from published expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL), and from other sources of genome-wide characteristics. We trained the model using all GWAS signals combined, and also using phenotype specific signals for autoimmune, brain-related, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. The non-phenotype specific and the autoimmune GWAS signals gave the most reliable results. We found SNPs with higher probabilities of causality from functional characteristics showed an enrichment of more significant p-values compared to all GWAS SNPs in three large GWAS studies of complex traits. We investigated the ability of our Bayesian method to improve the identification of true causal signals in a psoriasis GWAS dataset and found that combining functional data with association data improves the ability to prioritise novel hits. We used the predictions from the penalized logistic regression model to calculate Bayes factors relating to functional characteristics and supply these online alongside resources to integrate these data with association data. PMID:24844982

  5. Mineralocorticoid receptor stimulation improves cognitive function and decreases cortisol secretion in depressed patients and healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Otte, Christian; Wingenfeld, Katja; Kuehl, Linn K; Kaczmarczyk, Michael; Richter, Steffen; Quante, Arnim; Regen, Francesca; Bajbouj, Malek; Zimmermann-Viehoff, Frank; Wiedemann, Klaus; Hinkelmann, Kim

    2015-01-01

    Memory and executive function are often impaired in patients with major depression, while cortisol secretion is increased. Mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) are abundantly expressed in the hippocampus and in the prefrontal cortex, brain areas critical for memory, executive function, and cortisol inhibition. Here, we investigated whether MR stimulation with fludrocortisone (1) improves memory and executive function and (2) decreases cortisol secretion in depressed patients and healthy individuals. Twenty-four depressed patients without medication and 24 age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy participants received fludrocortisone (0.4 mg) or placebo in a randomized, double-blind, within-subject cross-over design. We measured verbal memory, visuospatial memory, executive function, psychomotor speed, and salivary cortisol secretion during cognitive testing between 1400 and 1700 hours. For verbal memory and executive function, we found better performance after fludrocortisone compared with placebo across groups. No treatment effect on other cognitive domains emerged. Depressed patients performed worse than healthy individuals in psychomotor speed and executive function. No group effect or group × treatment interaction emerged on other cognitive domains. Fludrocortisone decreased cortisol secretion across groups and there was a significant correlation between cortisol inhibition and verbal memory performance. Our data suggest a crucial role of MR in verbal memory and executive function and demonstrate the possibility to improve cognition in depressed patients and healthy individuals through MR stimulation.

  6. Early Improvement in Psychosocial Function Predicts Longer-Term Symptomatic Remission in Depressed Patients

    PubMed Central

    Jha, Manish K.; Minhajuddin, Abu; Greer, Tracy L.; Carmody, Thomas; Rush, Augustus John

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the relationship between early change in psychosocial function independent of depression severity and longer-term symptomatic remission. Participants of Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes trial were randomly selected for model selection (n = 334) and validation (n = 331). Changes in psychosocial function (Work and Social Adjustment Scale, WSAS) from baseline to week 6 were assessed and two data-driven sub-groups of WSAS change were identified in the randomly selected model selection half. Results of analyses to predict symptomatic remission at 3 and 7 months were validated for these sub-groups in the second half (validation sample). From baseline to week 6, psychosocial function improved significantly even after adjusting for depression severity at each visit and select baseline variables (age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, income, employment, depression onset before age 18, anxious features, and suicidal ideation), treatment-arm, and WSAS score. The WSAS change patterns identified two (early improvement and gradual change) subgroups. After adjusting for baseline variables and remission status at week 6, participants with early improvement in the second half (validation sample) had greater remission rates than those with gradual change at both 3 (3.3 times) and 7 months (2.3 times) following acute treatment initiation. In conclusion, early improvement in psychosocial function provides a clinically meaningful prediction of longer-term symptomatic remission, independent of depression symptom severity. PMID:28030546

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

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Tierney Ahrold; Meston, Cindy May

    2014-01-01

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

  8. A Study of Improving Sight and Functional Vocabulary Development and Comprehension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henning, Diane; Pickett, Anita

    This report describes a program to increase sight/functional vocabulary to improve reading comprehension. The targeted population consisted of one 2nd-3rd grade and one 6th-8th grade cross-categorical self-contained class, located in an elementary school and a middle school. The schools were located in a northeast suburb of a major city in the…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Genetic algorithm with an improved fitness function for (N)ARX modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Q.; Worden, K.; Peng, P.; Leung, A. Y. T.

    2007-02-01

    In this article a new fitness function is introduced in an attempt to improve the quality of the auto-regressive with exogenous inputs (ARX) model using a genetic algorithm (GA). The GA is employed to identify the coefficients and the number of time lags of the models of dynamic systems with the new fitness function which is based on the prediction error and the correlation functions between the prediction error and the input and output signals. The new fitness function provides the GA with a better performance in the evolution process. Two examples of the ARX modelling of a linear and a non-linear (NARX) simulated dynamic system are examined using the proposed fitness function.

  11. Towards improved local hybrid functionals by calibration of exchange-energy densities

    SciTech Connect

    Arbuznikov, Alexei V. E-mail: martin.kaupp@tu-berlin.de; Kaupp, Martin E-mail: martin.kaupp@tu-berlin.de

    2014-11-28

    A new approach for the calibration of (semi-)local and exact exchange-energy densities in the context of local hybrid functionals is reported. The calibration functions are derived from only the electron density and its spatial derivatives, avoiding spatial derivatives of the exact-exchange energy density or other computationally unfavorable contributions. The calibration functions fulfill the seven more important out of nine known exact constraints. It is shown that calibration improves substantially the definition of a non-dynamical correlation energy term for generalized gradient approximation (GGA)-based local hybrids. Moreover, gauge artifacts in the potential-energy curves of noble-gas dimers may be corrected by calibration. The developed calibration functions are then evaluated for a large range of energy-related properties (atomization energies, reaction barriers, ionization potentials, electron affinities, and total atomic energies) of three sets of local hybrids, using a simple one-parameter local-mixing. The functionals are based on (a) local spin-density approximation (LSDA) or (b) Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) exchange and correlation, and on (c) Becke-88 (B88) exchange and Lee-Yang-Parr (LYP) correlation. While the uncalibrated GGA-based functionals usually provide very poor thermochemical data, calibration allows a dramatic improvement, accompanied by only a small deterioration of reaction barriers. In particular, an optimized BLYP-based local-hybrid functional has been found that is a substantial improvement over the underlying global hybrids, as well as over previously reported LSDA-based local hybrids. It is expected that the present calibration approach will pave the way towards new generations of more accurate hyper-GGA functionals based on a local mixing of exchange-energy densities.

  12. Improvement of Gas-Sensing Performance of Large-Area Tungsten Disulfide Nanosheets by Surface Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Ko, Kyung Yong; Song, Jeong-Gyu; Kim, Youngjun; Choi, Taejin; Shin, Sera; Lee, Chang Wan; Lee, Kyounghoon; Koo, Jahyun; Lee, Hoonkyung; Kim, Jongbaeg; Lee, Taeyoon; Park, Jusang; Kim, Hyungjun

    2016-10-05

    Semiconducting two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are promising gas-sensing materials due to their large surface-to-volume ratio. However, their poor gas-sensing performance resulting from the low response, incomplete recovery, and insufficient selectivity hinders the realization of high-performance 2D TMDC gas sensors. Here, we demonstrate the improvement of gas-sensing performance of large-area tungsten disulfide (WS2) nanosheets through surface functionalization using Ag nanowires (NWs). Large-area WS2 nanosheets were synthesized through atomic layer deposition of WO3 followed by sulfurization. The pristine WS2 gas sensors exhibited a significant response to acetone and NO2 but an incomplete recovery in the case of NO2 sensing. After AgNW functionalization, the WS2 gas sensor showed dramatically improved response (667%) and recovery upon NO2 exposure. Our results establish that the proposed method is a promising strategy to improve 2D TMDC gas sensors.

  13. Chitosan hydrogel improves mesenchymal stem cell transplant survival and cardiac function following myocardial infarction in rats

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Bin; Li, Yang; Deng, Bo; Liu, Xiaojing; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Qing-Lei

    2017-01-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the leading cause of cardiovascular-associated mortality and morbidity. Improving the retention rate, survival and cardiomyocyte differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is important in improving the treatment of patients with MI. In the present study, temperature-responsive chitosan hydrogel, an injectable scaffold, was used to deliver MSCs directly into the infarcted myocardium of rats following MI. Histopathology and immunohistochemical staining were used to evaluate cardiac cell survival and regeneration, and cardiac function was assessed using an echocardiograph. It was demonstrated that chitosan hydrogel increased graft size and cell retention in the ischemic heart, promoted MSCs to differentiate into cardiomyocytes and increased the effects of MSCs on neovasculature formation. Furthermore, chitosan hydrogel enhanced the effect of MSCs on the improvement of cardiac function and hemodynamics in the infarcted area of rats following MI. These findings suggest that chitosan hydrogel is an appropriate material to deliver MSCs into infarcted myocardium. PMID:28352335

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  15. Improving Function in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Design and Methods of a Randomized Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Symptomatic Remission Determines Functional Improvement and Quality of Life in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    KOKAÇYA, Mehmet Hanifi; VIRIT, Osman; ÇÖPOĞLU, Ümit Sertan; SAVAŞ, Haluk; ARI, Mustafa; BAHÇECİ, Bülent

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Schizophrenia is a chronic illness that negatively affects the quality of life and psychosocial functions. Defined criteria to assess remission in schizophrenia are considered to be useful in the long-term follow-up of patients and in discriminating diagnostic factors. This study investigated the quality of life and functionality in schizophrenia patients in symptomatic remission (R-Sch) and not in remission (Non-R-Sch). Methods Sociodemographic data were collected for 40 R-Sch and 40 Non-R-Sch patients, and the following scales were administered: the Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) Scale; Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire-Short Form, Turkish Version (WHOQOL-BREF-TR), Quality of Life Scale for Schizophrenia Patients (QLS), and Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF). Results The total and all subscale scores of PANSS and the CGI-S score were significantly lower in the R-Sch group than in the Non-R-Sch group, whereas the GAF scores and all subscales of QLS and WHOQOL-BREF-TR were significantly higher. Conclusion This study demonstrates that improvement in symptoms in schizophrenia patients improves quality and functionality in all areas of life, suggesting that an improvement in symptoms is the most important determinant of functional recovery in the treatment of schizophrenia. PMID:28360807

  17. Brain Training Game Improves Executive Functions and Processing Speed in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Akitsuki, Yuko; Shigemune, Yayoi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Tsukiura, Takashi; Yomogida, Yukihito; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2012-01-01

    Background The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on cognitive functions in the elderly. Methods and Results Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members in the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed). Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention. Conclusions Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed) in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet. Trial Registration UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825 PMID:22253758

  18. Evaluation of a novel nested PCR for the routine diagnosis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

    PubMed

    Arjona, Alvaro; Barquero, Nuria; Doménech, Ana; Tejerizo, German; Collado, Victorio M; Toural, Cristina; Martín, Daniel; Gomez-Lucia, Esperanza

    2007-02-01

    Laboratory diagnosis of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) usually involves both viruses, as the clinical signs are similar and coinfection may occur. Serological methods may not represent an accurate diagnosis: maternal antibodies or cross-reactions may give false positive results to FIV, and false negative results may occur in latent FeLV status, or in certain FIV infection stages. A nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was designed to detect FeLV, FIV and feline endogenous retrovirus simultaneously. The detection of endogenous sequences was considered indicative of successful DNA extraction. The technique was used to diagnose FIV and FeLV in the blood cells of 179 cats. The kappa value with the serological data was 0.69 for FeLV and 0.87 for FIV. The joint detection of FeLV and FIV by this novel nested PCR is sensitive, specific, fast and convenient, and its applicability for clinical diagnosis is promising, as the direct evidence of the presence of the virus is more realistic than the indirect data provided by the serological detection.

  19. Continuous Fli-1 expression plays an essential role in the proliferation and survival of F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemia and human erythroleukemia.

    PubMed

    Cui, J-W; Vecchiarelli-Federico, L M; Li, Y-J; Wang, G-J; Ben-David, Y

    2009-07-01

    Erythroleukemia induced by Friend Murine Leukemia Virus (F-MuLV) serves as a powerful tool for the study of multistage carcinogenesis and hematological malignancies in mice. Fli-1, a proto-oncogene and member of the Ets family, is activated through viral integration in F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemia, and is the most critical event in the induction of this disease. Fli-1 aberrant regulation is also observed in human malignancies, including Ewing's sarcoma, which is often linked to expression of the EWS/Fli-1 fusion oncoprotein. Here we examined the effects of Fli-1 inhibition to further elucidate its role in these pathological occurrences. The constitutive suppression of Fli-1, through RNA interference (RNAi), inhibits growth and induces death in F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemia cells. Expression of a dominant negative protein Engrailed (En)/Fli-1 reduces proliferation of EWS/Fli-1-transformed NIH-3T3 cells, and both F-MuLV-induced and human erythroleukemia cells. F-MuLV-induced erythroleukemia cells also display increased apoptosis, associated with reduced expression of bcl-2, a known fli-1 target gene. Introduction of En/Fli-1 into an F-MuLV-infected erythroblastic cell line induces differentiation, as shown by increased alpha-globin expression. These results suggest, for the first time, an essential role for continuous Fli-1 overexpression in the maintenance and survival of the malignant phenotype in murine and human erythroleukemias.

  20. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve mood and motor function in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Helmich, Rick C; Siebner, Hartwig R; Bakker, Maaike; Münchau, Alexander; Bloem, Bastiaan R

    2006-10-25

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that can produce lasting changes in excitability and activity in cortical regions underneath the stimulation coil (local effect), but also within functionally connected cortical or subcortical regions (remote effects). Since the clinical presentation of Parkinson's disease (PD) is related to abnormal neuronal activity within the basal ganglia and cortical regions, including the primary motor cortex, the premotor cortex and the prefrontal cortex, several studies have used rTMS to improve brain function in PD. Here, we review the studies that have investigated the possible therapeutic effects of rTMS on mood and motor function in PD patients. We highlight some methodological inconsistencies and problems, including the difficulty to define the most effective protocol for rTMS or to establish an appropriate placebo condition. We finally propose future directions of research that may help to improve the therapeutic efficacy of rTMS in PD.

  1. Does changing pain-related knowledge reduce pain and improve function through changes in catastrophizing?

    PubMed

    Lee, Hopin; McAuley, James H; Hübscher, Markus; Kamper, Steven J; Traeger, Adrian C; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2016-04-01

    Evidence from randomized controlled studies shows that reconceptualizing pain improves patients' knowledge of pain biology, reduces catastrophizing thoughts, and improves pain and function. However, causal relationships between these variables remain untested. It is hypothesized that reductions in catastrophizing could mediate the relationship between improvements in pain knowledge and improvements in pain and function. To test this causal mechanism, we conducted longitudinal mediation analyses on a cohort of 799 patients who were exposed to a pain education intervention. Patients provided responses to the neurophysiology of pain questionnaire, catastrophic thoughts about pain scale, visual analogue pain scale, and the patient specific functional scale, at baseline, 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. With adjustment for potential confounding variables, an improvement in pain biology knowledge was significantly associated with a reduction in pain intensity (total effect = -2.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.96 to -1.44). However, this effect was not mediated by a reduction in catastrophizing (indirect effect = -0.16, 95% CI = -0.36 to 0.02). This might be due to a weak, nonsignificant relationship between changes in catastrophizing and pain intensity (path b = 0.19, 95% CI = -0.03 to 0.41). Similar trends were found in models with function as the outcome. Our findings indicate that change in catastrophizing did not mediate the effect of pain knowledge acquisition on change in pain or function. The strength of this conclusion is moderated, however, if patient-clinician relational factors are conceptualized as a consequence of catastrophizing, rather than a cause.

  2. Does botulinum toxin improve the function of the patient with spasticity after stroke?

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Eduardo; Pedreira, Glícia; Prazeres, Antônio; Ribeiro, Nildo; Melo, Ailton

    2007-09-01

    Post-stroke spasticity is an important cause of disability in adults, due to muscle hyperactivity, which results in limb stiffness and muscle spasm. The prognosis for these patients depends on several features such as early management and adequate physical therapy to avoid muscle shortening, pain, and their consequences. Although several papers have shown that intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin type A (BT-A) decreases spasticity in post-stroke patients, few authors have demonstrated functional improvement after this therapy. In order to assess if individualized BT-A injections improves upper limb function in post-stroke spastic patients, we prospectively followed 20 consecutive patients of 18 years of age or more with spastic hemiparesis secondary to stroke. Fulg-Meyer scale modified for upper limbs, measure of functional independence (MFI), Ashworth modified scale, and goniometry were applied in the beginning of the investigation and in the 16th and 32nd weeks. BT-A was applied at baseline and in the 16th week. All subjects were submitted to rehabilitation therapy. All patients showed improvement according to Ashworth modified scale and increase in the range of motion, which were sustained until the 32nd week (p<0.05). The assessment of the first three parameters of the Fulg-Meyer scale and the evaluations of the motor part of the Functional Independence Measure showed statistically improvement until the end of the study. We conclude that proper choice of muscles and individualized doses of BT-A can improve function in selected post-stroke patients.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Functional recovery of hibernating myocardium after coronary bypass surgery: Does it coincide with improvement in perfusion

    SciTech Connect

    Takeishi, Y.; Tono-oka, I.; Kubota, I.; Ikeda, K.; Masakane, I.; Chiba, J.; Abe, S.; Tsuiki, K.; Komatani, A.; Yamaguchi, I. )

    1991-09-01

    To determine the relationship between functional recovery and improvement in perfusion after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), 49 patients were studied. Radionuclide angiography was performed before, 1 month after, and 6 to 12 months after CABG to evaluate regional wall motion. Exercise thallium-201 myocardial perfusion imaging was done before and 1 month after CABG to assess regional perfusion. Preoperative asynergy was observed in 108 segments, and 74 of them showed an improvement in wall motion 1 month after CABG (segment A). Sixty-six of these segments (89%) were associated with an improvement in perfusion. Eight segments that had not improved 1 month after CABG demonstrated a delayed recovery of wall motion 6 to 12 months after CABG (segment B). However, seven of eight segments (88%) already showed an improvement in perfusion 1 month after CABG. A total of 82 segments exhibited functional recovery after CABG and were considered hibernating segments. In the preoperative study segment B more frequently had areas of akinesis or dyskinesis than segment A (75% vs 34%, p less than 0.05). The mean percent thallium-201 uptake in segment B was lower than that in segment A (74% {plus minus} 9% vs 83% {plus minus} 8%, p less than 0.05). Functional recovery of hibernating myocardium usually coincided with an improvement in perfusion. However, delayed functional recovery after reperfusion was observed in some instances. Severe asynergy and severe thallium-201 defects were more frequently observed in these segments with delayed recovery. Hibernating myocardium might remain stunned during those recovery periods.

  5. Plasma gelsolin improves lung host defense against pneumonia by enhancing macrophage NOS3 function.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiping; Chiou, Terry Ting-Yu; Stossel, Thomas P; Kobzik, Lester

    2015-07-01

    Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) functions as part of the "extracellular actin-scavenging system," but its potential to improve host defense against infection has not been studied. In a mouse model of primary pneumococcal pneumonia, recombinant human pGSN (rhu-pGSN) caused enhanced bacterial clearance, reduced acute inflammation, and improved survival. In vitro, rhu-pGSN rapidly improved lung macrophage uptake and killing of bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Francisella tularensis). pGSN triggers activating phosphorylation (Ser(1177)) of macrophage nitric oxide synthase type III (NOS3), an enzyme with important bactericidal functions in lung macrophages. rhu-pGSN failed to enhance bacterial killing by NOS3(-/-) macrophages in vitro or bacterial clearance in NOS3(-/-) mice in vivo. Prophylaxis with immunomodulators may be especially relevant for patients at risk for secondary bacterial pneumonia, e.g., after influenza. Treatment of mice with pGSN challenged with pneumococci on postinfluenza day 7 (the peak of enhanced susceptibility to secondary infection) caused a ∼15-fold improvement in bacterial clearance, reduced acute neutrophilic inflammation, and markedly improved survival, even without antibiotic therapy. pGSN is a potential immunomodulator for improving lung host defense against primary and secondary bacterial pneumonia.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Comparison of the Effects of Dialysis Methods (Haemodialysis vs Peritoneal Dialysis) on Diastolic Left Ventricular Function Dialysis Methods and Diastolic Function

    PubMed Central

    Ellouali, Fedoua; Berkchi, Fatimazahra; Bayahia, Rabia; Benamar, Loubna; Cherti, Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: In patients undergoing chronic dialysis, several factors appear to influence the occurrence of cardiac abnormalities. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of two different methods of renal replacement therapy (chronic haemodialysis (HD) and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)) on left ventricular (LV) diastolic function. Patients and Methods: We enrolled 63 patients: 21 patients on CAPD, and 42 age- and gender-matched patients on HD; 35 patients were men (55.6%). Median of age was 46.4 (35-57) years. The median duration of renal replacement therapy was 3(2-5) years. Results: The two groups (HD vs PD) were similar concerning body mass index, dialysis duration and cardiovascular risk factors. The comparison of echocardiographic parameters showed statistically significant differences between two groups, regarding the presence of calcification, cardiac effusion, severely abnormal left ventricular hypertrophy(LVH) and the ratio of mitral velocity to early diastolic velocity of the mitral annulus (E/e’) >13 (p= 0.001, p= 0.003, p= 0.02, p= 0.004, respectively). In multivariate analysis, an E/e’>13 was higher in PD group ( OR= 5.8, CI [1.3-25.5], p=0.002). Conclusion: The method of dialysis seems to influence LV diastolic function. We observed a higher prevalence of diastolic LV dysfunction in the PD group. Echocardiographic follow up is essential as this could improve the management of cardiovascular complications in dialysis patients. PMID:27583042

  8. Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Éadaoin W; Mullally, Sinéad; Foley, Carole; Warmington, Stuart A; O'Mara, Shane M; Kelly, Aine M

    2011-10-24

    Physical activity has been reported to improve cognitive function in humans and rodents, possibly via a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-regulated mechanism. In this study of human subjects, we have assessed the effects of acute and chronic exercise on performance of a face-name matching task, which recruits the hippocampus and associated structures of the medial temporal lobe, and the Stroop word-colour task, which does not, and have assessed circulating concentrations of BDNF and IGF-1 in parallel. The results show that a short period of high-intensity cycling results in enhancements in performance of the face-name matching, but not the Stroop, task. These changes in cognitive function were paralleled by increased concentration of BDNF, but not IGF-1, in the serum of exercising subjects. 3 weeks of cycling training had no effect on cardiovascular fitness, as assessed by VO2 scores, cognitive function, or serum BDNF concentration. Increases in fitness, cognitive function and serum BDNF response to acute exercise were observed following 5 weeks of aerobic training. These data indicate that both acute and chronic exercise improve medial temporal lobe function concomitant with increased concentrations of BDNF in the serum, suggesting a possible functional role for this neurotrophic factor in exercise-induced cognitive enhancement in humans.

  9. Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair in Mitral Regurgitation Reduces Cell-Free Hemoglobin and Improves Endothelial Function

    PubMed Central

    Rammos, Christos; Zeus, Tobias; Balzer, Jan; Kubatz, Laura; Hendgen-Cotta, Ulrike B.; Veulemans, Verena; Hellhammer, Katharina; Totzeck, Matthias; Luedike, Peter; Kelm, Malte; Rassaf, Tienush

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objective Endothelial dysfunction is predictive for cardiovascular events and may be caused by decreased bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). NO is scavenged by cell-free hemoglobin with reduction of bioavailable NO up to 70% subsequently deteriorating vascular function. While patients with mitral regurgitation (MR) suffer from an impaired prognosis, mechanisms relating to coexistent vascular dysfunctions have not been described yet. Therapy of MR using a percutaneous mitral valve repair (PMVR) approach has been shown to lead to significant clinical benefits. We here sought to investigate the role of endothelial function in MR and the potential impact of PMVR. Methods and Results Twenty-seven patients with moderate-to-severe MR treated with the MitraClip® device were enrolled in an open-label single-center observational study. Patients underwent clinical assessment, conventional echocardiography, and determination of endothelial function by measuring flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery using high-resolution ultrasound at baseline and at 3-month follow-up. Patients with MR demonstrated decompartmentalized hemoglobin and reduced endothelial function (cell-free plasma hemoglobin in heme 28.9±3.8 μM, FMD 3.9±0.9%). Three months post-procedure, PMVR improved ejection fraction (from 41±3% to 46±3%, p = 0.03) and NYHA functional class (from 3.0±0.1 to 1.9±1.7, p<0.001). PMVR was associated with a decrease in cell free plasma hemoglobin (22.3±2.4 μM, p = 0.02) and improved endothelial functions (FMD 4.8±1.0%, p<0.0001). Conclusion We demonstrate here that plasma from patients with MR contains significant amounts of cell-free hemoglobin, which is accompanied by endothelial dysfunction. PMVR therapy is associated with an improved hemoglobin decompartmentalization and vascular function. PMID:26986059

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain's ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable and provides imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles. SR using imperceptible stochastic electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS) applied to normal subjects has shown to improve the degree of association between the weak input periodic signals introduced via venous blood pressure receptors and the heart-rate responses. Also, application of SVS over 24

  11. Analysis on the expression and function of syndecan in the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hui; Li, Shihao; Li, Fuhua; Wen, Rong; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-08-01

    Syndecan is considered to be a multifunctional protein which functions as a cell surface receptor involved in cell adhesion, migration, cytoskeleton organization and differentiation. Previous bioinformatic analysis has revealed that syndecan in shrimp might interact with white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). In the present study, we experimentally studied the function of syndecan in shrimp immunity. The syndecan from Litopenaeus vannamei (LvSDC) was cloned and analyzed. The full-length cDNA of LvSDC was 1005 bp, consisting of 59 bp 5'-UTR, 253 bp 3'-UTR, and 693 bp open reading frame encoding 230 amino acids. LvSDC consisted of an extracellular domain (ED), a transmembrane domain (TM) and a cytoplasmic domain (CD). TM and CD shared high similarities with those of syndecan proteins from other species. LvSDC was ubiquitously expressed in all tested tissues, with the highest level in Oka. After WSSV challenge, the transcription level of LvSDC in Oka was apparently up-regulated. Recombinant LvSDC protein and its rabbit polyclonal antibody were prepared for detecting the location of LvSDC in hemocytes using immunocytochemistry approach. Data showed that LvSDC mainly located at the cell membrane and the cytoplasm of hemocytes. After silencing of LvSDC with siRNA, the WSSV copy numbers and mortality of shrimp after WSSV infection were both significantly decreased. These data provide useful information for understanding the immune mechanism of shrimp to WSSV infection.

  12. Maintained Improvement of Neurocognitive Function in Major Depressive Disorders 6 Months after ECT

    PubMed Central

    Mohn, Christine; Rund, Bjørn Rishovd

    2016-01-01

    Both impaired and improved cognitive function after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in major depressive disorder (MDD) patients may occur. We have previously found improved cognitive function 6 weeks after ECT in this group. The aim of this study was to report 6-month follow-up results from the same prospective project monitoring cognitive effects of ECT. Thirty-one patients with MDD were assessed with the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), the Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ), and the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale prior to, 6 weeks, and 6 months after ECT. Compared to baseline, the speed of processing, attention/vigilance, and reasoning/problem solving test results were significantly improved. The depression score was significantly reduced. There were no changes in subjective memory complaint. There was no significant relationship between the EMQ and the MCCB subtests, but a significant correlation between current depression level and the EMQ. Six months after ECT the cognitive improvement reported at 6-week follow-up was maintained and extended. The corresponding decrease in depressive symptoms and stability in subjectively reported memory complaints suggest that the antidepressant effects of ECT do not occur at the expense of cognitive function. PMID:28066273

  13. Calpain inhibitors reduce retinal hypoxia in ischemic retinopathy by improving neovascular architecture and functional perfusion.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Mien V; Smith, Lois E H; Senger, Donald R

    2011-04-01

    In ischemic retinopathies, underlying hypoxia drives abnormal neovascularization that damages retina and causes blindness. The abnormal neovasculature is tortuous and leaky and fails to alleviate hypoxia, resulting in more pathological neovascularization and retinal damage. With an established model of ischemic retinopathy we found that calpain inhibitors, when administered in moderation, reduced architectural abnormalities, reduced vascular leakage, and most importantly reduced retinal hypoxia. Mechanistically, these calpain inhibitors improved stability and organization of the actin cytoskeleton in retinal endothelial cells undergoing capillary morphogenesis in vitro, and they similarly improved organization of actin cables within new blood vessels in vivo. Hypoxia induced calpain activity in retinal endothelial cells and severely disrupted the actin cytoskeleton, whereas calpain inhibitors preserved actin cables under hypoxic conditions. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that hyper-activation of calpains by hypoxia contributes to disruption of the retinal endothelial cell cytoskeleton, resulting in formation of neovessels that are defective both architecturally and functionally. Modest suppression of calpain activity with calpain inhibitors restores cytoskeletal architecture and promotes formation of a functional neovasculature, thereby reducing underlying hypoxia. In sharp contrast to "anti-angiogenesis" strategies that cannot restore normoxia and may aggravate hypoxia, the therapeutic strategy described here does not inhibit neovascularization. Instead, by improving the function of neovascularization to reduce underlying hypoxia, moderate calpain inhibition offers a method for alleviating retinal ischemia, thereby suggesting a new treatment paradigm based on improvement rather than inhibition of new blood vessel growth.

  14. Dejian Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Cognitive Functions of a Child with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Agnes S.; Sze, Sophia L.; Cheung, Mei-Chun; Han, Yvonne M. Y.; Leung, Winnie W. M.; Shi, Dejian

    2011-01-01

    There has been increasing empirical evidence for the enhancing effects of Dejian Mind-Body Intervention (DMBI), a traditional Chinese Shaolin healing approach, on human frontal brain activity/functions, including patients with autism who are well documented to have frontal lobe problems. This study aims to compare the effects of DMBI with a conventional behavioural/cognitive intervention (CI) on enhancing the executive functions and memory of a nine-year-old boy with low-functioning autism (KY) and to explore possible underlying neural mechanism using EEG theta cordance. At post-one-month DMBI, KY's inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and memory functioning have significantly improved from “severely-to-moderately impaired” to “within-normal” range. This improvement was not observed from previous 12-month CI. Furthermore, KY showed increased cordance gradually extending from the anterior to the posterior brain region, suggesting possible neural mechanism underlying his cognitive improvement. These findings have implicated potential applicability of DMBI as a rehabilitation program for patients with severe frontal lobe and/or memory disorders. PMID:21584249

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  16. Subliminal strengthening: improving older individuals' physical function over time with an implicit-age-stereotype intervention.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Negative age stereotypes that older individuals assimilate from their culture predict detrimental outcomes, including worse physical function. We examined, for the first time, whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, would lead to improved outcomes. Each of 100 older individuals (age=61-99 years, M=81) was randomly assigned to an implicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, an explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, a combined implicit- and explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, or a control group. Interventions occurred at four 1-week intervals. The implicit intervention strengthened positive age stereotypes, which strengthened positive self-perceptions of aging, which, in turn, improved physical function. The improvement in these outcomes continued for 3 weeks after the last intervention session. Further, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened. For all outcomes, the implicit intervention's impact was greater than the explicit intervention's impact. The physical-function effect of the implicit intervention surpassed a previous study's 6-month-exercise-intervention's effect with participants of similar ages. The current study's findings demonstrate the potential of directing implicit processes toward physical-function enhancement over time.

  17. A Piano Training Program to Improve Manual Dexterity and Upper Extremity Function in Chronic Stroke Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Penhune, Virginia; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Music-supported therapy was shown to induce improvements in motor skills in stroke survivors. Whether all stroke individuals respond similarly to the intervention and whether gains can be maintained over time remain unknown. We estimated the immediate and retention effects of a piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. Methods: Thirteen stroke participants engaged in a 3-week piano training comprising supervised sessions (9 × 60 min) and home practice. Fine and gross manual dexterity, movement coordination, and functional use of the upper extremity were assessed at baseline, pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at a 3-week follow-up. Results: Significant improvements were observed for all outcomes at post-intervention and follow-up compared to pre-intervention scores. Larger magnitudes of change in manual dexterity and functional use of the upper extremity were associated with higher initial levels of motor recovery. Conclusion: Piano training can result in sustainable improvements in upper extremity function in chronic stroke survivors. Individuals with a higher initial level of motor recovery at baseline appear to benefit the most from this intervention. PMID:25202258

  18. Tungstate treatment improves Leydig cell function in streptozotocin-diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Ballester, Joan; Domínguez, Jorge; Muñoz, M Carmen; Sensat, Meritxell; Rigau, Teresa; Guinovart, Joan J; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E

    2005-01-01

    Oral administration of sodium tungstate to adult male streptozotocin-diabetic rats for 3 months normalized serum levels of glucose, insulin, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone. These effects were accompanied by an increase in reproductive performance, which was related to a strong improvement in Leydig cell function markers, such as the recovery of the number of Leydig cells and serum testosterone levels. Moreover, this in vivo recovery was related to a concomitant increase in the cell expression of insulin receptors. Tungstate treatment did not modify Leydig cell function in healthy rats. Furthermore, the addition of tungstate or insulin to the mTLC-1 cell line from Leydig cell origin increased the phosphorylation states of MAP-kinase and glycogen synthase kinase-3. Our results indicate that tungstate treatment in diabetic rats leads to a recovery of reproductive performance by increasing the number of Leydig cells. This increase contributes to the recovery of their functionality, thereby improving the overall function of these cells. We propose that this improvement is caused by the combined effect of the tungstate-induced normalization of insulin glucose and luteinizing hormone serum levels and a direct action of the effector on Leydig cells through modulation of at least MAP-kinase and glycogen synthase kinase-3 activities.

  19. Repletion of S-Nitrosohemoglobin Improves Organ Function and Physiologic Status in Swine Following Brain Death

    PubMed Central

    Yurcisin, Basil M.; Davison, Tara E.; Bibbs, Syreena M.; Collins, Bradley H.; Stamler, Jonathan S.; Reynolds, James D.

    2013-01-01

    Structured Abstract Objective To determine if deficiency of nitric oxide bioactivity contributes to the physiologic instability that occurs following brain death and, if so, to also determine in this setting whether administration of a renitrosylating agent could improve systemic physiologic status. Summary Background Data Organ function following brain death is negatively impacted by reduced perfusion and increased inflammation; the magnitude of these responses can impact post-graft function. Perfusion and inflammation are normally regulated by protein S-nitrosylation but systemic assessments of nitric oxide bioactivity following brain death have not been performed. Methods Brain death was induced in instrumented swine by inflation of a balloon catheter placed under the cranium. The subjects were then serially assigned to receive either standard supportive care or care augmented by 20 ppm of the nitrosylating agent ethyl nitrite blended into the ventilation circuit. Results Circulating nitric oxide bioactivity (in the form of S-nitrosohemoglobin) was markedly diminished 10 h after induction of brain death—a decline that was obviated by administration of ethyl nitrite. Maintenance of S-nitrosohemoglobin was associated with improvements in tissue blood flow and oxygenation, reductions in markers of immune activation and cellular injury, and with preservation of organ function. Conclusions In humans the parameters monitored in this study are predictive of post-graft function. As such, maintenance of endocrine nitric oxide bioactivity after brain death may provide a novel means to improve the quality of organs available for donation. PMID:23360919

  20. DPP4-inhibitor improves neuronal insulin receptor function, brain mitochondrial function and cognitive function in rats with insulin resistance induced by high-fat diet consumption.

    PubMed

    Pipatpiboon, Noppamas; Pintana, Hiranya; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2013-03-01

    High-fat diet (HFD) consumption has been demonstrated to cause peripheral and neuronal insulin resistance, and brain mitochondrial dysfunction in rats. Although the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, vildagliptin, is known to improve peripheral insulin sensitivity, its effects on neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction caused by a HFD are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that vildagliptin prevents neuronal insulin resistance, brain mitochondrial dysfunction, learning and memory deficit caused by HFD. Male rats were divided into two groups to receive either a HFD or normal diet (ND) for 12 weeks, after which rats in each group were fed with either vildagliptin (3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 21 days. The cognitive function was tested by the Morris Water Maze prior to brain removal for studying neuronal insulin receptor (IR) and brain mitochondrial function. In HFD rats, neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction were demonstrated, with impaired learning and memory. Vildagliptin prevented neuronal insulin resistance by restoring insulin-induced long-term depression and neuronal IR phosphorylation, IRS-1 phosphorylation and Akt/PKB-ser phosphorylation. It also improved brain mitochondrial dysfunction and cognitive function. Vildagliptin effectively restored neuronal IR function, increased glucagon-like-peptide 1 levels and prevented brain mitochondrial dysfunction, thus attenuating the impaired cognitive function caused by HFD.

  1. RNA Interference for Functional Genomics and Improvement of Cotton (Gossypium sp.)

    PubMed Central

    Abdurakhmonov, Ibrokhim Y.; Ayubov, Mirzakamol S.; Ubaydullaeva, Khurshida A.; Buriev, Zabardast T.; Shermatov, Shukhrat E.; Ruziboev, Haydarali S.; Shapulatov, Umid M.; Saha, Sukumar; Ulloa, Mauricio; Yu, John Z.; Percy, Richard G.; Devor, Eric J.; Sharma, Govind C.; Sripathi, Venkateswara R.; Kumpatla, Siva P.; van der Krol, Alexander; Kater, Hake D.; Khamidov, Khakimdjan; Salikhov, Shavkat I.; Jenkins, Johnie N.; Abdukarimov, Abdusattor; Pepper, Alan E.

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi), is a powerful new technology in the discovery of genetic sequence functions, and has become a valuable tool for functional genomics of cotton (Gossypium sp.). The rapid adoption of RNAi has replaced previous antisense technology. RNAi has aided in the discovery of function and biological roles of many key cotton genes involved in fiber development, fertility and somatic embryogenesis, resistance to important biotic and abiotic stresses, and oil and seed quality improvements as well as the key agronomic traits including yield and maturity. Here, we have comparatively reviewed seminal research efforts in previously used antisense approaches and currently applied breakthrough RNAi studies in cotton, analyzing developed RNAi methodologies, achievements, limitations, and future needs in functional characterizations of cotton genes. We also highlighted needed efforts in the development of RNAi-based cotton cultivars, and their safety and risk assessment, small and large-scale field trials, and commercialization. PMID:26941765

  2. Improving the antioxidant functionality of Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) fruit juice by underwater shockwave pretreatment.

    PubMed

    Kuraya, Eisuke; Nakada, Shina; Touyama, Akiko; Itoh, Shigeru

    2017-02-01

    Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) has a strong characteristic aroma, and hence, yuzu juice is used in a number of Japanese foods. We herein evaluated the functional compounds of yuzu juice to investigate whether underwater shockwave pretreatment affects its functionality. Employing the shockwave pretreatment at an increased discharge and energy of 3.5kV and 4.9kJ, respectively, resulted in an increase in the flavanone glycoside content and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). The ORAC value of yuzu juice cultivated in Rikuzentakata increased approximately 1.7 times upon underwater shockwave pretreatment. The treatment method proposed herein exhibited reliable and good performance for the extraction of functional and antioxidant chemicals in yuzu fruits, and was comparable with traditional squeezing methods. The high applicability and reliability of this technique for improving the antioxidant functionality of yuzu fruit juice was demonstrated, confirming the potential for application to a wide range of food extraction processes.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants: a review.

    PubMed

    Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted.

  5. A novel lectin domain-containing protein (LvCTLD) associated with response of the whiteleg shrimp Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei to yellow head virus (YHV).

    PubMed

    Junkunlo, Kingkamon; Prachumwat, Anuphap; Tangprasittipap, Amornrat; Senapin, Saengchan; Borwornpinyo, Suparerk; Flegel, Timothy W; Sritunyalucksana, Kallaya

    2012-07-01

    When using mRNA from gills of normal whiteleg shrimp Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei as the tester and mRNA from yellow head virus (YHV)-infected shrimp as the driver, subtractive suppression hybridization (SSH) revealed that a novel EST clone of 198 bp with a putative C-type lectin-like domain (CTLD) was downregulated in YHV-infected shrimp. The clone nucleotide sequence had 99% identity with one contig MGID1052359 (1,380 bp) reported in an EST database of P. vannamei, and the presence of this target in normal shrimp was confirmed by RT-PCR using primers designed from the MGID1052359 sequence. Analysis of the primary structure of the deduced amino acid (a.a.) sequence of the contig revealed a short portion (40 a.a. residues) at its N-terminus with high similarity to a low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) class A domain and another 152 a.a. residues at its C-terminus with high similarity to a C-type lectin domain. Thus, the clone was named LvCTLD and three recombinant proteins (LvCTLD, the LDLR domain and the CTLD domain) were synthesized in a bacterial system based on its sequence. An in vitro encapsulation assay revealed that Sepharose 4B beads coated with rLvCTLD were encapsulated by shrimp hemocytes and that melanization followed by 24 h post-encapsulation. The encapsulation activity of rLvCTLD was inhibited by 100 mM galactose, but not mannose or EDTA. In vivo injection of rLvCTLD or rLvCTLD plus YHV resulted in a significant elevation of PO activity in the hemolymph of the challenged shrimp when compared to shrimp injected with buffer, suggesting that rLvCTLD could activate the proPO system. An ELISA test revealed that rLvCTLD could bind to YHV particles in the presence of shrimp hemolymph. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the LvCTLD sequence was more closely related to an antiviral gene found in Penaeus monodon (PmAV) than to other reported shrimp lectins. Taken together, we conclude that a novel shrimp LvCTLD is a host recognition molecule involved in

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Selective GABAA α5 Positive Allosteric Modulators Improve Cognitive Function in Aged Rats with Memory Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Ming Teng; Rosenzweig-Lipson, Sharon; Gallagher, Michela

    2012-01-01

    A condition of excess activity in the hippocampal formation is observed in the aging brain and in conditions that confer additional risk during aging for Alzheimer’s disease. Compounds that act as positive allosteric modulators at GABAA α5 receptors might be useful in targeting this condition because GABAA α5 receptors mediate tonic inhibition of principal neurons in the affected network. While agents to improve cognitive function in the past focused on inverse agonists, which are negative allosteric modulators at GABAA α5 receptors, research supporting that approach used only young animals and predated current evidence for excessive hippocampal activity in age-related conditions of cognitive impairment. Here, we used two compounds, Compound 44 [6,6-dimethyl-3-(3-hydroxypropyl)thio-1-(thiazol-2-yl)-6,7-dihydro-2-benzothiophen-4(5H)-one] and Compound 6 [methyl 3,5-diphenylpyridazine-4-carboxylate], with functional activity as potentiators of γ-aminobutyric acid at GABAA α5 receptors, to test their ability to improve hippocampal-dependent memory in aged rats with identified cognitive impairment. Improvement was obtained in aged rats across protocols differing in motivational and performance demands and across varying retention intervals. Significant memory improvement occurred after either intracereboventricular infusion with Compound 44 (100 μg) in a water maze task or systemic administration with Compound 6 (3 mg/kg) in a radial arm maze task. Furthermore, systemic administration improved behavioral performance at dosing shown to provide drug exposure in the brain and in vivo receptor occupancy in the hippocampus. These data suggest a novel approach to improve neural network function in clinical conditions of excess hippocampal activity. PMID:22732440

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuberger, Manfred; Moshammer, Hanns; Kundi, Michael

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

  9. Dietary resistant starch improves selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents.

    PubMed

    Zhou, June; Keenan, Michael J; Fernandez-Kim, Sun Ok; Pistell, Paul J; Ingram, Donald K; Li, Bing; Raggio, Anne M; Shen, Li; Zhang, Hanjie; McCutcheon, Kathleen L; Tulley, Richard T; Blackman, Marc R; Keller, Jeffrey N; Martin, Roy J

    2013-11-01

    Resistant starch (RS) is a dietary fiber that exerts multiple beneficial effects. The current study explored the effects of dietary RS on selected brain and behavioral functions in adult and aged rodents. Because glucokinase (GK) expression in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and area postrema of the brainstem is important for brain glucose sensing, GK mRNA was measured by brain nuclei microdissection and PCR. Adult RS-fed rats had a higher GK mRNA than controls in both brain nuclei, an indicator of improved brain glucose sensing. Next, we tested whether dietary RS improve selected behaviors in aged mice. RS-fed aged mice exhibited (i) an increased eating responses to fasting, a behavioral indicator of improvement in aged brain glucose sensing; (ii) a longer latency to fall from an accelerating rotarod, a behavioral indicator of improved motor coordination; and (iii) a higher serum active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Then, GLP-1 receptor null (GLP-1RKO) mice were used to test the role of GLP-1 in brain glucose sensing, and they exhibited impaired eating responses to fasting. We conclude that in rodents (i) dietary RS improves two important indicators of brain function: glucose sensing and motor coordination, and (ii) GLP-1 is important in the optimal feeding response to a fast.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Long-term wheel running compromises diaphragm function but improves cardiac and plantarflexor function in the mdx mouse.

    PubMed

    Selsby, Joshua T; Acosta, Pedro; Sleeper, Meg M; Barton, Elisabeth R; Sweeney, H Lee

    2013-09-01

    Dystrophin-deficient muscles suffer from free radical injury, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, and inflammation, among other pathologies that contribute to muscle fiber injury and loss, leading to wheelchair confinement and death in the patient. For some time, it has been appreciated that endurance training has the potential to counter many of these contributing factors. Correspondingly, numerous investigations have shown improvements in limb muscle function following endurance training in mdx mice. However, the effect of long-term volitional wheel running on diaphragm and cardiac function is largely unknown. Our purpose was to determine the extent to which long-term endurance exercise affected dystrophic limb, diaphragm, and cardiac function. Diaphragm specific tension was reduced by 60% (P < 0.05) in mice that performed 1 yr of volitional wheel running compared with sedentary mdx mice. Dorsiflexor mass (extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior) and function (extensor digitorum longus) were not altered by endurance training. In mice that performed 1 yr of volitional wheel running, plantarflexor mass (soleus and gastrocnemius) was increased and soleus tetanic force was increased 36%, while specific tension was similar in wheel-running and sedentary groups. Cardiac mass was increased 15%, left ventricle chamber size was increased 20% (diastole) and 18% (systole), and stroke volume was increased twofold in wheel-running compared with sedentary mdx mice. These data suggest that the dystrophic heart may undergo positive exercise-induced remodeling and that limb muscle function is largely unaffected. Most importantly, however, as the diaphragm most closely recapitulates the human disease, these data raise the possibility of exercise-mediated injury in dystrophic skeletal muscle.

  12. Forward ejection fraction: a new index of left ventricular function in mitral regurgitation.

    PubMed

    Clancy, K F; Hakki, A H; Iskandrian, A S; Hadjimiltiades, S; Mundth, E D; Hakki, A H; Bemis, C E; Nestico, P F; DePace, N L; Segal, B L

    1985-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that a normal LVEF is not a reliable index of LV function in MR. We hypothesized that the forward EF, which is the forward stroke volume (measured by Fick or thermodilution) divided by end-diastolic volume (measured by contrast ventriculography) may be a useful index of LV function, since it represents LV emptying into the aorta. This index was examined in 54 patients with chronic MR who had normal EF (greater than or equal to 50%). There were significant correlations between the forward EF and the end-diastolic volume index (r = -0.69, p less than 0.001), end-systolic volume index (r = -0.64, p less than 0.001), cardiac index (r = 0.43, p less than 0.01), and the ratio of systolic pressure-to-end-systolic volume (r = 0.65, p less than 0.001). Patients were divided into two groups according to the forward EF: group I (n = 34) had forward EF less than or equal to 35%; and group II (n = 20) had forward EF greater than 35%. Of the 32 patients who subsequently underwent mitral valve replacement, 24 patients were in group I and eight patients were in group II. At a mean follow-up of 35 months, four patients died; all of them were in group I. Improvement in functional class occurred in 75% of surgical survivors (80% in group I and 63% in group II, p = NS). These preliminary data suggest that forward EF may be a useful index of LV performance in patients with MR who have normal EF.

  13. Improved prediction of accessible surface area results in efficient energy function application.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Sumaiya; Mishra, Avdesh; Hoque, Md Tamjidul

    2015-09-07

    An accurate prediction of real value accessible surface area (ASA) from protein sequence alone has wide application in the field of bioinformatics and computational biology. ASA has been helpful in understanding the 3-dimensional structure and function of a protein, acting as high impact feature in secondary structure prediction, disorder prediction, binding region identification and fold recognition applications. To enhance and support broad applications of ASA, we have made an attempt to improve the prediction accuracy of absolute accessible surface area by developing a new predictor paradigm, namely REGAd(3)p, for real value prediction through classical Exact Regression with Regularization and polynomial kernel of degree 3 which was further optimized using Genetic Algorithm. ASA assisting effective energy function, motivated us to enhance the accuracy of predicted ASA for better energy function application. Our ASA prediction paradigm was trained and tested using a new benchmark dataset, proposed in this work, consisting of 1001 and 298 protein chains, respectively. We achieved maximum Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) of 0.76 and 1.45% improved PCC when compared with existing top performing predictor, SPINE-X, in ASA prediction on independent test set. Furthermore, we modeled the error between actual and predicted ASA in terms of energy and combined this energy linearly with the energy function 3DIGARS which resulted in an effective energy function, namely 3DIGARS2.0, outperforming all the state-of-the-art energy functions. Based on Rosetta and Tasser decoy-sets 3DIGARS2.0 resulted 80.78%, 73.77%, 141.24%, 16.52%, and 32.32% improvement over DFIRE, RWplus, dDFIRE, GOAP and 3DIGARS respectively.

  14. Interaction between endoplasmic reticulum stress and caspase 8 activation in retrovirus MoMuLV-ts1-infected astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Na; Scofield, Virginia L; Qiang, Wenan; Yan, Mingshan; Kuang, Xianghong; Wong, Paul K Y

    2006-05-10

    The murine retrovirus, MoMuLV-ts1, induces progressive paralysis and immune deficiency in FVB/N mice. We have reported previously that ts1 infection causes apoptosis in astrocytes via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial stress (Liu, N., Kuang, X., Kim, H.T., Stoica, G., Qiang, W., Scofield, V.L., Wong, P.K.Y. Wong. 2004. Possible involvement of both endoplasmic reticulum- and mitochondria-dependent pathways in MoMuLV-ts1-induced apoptosis in astrocytes. J. NeuroVirol. 10, 189-198). In the present study, we show that caspase 8 activation in these cells is mediated through ER stress-associated elevation of death receptor DR5 and the C/EBP homologous protein (GADD153/CHOP), an ER stress-initiated transcription factor, rather than through TNFalpha and TNF-R1 interactions on the cell surface. Treatment with Z-IETD-FMK, a specific inhibitor of caspase 8 enzymatic activity, reduced ER stress by two mechanisms: by inhibiting caspase 8 activation, and by preventing cleavage of the ER-associated membrane protein BAP31 into BAP20, which exacerbates the ER stress response. These findings suggest that caspase 8- and ER stress-associated apoptotic pathways are linked in ts1-infected astrocytes.

  15. From free energy to expected energy: Improving energy-based value function approximation in reinforcement learning.

    PubMed

    Elfwing, Stefan; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2016-12-01

    Free-energy based reinforcement learning (FERL) was proposed for learning in high-dimensional state and action spaces. However, the FERL method does only really work well with binary, or close to binary, state input, where the number of active states is fewer than the number of non-active states. In the FERL method, the value function is approximated by the negative free energy of a restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM). In our earlier study, we demonstrated that the performance and the robustness of the FERL method can be improved by scaling the free energy by a constant that is related to the size of network. In this study, we propose that RBM function approximation can be further improved by approximating the value function by the negative expected energy (EERL), instead of the negative free energy, as well as being able to handle continuous state input. We validate our proposed method by demonstrating that EERL: (1) outperforms FERL, as well as standard neural network and linear function approximation, for three versions of a gridworld task with high-dimensional image state input; (2) achieves new state-of-the-art results in stochastic SZ-Tetris in both model-free and model-based learning settings; and (3) significantly outperforms FERL and standard neural network function approximation for a robot navigation task with raw and noisy RGB images as state input and a large number of actions.

  16. Delivery of an engineered HGF fragment in an extracellular matrix-derived hydrogel prevents negative LV remodeling post-myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Sonnenberg, Sonya B; Rane, Aboli A; Liu, Cassie J; Rao, Nikhil; Agmon, Gillie; Suarez, Sophia; Wang, Raymond; Munoz, Adam; Bajaj, Vaibhav; Zhang, Shirley; Braden, Rebecca; Schup-Magoffin, Pamela J; Kwan, Oi Ling; DeMaria, Anthony N; Cochran, Jennifer R; Christman, Karen L

    2015-03-01

    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been shown to have anti-fibrotic, pro-angiogenic, and cardioprotective effects; however, it is highly unstable and expensive to manufacture, hindering its clinical translation. Recently, a HGF fragment (HGF-f), an alternative c-MET agonist, was engineered to possess increased stability and recombinant expression yields. In this study, we assessed the potential of HGF-f, delivered in an extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived hydrogel, as a potential treatment for myocardial infarction (MI). HGF-f protected cardiomyocytes from serum-starvation and induced down-regulation of fibrotic markers in whole cardiac cell isolate compared to the untreated control. The ECM hydrogel prolonged release of HGF-f compared to collagen gels, and in vivo delivery of HGF-f from ECM hydrogels mitigated negative left ventricular (LV) remodeling, improved fractional area change (FAC), and increased arteriole density in a rat myocardial infarction model. These results indicate that HGF-f may be a viable alternative to using recombinant HGF, and that an ECM hydrogel can be employed to increase growth factor retention and efficacy.

  17. Nitrile functionalized halloysite nanotubes/poly(arylene ether nitrile) nanocomposites: Interface control, characterization, and improved properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Xinyi; Zhan, Yingqing; Zeng, Guangyong; He, Yi

    2017-01-01

    To develop high-performance halloysite nanotube (HNT)-based nanocomposites, the two key issues need to be considered: precise interface control and the dispersal of HNTs. This study presents an efficient way to functionalize halloysite nanotubes with 3-aminophenoxy-phthalonitrile, followed by compounding with poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN), to prepare functional nanocomposite films. The surface functionalization of HNTs was characterized and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared with neat PEN, the tensile strength and modulus of the resulting PEN nanocomposites with 3 wt% functionalized HNTs were found to increase by 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively. The good dispersion and high capacitance of the dielectric layer resulted in PEN/HNTs nancomposites with enhanced dielectric permittivity and relatively low dielectric loss. Moreover, the addition of functional HNTs greatly improved the thermal stability of PEN, which could be further enhanced through the chemical cross-linking reaction between the functional HNTs and the PEN matrix. This work provides a new path toward obtaining advanced polymer-based nanocomposites with functional properties.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) infections in pet cats in Bangkok and vicinities, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sukhumavasi, Woraporn; Bellosa, Mary L; Lucio-Forster, Araceli; Liotta, Janice L; Lee, Alice C Y; Pornmingmas, Pitcha; Chungpivat, Sudchit; Mohammed, Hussni O; Lorentzen, Leif; Dubey, J P; Bowman, Dwight D

    2012-08-13

    The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infections was examined using serum or plasma samples from 746 pet cats collected between May and July 2009 from clinics and hospitals located in and around Bangkok, Thailand. The samples were tested for heartworm, FIV, and FeLV using a commercial ELISA. Of the 746 samples, 4.6% (34/746) were positive for heartworm antigen, 24.5% (183/746) had circulating FeLV antigen, and 20.1% (150/746) had antibodies against FIV. In addition, the first 348 submitted samples were tested for T. gondii antibodies using a modified agglutination test (MAT, cut off 1:25); 10.1% (35/348) were seropositive. Of the 348 cats sampled for all four pathogens, 11, 10, and 1 were positive for T. gondii antibodies and FIV antibodies, FeLV antigen, or D. immitis antigen, respectively. Of the 35 T. gondii-seropositive cats, 42.9% (15/35) were co-infected with at least one of the other three pathogens. The presence of antibodies to FIV was significantly associated with both age and gender, while FeLV antigen presence was only associated with age. In the case of FIV, males were twice as likely to be infected as females, and cats over 10 years of age were 13.5 times more likely to be infected than cats less than 1 year of age. FeLV antigen was more common in younger cats, with cats over 10 years of age being 10 times less likely to be FeLV positive than cats under 1 year of age. This is the first survey for these four pathogens affecting feline health in Thailand.

  2. Immunopathology of B-cell lymphomas induced in C57BL/6 mice by dualtropic murine leukemia virus (MuLV).

    PubMed Central

    Pattengale, P. K.; Taylor, C. R.; Twomey, P.; Hill, S.; Jonasson, J.; Beardsley, T.; Haas, M.

    1982-01-01

    Combined clinicopathologic and immunomorphologic evidence is presented that would indicate that a murine leukemia virus (MuLV) with the dualtropic host range is capable of producing a clinically malignant lesion composed of immunoblasts and associated plasma cells in C57BL/6 mice. This process, morphologically diagnosed as an immunoblastic lymphoma of B cells using standard histopathologic criteria, was found to be distinctly polyclonal with regard to immunoglobulin (Ig) isotype when analyzed for both surface and cytoplasmic Ig. Further studies demonstrated that this clinicopathologically malignant, dualtropic MuLV-induced, polyclonal immunoblastic lymphoma of B cells in C57BL/6 mice was normal diploid and unable to be successfully transplanted to nonimmunosuppressed syngeneic recipients. Although all serum heavy and light chain components were found to be progressively elevated as the tumor load increased, the polyclonal increase in serum immunoglobulins was most pronounced for mu heavy and kappa light chains (ie, mu greater than gamma 2A greater than alpha greater than gamma 2B greater than gamma 1; kappa greater than lamba). The dissociation of clinicopathologic and biologic criteria for malignancy in the presently described dualtropic (RadLV) MuLV-induced B-cell lesion is sharply contrasted with the thymotropic (RadLV), MuLV-induced T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in C57BL/6 mice. This process is also a clinicopathologically malignant lesion but, when one uses biologic criteria, is found to be distinctly monoclonal, aneuploid, and easily transplanted to nonimmunosuppressed syngeneic recipients. The close clinicopathologic and biologic similarities of the dualtropic MuLV-induced animal model to corresponding human B-cell lymphoproliferative diseases are stressed. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 7 PMID:6282131

  3. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed.

  4. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    García-Madruga, Juan A.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-15

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

  6. A Multispectral Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Study of Human Skin for Improved Dismount Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-01

    angular locations to improve on the rules-based detector. Our research approach first characterizes skin’s specular reflectance with direct measurements ...The fitting of a bidirectional reflectance distribution function model to iv the measurements with approximately 8.2% error allows us to incorporate the...2-8 2.3.1 BRDF Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8 2.3.2 BRDF Measurement

  7. Targeting L-Selectin to Improve Neurologic and Urologic Function After Spinal Cord Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    We have demonstrated no adverse effects of DFA on bladder function following spinal cord injury. However, the drug resulted in no improvement in...We demonstrated that 40 mg/kg DFA is the minimally effective dose to induce L-selectin shedding in a mouse model of spinal cord injury -We...using this paradigm for two injury severities, mild and severe, suggesting a robust therapeutic effect -We identified no adverse effects to animal

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Grape Powder Improves Age-Related Decline in Mitochondrial and Kidney Functions in Fischer 344 Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Quaisar

    2016-01-01

    We examined the effects and mechanism of grape powder- (GP-) mediated improvement, if any, on aging kidney function. Adult (3-month) and aged (21-month) Fischer 344 rats were treated without (controls) and with GP (1.5% in drinking water) and kidney parameters were measured. Control aged rats showed higher levels of proteinuria and urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), which decreased with GP treatment in these rats. Renal protein carbonyls (protein oxidation) and gp91phox-NADPH oxidase levels were high in control aged rats, suggesting oxidative stress burden in these rats. GP treatment in aged rats restored these parameters to the levels of adult rats. Moreover, glomerular filtration rate and sodium excretion were low in control aged rats suggesting compromised kidney function, which improved with GP treatment in aged rats. Interestingly, low renal mitochondrial respiration and ATP levels in control aged rats were associated with reduced levels of mitochondrial biogenesis marker MtTFA. Also, Nrf2 proteins levels were reduced in control aged rats. GP treatment increased levels of MtTFA and Nrf2 in aged rats. These results suggest that GP by potentially regulating Nrf2 improves aging mitochondrial and kidney functions. PMID:27528887

  13. Folic Acid Supplementation Improves Vascular Function in Professional Dancers With Endothelial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Hoch, Anne Z.; Papanek, Paula; Szabo, Aniko; Widlansky, Michael E.; Gutterman, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine if folic acid supplementation improves vascular function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation [FMD]) in professional dancers with known endothelial dysfunction. Design Prospective cross-sectional study. Setting Academic institution in the Midwestern United States. Subjects Twenty-two professional ballet dancers volunteered for this study. Main Outcome Measures Subjects completed a 3-day food record to determine caloric and micronutrient intake. Menstrual status was determined by interview and questionnaire. Endothelial function was determined as flow-induced vasodilation measured by high-frequency ultrasound of the brachial artery. A change in brachial diameter of <5% to hyperemic flow stimulus was defined a priori as endothelial dysfunction. Subjects with abnormal FMD took 10 mg of folic acid daily for 4 weeks, and FMD testing was then repeated. Serum whole blood was measured for folic acid levels before and after supplementation. Results Sixty-four percent of dancers (n = 14) had abnormal brachial artery FMD (<5%) (mean ± standard deviation, 2.9% ± 1.5%). After 4 weeks of folic acid supplementation (10 mg/day), FMD improved in all the subjects (7.1% ± 2.3%; P < .0001). Conclusions This study reveals that vascular endothelial function improves in dancers after supplementation with folic acid (10 mg/day) for at least 4 weeks. This finding may have clinically important implications for future cardiovascular disease risk prevention. PMID:21715240

  14. Cardiac I-1c overexpression with reengineered AAV improves cardiac function in swine ischemic heart failure.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Cardiac gene therapy has emerged as a promising option to treat advanced heart failure (HF). Advances in molecular biology and gene targeting approaches are offering further novel options for genetic manipulation of the cardiovascular system. The aim of this study was to improve cardiac function in chronic HF by overexpressing constitutively active inhibitor-1 (I-1c) using a novel cardiotropic vector generated by capsid reengineering of adeno-associated virus (BNP116). One month after a large anterior myocardial infarction, 20 Yorkshire pigs randomly received intracoronary injection of either high-dose BNP116.I-1c (1.0 × 10(13) vector genomes (vg), n = 7), low-dose BNP116.I-1c (3.0 × 10(12) vg, n = 7), or saline (n = 6). Compared to baseline, mean left ventricular ejection fraction increased by 5.7% in the high-dose group, and by 5.2% in the low-dose group, whereas it decreased by 7% in the saline group. Additionally, preload-recruitable stroke work obtained from pressure-volume analysis demonstrated significantly higher cardiac performance in the high-dose group. Likewise, other hemodynamic parameters, including stroke volume and contractility index indicated improved cardiac function after the I-1c gene transfer. Furthermore, BNP116 showed a favorable gene expression pattern for targeting the heart. In summary, I-1c overexpression using BNP116 improves cardiac function in a clinically relevant model of ischemic HF.

  15. Kinetin Improves Barrier Function of the Skin by Modulating Keratinocyte Differentiation Markers

    PubMed Central

    An, Sungkwan; Cha, Hwa Jun; Ko, Jung-Min; Han, Hyunjoo; Kim, Su Young; Kim, Kyung-Suk; Lee, Song Jeong; An, In-Sook; Kim, Sangwon; Youn, Hae Jeong

    2017-01-01

    Background Kinetin is a plant hormone that regulates growth and differentiation. Keratinocytes, the basic building blocks of the epidermis, function in maintaining the skin barrier. Objective We examined whether kinetin induces skin barrier functions in vitro and in vivo. Methods To evaluate the efficacy of kinetin at the cellular level, expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers was assessed. Moreover, we examined the clinical efficacy of kinetin by evaluating skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and skin surface roughness in patients who used kinetin-containing cream. We performed quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to measure the expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers in HaCaT cells following treatment. A clinical trial was performed to assess skin moisture, TEWL, and evenness of skin texture in subjects who used kinetin-containing cream for 4 weeks. Results Kinetin increased involucrin, and keratin 1 mRNA in HaCaT cells. Moreover, use of a kinetin-containing cream improved skin moisture and TEWL while decreasing roughness of skin texture. Conclusion Kinetin induced the expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers, suggesting that it may affect differentiation to improve skin moisture content, TEWL, and other signs of skin aging. Therefore, kinetin is a potential new component for use in cosmetics as an anti-aging agent that improves the barrier function of skin. PMID:28223740

  16. Reducing GABAA-mediated inhibition improves forelimb motor function after focal cortical stroke in mice

    PubMed Central

    Alia, Claudia; Spalletti, Cristina; Lai, Stefano; Panarese, Alessandro; Micera, Silvestro; Caleo, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    A deeper understanding of post-stroke plasticity is critical to devise more effective pharmacological and rehabilitative treatments. The GABAergic system is one of the key modulators of neuronal plasticity, and plays an important role in the control of “critical periods” during brain development. Here, we report a key role for GABAergic inhibition in functional restoration following ischemia in the adult mouse forelimb motor cortex. After stroke, the majority of cortical sites in peri-infarct areas evoked simultaneous movements of forelimb, hindlimb and tail, consistent with a loss of inhibitory signalling. Accordingly, we found a delayed decrease in several GABAergic markers that accompanied cortical reorganization. To test whether reductions in GABAergic signalling were causally involved in motor improvements, we treated animals during an early post-stroke period with a benzodiazepine inverse agonist, which impairs GABAA receptor function. We found that hampering GABAA signalling led to significant restoration of function in general motor tests (i.e., gridwalk and pellet reaching tasks), with no significant impact on the kinematics of reaching movements. Improvements were persistent as they remained detectable about three weeks after treatment. These data demonstrate a key role for GABAergic inhibition in limiting motor improvements after cortical stroke. PMID:27897203

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Exercise training improves vascular function in adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Louise H; Davis, Elizabeth A; Kalic, Rachelle J; Paramalingam, Niru; Abraham, Mary B; Jones, Timothy W; Green, Daniel J

    2016-02-01

    The impact of exercise training on vascular health in adolescents with type 2 diabetes has not been previously studied. We hypothesized that exercise training would improve micro- and macrovascular health in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. Thirteen adolescents (13-21 years, 10F) with type 2 diabetes were recruited from Princess Margaret Hospital. Participants were randomized to receive either an exercise program along with standard clinical care (n = 8) or standard care alone (n = 5). Those in the intervention group received 12 weeks of gym-based, personalized, and supervised exercise training. Those in the control group were instructed to maintain usual activity levels. Assessments were conducted at baseline and following week 12. The exercise group was also studied 12 weeks following the conclusion of their program. Assessments consisted of conduit artery endothelial function (flow-mediated dilation, FMD) and microvascular function (cutaneous laser Doppler). Secondary outcomes included body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DXA), glycemic control (whole body insulin sensitivity, M) assessed using the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp protocol, cardiorespiratory fitness (V˙O2peak), and muscular strength (1RM). Exercise training increased FMD (P < 0.05), microvascular function (P < 0.05), total lean mass (P < 0.05), and muscle strength (P < 0.001). There were no changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, body weight, BMI, or M. In the control group, body weight (P < 0.01), BMI (P < 0.01), and total fat mass (P < 0.05) increased. At week 24, improvements in vascular function were reversed. This study indicates that exercise training can improve both conduit and microvascular endothelial function and health, independent of changes in insulin sensitivity in adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

  19. An improved multilevel Monte Carlo method for estimating probability distribution functions in stochastic oil reservoir simulations

    DOE PAGES

    Lu, Dan; Zhang, Guannan; Webster, Clayton G.; ...

    2016-12-30

    In this paper, we develop an improved multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) method for estimating cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of a quantity of interest, coming from numerical approximation of large-scale stochastic subsurface simulations. Compared with Monte Carlo (MC) methods, that require a significantly large number of high-fidelity model executions to achieve a prescribed accuracy when computing statistical expectations, MLMC methods were originally proposed to significantly reduce the computational cost with the use of multifidelity approximations. The improved performance of the MLMC methods depends strongly on the decay of the variance of the integrand as the level increases. However, the main challengemore » in estimating CDFs is that the integrand is a discontinuous indicator function whose variance decays slowly. To address this difficult task, we approximate the integrand using a smoothing function that accelerates the decay of the variance. In addition, we design a novel a posteriori optimization strategy to calibrate the smoothing function, so as to balance the computational gain and the approximation error. The combined proposed techniques are integrated into a very general and practical algorithm that can be applied to a wide range of subsurface problems for high-dimensional uncertainty quantification, such as a fine-grid oil reservoir model considered in this effort. The numerical results reveal that with the use of the calibrated smoothing function, the improved MLMC technique significantly reduces the computational complexity compared to the standard MC approach. Finally, we discuss several factors that affect the performance of the MLMC method and provide guidance for effective and efficient usage in practice.« less

  20. An improved multilevel Monte Carlo method for estimating probability distribution functions in stochastic oil reservoir simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Dan; Zhang, Guannan; Webster, Clayton G.; Barbier, Charlotte N.

    2016-12-30

    In this paper, we develop an improved multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) method for estimating cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of a quantity of interest, coming from numerical approximation of large-scale stochastic subsurface simulations. Compared with Monte Carlo (MC) methods, that require a significantly large number of high-fidelity model executions to achieve a prescribed accuracy when computing statistical expectations, MLMC methods were originally proposed to significantly reduce the computational cost with the use of multifidelity approximations. The improved performance of the MLMC methods depends strongly on the decay of the variance of the integrand as the level increases. However, the main challenge in estimating CDFs is that the integrand is a discontinuous indicator function whose variance decays slowly. To address this difficult task, we approximate the integrand using a smoothing function that accelerates the decay of the variance. In addition, we design a novel a posteriori optimization strategy to calibrate the smoothing function, so as to balance the computational gain and the approximation error. The combined proposed techniques are integrated into a very general and practical algorithm that can be applied to a wide range of subsurface problems for high-dimensional uncertainty quantification, such as a fine-grid oil reservoir model considered in this effort. The numerical results reveal that with the use of the calibrated smoothing function, the improved MLMC technique significantly reduces the computational complexity compared to the standard MC approach. Finally, we discuss several factors that affect the performance of the MLMC method and provide guidance for effective and efficient usage in practice.

  1. Neuroprotective pentapeptide CN-105 improves functional and histological outcomes in a murine model of intracerebral hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Beilei; James, Michael L.; Liu, Ji; Zhou, Guanen; Venkatraman, Talaignair N.; Lascola, Christopher D.; Acheson, Shawn K.; Dubois, Laura G.; Laskowitz, Daniel T.; Wang, Haichen

    2016-01-01

    Presently, no pharmacological treatments have been demonstrated to improve long-term functional outcomes following intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Clinical evidence associates apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotype with ICH incidence and outcome. While apoE modifies neuroinflammatory responses through its adaptive role in glial downregulation, intact apoE holoprotein is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Therefore, we developed a 5-amino acid peptide – CN-105 – that mimics the polar face of the apoE helical domain involved in receptor interactions. In the current study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of CN-105 in a mouse model of ICH. Three doses of CN-105 (0.05 mg/kg) was administered by tail vein injection within 24 hours after ICH induction. Functional assessment showed durable improvement in vestibulomotor performance after CN-105 treatment, as quantified by increased Rotarod latencies on Days 1–5 post-ICH, and long-term improvement in neurocognitive performance, as quantified by reduced Morris water maze latencies on Days 29–32 post-ICH. Further, brain water content was significantly reduced, neuroinflammation was decreased and hippocampal CA3 neuronal survival was increased, although hemorrhage volume was not affected by CN-105. We concluded, therefore, that pentapeptide CN-105 improved short- and long-term neurobehavioral outcomes in a murine model of ICH, suggesting therapeutic potential for patients with acute ICH. PMID:27713572

  2. NC-11COMPUTERIZED TESTING IN PATIENTS WITH MENINGIOMAS: IMPROVEMENT OF COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING AFTER SURGERY

    PubMed Central

    Meskal, Ikram; Gehring, Karin; van der Linden, Sophie; Rutten, Geert-Jan; Sitskoorn, Margriet

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive dysfunction is common in patients with primary brain tumors, and may have a major impact on activities of daily living and on quality of life. This is the first prospective study that investigated the incidence and severity of cognitive dysfunction in meningioma patients before and after surgery, and the change in dysfunction over time, both at group and individual patient level. Sixty-eight meningioma patients were neuropsychologically tested one day before brain surgery. Sixty-two patients were followed up 3 months after surgery. All patients were assessed with a brief (30 minutes) computerized screening battery of neuropsychological tests (i.e., CNS Vital Signs). Pre-and postoperatively, meningioma patients demonstrated significantly lower scores in all cognitive domains; memory, psychomotor speed, reaction time, complex attention, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, and executive functioning, in comparison with normative data. Preoperatively, 47 out of 68 patients (69%) scored low or very low in one or more cognitive domains. Postoperatively 27 out of 62 patients (44%) scored within this range. Test performance improved in all cognitive domains postoperatively, with the exception of psychomotor speed and reaction time. In line with previous studies with conventional neuropsychological tests, meningioma patients are faced with cognitive dysfunction in several cognitive domains both pre- and postoperatively. However, a large proportion of patients shows postoperative improvement in cognitive functioning. Longer-term follow-up is recommended to identify potential predictors of cognitive improvement after surgery. Diagnosis and treatment of these cognitive deficits will improve outcomes and quality of life in meningioma patients.

  3. Cognitive Training for Improving Executive Function in Chemotherapy-Treated Breast Cancer Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Kesler, Shelli; Hosseini, S. M. Hadi; Heckler, Charles; Janelsins, Michelle; Palesh, Oxana; Mustian, Karen; Morrow, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Difficulties with thinking and problem solving are very common among breast cancer survivors. We tested a computerized cognitive training program for 41 breast cancer survivors. The training program was associated with significant improvements in thinking and problem-solving skills. Our findings demonstrate potential for our online, home-based cognitive training program to improve cognitive difficulties among breast cancer survivors. Background A majority of breast cancer (BC) survivors, particularly those treated with chemotherapy, experience long-term cognitive deficits that significantly reduce quality of life. Among the cognitive domains most commonly affected include executive functions (EF), such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, multitasking, planning, and attention. Previous studies in other populations have shown that cognitive training, a behavioral method for treating cognitive deficits, can result in significant improvements in a number of cognitive skills, including EF. Materials and Methods In this study, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a novel, online EF training program in long-term BC survivors. A total of 41 BC survivors (21 active, 20 wait list) completed the 48 session training program over 12 weeks. The participants were, on average, 6 years after therapy. Results Cognitive training led to significant improvements in cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency and processing speed, with marginally significant downstream improvements in verbal memory as assessed via standardized measures. Self-ratings of EF skills, including planning, organizing, and task monitoring, also were improved in the active group compared with the wait list group. Conclusions Our findings suggest that EF skills may be improved even in long-term survivors by using a computerized, home-based intervention program. These improvements may potentially include subjective EF skills, which suggest a

  4. Cichorium intybus root extract: A "vitamin D-like" active ingredient to improve skin barrier function.

    PubMed

    Maia Campos, P M B G; G Mercurio, D; O Melo, M; Closs-Gonthier, B

    2017-02-01

    During the aging process, the human skin suffers many alterations including dryness, skin barrier function damage. The skin barrier function is important to the prevention of skin alterations and maintenance of homeostasis. So, the objective of this study was to assess the clinical efficacy on skin barrier function of Cichorium intybus root extract in cosmetic formulations with or without UV filters. Fifty women, aged between 45 and 60 years, were divided into two groups. One group received vehicle formulations containing UV filters, and the other group received formulations without UV filters. Both groups received a formulation containing the extract and the vehicle. The formulations were applied twice daily to the upper arms after washing with sodium lauryl sulphate. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin microrelief were evaluated before and after a 14- and 28-day period of treatment. The control regions and regions where the vehicles were applied showed an increase in the TEWL. For the formulations containing the extract, decreased TEWL and improved microrelief were observed when compared to the vehicle and control areas after a 28-day period. In conclusion, Cichorium intybus root extract showed protective and restructuring effects on the skin and stands out as an innovative ingredient to improve skin barrier function.

  5. Safety and improvement of movement function after stroke with atomoxetine: A pilot randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Andrea; Carrico, Cheryl; Powell, Elizabeth; Westgate, Philip M.; Nichols, Laurie; Fleischer, Anne; Sawaki, Lumy

    2016-01-01

    Background: Intensive, task-oriented motor training has been associated with neuroplastic reorganization and improved upper extremity movement function after stroke. However, to optimize such training for people with moderate-to-severe movement impairment, pharmacological modulation of neuroplasticity may be needed as an adjuvant intervention. Objective: Evaluate safety, as well as improvement in movement function, associated with motor training paired with a drug to upregulate neuroplasticity after stroke. Methods: In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 12 subjects with chronic stroke received either atomoxetine or placebo paired with motor training. Safety was assessed using vital signs. Upper extremity movement function was assessed using Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Wolf Motor Function Test, and Action Research Arm Test at baseline, post-intervention, and 1-month follow-up. Results: No significant between-groups differences were found in mean heart rate (95% CI, –12.4–22.6; p = 0.23), mean systolic blood pressure (95% CI, –1.7–29.6; p = 0.21), or mean diastolic blood pressure (95% CI, –10.4–13.3; p = 0.08). A statistically significant between-groups difference on Fugl-Meyer at post-intervention favored the atomoxetine group (95% CI, 1.6–12.7; p = 0.016). Conclusion: Atomoxetine combined with motor training appears safe and may optimize motor training outcomes after stroke. PMID:27858723

  6. Improvement of the bio-functional properties of TiO2 nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roguska, A.; Pisarek, M.; Belcarz, A.; Marcon, L.; Holdynski, M.; Andrzejczuk, M.; Janik-Czachor, M.

    2016-12-01

    Titanium oxide nanotubes with diameters from ca. 40-120 nm fabricated by the anodic oxidation of Ti at a constant voltage (10-28 V) were investigated to identify factors improving their bio-functional properties. Prepared substrates were subsequently annealed at 450 °C and 650 °C to obtain nanotubes having a crystalline structure, and were then examined by SEM, XRD, XPS, BET and contact angle measurement techniques. The thermally stabilized surfaces were subjected to bidirectional functionalization: by deposition of a thin layer of Ca-P and by loading with silver nanoparticles. Three factors were found to promote the proliferation of osteoblast (U2OS) cells: a larger nanotube diameter, a higher annealing temperature, and the presence of a thin Ca-P layer. Differentiation of these cells (by ALP test) was stimulated by a higher (650 °C) nanotube annealing temperature, but not by a thin Ca-P layer. The TiO2 nanotubes-modified samples exhibited noticeable antibacterial properties. Moreover, the additional deposition of Ag nanoparticles almost completely inhibited the survivability of S. epidermidis cells beyond 3 h of contact. In conclusion, TiO2 nanotubes-modified surfaces exhibit distinct bone forming ability and significant antibacterial properties, and can be easily functionalized by a thin Ca-P layer or nano-Ag deposition for further improvement of the above functionalities.

  7. Targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors improves renal function after transplantation.

    PubMed

    Damman, Jeffrey; Hoeger, Simone; Boneschansker, Leo; Theruvath, Ashok; Waldherr, Ruediger; Leuvenink, Henri G; Ploeg, Rutger J; Yard, Benito A; Seelen, Marc A

    2011-05-01

    Kidneys recovered from brain-dead donors have inferior outcomes after transplantation compared to kidneys from living donors. Since complement activation plays an important role in renal transplant related injury, targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors might improve renal function after transplantation. Brain death (BD) was induced in Fisher rats by inflation of an epidurally placed balloon catheter and ventilated for 6h. BD animals were treated with soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) 1h before or 1h after BD. Kidney transplantation was performed and 7 days after transplantation animals were sacrificed. Plasma creatinine and urea were measured at days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 after transplantation. Renal function was significantly better at day 1 after transplantation in recipients receiving a sCR1 pre-treated donor kidney compared to recipients of a non-treated donor graft. Also treatment with sCR1, 1h after the diagnosis of BD, resulted in a better renal function after transplantation. Gene expression of IL-6, IL-1beta and TGF-beta were significantly lower in renal allografts recovered from treated donors. This study shows that targeting complement activation, during BD in the donor, leads to an improved renal function after transplantation in the recipient.

  8. An improved method for Q-factor estimates based on the frequency-weighted-exponential function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chuanhui; Liu, Xuewei

    2016-11-01

    The frequency-weighted-exponential (FWE) function was designed to fit asymmetric amplitude spectra by two parameters: symmetry index and bandwidth factor. It was applied to Q-factor estimates by fitting the amplitude spectra of source and attenuated wavelet. This method for Q-factor estimates was called the FWE method. The accuracy of the Q-factor estimates by the FWE method depends on the similarity between the modeled FWE functions and the amplitude spectra of source and attenuated wavelet. However, the amplitude spectra of source and attenuated wavelet are poorly fitted when the FWE function are modeled by measuring the symmetry index and bandwidth factor by their definitions. Hence we perform an improvement to the FWE method, where two FWE functions are employed to fit the amplitude spectra of source and attenuated wavelet by the Least Square Method to obtain the optimal symmetry index and bandwidth factor. The improved FWE method enhances the accuracy of the Q-factor estimates, and it also maintains the advantages of good applicability and tolerance to random noise of the original FWE method.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  10. Alveolar recruitment strategy during cardiopulmonary bypass does not improve postoperative gas exchange and lung function.

    PubMed

    Scherer, Mirela; Dettmer, Sebastian; Meininger, Dirk; Deschka, Heinz; Geyer, Galina; Regulla, Caroline; Moritz, Anton

    2009-03-01

    Pulmonary dysfunction with impairment of lung function and oxygenation is one of the most serious problems in the early postoperative period after cardiac surgery. In this study we investigated the effect of alveolar recruitment strategy during cardiopulmonary bypass on postoperative gas exchange and lung function. This prospective randomized study included 32 patients undergoing elective myocardial revascularization with cardiopulmonary bypass. In 16 patients 5 cm H(2)O of positive end-expiratory pressure was applied after intubation and maintained until extubation (Group I). In the other 16 patients (group II) a positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 5 cm H(2)O was maintained as well but was increased to 14 cm H(2)O every 20 min for 2 min during cross clamp. Measurements were taken preoperatively, before skin incision, before and after (3, 24, 48 h) cardiopulmonary bypass and before discharge (6th postoperative day). Postoperative gas exchange, extravascular lung water and lung function showed no significant difference between the groups. Postoperative pulmonary function variables were lower in both groups compared to baseline values. In patients with normal preoperative pulmonary function, application of an alveolar recruitment strategy during cardiopulmonary bypass does not improve postoperative gas exchange and lung function after cardiac surgery.

  11. Integrated strategy for improving functional connectivity mapping using multiecho fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Prantik; Brenowitz, Noah D.; Voon, Valerie; Worbe, Yulia; Vértes, Petra E.; Inati, Souheil J.; Saad, Ziad S.; Bandettini, Peter A.; Bullmore, Edward T.

    2013-01-01

    Functional connectivity analysis of resting state blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) functional MRI is widely used for noninvasively studying brain functional networks. Recent findings have indicated, however, that even small (≤1 mm) amounts of head movement during scanning can disproportionately bias connectivity estimates, despite various preprocessing efforts. Further complications for interregional connectivity estimation from time domain signals include the unaccounted reduction in BOLD degrees of freedom related to sensitivity losses from high subject motion. To address these issues, we describe an integrated strategy for data acquisition, denoising, and connectivity estimation. This strategy builds on our previously published technique combining data acquisition with multiecho (ME) echo planar imaging and analysis with spatial independent component analysis (ICA), called ME-ICA, which distinguishes BOLD (neuronal) and non-BOLD (artifactual) components based on linear echo-time dependence of signals—a characteristic property of BOLD signal changes. Here we show for 32 control subjects that this method provides a physically principled and nearly operator-independent way of removing complex artifacts such as motion from resting state data. We then describe a robust estimator of functional connectivity based on interregional correlation of BOLD-independent component coefficients. This estimator, called independent components regression, considerably simplifies statistical inference for functional connectivity because degrees of freedom equals the number of independent coefficients. Compared with traditional connectivity estimation methods, the proposed strategy results in fourfold improvements in signal-to-noise ratio, functional connectivity analysis with improved specificity, and valid statistical inference with nominal control of type 1 error in contrasts of connectivity between groups with different levels of subject motion. PMID:24038744

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Functional properties of the soy protein need to improve to have better applications in food industry. Alkali extracted and acid precipitated soy protein isolate (SPI) was glycosylated using D-glucose (G) and Xanthan gum (X) via Maillard reaction to improve solubility. The effects of SPI to G and SPI to X ratios (SPI:G = 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2; SPI:X = 100:1 and 10:1) and incubation time (0, 6, 12, and 24 h) on the solubility and functional properties of glycosylated SPI were evaluated. The SPI:G ratio of 1:2 yielded a maximum degree of glycosylation of 71.1 %. The solubility of SPI after glycosylation significantly increased (P < 0.05) at pH 4.0-8.0 compared to SPI alone. Although the emulsion stability of glycosylated SPIs has not significantly increased (P > 0.05), the emulsifying activity improved significantly (P < 0.05). Glycosylation with SPI-X at a ratio of 10: 1 showed maximum emulsifying activity of 191.6 m(2)/g (SPI alone: 66.3 m(2)/g). Moreover, the SPI:X (ratio of 100:1) showed the maximum foaming activity (205 mL) compared to SPI alone (155 mL). The foaming stability of SPI (2.6 %) increased to 5.5 and 8.2 % when using xanthan gum at the ratio of 100:1 and 10:1, respectively. Glycosylated SPI with enhanced emulsifying and foaming properties has potential to improve the functional quality of the food products.

  13. A randomised phase II study of OSI-7904L versus 5-fluorouracil (FU)/leucovorin (LV) as first-line treatment in patients with advanced biliary cancers.

    PubMed

    Ciuleanu, T; Diculescu, M; Hoepffner, N M; Trojan, J; Sailer, V; Zalupski, M; Herrmann, T; Roth, A; Chick, J; Brock, K; Albert, D; Philip, P A

    2007-08-01

    The prognosis of advanced biliary tract carcinoma is poor with chemotherapy limited to a palliative role. This randomised study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a new liposomal thymidylate synthase inhibitor (TSI), OSI-7904L, in parallel with a modified de Gramont regimen of 5-FU/LV in patients with advanced biliary cancer. Patients with previously untreated advanced or metastatic carcinoma of the biliary tract were randomised to receive either OSI-7904L 12 mg/m2 intravenously every 21 days or a modified de Gramont schedule of 5-FU/LV (intravenous l-LV 200 mg/m2, bolus 5-FU 400 mg/m2 and a 46-h infusion of 5-FU 2,400 mg/m2) every 14 days. Twenty-two patients were randomised, 11 to each group. No patients responded in the OSI-7904L arm, while one patient achieved a partial response in the 5-FU/LV arm. The rates of disease stabilisation were 4/11 (OSI-7904L) and 10/11 (5-FU/LV). Both treatment arms were generally well tolerated. These results show that the activity of OSI-7904L is below a level of clinical relevance in advanced biliary tract cancer, providing only a small degree of disease stabilisation. A simplified de Gramont schedule appears to have marginally more activity. Both treatments were well tolerated.

  14. [An oral function improvement program utilizing health behavior theories ameliorates oral functions and oral hygienic conditions of pre-frail elderly persons].

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Hideo

    2014-06-01

    Oral function improvement programs utilizing health behavior theories are considered to be effective in preventing the need for long-term social care. In the present study, an oral function improvement program based upon health behavior theories was designed, and its utility was assessed in 102 pre-frail elderly persons (33 males, 69 females, mean age: 76.9 +/- 5.7) considered to be in potential need of long-term social care and attending a long-term care prevention class in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. The degree of improvement in oral functions (7 items) and oral hygienic conditions (3 items) was assessed by comparing oral health before and after participation in the program. The results showed statistically significant improvements in the following oral functions: (1) lip functions (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllable "Pa"), (2) tongue functions, (3) tongue root motor skills (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllables "Ta" and "Ka"), (4) tongue extension/retraction, (5) side-to-side tongue movement functions, (6) cheek motor skills, and (7) repetitive saliva swallowing test (RSST). The following measures of oral hygiene also showed a statistically significant improvement: (1) debris on dentures or teeth, (2) coated tongue, and (3) frequency of oral cleaning. These findings demonstrated that an improvement program informed by health behavior theories is useful in improving oral functions and oral hygiene conditions.

  15. Oral trehalose supplementation improves resistance artery endothelial function in healthy middle-aged and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Kaplon, Rachelle E.; Hill, Sierra D.; Bispham, Nina Z.; Santos-Parker, Jessica R.; Nowlan, Molly J.; Snyder, Laura L.; Chonchol, Michel; LaRocca, Thomas J.; McQueen, Matthew B.; Seals, Douglas R.

    2016-01-01

    We hypothesized that supplementation with trehalose, a disaccharide that reverses arterial aging in mice, would improve vascular function in middle-aged and older (MA/O) men and women. Thirty-two healthy adults aged 50-77 years consumed 100 g/day of trehalose (n=15) or maltose (n=17, isocaloric control) for 12 weeks (randomized, double-blind). In subjects with Δbody mass<2.3kg (5 lb.), resistance artery endothelial function, assessed by forearm blood flow to brachial artery infusion of acetylcholine (FBFACh), increased ∼30% with trehalose (13.3±1.0 vs. 10.5±1.1 AUC, P=0.02), but not maltose (P=0.40). This improvement in FBFACh was abolished when endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production was inhibited. Endothelium-independent dilation, assessed by FBF to sodium nitroprusside (FBFSNP), also increased ∼30% with trehalose (155±13 vs. 116±12 AUC, P=0.03) but not maltose (P=0.92). Changes in FBFACh and FBFSNP with trehalose were not significant when subjects with Δbody mass≥2.3kg were included. Trehalose supplementation had no effect on conduit artery endothelial function, large elastic artery stiffness or circulating markers of oxidative stress or inflammation (all P>0.1) independent of changes in body weight. Our findings demonstrate that oral trehalose improves resistance artery (microvascular) function, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, in MA/O adults, possibly through increasing NO bioavailability and smooth muscle sensitivity to NO. PMID:27208415

  16. Exogenous lactate infusion improved neurocognitive function of patients with mild traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Bisri, Tatang; Utomo, Billy A.; Fuadi, Iwan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Many studies showed a better recovery of cognitive function after administration of exogenous lactate during moderate-severe traumatic brain injury. However, the study evaluating lactate effect on mild traumatic brain injury is still limited. Aims: To evaluate the effect of exogenous lactate on cognitive function in mild traumatic brain injury patients. Settings and Design: Prospective, single blind, randomized controlled study on 60 mild traumatic brain injury patients who were undergoing neurosurgery. Materials and Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned into hyperosmolar sodium lactate (HSL) group or hyperosmolar sodium chloride (HSS) group. Patients in each group received either intravenous infusion of HSL or NaCl 3% at 1.5 ml/KgBW within 15 min before neurosurgery. During the surgery, patients in both groups received maintenance infusion of NaCl 0.9% at 1.5 ml/KgBW/hour. Statistical Analysis: Cognitive function, as assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score at 24 h, 30 and 90 days post-surgery, was analyzed by Anova repeated measures test. Results: The MMSE score improvement was significantly better in HSL group than HSS group (P < 0.001). In HSL group the MMSE score improved from 16.00 (13.75-18.00) at baseline to 21.00 (18.75-22.00); 25.00 (23.75-26.00); 28.00 (27.00-29.00) at 24 h, 30, 90 days post-surgery, respectively. In contrast, in HSS group the MMSE score almost unchanged at 24 h and only slightly increased at 30 and 90 days post-surgery. Conclusions: Hyperosmolar sodium lactate infusion during mild traumatic brain injury improved cognitive function better than sodium chloride 3%. PMID:27057222

  17. Improving Functional Performance and Muscle Power 4-to-6 Months After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Souissi, Sabrine; Wong, Del P.; Dellal, Alexandre; Croisier, Jean-Louis; Ellouze, Zied; Chamari, Karim

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 8-week retraining programs, with either two or three training sessions per week, on measures of functional performance and muscular power in athletes with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Sixteen male athletes were randomly assigned to two groups after ACLR: a functional training group (FTG, n = 8) training 2 intense sessions per week (4hrs/week), and a control group (CG, n = 8) training 3 sessions per week with moderate intensity (6hrs/week). The two groups were assessed at four and six months post-ACLR and the effects of retraining were measured using the following assessments: the functional and the muscular power tests, and the agility T-test. After retraining, the FTG had improved more than the CG in the operated leg in the single leg hop test (+34.64% vs. +10.92%; large effect), the five jump test (+8.87% vs. +5.03%; medium effect), and single leg triple jump (+32.15% vs. +16.05%; medium effect). For the agility T-test, the FTG had larger improvements (+17.26% vs. +13.03%, medium effect) as compared to the CG. For the bilateral power tests, no significant training effects were shown for the two groups in the squat jump (SJ), the counter movement jump (CMJ) and the free arms CMJ (Arm CMJ). On the other hand, the unilateral CMJ test with the injured and the uninjured legs showed a significant increase for the FTG with respect to CG (p < 0.05). The present study introduces a new training modality in rehabilitation after ACLR that results in good recovery of the operated limb along with the contra-lateral leg. This may allow the athletes to reach good functional and strength performance with only two physical training sessions per week, better preparing them for a return to sport activity at 6 months post- ACLR and eventually sparing time for a possible progressive introduction of the sport specific technical training. Key points Functional training (plyometrics, neuromuscular

  18. Functional brown adipose tissue limits cardiomyocyte injury and adverse remodeling in catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Thoonen, Robrecht; Ernande, Laura; Cheng, Juan; Nagasaka, Yasuko; Yao, Vincent; Miranda-Bezerra, Alexandre; Chen, Chan; Chao, Wei; Panagia, Marcello; Sosnovik, David E.; Puppala, Dheeraj; Armoundas, Antonis A.; Hindle, Allyson; Bloch, Kenneth D.; Buys, Emmanuel S.; Scherrer-Crosbie, Marielle

    2015-01-01

    Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has well recognized thermogenic properties mediated by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1); more recently, BAT has been demonstrated to modulate cardiovascular risk factors. To investigate whether BAT also affects myocardial injury and remodeling, UCP1-deficient (UCP1−/−) mice, which have dysfunctional BAT, were subjected to catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy. At baseline, there were no differences in echocardiographic parameters, plasma cardiac troponin I (cTnI) or myocardial fibrosis between wild-type (WT) and UCP1−/− mice. Isoproterenol infusion increased cTnI and myocardial fibrosis and induced left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy in both WT and UCP1−/− mice. UCP1−/− mice also demonstrated exaggerated myocardial injury, fibrosis, and adverse remodeling, as well as decreased survival. Transplantation of WT BAT to UCP1−/− mice prevented the isoproterenol-induced cTnI increase and improved survival, whereas UCP1−/− BAT transplanted to either UCP1−/− or WT mice had no effect on cTnI release. After 3 days of isoproterenol treatment, phosphorylated AKT and ERK were lower in the LV's of UCP1−/− mice than in those of WT mice. Activation of BAT was also noted in a model of chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy, and was correlated to LV dysfunction. Deficiency in UCP1, and accompanying BAT dysfunction, increases cardiomyocyte injury and adverse LV remodeling, and decreases survival in a mouse model of catecholamine-induced cardiomyopathy. Myocardial injury and decreased survival are rescued by transplantation of functional BAT to UCP1−/− mice, suggesting a systemic cardioprotective role of functional BAT. BAT is also activated in chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy. PMID:25968336

  19. Association between High Endocardial Unipolar Voltage and Improved Left Ventricular Function in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Park, Ki; Lai, Dejian; Handberg, Eileen M.; Perin, Emerson C.; Pepine, Carl J.; Anderson, R. David

    2016-01-01

    We know that endocardial mapping reports left ventricular electrical activity (voltage) and that these data can predict outcomes in patients undergoing traditional revascularization. Because the mapping data from experimental models have also been linked with myocardial viability, we hypothesized an association between increased unipolar voltage in patients undergoing intramyocardial injections and their subsequent improvement in left ventricular performance. For this exploratory analysis, we evaluated 86 patients with left ventricular dysfunction, heart-failure symptoms, possible angina, and no revascularization options, who were undergoing endocardial mapping. Fifty-seven patients received bone marrow mononuclear cell (BMC) injections and 29 patients received cell-free injections of a placebo. The average mapping site voltage was 9.7 ± 2 mV, and sites with voltage of ≥6.9 mV were engaged by needle and injected (with BMC or placebo). For all patients, at 6 months, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved, and after covariate adjustment this improvement was best predicted by injection-site voltage. For every 2-mV increase in baseline voltage, we detected a 1.3 increase in absolute LVEF units for all patients (P=0.038). Multiple linear regression analyses confirmed that voltage and the CD34+ count present in bone marrow (but not treatment assignment) were associated with improved LVEF (P=0.03 and P=0.014, respectively). In an exploratory analysis, higher endocardial voltage and bone marrow CD34+ levels were associated with improved left ventricular function among ischemic cardiomyopathy patients. Intramyocardial needle injections, possibly through stimulation of angiogenesis, might serve as a future therapy in patients with reduced left ventricular function and warrants investigation. PMID:27547135

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Improvement in the physiological function and standing stability based on kinect multimedia for older people

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chih-Chen

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The increase in the Taiwanese older population is associated with age-related inconveniences. Finding adequate and simple physical activities to help the older people maintaining their physiological function and preventing them from falls has become an urgent social issue. [Subjects and Methods] This study aimed to design a virtual exercise training game suitable for Taiwanese older people. This system will allow for the maintenance of the physiological function and standing stability through physical exercise, while using a virtual reality game. The participants can easily exercise in a carefree, interactive environment. This study will use Kinect for Windows for physical movement detection and Unity software for virtual world development. [Results] Group A and B subjects were involved in the exercise training method of Kinect interactive multimedia for 12 weeks. The results showed that the functional reach test and the unipedal stance test improved significantly. [Conclusion] The physiological function and standing stability of the group A subjects were examined at six weeks post training. The results showed that these parameters remained constant. This proved that the proposed system provide substantial support toward the preservation of the Taiwanese older people’ physiological function and standing stability. PMID:27190480

  3. Improvement in the physiological function and standing stability based on kinect multimedia for older people.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Chen

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The increase in the Taiwanese older population is associated with age-related inconveniences. Finding adequate and simple physical activities to help the older people maintaining their physiological function and preventing them from falls has become an urgent social issue. [Subjects and Methods] This study aimed to design a virtual exercise training game suitable for Taiwanese older people. This system will allow for the maintenance of the physiological function and standing stability through physical exercise, while using a virtual reality game. The participants can easily exercise in a carefree, interactive environment. This study will use Kinect for Windows for physical movement detection and Unity software for virtual world development. [Results] Group A and B subjects were involved in the exercise training method of Kinect interactive multimedia for 12 weeks. The results showed that the functional reach test and the unipedal stance test improved significantly. [Conclusion] The physiological function and standing stability of the group A subjects were examined at six weeks post training. The results showed that these parameters remained constant. This proved that the proposed system provide substantial support toward the preservation of the Taiwanese older people' physiological function and standing stability.

  4. Acute Exercise Improves Prefrontal Cortex but not Hippocampal Function in Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Basso, Julia C; Shang, Andrea; Elman, Meredith; Karmouta, Ryan; Suzuki, Wendy A

    2015-11-01

    The effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive functions in humans have been the subject of much investigation; however, these studies are limited by several factors, including a lack of randomized controlled designs, focus on only a single cognitive function, and testing during or shortly after exercise. Using a randomized controlled design, the present study asked how a single bout of aerobic exercise affects a range of frontal- and medial temporal lobe-dependent cognitive functions and how long these effects last. We randomly assigned 85 subjects to either a vigorous intensity acute aerobic exercise group or a video watching control group. All subjects completed a battery of cognitive tasks both before and 30, 60, 90, or 120 min after the intervention. This battery included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, the Modified Benton Visual Retention Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Digit Span Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Based on these measures, composite scores were formed to independently assess prefrontal cortex- and hippocampal-dependent cognition. A three-way mixed Analysis of Variance was used to determine whether differences existed between groups in the change in cognitive function from pre- to post-intervention testing. Acute exercise improved prefrontal cortex- but not hippocampal-dependent functioning, with no differences found between delay groups. Vigorous acute aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on prefrontal cortex-dependent cognition and these effects can last for up to 2 hr after exercise.

  5. Enriched environment induces angiogenesis and improves neural function outcomes in rat stroke model.

    PubMed

    Yu, Kewei; Wu, Yi; Zhang, Qi; Xie, Hongyu; Liu, Gang; Guo, Zhenzhen; Li, Fang; Jia, Jie; Kuang, Shenyi; Hu, Ruiping

    2014-12-15

    Increasing evidence shows that exposure to an enriched environment (EE) after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury has neuroprotective benefits in animal models, including enhancing functional recovery after ischemic stroke. However, the mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. To clarify this critical issue, the current study investigated the effects of EE on the improvement of damaged neural function and the induction of angiogenesis. Adult rats were subjected to ischemia induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by reperfusion. Neurological status scores were used to evaluate neural function on postoperative days 2, 7, and 14. A beam-walking task was used to test the recovery of motor behavior on postoperative days 2, 5, 10, and 15. We also used a Morris water maze task to examine whether EE protected learning and memory performance. The specific marker of angiogenesis of CD31 was examined by western blot. Angiogenesis around the peri-infarction region was assayed by laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) after 14 days of EE exposure starting 24h after ischemia. Neurological status scores of animals in the EE group were significantly higher than those in the standard housing condition (SC) control group from the seventh day after ischemic. EE accelerated the recovery of motor coordination and integration and also improved learning and memory performance after cerebral ischemia. Furthermore, EE increased CD31 levels and promoted angiogenesis of cortex in the peri-infarction region compared to the SC group. Neural function outcomes are positively correlated with post-ischemia angiogenesis. These findings suggest that EE plays an important role in the recovery of damaged neural function via regulation of angiogenesis after ischemia.

  6. Exercise training improves vascular endothelial function in patients with type 1 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Fuchsjäger-Mayrl, Gabriele; Pleiner, Johannes; Wiesinger, Günther F; Sieder, Anna E; Quittan, Michael; Nuhr, Martin J; Francesconi, Claudia; Seit, Hans-Peter; Francesconi, Mario; Schmetterer, Leopold; Wolzt, Michael

    2002-10-01

    OBJECTIVE-Impaired endothelial function of resistance and conduit arteries can be detected in patients with type 1 diabetes. We studied whether a persistent improvement of endothelial function can be achieved by regular physical training. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-The study included 26 patients with type 1 diabetes of 20 +/- 10 years' duration and no overt angiopathy; 18 patients (42 +/- 10 years old) participated in a bicycle exercise training program, and 8 patients with type 1 diabetes (33 +/- 11 years old) served as control subjects. Vascular function of conduit arteries was assessed by flow-mediated and endothelium-independent dilation of the brachial artery and of resistance vessels by the response of ocular fundus pulsation amplitudes to intravenous N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) at baseline, after 2 and 4 months of training, and 8 months after cessation of regular exercise. RESULTS-Training increased peak oxygen uptake (VO(2max)) by 13% after 2 months and by 27% after 4 months (P = 0.04). Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery increased from 6.5 +/- 1.1 to 9.8 +/- 1.1% (P = 0.04) by training. L-NMMA administration decreased fundus pulsation amplitude (FPA) by 9.1 +/- 0.9% before training and by 13.4 +/- 1.5% after 4 months of training (P = 0.02). VO(2max), FMD, and FPA were unchanged in the control group. Vascular effects from training were abrogated 8 months after cessation of exercise. CONCLUSIONS-Our study demonstrates that aerobic exercise training can improve endothelial function in different vascular beds in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes, who are at considerable risk for diabetic angiopathy. However, the beneficial effect on vascular function is not maintained in the absence of exercise.

  7. Ketogenic Diet Improves Forelimb Motor Function after Spinal Cord Injury in Rodents

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Improved MODIS aerosol retrieval in urban areas using a land classification approach and empirical orthogonal functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levitan, Nathaniel; Gross, Barry

    2016-10-01

    New, high-resolution aerosol products are required in urban areas to improve the spatial coverage of the products, in terms of both resolution and retrieval frequency. These new products will improve our understanding of the spatial variability of aerosols in urban areas and will be useful in the detection of localized aerosol emissions. Urban aerosol retrieval is challenging for existing algorithms because of the high spatial variability of the surface reflectance, indicating the need for improved urban surface reflectance models. This problem can be stated in the language of novelty detection as the problem of selecting aerosol parameters whose effective surface reflectance spectrum is not an outlier in some space. In this paper, empirical orthogonal functions, a reconstruction-based novelty detection technique, is used to perform single-pixel aerosol retrieval using the single angular and temporal sample provided by the MODIS sensor. The empirical orthogonal basis functions are trained for different land classes using the MODIS BRDF MCD43 product. Existing land classification products are used in training and aerosol retrieval. The retrieval is compared against the existing operational MODIS 3 KM Dark Target (DT) aerosol product and co-located AERONET data. Based on the comparison, our method allows for a significant increase in retrieval frequency and a moderate decrease in the known biases of MODIS urban aerosol retrievals.

  9. Improved survival and function of rat cryopreserved islets by coculture with sertoli cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Xue, Wujun; Tian, Xiaohui; Ding, Xiaoming; Tian, Puxun; Feng, Xinshun; Song, Yong; Luo, Xiaohui; Liu, Hongbao; Wang, Xiaohong; Ding, Chenguang

    2011-06-01

    In order to investigate how to improve the function and survival of cryopreserved islets, we cocultured cryopreserved thawed rat islets with rat Sertoli cells. After thawing, the islets were divided into the Sertoli cell coculture group and the control group. Using light and transmission electron microscopes, we examined the morphology of islets and measured their apoptosis index (AI) and insulin release stimulation index (SI). Moreover, we measured apoptosis protein and mRNA by western-blot and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and cytokine concentrations in supernatant by ELISA. We examined islet graft survival time in diabetic mice and detected insulin in grafts by immunohistochemistry. We found that the morphology, AI, and SI of the coculture group were all significantly improved. The relative expression levels of cleaved caspase-3 P20, P11, and caspase-7 in the coculture group were lower than those in the control group. Compared with the control group, the expression level of Bax was decreased, but that of Bcl-2 was increased. After transplantation, islet survival in the coculture group was similar to that of fresh islets but longer than that in the control group. These results suggest that coculture with rat Sertoli cells significantly improves the yield and function of rat cryopreserved thawed islets by effectively reducing islet apoptosis.

  10. Enzyme replacement therapy for murine mucopolysaccharidosis type VII leads to improvements in behavior and auditory function.

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, L H; Erway, L C; Vogler, C A; Sly, W S; Nicholes, A; Grubb, J; Holmberg, S W; Levy, B; Sands, M S

    1998-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPS VII; Sly syndrome) is one of a group of lysosomal storage diseases that share many clinical features, including mental retardation and hearing loss. Lysosomal storage in neurons of the brain and the associated behavioral abnormalities characteristic of a murine model of MPS VII have not been shown to be corrected by either bone marrow transplantation or gene therapy. However, intravenous injections of recombinant beta-glucuronidase initiated at birth reduce the pathological evidence of disease in MPS VII mice. In this study we present evidence that enzyme replacement initiated at birth improved the behavioral performance and reduced hearing loss in MPS VII mice. Enzyme-treated MPS VII mice performed similarly to normal mice and significantly better than mock- treated MPS VII mice in every phase of the Morris Water Maze test. In addition, the auditory function of treated MPS VII mice was dramatically improved, and was indistinguishable from normal mice. These data indicate that some of the learning, memory, and hearing deficits can be prevented in MPS VII mice if enzyme replacement therapy is initiated early in life. These data also provide functional correlates to the biochemical and histopathological improvements observed after enzyme replacement therapy. PMID:9525982

  11. A Wearable Hip Assist Robot Can Improve Gait Function and Cardiopulmonary Metabolic Efficiency in Elderly Adults.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hwang-Jae; Lee, Suhyun; Chang, Won Hyuk; Seo, Keehong; Shim, Youngbo; Choi, Byung-Ok; Ryu, Gyu-Ha; Kim, Yun-Hee

    2017-02-06

    The aims of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of a newly developed wearable hip assist robot that uses an active assist algorithm to improve gait function, muscle effort, and cardiopulmonary metabolic efficiency in elderly adults. Thirty elderly adults (15 males/15 females) participated in this study. The experimental protocol consisted of overground gait at comfortable speed under three different conditions: free gait without robot assistance, robot-assisted gait with zero torque (RAG-Z), and full robot-assisted gait (RAG). Under all conditions, muscle effort was analyzed using a 12-channel surface electromyography system. Spatio-temporal data were collected at 120 Hz using a 3D motion capture system with six infrared cameras. Metabolic cost parameters were collected as oxygen consumption per unit (ml/min/kg) and aerobic energy expenditure (Kcal/min). In the RAG condition, participants demonstrated improved gait function, decreased muscle effort, and reduced metabolic cost. Although the hip assist robot only provides assistance at the hip joint, our results demonstrated a clear reduction in knee and ankle muscle activity in addition to decreased hip flexor and extensor activity. Our findings suggest that this robot has the potential to improve stabilization of the trunk during walking in elderly adults.

  12. Improvement in Empirical Potential Functions for Increasing the Utility of Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Takefumi

    Accurate modeling of potential functions is critical for realistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In this study, improvement in potential functions is discussed by revisiting the multistate empirical valence bond (MS-EVB) method and the FUJI force field. The MS-EVB method enables simulation of dynamic chemical reactions in various situations. In this study, excess protons in water under shear were investigated by combining the MS-EVB method with the non-equilibrium MD technique. It was found that the orientation of the hydronium-like moiety is considerably more anisotropic under shear than that of the water molecule. Separately, the FUJI force field includes main-chain torsional parameters carefully derived on the basis of high-level ab initio calculations. To further demonstrate that the use of the FUJI force field improves the accuracy of MD results beyond previously reported examples, the conformational distribution of the Ala dipeptide was investigated. The results obtained using the FUJI force field agreed more closely with the experimental results than those obtained using other standard force fields. Interestingly, the MD trajectories with the FUJI force field undergo the Y conformation more frequently than those with other popular force fields. Furthermore, it was found that the choice of force field affects the structures of an antigen-antibody complex obtained using MD simulations. These improvements in the force fields essentially extend the range of applications for the MD simulation method.

  13. Balance Exercises Circuit improves muscle strength, balance, and functional performance in older women.

    PubMed

    Avelar, Bruna Pereira; Costa, Juliana Nunes de Almeida; Safons, Marisete Peralta; Dutra, Maurílio Tiradentes; Bottaro, Martim; Gobbi, Sebastião; Tiedemann, Anne; de David, Ana Cristina; Lima, Ricardo Moreno

    2016-02-01

    This study introduces the Balance Exercises Circuit (BEC) and examines its effects on muscle strength and power, balance, and functional performance in older women. Thirty-five women aged 60+ (mean age = 69.31, SD = 7.35) were assigned to either a balance exercises group (BG, n = 14) that underwent 5