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Sample records for 6a improves functional

  1. Human Herpesvirus 6A Partially Suppresses Functional Properties of DC without Viral Replication

    Gustafsson, Rasmus K L; Engdahl, Elin E; Oscar Hammarfjord; Adikari, Sanjaya B.; Magda Lourda; Jonas Klingström; Mattias Svensson; Anna Fogdell-Hahn

    2013-01-01

    Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) is a common virus with a worldwide distribution that has been associated with multiple sclerosis. Whether HHV-6A can replicate in dendritic cells (DC) and how the infection might modulate the functional properties of the cell are currently not well known and need further investigations. Here, we show that a non-productive infection of HHV-6A in DC leads to the up-regulation of HLA-ABC, via autocrine IFN-α signaling, as well as the up-regulation of HLA-DR and CD86...

  2. System Review about Function Role of ESCC Driver Gene KDM6A by Network Biology Approach.

    Ran, Jihua; Li, Hui; Li, Huiwu

    2016-01-01

    Background. KDM6A (Lysine (K)-Specific Demethylase 6A) is the driver gene related to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In order to provide more biological insights into KDM6A, in this paper, we treat PPI (protein-protein interaction) network derived from KDM6A as a conceptual framework and follow it to review its biological function. Method. We constructed a PPI network with Cytoscape software and performed clustering of network with Clust&See. Then, we evaluate the pathways, which are statistically involved in the network derived from KDM6A. Lastly, gene ontology analysis of clusters of genes in the network was conducted. Result. The network includes three clusters that consist of 74 nodes connected via 453 edges. Fifty-five pathways are statistically involved in the network and most of them are functionally related to the processes of cell cycle, gene expression, and carcinogenesis. The biology themes of clusters 1, 2, and 3 are chromatin modification, regulation of gene expression by transcription factor complex, and control of cell cycle, respectively. Conclusion. The PPI network presents a panoramic view which can facilitate for us to understand the function role of KDM6A. It is a helpful way by network approach to perform system review on a certain gene. PMID:27294188

  3. AOMDV with improved Energy Function

    Alpesh chauhan ,Prof.B.V.Buddhdev

    2013-01-01

    Mobile computing is evolving rapidly with advances in wireless communications and wireless networking protocols. To facilitate communication, most wireless network devices are portable and battery-powered, and thus operate on an extremely constrained energy budget. However, progress in battery technology shows that only small improvements in battery capacity can be expected in the near future. Furthermore, because recharging or replacing batteries is costly or, under some circumstances, impos...

  4. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered. PMID:26171816

  5. Exercise training improves vascular mitochondrial function.

    Park, Song-Young; Rossman, Matthew J; Gifford, Jayson R; Bharath, Leena P; Bauersachs, Johann; Richardson, Russell S; Abel, E Dale; Symons, J David; Riehle, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Exercise training is recognized to improve cardiac and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiratory capacity; however, the impact of chronic exercise on vascular mitochondrial respiratory function is unknown. We hypothesized that exercise training concomitantly increases both vascular mitochondrial respiratory capacity and vascular function. Arteries from both sedentary (SED) and swim-trained (EX, 5 wk) mice were compared in terms of mitochondrial respiratory function, mitochondrial content, markers of mitochondrial biogenesis, redox balance, nitric oxide (NO) signaling, and vessel function. Mitochondrial complex I and complex I + II state 3 respiration and the respiratory control ratio (complex I + II state 3 respiration/complex I state 2 respiration) were greater in vessels from EX relative to SED mice, despite similar levels of arterial citrate synthase activity and mitochondrial DNA content. Furthermore, compared with the SED mice, arteries from EX mice displayed elevated transcript levels ofperoxisome proliferative activated receptor-γ coactivator-1αand the downstream targetscytochrome c oxidase subunit IV isoform 1,isocitrate dehydrogenase(Idh)2, andIdh3a, increased manganese superoxide dismutase protein expression, increased endothelial NO synthase phosphorylation (Ser(1177)), and suppressed reactive oxygen species generation (allPrespiratory capacity and evidence of improved redox balance, which may, at least in part, be attributable to elevated NO bioavailability, have the potential to protect against age- and disease-related challenges to arterial function. PMID:26825520

  6. A functional variant of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) moderates impulsive choice in ADHD boys and siblings

    Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J. S.; Kumsta, Robert; Schlotz, Wolff; Lasky-Su, Jessica; Marco, Rafaela; Miranda, Ana; Mulas, Fernando; Oades, Robert D.; Banaschewski, Tobias; Mueller, Ueli; Andreou, Penny; Christiansen, Hanna; Gabriels, Isabel; Uebel, Henrik; Kuntsi, Jonna; Franke, Barbara; Buitelaar, Jan; Ebstein, Richard; Gill, Michael; Anney, Richard; Roeyers, Herbert; Rothenberger, Aribert; Sergeant, Joseph; Steinhausen, Hans Christoph; Asherson, Philip; Faraone, Stephen V.

    2011-01-01

    Background Impulsive drive for immediate reward (IDIR) and delay aversion are dissociable elements of the preference for immediate over delayed rewards seen in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that IDIR would be associated with dopamine regulating genes and delay aversion with serotonin regulating genes. Methods IDIR and delay aversion were measured in 459 male children and adolescents (328 ADHD and 131 unaffected siblings) using a laboratory choice task. The sample was genotyped for the 5HTT (SLC6A4) promoter 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and a DAT1 (SLC6A3) 40-base pair VNTR located in the 3`-untranslated region of the gene. Results There was no effect of DAT1 on IDIR. As predicted 5-HTTLPR s-allele carriers were more delay averse. This effect was driven by the s/l genotype in the ADHD group. These results were not altered by taking account of the rs25531 A/G SNP and were independent of age, IQ and ODD symptoms. Conclusions The results support the genetic distinctiveness of IDIR and delay aversion in ADHD and implicate serotonin function in delay aversion. Possible explanations of the heterosis effect in the ADHD cases are presented. PMID:21497794

  7. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    Yurong Mao; Peiming Chen; Le Li; Dongfeng Huang

    2014-01-01

    Virtual reality is a new technology that simulates a three-dimensional virtual world on a com-puter 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 ifndings suggest that virtual reality training can acti-vate the cerebral cortex and improve the spatial orientation capacity of patients, thus facilitating the cortex to control balance and increase motion function.

  8. Lanczos steps to improve variational wave functions

    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.

  9. Ranitidine improves postoperative monocyte and neutrophil function

    Nielsen, Hans Jørgen; Nielsen, H; Jensen, S; Moesgaard, F

    1994-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The histamine H2-receptor antagonist ranitidine hydrochloride has been shown to improve trauma-, blood transfusion-, and sepsis-induced immunosuppression. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of ranitidine on postoperative impairment in monocyte and neutrophil function. METHODS: Twenty......-four patients undergoing major elective abdominal surgery were randomized to receive adjuvant treatment with ranitidine hydrochloride (100 mg) administered twice a day intravenously from skin incision for 4 days, followed by oral ranitidine hydrochloride (150 mg) administered twice a day for 5 days (n = 11), or...

  10. Cardiac Rehabilitation: Improving Function and Reducing Risk.

    Servey, Jessica T; Stephens, Mark

    2016-07-01

    Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive multidisciplinary program individually tailored to the needs of patients with cardiovascular disease. The overall goals focus on improving daily function and reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiac rehabilitation includes interventions aimed at lowering blood pressure and improving lipid and diabetes mellitus control, with tobacco cessation, behavioral counseling, and graded physical activity. The physical activity component typically involves 36 sessions over 12 weeks, during which patients participate in supervised exercise under cardiac monitoring. There are also intensive programs that include up to 72 sessions lasting up to 18 weeks, although these programs are not widely available. Additional components of cardiac rehabilitation include counseling on nutrition, screening for and managing depression, and assuring up-to-date immunizations. Cardiac rehabilitation is covered by Medicare and recommended for patients following myocardial infarction, bypass surgery, and stent placement, and for patients with heart failure, stable angina, and several other conditions. Despite proven benefits in mortality rates, depression, functional capacity, and medication adherence, rates of referral for cardiac rehabilitation are suboptimal. Groups less likely to be referred are older adults, women, patients who do not speak English, and persons living in areas where cardiac rehabilitation is not locally available. Additionally, primary care physicians refer patients less often than cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. PMID:27386722

  11. Acupuncture improves cognitive function A systematic review

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

    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.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.

  12. Improved algorithm for calculating the Chandrasekhar function

    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

  13. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes.

    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

  14. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    Behlau M

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Mara Behlau, Glaucya Madazio, Gisele Oliveira Voice Department, Centro de Estudos da Voz – CEV, São Paulo, Brazil Abstract: 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

  15. Vitamin d and rehabilitation: improving functional outcomes.

    Shinchuk, Leonid M; Shinchuk, Leonid; Holick, Michael F

    2007-06-01

    Vitamin D inadequacy is pandemic among rehabilitation patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Male and female patients of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are affected. Vitamin D deficiency causes osteopenia, precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis, causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia, and worsens proximal muscle strength and postural sway. Vitamin D inadequacy can be prevented by sensible sun exposure and adequate dietary intake with supplementation. Vitamin D status is determined by measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. The recommended healthful serum level is between 30 and 60 ng/mL. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D levels of >30 ng/mL are sufficient to suppress parathyroid hormone production and to maximize the efficiency of dietary calcium absorption from the small intestine. This can be accomplished by ingesting 1000 IU of vitamin D(3) per day, or by taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D(2) every 2 weeks. Vitamin D toxicity is observed when 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels exceed 150 ng/mL. Identification and treatment of vitamin D deficiency reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures by improving bone health and musculoskeletal function. Vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or myositis. There is a need for better education of health professionals and the general public regarding the optimization of vitamin D status in the care of rehabilitation patients. PMID:17507730

  16. Novel insights into the assembly and function of human nuclear-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunits 4, 5a, 6a, 7a and 7b

    Fornuskova, Daniela; Stiburek, Lukas; Wenchich, Laszlo; Vinsova, Kamila; Hansikova, Hana; Zeman, Jiri

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Mammalian cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) is a hetero-oligomeric protein complex composed of 13 structural subunits encoded by both the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. To study the role of nuclear-encoded CcO subunits in the assembly and function of the human complex, we used stable RNA interference of COX4, COX5A and COX6A1, as well as expression of epitope-tagged Cox6a, Cox7a and Cox7b, in human HEK293 cells. Knockdown of Cox4, Cox5a and Cox6a resulted in reduced CcO activ...

  17. NESS038C6, a novel selective CB1 antagonist agent with anti-obesity activity and improved molecular profile.

    Mastinu, Andrea; Pira, Marilena; Pani, Luca; Pinna, Gérard Aimè; Lazzari, Paolo

    2012-10-01

    The present work aims to study the effects induced by a chronic treatment with a novel CB1 antagonist (NESS038C6) in C57BL/6N diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice. Mice treated with NESS038C6 and fed with a fat diet (NESS038C6 FD) were compared with the following three reference experimental groups: DIO mice fed with the same fat diet used for NESS038C6 and treated with vehicle or the reference CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant, "VH FD" and "SR141716 FD", respectively; DIO mice treated with vehicle and switched to a normal diet (VH ND). NESS038C6 chronic treatment (30 mg/kg/day for 31 days) determined a significant reduction in DIO mice weight relative to that of VH FD. The entity of the effect was comparable to that detected in both SR141716 FD and VH ND groups. Moreover, if compared to VH FD, NESS038C6 FD evidenced: (i) improvement of cardiovascular risk factors; (ii) significant decrease in adipose tissue leptin expression; (iii) increase in mRNA expression of hypothalamic orexigenic peptides and a decrease of anorexigenic peptides; (iv) expression increase of metabolic enzymes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α in the liver; (v) normalization of monoaminergic transporters and neurotrophic expression in mesolimbic area. However, in contrast to the case of rimonabant, the novel CB1 antagonist improved the disrupted expression profile of genes linked to the hunger-satiety circuit, without altering monoaminergic transmission. In conclusion, the novel CB1 antagonist compound NESS038C6 may represent a useful candidate agent for the treatment of obesity and its metabolic complications, without or with reduced side effects relative to those instead observed with rimonabant. PMID:22771813

  18. Studies of the structure and function of Mms6, a bacterial protein that promotes the formation of magnetic nanoparticles

    Wang, Lijun [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Here we report structural and functional studies of Mms6, a biomineralization protein that can promote the formation in vitro of magnetic nanoparticles with sizes and morphologies similar to the magnetites synthesized by magnetotactic bacteria. We found the binding pattern of Mms6 to ferric ion to be two-phase and multivalent. We quantatively determined that Mms6 binds one Fe3+ with a very high affinity (Kd = 1016 M). The second phase of iron binding is multivalent and cooperative with respect to iron with a Kd in the μM range and a stoichiometry of about 20 ferric ion per protein molecule. We found that Mms6 exists in large particles of two sizes, one consisting of 20-40 monomeric units and the other of 200 units. From proteolytic digestion, ultracentrifugation and liposome fusion studies, we found that Mms6 forms a large micellar quaternary structure with the N-terminal domain self-assembling into a uniformly sized micelle and the C-terminal domain on the surface. The two-phase iron-binding pattern may be relevant to iron crystal formation. We propose that the first high affinity phase may stabilize a new conformation of the C-terminal domain that allows interaction with other C-terminal domains leading to a structural change in the multimeric protein complex that enables the second low affinity iron binding phase to organize iron and initiate crystal formation. We also observed a dimeric apparent molecular mass of the Mms6 C-terminal peptide (C21Mms6). We speculate that the C-terminal domain may form higher order quaternary arrangements on the surface of the micelle or when anchored to a membrane by the N-terminal domain. The change in fluorescence quenching in the N-terminal domain with iron binding suggests a structural integrity between the C- and N-terminal domains. The slow change in trp fluorescence as a function of time after adding iron suggests a very slow conformational change in the protein that involves

  19. SLC6A3 coding variant Ala559Val found in two autism probands alters dopamine transporter function and trafficking

    Bowton, E.; C. Saunders; Reddy, I A; Campbell, N G; Hamilton, P J; Henry, L K; Coon, H; Sakrikar, D; Veenstra-VanderWeele, J M; Blakely, R. D.; Sutcliffe, J; Matthies, H J G; Erreger, K; Galli, A.

    2014-01-01

    Emerging evidence associates dysfunction in the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT) with the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The human DAT (hDAT; SLC6A3) rare variant with an Ala to Val substitution at amino acid 559 (hDAT A559V) was previously reported in individuals with bipolar disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We have demonstrated that this variant is hyper-phosphorylated at the amino (N)-terminal serine (Ser) residues and promotes an anomalous DA...

  20. Plant improvement by known-function genes

    Jesús Quiroz Chávez

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant molecular improvement by recombinant DNA technology represents an advantage to obtain new varieties or traits. This technique is promised for genetic improvement of crop plants. Lines with increased yield, quality, disease resistance, or tolerant to abiotic stress have been obtained, with clear advantages for producers, marketers and consumers. However, they have several limitations in its application to agriculture because of its risk and hazards. The aim of the document is to show the advantages and disadvantages of GM crop plant, to develop represent an opportunity to have new exotic traits.

  1. Testosterone improves motor function in Parkinson's disease.

    Mitchell, E; Thomas, D; Burnet, R

    2006-01-01

    In Parkinson's disease (PD) there is increasing evidence that sex steroids such as estradiol and testosterone modulate, either as a positive or negative effect, the clinical expression of a variety of movement disorders involving the nigrostriatum. Testosterone deficiency is common in the older male population and has an increased prevalence in parkinsonian patients. Testosterone therapy has been shown to improve the non-motor symptoms of PD but evidence for a direct effect of testosterone on motor symptoms is lacking. This case report demonstrates a significant improvement in the resting tremor and fine motor control after testosterone administration in a parkinsonian patient with testosterone deficiency (1 nmol/L). Motor symptom change was shown by serial assessment of the patient's handwriting, self-reporting using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and measurement of resting tremor amplitude by an accelerometer. The improvement in motor symptoms correlated with serum testosterone levels. The use of testosterone replacement in those men with decreased levels may improve the motor symptoms as well as increase general wellbeing. PMID:16410216

  2. An Improved Functional Hierarchy Frame Model for System Maintainability

    CHEN Dai-Lin; CHEN Dong-lin; WANG Ru-gen; ZHU Xue-ping

    2003-01-01

    By means of analogy, this paper analyses the present functional hierarchy frame model for system maintainability, and presents an improved model. Practical application indicates that the improved model is visualized, more convenient and perfected over the pervious models.

  3. Hydrogen dynamics in Na3AlH6: A combined density functional theory and quasielastic neutron scattering study

    Voss, Johannes; Shi, Qing; Jacobsen, Hjalte Sylvest;

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the elusive catalytic role of titanium-based additives on the reversible hydrogenation of complex hydrides is an essential step toward developing hydrogen storage materials for the transport sector. Improved bulk diffusion of hydrogen is one of the proposed effects of doping sodium...

  4. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    Behlau M; Madazio G; Oliveira G

    2015-01-01

    Mara Behlau, Glaucya Madazio, Gisele Oliveira Voice Department, Centro de Estudos da Voz – CEV, São Paulo, Brazil Abstract: 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 be...

  5. Functional tasks exercise improves daily function in older women

    Vreede, P.L. de

    2006-01-01

    Ageing is characterised by a reduction in physical reserve, the physiological capacity in excess of that needed for daily activities, that provides a margin of safety that absorbs age- or disease-related changes without a loss in function. When physical capacity falls below the ability required for

  6. Combined effect between two functional polymorphisms of SLC6A12 gene is associated with temporal lobe epilepsy

    Jingyun Li; Hua Lin; Fenghe Niu; Xilin Zhu; Ning Shen; Xin Wang; Liping Li; Aihua Liu; Xiaopan Wu; Wei Sun; Yuping Wang; Ying Liu

    2015-12-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common epilepsy subtype with complex genetic structure. A recent study in four populations (Ireland, UK, Australia and Finland) reported an allelic association between betaine/GABA transporter-1 (-1 or 612) and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. To demonstrate the association between 612 gene polymorphisms and TLE, TaqMan method was used to genotype five single-nucleotide polymorphisms of 612 gene in 358 TLE patients and 596 nonepileptic control subjects of Chinese Han origin. Real-time PCR was used to detect the effects of variations on gene expression associated with TLE. Though, the single-marker analysis did not demonstrate allelic association with TLE, rs542736–rs557881 interaction showed significant association. The 612 expression levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were significantly higher in TLE patients than in control subjects and were correlated to rs542736 G–rs557881 A haplotypes. Our preliminary results suggested combined effect of two common polymorphisms on SLC6A12 gene may be associated with TLE, but the precise mechanism needs further investigation.

  7. Improving Density Functionals with Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

    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).

  8. Novel insights into the assembly and function of human nuclear-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunits 4, 5a, 6a, 7a and 7b.

    Fornuskova, Daniela; Stiburek, Lukas; Wenchich, Laszlo; Vinsova, Kamila; Hansikova, Hana; Zeman, Jiri

    2010-06-15

    Mammalian CcO (cytochrome c oxidase) is a hetero-oligomeric protein complex composed of 13 structural subunits encoded by both the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. To study the role of nuclear-encoded CcO subunits in the assembly and function of the human complex, we used stable RNA interference of COX4, COX5A and COX6A1, as well as expression of epitope-tagged Cox6a, Cox7a and Cox7b, in HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 cells. Knockdown of Cox4, Cox5a and Cox6a resulted in reduced CcO activity, diminished affinity of the residual enzyme for oxygen, decreased holoCcO and CcO dimer levels, increased accumulation of CcO subcomplexes and gave rise to an altered pattern of respiratory supercomplexes. An analysis of the patterns of CcO subcomplexes found in both knockdown and overexpressing cells identified a novel CcO assembly intermediate, identified the entry points of three late-assembled subunits and demonstrated directly the essential character as well as the interdependence of the assembly of Cox4 and Cox5a. The ectopic expression of the heart/muscle-specific isoform of the Cox6 subunit (COX6A2) resulted in restoration of both CcO holoenzyme and activity in COX6A1-knockdown cells. This was in sharp contrast with the unaltered levels of COX6A2 mRNA in these cells, suggesting the existence of a fixed expression programme. The normal amount and function of respiratory complex I in all of our CcO-deficient knockdown cell lines suggest that, unlike non-human CcO-deficient models, even relatively small amounts of CcO can maintain the normal biogenesis of this respiratory complex in cultured human cells. PMID:20307258

  9. Structure-Function Correlation of G6, a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor of Jak2: INDISPENSABILITY OF THE STILBENOID CORE*

    Majumder, Anurima; Govindasamy, Lakshmanan; Magis, Andrew; KISS, Róbert; Polgár, Tímea; Baskin, Rebekah; Robert W Allan; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Reuther, Gary W.; Keserű, György M.; Bisht, Kirpal S.; Sayeski, Peter P.

    2010-01-01

    Somatic mutations in the Jak2 protein, such as V617F, cause aberrant Jak/STAT signaling and can lead to the development of myeloproliferative neoplasms. This discovery has led to the search for small molecule inhibitors that target Jak2. Using structure-based virtual screening, our group recently identified a novel small molecule inhibitor of Jak2 named G6. Here, we identified a structure-function correlation of this compound. Specifically, five derivative compounds of G6 having structural si...

  10. Prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressant exposure and serotonin transporter promoter genotype (SLC6A4) influence executive functions at 6 years of age

    Whitney eWeikum; Ursula eBrain; Cecil MY Chau; Ruth Eckstein Grunau; W Thomas Boyce; Adele eDiamond; Oberlander, Tim F.

    2013-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants and maternal depression may affect prefrontal cognitive skills (executive functions; EFs) including self-control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. We examined long-term effects of prenatal SRI exposure on EFs to determine whether effects are moderated by maternal mood and/or genetic variations in SLC6A4 (a gene that codes for the serotonin transporter [5-HTT] central to the regulation of synaptic serotonin levels...

  11. ACS6, a Hydrogen sulfide-donating derivative of sildenafil, inhibits homocysteine-induced apoptosis by preservation of mitochondrial function

    Tang Xiao-Qing

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The hydrogen sulfide-releasing sildenafil, ACS6, has been demonstrated to inhibit superoxide formation through donating hydrogen sulfide (H2S. We have found that H2S antagonizes homocysteine-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. The aim of the present study is to explore the protection of ACS6 against homocysteine-triggered cytotoxicity and apoptosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying in PC12 cells. Methods Cell viability was determined by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Cell apoptosis was observed using the chromatin dye Hoechst 33258 and analyzed by Flow Cytometry after propidium iodide staining. Mitochondrial membrane potential was monitored using the fluorescent dye Rh123. Intracellular reactive oxygen species were determined by oxidative conversion of cell permeable 2',7'-dichlorfluorescein-diacetate to fluorescent 2',7'-dichlorfluorescein. The expression of cleaved caspase-3 and bcl-2 and the accumulation of cytosolic cytochrome c were analyzed by Western blot. Results We show that ACS6 protects PC12 cells against cytotoxicity and apoptosis induced by homocysteine and blocks homocysteine-triggered cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation. ACS6 treatment results in not only prevention of homocysteine-caused mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ loss and reactive oxygen species (ROS overproduction but also reversal of Bcl-2 down-expression. Conclusions These results indicate that ACS6 protects PC12 cells against homocysteine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis by preservation of mitochondrial function though inhibiting both loss of Δψ and accumulation of ROS as well as modulating the expression of Bcl-2. Our study provides evidence both for a neuroprotective effect of ACS6 and for further evaluation of ACS6 as novel neuroprotectants for Alzheimer's disease associated with homocysteine.

  12. Improved esophageal function in Barrett esophagus with intravenous metoclopramide

    A prospective study of the response in esophageal function to intravenous metaclopramide was performed in 16 patients with Barrett esophagus by means of radionuclide esophageal scintigraphy. Scintigraphy was performed before and after the intravenous administration of 10 mg of metoclopramide. Analysis of esophageal function included the percentage emptying at 30 seconds. The majority of patients (62.5%) showed clear improvement in esophageal function. The mean percentage of emptying improved from 59% to 75% (P = .03). This suggests an additional reason for metoclopramide therapy in Barrett esophagus beyond its present role in decreasing gastroesophageal reflux. Radionuclide esophageal scintigraphy is as rapid and sensitive test of esophageal function, including drug response

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

    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 nutr...

  14. Improved adsorption energetics within density-functional theory using revised Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functionals

    Hammer, Bjørk; Hansen, Lars Bruno; Nørskov, Jens Kehlet

    1999-01-01

    revision of the PBE functional systematically improves the atomization energies for a large database of small molecules. In the present work, we show that the Zhang and Yang functional (revPBE) also improves the chemisorption energetics of atoms and molecules on transition-metal surfaces. Our test systems...

  15. Text mining improves prediction of protein functional sites.

    Karin M Verspoor

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. AN IMPROVED MULTIVARIATE LOSS FUNCTION APPROACH TO OPTIMIZATION

    Yizhong MA; Fengyu ZHAO

    2004-01-01

    The basic purpose of a quality loss function is to evaluate a loss to customers in a quantitative manner. Although there are several multivariate loss functions that have been proposed and studied in the literature, it has room for improvement. A good multivariate loss function should represent an appropriate compromise in terms of both process economics and the correlation structure among various responses. More important, it should be easily understood and implemented in practice.According to this criterion, we first introduce a pragmatic dimensionless multivariate loss function proposed by Artiles-Leon, then we improve the multivariate loss function in two respects: one is making it suitable for all three types of quality characteristics; the other is considering correlation structure among the various responses, which makes the improved multivariate loss function more adequate in the real world. On the bases of these, an example from industrial practice is provided to compare our improved method with other methods, and last, some reviews are presented in conclusion.

  17. Breeding for improvement of functional traits in dairy cattle

    Paul Boettcher

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Selection programs for increasing milk production per cow have been very successful over time. This success has been partially due to the consideration of few other traits. Unfortunately, many traits related to costs of production and cattle functionality (i.e., “functional traits”, such as fertility and health, are antagonistically correlated with milk yield. Therefore, the average merit for these traits has decreased over time. The decline in functionality, along with increased awareness of the costs of production and animal well-being, has spurred interest in breeding for improvement in functional traits. Unfortunately, factors such as low heritability and lack of data make the selection for functionality more difficult than for production. Research has been able to overcome some of these limitations, at least to some extent, through the development and application of advanced statistical analyses and through indirect selection on genetically correlated traits. Possibilities exist in the future for additional refinement of selection procedures for improvement of functional traits. Computing capacities are continually increasing and more complex but statistically appropriate analysis methods are being developed. Furthermore, genome scans have identified chromosomal regions that have putative associations with functional traits. The bovine genome has been recently sequenced, so the possibility to identify the genes affecting functional traits exists, at least in theory. With low heritabilities and difficulties in measurement, functional traits are the ideal candidates for the application of marker-assisted selection.

  18. Neurofeedback improves executive functioning in children with autism spectrum disorders

    Kouijzer, Mirjam,; De Moor, Jan,; Gerrits, Berrie,; Congedo, Marco; Van Schie, Hein,

    2009-01-01

    International audience 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 executive capacities were found to have improved greatly relative to pre-treatment assessment on a range of executive function ...

  19. Kinesthetic taping improves walking function in patients with stroke

    Boeskov, Birgitte; Carver, Line Tornehøj; von Essen-Leise, Anders; Henriksen, Marius

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Stroke is an important cause of severe disability and impaired motor function. Treatment modalities that improve motor function in patients with stroke are needed. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of kinesthetic taping of the anterior thigh and knee on maximal...... walking speed and clinical indices of spasticity in patients with stroke. METHODS: Thirty-two patients (9 women) receiving rehabilitation after stroke (average, 50 days since stroke) who had impaired walking ability were recruited. Primary outcome was maximal walking speed measured by the 10-meter walk......, although a trend was observed indicating a lesser degree of spasticity. CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that kinesthetic taping of the anterior thigh and knee provides an immediate improvement in walking function in patients with stroke. Such a positive effect on motor function could be a...

  20. A short executive function training program improves preschoolers’ working memory

    Emma eBlakey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years – a time when executive functions undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session executive function 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 three months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning three months later, indicating that training executive functions during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging.

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

    Ada Ip; Raymond Asamoah-Barnieh; Diane P. Bischak; Warren J Davidson; W. Ward Flemons; 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 utilizati...

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

    Kang, Si-Mook; Lee, Sang-Soo; Kwon, Ho-Keun; Kim, Baek-Il

    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 seco...

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

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

    2014-01-01

    Age-related muscle weakness has major adverse consequences on quality of life, increasing the risk of falls, fractures, and movement impairments. Albeit an increased oxidative state has been shown to contribute to age-dependent reduction in skeletal muscle function, little is known about the mechanisms connecting oxidation and muscle weakness. We show here that genetically enhancing mitochondrial antioxidant activity causes improved skeletal muscle function and voluntary exercise in aged mice...

  4. Fragmentation of nuclei as a function of centrality of collision in interactions of gold projectiles at 10.6 A GeV

    Dabrowska, A; Olszewski, A; Szarska, M; Trzupek, A; Wilczynska, B; Wilczynski, H; Wolter, W; Wosiek, B; Wozniak, K

    2001-01-01

    We have studied the fragmentation of light (C/N/O) and heavy (Ag/Br) nuclei of emulsion in collisions with gold projectiles at 10.6 A GeV and the fragmentation of these gold nuclei in collisions with hydrogen, (C/N/O) and (Ag/Br) nuclei. The analysis was restricted to the investigation of the number of fragments and in some cases the total charge of fragments as a function of the centrality of collisions with nuclei of different masses. We observe a decrease in the number of target fragments with increasing centrality for interactions of projectiles with masses comparable or greater than the mass of the target nucleus. As the collision becomes more central a significant number of participating protons from the target nucleus get enough momentum to become relativistic due to intranuclear interactions. These results have been compared with the predictions of the RQMD model.

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

    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…

  6. Targeted reduction of advanced glycation improves renal function in obesity

    Harcourt, Brooke E; Sourris, Karly C; Coughlan, Melinda T;

    2011-01-01

    Obesity is highly prevalent in Western populations and is considered a risk factor for the development of renal impairment. Interventions that reduce the tissue burden of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have shown promise in stemming the progression of chronic disease. Here we tested if...... function and an inflammatory profile (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)) were improved following the low-AGE diet. Mechanisms of advanced glycation-related renal damage were investigated in a mouse model of obesity using the AGE......, and renal oxidative stress. Alagebrium treatment, however, resulted in decreased weight gain and improved glycemic control compared with wild-type mice on a high-fat Western diet. Thus, targeted reduction of the advanced glycation pathway improved renal function in obesity....

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

    Ada Ip

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Probucol alleviates atherosclerosis and improves high density lipoprotein function

    Zhong Jian-Kai

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Probucol is a unique hypolipidemic agent that decreases high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C. However, it is not definite that whether probucol hinders the progression of atherosclerosis by improving HDL function. Methods Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits were randomly divided into the control, atherosclerosis and probucol groups. Control group were fed a regular diet; the atherosclerosis group received a high fat diet, and the probucol group received the high fat diet plus probucol. Hepatocytes and peritoneal macrophages were isolated for [3H] labeled cholesterol efflux rates and expression of ABCA1 and SR-B1 at gene and protein levels; venous blood was collected for serum paraoxonase 1, myeloperoxidase activity and lipid analysis. Aorta were prepared for morphologic and immunohistochemical analysis after 12 weeks. Results Compared to the atherosclerosis group, the paraoxonase 1 activity, cholesterol efflux rates, expression of ABCA1 and SR-BI in hepatocytes and peritoneal macrophages, and the level of ABCA1 and SR-BI in aortic lesions were remarkably improved in the probucol group, But the serum HDL cholesterol concentration, myeloperoxidase activity, the IMT and the percentage plaque area of aorta were significantly decreased. Conclusion Probucol alleviated atherosclerosis by improving HDL function. The mechanisms include accelerating the process of reverse cholesterol transport, improving the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant functions.

  9. Prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI antidepressant exposure and serotonin transporter promoter genotype (SLC6A4 influence executive functions at 6 years of age

    Whitney eWeikum

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Prenatal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI antidepressants and maternal depression may affect prefrontal cognitive skills (executive functions; EFs including self-control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. We examined long-term effects of prenatal SRI exposure on EFs to determine whether effects are moderated by maternal mood and/or genetic variations in SLC6A4 (a gene that codes for the serotonin transporter [5-HTT] central to the regulation of synaptic serotonin levels and behavior. Children who were exposed to SRIs prenatally (SRI-exposed N=26 and non-exposed (N=38 were studied at age 6 years (M=6.3 SD=0.5 using the Hearts & Flowers task (H&F to assess EFs. Maternal mood was measured during pregnancy (3rd trimester and when the child was age 6 years (Hamilton Depression Scale. Parent reports of child behavior were also obtained (MacArthur Health & Behavior Questionnaire. Parents of prenatally SRI-exposed children reported fewer child externalizing and inattentive (ADHD behaviors. Generalized estimate equation modeling showed a significant 3-way interaction between prenatal SRI exposure, SLC6A4 variant, and maternal mood at the 6-year time-point on H&F accuracy. For prenatally SRI-exposed children, regardless of maternal mood, the H&F accuracy of children with reduced 5HTT expression (a short [S] allele remained stable. Even with increasing maternal depressive symptoms (though all below clinical threshold, EFs of children with at least one short allele were comparable to children with the same genotype whose mothers reported few if any depressive symptoms – in this sense they showed resilience. Children with two long (L alleles were more sensitive to context. When their mothers had few depressive symptoms, LL children showed extremely good EF performance – better than any other group. When their mothers reported more depressive symptoms, LL children’s EF performance was worse than that of any other group.

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

    Iversen Synnøve

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  11. An improved method for estimating the frequency correlation function

    Chelli, Ali

    2012-04-01

    For time-invariant frequency-selective channels, the transfer function is a superposition of waves having different propagation delays and path gains. In order to estimate the frequency correlation function (FCF) of such channels, the frequency averaging technique can be utilized. The obtained FCF can be expressed as a sum of auto-terms (ATs) and cross-terms (CTs). The ATs are caused by the autocorrelation of individual path components. The CTs are due to the cross-correlation of different path components. These CTs have no physical meaning and leads to an estimation error. We propose a new estimation method aiming to improve the estimation accuracy of the FCF of a band-limited transfer function. The basic idea behind the proposed method is to introduce a kernel function aiming to reduce the CT effect, while preserving the ATs. In this way, we can improve the estimation of the FCF. The performance of the proposed method and the frequency averaging technique is analyzed using a synthetically generated transfer function. We show that the proposed method is more accurate than the frequency averaging technique. The accurate estimation of the FCF is crucial for the system design. In fact, we can determine the coherence bandwidth from the FCF. The exact knowledge of the coherence bandwidth is beneficial in both the design as well as optimization of frequency interleaving and pilot arrangement schemes. © 2012 IEEE.

  12. Probucol alleviates atherosclerosis and improves high density lipoprotein function

    Zhong Jian-Kai; Guo Zhi-Gang; Li Chen; Wang Zhen-Kun; Lai Wen-Yan; Tu Yan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Probucol is a unique hypolipidemic agent that decreases high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). However, it is not definite that whether probucol hinders the progression of atherosclerosis by improving HDL function. Methods Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits were randomly divided into the control, atherosclerosis and probucol groups. Control group were fed a regular diet; the atherosclerosis group received a high fat diet, and the probucol group received the high fat...

  13. Physiologic Basis for Improved Pulmonary Function after Lung Volume Reduction

    Fessler, Henry E.; Scharf, Steven M; Ingenito, Edward P.; McKenna, Robert J.; Sharafkhaneh, Amir

    2008-01-01

    It is not readily apparent how pulmonary function could be improved by resecting portions of the lung in patients with emphysema. In emphysema, elevation in residual volume relative to total lung capacity reduces forced expiratory volumes, increases inspiratory effort, and impairs inspiratory muscle mechanics. Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) better matches the size of the lungs to the size of the thorax containing them. This restores forced expiratory volumes and the mechanical advantage...

  14. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD

    2010-01-01

    Background Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory functioning of adults with ADHD. Methods Eighteen adults with ADHD who were clinical responders to methylphenidate participated in this randomized crossover trial. After 3 days of no treatment, patien...

  15. Improving functional disability and cognition in Parkinson disease

    Peña, Javier; Ibarretxe-Bilbao, Naroa; 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, ...

  16. Improved regional ventricular function after successful surgical revascularization

    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

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

    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, pcognitive performance (object recognition, peffect 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. PMID:24502983

  18. Targeted therapies to improve CFTR function in cystic fibrosis.

    Brodlie, Malcolm; Haq, Iram J; Roberts, Katie; Elborn, J Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetically determined, life-limiting disorder in populations of European ancestry. The genetic basis of cystic fibrosis is well established to be mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that codes for an apical membrane chloride channel principally expressed by epithelial cells. Conventional approaches to cystic fibrosis care involve a heavy daily burden of supportive treatments to combat lung infection, help clear airway secretions and maintain nutritional status. In 2012, a new era of precision medicine in cystic fibrosis therapeutics began with the licensing of a small molecule, ivacaftor, which successfully targets the underlying defect and improves CFTR function in a subgroup of patients in a genotype-specific manner. Here, we review the three main targeted approaches that have been adopted to improve CFTR function: potentiators, which recover the function of CFTR at the apical surface of epithelial cells that is disrupted in class III and IV genetic mutations; correctors, which improve intracellular processing of CFTR, increasing surface expression, in class II mutations; and production correctors or read-through agents, which promote transcription of CFTR in class I mutations. The further development of such approaches offers great promise for future therapeutic strategies in cystic fibrosis. PMID:26403534

  19. Combining specificity determining and conserved residues improves functional site prediction

    Gelfand Mikhail S

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Predicting the location of functionally important sites from protein sequence and/or structure is a long-standing problem in computational biology. Most current approaches make use of sequence conservation, assuming that amino acid residues conserved within a protein family are most likely to be functionally important. Most often these approaches do not consider many residues that act to define specific sub-functions within a family, or they make no distinction between residues important for function and those more relevant for maintaining structure (e.g. in the hydrophobic core. Many protein families bind and/or act on a variety of ligands, meaning that conserved residues often only bind a common ligand sub-structure or perform general catalytic activities. Results Here we present a novel method for functional site prediction based on identification of conserved positions, as well as those responsible for determining ligand specificity. We define Specificity-Determining Positions (SDPs, as those occupied by conserved residues within sub-groups of proteins in a family having a common specificity, but differ between groups, and are thus likely to account for specific recognition events. We benchmark the approach on enzyme families of known 3D structure with bound substrates, and find that in nearly all families residues predicted by SDPsite are in contact with the bound substrate, and that the addition of SDPs significantly improves functional site prediction accuracy. We apply SDPsite to various families of proteins containing known three-dimensional structures, but lacking clear functional annotations, and discusse several illustrative examples. Conclusion The results suggest a better means to predict functional details for the thousands of protein structures determined prior to a clear understanding of molecular function.

  20. Hyperinsulinemia improves ischemic LV function in insulin resistant subjects

    Khan Sadia N

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Glucose is a more efficient substrate for ATP production than free fatty acid (FFA. Insulin resistance (IR results in higher FFA concentrations and impaired myocardial glucose use, potentially worsening ischemia. We hypothesized that metabolic manipulation with a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp (HEC would affect a greater improvement in left ventricular (LV performance during dobutamine stress echo (DSE in subjects with IR. Methods 24 subjects with normal LV function and coronary disease (CAD awaiting revascularization underwent 2 DSEs. Prior to one DSEs they underwent an HEC, where a primed infusion of insulin (rate 43 mU/m 2/min was co-administered with 20% dextrose at variable rates to maintain euglycemia. At steady-state the DSE was performed and images of the LV were acquired with tissue Doppler at each stage for offline analysis. Segmental peak systolic velocities (Vs were recorded, as well as LV ejection fraction (EF. Subjects were then divided into two groups based on their insulin sensitivity during the HEC. Results HEC changed the metabolic environment, suppressing FFAs and thereby increasing glucose use. This resulted in improved LV performance at peak stress, measured by EF (IS group mean difference 5.3 (95% CI 2.5-8 %, p = 0.002; IR group mean difference 8.7 (95% CI 5.8-11.6 %, p s in ischemic segments (IS group mean improvement 0.7(95% CI 0.07-1.58 cm/s, p = 0.07; IR group mean improvement 1.0 (95% CI 0.54-1.5 cm/s, p , that was greater in the subjects with IR. Conclusions Increased myocardial glucose use induced by HEC improves LV function under stress in subjects with CAD and IR. Cardiac metabolic manipulation in subjects with IR is a promising target for future therapy.

  1. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury

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

    2013-01-01

    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 fal ing 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 sig-nificantly 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 fibril ary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly im-proves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is me-diated by metabolic changes and nerve cellrestoration in the hippocampal CA3 region.

  2. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    JEAN-MARC CHOBERT

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins are involved in every aspects of life: structure, motion, catalysis, recognition and regulation. Today's highly sophisticated science of the modifications of proteins has ancient roots. The tailoring of proteins for food and medical uses precedes the beginning of what is called biochemistry. Chemical modification of proteins was pursued early in the twentieth century as an analytical procedure for side-chain amino acids. Later, methods were developed for specific inactivation of biologically active proteins and titration of their essential groups. Enzymatic modifications were mainly developed in the seventies when many more enzymes became economically available. Protein engineering has become a valuable tool for creating or improving proteins for practical use and has provided new insights into protein structure and function. The actual and potential use of milk proteins as food ingredients has been a popular topic for research over the past 40 years. With today's sophisticated analytical, biochemical and biological research tools, the presence of compounds with biological activity has been demonstrated. Improvements in separation techniques and enzyme technology have enabled efficient and economic isolation and modification of milk proteins, which has made possible their use as functional foods, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and medical foods. In this review, some chemical and enzymatic modifications of milk proteins are described, with particular focus on their functional and biological properties.

  3. The rat GPRC6A

    Wellendorph, Petrine; Burhenne, Nicole; Christiansen, Bolette;

    2007-01-01

    showed that the mRNA is widely but weakly distributed, except for a high expression in the soft palate, the so-called geschmacksstreifen. On the protein level, rGPRC6A was shown to be glycosylated and most likely oligomeric, and using immunochemistry we observed that rGPRC6A is expressed at the plasma......GPRC6A is a novel member of family C of G protein-coupled receptors with so far elusive biological function. GPRC6A has been described in human and mouse as a promiscuous l-alpha-amino acid receptor. We now report the cloning, expression analysis and, functional characterization of the rat...... orthologue of GPRC6A. Full-length cloning of rat GPRC6A (rGPRC6A) was accomplished using amplification of cDNA from taste tissue, and the identity of rGPRC6A confirmed at both the genomic and the protein level by similarity studies. Using selective primers, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction...

  4. Improved gene transfer with histidine-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

    Brevet, David; Hocine, Ouahiba; Delalande, Anthony; Raehm, Laurence; Charnay, Clarence; Midoux, Patrick; Durand, Jean-Olivier; Pichon, Chantal

    2014-08-25

    Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) were functionalized with aminopropyltriethoxysilane (MSN-NH2) then L-histidine (MSN-His) for pDNA delivery in cells and in vivo. The complexation of pDNA with MSN-NH2 and MSN-His was first studied with gel shift assay. pDNA complexed with MSN-His was better protected from DNase degradation than with MSN-NH2. An improvement of the transfection efficiency in cells was observed with MSN-His/pDNA compared to MSN-NH2/pDNA, which could be explained by a better internalization of MSN-His. The improvement of the transfection efficiency with MSN-His was also observed for gene transfer in Achilles tendons in vivo. PMID:24853464

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

    Krishnan Chandramouli

    2012-08-01

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

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

    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

  7. Studying possibilities to improve the functional properties of metallurgical rolls

    Z. Stradomski; A. Pirek; Stachura, S

    2008-01-01

    Thc paper prcscnts rcsults nT invcst igations and at~thors' opinion on improving functional propcrtics of mciall urgicnl rolls cast fromGZOOCrMoNi 4-9-3 cast wccl. onc nf most oftcn ilscd lor rolls in scction mills. Thcsc mills Icn~urcq uickcr than flat rolls wear or 1001'spass. whar rcquircs morc Crcqocnt rcpcncr;lt ion. 'Thc machining rcquircs n rclat ivcly low hardness, which is cnsurcd hy ~ h pcc arliiic matrixof casr steel strldid. 7 % ~au thors silggcst 10 achicvc thc optimisntion o f t...

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

    Sabik, A., E-mail: sabik@ifd.uni.wroc.pl; Gołek, F.; Antczak, G. [Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Wrocław, Wrocław (Poland)

    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.

  9. Improved quasi—static nodal Green‘s function method

    经荥清; 胡大璞; 等

    1996-01-01

    To solve the multi-dimensional transient neutron diffusion equations,improved quasi-static Green's function method(IQS/NEFM) is adopted to deal with the temporal problesm,which will increase the time step as long as possible so as to decrease the number of times of spatial calculation.The time step of IQS/NGFM can be increased to 5-10 times longer than that of full implicit differential method.In spatial calculation.The theory of NGFM is used to get the distribution of shape function,with coarse meshes which can be nearly 20 times larger than that of traditional finite differential method.So the IQS/NGFM is considered as an efficinet kinetic method.

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

    Davies CC

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Claire C Davies,1 Dorothy Brockopp,2 Krista Moe2 1Baptist Health Rehabilitation, 2Research Department, Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, KY, USA Abstract: 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. Keywords: breast cancer, quality of life, scar tissue treatment, physical therapy

  11. Sildenafil Improves Erectile Function in Men with Chronic Heart Failure

    Niloufar Samiei

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Patients with Chronic Heart Failure (CHF have been shown to have enhanced risk of Erectile Dysfunction (ED due to low cardiac output, endothelial dysfunction, medications, co-morbid conditions, and psychogenic factors. Objectives: The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of sildenafil on erectile function of patients with stable CHF using the abridged 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5. Patients and Methods: Using convenience sampling, 222 sexually-active adult males with NYHA class I-III stable CHF were included in this cross-sectional study. All the patients filled out the IIEF-5 questionnaire, in which they were required to score the five domains of male sexual function, including erectile function, orgasm function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction. All the analyses were performed using the SPSS statistical software (v. 19 and P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: In our sample, the patients’ mean age was 47.14 ± 11.86 years, their mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 20% (15% - 25%, and the prevalence of ED was 70.3%. In addition, severe, moderate, mild to moderate, and mild ED were seen in 57%, 17%, 7%, and 19% of the patients with ED, respectively. ED was significantly more prevalent in the patients with ischemic heart failure compared to those with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (84.68% vs. 55.85%, P < 0.001. Moreover, the prevalence of ED was significantly lower in the patients taking sildenafil compared to the other group (42.85% vs. 82.89%, P < 0.001. Conclusions: Sildenafil appears to provide satisfactory results toward improving sexual function in patients with CHF.

  12. Remote sensing of vegetation ecophysiological function for improved hydrologic prediction

    Drewry, D.; Ruddell, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    Land surface hydrology in vegetated landscapes is strongly controlled by ecophysiological function. The coupling between photosynthesis, stomatal dynamics and leaf energy balance fundamentally links the hydrologic and carbon cycles, and provides a basis for examining the utility of observations of functional plant traits for hydrologic prediction. Here we explore the potential of solar induced fluorescence (SIF) and thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing observations to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty in hydrologic prediction. While SIF represents an emission of radiation associated with photosynthesis, TIR provides information on foliage temperature and is related to stomatal function and water stress. A set of remote observing system simulation experiments are conducted to quantify the value of remotely sensed observations of SIF and TIR when assimilated into a detailed vegetation biophysical model. The MLCan model discretizes a dense plant canopy to resolve vertical variation in photosynthesis, water vapor and energy exchange. Here we present extensions to MLCan that allow for direct computation of the canopy emission of both SIF and TIR. The detailed representation of the physical environment and biological functioning of structurally complex canopies makes MLCan an ideal simulation tool for exploring the impact of these two unique, and potentially synergistic observables. This work specifically addresses remote sensing capabilities on both recently launched (OCO-2) and near-term (ECOSTRESS) satellite platforms. We contrast the information gained through the assimilation of SIF and TIR observations to that of the assimilation of data related to physical states such as soil moisture and leaf area index.

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

    Levitt Michael

    2004-06-01

    -dependent scoring functions for improved protein structure selection. Their success indicates that information from the ensemble of decoy conformations can be used to derive statistical probabilities and facilitate the identification of near-native structures.

  14. An improved radial basis function network for structural reliability analysis

    Approximation methods such as response surface method and artificial neural network (ANN) method are widely used to alleviate the computation costs in structural reliability analysis. However most of the ANN methods proposed in the literature suffer various drawbacks such as poor choice of parameter setting, poor generalization and local minimum. In this study, a support vector machine-based radial basis function (RBF) network method is proposed, in which the improved RBF model is used to approximate the limit state function and then is connected to a reliability method to estimate failure probability. Since the learning algorithm of RBF network is replaced by the support vector algorithm, the advantage of the latter, such as good generalization ability and global optimization are propagated to the former, thus the inherent drawback of RBF network can be defeated. Numerical examples are given to demonstrate the applicability of the improved RBF network method in structural reliability analysis, as well as to illustrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed method

  15. Does L-carnitine improve endothelial function in hemodialysis patients?

    Mohammad Reza Sabri

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in hemodialysis patients. These patients are also very prone to L-carnitine deficiency due to kidney disease. In this clinical trial, we investigated the effect of oral L-carnitine on endothelial function of these patients. Materials ans Methods : We studied 31 adult chronic hemodialysis patients in our center and divided them into two groups. The first group (n = 20 received 1500 mg/dialysis interval (every other day oral L-carnitine. The control group (n = 11 received placebo for one month. Ultrasonographic measurements of flow mediated dilation and carotid intima-media thickness were performed before and after one month of L-carnitine and placebo therapy. Results: This study showed that after one month of L-carnitine or placebo therapy there was no significant improvement in flow mediated dilation (p = 0.80 and p = 0.59, respectively or decrease in carotid intima-media thickness (p = 0.12 and p = 0.50, respectively. Conclusions: Our study revealed that one month of oral L-carnitine therapy did not improve endothelial function in hemodialysis patients. Long-term studies with large sample size using intravenous form and higher doses of the drug are required to clarify the questionable role of L-carnitine in hemodialysis patients.

  16. Do Improvements in Balance Relate to Improvements in Long-Distance Walking Function after Stroke?

    Louis N. Awad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Stroke survivors identify a reduced capacity to walk farther distances as a factor limiting their engagement at home and in community. Previous observational studies have shown that measures of balance ability and balance self-efficacy are strong predictors of long-distance walking function after stroke. Consequently, recommendations to target balance during rehabilitation have been put forth. The purpose of this study was to determine if the changes in balance and long-distance walking function observed following a 12-week poststroke walking rehabilitation program were related. For thirty-one subjects with hemiparesis after stroke, this investigation explored the cross-sectional (i.e., before training and longitudinal (i.e., changes due to intervention relationships between measures of standing balance, walking balance, and balance self-efficacy versus long-distance walking function as measured via the 6-minute walk test (6MWT. A regression model containing all three balance variables accounted for 60.8% of the variance in 6MWT performance (R2=.584; F(3,27=13.931; P.05. For persons after stroke similar to those studied, improving balance may not be sufficient to improve long-distance walking function.

  17. Improvement of renal function after opening occluded atherosclerotic renal arteries.

    Kanamori, Hiroshi; Toma, Masanao; Fukatsu, Atsushi

    2009-09-01

    Percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty (PTRA) with stenting has been effective in the control of hypertension, renal function and pulmonary edema caused by atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS). However, concerning the viability of renal function, this procedure has not been fully established, especially in the presence of renal atrophy or severe renal parenchymal disease. We report a dramatically improved case of acute renal failure caused by acute worsening ARAS treated by stenting. A 72-year-old female was admitted for accelerated renal dysfunction (serum ceatinine; 1.2-2.3 mg/dl) and hypertension (190/100 mmHg). At 10 days after admission, the patient's serum ceatinine increased to 6.7 mg/dl, her pulmonary edema was exaggerated and hemodialysis was required. Ultrasonography showed bilateral high-echoic kidneys, but no apparent finding of renal artery stenosis (RAS). At day 15, computed tomographic angiography indicated bilateral ostial RAS. Renal angiography demonstrated total occlusion of the right and severe (90%) disease in the left. ARAS was diagnosed by intravascular ultrasonography. The guidewire was inserted in both renal arteries, PTRA with stenting was performed in the right and a stent was directly implanted in the left. Immediately, each kidney enlarged to almost normal size, leading to satisfactory urination. She was released from hemodialysis the next day since her serum creatinine was normal and the pulmonary edema was improved. Although there is still no reliable prognostic factor including resistive index or kidney size, it is important that PTRA with stenting in ARAS should be considered in a case of accelerated renal dysfunction because of the possible improvement. PMID:19726830

  18. Intestinal barrier function in neonatal foals: options for improvement.

    Vendrig, Johannes C; Fink-Gremmels, Johanna

    2012-07-01

    Gastrointestinal defence in the new-born is limited in comparison to adults, due to an immature epithelial barrier function and deficits in both innate and adaptive immune responses. Consequently, neonates (including foals) are at increased risk of disturbance to mucosal homeostasis during initial intestinal colonisation that may lead to excessive inflammation and bacterial translocation into the bloodstream, resulting in septicaemia. Bacterial recognition by Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) and their downstream regulation of cytokine release have been shown to be pivotal for gastrointestinal mucosal homeostasis and the development of a functional intestinal barrier. Evidence suggests that selective PRR agonists limit the inflammatory responses and improve epithelial barrier function. Milk, and in particular colostrum, contain a broad array of oligosaccharides which seem to act as PRR agonists. This class of compounds forms a source for new dietary formulas that may orchestrate gut colonisation by the commensal flora in the early phase of life and so reduce the risks of inflammation and pathogen invasion. PMID:22377327

  19. Improving balance function using vestibular stochastic resonance: optimizing stimulus characteristics.

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Fiedler, Matthew J; Kofman, Igor S; Wood, Scott J; Serrador, Jorge M; Peters, Brian; Cohen, Helen S; Reschke, Millard F; Bloomberg, Jacob J

    2011-04-01

    modality to enhance adaptability or skill acquisition, or as a miniature patch-type stimulator that may be worn by people with disabilities due to aging or disease to improve posture and locomotion function. PMID:21442221

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

    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

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

    Luiz Arthur Calheiros Leite

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  2. Natural Product Discovery through Improved Functional Metagenomics in Streptomyces.

    Iqbal, Hala A; Low-Beinart, Lila; Obiajulu, Joseph U; Brady, Sean F

    2016-08-01

    Because the majority of environmental bacteria are not easily culturable, access to many bacterially encoded secondary metabolites will be dependent on the development of improved functional metagenomic screening methods. In this study, we examined a collection of diverse Streptomyces species for the best innate ability to heterologously express biosynthetic gene clusters. We then optimized methods for constructing high quality metagenomic cosmid libraries in the best Streptomyces host. An initial screen of a 1.5 million-membered metagenomic library constructed in Streptomyces albus, the species that exhibited the highest propensity for heterologous expression of gene clusters, led to the identification of the novel natural product metatricycloene (1). Metatricycloene is a tricyclic polyene encoded by a reductive, iterative polyketide-like gene cluster. Related gene clusters found in sequenced genomes appear to encode a largely unexplored collection of structurally diverse, polyene-based metabolites. PMID:27447056

  3. Improved annunciator system for Japanese PWRs: Functions and evaluation

    An improved annunciator system has been developed for Japanese PWRs. The major achievement is the development of alarm suppression functions which resolve the alarm avalanche, one of the critical human factors problems in nuclear power plant control room design. The system dynamically categorizes an alarm into one of three information groups, using simple physical and/or logical rules independent of any prescribed transient/accident scenarios: In order of priority, they are 'alarm information', 'caution information', and 'normal status information'. In this system, items categorized as 'caution' or 'normal status' are considered 'suppressed'. A full scale prototype system consisting of alarm facias and CRT message text displays was developed and implemented on a full scale replica control board. With the use of a real-time plant simulator and the participation of utility operators, a dynamic validation test was conducted. It emerged that (i) the suppression rate is well in excess of 80% after safety injection and also in the event of loss of an electrical source (i.e. blackout), and (ii) the number of 'alarm information' warnings displayed in a short period of time is always kept very low, leading to significant improvements of operator performance in (iii) secondary malfunction detection time, (iv) the frequency of alarm utilization, and (v) the frequency of successful operational responses. Applications to actual power plants are discussed. (author). 1 ref., 1 fig., 3 tabs

  4. Improving harmonic vibrational frequencies calculations in density functional theory

    Stratmann, R. Eric; Burant, John C.; Scuseria, Gustavo E.; Frisch, Michael J.

    1997-06-01

    Using a previously introduced weight scheme, microbatching, and grid compression [R. E. Stratmann, G. E. Scuseria and M. J. Frisch, Chem. Phys. Lett. 257, 213 (1996)], we significantly speed up the numerical integration of the exchange-correlation contribution to the Coupled-Perturbed Kohn-Sham equations. In addition, we find that the nature of the integrand is such that it is possible to employ substantially fewer grid points in the quadrature and to use the Gaussian very Fast Multipole Method (GvFMM) with very short multipole expansions for the Coulomb contribution, with negligible loss in accuracy. As a representative example, the computational demand for the exchange-correlation portion of a coronene (C24H12) frequency calculation with a 3-21G basis is reduced by more than one order of magnitude. The overall speed up achieved in this calculation is between a factor of 4 to 6, depending on the specific functional. We also present sample calculations using polarized bases, gradient-corrected functionals, and on even larger systems (C54H18 and C96H24), to illustrate the various effects and improvements that we have accomplished.

  5. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the 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.

  6. Production of Lupinus angustifolius protein hydrolysates with improved functional properties

    Millán, Francisco

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Protein hydrolysates wer e obtained from lupin flour and from the purified globulin α -conglutin, and their functional properties were studied. Hydrolysis with alcalase for 60 minutes yielded degrees of hydrolysis ranging from 4 % to 11 % for lupin flour, and from 4 % to 13% for α -conglutin. Protein solubility, oil absorption, foam capacity and stability, emulsifying activity, and emulsion stability of hydrolysates with 6% degree of hydrolysis were determined and compared with the properties of the original flour. The protein hydrolysates showed better functional properties than the original proteins. Most importantly, the solubility of the α -conglutin and L. angustifolius flour hydrolysates was increased by 43 % and 52 %, respectively. Thus, lupin seed protein hydrolysates have improved functional properties and could be used in the elaboration of a variety of products such as breads, cakes, and salad dressings.Se obtuvieron hidrolizados proteicos de la harina del altramuz y de la globulina α - conglutina purificada y se estudiaron sus propiedades funcionales. La hidrólisis con alcalasa durante 60 minutos produjo hidrolizados con grados de hidrólisis entre el 4 % y el 11 % para la harina y entre el 4 % y el 13 % para la α - conglutina. Se estudió en un hidrolizado con un 6 % de grado de hidrólisis la solubilidad proteica, absorción de aceite, capacidad y estabilidad espumante y actividad y estabilidad emulsificante. Los hidrolizados proteicos mostraron mejores propiedades funcionales que las proteínas originales. Más aún, la solubilidad de los hidrolizados de α - conglutina y la harina se incrementó en un 43 % y 52 % respectivamente. Así pues, hidrolizados de proteínas de semilla de lupino presentan mejores propiedades funcionales y podrían usarse en la elaboración de productos como pan, dulces, salsas o cremas.

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

    Mustafiz, Ananda; Kumari, Sumita; Karan, Ratna

    2016-06-01

    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

  8. Does Functional Outcome Improve with Time Postsurgery for Hirschsprung Disease?

    Aworanti, Olugbenga Michael; McDowell, Dermot Thomas; Martin, Ian Michael; Quinn, Feargal

    2016-04-01

    Purpose Constipation and incontinence are significant problems following pull-through surgery for Hirschsprung disease (HD). There is evidence that these problems improve with time. However, there is also evidence showing no improvements and furthermore, significant long-term data are lacking for the newer endorectal pull-through. We aim to determine if there is clinical evidence that show improvements in functional outcomes with time after an endorectal pull-through surgery for HD. Methods We utilized the validated pediatric incontinence and constipation scoring system (PICSS) to score 51 consecutive children 3 months to 15 years posttransabdominal or transanal endorectal pull-through for HD. Cases of total colonic aganglionosis and Down syndrome were excluded. PICSS scores below the age-specific lower limit 95% confidence interval scores represent incomplete continence or constipation, respectively. We performed linear regression to analyze the relationship between PICSS scores and the follow-up duration and then compared the demographics of children with and without incomplete continence and constipation, respectively. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results The median age at PICSS interview was 71 months (range, 6-191 months). Incontinence scores obtained from 42 children older than 35 months showed a positive relationship with the follow-up duration (p = 0.03). Constipation scores obtained from 51 children were unrelated to follow-up duration (p = 0.486). When demographics were compared, the continent children had longer follow-up than those with incomplete continence (mean, 111.64 vs. 69.19 months; p = 0.051), however follow-up duration did not differ in the group of constipated children compared with the nonconstipated group (mean, 61.88 vs. 71.80 months; p = 0.321). Conclusion These findings suggest that after an endorectal pull-through, improved continence should be expected with time but constipation often continues to be an

  9. Iloprost improves ventricular function in the hypertrophic and functionally impaired right heart by direct stimulation

    Holmboe, Sarah; Andersen, Asger; Vildbrad, Mads D;

    2013-01-01

    Right heart function is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension and congenital heart diseases. We investigated whether the prostacyclin analog iloprost has a direct inotropic effect in the pressure-overloaded hypertrophic and...... dysfunctional right ventricle (RV). Rats were randomized to monocrotaline injection (60 mg/kg; [Formula: see text]), pulmonary trunk banding (PTB; [Formula: see text]), or a sham operation ([Formula: see text]). RV function was evaluated with magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography, and invasive pressure......]) increase in RV systolic pressure were found in the PTB group. Iloprost caused a decrease in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) in all groups of animals. An equal reduction in MAP induced by the arterial vasodilator nitroprusside did not improve any of the measured parameters of RV function. We conclude...

  10. PapR6, a Putative Atypical Response Regulator, Functions as a Pathway-Specific Activator of Pristinamycin II Biosynthesis in Streptomyces pristinaespiralis

    Dun, Junling; Zhao, Yawei; Zheng, Guosong; Zhu, Hong; Ruan, Lijun; Wang, Wenfang; Ge, Mei; Jiang, Weihong; Lu, Yinhua

    2014-01-01

    There are up to seven regulatory genes in the pristinamycin biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces pristinaespiralis, which infers a complicated regulation mechanism for pristinamycin production. In this study, we revealed that PapR6, a putative atypical response regulator, acts as a pathway-specific activator of pristinamycin II (PII) biosynthesis. Deletion of the papR6 gene resulted in significantly reduced PII production, and its overexpression led to increased PII formation, compared t...

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

    Maria Morgan-Bathke

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

  12. Improved q-exponential and q-trigonometric functions

    Cieśliński, Jan L

    2010-01-01

    We propose a new definition of the q-exponential function. Our q-exponential function maps the imaginary axis into the unit circle and the resulting q-trigonometric functions are bounded and satisfy the Pythagorean identity.

  13. Bioactive rosette nanotube-hydroxyapatite nanocomposites improve osteoblast functions.

    Sun, Linlin; Zhang, Lijie; Hemraz, Usha D; Fenniri, Hicham; Webster, Thomas J

    2012-09-01

    Inspired from biological systems, small synthetic organic molecules expressing the hydrogen bonding arrays of the DNA bases guanine and cytosine were prepared, and their self-assembly into rosette nanotubes (RNTs) was investigated. Due to their unique biological, physicochemical, and mechanical properties, RNTs could serve as the next generation of injectable orthopedic materials. In this study, a self-assembling module (termed twin base linkers or TBL) was synthesized, and the corresponding RNTs were used as bioactive components in composites of poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles (termed TBL/HA/pHEMA). The properties of these composites were characterized for solidification time, surface morphology, mechanical properties, and cytocompatibility. The experimental conditions were optimized to achieve solidification within 2-40 min, offering a range of properties for orthopedic applications. Composites with 20 wt% HA nanoparticles had a compressive strength (37.1 MPa) and an ultimate tensile stress (14.7 MPa) similar to that of a natural vertebral disc (5-30 MPa). Specifically, the TBL (0.01 mg/mL)/HA(20 wt%)/pHEMA composites improved long-term functions of osteoblasts (or bone-forming cells) in terms of collagen synthesis, alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium deposition. Moreover, this composite inhibited fibroblast adhesion, thus decreasing the potential for undesirable fibrous tissue formation. In summary, this in vitro study provided evidence that TBL/HA/pHEMA composites are promising injectable orthopedic implant materials that warrant further mechanistic and in vivo studies. PMID:22530958

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

    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.

  15. Improved Collision Attack on Hash Function MD5

    Jie Liang; Xue-Jia Lai

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we present a fast attack algorithm to find two-block collision of hash function MD5.The algorithm is based on the two-block collision differential path of MD5 that was presented by Wang et al.In the Conference EUROCRYPT 2005.We found that the derived conditions for the desired collision differential path were not sufficient to guarantee the path to hold and that some conditions could be modified to enlarge the collision set.By using technique of small range searching and omitting the computing steps to check the characteristics in the attack algorithm, we can speed up the attack of MD5 efficiently.Compared with the Advanced Message Modification technique presented by Wang et al.,the small range searching technique can correct 4 more conditions for the first iteration differential and 3 more conditions for the second iteration differential, thus improving the probability and the complexity to find collisions.The whole attack on the MD5 can be accomplished within 5 hours using a PC with Pentium4 1.70GHz CPU.

  16. Physiotherapy improves patient reported shoulder function and health status in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome

    Storgaard, Filip Holst; Pedersen, Christina Gravgaard; Jensen, Majbritt Lykke; Jensen, Steen Lund

    Physiotherapy improves patient reported shoulder function and health status in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.......Physiotherapy improves patient reported shoulder function and health status in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome....

  17. Using Quality Function Deployment to Improve Reference Services Quality

    Pao-Long Chang; Pao-Nuan Hsieh

    1996-01-01

    Much research has been conducted regarding how reference librarians can evaluate and improve the quality of the answers they provide to users' inquiries. There has been considerably less discussion, however, concerning how to improve the quality of the delivery of those answers, and to upgrade the overall quality of reference services as a whole. Suggestions for improving the quality of service contained within the business literature may be applied to improve library services as well. In thi...

  18. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    2010-10-01

    ... LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Consultations § 493.2001 Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee. (a) HHS will establish a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee to.... (b) The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee will be comprised of individuals...

  19. Functionalized Graphitic Supports for Improved Fuel Cell Catalyst Stability Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) together with the University of Connecticut (UCONN) proposes to demonstrate the improved fuel cell catalyst support durability offered...

  20. Breeding for improvement of functional traits in dairy cattle

    Paul Boettcher

    2010-01-01

    Selection programs for increasing milk production per cow have been very successful over time. This success has been partially due to the consideration of few other traits. Unfortunately, many traits related to costs of production and cattle functionality (i.e., “functional traits”), such as fertility and health, are antagonistically correlated with milk yield. Therefore, the average merit for these traits has decreased over time. The decline in functionality, along with increased...

  1. Functional genomic characterization of mRNAs associated with TcPUF6, a pumilio-like protein from Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Dallagiovanna, Bruno; Correa, Alejandro; Probst, Christian M; Holetz, Fabiola; Smircich, Pablo; de Aguiar, Alessandra Melo; Mansur, Fernanda; da Silva, Claudio Vieira; Mortara, Renato A; Garat, Beatriz; Buck, Gregory A; Goldenberg, Samuel; Krieger, Marco A

    2008-03-28

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis. Kinetoplastid parasites could be considered as model organisms for studying factors involved in posttranscriptional regulation because they control gene expression almost exclusively at this level. The PUF (Pumilio/FBF1) protein family regulates mRNA stability and translation in eukaryotes, and several members have been identified in trypanosomatids. We used a ribonomic approach to identify the putative target mRNAs associated with TcPUF6, a member of the T. cruzi PUF family. TcPUF6 is expressed in discrete sites in the cytoplasm at various stages of the parasite life cycle and is not associated with the translation machinery. The overexpression of a tandem affinity purification-tagged TcPUF6 protein allowed the identification of associated mRNAs by affinity purification assays and microarray hybridization yielding nine putative target mRNAs. Whole expression analysis of transfected parasites showed that the mRNAs associated with TcPUF6 were down-regulated in populations overexpressing TcPUF6. The association of TcPUF6 with the TcDhh1 helicase in vivo and the cellular co-localization of these proteins in epimastigote forms suggest that TcPUF6 promotes degradation of its associated mRNAs through interaction with RNA degradation complexes. Analysis of the mRNA levels of the putative TcPUF6-regulated genes during the parasite life cycle showed that their transcripts were up-regulated in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In these infective forms no co-localization between TcPUF6 and TcDhh1 was observed. Our results suggest that TcPUF6 regulates the half-lives of its associated transcripts via differential association with mRNA degradation complexes throughout its life cycle. PMID:18056709

  2. Functional Genomic Characterization of mRNAs Associated with TcPUF6, a Pumilio-like Protein from Trypanosoma cruzi*S⃞

    Dallagiovanna, Bruno; Correa, Alejandro; Probst, Christian M.; Holetz, Fabiola; Smircich, Pablo; de Aguiar, Alessandra Melo; Mansur, Fernanda; da Silva, Claudio Vieira; Mortara, Renato A.; Garat, Beatriz; Buck, Gregory A.; Goldenberg, Samuel; Krieger, Marco A.

    2008-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis. Kinetoplastid parasites could be considered as model organisms for studying factors involved in posttranscriptional regulation because they control gene expression almost exclusively at this level. The PUF (Pumilio/FBF1) protein family regulates mRNA stability and translation in eukaryotes, and several members have been identified in trypanosomatids. We used a ribonomic approach to identify the putative target mRNAs associated with TcPUF6, a member of the T. cruzi PUF family. TcPUF6 is expressed in discrete sites in the cytoplasm at various stages of the parasite life cycle and is not associated with the translation machinery. The overexpression of a tandem affinity purification-tagged TcPUF6 protein allowed the identification of associated mRNAs by affinity purification assays and microarray hybridization yielding nine putative target mRNAs. Whole expression analysis of transfected parasites showed that the mRNAs associated with TcPUF6 were down-regulated in populations overexpressing TcPUF6. The association of TcPUF6 with the TcDhh1 helicase in vivo and the cellular co-localization of these proteins in epimastigote forms suggest that TcPUF6 promotes degradation of its associated mRNAs through interaction with RNA degradation complexes. Analysis of the mRNA levels of the putative TcPUF6-regulated genes during the parasite life cycle showed that their transcripts were up-regulated in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In these infective forms no co-localization between TcPUF6 and TcDhh1 was observed. Our results suggest that TcPUF6 regulates the half-lives of its associated transcripts via differential association with mRNA degradation complexes throughout its life cycle. PMID:18056709

  3. Sequencing, functional expression and characterization of rat NTPDase6, a nucleoside diphosphatase and novel member of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase family.

    Braun, N; Fengler, S; Ebeling, C; Servos, J; Zimmermann, H

    2000-11-01

    We have isolated and characterized the cDNA encoding nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 6 (NTPDase6), a novel member of the ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase family. The rat-brain-derived cDNA has an open reading frame of 1365 bp encoding a protein of 455 amino acid residues, a calculated molecular mass of 49971 Da and a predicted N-terminal hydrophobic sequence. It shares 86% sequence identity with the human CD39L2 sequence and 48% and 51% identity respectively with sequences of the two related human and murine nucleoside diphosphatases (CD39L4, NTPDase5/ER-UDPase). The mRNA was expressed in all tissues investigated, revealing two major transcripts with differing abundances. PCR analysis suggests a single open reading frame. A Myc-His-tagged NTPDase6 was expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and PC12 cells for immunological analysis and protein isolation. The protein was contained in membrane fractions of transfected CHO cells and occurred in a soluble form in the cell culture supernatants. NTPDase6 preferentially hydrolysed nucleoside 5'-diphosphates. With different substrates the order of activity was GDP>IDP>UDP,CDP>ADP. Nucleoside 5'-triphosphates were hydrolysed only to a minor extent and no hydrolysis of nucleoside 5'-monophosphates was observed. The enzyme was strongly and equally activated by Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) and had a K(m) for GDP of 211 microM. The immunohistochemical analysis of transfected CHO and PC12 cells suggests that NTPDase6 is associated with the Golgi apparatus and to a small extent also with the plasma membrane. The enzyme might support glycosylation reactions in the Golgi apparatus and, when released from cells, might catalyse the hydrolysis of extracellular nucleotides. PMID:11042118

  4. Improving the controlling function with a structured optimization project

    Laval Valerian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The controlling function should provide decision relevant information to the top management. However, in some companies the controlling function does only deliver little or no decision support to the management and in consequence loses influence. This paper aims to solve this unfavorable situation.

  5. Partitioning of minimotifs based on function with improved prediction accuracy.

    Sanguthevar Rajasekaran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Minimotifs are short contiguous peptide sequences in proteins that are known to have a function in at least one other protein. One of the principal limitations in minimotif prediction is that false positives limit the usefulness of this approach. As a step toward resolving this problem we have built, implemented, and tested a new data-driven algorithm that reduces false-positive predictions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Certain domains and minimotifs are known to be strongly associated with a known cellular process or molecular function. Therefore, we hypothesized that by restricting minimotif predictions to those where the minimotif containing protein and target protein have a related cellular or molecular function, the prediction is more likely to be accurate. This filter was implemented in Minimotif Miner using function annotations from the Gene Ontology. We have also combined two filters that are based on entirely different principles and this combined filter has a better predictability than the individual components. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Testing these functional filters on known and random minimotifs has revealed that they are capable of separating true motifs from false positives. In particular, for the cellular function filter, the percentage of known minimotifs that are not removed by the filter is approximately 4.6 times that of random minimotifs. For the molecular function filter this ratio is approximately 2.9. These results, together with the comparison with the published frequency score filter, strongly suggest that the new filters differentiate true motifs from random background with good confidence. A combination of the function filters and the frequency score filter performs better than these two individual filters.

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

    Levitt Michael; Fain Boris; Wang Kai; Samudrala Ram

    2004-01-01

    Abstract Background A key component in protein structure prediction is a scoring or discriminatory function that can distinguish near-native conformations from misfolded ones. Various types of scoring functions have been developed to accomplish this goal, but their performance is not adequate to solve the structure selection problem. In addition, there is poor correlation between the scores and the accuracy of the generated conformations. Results We present a simple and nonparametric formula ...

  7. Improved density functional calculations for atoms, molecules and surfaces

    The non-collinear and collinear descriptions within relativistic density functional theory is described. We present results of both non-collinear and collinear calculations for atoms, diatomic molecules, and some surface simulations. We find that the accuracy of our density functional calculations for the smaller systems is comparable to good quantum chemical calculations, and thus this method provides a sound basis for larger systems where no such comparison is possible. (author)

  8. Principles of brain plasticity in improving sensorimotor function of the knee and leg in healthy subjects

    Ageberg, Eva; Bjorkman, Anders; Rosen, Birgitta;

    2009-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Principles of brain plasticity are used in the treatment of patients with functional limitations to improve sensorimotor function. Training is included in the treatment of knee injury to improve both patient-reported function and sensorimotor function. However, impairment...... in sensorimotor function often persists despite training. Therefore, it was suggested that training programs need to be more effective to improve sensorimotor function after knee injury. The aim of the current study was to investigate if principles of brain plasticity that have been successfully used on the hand...... and foot to improve sensorimotor function can be applied on the knee. We hypothesized that temporary anesthesia of the skin area above and below the knee would improve sensorimotor function of the ipsilateral knee and leg. METHODS: In this first double-blind exploratory study, 28 uninjured subjects (mean...

  9. Improved symbiotic organisms search algorithm for solving unconstrained function optimization

    Sukanta Nama

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently, Symbiotic Organisms Search (SOS algorithm is being used for solving complex problems of optimization. This paper proposes an Improved Symbiotic Organisms Search (I-SOS algorithm for solving different complex unconstrained global optimization problems. In the improved algorithm, a random weighted reflective parameter and predation phase are suggested to enhance the performance of the algorithm. The performances of this algorithm are compared with the other state-of-the-art algorithms. The parametric study of the common control parameter has also been performed.

  10. Improving protein function prediction methods with integrated literature data

    Gabow Aaron P

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Determining the function of uncharacterized proteins is a major challenge in the post-genomic era due to the problem's complexity and scale. Identifying a protein's function contributes to an understanding of its role in the involved pathways, its suitability as a drug target, and its potential for protein modifications. Several graph-theoretic approaches predict unidentified functions of proteins by using the functional annotations of better-characterized proteins in protein-protein interaction networks. We systematically consider the use of literature co-occurrence data, introduce a new method for quantifying the reliability of co-occurrence and test how performance differs across species. We also quantify changes in performance as the prediction algorithms annotate with increased specificity. Results We find that including information on the co-occurrence of proteins within an abstract greatly boosts performance in the Functional Flow graph-theoretic function prediction algorithm in yeast, fly and worm. This increase in performance is not simply due to the presence of additional edges since supplementing protein-protein interactions with co-occurrence data outperforms supplementing with a comparably-sized genetic interaction dataset. Through the combination of protein-protein interactions and co-occurrence data, the neighborhood around unknown proteins is quickly connected to well-characterized nodes which global prediction algorithms can exploit. Our method for quantifying co-occurrence reliability shows superior performance to the other methods, particularly at threshold values around 10% which yield the best trade off between coverage and accuracy. In contrast, the traditional way of asserting co-occurrence when at least one abstract mentions both proteins proves to be the worst method for generating co-occurrence data, introducing too many false positives. Annotating the functions with greater specificity is harder

  11. Neurofeedback improves executive functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders

    Kouijzer, M.E.J.; Moor, J.M.H. de; Gerrits, B.J.L.; Congedo, M.; Schie, H.T. van

    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 ove

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

    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…

  13. Methylphenidate significantly improves declarative memory functioning of adults with ADHD.

    Verster, J.C.; Bekker, E.M.; Kooij, J.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Verbaten, M.N.; Volkerts, E.R.; Olivier, B.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Declarative memory deficits are common in untreated adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but limited evidence exists to support improvement after treatment with methylphenidate. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of methylphenidate on memory fu

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

    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…

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

    Max Hinne

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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

  16. IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS AND UTILISATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FUNCTION

    Gordon Lister

    2012-01-01

    Research work carried out by the University of Cape Town has examined the following questions:
    - are industrial engineering techniques being used in industry?
    - what are the reasons for not using the various techniques?
    - what factors that can be addressed by industrial engineers, are inhibiting the improvement of manufacturing productivity?
    - are industrial engineers being utilised in the most effective t"ay? Investigations in South African and...

  17. Function after spinal treatment, exercise and rehabilitation (FASTER: improving the functional outcome of spinal surgery

    Morris S

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The life-time incidence of low back pain is high and diagnoses of spinal stenosis and disc prolapse are increasing. Consequently, there is a steady rise in surgical interventions for these conditions. Current evidence suggests that while the success of surgery is incomplete, it is superior to conservative interventions. A recent survey indicates that there are large differences in the type and intensity of rehabilitation, if any, provided after spinal surgery as well as in the restrictions and advice given to patients in the post-operative period. This trial will test the hypothesis that functional outcome following two common spinal operations can be improved by a programme of post-operative rehabilitation that combines professional support and advice with graded active exercise and/or an educational booklet based on evidence-based messages and advice. Methods/Design The study design is a multi-centre, factorial, randomised controlled trial with patients stratified by surgeon and operative procedure. The trial will compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a rehabilitation programme and an education booklet for the postoperative management of patients undergoing discectomy or lateral nerve root decompression, each compared with "usual care"using a 2 × 2 factorial design. The trial will create 4 sub-groups; rehabilitation-only, booklet-only, rehabilitation-plus-booklet, and usual care only. The trial aims to recruit 344 patients, which equates to 86 patients in each of the four sub-groups. All patients will be assessed for functional ability (through the Oswestry Disability Index - a disease specific functional questionnaire, pain (using visual analogue scales, and satisfaction pre-operatively and then at 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 9 months and 1 year post-operatively. This will be complemented by a formal analysis of cost-effectiveness. Discussion This trial will determine whether the outcome of spinal surgery can be

  18. Improvement of Mixing Function for Modified Upwinding Compact Scheme

    Fu, Huankun; Liu, Chaoqun

    2014-01-01

    The compact scheme has high order accuracy and high resolution, but cannot be used to capture the shock. WENO is a great scheme for shock capturing, but is too dissipative for turbulence and small length scales. We developed a modified upwinding compact scheme which uses an effective shock detector to block compact scheme to cross the shock and a control function to mix the flux with WENO scheme near the shock. The new scheme makes the original compact scheme able to capture the shock sharply and, more important, keep high order accuracy and high resolution in the smooth area, which is particularly important for shock boundary layer and shock acoustic interactions. This work is a continuation to modify the control function for the modified up-winding compact scheme (MUCS). Numerical results show the scheme is successful for 2-D Euler.

  19. On Improvement Of Maintenance Function : A Reference Model And Improvement Methodology

    Mikler, Jerzy

    2015-01-01

    In order to produce products and services, companies are using various tangible assets such as production equipment and facilities. The goal of the maintenance function is to maintain these assets so they operate safely, efficiently and economically. This function includes technical, administrative and management activities, carried out in order to keep company’s assets in a state, or restore these to a state, in which they can perform the required functions. The activities should be planned ...

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

    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 live...

  1. Production of lupinus angustifolius protein hydrolysates with improved functional properties

    Lqari, Hassane; Pedroche, Justo; Girón-Calle, Julio; Vioque, Javier; Millán, Francisco

    2005-01-01

    Protein hydrolysates were obtained from lupin flour and from the purified globulin a-conglutin, and their functional properties were studied. Hydrolysis with alcalase for 60 minutes yielded degrees of hydrolysis ranging from 4% to 11% for lupin flour, and from 4% to 13% for a-conglutin. Protein solubility, oil absorption, foam capacity and stability, emulsifying activity, and emulsion stability of hydrolysates with 6% degree of hydrolysis were determined and compared with the properties...

  2. Adaptive servoventilation improves cardiac function and respiratory stability

    Oldenburg, Olaf; Bitter, Thomas; Lehmann, Roman; Korte, Stefan; Dimitriadis, Zisis; Faber, Lothar; Schmidt, Anke; Westerheide, Nina; Horstkotte, Dieter

    2010-01-01

    Cheyne–Stokes respiration (CSR) in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) is of major prognostic impact and expresses respiratory instability. Other parameters are daytime pCO2, VE/VCO2-slope during exercise, exertional oscillatory ventilation (EOV), and increased sensitivity of central CO2 receptors. Adaptive servoventilation (ASV) was introduced to specifically treat CSR in CHF. Aim of this study was to investigate ASV effects on CSR, cardiac function, and respiratory stability. A total ...

  3. Oversampling ad converters with improved signal transfer functions

    Pandita, Bupesh

    2011-01-01

    This book describes techniques for designing complex, discrete-time I""IGBP ADCs with signal-transfer functions that significantly filter interfering signals. The book provides an understanding of theory, issues, and implementation of discrete complex I""IGBP ADCs. The concepts developed in each chapter are further explained by applying them to a target application of I""IGBP ADCs in DTV receivers.

  4. Improving Genetic Optimization by Means of Radial Basis Function Networks

    Bajer, L.; Holeňa, Martin

    Seňa : Pont, 2009 - (Vojtáš, P.). s. 95-96 ISBN 978-80-970179-1-0. [ITAT 2009. Conference on Theory and Practice of Information Theory. 25.09.2009-29.09.2009, Kráľova studňa] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10300504 Keywords : black-box optimization * evolutionary optimization * genetic algorithms * surrogate modelling * radial basis function networks Subject RIV: IN - Informatics, Computer Science

  5. Prohibitin overexpression improves myocardial function in diabetic cardiomyopathy.

    Dong, Wen-Qian; Chao, Min; Lu, Qing-Hua; Chai, Wei-Li; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Xue-Ying; Liang, Er-Shun; Wang, Ling-Bo; Tian, Hong-Liang; Chen, Yu-Guo; Zhang, Ming-Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Prohibitin (PHB) is a highly conserved protein implicated in various cellular functions including proliferation, apoptosis, tumor suppression, transcription, and mitochondrial protein folding. However, its function in diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is still unclear. In vivo, type 2 diabetic rat model was induced by using a high-fat diet and low-dose streptozotocin. Overexpression of the PHB protein in the model rats was achieved by injecting lentivirus carrying PHB cDNA via the jugular vein. Characteristics of type 2 DCM were evaluated by metabolic tests, echocardiography and histopathology. Rats with DCM showed severe insulin resistance, left ventricular dysfunction, fibrosis and apoptosis. PHB overexpression ameliorated the disease. Cardiofibroblasts (CFs) and H9c2 cardiomyoblasts were used in vitro to investigate the mechanism of PHB in altered function. In CFs treated with HG, PHB overexpression decreased expression of collagen, matrix metalloproteinase activity, and proliferation. In H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, PHB overexpression inhibited apoptosis induced by HG. Furthermore, the increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 was significantly decreased and the inhibited phosphorylation of Akt was restored in DCM. Therefore, PHB may be a new therapeutic target for human DCM. PMID:26623724

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

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

    2009-01-01

    Abstract 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 inst...

  7. Compositional Study for Improving Wheat Flour with Functional Ingredients

    Livia Apostol

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Helianthus tuberosus L. is cultivated widely across for its edible tuber. As a source of inulin with aperient, cholagogue and tonic effects, its tubers have been used for the treatment of diabetes. Also, the leaves of Helianthus tuberosus L. show antipyretic, analgesic effects and are therefore used for the treatment of bone fracture, skin wound and pain. The main aim of this study is to establish the optimum dose from rheological and nutritional point of view of Helianthus tuberosus L. tuber flour and leaves flour used as functional ingredient in bakery products industry. The types of mixtures of flours used in this study was: P1–100% wheat flour; P2-93% wheat flour + 7% Helianthus tuberosus (5% tuber + 2% leaves; P3-92% wheat flour + 8% Helianthus tuberosus (5% tuber + 3% leaves; P4- 90% wheat flour + 10%  Helianthus tuberosus (5% tuber + 5% leaves; P5 -100% Helianthus tuber; P6- Helianthus leaves. The potential functional of wheat flour enriched with the Helianthus tuberosus, in different proportions, was evaluated concerning chemical composition and rheological behaviour of the doughs. Adding of the Helianthus tuberosus L. tuber and leaves provoked an effect increasing the levels of inulin, minerals and fiber in wheat flour. The rheological properties of dough showed that P2, kept the rheological parameters for the technological behavior in order to obtain an acceptable quality of the bakery products. 

  8. Hibiscus sabdariffa extract lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial function.

    Joven, Jorge; March, Isabel; Espinel, Eugenia; Fernández-Arroyo, Salvador; Rodríguez-Gallego, Esther; Aragonès, Gerard; Beltrán-Debón, Raúl; Alonso-Villaverde, Carlos; Rios, Lidia; Martin-Paredero, Vicente; Menendez, Javier A; Micol, Vicente; Segura-Carretero, Antonio; Camps, Jordi

    2014-06-01

    Polyphenols from Hibiscus sabdariffa calices were administered to patients with metabolic syndrome (125 mg/kg/day for 4 wk, n = 31) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (125 or 60 mg/kg in a single dose or daily for 1 wk, n = 8 for each experimental group). The H. sabdariffa extract improved metabolism, displayed potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, and significantly reduced blood pressure in both humans and rats. Diuresis and inhibition of the angiotensin I-converting enzyme were found to be less important mechanisms than those related to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and endothelium-dependent effects to explain the beneficial actions. Notably, polyphenols induced a favorable endothelial response that should be considered in the management of metabolic cardiovascular risks. PMID:24668839

  9. Gene cloning: exploring cotton functional genomics and genetic improvement

    Diqiu LIU; Xianlong ZHANG

    2008-01-01

    Cotton is the most important natural fiber plant in the world. The genetic improvement of the quality of the cotton fiber and agricultural productivity is imperative under the situation of increasing consumption and rapid development of textile technology. Recently, the study of cotton molecular biology has progressed greatly. A lot of specifically or preferentially expressed cotton fiber genes were cloned and analyzed. On the other hand, identification of stress response genes expressed in cotton was performed by other research groups. The major stress factors were studied including the wilt pathogens Verticillium dahliae, Fusarium oxy-sporum f. sp. vasinfectum, bacterial blight, root-knot nematode, drought, and salt stress. What is more, a few genes related to the biosynthesis of gossypol, other sesquiterpene phytoalexins and the major seed oil fatty acids were isolated from cotton. In the present review, we focused on the major advances in cotton gene cloning and expression profiling in the recent years.

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

    Fernandes

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Early intervention to improve hand function in hemiplegic cerebral palsy

    Anna Purna Basu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 constraint-induced movement therapy 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.

  12. New Sports Nutritious Food for Health Improvement and Antioxidant Function

    Zhilei Zheng

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The research aimed to explore the influence of new sports nutritious food (Hydrogen Water on exercise-induced oxidative stress injury and athletic ability of power organic skeletal muscle that is susceptible to oxidation attacks and in vivo basis and possible mechanism of hydrogen water in the process of selective oxidation. This study randomly divided 80 healthy male SD rats into 8 groups of quiet control group (EC, group A, exercise control group (EE, group B, hydrogen water injection before exercise group (EH, group C and joint hydrogen water injections before and after exercise group (EM, group D, with 10 rats in each group. The rest groups conducted adaptive low intensive treadmill running for 1 time every day before a week of the experiment except EC (group A. EH (group C conducted intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen water with 10 mL/kg before 1 min of exercise before formal experiment. EM (group D conducted intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen water immediately in 1 min before and after exercise. EE (group B conducted intraperitoneal injection with same volume normal saline. EE, EH and EM group conducted a one-time heavy intensive exhausted treadmill running by using Marra project. Group B, C, D conducted quantitative treadmill running, detected 3-NT, 8-OHdG value of skeletal muscle after 3 h of exercise in group A, B, C, D using Elisa method and measured MDA, SOD, GSH, T-AOC and level of O2-, H2O2 and •OH using chemical colorimetry. The results showed that hydrogen water can significantly prolong the duration of exercise to exhaustion of rats, which had significant anti-fatigue effect; and can significantly inhibit the aggravation of motility of O2-, H2O2 and •OH, remove in vivo cytotoxic substances •OH effectively, improve SOD and GSH, enhance T-AOC, improve minicirculation and reduce the damage of cells; joint hydrogen water injections before and after exercise had synergistic effect for the prevention and control of exercise

  13. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H. J. J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Background Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is not known whether this sort of fitness is necessary for improved cognitive function. Studies in which activity, f

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

    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.

  15. Improved functional overview of protein complexes using inferred epistatic relationships

    Ryan, Colm

    2011-05-23

    Abstract Background Epistatic Miniarray Profiling(E-MAP) quantifies the net effect on growth rate of disrupting pairs of genes, often producing phenotypes that may be more (negative epistasis) or less (positive epistasis) severe than the phenotype predicted based on single gene disruptions. Epistatic interactions are important for understanding cell biology because they define relationships between individual genes, and between sets of genes involved in biochemical pathways and protein complexes. Each E-MAP screen quantifies the interactions between a logically selected subset of genes (e.g. genes whose products share a common function). Interactions that occur between genes involved in different cellular processes are not as frequently measured, yet these interactions are important for providing an overview of cellular organization. Results We introduce a method for combining overlapping E-MAP screens and inferring new interactions between them. We use this method to infer with high confidence 2,240 new strongly epistatic interactions and 34,469 weakly epistatic or neutral interactions. We show that accuracy of the predicted interactions approaches that of replicate experiments and that, like measured interactions, they are enriched for features such as shared biochemical pathways and knockout phenotypes. We constructed an expanded epistasis map for yeast cell protein complexes and show that our new interactions increase the evidence for previously proposed inter-complex connections, and predict many new links. We validated a number of these in the laboratory, including new interactions linking the SWR-C chromatin modifying complex and the nuclear transport apparatus. Conclusion Overall, our data support a modular model of yeast cell protein network organization and show how prediction methods can considerably extend the information that can be extracted from overlapping E-MAP screens.

  16. Improved Serum Leptin and Ghrelin Following Bariatric Surgery Predict Better Postoperative Cognitive Function

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Cohen, Ronald; Crosby, Ross D.; Mitchell, James E; Gunstad, John

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Bariatric surgery is associated with improved cognitive function, but the mechanisms underlying these gains remain poorly understood. Disturbed leptin and ghrelin systems are common in obese individuals and are associated with impaired cognitive function in other samples. Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve serum leptin and ghrelin levels, and these changes may underlie postoperative cognitive improvements. Methods Eighty-four patients completed a computerized c...

  17. Seismic Station Functionality Improvements of Seismic Network of Slovenia

    Sincic, Peter; Tasic, Izidor; Mali, Marko; Pancur, Luka; Vidrih, Renato

    2010-05-01

    not only significantly improved the local storage capabilities but also made the whole seismic system more flexible and reliable.

  18. Improved Operating Model for the Development Function of In-house Logistics Service Provider

    Oka, Olli

    2016-01-01

    This study introduces the improved operating model for the Development function of the case company. Currently, The Development function consists of several Development teams operating in different business units around Finland. Each Development team has their own expertise and own ways of improving processes. However, this current dispersion causes problems in many levels. The study reveals that the Development function lacks common goals and the roles are unclear. In addition to that, best ...

  19. Do Improvements in Balance Relate to Improvements in Long-Distance Walking Function after Stroke?

    Awad, Louis N.; Reisman, Darcy S.; Binder-Macleod, Stuart A.

    2014-01-01

    Stroke survivors identify a reduced capacity to walk farther distances as a factor limiting their engagement at home and in community. Previous observational studies have shown that measures of balance ability and balance self-efficacy are strong predictors of long-distance walking function after stroke. Consequently, recommendations to target balance during rehabilitation have been put forth. The purpose of this study was to determine if the changes in balance and long-distance walking funct...

  20. Improvement in renal function after everolimus introduction and calcineurin inhibitor reduction in maintenance thoracic transplant recipients

    Arora, Satish; Gude, Einar; Sigurdardottir, Vilborg;

    2012-01-01

    The NOCTET (NOrdic Certican Trial in HEart and lung Transplantation) trial demonstrated that everolimus improves renal function in maintenance thoracic transplant (TTx) recipients. Nevertheless, introduction of everolimus is not recommended for patients with advanced renal failure. We evaluated...

  1. EFFECT OF SEIZURE CONTROL ON IMPROVEMENT OF COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS IN EPILEPTIC PATIENTS

    Nainian, M.R.; Behere, P.B.; Mohanti, S.

    1993-01-01

    SUMMARY A group of fifty epileptic patients were tested with neuropsychological tools for cognitive functions like memory, intelligence, visuomotor coordination, spatial perception and body schema perception. Patients were on carbamazepine and were tested after three months. Seizure improvement was shown to have different effects on different cognitive functions. Memory and intellectual deficits improved, while no difference was observed in visuomotor coordination, spatial and personal percep...

  2. Improved shape hardening function for bounding surface model for cohesive soils

    Andrés Nieto-Leal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A shape hardening function is developed that improves the predictive capabilities of the generalized bounding surface model for cohesive soils, especially when applied to overconsolidated specimens. This improvement is realized without any changes to the simple elliptical shape of the bounding surface, and actually reduces the number of parameters associated with the model by one.

  3. Plasma gelsolin improves lung host defense against pneumonia by enhancing macrophage NOS3 function

    Yang, Zhiping; Chiou, Terry Ting-Yu; Stossel, Thomas P.; Kobzik, Lester

    2015-01-01

    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 tularens...

  4. Improving Functional Skills Using Behavioral Procedures in a Child with Anoxia.

    Silver, Bernard; And Others

    A behavioral treatment program was used to improve the functional skills of a 12-year-old anoxic child. Neuropsychological test results indicated marked amnesia and global cognitive deficits. Functionally, self-care tasks could be performed, but only with verbal and physical prompting. Introduction of a monetary reward system significantly reduced…

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

    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.

  6. Effectiveness of a low dose testosterone undecanoate to improve sexual function in postmenopausal women

    Tungmunsakulchai, Reuthairat; Chaikittisilpa, Sukanya; Snabboon, Thiti; Panyakhamlerd, Krasean; Jaisamrarn, Unnop; Taechakraichana, Nimit

    2015-01-01

    Background Adding testosterone to hormonal therapy could improve sexual function and general well-being among women during climacteric. We evaluated the effectiveness of testosterone undecanoate on sexual function in postmenopausal women utilizing the standardized questionnaire FSFI score. Methods Postmenopausal women with sexual complaints and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) ≤ 26.5 were enrolled in to this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomly a...

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

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

    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 estab...

  8. An Improvement of Empirical Risk Functional in Neuro-Fuzzy Classifier

    Elham Zamani

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper suggests a new method to improve of Empirical Risk Functional . Empirical Risk Functional acts as cost function for training neuro-fuzzy classifiers. Empirical risk minimization seeks the function that best fits the training data and it is equivalent to maximum likelihood estimation. The name of this cost function is Approximate Differentiable Empirical Risk Functional (ADERF.This function enables us to use a differentiable approximation of the misclassification rate so that the Empirical Risk Minimization Principle formulated in Statistical Learning Theory can be applied. Also there is a learning algorithm based on ADERF. With our new method,more component of output vector of fuzzy classifier map to 1.By evaluating the effects of the proposed method, we can see the convergence speed of the learning algorithm and the classification accuracy are improved,and causes improved ADERF. The effects of improved ADERF, was illustrated. Experimental results on a number of benchmark classification tasks and comparison between approaches are provided

  9. Recovery of Otoacoustic Emission Function in Luetic Endolymphatic Hydrops: A Possible Measure of Improvement in Cochlear Function

    Robert H. Chun

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Syphilis is a preventable and curable multi-organ disease caused by Treponema pallidum that may also affect the inner ear. First reported in 1887 by Adam Politzer, luetic endolymphatic hydrops (LEH is a treatable complication of syphilis which causes a potentially reversible sensorineural hearing loss. Symptoms of LEH include fluctuating hearing loss (often low frequency, tinnitus, and vertigo. Though audiometric parameters have been examined in patients with otosyphilis, few studies have examined the use of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs as a tool to measure improvement in cochlear function. Here we report an improvement in hearing loss, speech discrimination, and OAEs following treatment of LEH.

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

    Shengqiao Ni

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Optimization of exit pupil function: improvement on the OTF of full parallax holographic stereograms

    The wavefront reconstructed errors of full parallax holographic stereograms are analysed. The optical transfer function (OTF) is simulated to investigate frequency response and imaging quality of holographic stereogram systems. The behaviour of the OTF with respect to slit size and spatial frequency in different aberrations is described and used to optimize the exit pupil function. The shaped window function (Gaussian and Blackman) is proposed to be used as the exit pupil function of holographic systems, and the influence of different exit pupil functions on the OTF is investigated in detail. The calculated results show that the shaped exit pupil function with optimized slit size can improve the imaging quality of full parallax holographic stereogram systems effectively. The design criterion of the exit pupil function is also discussed. (paper)

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

    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

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

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

    2016-02-01

    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

  17. IMPROVEMENT OF CARDIO-RESPIRATORY FUNCTION IN THE ELDERLY USING SOME MARTIAL ARTS EXERCISES

    Cojocariu A.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to identify the martial arts exercises which to improve the cardio-respiratory function to the elderly. It was started from the hypothesis that using the psycho-corporal gymnastics exercises (Tam The, it is possible to improve the heart rate, blood pressure and pulmonary elasticity values to the elderly, which would lead to the strengthening of health. In this experiment it was included 8 subjects with normal health status, aged between 55 and 60 years. The experiment was carried out over a period of six months, twice a week, one hour per course. Following the present study, we state the TAM-THE exercises have proven its efficiency in improving the cardio-respiratory function to elderly, especially regarding the improvement of heart rate and systolic blood pressure at rest and also of pulmonary elasticity.

  18. A quality function deployment application for improving good and service quality in fast food restaurants

    KARPUZ, Utku; TESTİK, Murat Caner; PAKDİL, Fatma

    2012-01-01

    Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is based on the philosophy of developing goods and services to satisfy customer requirements and it transforms the voice of customers to technical requirements. QFD, used as an efficient tool for quality improvement for a long time, is implemented at a fast food restaurants in this study. The main purpose of the study is to illustrate, through a case study, how to utilize QFD in improving good and service quality in fast food restaurants. To determine custome...

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

    Basu, Mousumi

    2015-07-01

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

  20. Motor function improvement with mirror therapy in stroke patients: a CAT

    Raúl Aguilera Eguía

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Stroke comprises several conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function. A large percentage of individuals who survive stroke will have limb motor sequelae. Aim To assess the validity and applicability of the results regarding the effectiveness of mirror therapy in patients with stroke and answer the following question: In stroke subjects, can mirror therapy improve motor function? Method We analyzed the article "Mirror therapy for improving motor function after stroke," Cochrane Systematic Review [Thieme 20121]. Results Mirror therapy may increase motor function between the second and sixth week of intervention, with a standardized mean difference (SMD of 0.61 (95% CI 0.22-1.00. Conclusion Despite methodological limitations of the primary studies included in the systematic review, we found that mirror therapy is a reasonable adjunct to standard therapy by physiotherapists.

  1. Motor function improvement with mirror therapy in stroke patients: a CAT

    Raúl Aguilera Eguía; Edson Zafra Santos; Alejandro Ibacache Palma

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Stroke comprises several conditions characterized by sudden, non-convulsive loss of neurological function. A large percentage of individuals who survive stroke will have limb motor sequelae. Aim To assess the validity and applicability of the results regarding the effectiveness of mirror therapy in patients with stroke and answer the following question: In stroke subjects, can mirror therapy improve motor function? Method We analyzed the article "Mirror therapy f...

  2. Efficacy of biofeedback training in improving faecal incontinence and anorectal physiologic function.

    Loening-Baucke, V

    1990-01-01

    The efficacy of biofeedback treatment on faecal incontinence and anorectal function was evaluated in eight patients with faecal incontinence treated with biofeedback training and medical therapy. Outcome and anorectal function were compared with nine faecal incontinent patients who received medical therapy alone. Three month follow up showed that 50% of patients in the biofeedback plus conventional treatment group and 56% of those treated conventionally only had improved. One year follow up s...

  3. Better assessment of physical function: item improvement is neglected but essential

    Bruce, Bonnie; Fries, James F; Ambrosini, Debbie; Lingala, Bharathi; Gandek, Barbara; Rose, Matthias; Ware, John E.

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Physical function is a key component of patient-reported outcome (PRO) assessment in rheumatology. Modern psychometric methods, such as Item Response Theory (IRT) and Computerized Adaptive Testing, can materially improve measurement precision at the item level. We present the qualitative and quantitative item-evaluation process for developing the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Physical Function item bank. Methods The process was stepwise: we sea...

  4. Numerical equation of state and other scaling functions from an improved three-dimensional Ising model

    Engels, J.; Fromme, L.; Seniuch, M.

    2002-01-01

    We study an improved three-dimensional Ising model with external magnetic field near the critical point by Monte Carlo simulations. From our data we determine numerically the universal scaling functions of the magnetization, that is the equation of state, of the susceptibility and of the correlation length. In order to normalize the scaling functions we calculate the critical amplitudes of the three observables on the critical line, the phase boundary and the critical isochore. These amplitud...

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

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Improvement in cognitive and psychosocial functioning and self image among adolescent inpatient suicide attempters

    Laukkanen Eila

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Psychiatric treatment of suicidal youths is often difficult and non-compliance in treatment is a significant problem. This prospective study compared characteristics and changes in cognitive functioning, self image and psychosocial functioning among 13 to 18 year-old adolescent psychiatric inpatients with suicide attempts (n = 16 and with no suicidality (n = 39 Methods The two-group pre-post test prospective study design included assessments by a psychiatrist, a psychologist and medical staff members as well as self-rated measures. DSM-III-R diagnoses were assigned using the SCID and thereafter transformed to DSM-IV diagnoses. Staff members assessed psychosocial functioning using the Global Assessment Scale (GAS. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, while the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ was used to assess the subjects' self-image. ANCOVA with repeated measures was used to test changes from entry to discharge among the suicide attempters and non suicidal patients. Logistic regression modeling was used to assess variables associated with an improvement of 10 points or more in the GAS score. Results Among suicide attempter patients, psychosocial functioning, cognitive performance and both the psychological self and body-image improved during treatment and their treatment compliance and outcome were as good as that of the non-suicidal patients. Suicidal ideation and hopelessness declined, and psychosocial functioning improved. Changes in verbal cognitive performance were more pronounced among the suicide attempters. Having an improved body-image associated with a higher probability of improvement in psychosocial functioning while higher GAS score at entry was associated with lower probability of functional improvement in both patient groups. Conclusion These findings illustrate that a multimodal treatment program seems to improve psychosocial functioning and self-image among

  7. Cardiac autonomic function in patients with diabetes improves with practice of comprehensive yogic breathing program

    Viveka P Jyotsna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Cai, Zi-Jian

    2015-05-15

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

  9. Vagal activation by sham feeding improves gastric motility in functional dyspepsia.

    Lunding, J A; Nordström, L M; Haukelid, A-O; Gilja, O H; Berstad, A; Hausken, T

    2008-06-01

    Antral hypomotility and impaired gastric accommodation in patients with functional dyspepsia have been ascribed to vagal dysfunction. We investigated whether vagal stimulation by sham feeding would improve meal-induced gastric motor function in these patients. Fourteen healthy volunteers and 14 functional dyspepsia patients underwent a drink test twice, once with and once without simultaneous sham feeding. After ingesting 500 mL clear meat soup (20 kcal, 37 degrees C) in 4 min, sham feeding was performed for 10 min by chewing a sugar-containing chewing gum while spitting out saliva. Using two- and three-dimensional ultrasound, antral motility index (contraction amplitude x frequency) and intragastric volumes were estimated. Without sham feeding, functional dyspepsia patients had lower motility index than healthy volunteers (area under curve 8.0 +/- 1.2 vs 4.4 +/- 1.0 min(-1), P = 0.04). In functional dyspepsia patients, but not in healthy volunteers, motility index increased and intragastric volume tended to increase by sham feeding (P = 0.04 and P = 0.06 respectively). The change in motility index was negatively correlated to the change in pain score (r = -0.59, P = 0.007). In functional dyspepsia patients, vagal stimulation by sham feeding improves antral motility in response to a soup meal. The result supports the view that impaired vagal stimulation is implicated in the pathogenesis of gastric motility disturbances in functional dyspepsia. PMID:18248581

  10. Ingestion of broccoli sprouts does not improve endothelial function in humans with hypertension

    Christiansen, Buris; Muguerza, Natalia Bellostas; Petersen, Atheline Major; Kveiborg, Britt; Madsen, Christian Rask; Thomas, Hermann; Ihlemann, Nikolaj; Sørensen, Jens Christian H.; Køber, Lars; Sørensen, Hilmer; Torp-Pedersen, Christian; Domínguez, Helena

    2010-01-01

    Ingestion of glucosinolates has previously been reported to improve endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats, possibly because of an increase in NO availability in the endothelium due to an attenuation of oxidative stress; in our study we tried to see if this also would be the case...

  11. A lattice determination of moments of unpolarized nucleon structure functions using improved Wilson fermions

    Within the framework of quenched lattice QCD and using O(a) improved Wilson fermions and nonperturbative renormalization, a high statistics computation of low moments of the unpolarized nucleon structure functions is given. Particular attention is paid to the chiral and continuum extrapolations

  12. A lattice determination of moments of unpolarised nucleon structure functions using improved Wilson fermions

    Within the framework of quenched lattice QCD and using O(a) improved Wilson fermions and non-perturbative renormalisation, a high statistics computation of low moments of the unpolarised nucleon structure functions is given. Particular attention is paid to the chiral and continuum extrapolations. (orig.)

  13. Playing Piano Can Improve Upper Extremity Function after Stroke: Case Studies

    Myriam Villeneuve

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Progress in TILLING as a tool for functional genomics and improvement of crops

    Liang Chen; Liugen Hao; Martin A.J.Parry; Andrew L. Phillips; Yin-Gang Hu

    2014-01-01

    Food security is a global concern and substantial yield increases in crops are required to feed the growing world population. Mutagenesis is an important tool in crop improve-ment and is free of the regulatory restrictions imposed on genetical y modified organisms. Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING), which combines traditional chemical mutagenesis with high-throughput genome-wide screening for point mutations in desired genes, offers a powerful way to create novel mutant al eles for both functional genomics and improvement of crops. TILLING is general y applicable to genomes whether smal or large, diploid or even al ohexaploid, and shows great potential to address the major chal enge of linking sequence information to the function of genes and to modulate key traits for plant breeding. TILLING has been successful y applied in many crop species and recent progress in TILLING is summarized below, especial y on the developments in mutation detection technology, application of TILLING in gene functional studies and crop breeding. The potential of TILLING/EcoTILLING for functional genetics and crop improvement is also discussed. Furthermore, a smal-scale forward strategy including backcross and selfing was con-ducted to release the potential mutant phenotypes masked in M2 (or M3) plants.

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

    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.

  17. Rate of improvement of pulmonary function in sarcoidosis during treatment with corticosteroids.

    Goldstein, D. S.; Williams, M. H.

    1986-01-01

    Serial measurements of vital capacity were obtained in 11 patients with impaired pulmonary function due to sarcoidosis during 12 courses of corticosteroid treatment. Vital capacity improved promptly and approached a maximum value in about three weeks. A three week trial is probably sufficient to show whether or not corticosteroids are effective in a patient with sarcoidosis.

  18. New application of Exp-function method for improved Boussinesq equation

    The Exp-function method is used to obtain generalized solitary solutions and periodic solutions for nonlinear evolution equations arising in mathematical physics with the aid of symbolic computation method, namely, the improved Boussinesq equation. The method is straightforward and concise, and its applications is promising for other nonlinear evolution equations in mathematical physics

  19. Family Ranching and Farming: A Consensus Management Model to Improve Family Functioning and Decrease Work Stress.

    Zimmerman, Toni Schindler; Fetsch, Robert J.

    1994-01-01

    Notes that internal and external threats could squeeze ranch and farm families out of business. Offers six-step Consensus Management Model that combines strategic planning with psychoeducation/family therapy. Describes pilot test with intergenerational ranch family that indicated improvements in family functioning, including reduced stress and…

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

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

    2015-06-01

    This study aims to validate and improve the universal evaporation duct (UED) model through a further analysis of the stability function ( ψ). A large number of hydrometeorological observations obtained from a tower platform near Xisha Island of the South China Sea are employed, together with the latest variations in ψ function. Applicability of different ψ functions for specific sea areas and stratification conditions is investigated based on three objective criteria. The results show that, under unstable conditions, ψ function of Fairall et al. (1996) (i.e., Fairall96, similar for abbreviations of other function names) in general offers the best performance. However, strictly speaking, this holds true only for the stability (represented by bulk Richardson number R iB) range -2.6 ⩽ R iB evaporation duct height (EDH) are reduced by 21.65%, 9.12%, 38.79%, and 59.06%, respectively, compared to the classical Naval Postgraduate School model.

  1. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES FOR SUPPORT FUNCTIONS IN AN INDUSTRY: TWO CASES

    Shirshendu Roy

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The concept of quality improvement in industry has originated from the involvement of inspector which has become the most important part of manufacturing process or development activity. Over years, this initiative is migrated to various support functions of the industry. In this paper, emphasis has been given particularly in the areas related to support functions where improvement project s can be effectively done and hence organization wide impact is assessed. Two case studies are presented here in this context. The first study shows how smaller change in content structure and delivery met hod can drastically improve the training feedback and the second one demonstrates minimizing lead time to recruitment with a cost-effective process modification.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Brain training game improves executive functions and processing speed in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial.

    Rui Nouchi

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Functional Improvement in Older Adults after a Falls Prevention Pilot Study

    Pei-Fen J. Chang Ph.D., OTR

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Falls are a costly, disabling, and life-threatening risk in the elderly. Improvements in physical function, balance, lower extremity strength, and health-related quality of life are hypothesized to help mitigate fall risk. In this pilot study, six women and men with an average age of 81 years participated in a 6-week exercise andeducation program created to reduce risk of falls. Evaluations were made at baseline and at 6 weeks on four tests: the Functional Status Questionnaire, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS, the Six-minute Walk Test, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life–BREF 26-question test. Scores indicated significant improvement in functional physical status (activities of daily living, balance, distance walked in 6 min, and quality of life in the physical health domain. The size of this study limits the generalizability of its findings, but its evidence warrants undertaking a larger trial.

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

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

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Plasma gelsolin improves lung host defense against pneumonia by enhancing macrophage NOS3 function

    Yang, Zhiping; Chiou, Terry Ting-Yu; Stossel, Thomas P.

    2015-01-01

    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 (Ser1177) 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. PMID:25957291

  7. Plasma gelsolin improves lung host defense against pneumonia by enhancing macrophage NOS3 function.

    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. PMID:25957291

  8. Improvement of a new rotation function for molecular replacement by designing new scoring functions and dynamic correlation coefficient

    A previously published new rotation function has been improved by using a dynamic correlation coefficient as well as two new scoring functions of relative entropy and mean-square-residues to make the rotation function more robust and independent of a specific set of weights for scoring and ranking. The previously described new rotation function calculates the rotation function of molecular replacement by matching the search model directly with the Patterson vector map. The signal-to-noise ratio for the correct match was increased by averaging all the matching peaks. Several matching scores were employed to evaluate the goodness of matching. These matching scores were then combined into a single total score by optimizing a set of weights using the linear regression method. It was found that there exists an optimal set of weights that can be applied to the global rotation search and the correct solution can be ranked in the top 100 or less. However, this set of optimal weights in general is dependent on the search models and the crystal structures with different space groups and cell parameters. In this work, we try to solve this problem by designing a dynamic correlation coefficient. It is shown that the dynamic correlation coefficient works for a variety of space groups and cell parameters in the global search of rotation function. We also introduce two new matching scores: relative entropy and mean-square-residues. Last but not least, we discussed a valid method for the optimization of the adjustable parameters for matching vectors. (condensed matter: structure, thermal and mechanical properties)

  9. Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males.

    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. PMID:21722657

  10. Improved radial basis function approach with the odd-even corrections

    Niu, Z M; Liang, H Z; Niu, Y F; Guo, J Y

    2016-01-01

    The radial basis function (RBF) approach has been used to improve the mass predictions of nuclear models. However, systematic deviations exist between the improved masses and the experimental data for nuclei with different odd-even parities of ($Z$, $N$), i.e., the (even $Z$, even $N$), (even $Z$, odd $N$), (odd $Z$, even $N$), and (odd $Z$, odd $N$). By separately training the RBF for these four different groups, it is found that the systematic odd-even deviations can be cured in a large extend and the predictive power of nuclear mass models can thus be further improved. Moreover, this new approach can better reproduce the single-nucleon separation energies. Based on the latest version of Weizs\\"acker-Skyrme model WS4, the root-mean-square deviation of the improved masses with respect to known data falls to $135$ keV, approaching the chaos-related unpredictability limit ($\\sim 100$ keV).

  11. Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair in Mitral Regurgitation Reduces Cell-Free Hemoglobin and Improves Endothelial Function.

    Christos Rammos

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  12. Delayed functional improvement after near-fatal bleeding complication following endobronchial valve therapy for emphysema.

    Baldi, Sergio; Coni, Francesco; Limerutti, Giorgio; Baccega, Massimo; Ruffini, Enrico; Solidoro, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopic treatment of emphysema is supported by different methods, including valves, coils and sealants. The mechanism is mainly related to volume reduction of targeted area. Endobronchial valves (EBV) appear the most studied method. In a multicentre randomised study, placement of unidirectional endobronchial valves resulted in a statistically significant functional improvement in the treated cohort compared to the control. Adverse events, occurring post procedure, included COPD exacerbations, haemoptysis, pneumothorax and pneumonia. In our centre we treated 30 patients, between January 2009 and February 2012, with variable improvement of lung function and only mild postoperative complications. The case we report here appears very interesting for the unusual near-fatal complication (massive alveolar haemorrage) followed by delayed strong functional improvement (FEV1 +23%; RV -18%; 6MWD:+33%) six months after the valve placement. This improvement could be attributable to the EBV procedure, but an alternative explanation is that the lung volume reduction may have been enhanced by the complication itself, as an effect of alveolar collapse. PMID:27374220

  13. A piano training program to improve manual dexterity and upper extremity function in chronic stroke survivors

    Myriam eVilleneuve

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 of supervised sessions (9 x 60min 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. Conclusions: 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.

  14. Progress in TILLING as a tool for functional genomics and improvement of crops.

    Chen, Liang; Hao, Liugen; Parry, Martin A J; Phillips, Andrew L; Hu, Yin-Gang

    2014-05-01

    Food security is a global concern and substantial yield increases in crops are required to feed the growing world population. Mutagenesis is an important tool in crop improvement and is free of the regulatory restrictions imposed on genetically modified organisms. Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING), which combines traditional chemical mutagenesis with high-throughput genome-wide screening for point mutations in desired genes, offers a powerful way to create novel mutant alleles for both functional genomics and improvement of crops. TILLING is generally applicable to genomes whether small or large, diploid or even allohexaploid, and shows great potential to address the major challenge of linking sequence information to the function of genes and to modulate key traits for plant breeding. TILLING has been successfully applied in many crop species and recent progress in TILLING is summarized below, especially on the developments in mutation detection technology, application of TILLING in gene functional studies and crop breeding. The potential of TILLING/EcoTILLING for functional genetics and crop improvement is also discussed. Furthermore, a small-scale forward strategy including backcross and selfing was conducted to release the potential mutant phenotypes masked in M2 (or M3) plants. PMID:24618006

  15. Functional improvement after motor training is correlated with synaptic plasticity in rat thalamus.

    Ding, Yuchuan; Li, Jie; Lai, Qin; Azam, Salman; Rafols, José A; Diaz, Fernando G

    2002-12-01

    The goals of this study were to determine whether functional outcome after motor training in rats was linked to synaptic plasticity in thalamus, and whether the Rota-rod apparatus, widely used to test motor function, could be used as an easy and quantitative motor skill training procedure. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 39) were evaluated under three training conditions: 1. Movement requiring balance and coordination skills on Rota-rod; 2. simple exercise on treadmill; 3. nontrained controls. Motor function was evaluated by a series of motor tests (foot fault placing, parallel bar crossing, rope and ladder climbing) before and 14 or 28 days after training procedure. Synaptic strength in brain was assessed by synaptophysin immunocytochemistry. After 14 days of training, Rota-rod-trained animals significantly (p exercises on the treadmill did not show a significantly improved performance on most motor tasks, except for an improvement in foot fault placing. Intensive synaptophysin immunoreactivity was present in the right but not the left mediodorsal and ventromedial nuclei of thalamus in Rota-rod-trained rats at 14 and 28 days, and in treadmill-trained rats at 28 days. The data suggested that functional outcome is effectively improved by motor skill training rather than by simple exercises, and this may be related, at least partially, to uniquely lateralized synaptogenesis in the thalamus. Both Rota-rod and treadmill could be quantitatively used in rats for motor training of different complexity. PMID:12500709

  16. Dejian Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Cognitive Functions of a Child with Autism

    Agnes S. Chan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. Cardiac Rehabilitation is Associated with Lasting Improvements in Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Heart Failure

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2016-01-01

    Objective Heart failure (HF) is a known risk factor for cognitive impairment. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) may attenuate poor neurocognitive outcomes in HF via improved physical fitness—a significant promoter of cognitive function. However, no study has examined the possible acute and lasting benefits of CR on cognitive function in persons with HF. Methods and Results 52 patients with HF completed a 12-week Phase II CR program. All participants were administered neuropsychological testing and completed a brief physical fitness assessment at baseline, completion of CR (i.e. 12-weeks), and 12-month follow-up. Repeated measures analyses showed a significant time effect for both attention/executive function and memory (p performance increased from baseline to 12-weeks and these gains remained up to 12-months; memory was unchanged from baseline to 12-weeks, but then improved between the 12-week and 12-month time points. Physical fitness improved from baseline to 12-weeks and these benefits were maintained 12-months later. Changes in physical fitness and cognitive function over time did not reach a statistically significant association, though poorer physical fitness was associated with decreased cognitive performance at the baseline and 12-month time points. Conclusions CR is associated with both acute and lasting cognitive benefits in patients with HF. Prospective studies with extended follow-ups are needed to clarify the mechanisms that underpin cognitive improvements following CR (e.g., improved cerebral perfusion) and whether CR can ultimately reduce risk for cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease in HF. PMID:25181916

  18. RNA Interference for Functional Genomics and Improvement of Cotton (Gossypium sp.).

    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

  19. Sleep extension improves neurocognitive functions in chronically sleep-deprived obese individuals.

    Eliane A Lucassen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sleep deprivation and obesity, are associated with neurocognitive impairments. Effects of sleep deprivation and obesity on cognition are unknown, and the cognitive long-term effects of improvement of sleep have not been prospectively assessed in short sleeping, obese individuals. OBJECTIVE: To characterize neurocognitive functions and assess its reversibility. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Tertiary Referral Research Clinical Center. PATIENTS: A cohort of 121 short-sleeping (<6.5 h/night obese (BMI 30-55 kg/m(2 men and pre-menopausal women. INTERVENTION: Sleep extension (468±88 days with life-style modifications. MEASUREMENTS: Neurocognitive functions, sleep quality and sleep duration. RESULTS: At baseline, 44% of the individuals had an impaired global deficit score (t-score 0-39. Impaired global deficit score was associated with worse subjective sleep quality (p = 0.02, and lower urinary dopamine levels (p = 0.001. Memory was impaired in 33%; attention in 35%; motor skills in 42%; and executive function in 51% of individuals. At the final evaluation (N = 74, subjective sleep quality improved by 24% (p<0.001, self-reported sleep duration increased by 11% by questionnaires (p<0.001 and by 4% by diaries (p = 0.04, and daytime sleepiness tended to improve (p = 0.10. Global cognitive function and attention improved by 7% and 10%, respectively (both p = 0.001, and memory and executive functions tended to improve (p = 0.07 and p = 0.06. Serum cortisol increased by 17% (p = 0.02. In a multivariate mixed model, subjective sleep quality and sleep efficiency, urinary free cortisol and dopamine and plasma total ghrelin accounted for 1/5 of the variability in global cognitive function. LIMITATIONS: Drop-out rate. CONCLUSIONS: Chronically sleep-deprived obese individuals exhibit substantial neurocognitive deficits that are partially reversible upon improvement of sleep in a non-pharmacological way

  20. Functional Virtual Prototyping in Vehicle Chassis Reform Analysis and Improvement Design

    2006-01-01

    The contribution of functional virtual prototyping to vehicle chassis development is presented. The different topics that we took into consideration were reform analysis and improvement design during the vehicle chassis development. A frame of coordinates based on the digital-model was established, the main CAE analysis methods, multi-body system dynamics and finite element analysis were applied to the digital-model build by CAD/CAM software. The method was applied in the vehicle chassis reform analysis and improvement design, all the analysis and design projects were implemented in the uniform digital-model, and the development was carried through effectively.

  1. Neurodegenerative and Fatiguing Illnesses, Infections and Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Use of Natural Supplements to Improve Mitochondrial Function

    Garth L. Nicolson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Many chronic diseases and illnesses are associated with one or more chronic infections, dysfunction of mitochondria and reduced production of ATP. This results in fatigue and other symptoms that occur in most if not all chronic conditions and diseases. Methods: This is a review of the published literature on chronic infections in neurodegenerative diseases and fatiguing illnesses that are also typified by mitochondrial dysfunction. This contribution also reviews the use of natural supplements to enhance mitochondrial function and reduce the effects of chronic infections to improve overall function in various chronic illnesses. Results: Mitochondrial function can be enhanced by the use of various natural supplements, notably Lipid Replacement Therapy (LRT using glyerolphospholipids and other mitochondrial supplements. In various chronic illnesses that are characterized by the presence of chronic infections, such as intracellular bacteria (Mycoplasma, Borrelia, Chlamydia and other infections and viruses, LRT has proven useful in multiple clinical trials. For example, in clinical studies on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia syndrome and other chronic fatiguing illnesses where a large majority of patients have chronic infections, LRT significantly reduced fatigue by 35-43% in different clinical trials and increased mitochondrial function. In clinical trials on patients with multiple intracellular bacterial infections and intractable fatigue LRT plus other mitochondrial supplements significantly decreased fatigue and improved mood and cognition. Conclusions: LRT formulations designed to improve mitochondrial function appear to be useful as non-toxic dietary supplements for reducing fatigue and restoring mitochondrial and other cellular membrane functions in patients with chronic illnesses and multiple chronic infections.

  2. An improvement in sexual function is related to better quality of life, regardless of urinary function improvement: Results from the IDIProst® Gold Study

    Tommaso Cai

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective. The relationship between lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS and erectile dysfunction (ED has recently received increased attention. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Alfa-5® association of Serenoa repens, Pinus massoniana Bark Extract (PMBE and Crocus sativus (IDIProst® Gold in improvement of patient’s quality of life, when compared with Serenoa repens alone. Materials and Methods. All patients with clinical and instrumental diagnosis of LUTS due to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH and ED, attending 5 Italians Urological Institutions from May to December 2012 were enrolled in this prospective, multicentre, phase 3 study. Participants were assigned to receive oral capsules of IDIProst® Gold (one capsule q24 h or Serenoa repens 320 mg (one capsule q24h for 3 months. Clinical and instrumental analyses were carried out at the enrolment and at the end of therapy. IPSS, IIEF-5 and SF-36 questionnaires have been used. The main outcome measure was the improvement of quality of life at the end of the whole study period. Results. 129 (mean age 45-71 ± 4.36 men were randomly allocated to IDIProst® Gold (n = 83 or Serenoa repens (n = 46. The baseline questionnaire mean scores were 17.1 ± 6.4, 14.9 ± 3.7, 96.3 ± 1.2 for IPSS, IIEF-5 and SF-36, respectively. At the follow-up examination, statistically significant differences have been reported in terms of IPSS (11.9 vs 13.8; p < 0.001, IIEF-5 and SF-36 mean scores (19.3 vs 16.1; 99.7 vs 96.3; p < 0.003; p < 0.001. Moreover, statistically significant differences were then reported between the two visits, in terms of IPSS, IIEF-5 and SF-36 scores (p < 0.003; p < 0.001; p < 0.001, only in the IDIProst® Gold group. Conclusions. In conclusions, we found that IDIProst® Gold significantly improve the quality of life of patients affected by LUTS due to BPH and ED, specifically in terms of sexual function, highlighting that a better sexual quality of life is correlated

  3. Dynamic Analysis and Control of an Automatic Transmission for Start-Stop Function and Efficiency Improvement

    Yang Liu; Shuhan Wang; Peng Dong; Xiangyang Xu

    2015-01-01

    An electric oil pump (EOP) was integrated into the hydraulic system and an automatic transmission (AT) mechanical oil pump (MOP) was downsized. These processes were performed to combine a start-stop function with the AT and further improve the transmission efficiency. Furthermore, this study established a dynamics model of power loss and leakage of an 8-speed AT; a flow-based control algorithm of the EOP was then developed to realize the start-stop function and support the MOP to meet the flo...

  4. Inhibiting TGF-β Activity Improves Respiratory Function in mdx Mice

    Nelson, Carol A.; Hunter, R. Bridge; Quigley, Lindsay A.; Girgenrath, Stefan; Weber, William D.; McCullough, Jennifer A.; Dinardo, Carol J.; Keefe, Kelly A.; Ceci, Lorena; Clayton, Nicholas P.; McVie-Wylie, Alison; Cheng, Seng H.; Leonard, John P.; Wentworth, Bruce M.

    2011-01-01

    Respiratory function is the main cause of mortality in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Elevated levels of TGF-β play a key role in the pathophysiology of DMD. To determine whether therapeutic attenuation of TGF-β signaling improves respiratory function, mdx mice were treated from 2 weeks of age to 2 months or 9 months of age with either 1D11 (a neutralizing antibody to all three isoforms of TGF-β), losartan (an angiotensin receptor antagonist), or a combination of the two age...

  5. Weak Convergence and Vector-Valued Functions: Improving the Stability Theory of Feynman's Operational Calculi

    In this paper we present a theorem that establishes a relation between continuous, norm-bounded functions from a metric space into a separable Hilbert space and weak convergence of sequences of probability measures on the metric space. After establishing this result, it's application to the stability theory of Feynman's operational calculi will be illustrated. We will see that the existing time-dependent stability theory of the operational calculi will be significantly improved when the operator-valued functions take their values in LH,H a separable Hilbert space

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

    Omar Ortiz-Avila

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Improvement of ventilatory function by spa therapy in patients with intractable asthma.

    Tanizaki,Yoshiro

    1986-02-01

    Full Text Available Twenty-five patients with intractable asthma had swimming training in a hot spring pool for 3 months. The subjects were divided into three groups according to their clinical symptoms and ages. Changes of ventilatory function during swimming training were observed in in each group. The ventilatory function test revealed that free swimming training in a hot spring pool for 30 min did not induce bronchoconstriction in any of the groups. The values of ventilatory parameters such as FEV 1.0%, %PEFR, %V50 and %V25 were improved after the 3-month swimming training. The improvement of ventilatory parameters, especially %MMF, %V50 and %V25, by the training was most remarkable in the type II asthma group. The percent increase in %MMF, %V50 and %V25 was highest in patients more than 61 years of age, and higher in patients aged 40 to 60 years than in younger patients.

  8. Low-dose budesonide treatment improves lung function in patients with infrequent asthma symptoms at baseline

    Reddel, H. K.; Busse, W. W.; Pedersen, Søren;

    2015-01-01

    in patients with less frequent symptoms at presentation. This was investigated in a post-hoc analysis of the multinational inhaled Steroid Treatment As Regular Therapy in early asthma (START) study.2 METHODS: Patients aged 4-66 years (median 21 years) with a history of recent-onset mild asthma (11......RATIONALE: Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are highly effective in low doses for improving asthma outcomes, including lung function. In the past, ICS treatment was recommended for patients with 'persistent' asthma, defined by symptoms >2 days/week.1 However, evidence is lacking for the benefit of ICS...... placebo, in all symptom frequency groups (Figure). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term, once-daily, low-dose budesonide treatment plus usual asthma medication improves lung function in patients with mild, recent-onset asthma. These beneficial effects were seen even in patients with the lowest baseline asthma symptom...

  9. Functions and Application of the AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Family in Crop Improvement

    Zhao-Shi Xu; Ming Chen; Lian-Cheng Li; You-Zhi Ma

    2011-01-01

    Plants have acquired sophisticated stress response systems to adapt to changing environments. It is important to understand plants' stress response mechanisms in the effort to improve crop productivity under stressful conditions. The AP2/ERF transcription factors are known to regulate diverse processes of plant development and stress responses.In this study, the molecular characteristics and biological functions of AP2/ERFs in a variety of plant species were analyzed. AP2/ERFs,especially those in DREB and ERF subfamilies, are ideal candidates for crop improvement because their overexpression enhances tolerances to drought, salt, freezing, as well as resistances to multiple diseases in the transgenic plants. The comprehensive analysis of physiological functions is useful in elucidating the biological roles of AP2/ERF family genes in gene interaction, pathway regulation, and defense response under stress environments, which should provide new opportunities for the crop tolerance engineering.

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

    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. PMID:26180820

  11. Improved theory of generalized meteo-ballistic weighting factor functions and their use

    Vladimir Cech

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available It follows from the analysis of artillery fire errors that approximately two-thirds of the inaccuracy of indirect artillery fire is caused by inaccuracies in the determination of the meteo parameters included in fire error budget model. Trajectories calculated under non-standard conditions are considered to be perturbed. The tools utilized for the analysis of perturbed trajectories are weighting factor functions (WFFs which are a special kind of sensitivity functions. WFFs are used for calculation of meteo ballistic elements µB (ballistic wind wB, density ρB, virtual temperature τB, pressure pB as well. We have found that the existing theory of WFF calculation has several significant shortcomings. The aim of the article is to present a new, improved theory of generalized WFFs that eliminates the deficiencies found. Using this theory will improve methods for designing firing tables, fire control systems algorithms, and meteo message generation algorithms.

  12. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    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

  13. Functionalized layered double hydroxide-based epoxy nanocomposites with improved flame retardancy and mechanical properties

    Ehsan Naderi Kalali; Xin Wanga; De-Yi Wang

    2015-01-01

    Functionalized layered double hydroxides (LDHs) based on a multi-modifier system composed of hydroxypropyl-sulfobutyl-beta-cyclodextrin sodium (sCD), dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DBS) and taurine (T) have been designed and fabricated in this paper, aiming at developing high performance fire retardant epoxy nanocomposites. In this multi-modifier system, sCD was utilized to improve the char yield, DBS was used to enlarge the inter-layer distance of LDH and T was used to enhance the interaction betw...

  14. Structured Exercise Program is Feasible and Improves Functional Capacity among Older Adults in Puerto Rico

    Osvaldo J Hernandez Soto

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Physical inactivity is a major risk factor affecting overall health and functional capacity among older adults. In this study we evaluated functional capacity in 22 older adults in Puerto Rico (mean age ± standard deviation = 73.3 ± 8.2 years before, during and after eight weeks participation in a structured exercise program. Functional capacity was evaluated using a field test battery (body composition, flexibility, coordination, agility and balance, muscle endurance and cardiorespiratory endurance validated for this population. Also, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max and blood lipid levels were evaluated in a sub-sample (n = 7. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to detect changes in functional capacity before, during and after the exercise program. A paired t-test was used to evaluate changes in VO2max and lipids before and after the program. Flexibility improved significantly during the exercise program (51.6 ± 12.2 vs. 57.7 ± 8.1 cm, p=0.04 and this change was sustained at the end of the program (54.4 ± 10.2 cm. At eight weeks into the program, time in the agility and balance test improved by two seconds and muscle endurance improved by five repetitions (p<0.05 for all. No changes were observed in body composition, coordination, VO2max and lipid levels (p>0.05. These results suggest that participation in a structured exercise program for eight weeks can positively impact factors that improve movement capacity in older adults.

  15. Is Cognitive Function in Adults with Hearing Impairment Improved by the Use of Hearing Aids?

    Choi, A Young; Shim, Hyun Joon; Lee, Sung Hee; Yoon, Sang Won; Joo, Eun-Jeong

    2011-01-01

    Objectives In the present study, we investigated whether speech-related cognitive function and speech recognition ability under background noise in adults with hearing impairment are improved with the use of hearing aids. Methods Participants were recruited from the ENT Department of Eulji Hospital from September 2008 to July 2009. The study group comprised 18 participants (mean age, 69.5±8.3 years) with sensorineural hearing loss who were fitted with hearing aids, and the control group compr...

  16. Lumbar microdiscectomy and lumbar decompression improve functional outcomes and depression scores

    Tharin, Suzanne; Mayer, Eric; Krishnaney, Ajit

    2012-01-01

    Study design:  Retrospective review. Introduction:  Lumbar radiculopathy and claudicant leg pain are common degenerative spinal conditions often treated by elective microdiscectomy or decompression. Published outcome data for these procedures have focused on improvement in pain scores, and not on grounded functional outcome or depression scores.1,2,3 Moreover, depression is considered by many surgeons to be a red flag for poor outcome for surgical treatment. We asked what effect lumbar microd...

  17. Integration Quality Function Deployment and Analytic Hierarchy Process Methods to Improve Service Quality

    Shun-Hsing Chen; Fei-Yun Chen; Tsu-Ming Yeh

    2015-01-01

    Customer needs regarding product and service quality are rising. Because of the economic recession, the food and beverage industry faces strong competition. Customer needs can be satisfied only by understanding their needs. Therefore, this study uses Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to clarify customer needs and to explore the most effective options to improve service quality in the vegetarian foods industry. This study primary objective included: (1)...

  18. Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Among Older Cancer Survivors to Improve Health and Preserve Function

    Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy; Morey, Miriam C.; Sloane, Richard; Snyder, Denise Clutter; Cohen, Harvey J.

    2009-01-01

    Currently, there are almost 7 million cancer survivors in this country who are age 65 years or older, and this number is expected to rapidly increase given trends toward aging and improvements in early detection and treatment. Unfortunately, cancer survivors are at risk for several comorbid conditions and accelerated functional decline. In a previous cross-sectional study among 688 older breast and prostate cancer survivors, we found significant associations between lifestyle practices and le...

  19. Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males

    WARMINGTON, STUART; O'Mara, Shane; GRIFFIN, EADAOIN; KELLY, AINE

    2011-01-01

    PUBLISHED 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 o...

  20. Aerobic exercise and yoga improve neurocognitive function in women with early psychosis

    Lin, Jingxia; Chan, Sherry KW; Lee, Edwin HM; Chang, Wing Chung; Tse, Michael; Su, Wayne Weizhong; Sham, Pak; Hui, Christy LM; Joe, Glen; Chan, Cecilia LW; Khong, P. L.; So, Kwok Fai; Honer, William G.; Chen, Eric YH

    2015-01-01

    Impairments of attention and memory are evident in early psychosis, and are associated with functional disability. In a group of stable, medicated women patients, we aimed to determine whether participating in aerobic exercise or yoga improved cognitive impairments and clinical symptoms. A total of 140 female patients were recruited, and 124 received the allocated intervention in a randomized controlled study of 12 weeks of yoga or aerobic exercise compared with a waitlist group. The primary ...

  1. Virtual reality using games for improving physical functioning in older adults: a systematic review

    Molina, Karina Iglesia; Ricci, Natalia Aquaroni; de Moraes, Suzana Albuquerque; Perracini, Monica Rodrigues

    2014-01-01

    The use of virtual reality through exergames or active video game, i.e. a new form of interactive gaming, as a complementary tool in rehabilitation has been a frequent focus in research and clinical practice in the last few years. However, evidence of their effectiveness is scarce in the older population. This review aim to provide a summary of the effects of exergames in improving physical functioning in older adults. A search for randomized controlled trials was performed in the databases E...

  2. Resveratrol supplementation does not improve metabolic function in non-obese women with normal glucose tolerance

    Yoshino, Jun; Conte, Caterina; Fontana, Luigi; Mittendorfer, Bettina; Imai, Shin-ichiro; Kenneth B Schechtman; Gu, Charles; Kunz, Iris; Fanelli, Filippo Rossi; Patterson, Bruce W.; Klein, Samuel

    2012-01-01

    Resveratrol has been reported to improve metabolic function in metabolically-abnormal rodents and humans, but has not been studied in non-obese people with normal glucose tolerance. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the metabolic effects of 12 weeks of resveratrol supplementation (75 mg/day) in non-obese, postmenopausal women with normal glucose tolerance. Although resveratrol supplementation increased plasma resveratrol concentration, it did not ch...

  3. Neural correlates of improved executive function following erythropoietin treatment in mood disorders

    Miskowiak, K W; Vinberg, M; Glerup, L;

    2016-01-01

    magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated the effects of EPO on neural circuitry activity during working memory (WM) performance. METHOD: Patients with treatment-resistant major depression, who were moderately depressed, or with BD in partial remission, were randomized to eight weekly infusions......BACKGROUND: Cognitive dysfunction in depression and bipolar disorder (BD) is insufficiently targeted by available treatments. Erythropoietin (EPO) increases neuroplasticity and may improve cognition in mood disorders, but the neuronal mechanisms of these effects are unknown. This functional...

  4. ENHANCED EXTERNAL COUNTERPULSATION IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION AND EXERCISE CAPACITY IN PATIENTS WITH ISCHEMIC LEFT VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION

    Beck, DT; Martin, JS; Casey, DP; Avery, JC; Sardina, PD; Braith, RW

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy decreases angina episodes and improves quality of life in patients with left ventricular dysfunction (LVD). However, studies have not elucidated the mechanisms of action and overall effects of EECP in patients with LVD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of EECP on endothelial function in peripheral conduit arteries and exercise capacity (peak VO2) in patients with LVD. Patients with ischemic LVD (EF 34.5±4.2%; n=9), and ...

  5. Bezafibrate improves mitochondrial function in the CNS of a mouse model of mitochondrial encephalopathy

    Noe, Natalie; Dillon, Lloye; Lellek, Veronika; Diaz, Francisca; Hida, Aline; Carlos T. Moraes; Wenz, Tina

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction frequently affects the central nervous system. Here, we investigated the effect of bezafibrate treatment on neuronal mitochondrial function and its impact on the progression of a mitochondrial encephalopathy. We used a murine model with a forebrain-specific cytochrome c oxidase deficiency caused by conditional deletion of the COX10 gene. In this mouse model, bezafibrate-administration improved the phenotype of the mice associated with an increase in mitochondrial pro...

  6. Esmolol added in repeated, cold, oxygenated blood cardioplegia improves myocardial function after cardiopulmonary bypass

    Dahle, Geir Olav; Salminen, Pirjo-Riitta; Moen, Christian Arvei; Eliassen, Finn; Jonassen, Anne K.; Haaverstad, Rune; Matre, Knut; Grong, Ketil

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study investigated if the β-receptor blocking agent esmolol, added to standard oxygenated blood cardioplegia, improved myocardial function after weaning from bypass. Design: A block-randomized, blinded study. Setting: A university laboratory. Participants: Twenty anesthetized pigs, Norwegian Landrace. Interventions: After cardiopulmonary bypass, cardiac arrest was induced with cold (12°C), oxygenated blood cardioplegia, enriched with either esmolol or vehi...

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

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

    2015-10-13

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

  8. Parent, Teacher, and Student Perspectives on How Corrective Lenses Improve Child Wellbeing and School Function.

    Dudovitz, Rebecca N; Izadpanah, Nilufar; Chung, Paul J; Slusser, Wendelin

    2016-05-01

    Objectives Up to 20 % of school-age children have a vision problem identifiable by screening, over 80 % of which can be corrected with glasses. While vision problems are associated with poor school performance, few studies describe whether and how corrective lenses affect academic achievement and health. Further, there are virtually no studies exploring how children with correctable visual deficits, their parents, and teachers perceive the connection between vision care and school function. Methods We conducted a qualitative evaluation of Vision to Learn (VTL), a school-based program providing free corrective lenses to low-income students in Los Angeles. Nine focus groups with students, parents, and teachers from three schools served by VTL explored the relationships between poor vision, receipt of corrective lenses, and school performance and health. Results Twenty parents, 25 teachers, and 21 students from three elementary schools participated. Participants described how uncorrected visual deficits reduced students' focus, perseverance, and class participation, affecting academic functioning and psychosocial stress; how receiving corrective lenses improved classroom attention, task persistence, and willingness to practice academic skills; and how serving students in school rather than in clinics increased both access to and use of corrective lenses. Conclusions for Practice Corrective lenses may positively impact families, teachers, and students coping with visual deficits by improving school function and psychosocial wellbeing. Practices that increase ownership and use of glasses, such as serving students in school, may significantly improve both child health and academic performance. PMID:26649878

  9. Physical exercise improves the functional capacity and quality of life in patients with heart failure

    Danilo Sales Bocalini

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of physical exercise on the functional capacity and quality of life in heart failure patients. METHODS: Forty-two patients of both sexes with heart failure of NYHA class II and III with different etiologies were randomly divided into untrained or trained groups. The six-month exercise program consisted of aerobic training, muscle strength training, agility and joint flexibility activities. Physical fitness was evaluated by testing the performance on these trained components. Quality of life was evaluated by scored answers to a standardized questionnaire involving multiple domains. RESULTS: Baseline values did not differ between groups. Improvement in the trained group was identified in all components of functional capacity when compared to the untrained group (p < 0.001. Quality of life improved in the trained patients concerning physical, psychological, social and environmental domains (p < 0.001, whereas no significant change was found in the untrained patients. CONCLUSIONS: Guided and monitored physical exercise is safe and has the potential to improve functional capacity and quality of life in heart failure patients with multiple etiologies.

  10. Traditional Chinese Medicine Tongxinluo Improves Cardiac Function of Rats with Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Fang-Fang Shen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The study aimed at testing the hypothesis that tongxinluo capsule might exert its cardioprotective effect by preventing ventricular remodeling and improving coronary microvascular function in a rat model of doxorubicin-induced dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM. Rats that survived DCM induction were randomly divided into three groups to be given 1.5 g·kg−1·day−1 (TXL-H, n=9 or 0.15 g·kg−1·day−1 (TXL-L, n=10 of tongxinluo, or normal saline at the same volume (DCM-C, n=10 intragastrically. Age matched normal rats treated with normal saline were used as normal controls (NOR-C, n=9. After four weeks of treatment, the DCM-C, TXL-H, and TXL-L groups exhibited significant cardiac dysfunction, left ventricular remodeling, and coronary microvascular dysfunction, compared with the NOR-C rats. However, myocardial functional parameters were significantly improved and microvascular density (MVD increased in the TXL-H group compared with the DCM-C group (all P<0.01. Left ventricular remodeling was prevented. There were close linear relationships between CVF and LVEF (r=-0.683, P<0.05, MVD and LVEF (r=0.895, P<0.05, and MVD and CVF (r=-0.798, P<0.05. It was indicated that high-dose tongxinluo effectively improved cardiac function in rat model of DCM.

  11. Yizhi Xingnao prescription improves the cognitive function of patients after a transient ischemic attack

    Donglin Jiang; Xing Chu; Lingling Hu; Shengyang Jiang; Feng Hu; Junming Sun; Chengwan Li

    2012-01-01

    Patients with mild cognitive impairment after a transient ischemic attack were included in this study. They were treated with Yizhi Xingnao prescription, ergoloid mesylates or aspirin for 60 days. Evaluation using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale showed that cognitive function was significantly improved in all patients, especially after the combined treatment of Yizhi Xingnao and aspirin. The scores from the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale were improved overall and the effective treatment rate was as high as 79%, which was higher than patients treated with a combination of ergoloid mesylates and aspirin, or aspirin alone. Our experimental findings indicate that Yizhi Xingnao prescription can improve mild cognitive impairment after a transient ischemic attack, and that it is more effective than ergoloid mesylates.

  12. Transplantation of 5-azacytidine treated cardiac fibroblasts improves cardiac function of infarct hearts in rats

    TANG Cheng-chun; MA Gan-shan; CHEN Ji-yuan

    2010-01-01

    Background Cellular cardiomyoplasty by transplantation of various cell types has been investigated as potential treatments for the improvement of cardiac function after myocardial injury. A major barrier for the clinical application of cell transplantation is obtaining sufficiently large quantities of suitable cells. AIIogeneic cellular cardiomyoplasty may provide an alternative source of abundant, transplantable, myogenic cells by in vitro manipulation of cardiac fibroblasts using chemicals including 5-azacytidine. This study evaluated cardiomyogenic differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts, their survival in myocardial scar tissue, and the effect of the implanted cells on heart function.Methods Primary cardiac fibroblasts from neonatal rats were treated with 5-azacytidine (10 μmol/L) or control.Treatment of 5-azacytidine caused myogenic differentiation of cultured cardiac fibroblasts, as defined by elongation and fusion into multinucleated myotubes with sarcomeric structures as identified by electron microscopy, and positive immunostaining for cardiac specific proteins, troponin I and β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) and the gap junction protein connexin 43. The myogenic cells (1.0x106) were transplanted into the infarcted myocardium 2 weeks after coronary artery occlusion.Results By 1 month after transplantation, the converted fibroblasts gave rise to a cluster of cardiac-like muscle cells that in the hearts occupied a large part of the scar with positive immunostaining for the myogenic proteins troponin I and β-MHC. Engrafted cells also expressed the gap junction protein connexin 43 in a disorganized manner. There was no positive staining in the control hearts treated with injections of culture medium. Heart function was evaluated at 6 weeks after myocardial injury with echocardiographic and hemodynamic measurements. Improvement in cardiac function was seen in the hearts transplanted with the 5-azacytidine-treated cardiac fibroblasts which was absent in the

  13. Aerobic exercise and yoga improve neurocognitive function in women with early psychosis.

    Lin, Jingxia; Chan, Sherry Kw; Lee, Edwin Hm; Chang, Wing Chung; Tse, Michael; Su, Wayne Weizhong; Sham, Pak; Hui, Christy Lm; Joe, Glen; Chan, Cecilia Lw; Khong, P L; So, Kwok Fai; Honer, William G; Chen, Eric Yh

    2015-01-01

    Impairments of attention and memory are evident in early psychosis, and are associated with functional disability. In a group of stable, medicated women patients, we aimed to determine whether participating in aerobic exercise or yoga improved cognitive impairments and clinical symptoms. A total of 140 female patients were recruited, and 124 received the allocated intervention in a randomized controlled study of 12 weeks of yoga or aerobic exercise compared with a waitlist group. The primary outcomes were cognitive functions including memory and attention. Secondary outcome measures were the severity of psychotic and depressive symptoms, and hippocampal volume. Data from 124 patients were included in the final analysis based on the intention-to-treat principle. Both yoga and aerobic exercise groups demonstrated significant improvements in working memory (Peffect sizes compared with the waitlist control group. The yoga group showed additional benefits in verbal acquisition (Pexercise improved overall and depressive symptoms (all P⩽0.01) after 12 weeks. Small increases in hippocampal volume were observed in the aerobic exercise group compared with waitlist (P=0.01). Both types of exercise improved working memory in early psychosis patients, with yoga having a larger effect on verbal acquisition and attention than aerobic exercise. The application of yoga and aerobic exercise as adjunctive treatments for early psychosis merits serious consideration. This study was supported by the Small Research Funding of the University of Hong Kong (201007176229), and RGC funding (C00240/762412) by the Authority of Research, Hong Kong. PMID:27336050

  14. IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN ISLET FUNCTION BY ADENOVIRUS MEDIATED HO-1 GENE TRANSFER

    2007-01-01

    Objective To investigate in vitro heme oxygenase-1 gene (HO-1) delivery to human pancreatic islets by adenovirus vectors. Methods Recombinant adenovirus containing HO-1 or enhanced green fluorescent protein gene(EGFP) was generated by using the AdEasy System. The purified human pancreatic islets were infected with recombinant adenovirus vectors at various multiplicity of infection (MOI). Transduction was confirmed by fluorescence photographs and Western blot. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was detected by using Human insulin radioimmunoassay kits and was used to assess the function of human islets infected by recombinant adenovirus.Results Viral titers of Ad-hHO-1 and Ad-EGFP were 1.96×109 and 1.99×109 pfu/mL, respectively. Human pancreatic islets were efficiently infected by recombinant adenovirus vectors in vitro. Transfection of human islets at an MOI of 20 did not inhibit islet function. Recombinant adenovirus mediated HO-1gene transfer significantly improved the islet function of insulin release when simulated by high level glucose. Conclusion Recombinant adenovirus is efficient to deliver exogenous gene into human pancreatic islets in vitro. HO-1 gene transfection can improve human islet function.

  15. IBRD AND ITS INVOLVEMENT IN MODERNISING AND IMPROVING THE FUNCTIONALITY OF PENSION SYSTEMS

    Cristina Rosu

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In our research we review the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (IBRD most important contributions to the functionality of the pension systems around the world. The pension systems design constitutes an important premise for the adequate functioning of these systems. In international practice, there is a wide variety of principles and mechanisms which can constitute the foundation of pension systems, the most common being materialized in the multi-pillar pension system, promoted by the IBRD. Its involvement in modernizing and improving the functionality of pension systems has reached also many other aspects such as evaluation of the national pension systems’ performance, financial assistance to governments with the aim of meeting the objectives corresponding to pension systems, scientific, technical and informational support. We conclude that IBRD’s involvement in modernizing and improving the functionality of pension systems has determined a significant transformation of the national pension systems, especially in Latin America and Eastern and Central Europe. However, its well-known multi-pillar model is not free of criticism as a result of the various analytical errors.

  16. An Improved Medical Image Fusion Algorithm for Anatomical and Functional Medical Images

    CHEN Mei-ling; TAO Ling; QIAN Zhi-yu

    2009-01-01

    In recent years,many medical image fusion methods had been exploited to derive useful information from multimodality medical image data,but,not an appropriate fusion algorithm for anatomical and functional medical images.In this paper,the traditional method of wavelet fusion is improved and a new fusion algorithm of anatomical and functional medical images,in which high-frequency and low-frequency coefficients are studied respectively.When choosing high-frequency coefficients,the global gradient of each sub-image is calculated to realize adaptive fusion,so that the fused image can reserve the functional information;while choosing the low coefficients is based on the analysis of the neighborbood region energy,so that the fused image can reserve the anatomical image's edge and texture feature.Experimental results and the quality evaluation parameters show that the improved fusion algorithm can enhance the edge and texture feature and retain the function information and anatomical information effectively.

  17. Combined Therapy with Desferal and Deferiprone in Improvement of Heart Function in Thalassemic Patients

    Shahramian Iraj

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cardiac complications due to iron overload are the most common causes of death in patients with major thalassemia. This study assessed the efficacy of iron chelating by desferal-L1 in improvement of cardiac function in patients with major thalassemia.Methods and Materials: Patients older then 8 years old with major thalassemia that were admitted to hematology ward of Ali-e-Asghar hospital of Zahedan in 2005-2006 and had lower than normal diastolic indices in annual echocardiography were considered as study population. During primary tests, indices of diastolic function of left and right hearts were calculated, using echocardiography with 2D, M-mode and Doppler then the patients were placed on a combination of desferal (30-40mg/kg/day two nights per week and L1 (deferiprone (75mg/kg/day, three times a day. At the end of the study, cardiac indices were calculated again. Data were using SPSS software and paired t-test and P0.05. Systolic indices of left ventricule increased significantly after treatment (P<0.05.Conclusion: In this study, after one year of treatment with a combination of desferal-L1 in patients with major thalassemia, echocardiography showed improvement in left heart systolic and diastolic function. This combination therapy prevented progression of right ventricular diastolic function abnormality

  18. Improvement of alarm algorithms for SMART-P critical function monitoring system

    SMART-P is an integral reactor where major components such as main coolant pumps and steam generators are located inside of reactor vessel. It also have several different design features for the safety grade and non-safety grade systems relative to existing plants. Due to these unique features of SMART-P, new design requirements of the Critical Function Monitoring System (CFMS) are needed. Ten SMART-P CFMS critical function items were improved to satisfy the critical function required by NUREG-0696. - Core Reactivity Control - Core Heat Removal - RCS Inventory Control - RCS Pressure Control - RCS Heat Removal - Reactor Building Pressure/Temperature Control - Reactor Building Isolation - Radioactive Emissions Control - Combustible Gas Control - Maintenance of Vital Auxiliaries When we improve alarm algorithms for critical function, several SMART-P design features were reflected. In connection with the RCS inventory control, SMART-P POSRV did not release steam/water mixture but nitrogen gas in most cases so POSRV leakage alarm branch is moved to RCS Pressure Control item. In connection with the RCS pressure control, SMART-P pressurizer regulates the system pressure by nitrogen gas and steam partial pressure naturally without any active operation of spray or heater so alarm branch for pressure change rate were deleted

  19. Intravenous immunoglobulins improve the function and ameliorate joint involvement in systemic sclerosis: a pilot study

    Nacci, F; Righi, A; Conforti, M L; Miniati, I; Fiori, G; Martinovic, D; Melchiorre, D; Sapir, T; Blank, M; Shoenfeld, Y; Pignone, A Moggi; Cerinic, M Matucci

    2007-01-01

    Background In systemic sclerosis (SSc), joint involvement may reduce the functional capacity of the hands. Intravenous immunoglobulins have previously been shown to benefit patients with SSc. Aim To verify the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulins on joint involvement and function in SSc. Patients and methods 7 women with SSc, 5 with limited and 2 with diffuse SSc, with a severe and refractory joint involvement were enrolled in the study. Methotrexate and cyclophosphamide pulse therapy did not ameliorate joint symptoms. Hence, intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was prescribed at a dosage of 2 g/kg body weight during 4 days/month for six consecutive courses. The presence of joint tenderness and swelling, and articular deformities (due to primary joint involvement and not due to skin and subcutaneous changes) were evaluated. Before and after 6 months of treatment, patients were subjected to (1) Ritchie Index (RI) evaluation of joint involvement; (2) Dreiser Algo‐Functional Index (IAFD) evaluation of hand joint function; (3) pain visual analogue scale (VAS) to measure joint pain; (4) Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) to evaluate the limitations in everyday living and physical disability; and (5) modified Rodnan Skin Score for skin involvement. Results After 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy, joint pain and tenderness, measured with the VAS, decreased significantly (p<0.03), and hand function (IAFD) improved significantly (p<0.02), together with the quality of life (HAQ; p<0.03). All patients significantly improved, except for one. The skin score after 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was significantly reduced (p<0.003). Conclusion This pilot study suggests that intravenous immunoglobulins may reduce joint pain and tenderness, with a significant recovery of joint function in patients with SSc with severe and refractory joint involvement. The cost of intravenous immunoglobulins might limit their use only to patients who

  20. [An oral function improvement program utilizing health behavior theories ameliorates oral functions and oral hygienic conditions of pre-frail elderly persons].

    Hideo, Sakaguchi

    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. PMID:25244722

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

    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 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. PMID:26345030

  2. Exercise training improves vascular function in adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

    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 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. PMID:26887327

  3. Effectiveness of coordination exercise in improving cognitive function in older adults: a prospective study

    Kwok TCY

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Timothy CY Kwok1,2, KC Lam2, PS Wong2, WW Chau2, Kenneth SL Yuen2,3, KT Ting2, Elite WK Chung2, Jessie CY Li2, Florence KY Ho2,41Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing, 3Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, 4Jockey Club CADENZA Hub, Hong Kong SARBackground: Studies on the effect of a low intensity coordination exercise on the elderly with limited mobility are sparse. This prospective study attempted to compare the effectiveness of a customized coordination exercise and a strength exercise in improving the cognitive functioning and physical mobility on the elderly.Methods: Participants from two centers for the elderly were allocated to practice either an 8-week coordination training (CT program or an 8-week towel exercise (TE program. The Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination and Chinese Dementia Rating Scale (CDRS were used to measure cognitive functioning of participants, and Timed Up-and-Go test for physical mobility. These assessments were administered before and after the program.Results: Paired t-tests showed that the CDRS scores of the CT group improved significantly from 114.8 at pre-test to 119.3 after training (P = 0.045. The CDRS scores of the TE group also improved from 114.9 at pre-test to 116.9 after training.Conclusion: Findings from this prospective study demonstrated that low-intensity level mind-body exercise could be beneficial to the cognitive functioning of older adults.Keywords: coordination exercise, cognitive function, elderly, Chinese

  4. Estimating the cost of improving quality in electricity distribution: A parametric distance function approach

    The quality of electricity distribution is being more and more scrutinized by regulatory authorities, with explicit reward and penalty schemes based on quality targets having been introduced in many countries. It is then of prime importance to know the cost of improving the quality for a distribution system operator. In this paper, we focus on one dimension of quality, the continuity of supply, and we estimated the cost of preventing power outages. For that, we make use of the parametric distance function approach, assuming that outages enter in the firm production set as an input, an imperfect substitute for maintenance activities and capital investment. This allows us to identify the sources of technical inefficiency and the underlying trade-off faced by operators between quality and other inputs and costs. For this purpose, we use panel data on 92 electricity distribution units operated by ERDF (Electricité de France - Réseau Distribution) in the 2003–2005 financial years. Assuming a multi-output multi-input translog technology, we estimate that the cost of preventing one interruption is equal to 10.7€ for an average DSO. Furthermore, as one would expect, marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. - Highlights: ► We estimate the implicit cost of outages for the main distribution company in France. ► For this purpose, we make use of a parametric distance function approach. ► Marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. ► The cost of preventing one interruption varies from 1.8 € to 69.2 € (2005 prices). ► We estimate that, in average, it lays 33% above the regulated price of quality.

  5. Omega-3 fatty acids plus rosuvastatin improves endothelial function in South Asians with dyslipidemia

    Catalin Mindrescu

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Catalin Mindrescu1,2,3, Rakesh P Gupta1,3, Eileen V Hermance1, Mary C DeVoe1, Vikas R Soma1, John T Coppola1,2, Cezar S Staniloae1,21Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center, Saint Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, New York, NY, USA; 2New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA; 3Rakesh P Gupta and Catalin Mindrescu contributed equally to this article.Background: The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of statins plus omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs on endothelial function and lipid profile in South Asians with dyslipidemia and endothelial dysfunction, a population at high risk for premature coronary artery disease.Methods: Thirty subjects were randomized to rosuvastatin 10 mg and omega-3-PUFAs 4 g or rosuvastatin 10 mg. After 4 weeks, omega-3-PUFAs were removed from the first group and added to subjects in the second group. All subjects underwent baseline, 4-, and 8-week assessment of endothelial function and lipid profile.Results: Compared to baseline, omega-3-PUFAs plus rosuvastatin improved endothelial-dependent vasodilation (EDV: −1.42% to 11.36%, p = 0.001, and endothelial-independent vasodilation (EIV: 3.4% to 17.37%, p = 0.002. These effects were lost when omega-3-PUFAs were removed (EDV: 11.36% to 0.59%, p = 0.003. In the second group, rosuvastatin alone failed to improve both EDV and EIV compared to baseline. However, adding omega-3-PUFAs to rosuvastatin, significantly improved EDV (−0.66% to 14.73%, p = 0.001 and EIV (11.02% to 24.5%, p = 0.001. Addition of omega-3-PUFAs further improved the lipid profile (triglycerides 139 to 91 mg/dl, p = 0.006, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 116 to 88 mg/dl, p = 0.014.Conclusions: Combined therapy with omega-3-PUFAs and rosuvastatin improves endothelial function in South Asian subjects with dyslipidemia and endothelial dysfunction.Keywords: omega-3 fatty acids, endothelial function, South Asians, dyslipidemia, rosuvastatin

  6. IMPROVING FUNCTIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF PATIENTS WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS BY PHYSICAL THERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

    Ana-Maria Ticărat

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Patients with multiple sclerosis can have a normal life despite of their real or possible disability and of the progressive nature of it. Scope. Patients who follow physical therapy and occupational therapy will have an increased quality of life and a greater functional independence.Methods. The randomized study was made on 7 patients with multiple sclerosis, from Oradea Day Centre, 3 times/week, ages between 35 – 55 years, functional level between mild and sever. Assessment and rehabilitation methods: inspection, BARTHEL Index. Frenkel method, brething exercises, weights exercises, gait exercises, writind exercises and games were used in the rehabilitation process. Group therapies: sociotherapy, arttherapy, music therapy. Results analysis consisted of the comparison of baseline and final means.Results. By analizing baseline and final means for Barthel Index for each functon separately, it was shown a mild improvement of functional independence for almost assessed functions, with at least 1-1,5 points.Conclusions. Persons with multiple sclerosis who follow physical therapy and occupational therapy presents a better functional independence after the treatment.

  7. Improvement in the physiological function and standing stability based on kinect multimedia for older people.

    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. PMID:27190480

  8. The effect of bilateral activities on the improvement of upper limb function in CVA patients

    Mehdi Hassanpour

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available 1. Dept. of Occupational Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.Background: Bilateral activity is a rehabilitation method for cerebral vascular accident (CVA patients with proven efficacy. This study investigated the effects of bilateral activities on the affected side upper limb functions in CVA patients.Methods: In this empirical study, 21 CVA patients were assigned into case and control groups. During 8 weeks interventions the case group received bilateral activities in addition to routine treatment, which performed in both groups. Upper limb function was measured using both Fugl- Meyer and Wolf tests at the beginning and end of the 8 week of the study. Data was analyzed using Chi–Square independent and paired sample T-tests.Results: In the case group, function time and sensory motor score were increased significantly after the intervention (p=0.023 and p-0.002 respectively. There was no significant difference between the case and control groups before and after intervention. Significant difference was not seen either in case or in control group in the motor function scores during the study period.Conclusion: Performing bilateral activities could not lead to significant upper limb function improvement. Due to the small sample size and the long time passed after CVA occurring in our study, it seems that more investigations in this filed is necessary.

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

    Naruishi K

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Koji Naruishi,1,2 Akiko Kunita,3 Katsuyuki Kubo,1,2 Toshihiko Nagata,4 Shogo Takashiba,2,5 Seiji Adachi1 1Division of Local Care Center, Tottori Municipal Hospital, Tottori, Japan; 2Department of Periodontics and Endodontics, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan; 3Division of Rehabilitation, Tottori Municipal Hospital, Tottori, Japan; 4Department of Periodontology and Endodontology, Institute of Health Biosciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan; 5Department of Pathophysiology-Periodontal Science, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan Purpose: The number of elderly inpatients has been steadily increasing worldwide. However, the ability to predict the degree of improvement of functional capacity after comprehensive examination of elderly inpatients is still lacking. The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of improved functional outcome after rehabilitation of elderly inpatients.Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study with 1,079 patients (age <70 years: N=331, age ≥70 years: N=748 who had been admitted to Tottori Municipal Hospital. Functional Independence Measure (FIM scores were measured both at admission and discharge to calculate FIM gain and efficiency. Of these patients, 262 patients had oral examinations on admission. The Mann–Whitney U-test or chi-square test was used for statistical analyses. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compute the odds ratio (OR and 95% confidence interval (CI. Cut-off values of FIM scores to determine if elderly inpatients were able to return home after discharge were determined using a receiver operating characteristic curve.Results: FIM scores, including FIM gain and efficiency, of elderly patients were significantly lower than those of middle-aged patients. Inability to close the lips and dysfunctional tongue movement, but not the loss of teeth, were correlated

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

    Femke Streijger

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Improved Radio Frequency Identification Indoor Localization Method via Radial Basis Function Neural Network

    Dongliang Guo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Indoor localization technique has received much attention in recent years. Many techniques have been developed to solve the problem. Among the recent proposed methods, radio frequency identification (RFID indoor localization technology has the advantages of low-cost, noncontact, non-line-of-sight, and high precision. This paper proposed two radial basis function (RBF neural network based indoor localization methods. The RBF neural networks are trained to learn the mapping relationship between received signal strength indication values and position of objects. Traditional method used the received signal strength directly as the input of neural network; we added another input channel by taking the difference of the received signal strength, thus improving the reliability and precision of positioning. Fuzzy clustering is used to determine the center of radial basis function. In order to reduce the impact of signal fading due to non-line-of-sight and multipath transmission in indoor environment, we improved the Gaussian filter to process received signal strength values. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms the existing methods as well as improves the reliability and precision of the RFID indoor positioning system.

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

    Mogharrab, Navid; Ghourchian, Hedayatollah; Amininasab, Mehriar

    2007-02-15

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

  14. Sulfated hyaluronan improves bone regeneration of diabetic rats by binding sclerostin and enhancing osteoblast function.

    Picke, Ann-Kristin; Salbach-Hirsch, Juliane; Hintze, Vera; Rother, Sandra; Rauner, Martina; Kascholke, Christian; Möller, Stephanie; Bernhardt, Ricardo; Rammelt, Stefan; Pisabarro, M Teresa; Ruiz-Gómez, Gloria; Schnabelrauch, Matthias; Schulz-Siegmund, Michaela; Hacker, Michael C; Scharnweber, Dieter; Hofbauer, Christine; Hofbauer, Lorenz C

    2016-07-01

    Bone fractures in patients with diabetes mellitus heal poorly and require innovative therapies to support bone regeneration. Here, we assessed whether sulfated hyaluronan included in collagen-based scaffold coatings can improve fracture healing in diabetic rats. Macroporous thermopolymerized lactide-based scaffolds were coated with collagen including non-sulfated or sulfated hyaluronan (HA/sHA3) and inserted into 3 mm femoral defects of non-diabetic and diabetic ZDF rats. After 12 weeks, scaffolds coated with collagen/HA or collagen/sHA3 accelerated bone defect regeneration in diabetic, but not in non-diabetic rats as compared to their non-coated controls. At the tissue level, collagen/sHA3 promoted bone mineralization and decreased the amount of non-mineralized bone matrix. Moreover, collagen/sHA3-coated scaffolds from diabetic rats bound more sclerostin in vivo than the respective controls. Binding assays confirmed a high binding affinity of sHA3 to sclerostin. In vitro, sHA3 induced BMP-2 and lowered the RANKL/OPG expression ratio, regardless of the glucose concentration in osteoblastic cells. Both sHA3 and high glucose concentrations decreased the differentiation of osteoclastic cells. In summary, scaffolds coated with collagen/sHA3 represent a potentially suitable biomaterial to improve bone defect regeneration in diabetic conditions. The underlying mechanism involves improved osteoblast function and binding sclerostin, a potent inhibitor of Wnt signaling and osteoblast function. PMID:27131598

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

    Zaghloul, Mofreh R

    2015-01-01

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

  16. The Efficacy of Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation for Improving Function in People with Chronic Pain

    Kurklinsky, Svetlana; Perez, Rachel B.; Lacayo, Elke R.; Sletten, Christopher D.

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To examine the efficacy of interdisciplinary rehabilitation for improving function in people with chronic pain. Design. Retrospective Chart Review. Setting. The Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) at a medical center. Participants. Individuals admitted to the PRC. Interventions. The PRC operates a 3-week outpatient program that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to treat people with chronic pain. The main treatment elements include physical therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medication management. Physical therapy groups focus on moderate exercise despite symptoms. Occupational therapists teach moderation, time management, and activity modification. CBT groups, led by a pain psychologist, address the psychosocial comorbidities of chronic pain. Medical staff oversee the tapering of opiate analgesics and other symptom targeted treatments. This integrated approach is indicated when conventional treatments have been ineffective. Outcome Measures. The objective outcome was the 6-minute walk test (6 mWT) distance. The subjective outcomes were performance (COPM-PER) and satisfaction (COPM-SAT) as measured by the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Results. Average 6 mWT distances improved by 39% from 375 m to 523 m. Average COPM-PER scores increased from 3.4 to 7.5. Average COPM-SAT scores increased from 2.4 to 7.5. Conclusions. Comprehensive interdisciplinary outpatient rehabilitation can significantly improve function in people with chronic pain. PMID:27242925

  17. Characterization and dispersibility of improved thermally stable amide functionalized graphene oxide

    Rani, Sumita [Electronic Science Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119 (India); Kumar, Mukesh, E-mail: kumarmukesh@gmail.com [Electronic Science Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119 (India); Kumar, Rajiv [Department of Chemistry, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119 (India); Kumar, Dinesh; Sharma, Sumit [Electronic Science Department, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119 (India); Singh, Gulshan [Department of Chemistry, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana 136119 (India)

    2014-12-15

    Graphical abstract: Improved thermal stability and surface study of amide functionalized graphene oxide. - Highlights: • Amide functionalized graphene oxides (AGOs) were synthesized from aniline, 2-aminothiazole and 2-aminopyrimidine. • Achieved enhancement in thermal stability of AGOs as compare to GO. • AGOs are found to be highly dispersible in water, DMSO and DMF. • Dispersibility is stable for more than two and half months. - Abstract: Amidation of graphene oxide (GO) with aniline, 2-aminothiazole and 2-aminopyrimidine results in the synthesis of amide functionalized graphene oxides (AGOs). Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), UV–vis and Raman spectroscopy were used to investigate the properties of AGOs. It was found that, contrary to GO, AGOs are soluble in water, dimethyl sulfoxide, dimethylformamide and can be stabilized for months. TGA of AGOs shows the major weight loss above 670 °C as compared to GO in which significant weight loss occurs near 200 °C. Thus AGOs show strong improvement in thermal properties.

  18. Delayed glucose treatment improves cognitive function following fluid-percussion injury.

    Kokiko-Cochran, Olga N; Michaels, Maria P; Hamm, Robert J

    2008-05-01

    Experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in marked neurochemical and metabolic changes. Research has demonstrated that after the initial insult the brain undergoes an immediate state of hypermetabolism followed by a sustained period of hypometabolism. The altered extra- and intracellular environment can compromise neuronal performance and limit functional recovery. If brain metabolism is depressed chronically after TBI, then interventions that are designed to increase metabolism may be beneficial to outcome. Glucose treatment has been shown to improve cognition in many populations, particularly those with cognitive deficits. The following experiments examined the effects of delayed postinjury glucose supplementation on cognitive function following TBI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either sham or lateral fluid-percussion (LFP) injury. Cognitive functioning was assessed with the Morris water maze (MWM) on postinjury days 11-15. In the first experiment, saline or 100mg/kg glucose was administered 10 min before cognition assessment. Injured animals treated with glucose displayed significantly shorter latencies to reach the goal platform compared to injured saline-treated animals. Glucose had no effect on sham-injured rats. In the second experiment, injured rats were given daily injections of saline or 100mg/kg glucose for 10 days beginning 24h after injury. Rats were then tested in the MWM on days 11-15 without glucose or saline treatment. In this experiment, glucose treatment did not affect MWM performance. These data provide evidence that the chronic energy supplementation after TBI improves outcome when administered shortly before cognitive assessment. PMID:18355962

  19. The effect of psychotherapy in improving physical and psychiatric symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia.

    Mahbobeh Faramarzi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Functional Dyspepsia (FD is a common symptom of upper gastrointestinal discomfort. Few data are available on the role of psychotherapy in the treatment of dyspeptic syndromes. This study assesses whether brief core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT psychoanalytic psychotherapy improves gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia.A randomized, controlled trial was planned in two educational hospitals in city of Babol. Forty-nine patients with FD were randomly assigned to receive standard medication treatment with CCRT psychotherapy (24 participants or standard medication treatment alone (25 participants. The participants completed the Patient Assessment of Upper Gastrointestinal Symptom Severity Index (PAGI-SYM and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R questionnaires before the trial, after the treatment and at 1 and 12-month follow-ups. The mixed-effects (regression model was used to analyze the data.The results showed that CCRT psychotherapy improved all of the FD symptoms (heartburn/regurgitation, nausea/vomiting, fullness, bloating, upper abdominal pain, and lower abdominal pain and many of the psychiatric symptoms (depression, anxiety, somatization, interpersonal sensitivity and paranoid ideation after the treatment and at 1-month and 12-month follow-ups.Brief CCRT psychoanalytic psychotherapy can serve as an effective intervention for promoting gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia.

  20. Tinospora cordifolia ameliorates anxiety-like behavior and improves cognitive functions in acute sleep deprived rats.

    Mishra, Rachana; Manchanda, Shaffi; Gupta, Muskan; Kaur, Taranjeet; Saini, Vedangana; Sharma, Anuradha; Kaur, Gurcharan

    2016-01-01

    Sleep deprivation (SD) leads to the spectrum of mood disorders like anxiety, cognitive dysfunctions and motor coordination impairment in many individuals. However, there is no effective pharmacological remedy to negate the effects of SD. The current study examined whether 50% ethanolic extract of Tinospora cordifolia (TCE) can attenuate these negative effects of SD. Three groups of adult Wistar female rats - (1) vehicle treated-sleep undisturbed (VUD), (2) vehicle treated-sleep deprived (VSD) and (3) TCE treated-sleep deprived (TSD) animals were tested behaviorally for cognitive functions, anxiety and motor coordination. TSD animals showed improved behavioral response in EPM and NOR tests for anxiety and cognitive functions, respectively as compared to VSD animals. TCE pretreatment modulated the stress induced-expression of plasticity markers PSA-NCAM, NCAM and GAP-43 along with proteins involved in the maintenance of LTP i.e., CamKII-α and calcineurin (CaN) in hippocampus and PC regions of the brain. Interestingly, contrary to VSD animals, TSD animals showed downregulated expression of inflammatory markers such as CD11b/c, MHC-1 and cytokines along with inhibition of apoptotic markers. This data suggests that TCE alone or in combination with other memory enhancing agents may help in managing sleep deprivation associated stress and improving cognitive functions. PMID:27146164

  1. Dual-channel functional electrical stimulation improvements in speed-based gait classifications

    Springer S

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Shmuel Springer,1,2 Yocheved Laufer,1 Meni Becher,1,2 Jean-Jacques Vatine3,41Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, 2Clinical Department, Bioness Neuromodulation, Ra'anana, 3Outpatient and Research Division, Reuth Medical Center, Tel Aviv, 4Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, IsraelBackground: Functional electrical stimulation (FES is becoming an accepted treatment method for enhancing gait performance in patients who present with gait difficulties resulting from hemiparesis. The purpose of this study was to test whether individuals with hemiparesis who have varied gait speeds, which place them in different functional categories, benefit to the same extent from the application of FES.Methods: Thirty-six subjects with chronic hemiparesis demonstrating foot-drop and deficits in knee and/or hip control were fitted with a dual-channel FES system activating the dorsiflexors and hamstring muscles. Gait was assessed during a 2-minute walk test with and without stimulation. A second assessment was conducted after 6 weeks of daily use. Analysis was performed with the subjects stratified into three functional ambulation classes according to their initial gait categories.Results: The dual-channel FES improved the gait velocity of all three subgroups. No minimal gait velocity was required in order to gain benefits from FES. For example, subjects with limited household ambulation capabilities improved their gait speed by 63.3% (from 0.30 ± 0.09 m/sec to 0.49 ± 0.20 m/sec; P < 0.01, while subjects with functional community ambulation capabilities improved their gait speed by 25.5% (from 0.90 ± 0.11 m/sec to 1.13 ± 0.22 m/sec; P < 0.01.Conclusion: Dual-channel FES positively affects gait velocity in patients with chronic hemiparesis, regardless of their initial gait velocity. Furthermore, gait velocity gains may be large enough

  2. Biopolymer molecular weight control by radiation treatment for functional property improvement

    Radiation treatment was used to control molecular weight of chitosan in order to improve their functional properties including adherent capacity in shrimp feed and antimicrobial activity in fresh fruit coating. Solid-state radiation treatment of chitosan at dose 30-100 kGy significantly improved the water-stability of shrimp feed. Liquid-state radiation treatment, in comparison with solid-state irradiation at 100 kGy, required only dose of 4-6 kGy for similar MW and for the same improvement in adherent property. Gelatin also has been improved in adherent property by solid-state irradiation. Solid-state radiation treatment at 50-100 kGy enhanced antimicrobial activity of chitosan against bacteria, fungi, and yeast. The antimicrobial activity is regulated not only by MW but also by its distribution. Irradiated chitosan that has the largest width of MW distribution ( MW/Mn ) may possess the highest antimicrobial activity. The result from fractionation by using centrifugal filter devices showed that the 3-5 x 104 fraction has mainly contributed to the suppression of microbial growth. (Author)

  3. Naringin Improves Neuronal Insulin Signaling, Brain Mitochondrial Function, and Cognitive Function in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice.

    Wang, Dongmei; Yan, Junqiang; Chen, Jing; Wu, Wenlan; Zhu, Xiaoying; Wang, Yong

    2015-10-01

    The epidemic and experimental studies have confirmed that the obesity induced by high-fat diet not only caused neuronal insulin resistance, but also induced brain mitochondrial dysfunction as well as learning impairment in mice. Naringin has been reported to posses biological functions which are beneficial to human cognitions, but its protective effects on HFD-induced cognitive deficits and underlying mechanisms have not been well characterized. In the present study Male C57BL/6 J mice were fed either a control or high-fat diet for 20 weeks and then randomized into four groups treated with their respective diets including control diet, control diet + naringin, high-fat diet (HFD), and high-fat diet + naringin (HFDN). The behavioral performance was assessed by using novel object recognition test and Morris water maze test. Hippocampal mitochondrial parameters were analyzed. Then the protein levels of insulin signaling pathway and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the hippocampus were detected by Western blot method. Our results showed that oral administration of naringin significantly improved the learning and memory abilities as evidenced by increasing recognition index by 52.5% in the novel object recognition test and inducing a 1.05-fold increase in the crossing-target number in the probe test, and ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction in mice caused by HFD consumption. Moreover, naringin significantly enhanced insulin signaling pathway as indicated by a 34.5% increase in the expression levels of IRS-1, a 47.8% decrease in the p-IRS-1, a 1.43-fold increase in the p-Akt, and a 1.89-fold increase in the p-GSK-3β in the hippocampus of the HFDN mice versus HFD mice. Furthermore, the AMPK activity significantly increased in the naringin-treated (100 mg kg(-1) d(-1)) group. These findings suggest that an enhancement in insulin signaling and a decrease in mitochondrial dysfunction through the activation of AMPK may be one of the mechanisms that naringin

  4. Brachial plexus surgery: the role of the surgical technique for improvement of the functional outcome

    Leandro Pretto Flores

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The study aims to demonstrate the techniques employed in surgery of the brachial plexus that are associated to evidence-based improvement of the functional outcome of these patients. METHOD: A retrospective study of one hundred cases of traumatic brachial plexus injuries. Comparison between the postoperative outcomes associated to some different surgical techniques was demonstrated. RESULTS: The technique of proximal nerve roots grafting was associated to good results in about 70% of the cases. Significantly better outcomes were associated to the Oberlin's procedure and the Sansak's procedure, while the improvement of outcomes associated to phrenic to musculocutaneous nerve and the accessory to suprascapular nerve transfer did not reach statistical significance. Reinnervation of the hand was observed in less than 30% of the cases. CONCLUSION: Brachial plexus surgery renders satisfactory results for reinnervation of the proximal musculature of the upper limb, however the same good outcomes are not usually associated to the reinnervation of the hand.

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

    Highlights: ► The designer peptide LRKKLGKA could self-assemble into nanofibers. ► Injection of LRKKLGKA peptides could promote the sustained delivery of VEGF. ► Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides lead to sufficient angiogenesis. ► Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides improves heart function. -- Abstract: Poor vascularization and insufficient oxygen supply are detrimental to the survival of residual cardiomyocytes or transplanted stem cells after myocardial infarction. To prolong and slow the release of angiogenic factors, which stimulate both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, we constructed a novel self-assembling peptide by attaching the heparin-binding domain sequence LRKKLGKA to the self-assembling peptide RADA16. This designer self-assembling peptide self-assembled into nanofiber scaffolds under physiological conditions, as observed by atomic force microscopy. The injection of designer self-assembling peptides can efficiently provide the sustained delivery of VEGF for at least 1 month. At 4 weeks after transplantation, cardiac function was improved, and scar size and collagen deposition were markedly reduced in the group receiving VEGF with the LRKKLGKA scaffolds compared with groups receiving VEGF alone, LRKKLGKA scaffolds alone or VEGF with RADA16 scaffolds. The microvessel density in the VEGF with LRKKLGKA group was higher than that in the VEGF with RADA16 group. TUNEL and cleaved caspase-3 expression assays showed that the transplantation of VEGF with LRKKLGKA enhanced cell survival in the infarcted heart. These results present the tailor-made peptide scaffolds as a new generation of sustained-release biomimetic biomaterials and suggest that the use of angiogenic factors along with designer self-assembling peptides can lead to myocardial protection, sufficient angiogenesis, and improvement in cardiac function.

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

    Guo, Hai-dong [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Cui, Guo-hong; Yang, Jia-jun [Department of Neurology, Shanghai No. 6 People' s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200233 (China); Wang, Cun [Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032 (China); Zhu, Jing; Zhang, Li-sheng; Jiang, Jun [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China); Shao, Shui-jin, E-mail: shaoshuijin@163.com [Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203 (China)

    2012-07-20

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The designer peptide LRKKLGKA could self-assemble into nanofibers. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of LRKKLGKA peptides could promote the sustained delivery of VEGF. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides lead to sufficient angiogenesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Injection of VEGF with LRKKLGKA peptides improves heart function. -- Abstract: Poor vascularization and insufficient oxygen supply are detrimental to the survival of residual cardiomyocytes or transplanted stem cells after myocardial infarction. To prolong and slow the release of angiogenic factors, which stimulate both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, we constructed a novel self-assembling peptide by attaching the heparin-binding domain sequence LRKKLGKA to the self-assembling peptide RADA16. This designer self-assembling peptide self-assembled into nanofiber scaffolds under physiological conditions, as observed by atomic force microscopy. The injection of designer self-assembling peptides can efficiently provide the sustained delivery of VEGF for at least 1 month. At 4 weeks after transplantation, cardiac function was improved, and scar size and collagen deposition were markedly reduced in the group receiving VEGF with the LRKKLGKA scaffolds compared with groups receiving VEGF alone, LRKKLGKA scaffolds alone or VEGF with RADA16 scaffolds. The microvessel density in the VEGF with LRKKLGKA group was higher than that in the VEGF with RADA16 group. TUNEL and cleaved caspase-3 expression assays showed that the transplantation of VEGF with LRKKLGKA enhanced cell survival in the infarcted heart. These results present the tailor-made peptide scaffolds as a new generation of sustained-release biomimetic biomaterials and suggest that the use of angiogenic factors along with designer self-assembling peptides can lead to myocardial protection, sufficient angiogenesis, and improvement in cardiac function.

  7. Whole-body vibration improves functional recovery in spinal cord injured rats.

    Wirth, Felicitas; Schempf, Greta; Stein, Gregor; Wellmann, Katharina; Manthou, Marilena; Scholl, Carolin; Sidorenko, Malina; Semler, Oliver; Eisel, Leonie; Harrach, Rachida; Angelova, Srebrina; Jaminet, Patrick; Ankerne, Janina; Ashrafi, Mahak; Ozsoy, Ozlem; Ozsoy, Umut; Schubert, Harald; Abdulla, Diana; Dunlop, Sarah A; Angelov, Doychin N; Irintchev, Andrey; Schönau, Eckhard

    2013-03-15

    Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a relatively novel form of exercise used to improve neuromuscular performance in healthy individuals. Its usefulness as a therapy for patients with neurological disorders, in particular spinal cord injury (SCI), has received little attention in clinical settings and, surprisingly, even less in animal SCI models. We performed severe compression SCI at a low-thoracic level in Wistar rats followed by daily WBV starting 7 (10 rats) or 14 (10 rats) days after injury (WBV7 and WBV14, respectively) and continued over a 12-week post-injury period. Rats with SCI but no WBV training (sham, 10 rats) and intact animals (10 rats) served as controls. Compared to sham-treated rats, WBV did not improve BBB score, plantar stepping, or ladder stepping during the 12-week period. Accordingly, WBV did not significantly alter plantar H-reflex, lesion volume, serotonergic input to the lumbar spinal cord, nor cholinergic or glutamatergic inputs to lumbar motoneurons at 12 weeks after SCI. However, compared to sham, WBV14, but not WBV7, significantly improved body weight support (rump-height index) during overground locomotion and overall recovery between 6-12 weeks and also restored the density of synaptic terminals in the lumbar spinal cord at 12 weeks. Most remarkably, WBV14 led to a significant improvement of bladder function at 6-12 weeks after injury. These findings provide the first evidence for functional benefits of WBV in an animal SCI model and warrant further preclinical investigations to determine mechanisms underpinning this noninvasive, inexpensive, and easily delivered potential rehabilitation therapy for SCI. PMID:23157611

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

    Hietanen, A.; Karavirta, T.; Vilaseca, P.

    2014-01-01

    The standard method to calculate non-perturbatively the evolution of the running coupling of a SU(N ) gauge theory is based on the Schrodinger functional (SF). In this paper we construct a family of boundary fields for general values of N which enter the standard definition of the SF coupling. We...... provide spatial boundary conditions for fermions in several representations which reduce the condition number of the squared Dirac operator. In addition, we calculate the improvement coefficients for N > 3 needed to remove boundary cutoff effects from the gauge action. After this, residual cutoff effects...

  9. Silicon Application Increases Drought Tolerance of Kentucky Bluegrass by Improving Plant Water Relations and Morphophysiological Functions

    Shah Saud; Xin Li; Yang Chen; Lu Zhang; Shah Fahad; Saddam Hussain; Arooj Sadiq; Yajun Chen

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800 mg L−1) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, tra...

  10. Improving quality of sample entropy estimation for continuous distribution probability functions

    Miśkiewicz, Janusz

    2016-05-01

    Entropy is a one of the key parameters characterizing state of system in statistical physics. Although, the entropy is defined for systems described by discrete and continuous probability distribution function (PDF), in numerous applications the sample entropy is estimated by a histogram, which, in fact, denotes that the continuous PDF is represented by a set of probabilities. Such a procedure may lead to ambiguities and even misinterpretation of the results. Within this paper, two possible general algorithms based on continuous PDF estimation are discussed in the application to the Shannon and Tsallis entropies. It is shown that the proposed algorithms may improve entropy estimation, particularly in the case of small data sets.

  11. An Improved Scheme for Digital Watermarking Using Functional Link Artificial Neural Network

    Banshidhar Majhi

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study proposes a novel technique for copyright protection by utilizing digital watermarking of Images. The watermark is embedded and detected by using Functional Link Artificial Neural Network (FLANN and Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT. The exhaustive simulation results of the proposed scheme show improved performance over the existing methods in all cases, i.e. when the watermarked image is subjected to compression, cropping, sharpening, blurring and noise. Comparative analysis with an existing neural approach shows the superiority of the proposed scheme of computational complexity and performance.

  12. The hadronic vacuum polarization function with O(a)-improved Wilson fermions - an update

    Della Morte, Michele; Horch, Hanno; Jäger, Benjamin; Meyer, Harvey; Wittig, Hartmut

    2016-01-01

    We present an update of our lattice QCD study of the vacuum polarization function using O$(a)$-improved $N_ {\\rm f} =2$ Wilson fermions with increased statistics and a large set of momenta. The resulting points are highly correlated and thus require a correlated fitting procedure. We employ an extended frequentist method to estimate the systematic uncertainties due to the momentum dependence and to the continuum and chiral extrapolations. We present preliminary results of the leading order hadronic contribution of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon $\\left(a_\\mu^{\\mathrm{HLO}}\\right)$ at the physical point for $u,d,s$ and $c$ valence quarks.

  13. Nonlinear vibration of functionally graded circular cylindrical shells based on improved Donnell equations

    Bich, Dao Huy; Xuan Nguyen, Nguyen

    2012-12-01

    In the present work, the study of the nonlinear vibration of a functionally graded cylindrical shell subjected to axial and transverse mechanical loads is presented. Material properties are graded in the thickness direction of the shell according to a simple power law distribution in terms of volume fractions of the material constituents. Governing equations are derived using improved Donnell shell theory ignoring the shallowness of cylindrical shells and kinematic nonlinearity is taken into consideration. One-term approximate solution is assumed to satisfy simply supported boundary conditions. The Galerkin method, the Volmir's assumption and fourth-order Runge-Kutta method are used for dynamical analysis of shells to give explicit expressions of natural frequencies, nonlinear frequency-amplitude relation and nonlinear dynamic responses. Numerical results show the effects of characteristics of functionally graded materials, pre-loaded axial compression and dimensional ratios on the dynamical behavior of shells. The proposed results are validated by comparing with those in the literature.

  14. A COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOURAL GROUP TREATMENT IMPROVED WORK ABILITY IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE FUNCTIONAL SOMATIC SYNDROMES

    Schröder, Andreas; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens Søndergaard;

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Functional somatic syndromes (FSS) such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome often disrupt employment and may lead to long-term dependence on social benefits and permanently reduced work ability. Cognitive-behavioural treatments (CBT) relief symptoms and improve...... functioning in FSS, but their effect on work ability is unclear. The aim of this study was to estimate the long-term effect of group CBT on work ability in patients with severe FSS. Methods: 120 Patients from a recently published randomised controlled trial comparing group CBT with enhanced usual care (EUC...... before to 3 years after treatment by means of random effects modelling allowing individual levels and slopes. Results: Compared with the general population, FSS patients showed a continuous decline in self-support, leading to markedly reduced work ability at trial entry. In the following years, EUC...

  15. Schr\\"odinger functional boundary conditions and improvement for N>3

    Hietanen, Ari; Vilaseca, Pol

    2014-01-01

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

  16. An improvement of quantum parametric methods by using SGSA parameterization technique and new elementary parametric functionals

    Sánchez, M.; Oldenhof, M.; Freitez, J. A.; Mundim, K. C.; Ruette, F.

    A systematic improvement of parametric quantum methods (PQM) is performed by considering: (a) a new application of parameterization procedure to PQMs and (b) novel parametric functionals based on properties of elementary parametric functionals (EPF) [Ruette et al., Int J Quantum Chem 2008, 108, 1831]. Parameterization was carried out by using the simplified generalized simulated annealing (SGSA) method in the CATIVIC program. This code has been parallelized and comparison with MOPAC/2007 (PM6) and MINDO/SR was performed for a set of molecules with C=C, C=H, and H=H bonds. Results showed better accuracy than MINDO/SR and MOPAC-2007 for a selected trial set of molecules.

  17. Twenty weeks of home-based interactive training of children with cerebral palsy improves functional abilities

    Lorentzen, Jakob; Greve, Line Z; Kliim-Due, Mette;

    2015-01-01

    with 20 weeks interval without any intervening training. Daily activities, functional abilities of upper- and lower limbs, and balance were evaluated before, immediately after training and 12 weeks after training. The training consisted of 30 min daily home-based training for 20 weeks delivered through......BACKGROUND: Home-based training is becoming ever more important with increasing demands on the public health systems. We investigated whether individualized and supervised interactive home-based training delivered through the internet improves functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy...... (CP). METHODS: Thirty four children with CP (aged 9-16; mean age 10.9 ± 2.4 years) (GMFCS I-II; MACS I-II) were included in this non-randomized controlled clinical training study. 12 children (aged 7-16; mean age: 11.3+/-0.9 years) were allocated to a control group in which measurements were performed...

  18. Enhanced autophagy as a potential mechanism for the improved physiological function by simvastatin in muscular dystrophy.

    Whitehead, Nicholas P

    2016-04-01

    Autophagy has recently emerged as an important cellular process for the maintenance of skeletal muscle health and function. Excessive autophagy can trigger muscle catabolism, leading to atrophy. In contrast, reduced autophagic flux is a characteristic of several muscle diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common and severe inherited muscle disorder. Recent evidence demonstrates that enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by CYBB/NOX2 impairs autophagy in muscles from the dmd/mdx mouse, a genetic model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Statins decrease CYBB/NOX2 expression and activity and stimulate autophagy in skeletal muscle. Therefore, we treated dmd/mdx mice with simvastatin and showed decreased CYBB/NOX2-mediated oxidative stress and enhanced autophagy induction. This was accompanied by reduced muscle damage, inflammation and fibrosis, and increased muscle force production. Our data suggest that increased autophagy may be a potential mechanism by which simvastatin improves skeletal muscle health and function in muscular dystrophy. PMID:26890413

  19. Improvements in the sensibility of MSA-GA tool using COFFEE objective function

    The sequence alignment is one of the most important tasks in Bioinformatics, playing an important role in the sequences analysis. There are many strategies to perform sequence alignment, since those use deterministic algorithms, as dynamic programming, until those ones, which use heuristic algorithms, as Progressive, Ant Colony (ACO), Genetic Algorithms (GA), Simulated Annealing (SA), among others. In this work, we have implemented the objective function COFFEE in the MSA-GA tool, in substitution of Weighted Sum-of-Pairs (WSP), to improve the final results. In the tests, we were able to verify the approach using COFFEE function achieved better results in 81% of the lower similarity alignments when compared with WSP approach. Moreover, even in the tests with more similar sets, the approach using COFFEE was better in 43% of the times

  20. Shutdown-functionalized nonwoven separator with improved thermal and electrochemical properties for lithium-ion batteries

    Kim, Youngkwon; Lee, Won-Yeol; Kim, Ki Jae; Yu, Ji-Sang; Kim, Young-Jun

    2016-02-01

    A shutdown-functionalized nonwoven separator (SFNS) with improved thermal and electrochemical stabilities is prepared by a simple dip coating method for use in lithium-ion battery (LiB) applications. The SFNS shows thermal stability at 200 °C, while providing shutdown functionality at approximately 140 °C, similar to commercial porous polyethylene separators. The surface-coated polymer prevents leakage current problems and in addition, shows air permeability values similar to that of bare nonwoven separators, while maintaining a thickness of about 20 μm, which is a desired attribute of effective separators for LiBs. The SFNS also shows increased electrolyte uptake and higher conductivity, compared to a bare polyethylene separator. Therefore, a cell with the SFNS exhibits higher discharge capacity and better cycle property than that with a porous polyethylene separator. These results suggest that SFNS is an effective separator for high-performance LiBs.

  1. Basic fibroblast growth factor improves learning and memory functions in chronic stress mice

    Xian Qu; Chunying Li; Hongchang Liu; Chang Su

    2011-01-01

    Four weeks of uncertain stress was used to establish an animal model of chronic stress.Basic fibroblast growth factor was injected daily for 15 days following stress induction.Cell morphology in the hippocampal CA3 region of chronic stress mice revealed cell damage.Nitric oxide content and calcium concentration were significantly increased in the hippocampus,and learning and memory functions were significantly decreased.After basic fibroblast growth factor intervention,Ca2+ overload was decreased and neuronal damage was relieved in hippocampal neurons,which improved learning and memory functions in chronic stress mice.Latency was prolonged and the number of errors was decreased in a passive avoidance test.

  2. Cervical spinal cord injury:tailoring clinical trial endpoints to relfect meaningful functional improvements

    Lisa M Bond; Lisa McKerracher

    2014-01-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) results in partial to full paralysis of the upper and lower extrem-ities. Traditional primary endpoints for acute SCI clinical trials are too broad to assess functional recovery in cervical subjects, raising the possibility of false positive outcomes in trials for cervical SCI. Endpoints focused on the recovery of hand and arm control (e.g., upper extremity motor score, motor level change) show the most potential for use as primary outcomes in upcoming trials of cervical SCI. As the field moves forward, the most reliable way to ensure meaningful clinical testing in cervical subjects may be the development of a composite primary endpoint that measures both neurological recovery and functional improvement.

  3. Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity and Cardiac Function Improvement After Stem Cell Therapy Diagnosed by Strain Echocardiography.

    Oliveira, Maira S; Melo, Marcos B; Carvalho, Juliana L; Melo, Isabela M; Lavor, Mario Sl; Gomes, Dawidson A; de Goes, Alfredo M; Melo, Marilia M

    2013-01-01

    Doxorubicin (Dox) is one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents; however, it causes dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. Evaluation of left ventricular function relies on measurements based on M-mode echocardiography. A new technique based on quantification of myocardial motion and deformation, strain echocardiography, has been showed promising profile for early detection of cardiac dysfunction. Different therapy strategies, such as flavonoid plant extracts and stem cells, have been investigated to improve heart function in toxic cardiomyopathy. This work aimed to assess early cardiac function improvement after treatments with either flavonoid extract from Camellia sinensis or mesenchymal stem cells in Dox cardiotoxicity using strain echocardiography. Twenty Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups. They received water (control, Dox, Dox + stem cells) or 100 mg/kg C. sinensis extract (Dox + C. sinensis) via gavage, daily, for four weeks. Animals also received saline (control) or 5 mg/kg doxorubicin (Dox, Dox + C. sinensis, Dox + stem cells) via intraperitoneal injection, weekly, for four weeks. Stem cells were injected (3 × 10(6) cells) through tail vein prior the beginning of the experiment (Dox + stem cells). Animals were evaluated by hematological, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and histopathological examinations. Dox cardiotoxicity was only diagnosed with strain echocardiography, detecting a decrease in ventricular function. C. sinensis extract did not prevent ventricular dysfunction induced by Dox. However, strain echocardiography examination revealed that Dox cardiotoxicity was significantly suppressed in rats treated with stem cells. In conclusion, strain echocardiography was able to detect precocity signs of heart failure and stem cell therapy showed cardioprotection effect against Dox cardiotoxicity. PMID:23459697

  4. Irisin improves endothelial function in obese mice through the AMPK-eNOS pathway.

    Han, Fang; Zhang, Shuxian; Hou, Ningning; Wang, Di; Sun, Xiaodong

    2015-11-01

    Irisin is a novel hormone secreted by myocytes. Lower levels of irisin are independently associated with endothelial dysfunction in obese subjects. The objective of this study was to explore whether irisin exerts a direct vascular protective effect on endothelial function in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were given chow or a high-fat diet with or without treatment with irisin. Aortic endothelial function was determined by measuring endothelium-dependent vasodilatation (EDV). Nitric oxide (NO) in the aorta was determined. The effect of irisin on the levels of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), Akt, and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation in endothelial cells was determined. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were used to study the role of irisin in the AMPK-eNOS pathway. Acetylcholine-stimulated EDV was significantly lower in obese mice compared with control mice. Treatment of obese mice with irisin significantly enhanced EDV and improved endothelial function. This beneficial effect of irisin was partly attenuated in the presence of inhibitors of AMPK, Akt, and eNOS. Treatment of obese mice with irisin enhanced NO production and phosphorylation of AMPK, Akt, and eNOS in endothelial cells. These factors were also enhanced by irisin in human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. Suppression of AMPK expression by small interfering RNA blocked irisin-induced eNOS and Akt phosphorylation and NO production. We have provided the first evidence that irisin improves endothelial function in aortas of high-fat-diet-induced obese mice. The mechanism for this protective effect is related to the activation of the AMPK-eNOS signaling pathway. PMID:26371167

  5. The improvement on the performance of quantum dot-sensitized solar cells with functionalized Si

    Quantum dots (QDs) have been attractive recently with their multiple exciton generation characteristics. QD solar cells can more effectively use the incident energy because one or more electrons are generated with the photon of high energy. They have less heat loss and higher theoretical efficiency (44%) than single exciton generation solar cells (33%). This work focused on Si as alternative to conventional QD materials. Si has QD's unique characteristics such as the quantum size effect and quantum confinement with non-toxicity and abundance. Si QDs were fabricated by the multi-hollow discharge plasma chemical vapor deposition and applied to QD-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Contrary to the good characteristics of Si QDs, Si QDSCs had poor performance as compared with conventional QDSCs because of the weak combination between Si QDs and TiO2. Small amounts of adsorbed Si QD on TiO2 made low photocurrent and TiO2 surface widely exposed to redox electrolyte caused charge recombination, the decrease of open-circuit voltage, and low fill factor. For improving their combination, Si QDs were functionalized. The electron transfer from Si to TiO2 and the bonding with TiO2 were improved and more Si QDs were adsorbed by the functionalization. In the functionalization process, the linking source is one of the key parameters. Therefore, 4-vinylbenzoic acid was controlled and its effect was analyzed. The change in the photovoltaic parameters according to the concentration of 4-vinylbenzoic acid and the performance dependence were investigated. In order to verify their characteristics, the effects in terms of the photovoltaic performance, electrochemical impedance, and optical properties were examined. - Highlights: • Si quantum dots were fabricated by multi-hollow discharge plasma chemical vapor deposition. • Si quantum dots were applied to the sensitized solar cells. • Photovoltaic performance was enhanced by the functionalization of Si quantum dots

  6. Progesterone improves long-term functional and histological outcomes after permanent stroke in older rats.

    Wali, Bushra; Ishrat, Tauheed; Stein, Donald G; Sayeed, Iqbal

    2016-05-15

    Previous studies have shown progesterone to be beneficial in animal models of central nervous system injury, but less is known about its longer-term sustained effects on recovery of function following stroke. We evaluated progesterone's effects on a panel of behavioral tests up to 8 weeks after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). Male Sprague-Dawley rats 12m.o. were subjected to pMCAO and, beginning 3h post-pMCAO, given intraperitoneal injections of progesterone (8mg/kg) or vehicle, followed by subcutaneous injections at 8h and then every 24h for 7 days, with tapering of the last 2 treatments. The rats were then tested on functional recovery at 3, 6 and 8 weeks post-stroke. We observed that progesterone-treated animals showed attenuation of infarct volume and improved functional outcomes at 8 weeks after stroke on grip strength, sensory neglect, motor coordination and spatial navigation tests. Progesterone treatments significantly improved motor deficits in the affected limb on a number of gait parameters. Glial fibrillary acidic protein expression was increased in the vehicle group and considerably lowered in the progesterone group at 8 weeks post-stroke. With repeated post-stroke testing, sensory neglect and some aspects of spatial learning performance showed spontaneous recovery, but on gait and grip-strength measres progesterone given only in the acute stage of stroke (first 7 days) showed sustained beneficial effects on all other measures of functional recovery up to 8 weeks post-stroke. PMID:26921692

  7. A2B Adenosine Receptor Agonist Improves Erectile Function in Diabetic Rats.

    Wen, Jiaming; Wang, Bohan; Du, Chuanjun; Xu, Gang; Zhang, Zhewei; Li, Yi; Zhang, Nan

    2015-01-01

    Diabetes is an important risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). Recent studies have indicated that A2B adenosine receptor (ADORA2B) signaling is essential for penile erection. Thus, we hypothesize that diabetic ED may be attributed to impaired A2B adenosine signaling. To test this hypothesis, we generated diabetic rats by injecting streptozocin as animal model. After 12 weeks, immunohistochemistry staining was used to localize the expression of ADORA2B. Western Blot and quantitative PCR were employed to determine ADORA2B expression level. Intracavernosal pressure (ICP) measurement was used to evaluate erectile function. Diabetic rats received a single intravenous injection of BAY 60-6583, an ADORA2B agonist, or vehicle solution, at 60 min before the ICP measurement. The results showed that ADORA2B expressed in the nerve bundle, smooth muscle, and endothelium in penile tissue of control mice. Western Blot and quantitative PCR results indicated that the expression levels of ADORA2B protein and mRNA were significantly reduced in penile tissues of diabetic rats. Functional studies showed that the erectile response induced by electrical stimulation was remarkably decreased in diabetic rats, compared with age-matched control rats. However, at 60 min after BAY 60-6583 treatment, the erectile function was improved in diabetic rats, suggesting that enhancement of ADORA2B signaling may improve erectile function in diabetic ED. This preclinical study has revealed a previously unrecognized therapeutic possibility of BAY 60-6583 as an effective and mechanism-based drug to treat diabetic ED. In conclusion, we propose that impaired A2B adenosine signaling is one of the pathological mechanisms of diabetic ED. PMID:26447087

  8. An improved calculation of the non-Gaussian halo mass function

    The abundance of collapsed objects in the universe, or halo mass function, is an important theoretical tool in studying the effects of primordially generated non-Gaussianities on the large scale structure. The non-Gaussian mass function has been calculated by several authors in different ways, typically by exploiting the smallness of certain parameters which naturally appear in the calculation, to set up a perturbative expansion. We improve upon the existing results for the mass function by combining path integral methods and saddle point techniques (which have been separately applied in previous approaches). Additionally, we carefully account for the various scale dependent combinations of small parameters which appear. Some of these combinations in fact become of order unity for large mass scales and at high redshifts, and must therefore be treated non-perturbatively. Our approach allows us to do this, and also to account for multi-scale density correlations which appear in the calculation. We thus derive an accurate expression for the mass function which is based on approximations that are valid over a larger range of mass scales and redshifts than those of other authors. By tracking the terms ignored in the analysis, we estimate theoretical errors for our result and also for the results of others. We also discuss the complications introduced by the choice of smoothing filter function, which we take to be a top-hat in real space, and which leads to the dominant errors in our expression. Finally, we present a detailed comparison between the various expressions for the mass functions, exploring the accuracy and range of validity of each

  9. Improvement of renal function after relief of chronic partial upper urinary tract obstruction

    HA Davari

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Kidney's functional and anatomical changes reversibility of after treatment of partial ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO is not defined well. Therefore, in this clinical trial study, we've evaluated these changes. Methods: In a clinical trial study with non randomized-simple sampling, 32 patients with chronic partial obstruction of urinary tract due to unilateral UPJO were studied. In each patient, IVU, DMSA, DTPA, and bilateral kidney sonography were down pre and post operatively. Paired t-test, Wilcoxon, and McNemar tests analyzed data. P-value less than 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Mean age of the patients was 5.44 ± 0.47 years old and 40.6 % of the patients were male. Split function mean in DMSA had significant difference, comparing pre and post operatively (P<0.05. There also was a significant difference in mean of retention time and T1/2 of DTPA (P<0.05, comparing pre and post operatively (P<0.05. Mean of kidney pelvis diameter had significant difference, comparing pre and post operatively (P<0.05. Conclusion: Our study showed that operation of chronic partial obstruction of kidney, could improve kidney function. We also showed that sonographic evaluation of kidneys could help to evaluate kidney function in these patients. Keywords: obstructive uropathy, kidney reversibility, ureter obstruction

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

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25777264

  11. 表面改性提高与Ti6A14V对磨材料UHMWPE摩擦学性能%Improvement in the Tribological Properties of UHMWPE Sliding against Ti6Al4V by Surface Modification

    施雯; 董汉山

    2005-01-01

    Surface engineering has been emerging as one of the most promising technologies to improve the tribological properties of biomaterials with a view to extending the life span of medical implants. For example, some novel surface engineering techniques including ion implantation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and thermal oxidation (TO) treatment of titanium alloy have been developed. However, the full potential of improving the wear resistance of orthopaedic implants based on the UHMWPE/ Ti6Al4V system will not be realized until the tribological performance of this surface engineered tribo-system is fully characterized and the acting wear mechanisms are well understood. In this paper, a pin-on-disc tribometer was employed to evaluate the tribological response of the following three tribo-systems: (1) untreated UHMWPE/untreated Ti6Al4V, (2) untreated UHMWPE/TO-treated Ti6Al4V and (3) ion implanted UHMWPE/TO treated Ti6Al4V under water lubricated conditions. Experimental results show that the tribological properties of UHMWPE can be significantly increased by surface engineering its surface and/or the counterface. This can be attributed to the hardened surface of UHMWPE via molecular structure modification induced by ion bean bombardment coupled with the surface oxide layer on Ti6Al4V formed during TO treatment, which has favorable tribological compatibility with UHMWPE.

  12. Levo-Carnitine Reduces Oxidative Stress and Improves Contractile Functions of Fast Muscles in Type 2 Diabetic Rats

    Bin Aleem, Shoaib; Mazhar Hussain, Muhammad; Farooq, Yasir

    2013-01-01

    Background: Metabolic derangements in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are likely to affect skeletal muscle contractile functions adversely. Levo-carnitine improves muscle contractile functions in healthy humans and rats and corrects metabolic derangements in T2DM. Therefore, it is likely to improve muscle contractile functions in T2DM as well. This study was designed to determine the effect of levo-carnitine on serum levo-carnitine levels, oxidative stress and contractile parameters of fast m...

  13. Use of quadrupedal step training to re-engage spinal interneuronal networks and improve locomotor function after spinal cord injury

    Shah, Prithvi K.; Garcia-Alias, Guillermo; Choe, Jaehoon; Gad, Parag; Gerasimenko, Yury; Tillakaratne, Niranjala; Zhong, Hui; Roy, Roland R.; Edgerton, V. Reggie

    2013-01-01

    Can lower limb motor function be improved after a spinal cord lesion by re-engaging functional activity of the upper limbs? We addressed this issue by training the forelimbs in conjunction with the hindlimbs after a thoracic spinal cord hemisection in adult rats. The spinal circuitries were more excitable, and behavioural and electrophysiological analyses showed improved hindlimb function when the forelimbs were engaged simultaneously with the hindlimbs during treadmill step-training as oppos...

  14. Surface functional modification of self-assembled insulin nanospheres for improving intestinal absorption.

    Shi, Kai; Fang, Yan; Kan, Qiming; Zhao, Jian; Gan, Yanqiu; Liu, Zheng

    2015-03-01

    In this work we fabricated therapeutic protein drugs such as insulin as free-carrier delivery system to improve their oral absorption efficiency. The formulation involved self-assembly of insulin into nanospheres (INS) by a novel thermal induced phase separation method. In consideration of harsh environment in gastrointestinal tract, surface functional modification of INS with ɛ-poly-L-lysine (EPL) was employed to form a core-shell structure (INS@EPL) and protect them from too fast dissociation before their arriving at target uptake sites. Both INS and INS@EPL were characterized as uniformly spherical particles with mean diameter size of 150-300 nm. The process of transient thermal treatment did not change their biological potency retention significantly. In vitro dissolution studies showed that shell cross-linked of INS with EPL improved the release profiles of insulin from the self-assembled nanospheres at intestinal pH. Confocal microscopy visualization and transport experiments proved the enhanced paracellular permeability of INS@EPL in Caco-2 cells. Compared to that of INS, enteral administration of INS@EPL at 20 IU/kg resulted in more significant hypoglycemic effects in diabetic rats up to 12 h. Accordingly, the results indicated that surface functional modification of self-assembled insulin nanospheres with shell cross-linked polycationic peptide could be a promising candidate for oral therapeutic protein delivery. PMID:25433129

  15. Functional improvements after orthodontic-surgical reconstruction in a patient with multiple maxillofacial fractures.

    Ishihara, Yoshihito; Kuroda, Shingo; Nishiyama, Akiyoshi; Sasaki, Akira; Takano-Yamamoto, Teruko; Yamashiro, Takashi

    2012-10-01

    Patients with multiple craniofacial fractures often suffer from stomatognathic problems after their primary treatment, because administering emergency care is the clinician's highest priority. Therefore, optimal bone repositioning is sometimes difficult because bone fixation is delayed. Moreover, neither an adequate radiographic examination nor an evaluation of primary occlusion is available during the repair of fractured bones. The lack of these assessments can also lead to occlusal dysfunction after bone fixation. As a result, patients with craniofacial fractures often require occlusal reconstruction. This report describes the successful occlusal reconstruction with orthodontic-surgical treatment of a patient with multiple maxillofacial bone fractures. Combined surgery, including an intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy and a mandibular body osteotomy, was performed to reposition the deviated mandible after 3 months of preoperative orthodontic treatment. The total active treatment period was 25 months. After treatment, both the facial asymmetry and the anterior open bite caused by the skeletal disharmony were significantly improved. Additionally, the range of condylar motion, maximum occlusal force, and occlusal contact area during maximum clenching were also increased. These stomatognathic functions were further enhanced by 2 years of retention. Orthodontic-surgical reconstruction appears to improve both facial esthetics and occlusal function in patients with facial asymmetry caused by severe traumatic maxillofacial fractures. PMID:22999677

  16. Short communication. An improved intersubspecific genetic map in Lens including functional markers

    R. de la Puente

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A previous Lens genetic map was improved by adding 31 molecular genetic markers, reaching a total of 190 markers with undistorted segregation. Data were obtained from the segregational analysis of 113 F2 plants generated from a single hybrid of Lens culinaris ssp. culinaris × L. c. ssp. orientalis. The added markers are predominantly codominant (15 SSRs, five CAPSs, four presence-absence polymorphisms, three length polymorphisms, two RAPDs, and two SRAPs. At a LOD score of 3.0, the 190 markers were grouped into eight linkage groups (LG covering 2,234.4 cM, with an average distance between markers of 12.28 cM. This linkage map has reduced the numbers of linkage groups from ten in the previous map to eight. Most of the added markers must be functional markers since primers were mostly designed to amplify transcribed sequences. Some of the amplicons were sequenced to test if they were functional markers. One of the sequences showed homology with the Pisum TFL1a gene, involved in the transition from vegetative to flowering stages. This lentil gene was located in the LG 1 thanks to the presence of a polymorphic microsatellite in the first intron of the gene. Since L. culinaris ssp. orientalis is the primary source of additional genetic variability for lentil, this improved map could help in the use of such variability in lentil breeding programs.

  17. Improved Structure and Function in Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Rat Kidneys with Renal Tubular Cell Therapy.

    K J Kelly

    Full Text Available Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease is a truly catastrophic monogenetic disease, causing death and end stage renal disease in neonates and children. Using PCK female rats, an orthologous model of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease harboring mutant Pkhd1, we tested the hypothesis that intravenous renal cell transplantation with normal Sprague Dawley male kidney cells would improve the polycystic kidney disease phenotype. Cytotherapy with renal cells expressing wild type Pkhd1 and tubulogenic serum amyloid A1 had powerful and sustained beneficial effects on renal function and structure in the polycystic kidney disease model. Donor cell engraftment and both mutant and wild type Pkhd1 were found in treated but not control PCK kidneys 15 weeks after the final cell infusion. To examine the mechanisms of global protection with a small number of transplanted cells, we tested the hypothesis that exosomes derived from normal Sprague Dawley cells can limit the cystic phenotype of PCK recipient cells. We found that renal exosomes originating from normal Sprague Dawley cells carried and transferred wild type Pkhd1 mRNA to PCK cells in vivo and in vitro and restricted cyst formation by cultured PCK cells. The results indicate that transplantation with renal cells containing wild type Pkhd1 improves renal structure and function in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease and may provide an intra-renal supply of normal Pkhd1 mRNA.

  18. A functional variant of elafin with improved anti-inflammatory activity for pulmonary inflammation.

    Small, Donna M; Zani, Marie-Louise; Quinn, Derek J; Dallet-Choisy, Sandrine; Glasgow, Arlene M A; O'Kane, Cecilia; McAuley, Danny F; McNally, Paul; Weldon, Sinéad; Moreau, Thierry; Taggart, Clifford C

    2015-01-01

    Elafin is a serine protease inhibitor produced by epithelial and immune cells with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that dysregulated protease activity may elicit proteolytic cleavage of elafin, thereby impairing the innate immune function of the protein. The aim of this study was to generate variants of elafin (GG- and QQ-elafin) that exhibit increased protease resistance while retaining the biological properties of wild-type (WT) elafin. Similar to WT-elafin, GG- and QQ-elafin variants retained antiprotease activity and susceptibility to transglutaminase-mediated fibronectin cross-linking. However, in contrast to WT-elafin, GG- and QQ-elafin displayed significantly enhanced resistance to degradation when incubated with bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with cystic fibrosis. Intriguingly, both variants, particularly GG-elafin, demonstrated improved lipopolysaccharide (LPS) neutralization properties in vitro. In addition, GG-elafin showed improved anti-inflammatory activity in a mouse model of LPS-induced acute lung inflammation. Inflammatory cell infiltration into the lung was reduced in lungs of mice treated with GG-elafin, predominantly neutrophilic infiltration. A reduction in MCP-1 levels in GG-elafin treated mice compared to the LPS alone treatment group was also demonstrated. GG-elafin showed increased functionality when compared to WT-elafin and may be of future therapeutic relevance in the treatment of lung diseases characterized by a protease burden. PMID:25189740

  19. Transplantation of human amniotic epithelial cells improves hindlimb function in rats with spinal cord injury

    WU Zhi-yuan; HUI Guo-zhen; LU Yi; WU Xin; GUO Li-he

    2006-01-01

    Background Human amniotic epithelial cells (HAECs), which have several characteristics similar to stem cells,therefore could possibly be used in cell therapy without creating legal or ethical problems. In this study, we transplanted HEACs into the injured spinal cord of rats to investigate if the cells can improve the rats' hindlimb motor function.Methods HAECs were obtained from a piece of fresh amnion, labeled with Hoechst33342, and transplanted into the site of complete midthoracic spinal transections in adult rats. The rats (n=21) were randomly divided into three groups: Sham-operation group (n=7), cells-graft group (n=7), and PBS group (n=7). One rat of each group was killed for histological analysis at the second week after the transplantation. The other six rats of each group were killed for histological analysis after an 8-week behavioral testing. Hindlimb motor function was assessed by using the open-field BBB scoring system. Survival rate of the graft cells was observed at second and eighth weeks after the transplantation. We also detected the myelin sheath fibers around the lesions and the size of the axotomized red nucleus. A one-way ANOVA was used to compare the means among the groups. The significance level was set at P<0.05.Results The graft HAECs survived for a long time (8 weeks) and integrated into the host spinal cord without immune rejection. Compared with the control group, HAECs can promote the regeneration and sprouting of the axons, improve the hindlimb motor function of the rats (BBB score: cells-graft group 9.0± 0.89 vs PBS group 3.7± 1.03, P<0.01), and inhibit the atrophy of axotomized red nucleus [cells-graft group (526.47 ± 148.42) μm2 vs PBS group (473.69±164.73) μm2, P<0.01].Conclusion Transplantation of HAECs can improve the hindlimb motor function of rats with spinal cord injury.

  20. Intermittent fasting improves functional recovery after rat thoracic contusion spinal cord injury.

    Jeong, Mi-ae; Plunet, Ward; Streijger, Femke; Lee, Jae H T; Plemel, Jason R; Park, Sophia; Lam, Clarrie K; Liu, Jie; Tetzlaff, Wolfram

    2011-03-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in a loss of motor and sensory function. Currently there are no validated effective clinical treatments. Previously we found in rats that dietary restriction, in the form of every-other-day fasting (EODF), started prior to (pre-EODF), or after (post-EODF) an incomplete cervical SCI was neuroprotective, increased plasticity, and promoted motor recovery. Here we examined if EODF initiated prior to, or after, a T10 thoracic contusion injury would similarly lead to enhanced functional recovery compared to ad libitum feeding. Additionally, we tested if a group fed every day (pair-fed), but with the same degree of restriction as the EODF animals (∼25% calorie restricted), would also promote functional recovery, to examine if EODF's effect is due to overall calorie restriction, or is specific to alternating sequences of 24-h fasts and ad libitum eating periods. Behaviorally, both pre- and post-EODF groups exhibited better functional recovery in the regularity indexed BBB ambulatory assessment, along with several parameters of their walking pattern measured with the CatWalk device, compared to both the ad-libitium-fed group as well as the pair-fed group. Several histological parameters (intensity and symmetry of serotonin immunostaining caudal to the injury and gray matter sparing) correlated with functional outcome; however, no group differences were observed. Thus besides the beneficial effects of EODF after a partial cervical SCI, we now report that alternating periods of fasting (but not pair-fed) also promotes improved hindlimb locomotion after thoracic spinal cord contusion, demonstrating its robust effect in two different injury models. PMID:21219083

  1. Acute Exercise Improves Prefrontal Cortex but not Hippocampal Function in Healthy Adults.

    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. PMID:26581791

  2. Modeling doped and defective oxides in catalysis with density functional theory methods: room for improvements.

    Pacchioni, Gianfranco

    2008-05-14

    Due to the well-known problem of the self-interaction, standard density functional theory (DFT) methods tend to produce delocalized holes and electrons in defective oxide materials even when there is ample experimental evidence of a strong localization. For late transition metal compounds or rare earth oxides, this results in the incorrect description of the electronic structure of the system (e.g., magnetic insulators are predicted to be metallic). Practical ways to correct this deficiency are based on the use of hybrid functionals or of the DFT+U approach. In this way, most of the limitations related to the self-interaction are removed, and the electronic structure is properly described. What is less clear is to what extent hybrid functionals, DFT+U approaches, or standard DFT functionals can properly describe the strength of the chemical bonds at the surface of an oxide. This is a crucial question if one is interested in the catalytic properties of oxide surfaces. Oxidation reactions often involve oxygen detachment from the surface and incorporation into an organic substrate. Oxides are doped with heteroatoms to create defects and facilitate oxygen removal from the surface, with formation of oxygen vacancies. Do standard DFT calculations provide a good binding energy of the missing oxygen despite the failure in giving the right electronic structure? Can hybrid functionals or the DFT+U approach provide a simple yet reliable way to get accurate reaction enthalpies and energy barriers? In this essay, we discuss these problems by analyzing some case histories and the relatively scarce data existing in the literature. The conclusion is that while modern electronic structure methods accurately reproduce and predict a wide range of electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of oxides, the description of the strength of chemical bonds still needs considerable improvements. PMID:18532790

  3. Scutellarin promotes microglia-mediated astrogliosis coupled with improved behavioral function in cerebral ischemia.

    Fang, Ming; Yuan, Yun; Lu, Jia; Li, Hong E; Zhao, Min; Ling, Eng-Ang; Wu, Chun-Yun

    2016-07-01

    Scutellarin, an anti-inflammatory agent, has been reported to suppress microglia activation. It promotes astrocytic reaction but through activated microglia. Here we sought to determine more specifically the outcomes of scutellarin treatment in reactive astrocytes in rats subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). GFAP, MAP-2 and PSD-95 expression was assessed in reactive astrocytes in scutellarin injected MCAO rats. Expression of BDNF, NT-3 and IGF-1, and cell cycle markers cyclin-D1/B1 was also evaluated. In vitro, the above-mentioned proteins were also investigated in TNC 1 and primary astrocytes, treated respectively with conditioned medium from BV-2 microglia with or without pretreatment of scutellarin and lipopolysaccharide. Behavioral study was conducted to ascertain if scutellarin would improve the neurological functions of MCAO rats. In MCAO, reactive astrocytes in the penumbral areas were hypertrophic bearing long extending processes; expression of all the above-mentioned markers was markedly augmented. When compared to the controls, TNC1/primary astrocytes responded vigorously to conditioned medium derived from BV-2 microglia treated with scutellarin + lipopolysaccharide as shown by enhanced expression of all the above markers by Western and immunofluorescence analysis. By electron microscopy, hypertrophic TNC1 astrocytes in this group showed abundant microfilaments admixed with microtubules. In MCAO rats given scutellarin treatment, neurological scores were significantly improved coupled with a marked decrease in infarct size when compared with the matching controls. It is concluded that scutellarin is neuroprotective and that it can amplify astrogliosis but through activated microglia. Scutellarin facilitates tissue remodeling in MCAO that maybe linked to improvement of neurological functions. PMID:27105682

  4. Does Vitamin C improve endothelial function in patients with Kawasaki disease?

    Mohammad Reza Sabri

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Improvement of endothelial dysfunction could prevent or delay the occurrence of the atherosclerosis process in patients with Kawasaki disease (KD. It is suggested that Vitamin C could improve endothelial dysfunction. In this study, we investigated whether administration of Vitamin C as a water-soluble antioxidant could be effective in this regard among patients with KD. Materials and Methods: In this case control analytic-experimental study, children aged 3-18 years with KD, and a group of healthy children evaluated. Vitamin C (250 mg/daily administrated for the two studied groups for 1 month. Endothelial function evaluated by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD and intima-media thickness (IMT measurement using vascular Doppler ultrasonography, before and after trial. Results: In this study, 16 patients with KD and 19 normal children were studied. At baseline mean of IMT and FMD was not different in the two studied groups (P > 0.05. After Vitamin C administration IMT decreased significantly in two studied groups (from 27.06 ± 6.27 to 21.56 ± 3.77 in KD group and from 27.66 ± 5.66 to 23.33 ± 3.66 in control group [P < 0.05]. FMD increased in two studied groups, but the difference was significant in the control group (from 6.84 ± 2.51 to 7.03 ± 2.87 in KD group and from 6.53 ± 2.36 to 7.82 ± 2.14 in the control group. Conclusion: Vitamin C might improve the endothelial function of patients with KD.

  5. Improved spatial accuracy of functional maps in the rat olfactory bulb using supervised machine learning approach.

    Murphy, Matthew C; Poplawsky, Alexander J; Vazquez, Alberto L; Chan, Kevin C; Kim, Seong-Gi; Fukuda, Mitsuhiro

    2016-08-15

    Functional MRI (fMRI) is a popular and important tool for noninvasive mapping of neural activity. As fMRI measures the hemodynamic response, the resulting activation maps do not perfectly reflect the underlying neural activity. The purpose of this work was to design a data-driven model to improve the spatial accuracy of fMRI maps in the rat olfactory bulb. This system is an ideal choice for this investigation since the bulb circuit is well characterized, allowing for an accurate definition of activity patterns in order to train the model. We generated models for both cerebral blood volume weighted (CBVw) and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI data. The results indicate that the spatial accuracy of the activation maps is either significantly improved or at worst not significantly different when using the learned models compared to a conventional general linear model approach, particularly for BOLD images and activity patterns involving deep layers of the bulb. Furthermore, the activation maps computed by CBVw and BOLD data show increased agreement when using the learned models, lending more confidence to their accuracy. The models presented here could have an immediate impact on studies of the olfactory bulb, but perhaps more importantly, demonstrate the potential for similar flexible, data-driven models to improve the quality of activation maps calculated using fMRI data. PMID:27236085

  6. Morpholino treatment improves muscle function and pathology of Pitx1 transgenic mice.

    Pandey, Sachchida Nand; Lee, Yi-Chien; Yokota, Toshifumi; Chen, Yi-Wen

    2014-02-01

    Paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 1 (PITX1) was proposed to be part of the disease mechanisms of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). We generated a tet-repressible muscle-specific Pitx1 transgenic mouse model which develops phenotypes of muscular dystrophy after the PITX1 expression is induced. In this study, we attempted to block the translation of PITX1 protein using morpholinos. Three groups of the transgenic mice received intravenous injections of phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMO) (100 mg/kg), octaguanidinium dendrimer-conjugated morpholino (vivo-morpholino) (10 mg/kg), or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) after the PITX1 expression was induced. Immunoblotting data showed that PITX1 expression in the triceps and quadriceps was significantly reduced 70% and 63% by the vivo-morpholino treatment, respectively. Muscle pathology of the mice treated with the vivo-morpholino was improved by showing 44% fewer angular-shaped atrophic myofibers. Muscle function determined by grip strength was significantly improved by the vivo-morpholino treatment. The study showed that systemic delivery of the vivo-morpholino reduced the PITX1 expression and improved the muscle phenotypes. Aberrant expression of DUX4 from the last unit of the D4Z4 array has been proposed to be the cause of FSHD. The findings of this study suggest that the same principle may be applied to suppress the aberrantly expressed DUX4 in FSHD. PMID:24232919

  7. Fistuloclysis Improves Liver Function and Nutritional Status in Patients with High-Output Upper Enteric Fistula

    Yin Wu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. We aimed to determine the efficacy of fistuloclysis in patients with high-output upper enteric fistula (EF. Methods. Patients were assigned into the fistuloclysis group (n=35, receiving fistuloclysis plus total enteral nutrition (TEN and the control group (n=60, receiving TEN. Laboratory variables were measured during the four-week treatment. Results. At baseline, variables were similar between the two groups. Delta value was defined as the changes from baseline to day 28. Compared with the control group, the fistuloclysis group showed greater improvements in liver function (Delta total bilirubin (TB: 20.3±9.7 in the fistuloclysis group versus 15.6±6.3 in the control group, P=0.040; Delta direct bilirubin (DB: 12.5±3.4 versus 10.0±3.6, P=0.011; Delta alkaline phosphatase (ALP: 98.4±33.5 versus 57.6±20.9, P<0.001; nutritional status (Delta total protein: 21.8±8.7 versus 10.7±2.1, P<0.001; Delta albumin: 11.3±2.5 versus 4.2±1.3, P<0.001. In the fistuloclysis subgroups, biliary fistula patients had the maximum number of variables with the greatest improvements. Conclusions. Fistuloclysis improved hepatic and nutritional parameters in patients with high-output upper EF, particularly in biliary fistula patients.

  8. A Combination Therapy of Nicotinamide and Progesterone Improves Functional Recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Peterson, Todd C; Hoane, Michael R; McConomy, Keith S; Farin, Fred M; Bammler, Theo K; MacDonald, James W; Kantor, Eric D; Anderson, Gail D

    2015-06-01

    Neuroprotection, recovery of function, and gene expression were evaluated in an animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a combination treatment of nicotinamide (NAM) and progesterone (Prog). Animals received a cortical contusion injury over the sensorimotor cortex, and were treated with either Vehicle, NAM, Prog, or a NAM/Prog combination for 72 h and compared with a craniotomy only (Sham) group. Animals were assessed in a battery of behavioral, sensory, and both fine and gross motor tasks, and given histological assessments at 24 h post-injury to determine lesion cavity size, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine treatment-specific changes on gene expression. Our results confirm the beneficial effects of treatment with either NAM or Prog, demonstrating significant improvements in recovery of function and a reduction in lesion cavitation, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes 24 h post-injury. The combination treatment of NAM and Prog led to a significant improvement in both neuroprotection at 24 h post-injury and recovery of function in sensorimotor related tasks when compared with individual treatments. The NAM/Prog-treated group was the only treatment group to show a significant reduction of cortical loss 24 h post-injury. The combination appears to affect inflammatory and immune processes, reducing expression of a significant number of genes in both pathways. Further preclinical trials using NAM and Prog as a combination treatment should be conducted to identify the window of opportunity, determine the optimal duration of treatment, and evaluate the combination in other pre-clinical models of TBI. PMID:25313690

  9. Exenatide Treatment Alone Improves β-Cell Function in a Canine Model of Pre-Diabetes

    Mkrtchyan, Hasmik J.; Stefanovski, Darko; Kabir, Morvarid; Iyer, Malini S.; Liu, Huiwen; Castro, Ana V. B.; Wu, Qiang; Broussard, Josiane L.; Kolka, Cathryn M.; Asare-Bediako, Isaac; Bergman, Richard N.

    2016-01-01

    Background Exenatide’s effects on glucose metabolism have been studied extensively in diabetes but not in pre-diabetes. Objective We examined the chronic effects of exenatide alone on glucose metabolism in pre-diabetic canines. Design and Methods After 10 weeks of high-fat diet (HFD), adult dogs received one injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 18.5 mg/kg). After induction of pre-diabetes, while maintained on HFD, animals were randomized to receive either exenatide (n = 7) or placebo (n = 7) for 12 weeks. β-Cell function was calculated from the intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT, expressed as the acute insulin response, AIRG), the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT, insulinogenic index) and the graded-hyperglycemic clamp (clamp insulinogenic index). Whole-body insulin sensitivity was assessed by the IVGTT. At the end of the study, pancreatic islets were isolated to assess β-cell function in vitro. Results OGTT: STZ caused an increase in glycemia at 120 min by 22.0% (interquartile range, IQR, 31.5%) (P = 0.011). IVGTT: This protocol also showed a reduction in glucose tolerance by 48.8% (IQR, 36.9%) (P = 0.002). AIRG decreased by 54.0% (IQR, 40.7%) (P = 0.010), leading to mild fasting hyperglycemia (P = 0.039). Exenatide, compared with placebo, decreased body weight (Pfood intake, fasting glycemia, insulinemia, glycated hemoglobin A1c, or glucose tolerance. Exenatide, compared with placebo, increased both OGTT- (P = 0.040) and clamp-based insulinogenic indexes (P = 0.016), improved insulin secretion in vitro (P = 0.041), but had no noticeable effect on insulin sensitivity (P = 0.405). Conclusions In pre-diabetic canines, 12-week exenatide treatment improved β-cell function but not glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity. These findings demonstrate partial beneficial metabolic effects of exenatide alone on an animal model of pre-diabetes. PMID:27398720

  10. Pyridoxamine reduces postinjury fibrosis and improves functional recovery after acute kidney injury.

    Skrypnyk, Nataliya I; Voziyan, Paul; Yang, Haichun; de Caestecker, Christian R; Theberge, Marie-Claude; Drouin, Mathieu; Hudson, Billy; Harris, Raymond C; de Caestecker, Mark P

    2016-08-01

    Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common and independent risk factor for death and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Despite promising preclinical data, there is no evidence that antioxidants reduce the severity of injury, increase recovery, or prevent CKD in patients with AKI. Pyridoxamine (PM) is a structural analog of vitamin B6 that interferes with oxidative macromolecular damage via a number of different mechanisms and is in a phase 3 clinical efficacy trial to delay CKD progression in patients with diabetic kidney disease. Because oxidative stress is implicated as one of the main drivers of renal injury after AKI, the ability of PM to interfere with multiple aspects of oxidative damage may be favorable for AKI treatment. In these studies we therefore evaluated PM treatment in a mouse model of AKI. Pretreatment with PM caused a dose-dependent reduction in acute tubular injury, long-term postinjury fibrosis, as well as improved functional recovery after ischemia-reperfusion AKI (IR-AKI). This was associated with a dose-dependent reduction in the oxidative stress marker isofuran-to-F2-isoprostane ratio, indicating that PM reduces renal oxidative damage post-AKI. PM also reduced postinjury fibrosis when administered 24 h after the initiating injury, but this was not associated with improvement in functional recovery after IR-AKI. This is the first report showing that treatment with PM reduces short- and long-term injury, fibrosis, and renal functional recovery after IR-AKI. These preclinical findings suggest that PM, which has a favorable clinical safety profile, holds therapeutic promise for AKI and, most importantly, for prevention of adverse long-term outcomes after AKI. PMID:27194713

  11. Improving outcome of sensorimotor functions after traumatic spinal cord injury [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Volker Dietz

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Chronic intermittent fasting improves cognitive functions and brain structures in mice.

    Liaoliao Li

    Full Text Available Obesity is a major health issue. Obesity started from teenagers has become a major health concern in recent years. Intermittent fasting increases the life span. However, it is not known whether obesity and intermittent fasting affect brain functions and structures before brain aging. Here, we subjected 7-week old CD-1 wild type male mice to intermittent (alternate-day fasting or high fat diet (45% caloric supplied by fat for 11 months. Mice on intermittent fasting had better learning and memory assessed by the Barnes maze and fear conditioning, thicker CA1 pyramidal cell layer, higher expression of drebrin, a dendritic protein, and lower oxidative stress than mice that had free access to regular diet (control mice. Mice fed with high fat diet was obese and with hyperlipidemia. They also had poorer exercise tolerance. However, these obese mice did not present significant learning and memory impairment or changes in brain structures or oxidative stress compared with control mice. These results suggest that intermittent fasting improves brain functions and structures and that high fat diet feeding started early in life does not cause significant changes in brain functions and structures in obese middle-aged animals.

  13. What would Batman do? Self-distancing improves executive function in young children.

    White, Rachel E; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2016-05-01

    This experimental research assessed the influence of graded levels of self-distancing - psychological distancing from one's egocentric perspective - on executive function (EF) in young children. Three- (n = 48) and 5-year-old (n = 48) children were randomly assigned to one of four manipulations of distance from the self (from proximal to distal: self-immersed, control, third person, and exemplar) on a comprehensive measure of EF. Performance increased as a function of self-distancing across age groups. Follow-up analyses indicated that 5-year-olds were driving this effect. They showed significant improvements in EF with increased distance from the self, outperforming controls both when taking a third person perspective on the self and when taking the perspective of an exemplar other (e.g., Batman) through role play. Three-year-olds, however, did not show increased EF performance as a function of greater distance from the self. Preliminary results suggest that developments in theory of mind might contribute to these age-related differences in efficacy. These findings speak to the importance of psychological distancing in the expression of conscious control over thought and action from a young age and suggest a promising new avenue for early EF intervention. PMID:25997842

  14. Electrostatic performance improvement of dual material cylindrical gate MOSFET using work-function modulation technique

    Jena, Biswajit; Dash, Sidhartha; Mishra, Guru Prasad

    2016-09-01

    In a continuous effort to increase the DC and RF figure-of-merits (FOMs), multigate MOSFETs have evolved from classical planar device into a gate all around structure. The unique design with accuracy in device performance has made it a cutting edge device to overcome the scaling and performance barrier of the present VLSI technology. The fabrication process of a surface channel device with proper threshold voltage (Vth) directly depends upon the work-function of the gate electrode. By keeping it in mind, a metal gate with linearly modulated work-function (5-4.2 ev) along the z-axis in a cylindrical surrounding gate MOSFET is introduced. This work demonstrates the potential benefits of work-function modulation based dual material cylindrical gate MOSFET (WMDMCG) in terms of DC performance characteristics. The present model provides improved DC performance as compared to conventional dual material cylindrical surrounding gate MOSFET (DMCG) and the results obtained are validated with TCAD device simulator from Synopsys.

  15. Improved pulmonary function in working divers breathing nitrox at shallow depths

    Fitzpatrick, Daniel T.; Conkin, Johnny

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: There is limited data about the long-term pulmonary effects of nitrox use in divers at shallow depths. This study examined changes in pulmonary function in a cohort of working divers breathing a 46% oxygen enriched mixture while diving at depths less than 12 m. METHODS: A total of 43 working divers from the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), NASA-Johnson Space Center completed a questionnaire providing information on diving history prior to NBL employment, diving history outside the NBL since employment, and smoking history. Cumulative dive hours were obtained from the NBL dive-time database. Medical records were reviewed to obtain the diver's height, weight, and pulmonary function measurements from initial pre-dive, first year and third year annual medical examinations. RESULTS: The initial forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were greater than predicted, 104% and 102%, respectively. After 3 yr of diving at the NBL, both the FVC and FEV1 showed a significant (p volumes. Regular diving with nitrox at shallow depths over a 3-yr period did not impair pulmonary function. Improvements in FVC and FEV1 were primarily due to a training effect.

  16. An Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy TOPSIS Method Based on an Improved Score Function

    Zhi-yong Bai

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an improved score function for the effective ranking order of interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy sets (IVIFSs and an interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy TOPSIS method based on the score function to solve multicriteria decision-making problems in which all the preference information provided by decision-makers is expressed as interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrices where each of the elements is characterized by IVIFS value and the information about criterion weights is known. We apply the proposed score function to calculate the separation measures of each alternative from the positive and negative ideal solutions to determine the relative closeness coefficients. According to the values of the closeness coefficients, the alternatives can be ranked and the most desirable one(s can be selected in the decision-making process. Finally, two illustrative examples for multicriteria fuzzy decision-making problems of alternatives are used as a demonstration of the applications and the effectiveness of the proposed decision-making method.

  17. AmIRTEM: a functional model for training of aerobic endurance for health improvement.

    Gaeta, Eugenio; Cea, Gloria; Arredondo, Maria T; Leuteritz, Jan P

    2012-11-01

    In a nonstrenuous exercise, the heart rate (HR) shows a linear relationship with the maximum volume of oxygen consumption VO(2Max) and serves as an indicator of performance of the cardiovascular system. The HR replaces the %VO(2Max) in exercise program prescription to improve aerobic endurance. In order to achieve an optimal effect in an endurance training, the athlete needs to work out at an HR high enough to trigger the aerobic metabolism, while avoiding the very high HRs that bring along significant risks of myocardial infarction. The minimal and optimal base training programs, followed by stretching exercises to prevent injuries, are adequate programs to maximize benefits and minimize health risks for the cardiovascular system during single session training. In this paper, we have defined a functional model for an ambient intelligence system that monitors, evaluates, and trains the aerobic endurance. It is based on the Android operating system and the Gow Running smart shirt. The system has been evaluated during functional assessment stress testing of aerobic endurance in the Stress Physiology Laboratory (SPL) of the Technical University of Madrid. Furthermore, a voice system designed to guide the user through minimal and optimal base training programs has been evaluated. The results obtained fully confirm the model with a high correlation between the data collected by the system and the by SPL. There is also a high hit rate between training sessions of the users and the objective training functions defined in the training programs. PMID:22801486

  18. Virtual reality using games for improving physical functioning in older adults: a systematic review.

    Molina, Karina Iglesia; Ricci, Natalia Aquaroni; de Moraes, Suzana Albuquerque; Perracini, Monica Rodrigues

    2014-01-01

    The use of virtual reality through exergames or active video game, i.e. a new form of interactive gaming, as a complementary tool in rehabilitation has been a frequent focus in research and clinical practice in the last few years. However, evidence of their effectiveness is scarce in the older population. This review aim to provide a summary of the effects of exergames in improving physical functioning in older adults. A search for randomized controlled trials was performed in the databases EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsyInfo, Cochrane data base, PEDro and ISI Web of Knowledge. Results from the included studies were analyzed through a critical review and methodological quality by the PEDro scale. Thirteen studies were included in the review. The most common apparatus for exergames intervention was the Nintendo Wii gaming console (8 studies), followed by computers games, Dance video game with pad (two studies each) and only one study with the Balance Rehabilitation Unit. The Timed Up and Go was the most frequently used instrument to assess physical functioning (7 studies). According to the PEDro scale, most of the studies presented methodological problems, with a high proportion of scores below 5 points (8 studies). The exergames protocols and their duration varied widely, and the benefits for physical function in older people remain inconclusive. However, a consensus between studies is the positive motivational aspect that the use of exergames provides. Further studies are needed in order to achieve better methodological quality, external validity and provide stronger scientific evidence. PMID:25399408

  19. Improved pulmonary function in working divers breathing nitrox at shallow depths

    Fitzpatrick, Daniel T.; Conkin, Johnny

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: There is limited data about the long-term pulmonary effects of nitrox use in divers at shallow depths. This study examined changes in pulmonary function in a cohort of working divers breathing a 46% oxygen enriched mixture while diving at depths less than 12 m. METHODS: A total of 43 working divers from the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), NASA-Johnson Space Center completed a questionnaire providing information on diving history prior to NBL employment, diving history outside the NBL since employment, and smoking history. Cumulative dive hours were obtained from the NBL dive-time database. Medical records were reviewed to obtain the diver's height, weight, and pulmonary function measurements from initial pre-dive, first year and third year annual medical examinations. RESULTS: The initial forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were greater than predicted, 104% and 102%, respectively. After 3 yr of diving at the NBL, both the FVC and FEV1 showed a significant (p FEV1 at 1 and 3 yr. CONCLUSIONS: NBL divers initially belong to a select group with larger than predicted lung volumes. Regular diving with nitrox at shallow depths over a 3-yr period did not impair pulmonary function. Improvements in FVC and FEV1 were primarily due to a training effect.

  20. Improvement in Attention and Executive Functions During Isotretinoin Treatment in Patients With Acne

    Erdem Deveci

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Background and Design: We assessed attention, memory, verbal-linguistic ability, and executive functions in acne vulgaris patients before and during isotretinoin treatment.Materials and Methods: Fifty-two treatment-naive acne patients at baseline and 24 at the second visit were evaluated. A neurocognitive battery including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning and Memory Test, Auditory Consonant Trigram Test, Controlled Word Association Test, Digit Span Test, Trail Making Test A and B and the Stroop Test was used. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS were also applied.Results: We found improvements in attention and executive functions at the second visit in comparison with the baseline evaluations. No alteration was found in verbal episodic memory, learning, working memory, and phonemic verbal fluency (Digit Span Forwards Test p=0.003, Trial Making-A Test p=0.002, Trial Making –B Test p=0.000, Stroop test p=0.028.Discussion: The positive effects of isotretinoin on cognitive functions may be related to the decline in acne lesions and less mental occupation with the social impacts of acne.

  1. Improving adsorption and activation of the lipase immobilized in amino-functionalized ordered mesoporous SBA-15

    Xu, Yun-qiang; Zhou, Guo-wei; Wu, Cui-cui; Li, Tian-duo; Song, Hong-bin

    2011-05-01

    Ordered mesoporous SBA-15 was prepared by hydrothermal process and was functionalized with(3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) by post-synthesis-grafting method. The materials were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive spectrometer (EDS), small-angle X-ray powder diffraction (SAXRD), N 2 adsorption-desorption and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The results indicated that SBA-15 had a 2-dimensional hexagonal p6 mm mesoscopic structure and the mesoscopic structure was remained after the functionalization procedure. The activities of porcine pancreatic lipase (PPL) immobilized in SBA-15 by physical adsorption and in APTES functionalized SBA-15 by chemical adsorption were studied by hydrolysis of triacetin. Chemically adsorbed PPL showed higher loading amount and catalytic activity comparing with physically adsorbed PPL. The stability of immobilized PPL against thermal and pH of reaction medium was significantly improved. Recycling experiments showed that chemically adsorbed PPL exhibited better reusability than physically adsorbed PPL.

  2. Introduction to the Special Issue: Interventions to Improve Children's Social and Emotional Functioning at School.

    Collins, Tai A; Hawkins, Renee O; Nabors, Laura A

    2016-07-01

    Identification of evidence-based practices for promotion of social and emotional functioning of children at school is important for their academic and social development. This introduction reviews information from this special issue focusing on evidence-based research to improve the social and emotional functioning of children in their classrooms and schools. An emphasis on reduction of negative behaviors and promotion of positive, prosocial behaviors is presented in manuscripts for this special issue. The articles in this issue may be grouped in terms of the tiered system or School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Framework into articles at the Tier I, II, and III levels. Tier I interventions support positive behaviors and reduce problem behaviors for all children in a classroom or school, as a type of primary prevention. In terms of secondary prevention, Tier II interventions are selected interventions that address problem behaviors of students at risk for poor functioning, who do not respond to Tier I interventions. Finally, Tier III interventions are used for those students with behavioral and emotional issues who do not respond to Tier II interventions, and students in this group are indicated for intervention at a tertiary care level. In summary, this special issue presents evidence-based knowledge from research at all three intervention levels that aim to promote children's social and emotional development in the school setting. PMID:27179003

  3. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Teoh, Siew Li; Sudfangsai, Suthinee; Lumbiganon, Pisake; Laopaiboon, Malinee; Lai, Nai Ming; Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn

    2016-01-01

    Chicken essence (CE) is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane's Risk of Bias (ROB) tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.55 (-1.04, -0.06)) and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (-0.001, 1.40)). For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (-0.16, 1.42)). Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE. PMID:26805876

  4. Chicken Essence for Cognitive Function Improvement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Siew Li Teoh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken essence (CE is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane’s Risk of Bias (ROB tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD of −0.55 (−1.04, −0.06 and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (−0.001, 1.40. For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (−0.16, 1.42. Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE.

  5. Clinical usefulness of Adeli suit therapy for improving gait function in children with spastic cerebral palsy: a case study

    Lee, Byoung-Hee

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Adeli suit therapy (AST) on gross motor function and gait function in children with cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] Two participants with spastic cerebral palsy were recruited to undergo AST. AST was applied in 60-minute sessions, five times per week, with 20 sessions total over 4 weeks. Assessments of gross motor function, spatiotemporal parameters, and functional ambulation performance for gait were conducted. [Results] Gross motor function, cadence, and functional ambulation performance improved after the intervention in both cases. [Conclusion] Although additional follow-up studies are required, the results demonstrated improved gross motor function and functional ambulation performance in the children with cerebral palsy. These findings suggest a variety of applications for conservative therapeutic methods that require future clinical trials in children with cerebral palsy. PMID:27390453

  6. The extended Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional with improved accuracy for thermodynamic and electronic properties of molecular systems

    Xu, Xin; GODDARD, William A.

    2004-01-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) has become the method of choice for many applications of quantum mechanics to the study of the electronic properties of molecules and solids. Despite the enormous progress in improving the functionals, the current generation is inadequate for many important applications. As part of the quest of finding better functionals, we consider in this paper the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) functional, which we believe to have the best theoretical foundation, but which le...

  7. Improvement of barrier function and stimulation of colonic epithelial anion secretion by Menoease Pills

    Jin-Xia Zhu; Ning Yang; Gui-Hong Zhang; Lai-Ling Tsang; Yu-Lin Gou; Hau-Yan Connie Wong; Yiu-Wa Chung; Hsiao-Chang Chan

    2004-01-01

    AIM: Menoease Pills (MP), a Chinese medicine-based new formula for postmenopausal women, has been shown to modulate the endocrine and immune systems[1]. The present study investigated the effects of MP and one of its active ingredients, ligustrazine, on epithelial barrier and ion transport function in a human colonic cell line, T84.METHODS: Colonic transepithelial electrophysiological characteristics and colonic anion secretion were studied using the short circuit current (ISC) technique. RT-PCR was used to examine the expression of cytoplasmic proteins associated with the tight junctions, ZO-1(zonula occludens-1) and ZO-2 (zonula occludens-2).RESULTS: Pretreatment of T84 cells with MP (15 μg/mL) for 72 h significantly increased basal potential difference,transepithelial resistance and basal ISC. RT-PCR results showed that the expressions of ZO-1 and ZO-2 were significantly increased after MP treatment, consistent with improved epithelial barrier function. Results of acute stimulation showed that apical addition of MP produced a concentrationdependent (10-5 000 μg/mL, EC50 = 293.9 μg/mL) increase in ISC. MP-induced ISC was inhibited by basolateral treatment with bumetanide (100 μmol/L), an inhibitor of the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter, apical addition of Cl-channel blockers, diphenylamine-2, 2'-dicarboxylic acid (1 mmol/L) or glibenclamide (1 mmol/L), but not 4, 4'-diisothiocyanostilbene2, 2'-disulfonic acid or epithelial Na+ channel blocker,amiloride. The effect of MP on ZO-1 and ZO-2 was mimicked by Ligustrazine and the ligustrazine-induced ISC was also blocked by basolateral application of bumetanide and apical addition of diphenylamine-2, 2'-dicarboxylic acid or glibenclamide, and reduced by a removal of extracellular Cl-.CONCLUSION: The results of the present study suggest that MP and lligustrazine may improve epithelial barrier function and exert a stimulatory effect on colonic anion secretion, indicating the potential use of MP and its active ingredients

  8. Increased Functional Connectivity in an Insula-Based Network is Associated with Improved Smoking Cessation Outcomes.

    Addicott, Merideth A; Sweitzer, Maggie M; Froeliger, Brett; Rose, Jed E; McClernon, Francis J

    2015-10-01

    Little is known regarding the underlying neurobiology of smoking cessation. Neuroimaging studies indicate a role for the insula in connecting the interoceptive awareness of tobacco craving with a larger brain network that motivates smoking. We investigated differences in insula-based functional connectivity between smokers who did not relapse during a quit attempt vs those who relapsed. Smokers (n=85) underwent a resting-state functional connectivity scan and were then randomized into two groups (either smoking usual brand cigarettes or smoking very low nicotine cigarettes plus nicotine replacement therapy) for 30 days before their target quit date. Following the quit date, all participants received nicotine replacement therapy and their smoking behavior was observed for 10 weeks. Participants were subsequently classified as nonrelapsed (n=44) or relapsed (i.e., seven consecutive days of smoking ⩾1 cigarette/day; n=41). The right and left insula, as well as insula subdivisions (posterior, ventroanterior, and dorsoanterior) were used as seed regions of interest in the connectivity analysis. Using the right and left whole-insula seed regions, the nonrelapsed group had greater functional connectivity than the relapsed group with the bilateral pre- and postcentral gyri. This effect was isolated to the right and left posterior insula seed regions. Our results suggest that relapse vulnerability is associated with weaker connectivity between the posterior insula and primary sensorimotor cortices. Perhaps greater connectivity in this network improves the ability to inhibit a motor response to cigarette cravings when those cravings conflict with a goal to remain abstinent. These results are consistent with recent studies demonstrating a positive relationship between insula-related functional connectivity and cessation likelihood among neurologically intact smokers. PMID:25895453

  9. Organic grape juice intake improves functional capillary density and postocclusive reactive hyperemia in triathletes

    Mariana Correa Gonçalves

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of organic grape juice intake on biochemical variables and microcirculatory parameters in triathlon athletes. INTRODUCTION: The physiological stress that is imposed by a strenuous sport, such as a triathlon, together with an insufficient amount of antioxidants in the diet may cause oxidative imbalance and endothelial dysfunction. METHODS: Ten adult male triathletes participated in this study. A venous blood sample was drawn before (baseline and after 20 days of organic grape juice intake (300 ml/day. Serum insulin, plasma glucose and uric acid levels, the total content of polyphenols, and the erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity were determined. The functional microcirculatory parameters (the functional capillary density, red blood cell velocity at baseline and peak levels, and time required to reach the peak red blood cell velocity during postocclusive reactive hyperemia after a one-min arterial occlusion were evaluated using nailfold videocapillaroscopy. RESULTS: Compared with baseline levels, the peak levels of serum insulin ( p = 0.02, plasma uric acid ( p = 0.04, the functional capillary density ( p = 0.003, and the red blood cell velocity (p < 0.001 increased, whereas the plasma glucose level (p,0.001, erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity ( p = 0.04, and time required to reach red blood cell velocity during postocclusive reactive hyperemia ( p = 0.04 decreased after organic grape juice intake. CONCLUSION: Our data showed that organic grape juice intake improved glucose homeostasis, antioxidant capacity, and microvascular function, which may be due to its high concentration of polyphenols. These results indicate that organic grape juice has a positive effect in endurance athletes.

  10. Functional improvement in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis undergoing single lung transplantation

    Adalberto Sperb Rubin

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available AbstractObjective: To evaluate the changes in lung function in the first year after single lung transplantation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF.Methods: We retrospectively evaluated patients with IPF who underwent single lung transplantation between January of 2006 and December of 2012, reviewing the changes in the lung function occurring during the first year after the procedure.Results: Of the 218 patients undergoing lung transplantation during the study period, 79 (36.2% had IPF. Of those 79 patients, 24 (30% died, and 11 (14% did not undergo spirometry at the end of the first year. Of the 44 patients included in the study, 29 (66% were men. The mean age of the patients was 57 years. Before transplantation, mean FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC ratio were 1.78 L (50% of predicted, 1.48 L (52% of predicted, and 83%, respectively. In the first month after transplantation, there was a mean increase of 12% in FVC (400 mL and FEV1 (350 mL. In the third month after transplantation, there were additional increases, of 5% (170 mL in FVC and 1% (50 mL in FEV1. At the end of the first year, the functional improvement persisted, with a mean gain of 19% (620 mL in FVC and 16% (430 mL in FEV1.Conclusions: Single lung transplantation in IPF patients who survive for at least one year provides significant and progressive benefits in lung function during the first year. This procedure is an important therapeutic alternative in the management of IPF.

  11. A knowledge-guided strategy for improving the accuracy of scoring functions in binding affinity prediction

    Wang Renxiao

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current scoring functions are not very successful in protein-ligand binding affinity prediction albeit their popularity in structure-based drug designs. Here, we propose a general knowledge-guided scoring (KGS strategy to tackle this problem. Our KGS strategy computes the binding constant of a given protein-ligand complex based on the known binding constant of an appropriate reference complex. A good training set that includes a sufficient number of protein-ligand complexes with known binding data needs to be supplied for finding the reference complex. The reference complex is required to share a similar pattern of key protein-ligand interactions to that of the complex of interest. Thus, some uncertain factors in protein-ligand binding may cancel out, resulting in a more accurate prediction of absolute binding constants. Results In our study, an automatic algorithm was developed for summarizing key protein-ligand interactions as a pharmacophore model and identifying the reference complex with a maximal similarity to the query complex. Our KGS strategy was evaluated in combination with two scoring functions (X-Score and PLP on three test sets, containing 112 HIV protease complexes, 44 carbonic anhydrase complexes, and 73 trypsin complexes, respectively. Our results obtained on crystal structures as well as computer-generated docking poses indicated that application of the KGS strategy produced more accurate predictions especially when X-Score or PLP alone did not perform well. Conclusions Compared to other targeted scoring functions, our KGS strategy does not require any re-parameterization or modification on current scoring methods, and its application is not tied to certain systems. The effectiveness of our KGS strategy is in theory proportional to the ever-increasing knowledge of experimental protein-ligand binding data. Our KGS strategy may serve as a more practical remedy for current scoring functions to improve their

  12. Vestibular Stochastic Resonance as a Method to Improve Balance Function: Optimization of Stimulus Characteristics

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

    2010-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a mechanism by which noise can assist and enhance the response of neural systems to relevant sensory signals. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input through the proprioceptive, visual, or vestibular sensory systems has been shown to improve motor function. Specifically, studies have shown that that vestibular electrical stimulation by imperceptible stochastic noise, when applied to normal young and elderly subjects, significantly improved their ocular stabilization reflexes in response to whole-body tilt as well as balance performance during postural disturbances. The goal of this study was to optimize the characteristics of the stochastic vestibular signals for balance performance during standing on an unstable surface. Subjects performed a standardized balance task of standing on a block of 10 cm thick medium density foam with their eyes closed for a total of 40 seconds. Stochastic electrical stimulation was applied to the vestibular system through electrodes placed over the mastoid process behind the ears during the last 20 seconds of the test period. A custom built constant current stimulator with subject isolation delivered the stimulus. Stimulation signals were generated with frequencies in the bandwidth of 1-2 Hz and 0.01-30 Hz. Amplitude of the signals were varied in the range of 0- +/-700 micro amperes with the RMS of the signal increased by 30 micro amperes for each 100 micro amperes increase in the current range. Balance performance was measured using a force plate under the foam block and inertial motion sensors placed on the torso and head segments. Preliminary results indicate that balance performance is improved in the range of 10-25% compared to no stimulation conditions. Subjects improved their performance consistently across the blocks of stimulation. Further the signal amplitude at which the performance was maximized was different in the two frequency ranges. Optimization of the frequency and

  13. Can cardiac rehabilitation programs improve functional capacity and left ventricular diastolic function in patients with mechanical reperfusion after ST elevation myocardial infarction?: A double-blind clinical trial

    Golabchi, Allahyar; Basati, Fatemeh; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Sadeghi, Masoumeh

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Current guidelines recommend cardiac rehabilitation programs (CRP) as a means to improve functional status of patients after coronary revascularization. However, research supporting this recommendation has been limited and positive effects of CRP on diastolic function are controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week CRP on left ventricular diastolic function. METHODS This randomized, clinical trial included 29 men with ST elevation myocardial infarct...

  14. A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FUNCTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM AND STANDARDIZED REHABILITATION PROGRAM AFTER ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION IN IMPROVING FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS

    Sam Thamburaj A; Karthikeyan Rajendran; Rajeev Kuppalagan Rajendran

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The objective of this study was to find out whether there is any significant difference between the functional training program and standardized rehabilitation program in improving functional performance of anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed (ACLR) football players. Methods: A total of 30 subjects who met the selection criteria were divided into two groups respectively (15 per group). Subjects were randomly assigned in to two groups: a functional training group A (FTG, n ...

  15. Neocortical layer 6, a review

    Alex M Thomson

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This review attempts to summarise some of the major areas of neocortical research as it pertains to layer 6. After a brief summary of the development of this intriguing layer, the major pyramidal cell classes to be found in layer 6 are described and compared. The connections made and received by these different classes of neurones are then discussed and the possible functions of these connections, with particular reference to the shaping of responses in visual cortex and thalamus. Inhibition in layer 6 is discussed where appropriate, but not in great detail. Many types of interneurones are to be found in each cortical layer and layer 6 is no exception, but the functions of each type remain to be elucidated.

  16. IMPROVING FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE AND MUSCLE POWER 4-TO-6 MONTHS AFTER ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION

    Sabrine Souissi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available 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

  17. Improved radial basis function methods for multi-dimensional option pricing

    Pettersson, Ulrika; Larsson, Elisabeth; Marcusson, Gunnar; Persson, Jonas

    2008-12-01

    In this paper, we have derived a radial basis function (RBF) based method for the pricing of financial contracts by solving the Black-Scholes partial differential equation. As an example of a financial contract that can be priced with this method we have chosen the multi-dimensional European basket call option. We have shown numerically that our scheme is second-order accurate in time and spectrally accurate in space for constant shape parameter. For other non-optimal choices of shape parameter values, the resulting convergence rate is algebraic. We propose an adapted node point placement that improves the accuracy compared with a uniform distribution. Compared with an adaptive finite difference method, the RBF method is 20-40 times faster in one and two space dimensions and has approximately the same memory requirements.

  18. Improving internal communication between marketing and technology functions for successful new food product development

    Jacobsen, Lina; Grunert, Klaus G; Søndergaard, Helle Alsted;

    2014-01-01

    In order to increase the new product development (NPD) success for novel food products, it is crucial to understand how information can be optimally disseminated within companies. This systematic literature review concentrates on factors influencing internal communication between market and techn...... knowledge management, food companies can enhance internal communication between market and technology functions during the NPD process.......In order to increase the new product development (NPD) success for novel food products, it is crucial to understand how information can be optimally disseminated within companies. This systematic literature review concentrates on factors influencing internal communication between market and...... technology experts within the NPD process from a food industry point of view. The review provides practical implications for improving internal communication in food companies and identifies knowledge gaps. By focusing on optimising organisational structure, team composition, management support, and...

  19. Improving the Description of Nonmagnetic and Magnetic Molecular Crystals via the van der Waals Density Functional

    Obata, Masao; Nakamura, Makoto; Hamada, Ikutaro; Oda, Tatsuki

    2015-02-01

    We have derived and implemented a stress tensor formulation for the van der Waals density functional (vdW-DF) with spin-polarization-dependent gradient correction (GC) recently proposed by the authors [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 82, 093701 (2013)] and applied it to nonmagnetic and magnetic molecular crystals under ambient condition. We found that the cell parameters of the molecular crystals obtained with vdW-DF show an overall improvement compared with those obtained using local density and generalized gradient approximations. In particular, the original vdW-DF with GC gives the equilibrium structural parameters of solid oxygen in the α-phase, which are in good agreement with the experiment.

  20. Improving the Description of Nonmagnetic and Magnetic Molecular Crystals via the van der Waals Density Functional

    Obata, Masao; Hamada, Ikutaro; Oda, Tatsuki

    2015-01-01

    We have derived and implemented a stress tensor formulation for the van derWaals density functional (vdW-DF) with spin-polarization-dependent gradient correction (GC) recently proposed by the authors [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 82, 093701 (2013)] and applied it to nonmagnetic and magnetic molecular crystals under ambient condition. We found that the cell parameters of the molecular crystals obtained with vdW-DF show an overall improvement compared with those obtained using local density and generalized gradient approximations. In particular, the original vdW-DF with GC gives the equilibrium structural parameters of solid oxygen in the {\\alpha}-phase, which are in good agreement with the experiment.

  1. High-intensity strength training improves function of chronically painful muscles

    Andersen, Lars L; Andersen, Christoffer H; Skotte, Jørgen H;

    2014-01-01

    AIM: This study investigates consequences of chronic neck pain on muscle function and the rehabilitating effects of contrasting interventions. METHODS: Women with trapezius myalgia (MYA, n = 42) and healthy controls (CON, n = 20) participated in a case-control study. Subsequently MYA were...... randomized to 10 weeks of specific strength training (SST, n = 18), general fitness training (GFT, n = 16), or a reference group without physical training (REF, n = 8). Participants performed tests of 100 consecutive cycles of 2 s isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) of shoulder elevation followed...... capacity during repetitive MVC of the trapezius muscle than healthy controls. High-intensity strength training effectively improves strength capacity during repetitive MVC of the painful trapezius muscle....

  2. Improving the blind restoration of retinal images by means of point-spread-function estimation assessment

    Marrugo, Andrés. G.; Millán, María. S.; Å orel, Michal; Kotera, Jan; Å roubek, Filip

    2015-01-01

    Retinal images often suffer from blurring which hinders disease diagnosis and progression assessment. The restoration of the images is carried out by means of blind deconvolution, but the success of the restoration depends on the correct estimation of the point-spread-function (PSF) that blurred the image. The restoration can be space-invariant or space-variant. Because a retinal image has regions without texture or sharp edges, the blind PSF estimation may fail. In this paper we propose a strategy for the correct assessment of PSF estimation in retinal images for restoration by means of space-invariant or space-invariant blind deconvolution. Our method is based on a decomposition in Zernike coefficients of the estimated PSFs to identify valid PSFs. This significantly improves the quality of the image restoration revealed by the increased visibility of small details like small blood vessels and by the lack of restoration artifacts.

  3. Acute exercise improves endothelial function despite increasing vascular resistance during stress in smokers and nonsmokers.

    Rooks, Cherie R; McCully, Kevin K; Dishman, Rod K

    2011-09-01

    The present study examined the effect of acute exercise on flow mediated dilation (FMD) and reactivity to neurovascular challenges among female smokers and nonsmokers. FMD was determined by arterial diameter, velocity, and blood flow measured by Doppler ultrasonography after forearm occlusion. Those measures and blood pressure and heart rate were also assessed in response to forehead cold and the Stroop Color-Word Conflict Test (CWT) before and after 30 min of rest or an acute bout of cycling exercise (∼50% VO₂ peak). Baseline FMD and stress responses were not different between smokers and nonsmokers. Compared to passive rest, exercise increased FMD and decreased arterial velocity and blood flow responses during the Stroop CWT and forehead cold in both groups. Overall, acute exercise improved endothelial function among smokers and nonsmokers despite increasing vascular resistance and reducing limb blood flow during neurovascular stress. PMID:21457274

  4. Improved Nyquist Filters with a Transfer Characteristic Derived from a Staircase Characteristic Interpolated with Sine Functions

    ALEXANDRU, N. D.

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates a novel approach for constructing a family of ISI-free pulses produced by improved Nyquist filters with a transfer characteristic derived from an ideal staircase frequency characteristic using interpolation with sine functions. They equal or outperform some recently proposed pulses in terms of ISI performance in the presence of sampling errors. The results for error probability outperform the 4th degree polynomial pulse for a reasonable number of interpolation intervals. The proposed pulses were also investigated for OFDM use including DVB systems in order to reduce their sensitivity to frequency offset. The results presented in this paper equal those of recently found pulses in terms of intercarrier interference (ICI power.

  5. Deferoxamine improves neurological function in a rat model of experimental spinal cord injury

    Yanting Wang; Shaoji Yuan; Fachen Wang; Rong Hu; Jiangkai Lin; Zisheng Liu; Hua Feng

    2011-01-01

    A rat model of spinal cord injury was established using modified Allen's method and treated with the ferric iron-chelating agent, deferoxamine. Hematoxylin-eosin, Nissl and Perl's Prussian blue staining, at 7-14 days following spinal cord injury, showed that following deferoxamine treatment, glial cells proliferation increased significantly, nerve cell morphology was improved and hemosiderin was significantly reduced in the injury region. At 1-56 days following injury, Basso, Beattie, and Bres nahan Locomotor Rating Scale scores were increased, while latencies of somatosensory-evoked potentials and motor-evoked potentials were decreased. Results demonstrate that deferoxamine can promote neurological functional recovery after experi-mental spinal cord injury in rats.

  6. In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Nelson, Christopher E; Hakim, Chady H; Ousterout, David G; Thakore, Pratiksha I; Moreb, Eirik A; Castellanos Rivera, Ruth M; Madhavan, Sarina; Pan, Xiufang; Ran, F Ann; Yan, Winston X; Asokan, Aravind; Zhang, Feng; Duan, Dongsheng; Gersbach, Charles A

    2016-01-22

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating disease affecting about 1 out of 5000 male births and caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Genome editing has the potential to restore expression of a modified dystrophin gene from the native locus to modulate disease progression. In this study, adeno-associated virus was used to deliver the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 system to the mdx mouse model of DMD to remove the mutated exon 23 from the dystrophin gene. This includes local and systemic delivery to adult mice and systemic delivery to neonatal mice. Exon 23 deletion by CRISPR-Cas9 resulted in expression of the modified dystrophin gene, partial recovery of functional dystrophin protein in skeletal myofibers and cardiac muscle, improvement of muscle biochemistry, and significant enhancement of muscle force. This work establishes CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing as a potential therapy to treat DMD. PMID:26721684

  7. Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Sensorimotor Function

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.

    2014-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that is wearable or portable and provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for SR training applications customized to each crewmember. Customizing stimulus intensity can maximize treatment effects. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. First we determined the percent time during stimulation periods for which perception of motion (activity above a pre-defined threshold) was reported using the joystick, and body sway (two

  8. Long-term, regular remote ischemic preconditioning improves endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease

    Y. Liang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPre can prevent myocardial injury. The purpose of this study was to assess the beneficial effects of long-term regular RIPre on human arteries. Forty patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG surgery were assigned randomly to a RIPre group (n=20 or coronary heart disease (CHD group (n=20. Twenty patients scheduled for mastectomy were enrolled as a control group. RIPre was achieved by occluding arterial blood flow 5 min with a mercury sphygmomanometer followed by a 5-min reperfusion period, and this was repeated 4 times. The RIPre procedure was repeated 3 times a day for 20 days. In all patients, arterial fragments discarded during surgery were collected to evaluate endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation (FMD, CD34+ monocyte count, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS expression. Phosphorylation levels of STAT-3 and Akt were also assayed to explore the underlying mechanisms. Compared with the CHD group, long-term regular RIPre significantly improved FMD after 20 days (8.5±2.4 vs 4.9±4.2%, P<0.05 and significantly reduced troponin after CABG surgery (0.72±0.31 and 1.64±0.19, P<0.05. RIPre activated STAT-3 and increased CD34+ endothelial progenitor cell counts found in arteries. Long-term, regular RIPre improved endothelial function in patients with CHD, possibly due to STAT-3 activation, and this may have led to an increase in endothelial progenitor cells.

  9. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Prevented the Progression of Renovascular Hypertension, Improved Renal Function and Architecture

    Oliveira-Sales, Elizabeth B.; Maquigussa, Edgar; Semedo, Patricia; Pereira, Luciana G.; Ferreira, Vanessa M.; Câmara, Niels O.; Bergamaschi, Cassia T.; Campos, Ruy R.; Boim, Mirian A.

    2013-01-01

    Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C) is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP) and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (2×105 cells/animal) were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i) prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii) improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii) reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv) suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv) decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v) MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future. PMID:24223811

  10. A serious game to improve cognitive functions in schizophrenia: a pilot study.

    Isabelle eAmado

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a three-month program. In a pilot study, 7 patients with schizophrenia (DSM 5, institutionalized for many years, attended weekly one-hour- and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point. They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D-Map to the 3D-Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of BADS. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and might evolve into a true method

  11. Long-Term Administration of Oxandrolone Improves Lung Function in Pediatric Burned Patients.

    Sousse, Linda E; Herndon, David N; Mlcak, Ronald P; Lee, Jong O; Andersen, Clark R; Zovath, Andrew J; Finnerty, Celeste C; Suman, Oscar E

    2016-01-01

    Pulmonary dysfunction is a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality in the pediatric burned population. We have previously reported that the administration of a synthetic testosterone derivative, oxandrolone, significantly reduced hypermetabolism, and significantly increased height percentile, bone mineral content, lean body mass, and strength in pediatric burned patients. We hypothesize that the administration of oxandrolone will improve pulmonary function in burned pediatric subjects. A subset of severely burned pediatric subjects from a prospective clinical trial (n = 222) were included in our study (n = 54, 7-18 years, ≥30% TBSA burn). The subjects were previously randomized to either the control arm (n = 35) or the oxandrolone arm (0.1 mg/kg twice/day for 12 months, n = 19). Maximum voluntary ventilation, the ratio between forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity, and diffusion capacity were measured 6 months following burn injury, and results were compared between burned subjects with and without oxandrolone administration. Maximum expired ventilation (VEmax) was also measured in a subset of burned subjects. Subjects treated with oxandrolone had a significantly higher maximum voluntary ventilation (98 ± 53 L/min vs 115 ± 56 with treatment, P = .03). During maximal exercise, subjects treated with oxandrolone had a significantly higher VEmax compared with untreated subjects (32.0 ± 8.7 L/min vs 43.7 ± 13.6 with treatment, P = .02). The administration of oxandrolone was associated with improved lung function in pediatric burned patients. PMID:27171844

  12. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study.

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  13. Ventricular Dyssynchrony and Function Improve following Catheter Ablation of Nonseptal Accessory Pathways in Children

    Sylvia Abadir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Paradoxical or hypokinetic interventricular septal motion has been described in patients with septal or paraseptal accessory pathways. Data regarding nonseptal pathways is limited. Methods and Results. We quantified left ventricular dyssynchrony and function in 16 consecutive children, 14.2±3.7 years, weighing 53 ± 17 kg, prior to and following catheter ablation of bidirectional septal (N=6 and nonseptal (N=10 accessory pathways. Following ablation, the left ventricular ejection fraction increased by 4.9±2.1% (P=0.038 from a baseline value of 57.0%±7.8%. By tissue Doppler imaging, the interval between QRS onset and peak systolic velocity (Ts decreased from a median of 33.0 ms to 18.0 ms (P=0.013. The left ventricular ejection fraction increased to a greater extent following catheter ablation of nonseptal (5.9%±2.6%, P=0.023 versus septal (2.5%±4.1%, P=0.461 pathways. The four patients with an ejection fraction 50% after ablation. Similarly, the improvement in dyssynchrony was more marked in patients with nonseptal versus septal pathways (difference between septal and lateral wall motion delay before and after ablation 20.6±7.1 ms (P=0.015 versus 1.4±11.4 ms (P=0.655. Conclusion. Left ventricular systolic function and dyssynchrony improve after ablation of antegrade-conducting accessory pathways in children, with more pronounced changes noted for nonseptal pathways.

  14. A Serious Game to Improve Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

    Amado, Isabelle; Brénugat-Herné, Lindsay; Orriols, Eric; Desombre, Colombe; Dos Santos, Maxine; Prost, Zelda; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Piolino, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia impair everyday functioning and instrumental daily living activities. These disabilities can be partly responsible for chronicity and institutionalization. We present here a virtual reality (VR) tool in which patients with schizophrenia performed a virtual game in an imaginary town during a 3-month program. In a pilot study, seven patients with schizophrenia (DSM-5), institutionalized for many years, attended weekly 1-h-and-a-half sessions organized by two clinicians. During the first sessions, they listed together the difficulties they experienced in everyday organization and planning. After being familiarized with the joystick and the VR environment, they navigated in the town, and planned actions that were difficult for them to carry out in their usual life (e.g., shopping, memorizing the way to the supermarket or being on time at a meeting point). They had to look for alternative routes and practice a switch from a 2D Map to the 3D Map. They also gathered their efforts to share strategies for each action, or discussed the action plan they could generate to solve concrete problems. The pre/post-neuropsychological evaluations showed attention, working memory, prospective, and retrospective memory benefits, but no improvement in planning as assessed by the Zoo map test and the action program subtest of Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome. Patients also clinically and functionally improved, gaining autonomy. Pragmatically, they reported a strong energy to elaborate concrete plans to search for jobs, or return to activities in the community. Qualitative assessments showed a benefit in sparing time, planning better, enriched relatedness, and better management of their housework. This VR game opens avenue to rehabilitation for patients with schizophrenia experiencing chronicity in their life, less attendance in daycare units, and a better community living. This program might reduce neurocognitive difficulties and

  15. Long-term, regular remote ischemic preconditioning improves endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease

    Liang, Y.; Li, Y.P.; He, F.; Liu, X.Q.; Zhang, J.Y. [Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou (China)

    2015-04-28

    Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPre) can prevent myocardial injury. The purpose of this study was to assess the beneficial effects of long-term regular RIPre on human arteries. Forty patients scheduled for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery were assigned randomly to a RIPre group (n=20) or coronary heart disease (CHD) group (n=20). Twenty patients scheduled for mastectomy were enrolled as a control group. RIPre was achieved by occluding arterial blood flow 5 min with a mercury sphygmomanometer followed by a 5-min reperfusion period, and this was repeated 4 times. The RIPre procedure was repeated 3 times a day for 20 days. In all patients, arterial fragments discarded during surgery were collected to evaluate endothelial function by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), CD34{sup +} monocyte count, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS expression). Phosphorylation levels of STAT-3 and Akt were also assayed to explore the underlying mechanisms. Compared with the CHD group, long-term regular RIPre significantly improved FMD after 20 days (8.5±2.4 vs 4.9±4.2%, P<0.05) and significantly reduced troponin after CABG surgery (0.72±0.31 and 1.64±0.19, P<0.05). RIPre activated STAT-3 and increased CD34{sup +} endothelial progenitor cell counts found in arteries. Long-term, regular RIPre improved endothelial function in patients with CHD, possibly due to STAT-3 activation, and this may have led to an increase in endothelial progenitor cells.

  16. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics by Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Attention, Reading Fluency, and Working Memory

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average), two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing) of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group) targeting linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination) significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning. PMID:27551263

  17. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells improve myocardial function in a swine model of acute myocardial infarction.

    Zhao, Jing-Jie; Liu, Xiao-Cheng; Kong, Feng; Qi, Tong-Gang; Cheng, Guang-Hui; Wang, Jue; Sun, Chao; Luan, Yun

    2014-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to confirm the effect and elucidate the mechanism of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). AMI was induced in mini‑swine by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery, and BMSCs (1x107) were injected via a sterile microinjection into the ischemic area. Six months postoperatively, electrocardiograph‑gated single photon emission computed tomography revealed that the myocardial filling defect was reduced and the left ventricular ejection fraction was improved in the BMSC group compared with the control group (P<0.05). Histopathological examination indicated that, in the BMSC treatment group, the percentage of survived myocardial tissue and the vessel density were increased, and the percentage of apoptosis was decreased compared with controls (P<0.05). Reverse transcription‑polymerase chain reaction results indicated that the expression levels of multiple inflammatory factors were significantly upregulated in the BMSC group compared with levels in the control group (P<0.05). In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that BMSC injection significantly improved cardiac function and reduced infarct size in six months, indicating that this method may be valuable for future study in clinical trials. PMID:25060678

  18. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  19. Improvement of Functional Properties of Wheat Gluten Using Acid Protease from Aspergillus usamii

    Deng, Lingli; Wang, Zhaoxia; Yang, Sheng; Song, Junmei; Que, Fei; Zhang, Hui; Feng, Fengqin

    2016-01-01

    Hydrolysis parameters (temperature, E/S ratio, pH, and time) for acid protease (from Aspergillus usamii) hydrolysis of wheat gluten were optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) using emulsifying activity index (EAI) as the response factor. A temperature of 48.9°C, E/S ratio of 1.60%, pH 3.0, hydrolysis time of 2.5 h was found to be the optimum condition to obtain wheat gluten hydrolysate with higher EAI. The solubility of wheat gluten was greatly improved by hydrolysis and became independent of pH over the studied range. Enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in dramatically increase in EAI, water and oil holding capacity. Molecular weight distribution results showed that most of the peptides above 10 kDa have been hydrolyzed into smaller peptides. The results of FTIR spectra and disulfide bond (SS) and sulfhydryl (SH) content suggested that a more extensional conformation was formed after hydrolysis, which could account for the improved functional properties. PMID:27467884

  20. Chronictreatment with Carvedilol improves ventricular function and reducesmyocyte apoptosis in an animal model of heart failure

    Lebeche Djamel

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background β-blocker treatmenthas emerged as an effective treatment modality for heart failure.Interestingly, β-blockers can activate both pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptoticpathways. Nevertheless, the mechanism for improved cardiac functionseen with β-blocker treatment remains largely unknown. Carvedilolis a non-selective β-blocker with α-receptor blockade and antioxidantproperties. We therefore studied the impact of the effects of carvedilolin an animal model of end-stage heart failure. Results To test whetherchronic treatment with β-blockade decreases apoptosis, we treated myopathicturkeys with two dosages of carvedilol, 1 mg/kg (DCM1and 20 mg/kg (DCM20, for four weeks and compared themto non-treated DCM animals (DCM0 and to control turkeys(CON. Echocardiographic measurements showed that non-treated DCManimals had a significantly lower fractional shortening (FS whencompared to CON (68.73 ± 1.37 vs. 18.76 ± 0.59%, p Conclusions Carvedilol improvesventricular function. Furthermore, treatment with carvedilol decreasedthe incidence of apoptosis in cardiac myocytes from failing heartsat both doses. These data suggest that the inhibition of apoptosiswith carvedilol may lead to improvement in ventricular functionand may underlie a beneficial effect of β-blockade independent ofheart rate lowering effects.

  1. Exercise Improves Immune Function, Antidepressive Response, and Sleep Quality in Patients with Chronic Primary Insomnia

    Giselle Soares Passos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of moderate aerobic exercise training on sleep, depression, cortisol, and markers of immune function in patients with chronic primary insomnia. Twenty-one sedentary participants (16 women aged 44.7 ± 9 years with chronic primary insomnia completed a 4-month intervention of moderate aerobic exercise. Compared with baseline, polysomnographic data showed improvements following exercise training. Also observed were reductions in depression symptoms and plasma cortisol. Immunologic assays revealed a significant increase in plasma apolipoprotein A (140.9 ± 22 to 151.2 ± 22 mg/dL and decreases in CD4 (915.6 ± 361 to 789.6 ± 310 mm3 and CD8 (532.4 ± 259 to 435.7 ± 204 mm3. Decreases in cortisol were significantly correlated with increases in total sleep time (r=-0.51 and REM sleep (r=-0.52. In summary, long-term moderate aerobic exercise training improved sleep, reduced depression and cortisol, and promoted significant changes in immunologic variables.

  2. Improvement of Functional Properties of Wheat Gluten Using Acid Protease from Aspergillus usamii.

    Deng, Lingli; Wang, Zhaoxia; Yang, Sheng; Song, Junmei; Que, Fei; Zhang, Hui; Feng, Fengqin

    2016-01-01

    Hydrolysis parameters (temperature, E/S ratio, pH, and time) for acid protease (from Aspergillus usamii) hydrolysis of wheat gluten were optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) using emulsifying activity index (EAI) as the response factor. A temperature of 48.9°C, E/S ratio of 1.60%, pH 3.0, hydrolysis time of 2.5 h was found to be the optimum condition to obtain wheat gluten hydrolysate with higher EAI. The solubility of wheat gluten was greatly improved by hydrolysis and became independent of pH over the studied range. Enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in dramatically increase in EAI, water and oil holding capacity. Molecular weight distribution results showed that most of the peptides above 10 kDa have been hydrolyzed into smaller peptides. The results of FTIR spectra and disulfide bond (SS) and sulfhydryl (SH) content suggested that a more extensional conformation was formed after hydrolysis, which could account for the improved functional properties. PMID:27467884

  3. Whole-body vibration improves cognitive functions of an adult with ADHD.

    Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; van den Bos, Meinris; Regterschot, G Ruben H; Zeinstra, Edzard B; van Heuvelen, Marieke J G; van der Zee, Eddy A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    2014-09-01

    Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, which were shown to affect academic achievement and quality of life. Current treatment strategies, such as stimulant drug treatment, were demonstrated to effectively improve cognitive functions of patients with ADHD. However, most treatment strategies are associated with a number of disadvantages in a considerable proportion of patients, such as unsatisfactory effects, adverse clinical side effects or high financial costs. In order to address limitations of current treatment strategies, whole-body vibration (WBV) might represent a novel approach to treat cognitive dysfunctions of patients with ADHD. WBV refers to the exposure of the whole body of an individual to vibration and was found to affect physiology and cognition. In the present study, WBV was applied on 10 consecutive days to an adult diagnosed with ADHD. Neuropsychological assessments were performed repeatedly at three different times, i.e., the day before the start of the treatment, on the day following completion of treatment and 14 days after the treatment have been completed (follow-up). An improved neuropsychological test performance following WBV treatment points to the high clinical value of WBV in treating patients with neuropsychological impairments such as ADHD. PMID:25031090

  4. Does extending the dual-task functional exercises workout improve postural balance in individuals with ID?

    Mikolajczyk, Edyta; Jankowicz-Szymanska, Agnieszka

    2015-03-01

    Maintaining postural balance, overcoming visual and motor coordination disorders and experiencing problems with low general fitness - typical of intellectually disabled individuals - adversely affect the performance quality of their activities of daily living (ADLs). Physical fitness and postural balance can be improved by taking part in special intervention programs. Our study was designed to test whether extending the dual-task intervention program (combining ADLs with balance exercises on unstable surfaces) from 12 to 24 weeks additionally improved postural balance in individuals with intellectual disability (ID). We also attempted to assess whether the effects of the above intervention program were still noticeable after 8 weeks of holidays, in which participants did not take any rehabilitation exercises. A total of 34 adolescents, aged 14-16 years (15.06±0.9), with moderate ID took part in our study. The experimental group (E) consisted of 17 individuals, who continued the intervention program originated 3 months earlier, and the control group (C) comprised the same number of participants. Postural balance was assessed on a stabilometric platform Alfa. Having extended the workout period by another 12 weeks, we noticed that the path length of the center of pressure (COP) covered by participants on tests with their eyes open and closed significantly shortened. After a lapse of 8 weeks from the completion of the program, the experimental group revealed a statistically significant decrease in the velocity along the medio-lateral (M/L) and anterior-posterior (A/P) axes. The remaining variables stayed at the same level and the control group did not demonstrate any statistically significant changes. Dual-task exercises, in which enhancing functional tasks of daily living is combined with a parallel stimulation of balance reactions, may improve static balance in persons with ID. PMID:25553534

  5. Improved endothelialization of NiTi alloy by VEGF functionalized nanocoating.

    Shen, Weixing; Cai, Kaiyong; Yang, Zaixiang; Yan, Ying; Yang, Weihu; Liu, Peng

    2012-06-01

    To improve surface endothelialization of NiTi alloy substrate, a nano-structured coating functionalized with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was fabricated via polydopamine (PDOP) as intermediate layer. The successful preparation of VEGF conjugated nanocoating was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscope (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) test showed that the formed nanocoating significantly reduced the release of Ni ion from NiTi alloy in simulated body fluid. The biological behaviors of endothelial cells adhered to modified NiTi alloy substrates, including cell proliferation, cell spreading and production of nitric oxide and prostacyclin were investigated in vitro. The results suggest that surface functionalization of NiTi alloy substrate with VEGF is beneficial for cell growth. The approach presented here affords an alternative for surface modification of NiTi implants applied as heart and vascular implant devices. PMID:22387019

  6. Bone marrow mesenchymal cells improve muscle function in a skeletal muscle re-injury model.

    Bruno M Andrade

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle injury is the most common problem in orthopedic and sports medicine, and severe injury leads to fibrosis and muscle dysfunction. Conventional treatment for successive muscle injury is currently controversial, although new therapies, like cell therapy, seem to be promise. We developed a model of successive injuries in rat to evaluate the therapeutic potential of bone marrow mesenchymal cells (BMMC injected directly into the injured muscle. Functional and histological assays were performed 14 and 28 days after the injury protocol by isometric tension recording and picrosirius/Hematoxilin & Eosin staining, respectively. We also evaluated the presence and the fate of BMMC on treated muscles; and muscle fiber regeneration. BMMC treatment increased maximal skeletal muscle contraction 14 and 28 days after muscle injury compared to non-treated group (4.5 ± 1.7 vs 2.5 ± 0.98 N/cm2, p<0.05 and 8.4 ± 2.3 vs. 5.7 ± 1.3 N/cm2, p<0.05 respectively. Furthermore, BMMC treatment increased muscle fiber cross-sectional area and the presence of mature muscle fiber 28 days after muscle injury. However, there was no difference in collagen deposition between groups. Immunoassays for cytoskeleton markers of skeletal and smooth muscle cells revealed an apparent integration of the BMMC within the muscle. These data suggest that BMMC transplantation accelerates and improves muscle function recovery in our extensive muscle re-injury model.

  7. Improvement of sensorimotor functions in old age by passive sensory stimulation

    Tobias Kalisch

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Tobias Kalisch1, Martin Tegenthoff2, Hubert R Dinse11Department of Theoretical Biology, Institute for Neuroinformatics; 2Department of Neurology, BG-Kliniken Bergmannsheil, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, GermanyAbstract: Sensorimotor functions decrease in old age. The well-documented loss of tactile acuity in elderly is accompanied by deterioration of haptic performance and fine manipulative movements. Physical training and exercise can maintain sensorimotor fitness into high age. However, regular schedules of training require discipline and physical fitness. We here present an alternative interventional paradigm to enhance tactile, haptic, and fine motor performance based on passive, sensory stimulation by means of tactile coactivation. This approach is based on patterned, synchronous tactile stimulation applied to the fingertips for 3 hours. The stimulation drives plastic reorganizational changes in somatosensory cortex that affect perception and behavior: We demonstrate that following 3 hours of coactivation tactile acuity as well as haptic object exploration and fine motor performance are improved for at least 96 hours. Because this kind of intervention does not require active participation or attention of the subjects, we anticipate that coactivation is a prime candidate for future therapeutic interventions in patients with impaired sensorimotor abilities. It can be assumed that the maintenance and restoration of sensorimotor functions can ensure and preserve independence of daily living. Further optimizing of the stimulation protocol can be assumed to strengthen both the range and durability of its efficacy.Keywords: aging, tactile acuity, coactivation, cortical plasticity, intervention, sensorimotor performance

  8. An improved method for oriT-directed cloning and functionalization of large bacterial genomic regions.

    Kvitko, Brian H; McMillan, Ian A; Schweizer, Herbert P

    2013-08-01

    We have made significant improvements to a broad-host-range system for the cloning and manipulation of large bacterial genomic regions based on site-specific recombination between directly repeated oriT sites during conjugation. Using two suicide capture vectors carrying flanking homology regions, oriT sites are recombined on either side of the target region. Using a broad-host-range conjugation helper plasmid, the region between the oriT sites is conjugated into an Escherichia coli recipient strain, where it is circularized and maintained as a chimeric mini-F vector. The cloned target region is functionalized in multiple ways to accommodate downstream manipulation. The target region is flanked with Gateway attB sites for recombination into other vectors and by rare 18-bp I-SceI restriction sites for subcloning. The Tn7-functionalized target can also be inserted at a naturally occurring chromosomal attTn7 site(s) or maintained as a broad-host-range plasmid for complementation or heterologous expression studies. We have used the oriTn7 capture technique to clone and complement Burkholderia pseudomallei genomic regions up to 140 kb in size and have created isogenic Burkholderia strains with various combinations of genomic islands. We believe this system will greatly aid the cloning and genetic analysis of genomic islands, biosynthetic gene clusters, and large open reading frames. PMID:23747708

  9. A novel method to promote behavioral improvement and enhance mitochondrial function following an embolic stroke.

    Lapchak, Paul A; Boitano, Paul D

    2016-09-01

    Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only FDA-approved treatment for stroke; tPA increases cerebral reperfusion, blood flow and improved behavior. Novel transcranial laser therapy (TLT) also enhances cerebral blood flow and activates mitochondrial function. Using the rabbit small clot embolic stroke model (RSCEM), we studied the effects of continuous wave TLT (7.5mW/cm(2)) alone or in combination with standardized intravenous (IV) tPA (3.3mg/kg) applied 1h post-embolization on 3 endpoints: 1) behavioral function measured 2 days [effective stroke dose (P50 in mg) producing neurological deficits in 50% of embolized rabbits], 2) intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) rate, and 3) cortical adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) content was measured 6h following embolization. TLT and tPA significantly (p0.05) for the TLT-tPA combination to further increase P50. TLT and tPA both attenuated stroke-induced ATP deficits, and the combination of tPA and TLT produced an additive effect on ATP levels. This study demonstrates that the combination of TLT-tPA enhances ATP production, and suggests that tPA-induced reperfusion in combination with TLT neuroprotection therapy may optimally protect viable cells in the cortex measured using ATP levels as a marker. PMID:27180104

  10. Therapeutic Inhibition of miR-208a Improves Cardiac Function and Survival During Heart Failure

    Montgomery, Rusty L.; Hullinger, Thomas G.; Semus, Hillary M.; Dickinson, Brent A.; Seto, Anita G.; Lynch, Joshua M.; Stack, Christianna; Latimer, Paul A.; Olson, Eric N.; van Rooij, Eva

    2012-01-01

    Background Diastolic dysfunction in response to hypertrophy is a major clinical syndrome with few therapeutic options. MicroRNAs act as negative regulators of gene expression by inhibiting translation or promoting degradation of target mRNAs. Previously, we reported that genetic deletion of the cardiac-specific miR-208a prevents pathological cardiac remodeling and upregulation of Myh7 in response to pressure overload. Whether this miRNA might contribute to diastolic dysfunction or other forms of heart disease is currently unknown. Methods and Results Here, we show that systemic delivery of an antisense oligonucleotide induces potent and sustained silencing of miR-208a in the heart. Therapeutic inhibition of miR-208a by subcutaneous delivery of antimiR-208a during hypertension-induced heart failure in Dahl hypertensive rats dose-dependently prevents pathological myosin switching and cardiac remodeling while improving cardiac function, overall health, and survival. Transcriptional profiling indicates that antimiR-208a evokes prominent effects on cardiac gene expression; plasma analysis indicates significant changes in circulating levels of miRNAs on antimiR-208a treatment. Conclusions These studies indicate the potential of oligonucleotide-based therapies for modulating cardiac miRNAs and validate miR-208 as a potent therapeutic target for the modulation of cardiac function and remodeling during heart disease progression. PMID:21900086

  11. An improved global analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions including RHIC data

    Eskola, K J; Salgado, C A

    2008-01-01

    We present an improved leading-order global DGLAP analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions (nPDFs), supplementing the traditionally used data from deep inelastic lepton-nucleus scattering and Drell-Yan dilepton production in proton-nucleus collisions, with inclusive high-$p_T$ hadron production data measured at RHIC in d+Au collisions. With the help of an extended definition of the $\\chi^2$ function, we now can more efficiently exploit the constraints the different data sets offer, for gluon shadowing in particular, and account for the overall data normalization uncertainties during the automated $\\chi^2$ minimization. The very good simultaneous fit to the nuclear hard process data used demonstrates the feasibility of a universal set of nPDFs, but also limitations become visible. The high-$p_T$ forward-rapidity hadron data of BRAHMS add a new crucial constraint into the analysis by offering a direct probe for the nuclear gluon distributions -- a sector in the nPDFs which has traditionally been very b...

  12. IMPROVED INFORMATIVE PRIOR FOR THE MIXTURE OF LAPLACE DISTRIBUTION UNDER DIFFERENT LOSS FUNCTIONS

    Sajid Ali

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, a new informative prior is developed for the scale parameter of themixture of Laplace distribution when data is censored and can be used to model various realworld problems. The basic proposal is to merge both informative and non-informative priors forimprovement of prior information. There are many real world problems in which investigator hasdifferent opinion than prior information e.g. one doctor provides information that the harmfulnessof medicine is 20% and another chemist observes the chemical combination of medicine andthinks that medicine is harmful 30% due to one element, so if we combine both doctor andchemist opinion as a prior our analysis will improve. An inclusive simulation scheme including alarge number of parameter is followed to highlight properties and behavior of the estimates interms of sample size, censoring rate and proportion of the component of the mixture. A simulatedmixture data with censored observations is generated by probabilistic mixing for computationalpurposes. Elegant closed form expressions for the Bayes estimators and their posterior risk arederived for the censored sample as well as for the complete sample. Some interesting comparisonand properties of the estimates are observed and presented. The complete sample expressions forML estimates and for their variances are derived and also the components of the informationmatrix are constructed as well. The Elicitation of hyper-parameters of mixture through priorpredictive approach and a real-life mixture data example has also been discussed. The Bayesestimates are evaluated under squared error loss function and precautionary loss function.

  13. Functioning of the university focused on the quality and continuous improvement

    M. Dudek-Burlikowska

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: A new approach to the functioning of quality management system at university focused on the quality has been presented.Design/methodology/approach: The profits resulting from possessing of Quality Management System certificate in higher education has been proposed.Findings: At the present time the educational organizations should implement Quality Management Systems, and next they should try to find a possibility of estimation of this System, and the same acting according to Deming’s principles introduce philosophy of total quality management.Research limitations/implications: Generally definitions of quality educational has been described. Quality of university should implement to integrate aspects based on the quality criterion which will allow the entire organizational system of university to achieve the optimum level of the quality, of the high effectiveness and the innovation, and proquality action should include the entire organization.Practical implications: The possibility of implementing Method of Averaging Quality Groups of Rating as a factor of improving of university functioning has been shown.Originality/value: Implementing the Method of Averaging Quality Groups of Rating has been a new approach for estimating quality of university. Design the quality pattern of Criterial Model of the Evaluation of Quality University and calculate the index of quality of scientific organization become the kind of monitoring the entire university oriented on the quality.

  14. Effects of integrated improving technique pilates and bodyflex level of functionality on students

    Kozina Zh.L.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To identify the influence of complex application procedures bodyflex and pilates using information and communication technologies on the students’ level of functionality. Material : The study involved 46 students. Measured indicators: blood pressure, stroke volume, heart rate at rest and during exercise. Identify indicators of submaximal performance, autonomic balance. Results : There was a significant increase in young stroke volume - from 58 ml. to 62.1 ml., the threshold of anaerobic metabolism of 123.4 beats/min to 141.4 beats/min. The girls showed a significant increase in stroke volume - from 58.3 ml to 62.5 ml., the threshold of anaerobic metabolism of 123.7 beats/min. to 143.3 beats/min. Found an increase in performance power supply systems (S.A. Dushanin technique. Marked improvement in efficiency of the cardiovascular system (increased heart rate variability from 322.12 ms to 354.43 ms, reduced mode amplitude values of RR-intervals from 34.09 % to 21.54 %. Submaximal increase of capacity of students. Conclusions : complex application systems bodyflex and pilates enhances the functionality students.

  15. Covalent Binding of Heparin to Functionalized PET Materials for Improved Haemocompatibility

    Metod Kolar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The hemocompatibility of vascular grafts made from poly(ethylene terephthalate (PET is insufficient due to the rapid adhesion and activation of blood platelets that occur upon incubation with whole blood. PET polymer was treated with NHx radicals created by passing ammonia through gaseous plasma formed by a microwave discharge, which allowed for functionalization with amino groups. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterization using derivatization with 4-chlorobenzaldehyde indicated that approximately 4% of the –NH2 groups were associated with the PET surface after treatment with the gaseous radicals. The functionalized polymers were coated with an ultra-thin layer of heparin and incubated with fresh blood. The free-hemoglobin technique, which is based on the haemolysis of erythrocytes, indicated improved hemocompatibility, which was confirmed by imaging the samples using confocal optical microscopy. A significant decrease in number of adhered platelets was observed on such samples. Proliferation of both human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human microvascular endothelial cells was enhanced on treated polymers, especially after a few hours of cell seeding. Thus, the technique represents a promising substitute for wet-chemical modification of PET materials prior to coating with heparin.

  16. Improved Measurement of the b-quark Fragmentation Function in Z0 Decays

    The authors present preliminary results of an improved measurement of the inclusive b quark fragmentation function in Z0 decays using a novel kinematic B hadron energy reconstruction technique. The measurement is performed using 350,000 hadronic Z0 events recorded in the SLD experiment at SLAC between 1997 and 1998. The small and stable SLC beam spot and the CCD-based vertex detector are used to reconstruct topological B-decay vertices with high efficiency and purity, and to provide precise measurements of the kinematic quantities used in this technique. They measure the B energy with good efficiency and resolution over the full kinematic range. They compare the measured scaled B hadron energy distribution with predictions of several models of b quark fragmentation and several functional forms of the B hadron energy distribution. Many of these are excluded by the data. The average scaled energy of the weakly decaying B hadron is measured to be xB = 0.710 ± 0.003 (stat) ± 0.005 (syst) ± 0.004 (model) (preliminary)

  17. Improved Strength and Toughness of Carbon Woven Fabric Composites with Functionalized MWCNTs

    Eslam Soliman

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This investigation examines the role of carboxyl functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (COOH-MWCNTs in the on- and off-axis flexure and the shear responses of thin carbon woven fabric composite plates. The chemically functionalized COOH-MWCNTs were used to fabricate epoxy nanocomposites and, subsequently, carbon woven fabric plates to be tested on flexure and shear. In addition to the neat epoxy, three loadings of COOH-MWCNTs were examined: 0.5 wt%, 1.0 wt% and 1.5 wt% of epoxy. While no significant statistical difference in the flexure response of the on-axis specimens was observed, significant increases in the flexure strength, modulus and toughness of the off-axis specimens were observed. The average increase in flexure strength and flexure modulus with the addition of 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs improved by 28% and 19%, respectively. Finite element modeling is used to demonstrate fiber domination in on-axis flexure behavior and matrix domination in off-axis flexure behavior. Furthermore, the 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs increased the toughness of carbon woven composites tested on shear by 33%. Microstructural investigation using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR proves the existence of chemical bonds between the COOH-MWCNTs and the epoxy matrix.

  18. The improvement in functional characteristics of eco-friendly composites made of natural rubber and cellulose

    Araki, Kunihiro; Kaneko, Shonosuke; Matsumoto, Koki; Tanaka, Tatsuya; Arao, Yoshihiko [Applied Materials Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Doshisha University, 1-3, Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, 610-0321 (Japan); Nagatani, Asahiro [Applied Materials Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Doshisha University, 1-3, Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, 610-0321 (Japan); Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Technology, 3-1-12, Yukihira-cho, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654-0037 (Japan)

    2015-05-22

    We investigated the efficient use of cellulose to resolve the problem of the depletion of fossil resources. In this study, as the biomass material, the green composite based on natural rubber (NR) and the flake-shaped cellulose particles (FSCP) was produced. In order to further improvement of functional characteristics, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) was also used instead of NR. The FSCP were produced by mechanical milling in a planetary ball mill with a grinding aid as a cellulose aggregation inhibitor. Moreover, talc and mica particles were used to compare with FSCP. NR and ENR was mixed with vulcanizing agents and then each filler was added to NR compound in an internal mixer. The vulcanizing agents are as follows: stearic acid, zinc oxide, sulfur, and vulcanization accelerator. The functionalities of the composites were evaluated by a vibration-damping experiment and a gas permeability experiment. As a result, we found that FSCP filler has effects similar to (or more than) inorganic filler in vibration-damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties. And then, vibration- damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties of the composite including FSCP was increased with use of ENR. In particular, we found that ENR-50 composite containing 50 phr FSCP has three times as high vibration-damping property as ENR-50 without FSCP.

  19. The improvement in functional characteristics of eco-friendly composites made of natural rubber and cellulose

    We investigated the efficient use of cellulose to resolve the problem of the depletion of fossil resources. In this study, as the biomass material, the green composite based on natural rubber (NR) and the flake-shaped cellulose particles (FSCP) was produced. In order to further improvement of functional characteristics, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) was also used instead of NR. The FSCP were produced by mechanical milling in a planetary ball mill with a grinding aid as a cellulose aggregation inhibitor. Moreover, talc and mica particles were used to compare with FSCP. NR and ENR was mixed with vulcanizing agents and then each filler was added to NR compound in an internal mixer. The vulcanizing agents are as follows: stearic acid, zinc oxide, sulfur, and vulcanization accelerator. The functionalities of the composites were evaluated by a vibration-damping experiment and a gas permeability experiment. As a result, we found that FSCP filler has effects similar to (or more than) inorganic filler in vibration-damping and O2 barrier properties. And then, vibration- damping and O2 barrier properties of the composite including FSCP was increased with use of ENR. In particular, we found that ENR-50 composite containing 50 phr FSCP has three times as high vibration-damping property as ENR-50 without FSCP

  20. How to use fMRI functional localizers to improve EEG/MEG source estimation.

    Cottereau, Benoit R; Ales, Justin M; Norcia, Anthony M

    2015-07-30

    EEG and MEG have excellent temporal resolution, but the estimation of the neural sources that generate the signals recorded by the sensors is a difficult, ill-posed problem. The high spatial resolution of functional MRI makes it an ideal tool to improve the localization of the EEG/MEG sources using data fusion. However, the combination of the two techniques remains challenging, as the neural generators of the EEG/MEG and BOLD signals might in some cases be very different. Here we describe a data fusion approach that was developed by our team over the last decade in which fMRI is used to provide source constraints that are based on functional areas defined individually for each subject. This mini-review describes the different steps that are necessary to perform source estimation using this approach. It also provides a list of pitfalls that should be avoided when doing fMRI-informed EEG/MEG source imaging. Finally, it describes the advantages of using a ROI-based approach for group-level analysis and for the study of sensory systems. PMID:25088693

  1. N-Acetylcysteine Improves Liver Function in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

    Marayam Zaare

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aims: Non-alcoholic fatty liver change is a common disease of the liver in which oxidative stress plays a basic role. Studies are largely focused on protecting the liver by means of anti-oxidative material. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of N- acetylcysteine in the process of liver injury.Methods: Thirty patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver steatosis were randomly selected to receive either N-acetylcysteine or vitamin C. Liver function tests (alanine aminotransfrase, aspartate aminotransfrase and alkaline phosphatase were measured as well as the grade of steatosis, the pattern of its echogenicity, the span of the liver and the spleen and the portal vein diameter before the intervention. Patients were followed up using the same method of evaluation repeated in the first, second and third months. Results: The mean age (SD was 40.1(12.4 in patients receiving NAC and 46(10.4 years in patients receiving vitamin C (P = 0.137. NAC resulted in a significant decrease of serum alanine aminotransfrase after three months, compared to vitamin C. This effect was independent of the grade of steatosis in the initial diagnosis. NAC was able to significantly decrease the span of the spleen.Conclusions: N-acetylcysteine can improve liver function in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Better results may be achievable in a longer follow up.

  2. Flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer improves hand function in children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: Case series

    Estilow, T.; Kozin, S.H.; Glanzman, A. M.; Burns, J; Finkel, R.S.

    2012-01-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease limits hand function. Tendon transfer has not been reported in pediatric CMT. We report two severely affected children following long finger flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer. Improvement was noted in palmar abduction, (30°/40°), opposition, (thumb to all digits), and acquisition of pincer, palmar, and lateral pinch with measureable force (1 lb). Dexterity testing improved on the 9 Hole Peg Test (1.03 s/77 s, 22 s) and Functional Dexterity T...

  3. Determine Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Using Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    Goel, R.; Kofman, I.; DeDios, Y. E.; Jeevarajan, J.; Stepanyan, V.; Nair, M.; Congdon, S.; Fregia, M.; Cohen, H.; Bloomberg, J.J.; Mulavara, A.P.

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface [1]. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training applications customized to each crewmember. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds [2]. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s long sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. Comparison of threshold of motion detection obtained from joystick data versus body sway suggests that perceptual thresholds were significantly lower. In the balance task, subjects stood on an unstable surface and had to maintain balance

  4. Hemodialysis improves endothelial venous function in end-stage renal disease

    A.M.V. Silva

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to determine the acute effect of hemodialysis on endothelial venous function and oxidative stress. We studied 9 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD, 36.8 ± 3.0 years old, arterial pressure 133.8 ± 6.8/80.0 ± 5.0 mmHg, time on dialysis 55.0 ± 16.6 months, immediately before and after a hemodialysis session, and 10 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Endothelial function was assessed by the dorsal hand vein technique using graded local infusion of acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent venodilation, EDV and sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent venodilation. Oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring protein oxidative damage (carbonyls and antioxidant defense (total radical trapping antioxidant potential - TRAP in blood samples. All patients were receiving recombinant human erythropoietin for at least 3 months and were not taking nitrates or a-receptor antagonists. EDV was significantly lower in ESRD patients before hemodialysis (65.6 ± 10.5 vs controls (109.6 ± 10.8; P = 0.010 and after hemodialysis (106.6 ± 15.7; P = 0.045. Endothelium-independent venodilation was similar in all comparisons performed. The hemodialysis session significantly decreased TRAP (402.0 ± 53.5 vs 157.1 ± 28.3 U Trolox/µL plasma; P = 0.001. There was no difference in protein damage comparing ESRD patients before and after hemodialysis. The magnitude of change in the EDV was correlated negatively with the magnitude of change in TRAP (r = -0.70; P = 0.037. These results suggest that a hemodialysis session improves endothelial venous function, in association with an antioxidant effect.

  5. Improved Calibration Functions of Three Capacitance Probes for the Measurement of Soil Moisture in Tropical Soils

    Ali Fares

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Single capacitance sensors are sensitive to soil property variability. The objectives of this study were to: (i establish site-specific laboratory calibration equations of three single capacitance sensors (EC-20, EC-10, and ML2x for tropical soils, and (ii evaluate the accuracy and precision of these sensors. Intact soil cores and bulk samples, collected from the top 20 and 80 cm soil depths at five locations across the Upper Mākaha Valley watershed, were analyzed to determine their soil bulk density (ρb, total porosity (θt, particle size distribution, and electrical conductivity (EC. Laboratory calibration equations were established using soil packed columns at six water content levels (0–0.5 cm3 cm−3. Soil bulk density and θt significantly varied with sampling depths; whereas, soil clay content (CC and EC varied with sampling locations. Variations of ρb and θt at the two depths significantly affected the EC-20 and ML2x laboratory calibration functions; however, there was no effect of these properties on calibration equation functions of EC-10. There was no significant effect of sampling locations on the laboratory calibration functions suggesting watershed-specific equations for EC-20 and ML2x for the two depths; a single watershed-specific equation was needed for EC-10 for both sampling depths. The laboratory calibration equations for all sensors were more accurate than the corresponding default equations. ML2x exhibited better precision than EC-10, followed by EC-20. We conclude that the laboratory calibration equations can mitigate the effects of varying soil properties and improve the sensors’ accuracy for water content measurements.

  6. Improved calibration functions of three capacitance probes for the measurement of soil moisture in tropical soils.

    Fares, Ali; Abbas, Farhat; Maria, Domingos; Mair, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Single capacitance sensors are sensitive to soil property variability. The objectives of this study were to: (i) establish site-specific laboratory calibration equations of three single capacitance sensors (EC-20, EC-10, and ML2x) for tropical soils, and (ii) evaluate the accuracy and precision of these sensors. Intact soil cores and bulk samples, collected from the top 20 and 80 cm soil depths at five locations across the Upper Mākaha Valley watershed, were analyzed to determine their soil bulk density (ρ(b)), total porosity (θ(t)), particle size distribution, and electrical conductivity (EC). Laboratory calibration equations were established using soil packed columns at six water content levels (0-0.5 cm(3) cm(-3)). Soil bulk density and θ(t) significantly varied with sampling depths; whereas, soil clay content (CC) and EC varied with sampling locations. Variations of ρ(b) and θ(t) at the two depths significantly affected the EC-20 and ML2x laboratory calibration functions; however, there was no effect of these properties on calibration equation functions of EC-10. There was no significant effect of sampling locations on the laboratory calibration functions suggesting watershed-specific equations for EC-20 and ML2x for the two depths; a single watershed-specific equation was needed for EC-10 for both sampling depths. The laboratory calibration equations for all sensors were more accurate than the corresponding default equations. ML2x exhibited better precision than EC-10, followed by EC-20. We conclude that the laboratory calibration equations can mitigate the effects of varying soil properties and improve the sensors' accuracy for water content measurements. PMID:22163880

  7. Improved Stabilities of Immobilized Glucoamylase on Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Synthesised using Decane as Swelling Agent

    Reni George

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ordered mesoporous silica, with high porosity was used to immobilize glucoamylase via adsorption and covalent binding. Immobilization of glucoamylase within mesoporous silica was successfully achieved, resulting in catalytically high efficiency during starch hydrolysis. In this study, mesoporous silica was functionalized by co-condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS with organosilane (3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES in a wide range of molar ratios of APTES: TEOS in the presence of triblock copolymer P123 under acidic hydrothermal conditions. The prepared materials were characterized by Small angle XRD, Nitrogen adsorption – desorption and 29Si MAS solid state NMR. N2 desorption studies showed that pore size distribution decreases due to pore blockage after functionalization and enzyme immobilization. Small angle XRD and 29Si MAS NMR study reveals mesophase formation and Si environment of the materials. The main aim of our work was to study the catalytical activity, effect of pH, temperature storage stability and reusability of covalently bound glucoamylase on mesoporous silica support. The result shows that the stability of enzyme can be enhanced by immobilization.  © 2013 BCREC UNDIP. All rights reservedReceived: 3rd December 2012; Revised: 4th April 2013; Accepted: 20th April 2013[How to Cite: George, R., Gopinath, S., Sugunan, S. (2013. Improved Stabilities of Immobilized Glucoamyl-ase on Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Synthesized using Decane as Swelling Agent. Bulletin of Chemical Reaction Engineering & Catalysis, 8 (1: 70-76. (doi:10.9767/bcrec.8.1.4208.70-76][Permalink/DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9767/bcrec.8.1.4208.70-76] | View in  |

  8. Taurine improves functional and histological outcomes and reduces inflammation in traumatic brain injury.

    Su, Y; Fan, W; Ma, Z; Wen, X; Wang, W; Wu, Q; Huang, H

    2014-04-25

    We investigated the effect of taurine on inflammatory cytokine expression, on astrocyte activity and cerebral edema and functional outcomes, following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats. 72 rats were randomly divided into sham, TBI and Taurine groups. Rats subjected to moderate lateral fluid percussion injury were injected intravenously with taurine (200mg/kg) or saline immediately after injury or daily for 7days. Functional outcome was evaluated using Modified Neurological Severity Score (mNSS). Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) of the brain was measured using immunofluorescence. Concentration of 23 cytokines and chemokines in the injured cortex at 1 and 7days after TBI was assessed by Luminex xMAP technology. The results showed that taurine significantly improved functional recovery except 1day, reduced accumulation of GFAP and water content in the penumbral region at 7days after TBI. Compared with the TBI group, taurine significantly suppressed growth-related oncogene (GRO/KC) and interleukin (IL)-1β levels while elevating the levels of regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) at 1day. And taurine markedly decreased the level of 17 cytokine: eotaxin, Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-17, leptin, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and only increased the level of MIP-1α in a week. The results suggest that taurine effectively mitigates the severity of brain damage in TBI by attenuating the increase of astrocyte activity and edema as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines. PMID:24530657

  9. Improving effector functions of antibodies for cancer treatment: Enhancing ADCC and CDC

    Akito Natsume

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Akito Natsume, Rinpei Niwa, Mitsuo SatohAntibody Research Laboratories, Research Division, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.,/Machida-shi, Tokyo, JapanAbstract: As platforms for therapeutic agents, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs have already been approved, and several MAbs have demonstrated clinical effectiveness in a variety of malignancies. However, several issues have also been emerging in antibody therapy, such as high cost and insufficient drug action. Recently, to improve MAb activity in humans, effector functions have been subjects of focus, especially antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC. Extensive efforts have been made to enhance these effector functions of MAbs, and successful approaches have been reported by us and others, wherein the binding activity of MAbs to FcγRIIIa or C1q is increased by introducing amino acid mutations into heavy chain constant regions or through glyco-modification of Fc-linked oligosaccharides. In addition, one of the next approaches to optimizing therapeutic antibodies would be to combine multiple enhancing modifications into a single antibody platform to overcome the diverse mechanisms of clinical resistance of tumor cells. For this aim, we have recently developed a successful combination composed of ADCC-enhancing modification by the fucose depletion from Fc-linked oligosaccharides and CDC-enhancing modification by IgG1 and IgG3 isotype shuffling in heavy chains, which could be of great value for the development of third-generation antibody therapeutics.Keywords: ADCC, CDC, effector functions, Fc oligosaccharides, IgG isotypes, nonfucosylated IgG

  10. Κ-opioid receptor stimulation improves endothelial function in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension.

    Qi Wu

    Full Text Available The present study was designed to investigate the effect of κ-opioid receptor stimulation with U50,488H on endothelial function and underlying mechanism in rats with hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH. Chronic hypoxia-induced HPH was simulated by exposing the rats to 10% oxygen for 2 wk. After hypoxia, mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP, right ventricular pressure (RVP and right ventricular hypertrophy index (RVHI were measured. Relaxation of pulmonary artery in response to acetylcholine (ACh was determined. Expression and activity of endothelial nitric oxide (NO synthase (eNOS and inducible NO synthase (iNOS with NO production, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC, gp91(phox expression and nitrotyrosine content were measured. The effect of U50,488H administration during chronic hypoxia was investigated. Administration of U50,488H significantly decreased mPAP and right ventricular hypertrophy as evidenced by reduction in RVP and RVHI. These effects were mediated by κ-opioid receptor. In the meantime, treatment with U50,488H significantly improved endothelial function as evidenced by enhanced relaxation in response to ACh. Moreover, U50,488H resulted in a significant increase in eNOS phosphorylation, NO content in serum, and T-AOC in pulmonary artery of HPH rats. In addition, the activity of eNOS was enhanced, but the activity of iNOS was attenuated in the pulmonary artery of chronic hypoxic rats treated with U50,488H. On the other hand, U50,488H markedly blunted HPH-induced elevation of gp91(phox expression and nitrotyrosine content in pulmonary artery, and these effects were blocked by nor-BNI, a selective κ-opioid receptor antagonist. These data suggest that κ-opioid receptor stimulation with U50,488H improves endothelial function in rats with HPH. The mechanism of action might be attributed to the preservation of eNOS activity, enhancement of eNOS phosphorylation, downregulation of iNOS activity and its antioxidative/nitrative effect.

  11. Cognitive training improves sleep quality and cognitive function among older adults with insomnia.

    Iris Haimov

    Full Text Available STUDY OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. DESIGN: Participants (n = 51 were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34 or to an active control group (n = 17. The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated. SETTING: COMMUNITY SETTING: residential sleep/performance testing facility. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65-85. INTERVENTIONS: Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia. RESULTS: Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming. Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved "avoiding distractions" is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep. CONCLUSIONS: New learning is instrumental in promoting

  12. AB032. A systematic review (meta-analysis): low energy shock wave improves erectile function

    Lue, Tom F.

    2016-01-01

    Background As a novel therapeutic method for erectile dysfunction (ED), the Low Energy Shock Wave (LESW) has been applied in the clinical setting recently. We feel that a summary of the current literature and a systematic review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of LESW for ED would be helpful for physicians who are interested in using this modality to treat patients. Methods A comprehensive search of the PubMed and EMBASE databases to November 2015 was performed. Studies reporting on patients with ED treated by LESW were included. The international index of erectile function (IIEF) score and Erection Hardness Score (EHS) were the most commonly used tools to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of LESW. Results There were 14 studies including 806 patients from 2005 to 2015. Seven of the 14 studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). In these studies, the setup parameters of LESW and the protocols of treatment were in variation. The meta-analysis revealed that LESW could improve IIEF score (MD =2.00; 95% CI, 0.99–3.00; P<0.0001) and EHS score (RD =0.16; 95% CI, 0.03–0.28; P=0.01) significantly. The therapeutic efficacy could last at least three months. The patients with mild-moderate ED or without comorbidities had better therapeutic efficacy after treatment than patients with more severe ED or comorbidities. The energy density of LESW treatment was closely related to its clinical outcome, especially on IIEF improvement. More frequent treatment or longer treatment course did not improve IIEF score. Conclusions Studies of LESW for ED patients increased sharply in recent years. Most of these studies presented encouraging results, regardless of variation in LESW setup parameters or treatment protocols. These studies suggest that LESW could significantly improve the IIEF and EHS score of ED patients. The publication of robust evidence from additional randomized controlled trials and longer-term follow-up would provide us more confidence regarding utilization

  13. Exercise training and antioxidant supplementation independently improve cognitive function in adult male and female GFAP-APOE mice

    Kiran Chaudhari

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: Exercise was the most effective treatment at improving cognitive function in both genotypes and sex, while antioxidants seemed to be effective only in the APOE4. In young adult mice only non-spatial learning and memory were improved. The combination of the two treatments did not yield further improvement in cognition, and there was no antagonistic action of the antioxidant supplementation on the beneficial effects of exercise.

  14. Brain structural connectivity increases concurrent with functional improvement: Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI in children with cerebral palsy during therapy

    Zoë A. Englander

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral Palsy (CP refers to a heterogeneous group of permanent but non-progressive movement disorders caused by injury to the developing fetal or infant brain (Bax et al., 2005. Because of its serious long-term consequences, effective interventions that can help improve motor function, independence, and quality of life are critically needed. Our ongoing longitudinal clinical trial to treat children with CP is specifically designed to meet this challenge. To maximize the potential for functional improvement, all children in this trial received autologous cord blood transfusions (with order randomized with a placebo administration over 2 years in conjunction with more standard physical and occupational therapies. As a part of this trial, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is used to improve our understanding of how these interventions affect brain development, and to develop biomarkers of treatment efficacy. In this report, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI and subsequent brain connectome analyses were performed in a subset of children enrolled in the clinical trial (n = 17, who all exhibited positive but varying degrees of functional improvement over the first 2-year period of the study. Strong correlations between increases in white matter (WM connectivity and functional improvement were demonstrated; however no significant relationships between either of these factors with the age of the child at time of enrollment were identified. Thus, our data indicate that increases in brain connectivity reflect improved functional abilities in children with CP. In future work, this potential biomarker can be used to help differentiate the underlying mechanisms of functional improvement, as well as to identify treatments that can best facilitate functional improvement upon un-blinding of the timing of autologous cord blood transfusions at the completion of this study.

  15. Improving Cognitive Function from Children to Old Age: A Systematic Review of Recent Smart Ageing Intervention Studies

    Rui Nouchi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Cognitive functions are important for daily life at any age. One purpose of Smart Ageing is to investigate how to improve cognitive functions. This systematic review evaluates beneficial effects of the intervention on cognitive functions. Method. We conducted a systematic review of intervention studies of improvements of cognitive functions published or in press before December 2013. Because of the heterogeneity of the intervention programs, a systematic and critical review of the interventions and outcomes was conducted instead of a meta-analysis. Results. We identified nine completed and published studies, which were divided into four categories: cognitive training using video game, cognitive training using PC, cognitive training using paper and pencil, and exercise training. Review results showed that various intervention programs can improve cognitive functions such as executive functions, working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, and general cognitive ability/IQ. Conclusions. The systematic review demonstrated that some intervention programs can be effective for improving various aspects of cognitive functioning at any age. Some limitations to this review include its small sample size and heterogeneity of programs and cognitive function measures, in addition to unresolved issues such as transfer of everyday skills and effectiveness for nonhealthy people.

  16. Can fish oil supplementation improve endothelial function in asymptomatic offspring of patients with peripheral arterial disease?

    Spark JI

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available J Ian Spark,1 Christopher L Delaney,1 Richard B Allan,1 Melissa HL Ho,2 Michelle D Miller21Department of Vascular Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaBackground: Peripheral arterial disease affects 10%–25% of adults aged .55 years, and while a multitude of risk factors exist, one key influence is genetics. Rather than awaiting the onset of debilitating symptoms, interventions that target high-risk individuals and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms would have widespread impact. The aim of this study is to implement a 12-week fish oil intervention (10 mL/day containing approximately 1.5 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid, with the intention of improving endothelial function, inflammation, and lipid status in a high-risk population, ie, those with impaired endothelial function and a parent with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease.Methods: This is a parallel-group, double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving administration of fish oil containing either about 1.5 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid (intervention or about 0.15 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and about 0.1 g of docosahexaenoic acid for 12 consecutive weeks (control. The participants are 100 offspring of adults with diagnosed peripheral arterial disease who themselves have an ankle-brachial pressure index ≥0.9 but impaired endothelial function according to peripheral arterial tonometry. Measures performed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks include flow-mediated dilatation, C-reactive protein, absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1ß, and interleukin-6 levels, thromboxane and prostacyclin, lipid status, and homocysteine, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Participants will be phoned fortnightly to monitor adherence and side effects, while participants will

  17. Loquat leaf extract enhances myogenic differentiation, improves muscle function and attenuates muscle loss in aged rats.

    Sung, Bokyung; Hwang, Seong Yeon; Kim, Min Jo; Kim, Minjung; Jeong, Ji Won; Kim, Cheol Min; Chung, Hae Young; Kim, Nam Deuk

    2015-09-01

    A main characteristic of aging is the debilitating, progressive and generalized impairment of biological functions, resulting in an increased vulnerability to disease and death. Skeletal muscle comprises approximately 40% of the human body; thus, it is the most abundant tissue. At the age of 30 onwards, 0.5‑1% of human muscle mass is lost each year, with a marked acceleration in the rate of decline after the age of 65. Thus, novel strategies that effectively attenuate skeletal muscle loss and enhance muscle function are required to improve the quality of life of older subjects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) leaf extract (LE) can prevent the loss of skeletal muscle function in aged rats. Young (5-month-old) and aged (18‑19-month-old) rats were fed LE (50 mg/kg/day) for 35 days and the changes in muscle mass and strength were evaluated. The age‑associated loss of grip strength was attenuated, and muscle mass and muscle creatine kinase (CK) activity were enhanced following the administration of LE. Histochemical analysis also revealed that LE abrogated the age‑associated decrease in cross‑sectional area (CSA) and decreased the amount of connective tissue in the muscle of aged rats. To investigate the mode of action of LE, C2C12 murine myoblasts were used to evaluate the myogenic potential of LE. The expression levels of myogenic proteins (MyoD and myogenin) and functional myosin heavy chain (MyHC) were measured by western blot analysis. LE enhanced MyoD, myogenin and MyHC expression. The changes in the expression of myogenic genes corresponded with an increase in the activity of CK, a myogenic differentiation marker. Finally, LE activated the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, which is involved in muscle protein synthesis during myogenesis. These findings suggest that LE attenuates sarcopenia by promoting myogenic differentiation and subsequently promoting muscle protein synthesis

  18. Brief bursts of infrasound may improve cognitive function--an fMRI study.

    Weichenberger, Markus; Kühler, Robert; Bauer, Martin; Hensel, Johannes; Brühl, Rüdiger; Ihlenfeld, Albrecht; Ittermann, Bernd; Gallinat, Jürgen; Koch, Christian; Sander, Tilmann; Kühn, Simone

    2015-10-01

    At present, infrasound (sound frequency < 20 Hz; IS) is being controversially discussed as a potential mediator of several adverse bodily as well as psychological effects. However, it remains unclear, if and in what way IS influences cognition. Here, we conducted an fMRI experiment, in which 13 healthy participants were exposed to IS, while cognitive performance was assessed in an n-back working memory paradigm. During the task, short sinusoidal tone bursts of 12 Hz were administered monaurally with sound pressure levels that had been determined individually in a categorical loudness scaling session prior to the fMRI experiment. We found that task execution was associated with a significant activation of the prefrontal and the parietal cortex, as well as the striatum and the cerebellum, indicating the recruitment of a cognitive control network. Reverse contrast analysis (n-back with tone vs. n-back without tone) revealed a significant activation of the bilateral primary auditory cortex (Brodmann areas 41, 42). Surprisingly, we also found a strong, yet non-significant trend for an improvement of task performance during IS exposure. There was no correlation between performance and brain activity measures in tone and no-tone condition with sum scores of depression-, anxiety-, and personality factor assessment scales (BDI, STAIX1/X2, BFI-S). Although exerting a pronounced effect on cortical brain activity, we obtained no evidence for an impairment of cognition due to brief bursts of IS. On the contrary, potential improvement of working memory function introduces an entirely new aspect to the debate on IS-related effects. PMID:26260309

  19. Sustained Delivery of Nicotinamide Limits Cortical Injury and Improves Functional Recovery Following Traumatic Brain Injury

    Andrea M. Goffus

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Previously, we have demonstrated that nicotinamide (NAM, a neuroprotective soluble B-group vitamin, improves recovery of function following traumatic brain injury (TBI. However, no prior studies have examined whether NAM is beneficial following continuous infusions over 7 days post-TBI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the preclinical efficacy of NAM treatment as it might be delivered clinically; over several days by slow infusion. Rats were prepared with either unilateral controlled cortical impact (CCI injuries or sham procedures and divided into three groups: CCI-NAM, CCI-vehicle and sham. Thirty minutes following CCI, Alzet osmotic mini-pumps were implanted subcutaneously. NAM was delivered at a rate of 50 mg/kg/day for 7 days immediately post-CCI. On day 7 following injury, the pumps were removed and blood draws were collected for serum NAM and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ analyses. Starting on day 2 post-CCI, animals were tested on a battery of sensorimotor tests (bilateral tactile adhesive removal, locomotor placing and limb-use asymmetry. Continuous infusion of NAM resulted in a significant serum elevation in NAM, but not NAD+. Statistical analyses of the tactile removal and locomotor placing data revealed that continuous administration of NAM significantly reduced the initial magnitude of the injury deficit and improved overall recovery compared to the vehicle-treated animals. NAM treatment also significantly decreased limb-use asymmetries compared to vehicle-treated animals. The overall extent of the cortical damage was also reduced by NAM treatment. No detrimental effects were seen following continuous infusion. The present results suggest that NAM delivered via a clinically relevant therapeutic regimen may truncate behavioral damage following TBI. Thus our results offer strong support for translation into the clinical population.

  20. Interleukin-6, a mental cytokine.

    Spooren, Anneleen; Kolmus, Krzysztof; Laureys, Guy; Clinckers, Ralph; De Keyser, Jacques; Haegeman, Guy; Gerlo, Sarah

    2011-06-24

    Almost a quarter of a century ago, interleukin-6 (IL-6) was discovered as an inflammatory cytokine involved in B cell differentiation. Today, IL-6 is recognized to be a highly versatile cytokine, with pleiotropic actions not only in immune cells, but also in other cell types, such as cells of the central nervous system (CNS). The first evidence implicating IL-6 in brain-related processes originated from its dysregulated expression in several neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. In addition, IL-6 was shown to be involved in multiple physiological CNS processes such as neuron homeostasis, astrogliogenesis and neuronal differentiation. The molecular mechanisms underlying IL-6 functions in the brain have only recently started to emerge. In this review, an overview of the latest discoveries concerning the actions of IL-6 in the nervous system is provided. The central position of IL-6 in the neuroinflammatory reaction pattern, and more specifically, the role of IL-6 in specific neurodegenerative processes, which accompany Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and excitotoxicity, are discussed. It is evident that IL-6 has a dichotomic action in the CNS, displaying neurotrophic properties on the one hand, and detrimental actions on the other. This is in agreement with its central role in neuroinflammation, which evolved as a beneficial process, aimed at maintaining tissue homeostasis, but which can become malignant when exaggerated. In this perspective, it is not surprising that 'well-meant' actions of IL-6 are often causing harm instead of leading to recovery. PMID:21238488

  1. Heme oxygenase-1 induction improves cardiac function following myocardial ischemia by reducing oxidative stress.

    Yossi Issan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress plays a key role in exacerbating diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, a stress response protein, is cytoprotective, but its role in post myocardial infarction (MI and diabetes is not fully characterized. We aimed to investigate the protection and the mechanisms of HO-1 induction in cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia and in diabetic mice subjected to LAD ligation. METHODS: In vitro: cultured cardiomyocytes were treated with cobalt-protoporphyrin (CoPP and tin protoporphyrin (SnPP prior to hypoxic stress. In vivo: CoPP treated streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were subjected to LAD ligation for 2/24 h. Cardiac function, histology, biochemical damage markers and signaling pathways were measured. RESULTS: HO-1 induction lowered release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH and creatine phospho kinase (CK, decreased propidium iodide staining, improved cell morphology and preserved mitochondrial membrane potential in cardiomyocytes. In diabetic mice, Fractional Shortening (FS was lower than non-diabetic mice (35±1%vs.41±2, respectively p<0.05. CoPP-treated diabetic animals improved cardiac function (43±2% p<0.01, reduced CK, Troponin T levels and infarct size compared to non-treated diabetic mice (P<0.01, P<0.001, P<0.01 respectively. CoPP-enhanced HO-1 protein levels and reduced oxidative stress in diabetic animals, as indicated by the decrease in superoxide levels in cardiac tissues and plasma TNFα levels (p<0.05. The increased levels of HO-1 by CoPP treatment after LAD ligation led to a shift of the Bcl-2/bax ratio towards the antiapoptotic process (p<0.05. CoPP significantly increased the expression levels of pAKT and pGSK3β (p<0.05 in cardiomyocytes and in diabetic mice with MI. SnPP abolished CoPP's cardioprotective effects. CONCLUSIONS: HO-1 induction plays a role in cardioprotection against hypoxic damage in cardiomyocytes and in reducing post ischemic cardiac damage in the diabetic heart

  2. Better estimation of protein-DNA interaction parameters improve prediction of functional sites

    O'Flanagan Ruadhan A

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Characterizing transcription factor binding motifs is a common bioinformatics task. For transcription factors with variable binding sites, we need to get many suboptimal binding sites in our training dataset to get accurate estimates of free energy penalties for deviating from the consensus DNA sequence. One procedure to do that involves a modified SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment method designed to produce many such sequences. Results We analyzed low stringency SELEX data for E. coli Catabolic Activator Protein (CAP, and we show here that appropriate quantitative analysis improves our ability to predict in vitro affinity. To obtain large number of sequences required for this analysis we used a SELEX SAGE protocol developed by Roulet et al. The sequences obtained from here were subjected to bioinformatic analysis. The resulting bioinformatic model characterizes the sequence specificity of the protein more accurately than those sequence specificities predicted from previous analysis just by using a few known binding sites available in the literature. The consequences of this increase in accuracy for prediction of in vivo binding sites (and especially functional ones in the E. coli genome are also discussed. We measured the dissociation constants of several putative CAP binding sites by EMSA (Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay and compared the affinities to the bioinformatics scores provided by methods like the weight matrix method and QPMEME (Quadratic Programming Method of Energy Matrix Estimation trained on known binding sites as well as on the new sites from SELEX SAGE data. We also checked predicted genome sites for conservation in the related species S. typhimurium. We found that bioinformatics scores based on SELEX SAGE data does better in terms of prediction of physical binding energies as well as in detecting functional sites. Conclusion We think that training binding site detection

  3. Receiver function images beneath Kii Peninsula, southwest Japan with an improved procedure

    Nakagawa, Y.; Shibutani, T.; Abe, Y.; Kawakata, H.; Doi, I.

    2010-12-01

    Teleseismic P waves can be theoretically represented by convolving the impulse response of recording instruments, seismic source functions and the impulse response of earth structures. And the convolution of the instrument response and the source time function can be approximated by the vertical component waveform because an incidence angle of the teleseismic P wave is small (Langston, 1979). Hence, receiver functions (RFs) are conventionally calculated by deconvolving the vertical component from the radial and transverse components of the P wave part of teleseismic events. However, noises uncorrelated among the components cause the deconvolution unstable (Langston and Hammer, 2000). Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the noises in the vertical component to obtain accurate RFs. In addition, a radial RF includes PS converted waves at S wave velocity discontinuities and scattered waves caused by heterogeneous structures as well as a direct P wave which does not include structure information. The direct Pp phase in the radial RF may mask smaller Ps phases generated at shallower depths or prevent observed and synthetic waveforms from fitting smaller phases in RF waveform inversions. In this study, we tried to estimate better source time functions and remove the direct Pp phase from RFs according to the procedure of Bostock and Rondenay (1999). We used wave data from linear seismic arrays in Kii Peninsula (Shibutani et al, 2009). In the RFs obtained by this method, the direct Pp phase with a large amplitude is removed and PS converted waves near t = 0 s clearly appear. The pre-signal noise is also reduced. For the part after the direct P waves, the RFs obtained by this method are mostly consistent with the corresponding RFs by the conventional method although some phases are not fitted in their amplitude and phase. For an example, some peaks between 2 s and 10 s become sharper in the revised RFs than in the conventional RFs. The conventional RFs are probably more

  4. MiRNA-124 induces neuroprotection and functional improvement after focal cerebral ischemia.

    Hamzei Taj, Somayyeh; Kho, Widuri; Riou, Adrien; Wiedermann, Dirk; Hoehn, Mathias

    2016-06-01

    microRNA-124 (miR-124), the most abundant miRNA of the CNS, was recently shown to modulate the polarization of activated microglia and infiltrating macrophages towards the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype and protect neurons in various ways after brain disease. In ischemic stroke, microglia and macrophages of a detrimental and persistent pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype have been shown to aggravate the secondary injury. Thus, shifting the polarization of microglia/macrophages into the beneficial, anti-inflammatory M2-like phenotype is considered neuroprotective after stroke onset. Here, we have induced 30 min transient occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (MCAO) in 34 male, C57BL/6 mice. Lesion development was monitored with T2-weighted MRI. Liposomated miR-124 was injected in 11 animals at 48 h and in 5 animals at 10 days after MCAO. Arg-1, a marker for M2 phenotype, was co-stained with Iba-1, NeuN or GFAP. The distribution of astrocytes, neurons and microglia/macrophages and their expression of Arg-1 were quantified. Early miR-124 injection resulted in a significantly increased neuronal survival and a significantly increased number of M2-like polarized microglia/macrophages. Moreover, the lesion core, delineated by reactive astrocytes, was significantly reduced over time upon early miR-124 injection. These neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of the early miR-124 treatment were pronounced during the first week with Arg-1. Number of Arg-1+ microglia/macrophages correlated with neuronal protection and with functional improvement during the first week. Thus, our present results demonstrate that miR-124 may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for neuroprotection and functional recovery upon stroke onset. PMID:27031810

  5. Rate capability improvement of polypyrrole via integration with functionalized commercial carbon cloth for pseudocapacitor

    Feng, Dong-Yang; Song, Yu; Huang, Zi-Hang; Xu, Xin-Xin; Liu, Xiao-Xia

    2016-08-01

    Rate capability of polypyrrole (PPy) was improved through additional doping by oxygen containing functional groups introduced in the substrate of functionalized carbon cloth (FCC). The PPy deposited on surfaces of carbon fibers in FCC displayed good rate capability, 70% of its capacitance (341.2 mF cm-2 at 1 mA cm-2) can be retained when the charge/discharge current density increased 20 times to 20 mA cm-2, while the PPy deposited on untreated carbon cloth (CC) could only retain 52% of its capacitance (308.7 mF cm-2 at 1 mA cm-2). PPy/FCC also displayed excellent cycling stability, 96% of its initial capacitance can be retained after 10,000 charge/discharge cycles. The asymmetric supercapacitor (ASC) assembled by using PPy/FCC as anode and crumpled MnO2 nanosheets electrochemically deposited on carbon cloth (MnO2/CC) as cathode also displayed good rate capability. When the charge/discharge current density increased 10 times from 1 to 10 mA cm-2, the ASC can retain 79% of its volumetric capacitance (from 1.78 to 1.41 F cm-3). The ASC demonstrated a high volumetric energy density of 0.80 mWh cm-3 at 12.85 mW cm-3. After 10,000 galvanostatic charge/discharge cycles, the ASC can retain 90.7% of its capacitance, demonstrating its good cycling stability.

  6. Estradiol improves cardiovascular function through up-regulation of SOD2 on vascular wall.

    Liu, Zhaoyu; Gou, Yulan; Zhang, Hongyu; Zuo, Houjuan; Zhang, Haimou; Liu, Zhengxiang; Yao, Dachun

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have shown that estrogens have protective effects in cardiovascular diseases, even though the results from human clinical trials remain controversial, while most of the animal experiments confirmed this effect, but the detailed mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we found that estradiol (E2) treatment significantly increases the expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2) in mice and in vitro in human aorta endothelial cells. Further investigation shows that E2 up-regulates SOD2 through tethering of estrogen receptor (ER) to Sp1 and the increased binding of Sp1 to GC-box on the SOD2 promoter, where ERα responses E2-mediated gene activation, and ERβ maintains basal gene expression level. The E2/ER-mediated SOD2 up-regulation results in minimized ROS generation, which highly favors healthy cardiovascular function. Gene therapy through lentivirus-carried endothelium-specific delivery to the vascular wall in high-fat diet (HFT) mice shows that the SOD2 expression in endothelial cells normalizes E2 deficiency-induced ROS generation with ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction and vascular damage, while SOD2 knockdown worsens the problem despite the presence of E2, indicating that E2-induced SOD2 expression plays an important vasculoprotective role. To our knowledge, this is the first report for the mechanism by which E2 improves cardiovascular function through up-regulation of SOD2 in endothelial cells. In turn, this suggests a novel gene therapy through lentivirus-carried gene delivery to vascular wall for E2 deficiency-induced cardiovascular damage in postmenopausal women. PMID:25462070

  7. Metformin improves endothelial function in aortic tissue and microvascular endothelial cells subjected to diabetic hyperglycaemic conditions.

    Ghosh, Suparna; Lakshmanan, Arun P; Hwang, Mu Ji; Kubba, Haidar; Mushannen, Ahmed; Triggle, Chris R; Ding, Hong

    2015-12-01

    The cellular mechanisms whereby metformin, the first line drug for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), mediates its antidiabetic effects remain elusive, particularly as to whether metformin has a direct protective action on the vasculature. This study was designed to determine if a brief 3-h exposure to metformin protects endothelial function against the effects of hyperglycaemia. We investigated the protective effects of metformin on endothelial-dependent vasodilatation (EDV) in thoracic aortae from T2DM db/db mice and on high glucose (HG, 40 mM) induced changes in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signaling in mouse microvascular endothelial cells (MMECs) in culture. Exposure of aortae from db+/? non-diabetic control mice to high glucose (HG, 40 mM) containing Krebs for 3-h significantly (PEDV compared to ACh-induced EDV in aortae maintained in normal glucose (NG, 11 mM) Krebs. The reduction of EDV was partially reversed following a 3-h exposure to 50 μM metformin; metformin also improved ACh-induced EDV in aortae from diabetic db/db mice. Immunoblot analysis of MMECs cultured in HG versus NG revealed a significant reduction of the ratio of phosphorylated (p-eNOS)/eNOS and p-Akt/Akt, but not the expression of total eNOS or Akt. The 3-h exposure of MMECs to metformin significantly (P<0.05) reversed the HG-induced reduction in phosphorylation of both eNOS and Akt; however, no changes were detected for phosphorylation of AMPK or the expression of SIRT1. Our data indicate that a 3-h exposure to metformin can reverse/reduce the impact of HG on endothelial function, via mechanisms linked to increased phosphorylation of eNOS and Akt. PMID:26467186

  8. Estradiol improves cardiovascular function through up-regulation of SOD2 on vascular wall

    Zhaoyu Liu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological studies have shown that estrogens have protective effects in cardiovascular diseases, even though the results from human clinical trials remain controversial, while most of the animal experiments confirmed this effect, but the detailed mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we found that estradiol (E2 treatment significantly increases the expression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2 in mice and in vitro in human aorta endothelial cells. Further investigation shows that E2 up-regulates SOD2 through tethering of estrogen receptor (ER to Sp1 and the increased binding of Sp1 to GC-box on the SOD2 promoter, where ERα responses E2-mediated gene activation, and ERβ maintains basal gene expression level. The E2/ER-mediated SOD2 up-regulation results in minimized ROS generation, which highly favors healthy cardiovascular function. Gene therapy through lentivirus-carried endothelium-specific delivery to the vascular wall in high-fat diet (HFT mice shows that the SOD2 expression in endothelial cells normalizes E2 deficiency-induced ROS generation with ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction and vascular damage, while SOD2 knockdown worsens the problem despite the presence of E2, indicating that E2-induced SOD2 expression plays an important vasculoprotective role. To our knowledge, this is the first report for the mechanism by which E2 improves cardiovascular function through up-regulation of SOD2 in endothelial cells. In turn, this suggests a novel gene therapy through lentivirus-carried gene delivery to vascular wall for E2 deficiency-induced cardiovascular damage in postmenopausal women.

  9. Repetitive magnetic stimulation improves retinal function in a rat model of retinal dystrophy

    Rotenstreich, Ygal; Tzameret, Adi; Levi, Nir; Kalish, Sapir; Sher, Ifat; Zangen, Avraham; Belkin, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Vision incapacitation and blindness associated with retinal dystrophies affect millions of people worldwide. Retinal degeneration is characterized by photoreceptor cell death and concomitant remodeling of remaining retinal cells. Repetitive Magnetic Stimulation (RMS) is a non-invasive technique that creates alternating magnetic fields by brief electric currents transmitted through an insulated coil. These magnetic field generate action potentials in neurons, and modulate the expression of neurotransmitter receptors, growth factors and transcription factors which mediate plasticity. This technology has been proven effective and safe in various psychiatric disorders. Here we determined the effect of RMS on retinal function in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats, a model for retinal dystrophy. Four week-old RCS and control Spargue Dawley (SD) rats received sham or RMS treatment over the right eye (12 sessions on 4 weeks). RMS treatment at intensity of at 40% of the maximal output of a Rapid2 stimulator significantly increased the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave responses by up to 6- or 10-fold in the left and right eye respectively, 3-5 weeks following end of treatment. RMS treatment at intensity of 25% of the maximal output did not significant effect b-wave responses following end of treatment with no adverse effect on ERG response or retinal structure of SD rats. Our findings suggest that RMS treatment induces delayed improvement of retinal functions and may induce plasticity in the retinal tissue. Furthermore, this non-invasive treatment may possibly be used in the future as a primary or adjuvant treatment for retinal dystrophy.

  10. D-Cycloserine improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with wide therapeutic window

    Adeleye, A.; Biegon, A.; Adeleye, A.; Shohami, E.; Nachman, D.; Alexandrovich, A.; Trembovler, V.; Yaka, R.; Shoshan, Y.; Dhawan, J.; Biegon, A.

    2009-12-01

    It has been long thought that hyperactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors underlies neurological decline after traumatic brain injury. However, all clinical trials with NMDA receptor antagonists failed. Since NMDA receptors are down-regulated from 4 h to 2 weeks after brain injury, activation at 24 h, rather than inhibition, of these receptors, was previously shown to be beneficial in mice. Here, we tested the therapeutic window, dose regimen and mechanism of action of the NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) in traumatic brain injury. Male mice were subjected to trauma using a weight-drop model, and administered 10 mg/kg (i.p.) DCS or vehicle once (8, 16, 24, or 72 h) twice (24 and 48 h) or three times (24, 48 and 72 h). Functional recovery was assessed for up to 60 days, using a Neurological Severity Score that measures neurobehavioral parameters. In all groups in which treatment was begun at 24 or 72 h neurobehavioral function was significantly better than in the vehicle-treated groups. Additional doses, on days 2 and 3 did not further improve recovery. Mice treated at 8 h or 16 h post injury did not differ from the vehicle-treated controls. Co-administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 completely blocked the protective effect of DCS given at 24 h. Infarct volume measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 48 h or by cresyl violet at 28 days was not affected by DCS treatment. Since DCS is used clinically for other indications, the present study offers a novel approach for treating human traumatic brain injury with a therapeutic window of at least 24 h.

  11. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

    Derek G Groenendyk

    Full Text Available Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization

  12. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

    Groenendyk, Derek G; Ferré, Ty P A; Thorp, Kelly R; Rice, Amy K

    2015-01-01

    Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization of landscape

  13. Improved Left Ventricular Diastolic Function with Exercise Training in Hypertension: A Doppler Imaging Study

    Huan Zheng

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To study the effects of 6 months’ exercise training on ventricular function in hypertensive patients. Methods. Both groups received routine anti-hypertensive pharmacological therapy and one received a 6 months’ exercise program in addition. All patients underwent incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test and echocardiography in baseline and after 6 months. Results. (1 In 6 months’ follow-up, PeakVO2, Powermax (max workload, AT (anaerobic threshold, VO2AT (VO2 at anaerobic threshold, tAT (time from beginning to anaerobic threshold (<.05, were increased in the exercise group. HRrest (Heart rate at rest was decreased (<.05. LAVI (left atrial volume index, peak mitral filling velocities during early (E and late (A diastole E/A ratio, DT(deceleration time of the mitral E wave, IVST(Interventricular septum thickness in diastole, tissue Doppler indice Mean Ea/Aa ratio (<.05 were also improved. (2 Correlation analysis: 4 variates had significant effect on change of PeakVO2 in the exercise group: age (=−0.39, change of HRrest (=0.59, change of E/A (=0.55, change of Mean Ea/Aa (=0.58; Through analyzing 2 groups patients’ baseline values, their age (=−0.32, VO2AT (=0.29, HRrest (=−0.25, LAVI (=−0.24, E/A (=0.41 were found to be independent predictors of MeanEa/Aa. -value under .05 was considered statistically significant. Conclusion. 6 months’ exercise could enhance hypertensive patients’ aerobic exercise level and diastolic function to a certain extent.

  14. Effect of dietary supplementation on improvement of growth and immune function of broilers

    Chen Liancheng; Zeng Wei; Li Yu; Wang Yongqiang

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of a dietary supplement (MirigenTM),a fungal cell wall derivative product,as a new generation alternative to antibiotics,on the growth and the innate and adaptive immune functions in broilers from birth to 45 d of age. Newborn chicken were randomly assigned to one of three groups:G1 (n=150) controls no supplement fed;G2 (n=150) is fed with dietary supplement at a designed regular dose (0.5%,weight of additive to food);G3 (n=150) is fed with dietary supplement at double doses (1%). All three groups were housed in the same conditions. Body weight and blood were taken on day 1,14,28 and 45. Medications used and costs/treatment were recorded for each group. The whole blood was used to purify heterophils for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and E coli killing abilities examination assays,and the serum samples were preserved in freezer for enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to determine concentration of macrophage inflammatory protein-1β(MIP-1β),CD4/CD8,interferon-γ(IFN-γ), and titers of antibody against Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Group differences were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) algorithm (S-Plus). There was no significant birth weight difference in three groups. Af-ter 45 d growth,the dietary supplement treated groups had significantly higher body weight gain (BWG) with lower mortality rate if compared to the untreated control group (P<0.05). Their BWG and mortality rate were 2.23 kg and 10%in G1 (control group),2.89 kg and 2%in G2 (experimental group,0.5%dose),and 2.77 kg and 1%in G3 (experimental group,1%dose),respectively. Heterophil ROS generation in treated groups were markedly improved through the addition of dietary supplement in both regular and double doses to the diet (P<0.05). The ability of heterophil to kill E coli was also significantly improved in dietary supplement treated groups (P<0.01). Comparing to control group,there was significantly higher serum

  15. Improvement of CPU time of Linear Discriminant Function based on MNM criterion by IP

    Shuichi Shinmura

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Revised IP-OLDF (optimal linear discriminant function by integer programming is a linear discriminant function to minimize the number of misclassifications (NM of training samples by integer programming (IP. However, IP requires large computation (CPU time. In this paper, it is proposed how to reduce CPU time by using linear programming (LP. In the first phase, Revised LP-OLDF is applied to all cases, and all cases are categorized into two groups: those that are classified correctly or those that are not classified by support vectors (SVs. In the second phase, Revised IP-OLDF is applied to the misclassified cases by SVs. This method is called Revised IPLP-OLDF.In this research, it is evaluated whether NM of Revised IPLP-OLDF is good estimate of the minimum number of misclassifications (MNM by Revised IP-OLDF. Four kinds of the real data—Iris data, Swiss bank note data, student data, and CPD data—are used as training samples. Four kinds of 20,000 re-sampling cases generated from these data are used as the evaluation samples. There are a total of 149 models of all combinations of independent variables by these data. NMs and CPU times of the 149 models are compared with Revised IPLP-OLDF and Revised IP-OLDF. The following results are obtained: 1 Revised IPLP-OLDF significantly improves CPU time. 2 In the case of training samples, all 149 NMs of Revised IPLP-OLDF are equal to the MNM of Revised IP-OLDF. 3 In the case of evaluation samples, most NMs of Revised IPLP-OLDF are equal to NM of Revised IP-OLDF. 4 Generalization abilities of both discriminant functions are concluded to be high, because the difference between the error rates of training and evaluation samples are almost within 2%.   Therefore, Revised IPLP-OLDF is recommended for the analysis of big data instead of Revised IP-OLDF. Next, Revised IPLP-OLDF is compared with LDF and logistic regression by 100-fold cross validation using 100 re-sampling samples. Means of error rates of

  16. Sensitivity Improvement of an Impedimetric Immunosensor Using Functionalized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

    Imen Hafaid

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This work has explored the development of impedimetric immunosensors based on magnetic iron nanoparticles (IrNP functionalized with streptavidin to which a biotinylated FAB part of the antibody has been bound using a biotin-streptavidin interaction. SPR analysis shows a deviation on the measured (angle during antigen-antibody recognition whereas label free detection using by EIS allows us to monitor variation of polarization resistance. Before detection, layers were analyzed by FTIR and AFM. Compared to immobilization of antibody on bare gold surface using aminodecanethiol SAM, antibody immobilization on nanoparticles permitted to reach lower detection limit: 500 pg/ml instead of 1 ng/ml to in the case of EIS and 300 ng/ml instead of 4.5 μg/ml in the case of SPR. Thus, it permitted to improve the sensitivity: from 257.3  Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml to 1871 Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml in the case of EIS and from 0.003°μg−1⋅ml to 0.094°μg−1⋅ml in the case of SPR.

  17. Unani Treatment Decreased Fibrosis and Improved Liver Functions in Decompensated Cirrhosis of Liver: A Case Series

    Akhtar Siddiqui

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available At present, liver transplantation remains the only curative option for the patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver diseases. The survival rate and recurrent diseases remain the major issues in the patient post-transplantation. Unani medicine is one of the oldest traditional systems of medicine which has been treating chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis (Talayyaful-Kabid for centuries. The current study aimed to assess the impact of Unani treatment on decompensated cirrhosis and collect data to warrant further clinical trials. Authors conducted a case series on five patients with decompensated cirrhosis and portal hypertension. The disease was confirmed through FibroScan and ultrasound and treated with Unani treatment orally for seven months. Results were evaluated based on FibroScan, liver function test (LFT, EuroQol-5D (EQ5D, Child-Pugh and TTO-TIME (trade-off question. Significant improvements in LFT, fibrosis and quality of life were achieved in the studied patients. The literature related to the herbal constituents of chief medicines used to treat in this case was reviewed. The herbs proved their potential anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective, immuno-modulator and antiviral activities, suggesting plausible mechanisms of action in the cases. The preliminary findings indicated the potential therapeutic role of Unani treatment in decompensated cirrhosis. Clinical trials should be conducted to explore further therapeutic potential of Unani treatment in decompensated cirrhosis.

  18. Improving the galaxy clustering Fisher matrix: window function, bin cross-correlation, and bin redshift uncertainty

    Bailoni, Alberto; Amendola, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The Fisher matrix is a widely used tool to forecast the performance of future experiments and approximate the likelihood of large data sets. Most of the forecasts for cosmological parameters in galaxy clustering studies rely on the Fisher matrix approach for large-scale experiments like DES, Euclid, or SKA. Here we improve upon the standard method by taking into account three effects: the finite window function, the correlation between redshift bins, and the uncertainty on the bin redshift. The first two effects are negligible only in the limit of infinite surveys. The third effect, on the contrary, is negligible for infinitely small bins. Here we show how to take into account these effects and what the impact on forecasts of a Euclid-type experiment will be. The main result of this article is that the windowing and the bin cross-correlation induce a considerable change in the forecasted errors, of the order of 10-30% for most cosmological parameters, while the redshift bin uncertainty can be neglected for bi...

  19. Statistical improvements in functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses produced by censoring high-motion data points.

    Siegel, Joshua S; Power, Jonathan D; Dubis, Joseph W; Vogel, Alecia C; Church, Jessica A; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Petersen, Steven E

    2014-05-01

    Subject motion degrades the quality of task functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Here, we test two classes of methods to counteract the effects of motion in task fMRI data: (1) a variety of motion regressions and (2) motion censoring ("motion scrubbing"). In motion regression, various regressors based on realignment estimates were included as nuisance regressors in general linear model (GLM) estimation. In motion censoring, volumes in which head motion exceeded a threshold were withheld from GLM estimation. The effects of each method were explored in several task fMRI data sets and compared using indicators of data quality and signal-to-noise ratio. Motion censoring decreased variance in parameter estimates within- and across-subjects, reduced residual error in GLM estimation, and increased the magnitude of statistical effects. Motion censoring performed better than all forms of motion regression and also performed well across a variety of parameter spaces, in GLMs with assumed or unassumed response shapes. We conclude that motion censoring improves the quality of task fMRI data and can be a valuable processing step in studies involving populations with even mild amounts of head movement. PMID:23861343

  20. Limbic Activity Modulation Guided by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Inspired Electroencephalography Improves Implicit Emotion Regulation.

    Keynan, Jackob N; Meir-Hasson, Yehudit; Gilam, Gadi; Cohen, Avihay; Jackont, Gilan; Kinreich, Sivan; Ikar, Limor; Or-Borichev, Ayelet; Etkin, Amit; Gyurak, Anett; Klovatch, Ilana; Intrator, Nathan; Hendler, Talma

    2016-09-15

    The amygdala has a pivotal role in processing traumatic stress; hence, gaining control over its activity could facilitate adaptive mechanism and recovery. To date, amygdala volitional regulation could be obtained only via real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a highly inaccessible procedure. The current article presents high-impact neurobehavioral implications of a novel imaging approach that enables bedside monitoring of amygdala activity using fMRI-inspired electroencephalography (EEG), hereafter termed amygdala-electrical fingerprint (amyg-EFP). Simultaneous EEG/fMRI indicated that the amyg-EFP reliably predicts amygdala-blood oxygen level-dependent activity. Implementing the amyg-EFP in neurofeedback demonstrated that learned downregulation of the amyg-EFP facilitated volitional downregulation of amygdala-blood oxygen level-dependent activity via real-time fMRI and manifested as reduced amygdala reactivity to visual stimuli. Behavioral evidence further emphasized the therapeutic potential of this approach by showing improved implicit emotion regulation following amyg-EFP neurofeedback. Additional EFP models denoting different brain regions could provide a library of localized activity for low-cost and highly accessible brain-based diagnosis and treatment. PMID:26996601

  1. Enzyme replacement improves nervous system pathology and function in a mouse model for metachromatic leukodystrophy.

    Matzner, Ulrich; Herbst, Eva; Hedayati, Kerstin Khalaj; Lüllmann-Rauch, Renate; Wessig, Carsten; Schröder, Stephan; Eistrup, Carl; Möller, Christer; Fogh, Jens; Gieselmann, Volkmar

    2005-05-01

    A deficiency of arylsulfatase A (ASA) causes the lysosomal storage disease metachromatic leukodystrophy, which is characterized by accumulation of the sphingolipid 3-O-sulfogalactosylceramide (sulfatide). Sphingolipid storage results in progressive demyelination and severe neurologic symptoms. The disease is lethal, and curative therapy is not available. To assess the therapeutic potential of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), ASA knockout mice were treated by intravenous injection of recombinant human ASA. Plasma levels of ASA declined with a half-time of approximately 40 min, and enzyme was detectable in tissues within minutes after injection. The uptake of injected enzyme was high into liver, moderate into peripheral nervous system (PNS) and kidney and very low into brain. The apparent half-life of endocytosed enzyme was approximately 4 days. A single injection led to a time- and dose-dependent decline of the excess sulfatide in PNS and kidney by up to 70%, but no reduction was seen in brain. Four weekly injections with 20 mg/kg body weight not only reduced storage in peripheral tissues progressively, but also were surprisingly effective in reducing sulfatide storage in brain and spinal cord. The histopathology of kidney and central nervous system was ameliorated. Improved neuromotor coordination capabilities and normalized peripheral compound motor action potential demonstrate the benefits of ERT on the nervous system function. Enzyme replacement may therefore be a promising therapeutic option in this devastating disease. PMID:15772092

  2. Training improves oxidative capacity, but not function, in spinal muscular atrophy type III

    Madsen, Karen Lindhardt; Hansen, Regitze Sølling; Preisler, Nicolai;

    2015-01-01

    a 12-week training program, performing 42 30-minute sessions exercising at 65-70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max ). VO2max , muscle strength, functional tests, and self-reported activities of daily living were assessed before and after the training. RESULTS: Training induced a 27 ± 3% increase in......INTRODUCTION: In this study we investigated the effect of 12 weeks of cycle ergometer training in patients with spinal muscular atrophy type III (SMA III), a hereditary motor neuron disease with progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. METHODS: Six SMA III patients and 9 healthy subjects completed...... VO2max (17 ± 2 to 21 ± 2 ml/kg/min, P < 0.001) in patients. However, fatigue was a major complaint and caused 1 patient to drop out, increased the need for sleep in 3 patients, and led to training modifications in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Cycle exercise improves VO2max in SMA III without causing...

  3. Cell Adhesion Selectivity of Stent Material to improve Bio-functionality by Ion Beam Modification

    In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He+ ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He+ ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft

  4. Cell Adhesion Selectivity of Stent Material to improve Bio-functionality by Ion Beam Modification

    Lee, Jaesang; Park, JUngchan; Jung, Myunghwan; Kim, Yongki [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Junkyu [Bio alpha., Co. Ltd., Gimhae (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He{sup +} ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He{sup +} ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft.

  5. Does injection of metanephric mesenchymal cells improve renal function in rats?

    Yu-qing Jiao

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic kidney disease (CKD is a massive global health-care problem. Cell therapy offers a potential treatment for CKD. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the administration of a population of stem cells could be used to treat adriamycin (ADR-induced glomerulopathy in rats, a form of CKD. We intravenously transplanted metanephric mesenchymal cells (MMCs into rats treated with ADR. We also induced MMC differentiation in vitro using a medium derived from serum and homogenates of ADR-induced glomerulopathy rats. We detected the induction of an early epithelial phenotype (cytokeratin-18 expression and a proximal tubule phenotype (vitamin D receptor expression in vitro, and MMC-derived epithelial cells corresponding to the proximal tubule and glomeruli in vivo. Transplantation of MMCs after induction of glomerulopathy significantly increased the creatinine clearance rate (Ccr, a marker for glomerular filtration rate, but had no significant effect on other parameters (24-hour urinary protein excretion, serum albumin, total cholesterol. In addition, there was no significant difference in blood urea nitrogen or serum creatinine levels in rats with and without ADR administration. Our results indicate that MMCs might survive, engraft and differentiate into renal epithelia in vivo when transplanted into ADR-treated rats. However, further studies are needed to determine whether MMC transplantation improves renal function and causes renal repair in this model.

  6. Proteasome inhibitors, including curcumin, improve pancreatic β-cell function and insulin sensitivity in diabetic mice

    Weisberg, S; Leibel, R; Tortoriello, D V

    2016-01-01

    Background: Type 2 diabetes stems from obesity-associated insulin resistance, and in the genetically susceptible, concomitant pancreatic β-cell failure can occur, which further exacerbates hyperglycemia. Recent work by our group and others has shown that the natural polyphenol curcumin attenuates the development of insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in mouse models of hyperinsulinemic or compensated type 2 diabetes. Although several potential downstream molecular targets of curcumin exist, it is now recognized to be a direct inhibitor of proteasome activity. We now show that curcumin also prevents β-cell failure in a mouse model of uncompensated obesity-related insulin resistance (Leprdb/db on the Kaliss background). Results: In this instance, dietary supplementation with curcumin prevented hyperglycemia, increased insulin production and lean body mass, and prolonged lifespan. In addition, we show that short-term in vivo treatment with low dosages of two molecularly distinct proteasome inhibitors celastrol and epoxomicin reverse hyperglycemia in mice with β-cell failure by increasing insulin production and insulin sensitivity. Conclusions: These studies suggest that proteasome inhibitors may prove useful for patients with diabetes by improving both β-cell function and relieving insulin resistance. PMID:27110686

  7. Resistance Exercise Reduces Skeletal Muscle Cachexia and Improves Muscle Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Salaheddin Sharif

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune, inflammatory disease associated with cachexia (reduced muscle and increased fat. Although strength-training exercise has been used in persons with RA, it is not clear if it is effective for reducing cachexia. A 46-year-old woman was studied to determine: (i if resistance exercise could reverse cachexia by improving muscle mass, fiber cross-sectional area, and muscle function; and (2 if elevated apoptotic signaling was involved in cachexia with RA and could be reduced by resistance training. A needle biopsy was obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle of the RA subject before and after 16 weeks of resistance training. Knee extensor strength increased by 13.6% and fatigue decreased by 2.8% Muscle mass increased by 2.1%. Average muscle fiber cross-sectional area increased by 49.7%, and muscle nuclei increased slightly after strength training from 0.08 to 0.12 nuclei/μm2. In addition, there was a slight decrease (1.6% in the number of apoptotic muscle nuclei after resistance training. This case study suggests that resistance training may be a good tool for increasing the number of nuclei per fiber area, decreasing apoptotic nuclei, and inducing fiber hypertrophy in persons with RA, thereby slowing or reversing rheumatoid cachexia.

  8. Transplanted human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells improve left ventricular function through angiogenesis in myocardial infarction

    HU Cheng-heng; WU Gui-fu; WANG Xiao-qing; YANG Yan-hua; DU Zhi-min; HE Xiao-hong; XIANG Peng

    2006-01-01

    Background Human umbilical cord blood contains an abundance of immature stem/progenitor cells, which may participate in the repair of hearts that have been damaged by myocardial infarction (MI). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCBC) transplantation on cardiac function and left ventricular remodeling in rat model of MI.Methods Forty-five male Wistar rats were randomized into three groups: MI or control group (n=15), MI plus cell transplantation (n=15), and sham group (n=15). Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was established by ligating the left anterior descending artery, thereafter, hUCBC were implanted into the marginal area of infarcted myocardium. In MI/control group, DMEM was injected instead of hUCBC following the same protocol. Left ventricular function assessment was carried out by echocardiography and invasive hemodynamic measurements one month post MI. All rats were sacrificed for histological and immunochemical examinations.Results The transplanted hUCBC survived and engaged in the process of myocardial repair in the host heart.Echocardiography demonstrated that left ventricular function improved significantly in the rats that underwent cell transplantation. Hemodynamic studies found a significantly decreased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) [(21.08±8.10) mmHg vs (30.82±9.59) mmHg, P<0.05], increase in +dp/dtmax [(4.29± 1.27)mmHg/ms vs (3.24±0.75) mmHg/ms, P<0.05), and increase in -dp/dtmax [(3.71 ±0.79) mmHg/ms vs (3.00±0.49) mmHg/ms, P<0.05] among MI group with hUCBC transplantation when compared with MI/control group.Masson's trichrome staining revealed that the collagen density in the left ventricle was significantly lower in rats of transplantation group than that in the MI control groups [(6.33±2.69)% vs (11.10±3.75)%, P< 0.01]. Based on immunostaining of α-actin, the numbers of microvessels were significantly (P<0.01) increased at the boundary of

  9. Partition functions 1: Improved partition functions and thermodynamic quantities for normal, equilibrium, and ortho and para molecular hydrogen

    Popovas, Andrius

    2016-01-01

    Aims. In this work we rigorously show the shortcomings of various simplifications that are used to calculate the total internal partition function. These shortcomings can lead to errors of up to 40 percent or more in the estimated partition function. These errors carry on to calculations of thermodynamic quantities. Therefore a more complicated approach has to be taken. Methods. Seven possible simplifications of various complexity are described, together with advantages and disadvantages of direct summation of experimental values. These were compared to what we consider the most accurate and most complete treatment (case 8). Dunham coefficients were determined from experimental and theoretical energy levels of a number of electronically excited states of H$_2$ . Both equilibrium and normal hydrogen was taken into consideration. Results. Various shortcomings in existing calculations are demonstrated, and the reasons for them are explained. New partition functions for equilibrium, normal, and ortho and para hyd...

  10. Changes in executive functions and self-efficacy are independently associated with improved usual gait speed in older women

    Hsu Chun

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Improved usual gait speed predicts substantial reduction in mortality. A better understanding of the modifiable factors that are independently associated with improved gait speed would ensure that intervention strategies are developed based on a valid theoretical framework. Thus, we examined the independent association of change in executive functions and change in falls-related self-efficacy with improved gait speed among community-dwelling senior women. Methods A secondary analysis of the 135 senior women aged 65 to 75 years old who completed a 12-month randomized controlled trial of resistance training. Usual gait speed was assessed using a 4-meter walk. Three executive processes were assessed by standard neuropsychological tests: 1 set shifting; 2 working memory; and 3 selective attention and response inhibition. A linear regression model was constructed to determine the independent association of change in executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy with change in gait speed. Results Improved selective attention and conflict resolution, and falls-related self-efficacy, were independently associated with improved gait speed after accounting for age, global cognition, baseline gait speed, and change in quadriceps strength. The total variance explained was 24%. Conclusions Interventions that target executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy, in addition to physical functions, to improve gait speed may be more efficacious than those that do not. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00426881

  11. Functional-task exercise versus resistance strength exercise to improve daily function in older women : A randomized, controlled trial

    Samson, MM; van Meeteren, NLU; Duursma, SA; Verhaar, HJJ; de Vreede, P.

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a functional-task exercise program and a resistance exercise program have different effects on the ability of community-living older people to perform daily tasks. DESIGN: A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial. SETTING: Community leisure center in Utrecht, the

  12. Improvement of the Exp-function method for solving the BBM equation with time-dependent coefficients

    Jahani, Maghsoud; Manafian, Jalil

    2016-03-01

    In this article, we establish the exact solutions for the BBM equation with time-dependent coefficients. The Exp-function method (EFM) and improvement of the Exp-function method (IEFM) are used to construct solitary and soliton solutions of nonlinear evolution equations. These methods are developed for searching exact travelling wave solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations. The exact particular solutions are of four types: the hyperbolic function solution, trigonometric function solution, exponential solution and rational solution. It is shown that the EFM and IEFM, with the help of symbolic computation, provide a straightforward and powerful mathematical tool for solving nonlinear evolution equations in mathematical physics.

  13. The Improvement of Quantum Genetic Algorithm and Its Application on Function Optimization

    Huaixiao Wang; Jianyong Liu; Jun Zhi; Chengqun Fu

    2013-01-01

    To accelerate the evolutionary process and increase the probability to find the optimal solution, the following methods are proposed to improve the conventional quantum genetic algorithm: an improved method to determine the rotating angle, the self-adaptive rotating angle strategy, adding the quantum mutation operation and quantum disaster operation. The efficiency and accuracy to search the optimal solution of the algorithm are greatly improved. Simulation test shows that the improved quantu...

  14. Chronic tuberculous empyema: relationships between preoperative CT findings and postoperative improvement measured by pulmonary function testing

    AIMS: To evaluate whether preoperative computed tomography (CT) findings correlate with postoperative improvements in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume during 1 s (FEV1) in persons who have undergone unilateral decortication because of unilateral chronic tuberculous empyema. METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out of 67 individuals who had undergone decortication because of chronic tuberculous empyema between January 1996 and December 2000. Of these, 13 subjects who had had preoperative chest CT and preoperative and postoperative pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were included in the investigation. On preoperative CT, the degree of volume reduction of the affected side was compared with that of the contralateral normal lung. The relative volume of empyema was calculated by dividing the volume occupied by the empyema by the sum of the total volume of the ipsilateral lung and the empyema volume. The thicknesses of pleura and extrapleural fat in the involved hemithorax were measured by CT at their thickest points, and the degree of atelectasis adjacent to the empyema in the diseased lung was assessed and classified. These five CT parameters and the ages of the patients were compared with preoperative and postoperative FVC and FEV1 changes. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation was found between FVC changes and the relative volume of the affected lung (FVC: p=0.039, RS=-0.58). FVC and FEV1 were found to be significantly and positively correlated with the relative volume of the empyema (FVC: p=0.005, RS=0.72; FEV1: p=0.014, RS=0.66) and the degree of atelectasis (FVC: p=0.007, RS=0.71; FEV1: p=0.029, RS=0.60) by Spearman's nonparametric correlation test. Other CT parameters and the ages of the patients were not found to be correlated with PFT changes. CONCLUSION: The relative volume of the affected side, the relative volume of empyema and the degree of atelectasis can predict improvements in FVC and FEV1 after decortication in patients

  15. Improving plant functional groups for dynamic models of biodiversity: at the crossroads between functional and community ecology

    Boulangeat, Isabelle; Philippe, Pauline; Abdulhak, Sylvain; Douzet, Roland; Garraud, Luc; Lavergne, Sébastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Van Es, Jérémie; Vittoz, Pascal; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    The pace of on-going climate change calls for reliable plant biodiversity scenarios. Traditional dynamic vegetation models use plant functional types that are summarized to such an extent that they become meaningless for biodiversity scenarios. Hybrid dynamic vegetation models of intermediate complexity (hybrid-DVMs) have recently been developed to address this issue. These models, at the crossroads between phenomenological and process-based models, are able to involve an intermediate number ...

  16. Recent improvements in prediction of protein structure by global optimization of a potential energy function

    Pillardy, Jarosław; Czaplewski, Cezary; Liwo, Adam; Lee, Jooyoung; Ripoll, Daniel R.; Kaźmierkiewicz, Rajmund; Ołdziej, Stanisław; Wedemeyer, William J.; Gibson, Kenneth D.; Arnautova, Yelena A.; Saunders, Jeff; Ye, Yuan-Jie; Scheraga, Harold A.

    2001-01-01

    Recent improvements of a hierarchical ab initio or de novo approach for predicting both α and β structures of proteins are described. The united-residue energy function used in this procedure includes multibody interactions from a cumulant expansion of the free energy of polypeptide chains, with their relative weights determined by Z-score optimization. The critical initial stage of the hierarchical procedure involves a search of conformational space by the conformational space annealing (CSA) method, followed by optimization of an all-atom model. The procedure was assessed in a recent blind test of protein structure prediction (CASP4). The resulting lowest-energy structures of the target proteins (ranging in size from 70 to 244 residues) agreed with the experimental structures in many respects. The entire experimental structure of a cyclic α-helical protein of 70 residues was predicted to within 4.3 Å α-carbon (Cα) rms deviation (rmsd) whereas, for other α-helical proteins, fragments of roughly 60 residues were predicted to within 6.0 Å Cα rmsd. Whereas β structures can now be predicted with the new procedure, the success rate for α/β- and β-proteins is lower than that for α-proteins at present. For the β portions of α/β structures, the Cα rmsd's are less than 6.0 Å for contiguous fragments of 30–40 residues; for one target, three fragments (of length 10, 23, and 28 residues, respectively) formed a compact part of the tertiary structure with a Cα rmsd less than 6.0 Å. Overall, these results constitute an important step toward the ab initio prediction of protein structure solely from the amino acid sequence. PMID:11226239

  17. Nafamostat mesilate improves function recovery after stroke by inhibiting neuroinflammation in rats.

    Li, Chenhui; Wang, Jing; Fang, Yinquan; Liu, Yuan; Chen, Tao; Sun, Hao; Zhou, Xin-Fu; Liao, Hong

    2016-08-01

    Inflammation plays an important role in stroke pathology, making it a promising target for stroke intervention. Nafamostat mesilate (NM), a wide-spectrum serine protease inhibitor, is commonly used for treating inflammatory diseases, such as pancreatitis. However, its effect on neuroinflammation after stroke was unknown. Hence, the effects of NM on the inflammatory response post stroke were characterized. After transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in rats, NM reduced the infarct size, improved behavioral functions, decreased the expression of proinflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS and COX-2) in a time-dependent manner and promoted the expression of different anti-inflammatory factors (CD206, TGF-β, IL-10 and IL-4) at different time points. Furthermore, NM could inhibit the expression of proinflammatory mediators and promote anti-inflammatory mediators expression in rat primary microglia following exposure to thrombin combined with oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The immune-modulatory effect of NM might be partly due to its inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway and inflammasome activation after tMCAO. In addition, NM significantly inhibited the infiltration of macrophage, neutrophil and T lymphocytes, which was partly mediated by the inhibition of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Taken together, our results indicated that NM can provide long-term protection of the brain against tMCAO by modulating a broad components of the inflammatory response. PMID:27033633

  18. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor NVP-BGJ398 functionally improves FGFR3-related dwarfism in mouse model.

    Komla-Ebri, Davide; Dambroise, Emilie; Kramer, Ina; Benoist-Lasselin, Catherine; Kaci, Nabil; Le Gall, Cindy; Martin, Ludovic; Busca, Patricia; Barbault, Florent; Graus-Porta, Diana; Munnich, Arnold; Kneissel, Michaela; Di Rocco, Federico; Biosse-Duplan, Martin; Legeai-Mallet, Laurence

    2016-05-01

    Achondroplasia (ACH) is the most frequent form of dwarfism and is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3-encoding (FGFR3-encoding) gene. Although potential therapeutic strategies for ACH, which aim to reduce excessive FGFR3 activation, have emerged over many years, the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) to counteract FGFR3 hyperactivity has yet to be evaluated. Here, we have reported that the pan-FGFR TKI, NVP-BGJ398, reduces FGFR3 phosphorylation and corrects the abnormal femoral growth plate and calvaria in organ cultures from embryos of the Fgfr3Y367C/+ mouse model of ACH. Moreover, we demonstrated that a low dose of NVP-BGJ398, injected subcutaneously, was able to penetrate into the growth plate of Fgfr3Y367C/+ mice and modify its organization. Improvements to the axial and appendicular skeletons were noticeable after 10 days of treatment and were more extensive after 15 days of treatment that started from postnatal day 1. Low-dose NVP-BGJ398 treatment reduced intervertebral disc defects of lumbar vertebrae, loss of synchondroses, and foramen-magnum shape anomalies. NVP-BGJ398 inhibited FGFR3 downstream signaling pathways, including MAPK, SOX9, STAT1, and PLCγ, in the growth plates of Fgfr3Y367C/+ mice and in cultured chondrocyte models of ACH. Together, our data demonstrate that NVP-BGJ398 corrects pathological hallmarks of ACH and support TKIs as a potential therapeutic approach for ACH. PMID:27064282

  19. Yokukansan improves behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia by suppressing dopaminergic function.

    Takeyoshi, Kenji; Kurita, Masatake; Nishino, Satoshi; Teranishi, Mika; Numata, Yukio; Sato, Tadahiro; Okubo, Yoshiro

    2016-01-01

    Although three drugs, risperidone, yokukansan, and fluvoxamine, have shown equal efficacy in treating behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in our previous study, their mechanisms of action are different from one another. Monoamines have attracted attention for their key roles in mediating several behavioral symptoms or psychological symptoms through synaptic signaling. We aimed to clarify the monoamines changed by treatment with each drug in patients with BPSD. The main purpose of this study was to determine whether plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites are correlated with pharmacological treatments. This was an 8-week, rater-blinded, randomized, flexible-dose, triple-group trial. In total, 90 subjects were recruited and subsequently three different drugs were allocated to 82 inpatients with BPSD. We examined BPSD data from patients who completed 8 weeks of treatment. Eventually, we analyzed 42 patients (yokukansan: 17; risperidone: 9; fluvoxamine: 16). Homovanillic acid, a metabolite of dopamine, and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, a metabolite of noradrenaline, in their plasma were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. All three drugs showed equal significant efficacy between baseline and study endpoint. By contrast, biomarkers showed mutually different changes. Patients in the yokukansan group had significantly decreased plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Conversely, patients in the risperidone and fluvoxamine groups exhibited no significant changes in plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Yokukansan contains geissoschizine methyl ether, which is known to have a partial agonist effect on dopamine D2 receptors. An improvement in BPSD condition with the intake of yokukansan is suggested to occur through a suppressed dopaminergic function, which is similar to the effect of aripiprazole. PMID:27042075

  20. Improving plant functional groups for dynamic models of biodiversity: at the crossroads between functional and community ecology.

    Isabelle, Boulangeat; Pauline, Philippe; Sylvain, Abdulhak; Roland, Douzet; Luc, Garraud; Sébastien, Lavergne; Sandra, Lavorel; Jérémie, Van Es; Pascal, Vittoz; Wilfried, Thuiller

    2012-11-01

    The pace of on-going climate change calls for reliable plant biodiversity scenarios. Traditional dynamic vegetation models use plant functional types that are summarized to such an extent that they become meaningless for biodiversity scenarios. Hybrid dynamic vegetation models of intermediate complexity (hybrid-DVMs) have recently been developed to address this issue. These models, at the crossroads between phenomenological and process-based models, are able to involve an intermediate number of well-chosen plant functional groups (PFGs). The challenge is to build meaningful PFGs that are representative of plant biodiversity, and consistent with the parameters and processes of hybrid-DVMs. Here, we propose and test a framework based on few selected traits to define a limited number of PFGs, which are both representative of the diversity (functional and taxonomic) of the flora in the Ecrins National Park, and adapted to hybrid-DVMs. This new classification scheme, together with recent advances in vegetation modeling, constitutes a step forward for mechanistic biodiversity modeling. PMID:24403847

  1. Intraoral Vertical Ramus Osteotomy Improved the Stomatognathic Function in an Elderly Patient with Mandibular Protrusion:A Case Report

    Ishihara,Yoshihito

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the successful surgical-orthodontic treatment of an elderly patient with dentofacial deformity and signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD. The patient was a 63-year-old woman with a concave profile due to mandibular protrusion. To correct skeletal deformities, the mandible was posteriorly repositioned by employing intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy (IVRO following presurgical orthodontic treatment. After active treatment for 31 months, the facial profile was significantly improved and satisfactory occlusion was achieved. In addition, TMD symptoms of clicking sounds on the left side and difficulty in mouth opening were resolved. Regarding the findings of magnetic resonance imaging, anterior disc displacement in the opening phase was improved in the temporomandibular joint on the left side. Furthermore, stomatognathic functions were also improved without any aggravation of age-related problems. In conclusion, surgical repositioning of the mandible using IVRO leads to both morphological and functional improvements even in elderly patients.

  2. IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION FROM MEDITATION FOLLOWING AN AWARENESS TRAINING PROGR AMME IN SPIRITUAL MEDICINE (ATPi SM

    Jain

    2015-06-01

    Spiritual Medicine”. MATERIAL & METHODS: STUDY SUBJECTS : 40 medical students of either sex between the ages of 18 to 21 years studying in MBBS at the institute constituted study population. After explaining purpose of the study and getting their consent , all the volunteers underwent a battery of tests for psycho - motor , cognitive and psycho - social functions. All volunteers were instructed regarding meditation practice by an expert. They were asked to meditate daily for about 15 minutes in the morning and as well as in the evening for two months. Subsequently , volunteers were divided in to two groups of 20 each by random allocation as treatment (T and control (C groups. The treatment group also received additional information on spiritual medicine in the form ATPiSM at the start of the study. At the end of t wo months , all the test parameters were repeated for both the groups. Observations were recorded and results were analyzed. RESULTS: Compliance for meditation: Test group compliance for meditation was found to be in the range of 83 to 90% while control gro up compliance ranged between 48 to 90%. There was significant difference between pre and post interventional scores among test volunteers for psychomotor tests viz Visual reaction time (VRT , p<.002 , stopwatch - VRT (S - VRT , p<.005 and Critical Flicker Fusio n (CFF , <0.007. Significant differences were also noted between pre and post intervention scores among study volunteers in cognitive function tests. Computer based Memory Test (CMT , p<.001 , Digit Cancellation Test (DCT , p<.002 and Letter Substitution Te st (LST , p<0.05. There was significant improvement in psychosocial behavior for all three categories as evident from higher scores post intervention in Cognitive Failure (p<.005 , Anxiety Level (p<.05 and Self Esteem (p<.006. Control group also showed s ignificant difference between pre and post score for CCF (p<.05 , Cognitive Failure (p<.05 and Self Esteem (p<.01. CONCLUSIONS: ATPiSM act like a

  3. Randomised controlled trial of colostrum to improve intestinal function in patients with short bowel syndrome

    Lund, Pernille; Sangild, Per Torp; Aunsholt, L.;

    2012-01-01

    Colostrum is rich in immunoregulatory, antimicrobial and trophic components supporting intestinal development and function in newborns. We assessed whether bovine colostrum could enhance intestinal adaptation and function in adult short bowel syndrome (SBS) patients....

  4. Evaluation of Systemic Follistatin as an Adjuvant to Stimulate Muscle Repair and Improve Motor Function in Pompe Mice

    Foley, Joseph W.; Bercury, Scott D.; Finn, Patrick; Cheng, Seng H.; Scheule, Ronald K; Ziegler, Robin J

    2010-01-01

    Due to the lack of acid α-glucosidase (GAA) activity, Pompe mice develop glycogen storage pathology and progressive skeletal muscle dysfunction with age. Applying either gene or enzyme therapy to reconstitute GAA levels in older, symptomatic Pompe mice effectively reduces glycogen storage in skeletal muscle but provides only modest improvements in motor function. As strategies to stimulate muscle hypertrophy, such as by myostatin inhibition, have been shown to improve muscle pathology and str...

  5. Improved Cognitive Function After Transcranial, Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Traumatic Brain Injury: Two Case Reports

    Naeser, Margaret A.; Saltmarche, Anita; Krengel, Maxine H.; Hamblin, Michael R.; Knight, Jeffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Two chronic, traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, where cognition improved following treatment with red and near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs), applied transcranially to forehead and scalp areas, are presented. Background: Significant benefits have been reported following application of transcranial, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to humans with acute stroke and mice with acute TBI. These are the first case reports documenting improved cognitive function in chronic, TBI pati...

  6. Intelligent Control of Welding Gun Pose for Pipeline Welding Robot Based on Improved Radial Basis Function Network and Expert System

    Jingwen Tian; Meijuan Gao; Yonggang He

    2013-01-01

    Since the control system of the welding gun pose in whole‐position welding is complicated and nonlinear, an intelligent control system of welding gun pose for a pipeline welding robot based on an improved radial basis function neural network (IRBFNN) and expert system (ES) is presented in this paper. The structure of the IRBFNN is constructed and the improved genetic algorithm is adopted to optimize the network structure. This control system makes full use of the characteristics of the IRBFNN...

  7. Modified Quad surgery significantly improves the median nerve conduction and functional outcomes in obstetric brachial plexus nerve injury

    Nath, Rahul K; Kumar, Nirupuma; Somasundaram, Chandra

    2013-01-01

    Background Nerve conduction studies or somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) have become an important tool in the investigation of peripheral nerve lesions, and is sensitive in detecting brachial plexus nerve injury, and other nerve injuries. To investigate whether the modified Quad surgical procedure improves nerve conductivity and functional outcomes in obstetric brachial plexus nerve injury (OBPI) patients. Methods All nerves were tested with direct functional electrical stimulation. A P...

  8. Consumption of High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function in Individuals with Stage 1 Hypertension and Excess Body Weight

    Lívia de Paula Nogueira; Marcela Paranhos Knibel; Márcia Regina Simas Gonçalves Torres; José Firmino Nogueira Neto; Antonio Felipe Sanjuliani

    2012-01-01

    Background. Hypertension and excess body weight are important risk factors for endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidence suggests that high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. This study aimed to evaluate the association of chocolate 70% cocoa intake with metabolic profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and endothelial function in stage 1 hypertensives with excess body weight. Methods. Intervention clinical trial includes 22 stag...

  9. Improved Jacobi-function method with symbolic computation to construct new double-periodic solutions for the generalized Ito system

    The generalized Jacobi elliptic function method is further improved by picking up an elliptic equation's new solutions and introducing a general ansaetz. It is very powerful to uniformly construct more new exact doubly-periodic solutions in terms of rational formal Jacobi elliptic function of nonlinear evolution equations (NLEEs). As an application of the method, we choose the generalized Ito system to illustrate the method. The solitary wave solutions and triangular periodic solutions can be obtained at their limit condition

  10. Improvements in clinical and functional vision and perceived visual disability after first and second eye cataract surgery

    Elliott, D; Patla, A.; Bullimore, M.

    1997-01-01

    AIMS—To determine the improvements in clinical and functional vision and perceived visual disability after first and second eye cataract surgery.
METHODS—Clinical vision (monocular and binocular high and low contrast visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and disability glare), functional vision (face identity and expression recognition, reading speed, word acuity, and mobility orientation), and perceived visual disability (Activities of Daily Vision Scale) were measured in 25 subjects before a...

  11. Inter-functional collaboration between marketing and logistic functions : Study of improvement of inter functional collaboration through instruments, based on empirical research at Nivea Seoul ltd

    Dorresteijn, Joop

    2009-01-01

      Introduction The aim of the research is to understand collaboration between marketing and logistics, increasing knowledge about perceived barriers in organizations, in order to addressing functional silos in organizations by inter-functional collaboration as a solution. The author questions the advantages of inter-functional collaboration in the scope of organizational performance. The significance of this research is that collaboration is one of the remaining cost cutting advantages that a...

  12. Transplantation of magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cells improves cardiac function in a swine myocardial infarction model

    QI Chun-mei; JU Sheng-hong; MA Ming; TANG Yao-liang; MA Gen-shan; LIU Nai-feng; SHEN Cheng-xing; CHEN Zhong; LIU Xiao-jun; HU Yao-peng; ZHANG Xiao-li; TENG Gao-jun

    2008-01-01

    Background Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation provides a new approach for myocardial repair.However,many important fundamental questions about MSCs transplantation remain unanswered.There is an urgent need to identify MSCs from the beating heart and analyze the efficacy of this new approach.This study aimed to localize the magnetically labeled MSCs(MR-MSCs)and monitor the restorative effects of MR-MSCs with magnetic resonance(MR) imaging.Methods Acute myocardial infarction(AMI)was created in swine by a balloon occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery.Cells were delivered via intracoronary infusion after myocardial infarction.Infarct size change and cardiac function were assessed with 3.0T MR scanner.The results were then confirmed by histological and western blot analysis.All statistical procedures were performed with Systat (SPSS version 12.01).Results A total of 26 swine were divided into four groups(sham-operated group,n=6;AMI group with PBS transplantation,n=6;labeled MSCs group,n=7;unlabeled MSCs group,n=7).MSCs,MR-MSCs(107 cells)or PBS were delivered by intracoronary injection after MI and serial cardiac MR imaging studies were performed at 0,4 and 8 weeks after transplantation.MR imaging demonstrated MI size decreased after MSCs transplantation in labeled and unlabeled groups,however,increases were seen in the AMI group at 8 weeks after MI.The left ventricular eiection fraction(LVEF) was slightly increased in the AMI group((41.87±2.45)%vs(39.04±2.80)%,P>0.05),but significantly improved in the MR-MSCs group((56.85±1.29)%vs(40.67±2.00)%,P<0.05)and unlabeled group((55.38±1.07)%vs(41.78±2.08)%,P<0.05) at 8 weeks after treatment.MR-MSCs were further confirmed by Prussian blue and immunofluorescent staining.Western blot analvsis demonstrated that there was an increased expression of cardiomyocyte markers such as myosin heavy chain and troponin T in the MSCs treatment groups and the ratio of matrix metalloproteinase 2 to

  13. Functional food: role of gamma irradiation in the improvement of Triticum dicoccum (schrank)) schulb

    Importance of Triticum dicoccum as functional/therapeutic food is on rise because of the low glycemic value, slow digestability, high satiety value coupled with resistant starch, high protein and fibre. These quality attributes are considered vital for the dietary management of diabetes and cardiovascular risks. Most of the dicoccum cultivars in India are either tall local land races/traditional varieties with high quality but low yield or modern semi dwarf cultivars with low quality but high yield. Most of the semi dwarf dicoccum cultivars derived their dwarfing genes from Triticum durum and it has strong linkage drag in altering the quality traits. Further the scope of exploiting genetic diversity/variability in dicoccum wheat, largely created using T. durum is limited. This necessitates the need to search for new sources to create variability among the dicoccum gene pool wherein mutation provides a helping hand. One thousand fresh, dry and healthy matured seeds of tall traditional variety, NP201 were irradiated with 200, 250 and 300 Gy doses of gamma rays using Cobalt-60 (60Co) gamma source (Dose rate : ∼ 50 Gy/min; GC5000 irradiator) at BARC, Mumbai. Semi-dwarf line with high yield and stable in performance (HW 1098) were selected at M5 generation in the treatment dose of 200 Gy. The stable line was evaluated in multi location trials in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamilnadu through All India Coordinated Wheat and Barley Improvement Project (AICW and BIP) for yield, quality and rust disease reaction for three years (2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12). Radiomutant genotype, HW1098 recorded an overall yield advantage of +14.9% and +8.3% over dicoccum checks, DDK1009 and MACS2971 respectively along with resistance to stem and leaf rusts. HW1098 produced bold grain (46.5 g) with par values for protein content (16.8%) and beta carotene (3.39 ppm) compared to parent variety NP201. HW1098 was released for cultivation for the farmers of dicoccum cultivating areas

  14. Yokukansan improves behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia by suppressing dopaminergic function

    Takeyoshi K

    2016-03-01

    plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Yokukansan contains geissoschizine methyl ether, which is known to have a partial agonist effect on dopamine D2 receptors. An improvement in BPSD condition with the intake of yokukansan is suggested to occur through a suppressed dopaminergic function, which is similar to the effect of aripiprazole.Keywords: herbal medicine, MHPG, homovanillic acid, HVA, noradrenaline, BPSD

  15. Slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise function using variationally improved perturbation theory in a quantum chromodynamics inspired potential model

    Bhaskar Jyoti Hazarika; D K Choudhury

    2010-09-01

    We used variationally improved perturbation theory (VIPT) in calculating the slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise (I–W) function with the Cornell potential $− \\dfrac{4_{s}}{3r} br + c$ instead of the usual stationary state perturbation theory as done earlier. We used $−(4_{s} /3r)$, i.e. the Coulombic potential, as the parent and the linear one, i.e. $br +c$ as the perturbed potential in the theory and calculated the slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise function including three states in the summation involved in the first-order correction to wave function in the method.

  16. Novel, high-intensity exercise prescription improves muscle mass, mitochondrial function, and physical capacity in individuals with Parkinson's disease

    Kelly, Neil A.; Ford, Matthew P.; Standaert, David G.; Watts, Ray L.; Bickel, C. Scott; Moellering, Douglas R.; Tuggle, S. Craig; Williams, Jeri Y.; Lieb, Laura; Windham, Samuel T.

    2014-01-01

    We conducted, in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD), a thorough assessment of neuromotor function and performance in conjunction with phenotypic analyses of skeletal muscle tissue, and further tested the adaptability of PD muscle to high-intensity exercise training. Fifteen participants with PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage 2–3) completed 16 wk of high-intensity exercise training designed to simultaneously challenge strength, power, endurance, balance, and mobility function. Skeletal muscle adaptations (P changes in skeletal muscle at the cellular and subcellular levels that are associated with improvements in motor function, physical capacity, and fatigue perception. PMID:24408997

  17. Prospective randomized controlled intervention trial: Comprehensive Yogic Breathing Improves Cardiac autonomic functions and Quality of life in Diabetes

    V P Jyotsna

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims and Objectives: To assess the effect of Comprehensive Yogic Breathing Program on glycemic control, quality of life, and cardiac autonomic functions in diabetes. Material and Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled intervention trial. Cardiac autonomic functions were assessed in 120 diabetics. Patients were randomized into two groups, one group receiving standard therapy for diabetes (n = 56 and the other group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and comprehensive yogic breathing program (n = 64. Standard therapy included advice on diet, walk, and oral antidiabetic drugs. Comprehensive yogic breathing program was an interactive session in which Sudarshan kriya yoga, a rhythmic cyclical breathing, preceded by Pranayam was taught under guidance of a certified teacher. Change in fasting, post prandial blood sugars, glycated hemoglobin, and quality of life were assessed. Cardiac autonomic function tests were done before and six months after intervention. Results: There was significant improvement in psychological (P = 0.006 and social domains (P = 0.04 and total quality of life (P = 0.02 in the group practicing comprehensive yogic breathing program as compared to the group following standard therapy alone. In the group following breathing program, the improvement in sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions was statistically significant (P = 0.01, while the change in the standard group was not significant (P = 0.17. When both parasympathetic and sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions were considered, there was a trend toward improvement in patients following comprehensive yogic breathing program (P = 0.07. In the standard therapy group, no change in cardiac autonomic functions was noted (P = 0.76. The parameters of glycemic control were comparable in both groups. Conclusion: There was significant improvement in quality of life and cardiac autonomic functions in the diabetes patients practicing comprehensive yogic breathing

  18. Surface Treatments and Functional Coatings for Biocompatibility Improvement and Bacterial Adhesion Reduction in Dental Implantology

    Pietro Mandracci

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Surface modification of dental implants is a key process in the production of these medical devices, and especially titanium implants used in the dental practice are commonly subjected to surface modification processes before their clinical use. A wide range of treatments, such as sand blasting, acid etching, plasma etching, plasma spray deposition, sputtering deposition and cathodic arc deposition, have been studied over the years in order to improve the performance of dental implants. Improving or accelerating the osseointegration process is usually the main goal of these surface processes, but the improvement of biocompatibility and the prevention of bacterial adhesion are also of considerable importance. In this review, we report on the research of the recent years in the field of surface treatments and coatings deposition for the improvement of dental implants performance, with a main focus on the osseointegration acceleration, the reduction of bacterial adhesion and the improvement of biocompatibility.

  19. Sequence and structure continuity of evolutionary importance improves protein functional site discovery and annotation

    Wilkins, A D; Lua, R.; Erdin, S; Ward, R M; LICHTARGE, O

    2010-01-01

    Protein functional sites control most biological processes and are important targets for drug design and protein engineering. To characterize them, the evolutionary trace (ET) ranks the relative importance of residues according to their evolutionary variations. Generally, top-ranked residues cluster spatially to define evolutionary hotspots that predict functional sites in structures. Here, various functions that measure the physical continuity of ET ranks among neighboring residues in the st...

  20. BDNF mediates improvements in executive function following a 1-year exercise intervention

    Regina Lynn Leckie; Oberlin, Lauren E.; Voss, Michelle W.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Amanda eSzabo-Reed; Laura eChaddock-Heyman; Phillips, Siobhan M.; Gothe, Neha P.; Emily eMailey; Victoria Jeanne Vieira-Potter; Martin, Stephen A.; Pence, Brandt D.; Mingkuan eLin; Raja eParasuraman; Greenwood, Pamela M.

    2014-01-01

    Executive function declines with age, but engaging in aerobic exercise may attenuate decline. One mechanism by which aerobic exercise may preserve executive function is through the up-regulation of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which also declines with age. The present study examined BDNF as a mediator of the effects of a 1-year walking intervention on executive function in 90 older adults (mean age = 66.82). Participants were randomized to a stretching and toning control group or ...

  1. Improving the security of a parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps

    In this Letter, we analyze the cause of vulnerability of the original parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps in detail, and then propose the corresponding enhancement measures. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that the modified hash function is more secure than the original one. At the same time, it can keep the parallel merit and satisfy the other performance requirements of hash function.

  2. BARC 2009 Annual Report TO NC-1037: Genetic and functional genomic approaches to improve production and quality of pork

    The NC-1037 project addresses “Genetic and functional genomic approaches to improve production and quality of pork.” It has 2 objectives: 1) Further understand the dynamic genetic mechanisms that influence production efficiency and quality of pork; and 2) Discover genetic mechanisms controlling anim...

  3. Targeting alertness to improve cognition in older adults: A preliminary report of benefits in executive function and skill acquisition.

    Van Vleet, Thomas M; DeGutis, Joseph M; Merzenich, Michael M; Simpson, Gregory V; Zomet, Ativ; Dabit, Sawsan

    2016-09-01

    Efficient self-regulation of alertness declines with age exacerbating normal declines in performance across multiple cognitive domains, including learning and skill acquisition. Previous cognitive intervention studies have shown that it is possible to enhance alertness in patients with acquired brain injury and marked attention impairments, and that this benefit generalizes to improvements in more global cognitive functions. In the current preliminary studies, we sought to test whether this approach, that targets both tonic (over a period of minutes) and phasic (moment-to-moment) alertness, can improve key executive functioning declines in older adults, and enhance the rate of skill acquisition. The results of both Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that, compared to active control (AC) training, alertness training significantly enhanced performance in several validated executive function measures. In Experiment 2, alertness training significantly improved skill acquisition compared to AC training in a well-characterized speed of processing (SOP) task, with the largest benefits shown in the most challenging SOP blocks. The results of the current study suggest that targeting intrinsic alertness through cognitive training provides a novel approach to improve executive functions in older adults and may be a useful adjunct treatment to enhance benefits gained in other clinically validated treatments. PMID:27372902

  4. Enalapril improves endothelial function in patients with migraine: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

    Shaghayegh Haghjooy Javanmard

    2011-01-01

    Conclusions: These results indicate that ACE inhibition can improve endothelial function in patients with migraine, as it has been shown by both FMD and serum levels of nitric oxide. The mechanism could be either that Enalapril limits the angiotensin II-induced production of superoxide radicals which would normally inactivate nitric oxide, or that it may increase bradykinin-mediated nitric oxide release.

  5. Value Added Processing of Peanut Meal: Enzymatic Hydrolysis to Improve Functional and Nutritional Properties of Water Soluble Extracts

    Value added applications are needed for peanut meal, which is the high protein byproduct of commercial peanut oil production. Peanut meal dispersions were hydrolyzed with alcalase, flavourzyme and pepsin in an effort to improve functional and nutritional properties of the resulting water soluble ex...

  6. A Case Study of Non-Functional Requirements and Continuous Improvement at a National Communications System Contractor

    Douglas, Volney L. R.

    2010-01-01

    National communications systems (NCS) are critical elements of a government's infrastructure. Limited improvements to the non-functional requirements (NFR) of NCS have caused issues during national emergencies such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The literature indicates that these issues result from a deficiency in understanding the roles NFRs and…

  7. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment, A Cochrane Review

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H.J.J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, L.E.M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005381. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005381.pub2. Background: Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is

  8. Internet Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Panic Disorder: Does the Inclusion of Stress Management Information Improve End-State Functioning?

    Richards, Jeffrey C.; Klein, Britt; Austin, David W.

    2006-01-01

    Previous research has established Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD) as effective in reducing panic severity and frequency. There is evidence, however, that such programs are less effective at improving overall end-state functioning, defined by a PD clinician severity rating of [less than or equal to] 2 and…

  9. A 9-wk docosahexaenoic acid-enriched supplementation improves endurance exercise capacity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in adult rats.

    Le Guen, Marie; Chaté, Valérie; Hininger-Favier, Isabelle; Laillet, Brigitte; Morio, Béatrice; Pieroni, Gérard; Schlattner, Uwe; Pison, Christophe; Dubouchaud, Hervé

    2016-02-01

    Decline in skeletal muscle mass and function starts during adulthood. Among the causes, modifications of the mitochondrial function could be of major importance. Polyunsaturated fatty (ω-3) acids have been shown to play a role in intracellular functions. We hypothesize that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation could improve muscle mitochondrial function that could contribute to limit the early consequences of aging on adult muscle. Twelve-month-old male Wistar rats were fed a low-polyunsaturated fat diet and were given DHA (DHA group) or placebo (control group) for 9 wk. Rats from the DHA group showed a higher endurance capacity (+56%, P supplementation could be of potential interest for the muscle function in adults and for fighting the decline in exercise tolerance with age that could imply energy-sensing pathway, as suggested by changes in phospho-AMPK/AMPK ratio. PMID:26646102

  10. Predictors of improvement in observed functional ability in patients with fibromyalgia as an outcome of rehabilitation

    Amris, Kirstine; Luta, George; Christensen, Robin;

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate predictors of improvement in observed ability to manage activities of daily living as an outcome of rehabilitation in fibromyalgia. METHODS: Exploratory analyses used data from the Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation and Evaluation Programme for Patients with Chronic...... Widespread Pain (the IMPROvE study); a randomized controlled trial including 191 females with fibromyalgia randomized (1:1) to rehabilitation or a waiting list. The primary outcome was observed activities of daily living ability evaluated with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) 6 months post...

  11. Vinardo: A Scoring Function Based on Autodock Vina Improves Scoring, Docking, and Virtual Screening

    Villarreal, Marcos A.

    2016-01-01

    Autodock Vina is a very popular, and highly cited, open source docking program. Here we present a scoring function which we call Vinardo (Vina RaDii Optimized). Vinardo is based on Vina, and was trained through a novel approach, on state of the art datasets. We show that the traditional approach to train empirical scoring functions, using linear regression to optimize the correlation of predicted and experimental binding affinities, does not result in a function with optimal docking capabilities. On the other hand, a combination of scoring, minimization, and re-docking on carefully curated training datasets allowed us to develop a simplified scoring function with optimum docking performance. This article provides an overview of the development of the Vinardo scoring function, highlights its differences with Vina, and compares the performance of the two scoring functions in scoring, docking and virtual screening applications. Vinardo outperforms Vina in all tests performed, for all datasets analyzed. The Vinardo scoring function is available as an option within Smina, a fork of Vina, which is freely available under the GNU Public License v2.0 from http://smina.sf.net. Precompiled binaries, source code, documentation and a tutorial for using Smina to run the Vinardo scoring function are available at the same address. PMID:27171006

  12. Forecasting Nonlinear Chaotic Time Series with Function Expression Method Based on an Improved Genetic-Simulated Annealing Algorithm

    Jun Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper proposes a novel function expression method to forecast chaotic time series, using an improved genetic-simulated annealing (IGSA algorithm to establish the optimum function expression that describes the behavior of time series. In order to deal with the weakness associated with the genetic algorithm, the proposed algorithm incorporates the simulated annealing operation which has the strong local search ability into the genetic algorithm to enhance the performance of optimization; besides, the fitness function and genetic operators are also improved. Finally, the method is applied to the chaotic time series of Quadratic and Rossler maps for validation. The effect of noise in the chaotic time series is also studied numerically. The numerical results verify that the method can forecast chaotic time series with high precision and effectiveness, and the forecasting precision with certain noise is also satisfactory. It can be concluded that the IGSA algorithm is energy-efficient and superior.

  13. Sustained Remission Improves Physical Function in Patients with Established Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Should Be a Treatment Goal

    Einarsson, Jon Thorkell; Geborek, Pierre; Saxne, Tore;

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: It has been proposed that remission should be maintained throughout the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the evidence supporting this is limited. Physical function measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) is a major outcome in RA, and HAQ is shown to be one of...... the strongest predictors of longterm outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the physical function over a long time in patients with RA who achieved sustained remission (SR) compared with that of patients occasionally achieving remission [non-sustained remission (NSR)]. METHODS.......7%) for the SDAI criteria. Comparing the SR and NSR groups, HAQ improved during the first 12 months in the DAS28 remission. HAQ continued to improve relatively as long as SR was maintained. A higher proportion of patients in SR reached full physical function. CONCLUSION: In patients with established RA...

  14. Re-connecting Urban Ecohydrology to Improve Ecosystem Functioning: The Role of Local-scale Green Infrastructure

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M.

    2010-12-01

    As rates of urbanization continue to rise and a greater proportion of the population lives in urban and suburban areas, the provision of ecological services and functions become increasingly important to sustain human and environmental health in urban ecosystems. Soils play a primary role in the healthy functioning of ecosystems that provide supporting, provisioning, regulating, preserving, and cultural ecosystem services, yet developing our understanding of how urban soils function to provide these services within an ecological context is just getting underway. Soils in urban ecosytems are highly heterogeneous, and are affected by both direct and indirect influences and local modifications which alter their functioning relative to non-urbanized local soils. Here I discuss the functioning of rain gardens in and around Tucson, AZ, that have been installed in the urban landscape with the purpose of providing various ecosystem services to local residents and the greater urban ecosystem. This reconnection of ecohydrologic flows in the city has the potential to alter the structure and function of urban ecosystems in positive (through the increase in water availability) and negative (through the import of pollutants to soils) ways. This study compares soil properties, microbial function, and ecosystem functions within the urban ecosystem to determine how urbanization alters soils in semi-arid environments, and to determine if green urban modifications in desert cities can improve soils and ecosystem services. Soils in rain gardens have nearly twice the organic matter contents of native and urban soils, and correspondingly, greater microbial function (as indicated through respiration potential), higher abundance (through substrate induced respiration), and community complexity (indicated by a 3x increase in metabolic diversity) in these green design modifications. Net N-mineralization rates are almost 1.5 times faster in the rain garden basins than urban soils in general

  15. Functional improvement of antibody fragments using a novel phage coat protein III fusion system

    Jensen, Kim Bak; Larsen, Martin; Pedersen, Jesper Søndergaard; Christensen, Peter Astrup; Álvarez-Vallina, Luis; Goletz, Steffen; Clark, Brian F.C.; Kristensen, Peter

    2002-01-01

    constitute an easy and inexpensive method compared to hybridoma cultures. Such approaches have, however, often suffered from low yields and poor functionality. A general method is described here which enables expressions of functional antibody fragments when fused to the amino-terminal domain(s) of the...... heterologous expression systems will benefit present-day quests in structural and functional genomics where high amounts of active protein are required. One example, which has been the subject of considerable interest, is recombinant antibodies or fragments thereof as expressions of these in bacteria...

  16. A new class of weighting functions: Energy resolution improvement from an input shunt inductor

    A new class of optimum weighting functions is described, yielding optimum noise performances with a shunt inductance in the input circuit. Such an inductance is inherently present when transformer coupling is employed between the detector and the active device at the preamplifier input. The optimum weighting functions turn out to be area-balanced; they yield always less noise then optimum area-balanced functions optimized for input circuits without shunt inductance. The effects of the finite quality factor Q of the inductor are finally dealth with. (orig.)

  17. Localized basis functions and other computational improvements in variational nonorthogonal basis function methods for quantum mechanical scattering problems involving chemical reactions

    Schwenke, David W.; Truhlar, Donald G.

    1990-01-01

    The Generalized Newton Variational Principle for 3D quantum mechanical reactive scattering is briefly reviewed. Then three techniques are described which improve the efficiency of the computations. First, the fact that the Hamiltonian is Hermitian is used to reduce the number of integrals computed, and then the properties of localized basis functions are exploited in order to eliminate redundant work in the integral evaluation. A new type of localized basis function with desirable properties is suggested. It is shown how partitioned matrices can be used with localized basis functions to reduce the amount of work required to handle the complex boundary conditions. The new techniques do not introduce any approximations into the calculations, so they may be used to obtain converged solutions of the Schroedinger equation.

  18. Cardiac autonomic function in patients with diabetes improves with practice of comprehensive yogic breathing program

    Jyotsna, Viveka P.; Smita Ambekar; Rajiv Singla; Ansumali Joshi; Anju Dhawan; Neeta Kumar; 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 c...

  19. Testing and improvements of gamma-ray strength functions for nuclear model calculations of nuclear data

    Plujko, V. A.

    1999-01-01

    A closed-form thermodynamic pole approach,TPA, is developed for average description of the E1 radiative strength functions using the microcanonical ensemble for initial states. A semiclassical description of the collective excitation damping in this method is based on modern physical notion on the relaxation processes in Fermi systems.The TPA model gives rather accurate means of simultaneous description of the gamma- decay and photoabsorption strength functions in the medium and heavy nuclei....

  20. IMPROVING FUNCTIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF PATIENTS WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS BY PHYSICAL THERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

    Ana-Maria Ticărat

    2011-01-01

    Introduction. Patients with multiple sclerosis can have a normal life despite of their real or possible disability and of the progressive nature of it. Scope. Patients who follow physical therapy and occupational therapy will have an increased quality of life and a greater functional independence.Methods. The randomized study was made on 7 patients with multiple sclerosis, from Oradea Day Centre, 3 times/week, ages between 35 – 55 years, functional level between mild and sever. Assessment an...

  1. Partial liquid ventilation improves lung function in ventilation-induced lung injury

    Vazquez de Anda, G.F.; Lachmann, R A; Verbrugge, Serge; Gommers, Diederik; Haitsma, J.J.; Lachmann, Burkhard

    2001-01-01

    textabstractDisturbances in lung function and lung mechanics are present after ventilation with high peak inspiratory pressures (PIP) and low levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP). Therefore, the authors investigated whether partial liquid ventilation can re-establish lung function after ventilation-induced lung injury. Adult rats were exposed to high PIP without PEEP for 20 min. Thereafter, the animals were randomly divided into five groups. The first group was killed immediately...

  2. Improvement of ventilatory function by spa therapy in patients with intractable asthma.

    Tanizaki,Yoshiro

    1986-01-01

    Twenty-five patients with intractable asthma had swimming training in a hot spring pool for 3 months. The subjects were divided into three groups according to their clinical symptoms and ages. Changes of ventilatory function during swimming training were observed in in each group. The ventilatory function test revealed that free swimming training in a hot spring pool for 30 min did not induce bronchoconstriction in any of the groups. The values of ventilatory parameters such as FEV 1.0%, %PEF...

  3. Selective atonal gene delivery improves balance function in a mouse model of vestibular disease

    Schlecker, Christina; Praetorius, Mark; Brough, Douglas E.; Presler, Robert G.; Hsu, Chi; Plinkert, Peter K.; STAECKER, HINRICH

    2011-01-01

    Loss of balance is often due to loss of vestibular hair cells. In mammals, regeneration of functional hair cells in the mature sensory epithelium is limited; therefore, loss of sensory cells can lead to debilitating balance problems. Delivery of the transcription factor atonal (atoh1) after aminoglycoside ototoxicity has previously been shown to induce the transdifferentiation of supporting cells into new hair cells and restore function. A problem with mouse aminoglycoside models is that the ...

  4. Sharper Fermi LAT Images: instrument response functions for an improved event selection

    Portillo, Stephen K. N.; Finkbeiner, Douglas P.

    2014-01-01

    The Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has a point spread function with large tails, consisting of events affected by tracker ineffiencies, inactive volumes, and hard scattering; these tails can make source confusion a limiting factor. The parameter CTBCORE, available in the publicly available Extended Fermi LAT data, estimates the quality of each event's direction reconstruction; by implementing a cut in this parameter, the tails of the point spread function can be s...

  5. Improvement of mechanical heart function by trimetazidine in db/db mice

    Li, Yuan-jing; Wang, Pei-hua; Chen, Chen; Zou, Ming-Hui; Wang, Dao-wen

    2010-01-01

    Aim: To investigate the influence of trimetazidine, which is known to be an antioxidant and modulator of metabolism, on cardiac function and the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy in db/db mouse. Methods: Trimetazidine was administered to db/db mice for eight weeks. Cardiac function was measured by inserting a Millar catheter into the left ventricle, and oxidative stress and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in the myocardium were evaluated. Results: Untreated db/db mice exhibi...

  6. Brain Training Game Improves Executive Functions and Processing Speed in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Rui Nouchi; Yasuyuki Taki; Hikaru Takeuchi; Hiroshi Hashizume; Yuko Akitsuki; Yayoi Shigemune; Atsushi Sekiguchi; Yuka Kotozaki; Takashi Tsukiura; Yukihito Yomogida; Ryuta Kawashima

    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 th...

  7. IMPROVEMENTS IN LEFT-SIDED HEMIPARESIS IN AN ELDERLY FEMALE USING FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY TREATMENTS.

    Chris Sass; Susan Elizabeth Esposito

    2015-01-01

    Background: A 71-year-old female presented to a functional neurology clinic with left-sided decorticate posturing caused by a stroke eight years prior. Her symptoms included imbalance, gait disturbances, and cervicalgia. She required the use of a cane for ambulation. Her left upper extremity was completely immobilized for volitional movement, save minor function of the shoulder joint. Methods: A complete physical and neurological exam including eye movement and vestibular testing was p...

  8. Reading and solving arithmetic problems improves cognitive functions of normal aged people: a randomized controlled study

    UCHIDA, Shinya; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between mental exercise and mental aging is a controversial issue. People generally believe the so-called mental-exercise hypothesis, that is, the age-related decline in cognitive function is less pronounced for people who are mentally active, yet there is insufficient scientific evidence supporting this hypothesis. Previous randomized controlled trial studies showed convincing beneficial effects of cognitive training on directly targeted cognitive functions. In this study, w...

  9. Improvement in cognitive and psychosocial functioning and self image among adolescent inpatient suicide attempters

    Laukkanen Eila; Pelkonen Mirjami; Marttunen Mauri; Hintikka Ulla; Viinamäki Heimo; Lehtonen Johannes

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background Psychiatric treatment of suicidal youths is often difficult and non-compliance in treatment is a significant problem. This prospective study compared characteristics and changes in cognitive functioning, self image and psychosocial functioning among 13 to 18 year-old adolescent psychiatric inpatients with suicide attempts (n = 16) and with no suicidality (n = 39) Methods The two-group pre-post test prospective study design included assessments by a psychiatrist, a psycholo...

  10. The effects of very early mirror therapy on functional improvement of the upper extremity in acute stroke patients.

    Yeldan, Ipek; Huseyınsınoglu, Burcu Ersoz; Akıncı, Buket; Tarakcı, Ela; Baybas, Sevim; Ozdıncler, Arzu Razak

    2015-11-01

    [Purpose] The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a very early mirror therapy program on functional improvement of the upper extremity in acute stroke patients. [Subjects] Eight stroke patients who were treated in an acute neurology unit were included in the study. [Methods] The patients were assigned alternatively to either the mirror therapy group receiving mirror therapy and neurodevelopmental treatment or the neurodevelopmental treatment only group. The primary outcome measures were the upper extremity motor subscale of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Motricity Index upper extremity score, and the Stroke Upper Limb Capacity Scale. Somatosensory assessment with the Ayres Southern California Sensory Integration Test, and the Barthel Index were used as secondary outcome measures. [Results] No statistically significant improvements were found for any measures in either group after the treatment. In terms of minimally clinically important differences, there were improvements in Fugl-Meyer Assessment and Barthel Index in both mirror therapy and neurodevelopmental treatment groups. [Conclusion] The results of this pilot study revealed that very early mirror therapy has no additional effect on functional improvement of upper extremity function in acute stroke patients. Multicenter trials are needed to determine the results of early application of mirror therapy in stroke rehabilitation. PMID:26696729

  11. Using Functional Electrical Stimulation Mediated by Iterative Learning Control and Robotics to Improve Arm Movement for People With Multiple Sclerosis.

    Sampson, Patrica; Freeman, Chris; Coote, Susan; Demain, Sara; Feys, Peter; Meadmore, Katie; Hughes, Ann-Marie

    2016-02-01

    Few interventions address multiple sclerosis (MS) arm dysfunction but robotics and functional electrical stimulation (FES) appear promising. This paper investigates the feasibility of combining FES with passive robotic support during virtual reality (VR) training tasks to improve upper limb function in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). The system assists patients in following a specified trajectory path, employing an advanced model-based paradigm termed iterative learning control (ILC) to adjust the FES to improve accuracy and maximise voluntary effort. Reaching tasks were repeated six times with ILC learning the optimum control action from previous attempts. A convenience sample of five pwMS was recruited from local MS societies, and the intervention comprised 18 one-hour training sessions over 10 weeks. The accuracy of tracking performance without FES and the amount of FES delivered during training were analyzed using regression analysis. Clinical functioning of the arm was documented before and after treatment with standard tests. Statistically significant results following training included: improved accuracy of tracking performance both when assisted and unassisted by FES; reduction in maximum amount of FES needed to assist tracking; and less impairment in the proximal arm that was trained. The system was well tolerated by all participants with no increase in muscle fatigue reported. This study confirms the feasibility of FES combined with passive robot assistance as a potentially effective intervention to improve arm movement and control in pwMS and provides the basis for a follow-up study. PMID:25823038

  12. Training compliance control yields improvements in drawing as a function of Beery scores.

    Winona Snapp-Childs

    Full Text Available Many children have difficulty producing movements well enough to improve in sensori-motor learning. Previously, we developed a training method that supports active movement generation to allow improvement at a 3D tracing task requiring good compliance control. Here, we tested 7-8 year old children from several 2nd grade classrooms to determine whether 3D tracing performance could be predicted using the Beery VMI. We also examined whether 3D tracing training lead to improvements in drawing. Baseline testing included Beery, a drawing task on a tablet computer, and 3D tracing. We found that baseline performance in 3D tracing and drawing co-varied with the visual perception (VP component of the Beery. Differences in 3D tracing between children scoring low versus high on the Beery VP replicated differences previously found between children with and without motor impairments, as did post-training performance that eliminated these differences. Drawing improved as a result of training in the 3D tracing task. The training method improved drawing and reduced differences predicted by Beery scores.

  13. Progenitor Hematopoietic Cells Implantation Improves Functional Capacity of End Stage Coronary Artery Disease Patients with Advanced Heart Failure

    Yoga Yuniadi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Proangiogenic Hematopoietic Cells (PHC which comprise diverse mixture of cell types are able to secrete proangiogenic factors and interesting candidate for cell therapy. The aim of this study was to seek for benefit in implantation of PHC on functional improvement in end stage coronary artery disease patients with advanced heart failure. Methods. Patients with symptomatic heart failure despite guideline directed medical therapy and LVEF less than 35% were included. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated, cultivated for 5 days, and then harvested. Flow cytometry and cell surface markers were used to characterize PHC. The PHC were delivered retrogradely via sinus coronarius. Echocardiography, myocardial perfusion, and clinical and functional data were analyzed up to 1-year observation. Results. Of 30 patients (56.4±7.40 yo preimplant NT proBNP level is 5124.5±4682.50 pmol/L. Harvested cells characterized with CD133, CD34, CD45, and KDR showed 0.87±0.41, 0.63±0.66, 99.00±2.60, and 3.22±3.79%, respectively. LVEF was improved (22±5.68 versus 26.8±7.93, p<0.001 during short and long term observation. Myocardial perfusion significantly improved 6 months after treatment. NYHA Class and six-minute walk test are improved during short term and long term follow-up. Conclusion. Expanded peripheral blood PHC implantation using retrograde delivery approach improved LV systolic function, myocardial perfusion, and functional capacity.

  14. m(6)A: Signaling for mRNA splicing.

    Adhikari, Samir; Xiao, Wen; Zhao, Yong-Liang; Yang, Yun-Gui

    2016-09-01

    Among myriads of distinct chemical modifications in RNAs, dynamic N6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is one of the most prevalent modifications in eukaryotic mRNAs and non-coding RNAs. Similar to the critical role of chemical modifications in regulation of DNA and protein activities, RNA m(6)A modification is also observed to be involved in the regulation of diverse functions of RNAs including meiosis, fertility, development, cell reprogramming and circadian period. The RNA m(6)A modification is recognized by YTH domain containing family proteins comprising of YTHDC1-2 and YTHDF1-3. Here we focus on the nuclear m(6)A reader YTHDC1 and its regulatory role in alternative splicing and other RNA metabolic processes. PMID:27351695

  15. Wheat Gluten Blends with Maleic Anhydride-Functionalized Polyacrylate Cross-Linkers for Improved Properties.

    Diao, Cheng; Xia, Hongwei; Parnas, Richard S

    2015-10-14

    A family of polyacrylate-based cross-linkers was synthesized to maximize the toughness of high Tg, high modulus wheat gluten blends in the glassy state. Mechanical testing and damping measurements were conducted to provide an example where the work of fracture and strength of the blend substantially exceeds polystyrene while maintaining flexure stiffness in excess of 3 GPa. The new rubbery cross-linkers, polymethyl acrylate-co-maleic anhydride and polyethyl acrylate-co-maleic anhydride, improve WG mechanical properties and reduce water absorption simultaneously. MDSC, FTIR, HPLC, and NMR data confirmed the cross-linking reaction with wheat gluten. Flexural, DMA, and water absorption testing were carried out to characterize the property improvements. DMA was conducted to investigate the relationship between energy damping and mechanical property improvement. If the cross-linker damping temperature is close to the testing temperature, the entire sample exhibits high damping, toughness, and strength. PMID:26394179

  16. Improvement of signal-to-noise ratio by stochastic resonance in sigmoid function threshold systems, demonstrated using a CMOS inverter

    Ueda, Michihito

    2010-05-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) has become a well-known phenomenon that can enhance weak periodic signals with the help of noise. SR is an interesting phenomenon when applied to signal processing. Although it has been proven that SR does not always improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), in a strongly nonlinear system such as simple threshold system, SR does in fact improve SNR for noisy pulsed signals at appropriate noise strength. However, even in such cases, when noise is weak, the SNR is degraded. Since the noise strength cannot be known in advance, it is difficult to apply SR to real signal processing. In this paper, we focused on the shape of the threshold at which SR did not degrade the SNR when noise was weak. To achieve output change when noise was weak, we numerically analyzed a sigmoid function threshold system. When the slope around the threshold was appropriate, SNR did not degrade when noise was weak and instead was improved at suitable noise strength. We also demonstrated SNR improvement for noisy pulsed voltages using a CMOS inverter, a very common threshold device. The input-output property of a CMOS inverter resembles the sigmoid function. By inputting the noisy signal voltage to a CMOS inverter, we measured the input and output voltages and analyzed the SNRs. The results showed that SNR was effectively improved over a wide range of noise strengths.

  17. Improved Q2-rescaling model and the nuclear effect of parton distribution functions

    Considering that the original Q2-rescaling model has some shortcomings in explaining the experimental data, we propose an improved Q2-rescaling model in which, in order to compensate for the loss of nuclear momentum, we employ different Q2-rescaling parameters for momentum distributions of valence quark, sea quark and gluons. By using improved Q2-rescaling model, We can well explain the experimental data of the EMC effect in the whole x region, the nuclear Drell-Yan process and J/ψ photoproduction process

  18. Myocardial scar identified by magnetic resonance imaging can predict left ventricular functional improvement after coronary artery bypass grafting.

    Tao Yang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that viable myocardium predicts recovery of left ventricular (LV dysfunction after revascularization. Our aim was to evaluate the prognostic value of myocardial scar assessed by late gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-CMR on functional recovery in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG. METHODS: From November 2009 to September 2012, 63 patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF referred for first-time isolated CABG were prospectively enrolled, 52 were included in final analysis. LV functional parameters and scar tissue were assessed by LGE-CMR at baseline and 6 months after surgery. Patency of grafts was evaluated by computed tomography angiography (CTA 6 months post-CABG. Predictors for global functional recovery were analyzed. RESULTS: The baseline LVEF was 32.7 ± 9.2%, which improved to 41.6 ± 11.0% 6 months later and 32/52 patients improved LVEF by ≥ 5%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the most significant negative predictor for global functional recovery was the number of scar segments (Odds ratio 2.864, 95% Confidence Interval 1.172-6.996, p = 0.021. Receiver-Operator-Characteristic (ROC analysis demonstrated that ≤ 4 scar segments predicted global functional recovery with a sensitivity and specificity of 85.0% and 87.5%, respectively (AUC = 0.91, p<0.001. Comparison of ROC curves also indicated that scar tissue was superior to viable myocardium in predicting cardiac functional recovery (p<0.001. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicated that scar tissue on LGE-CMR is an independent negative predictor of cardiac functional recovery in patients with impaired LV function undergoing CABG. These observations may be helpful for clinicians and cardiovascular surgeons to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from surgical revascularization.

  19. An Improved Fireworks Algorithm Based on Grouping Strategy of the Shuffled Frog Leaping Algorithm to Solve Function Optimization Problems

    Yu-Feng Sun

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The fireworks algorithm (FA is a new parallel diffuse optimization algorithm to simulate the fireworks explosion phenomenon, which realizes the balance between global exploration and local searching by means of adjusting the explosion mode of fireworks bombs. By introducing the grouping strategy of the shuffled frog leaping algorithm (SFLA, an improved FA-SFLA hybrid algorithm is put forward, which can effectively make the FA jump out of the local optimum and accelerate the global search ability. The simulation results show that the hybrid algorithm greatly improves the accuracy and convergence velocity for solving the function optimization problems.

  20. A short period of high-intensity interval training improves skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics

    Christensen, Peter Møller; Jacobs, Robert A; Bonne, Thomas Christian;

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether improvements in pulmonary V̇O2 kinetics following a short period of high-intensity training (HIT) would be associated with improved skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. Ten untrained male volunteers (age: 26 ± 2; mean ± SD) performed six HIT...... increase in response to training. Both before and after the HIT-period fast V̇O2 kinetics (low τ values) was associated with large values for ETFP, electron transport system capacity (ETS) and electron flow specific to complex II (CIIP) (P<0.05). Collectively these findings support that selected measures...