WorldWideScience

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. 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...

  3. 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...

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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, ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  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. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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…

  14. 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

  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. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  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. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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...

  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. 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...

  4. 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...

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  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. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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)...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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.