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Sample records for 6a improves functional

  1. Structure and biological function of ENPP6, a choline-specific glycerophosphodiester-phosphodiesterase

    OpenAIRE

    Junko Morita; Kuniyuki Kano; Kazuki Kato; Hiroyuki Takita; Hideki Sakagami; Yasuo Yamamoto; Emiko Mihara; Hirofumi Ueda; Takanao Sato; Hidetoshi Tokuyama; Hiroyuki Arai; Hiroaki Asou; Junichi Takagi; Ryuichiro Ishitani; Hiroshi Nishimasu

    2016-01-01

    Choline is an essential nutrient for all living cells and is produced extracellularly by sequential degradation of phosphatidylcholine (PC). However, little is known about how choline is produced extracellularly. Here, we report that ENPP6, a choline-specific phosphodiesterase, hydrolyzes glycerophosphocholine (GPC), a degradation product of PC, as a physiological substrate and participates in choline metabolism. ENPP6 is highly expressed in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and developing o...

  2. Improving functional value of meat products.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  3. Jmjd6, a JmjC Dioxygenase with Many Interaction Partners and Pleiotropic Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Janice; O’Shea, Marie; Hume, David A.; Lengeling, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Lysyl hydroxylation and arginyl demethylation are post-translational events that are important for many cellular processes. The jumonji domain containing protein 6 (JMJD6) has been reported to catalyze both lysyl hydroxylation and arginyl demethylation on diverse protein substrates. It also interacts directly with RNA. This review summarizes knowledge of JMJD6 functions that have emerged in the last 15 years and considers how a single Jumonji C (JmjC) domain-containing enzyme can target so many different substrates. New links and synergies between the three main proposed functions of Jmjd6 in histone demethylation, promoter proximal pause release of polymerase II and RNA splicing are discussed. The physiological context of the described molecular functions is considered and recently described novel roles for JMJD6 in cancer and immune biology are reviewed. The increased knowledge of JMJD6 functions has wider implications for our general understanding of the JmjC protein family of which JMJD6 is a member. PMID:28360925

  4. Ranitidine improves postoperative monocyte and neutrophil function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... difference (P detected. There were no infectious complications in ranitidine-treated patients. CONCLUSION: These results support previous studies...

  5. Does bariatric surgery improve adipose tissue function?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment for obesity. Not only do these types of surgeries produce significant weight loss but also they improve insulin sensitivity and whole body metabolic function. The aim of this review is to explore how altered physiology of adipose tissue may contribute to the potent metabolic effects of some of these procedures. This includes specific effects on various fat depots, the function of individual adipocytes and the interaction between adipose tissue and other key metabolic tissues. Besides a dramatic loss of fat mass, bariatric surgery shifts the distribution of fat from visceral to the subcutaneous compartment favoring metabolic improvement. The sensitivity towards lipolysis controlled by insulin and catecholamines is improved, adipokine secretion is altered and local adipose inflammation as well as systemic inflammatory markers decreases. Some of these changes have been shown to be weight loss independent, and novel hypothesis for these effects includes include changes in bile acid metabolism, gut microbiota and central regulation of metabolism. In conclusion bariatric surgery is capable of improving aspects of adipose tissue function and do so in some cases in ways that are not entirely explained by the potent effect of surgery. © 2016 World Obesity.

  6. Resveratrol: A Multifunctional Compound Improving Endothelial Function

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Huige; Förstermann, Ulrich

    2009-01-01

    The red wine polyphenol resveratrol boosts endothelium-dependent and -independent vasorelaxations. The improvement of endothelial function by resveratrol is largely attributable to nitric oxide (NO) derived from endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). By stimulating eNOS expression, eNOS phosphorylation and eNOS deacetylation, resveratrol enhances endothelial NO production. By upregulating antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase) and suppressing the expression a...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    alanate with TiCl3, and here we study hydrogen dynamics in doped and undoped Na3AlH6 using a combination of density functional theory calculations and quasielastic neutron scattering. The hydrogen dynamics is found to be vacancy mediated and dominated by localized jump events, whereas long-range bulk......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...

  8. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  9. Virtual reality training improves balance function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. Ranitidine improves postoperative monocyte and neutrophil function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...

  11. Lanczos steps to improve variational wave functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Improving information retrieval in functional analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Acupuncture improves cognitive function A systematic review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowton, E; Saunders, C; 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

    2014-10-14

    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 efflux phenotype. Here, we report the novel identification of hDAT A559V in two unrelated ASD subjects and provide the first mechanistic description of its impaired trafficking phenotype. DAT surface expression is dynamically regulated by DAT substrates including the psychostimulant amphetamine (AMPH), which causes hDAT trafficking away from the plasma membrane. The integrity of DAT trafficking directly impacts DA transport capacity and therefore dopaminergic neurotransmission. Here, we show that hDAT A559V is resistant to AMPH-induced cell surface redistribution. This unique trafficking phenotype is conferred by altered protein kinase C β (PKCβ) activity. Cells expressing hDAT A559V exhibit constitutively elevated PKCβ activity, inhibition of which restores the AMPH-induced hDAT A559V membrane redistribution. Mechanistically, we link the inability of hDAT A559V to traffic in response to AMPH to the phosphorylation of the five most distal DAT N-terminal Ser. Mutation of these N-terminal Ser to Ala restores AMPH-induced trafficking. Furthermore, hDAT A559V has a diminished ability to transport AMPH, and therefore lacks AMPH-induced DA efflux. Pharmacological inhibition of PKCβ or Ser to Ala substitution in the hDAT A559V background restores AMPH-induced DA efflux while promoting intracellular AMPH accumulation. Although hDAT A559V is a rare variant, it has been found in multiple probands with neuropsychiatric disorders associated with imbalances in DA neurotransmission

  15. 6A3-5/Osa2 is an Early Activated Gene Implicated in the Control of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gwenaele Garin

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC growth plays a key role in the pathophysiology of vascular diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling gene transcription in VSMC remain poorly understood. We previously identified, by differential display, a new gene (6A3-5 overexpressed in proliferating rat VSMC. In this study, we have cloned the full-length cDNA by screening a rat foetal brain cDNA library and investigated its functions. The 6A3-5 protein shows 4 putative conserved functional motifs: a DNA binding domain called ARID (AT-rich interaction domain, two recently described motifs (Osa Homology Domain, and a nuclear localization signal. The deduced protein sequence was observed to be 85% identical to the recently described human Osa2 gene. Immunolabelling, using an anti-6A3-5/Osa2 monoclonal antibody, showed a nuclear localization of the 6A3-5/Osa2 protein. In addition, PDGF upregulated 6A3-5/Osa2 expression at both the transcript and protein levels in a dose and time-dependent fashion. The pattern of upregulation by PDGF was reminiscent of the early responsive gene c-fos. The PDGF-induced upregulation of 6A3-5/Osa2 and proliferation of VSMC were significantly inhibited in a dose and sequence-dependent fashion by an antisense, but not by sense, scrambled or mismatched oligonucleotides directed against 6A3-5/Osa2. In VSMC of aortas derived from hypertensive (LH rats, 6A3-5/Osa2 is overexpressed as compared to that in normotensive (LL rats. The 6A3-5/Osa2-gene expression is downregulated by an ACE inhibitor and upregulated by exogenous AngiotensinII in LH rats. In summary, these results indicate that 6A3-5/Osa2 is an early activated gene that belongs to a new family of proteins involved in the control of VSMC growth.

  16. Mice lacking neutral amino acid transporter B0AT1 (Slc6a19) have elevated levels of FGF21 and GLP-1 and improved glycaemic control

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Jiang; Adam J. Rose; Sijmonsma, Tjeerd P.; Angelika Bröer; Anja Pfenninger; Stephan Herzig; Dieter Schmoll; Stefan Bröer

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Type 2 diabetes arises from insulin resistance of peripheral tissues followed by dysfunction of β-cells in the pancreas due to metabolic stress. Both depletion and supplementation of neutral amino acids have been discussed as strategies to improve insulin sensitivity. Here we characterise mice lacking the intestinal and renal neutral amino acid transporter B0AT1 (Slc6a19) as a model to study the consequences of selective depletion of neutral amino acids. Methods: Metabolic tests...

  17. Vitamin d and rehabilitation: improving functional outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  20. Improving Sensorimotor Function Using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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.

  2. Plant improvement by known-function genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Electronic structure of CeRu4Sn6: a density functional plus dynamical mean field theory study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissgott, Philipp; Held, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    The Kondo system CeRu4Sn6 shows a strong anisotropy in its electric, optic and magnetic properties. We employ density functional theory plus dynamical mean field theory and show that the predominant Ce-f state has total angular moment J = 5 / 2 and z-component mJ = ± 1 / 2 in agreement with recent X-ray absorption experiments. There is also an admixture of mJ = ± 3 / 2 which is reduced in favor of mJ = ± 1 / 2 with the onset of the Kondo effect. Even though CeRu4Sn6 has the direct gap of a Kondo insulator through most of the Brillouin zone it remains weakly metallic. This is because of (i) a band crossing in the z-direction and (ii) a negative indirect gap.

  4. An Improved Functional Hierarchy Frame Model for System Maintainability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Obese individuals exhibit impaired functional vasodilation and exercise performance. We have demonstrated in obese Zucker rats (OZ), a model of morbid obesity, that insulin resistance impairs functional vasodilation via an increased thromboxane receptor (TP)-mediated vasoconstriction. Chronic treadmill exercise training improves functional vasodilation in the spinotrapezius muscle of the OZ, but the mechanisms responsible for the improvement in functional vasodilation are not clear. Based on ...

  7. Genetic Variations in the Human G Protein-coupled Receptor Class C, Group 6, Member A (GPRC6A) Control Cell Surface Expression and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Stine; Have, Christian Theil; Underwood, Christina Rye; Johansen, Lars Dan; Wellendorph, Petrine; Gjesing, Anette Prior; Jørgensen, Christinna V; Quan, Shi; Rui, Gao; Inoue, Asuka; Linneberg, Allan; Grarup, Niels; Jun, Wang; Pedersen, Oluf; Hansen, Torben; Bräuner-Osborne, Hans

    2017-01-27

    GPRC6A is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by l-amino acids, which, based on analyses of knock-out mice, has been suggested to have physiological functions in metabolism and testicular function. The human ortholog is, however, mostly retained intracellularly in contrast to the cell surface-expressed murine and goldfish orthologs. The latter orthologs are Gq-coupled and lead to intracellular accumulation of inositol phosphates and calcium release. In the present study we cloned the bonobo chimpanzee GPRC6A receptor, which is 99% identical to the human receptor, and show that it is cell surface-expressed and functional. By analyses of chimeric human/mouse and human/bonobo receptors, bonobo receptor mutants, and the single nucleotide polymorphism database at NCBI, we identify an insertion/deletion variation in the third intracellular loop responsible for the intracellular retention and lack of function of the human ortholog. Genetic analyses of the 1000 genome database and the Inter99 cohort of 6,000 Danes establish the distribution of genotypes among ethnic groups, showing that the cell surface-expressed and functional variant is much more prevalent in the African population than in European and Asian populations and that this variant is partly linked with a stop codon early in the receptor sequence (rs6907580, amino acid position 57). In conclusion, our data solve a more than decade-old question of why the cloned human GPRC6A receptor is not cell surface-expressed and functional and provide a genetic framework to study human phenotypic traits in large genome sequencing projects linked with physiological measurement and biomarkers.

  8. Genetic Variations in the Human G Protein-coupled Receptor Class C, Group 6, Member A (GPRC6A) Control Cell Surface Expression and Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, Stine; Have, Christian Theil; Underwood, Christina Rye

    2017-01-01

    -expressed and functional. By analyses of chimeric human/mouse and human/bonobo receptors, bonobo receptor mutants, and the single nucleotide polymorphism database at NCBI, we identify an insertion/deletion variation in the third intracellular loop responsible for the intracellular retention and lack of function...... of the human ortholog. Genetic analyses of the 1000 genome database and the Inter99 cohort of 6,000 Danes establish the distribution of genotypes among ethnic groups, showing that the cell surface-expressed and functional variant is much more prevalent in the African population than in European and Asian...... populations and that this variant is partly linked with a stop codon early in the receptor sequence (rs6907580, amino acid position 57). In conclusion, our data solve a more than decade-old question of why the cloned human GPRC6A receptor is not cell surface-expressed and functional and provide a genetic...

  9. Overexpression of HTRA1 leads to down-regulation of fibronectin and functional changes in RF/6A cells and HUVECs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjing Jiang

    Full Text Available Multiple genetic studies have suggested that high-temperature requirement serine protease (HTRA1 is associated with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV. To date, no functional studies have investigated the biological effect of HTRA1 on vascular endothelial cells, essential vascular components involved in polypoidal vascular abnormalities and arteriosclerosis-like changes. In vitro studies were performed to investigate the effect of HTRA1 on the regulation of fibronectin, laminin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR and matrix metalloparoteinases 2 (MMP-2 and the role of HTRA1 in choroid-retina endothelial (RF/6A and human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVEC cells. Lentivirus-mediated overexpression of HTRA1 was used to explore effects of the protease on RF/6A and HUVEC cells in vitro. HTRA1 overexpression inhibited the proliferation, cell cycle, migration and tube formation of RF/6A and HUVEC cells, effects that might contribute to the early stage of PCV pathological lesions. Fibronectin mRNA and protein levels were significantly down-regulated following the upregulation of HTRA1, whereas the expressions of laminin, VEGF and MMP-2 were unaffected by alterations in HTRA1 expression. The decreased biological function of vascular endothelial cells and the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, such as fibronectin, may be involved in a contributory role for HTRA1 in PCV pathogenesis.

  10. Using Quality Function Deployment to Improve Reference Services Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pao-Long Chang

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 this paper the use of Quality Function Deployment (QFD as a tool for improving reference services quality is explored and an adapted framework referred to as service quality function deployment is proposed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. Text mining improves prediction of protein functional sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verspoor, Karin M; Cohn, Judith D; Ravikumar, Komandur E; Wall, Michael E

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Text mining improves prediction of protein functional sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. AN IMPROVED MULTIVARIATE LOSS FUNCTION APPROACH TO OPTIMIZATION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  16. Breeding for improvement of functional traits in dairy cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackmore, Gail; Persaud, D David

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  20. Improved Left Ventricular Structure and Function After Successful Kidney Transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd Hewing

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cardiac changes observed in chronic kidney disease patients are of multifactorial origin including chronic uremia, hemodynamics or inflammation. Restoration of renal function by kidney transplantation (KTX may reverse cardiac changes. Novel echocardiographic methods such as speckle tracking echocardiography (STE allow early and sensitive detection of subtle changes of cardiac parameters. We evaluated changes of cardiac structure and function after KTX by advanced echocardiographic modalities. Methods: Thirty-one KTX recipients (female n=11 were evaluated by medical examination, laboratory testing and echocardiography before and after KTX (median follow-up 19 months. Left ventricular (LV and right ventricular (RV diameters and function were assessed by echocardiographic standard parameters. Longitudinal 2D strain of the LV (GLPS and left atrium (LA was determined by 2D STE. Results: After KTX, median serum creatinine level was 1.3 mg/dl (IQR, 1.2-1.5. Systolic blood pressure decreased significantly after KTX. Echocardiography showed a significant reduction in LV end-diastolic septal and posterior wall thickness and LV mass index after KTX, which was accompanied by an improvement of GLPS. There were no relevant changes in parameters of LA (reservoir, conduit or contractile function, LV diastolic or RV function after KTX. Conclusion: LV hypertrophy reversed after successful KTX and was accompanied by an improvement in longitudinal LV function as assessed by STE. Diastolic function and STE-derived LA function parameters did not change significantly after KTX.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. The ultra-slow NAT2*6A haplotype is associated with reduced higher cognitive functions in an elderly study group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selinski, Silvia; Getzmann, Stephan; Gajewski, Patrick D; Blaszkewicz, Meinolf; Hengstler, Jan G; Falkenstein, Michael; Golka, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    N-Acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) genotype is associated with age-related declines in basic sensory hearing functions. However, the possible modulatory role of NAT2 for higher cognitive functions has not yet been studied. We tested auditory goal-directed behavior and attentional control in 120 NAT2 genotyped subjects (63-88 years), using an auditory distraction paradigm in which participants responded to the duration of long and short tone stimuli. We studied involuntary shifts in attention to task-irrelevant deviant stimuli and applied event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine which cognitive subprocesses are affected by NAT2 status on a neurophysiological level. Relative to the standard stimuli, deviant stimuli decreased performance in the recently described ultra-slow acetylators (NAT2*6A and *7B): The increase in error-corrected reaction times (a combined measure of response speed and accuracy) in ultra-slow acetylators (254 ms increase) was more than twice as high as in the rapid acetylator reference group (111 ms increase; p < 0.01). The increase was still higher than in the other slow acetylators (149 ms increase, p < 0.05). In addition, clear differences were found in the ERP results: Ultra-slow acetylators showed deficits specifically in the automatic detection of changes in the acoustic environment as evidenced by reduced mismatch negativity (MMN, p < 0.005 compared to rapid acetylators). Refocussing of attention after a distracting event was also impaired in the ultra-slow acetylators as evidenced by a reduced re-orienting negativity (RON, p < 0.01 compared to rapid acetylators). In conclusion, the ultra-slow acetylation status was associated with reduced higher cognitive functions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  5. Probucol alleviates atherosclerosis and improves high density lipoprotein function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Improved variational many-body wave function in light nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usmani, Q. N.; Singh, A.; Anwar, K.; Rawitscher, G.

    2009-09-01

    We propose and implement a simple method for improving the variational wave function of a many-body system. We have obtained a significant improvement in the binding energies, wave functions, and variance for the light nuclei H3, He4, and Li6, using the fully realistic Argonne (AV18) two-body and Urbana-IX (UIX) three-body interactions. The energy of He4 was improved by about 0.2 MeV and the Li6 binding energy was increased by ≈1.7 MeV compared to earlier variational Monte Carlo results. The latter result demonstrates the significant progress achieved by our method, and detailed analyses of the improved results are given. With central interactions the results are found to be in agreement with the “exact” calculations. Our study shows that the relative error in the many-body wave functions, compared to two-body pair correlations, increases rapidly at least proportionally to the number of pairs in the system. However, this error does not increase indefinitely since the pair interactions saturate owing to convergence of cluster expansion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ada Ip

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. An improved method for estimating the frequency correlation function

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...... that iloprost has inotropic properties directly improving ventricular function in the hypertrophic and dysfunctional right heart of the rat....

  14. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

    A simple formulation of a generalized gradient approximation for the exchange and correlation energy of electrons has been proposed by Perdew, Burke, and Ernzerhof (PBE) [Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 3865 (1996)]. Subsequently Zhang and Yang [Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 890 (1998)] have shown that a slight...... 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...... comprise atomic and molecular adsorption of oxygen, CO, and NO on Ni(100), Ni(111), Rh(100), Pd(100), and Pd(111) surfaces. As the revPBE functional may locally violate the Lieb-Oxford criterion, we further develop an alternative revision of the PBE functional, RPBE, which gives the same improvement...

  16. An improved density matrix functional by physically motivated repulsive corrections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gritsenko, Oleg; Pernal, Katarzyna; Baerends, Evert Jan

    2005-05-22

    An improved density matrix functional [correction to Buijse and Baerends functional (BBC)] is proposed, in which a hierarchy of physically motivated repulsive corrections is employed to the strongly overbinding functional of Buijse and Baerends (BB). The first correction C1 restores the repulsive exchange-correlation (xc) interaction between electrons in weakly occupied natural orbitals (NOs) as it appears in the exact electron pair density rho(2) for the limiting two-electron case. The second correction C2 reduces the xc interaction of the BB functional between electrons in strongly occupied NOs to an exchange-type interaction. The third correction C3 employs a similar reduction for the interaction of the antibonding orbital of a dissociating molecular bond. In addition, C3 applies a selective cancellation of diagonal terms in the Coulomb and xc energies (not for the frontier orbitals). With these corrections, BBC still retains a correct description of strong nondynamical correlation for the dissociating electron pair bond. BBC greatly improves the quality of the BB potential energy curves for the prototype few-electron molecules and in several cases BBC reproduces very well the benchmark ab initio potential curves. The average error of the self-consistent correlation energies obtained with BBC3 for prototype atomic systems and molecular systems at the equilibrium geometry is only ca. 6%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Bin

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

  18. Milk protein tailoring to improve functional and biological properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breucker, Laura; Landfester, Katharina; Taden, Andreas

    2015-11-11

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

  2. Executive Function Improvement in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Following Shunt Surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this investigation was to evaluate improvement of executive functions after shunt surgery in patients with early normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH. Patients with NPH were assessed before and after shunt surgery with tests shown to be sensitive to damage to the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Significant differences were found between basal and follow-up performances on the Boston Naming Test, the backwards digits span, Part B of the Trail Making Test, and the number of words produced on the phonological fluency task. In conclusion, our study reveals that patients with NPH who respond positively to continuous slow lumbar cerebral spinal fluid drainage and receive a ventriculoperitoneal shunt implant, improve their performance on tasks of executive function. Due to the high demand for this form of mental processing in real-life complex scenarios, and based on the severe executive deficits present in both demented and non-demented NPH patients, we encourage the assessment of executive functions in this clinical group.

  3. Improving the extraction of Ara h 6 (a peanut allergen) from a chocolate-based matrix for immunosensing detection: Influence of time, temperature and additives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rita C; Pimentel, Filipa B; Nouws, Henri P A; Silva, Túlio H B; Oliveira, M Beatriz P P; Delerue-Matos, Cristina

    2017-03-01

    The extraction of Ara h 6 (a peanut allergen) from a complex chocolate-based food matrix was optimized by testing different temperatures, extraction times, and the influence of additives (NaCl and skimmed milk powder) in a total of 36 different conditions. Analyses were carried out using an electrochemical immunosensor. Three conditions were selected since they allowed the extraction of the highest levels of Ara h 6. These extractions were performed using 2g of sample and 20ml of Tris-HNO3 (pH=8) containing: a) 0.1M NaCl and 2g of skimmed milk powder at 21°C for 60min; b) 1M NaCl and 1g of skimmed milk powder at 21°C for 60min; and c) 2g of skimmed milk powder at 60°C for 60min. Recoveries were similar or higher than 94.7%. This work highlights the importance to adjust extraction procedures regarding the target analyte and food matrix components.

  4. Improving the Network Structure can lead to Functional Failures

    CERN Document Server

    Pade, Jan Philipp

    2014-01-01

    In many real-world networks the ability to synchronize is a key property for its performance. Examples include power-grid, sensor, and neuron networks as well as consensus formation. Recent work on undirected networks with diffusive interaction revealed that improvements in the network connectivity such as making the network more connected and homogeneous enhances synchronization. However, real-world networks have directed and weighted connections. In such directed networks, understanding the impact of structural changes on the network performance remains a major challenge. Here, we show that improving the structure of a directed network can lead to a failure in the network function. For instance, introducing new links to reduce the minimum distance between nodes can lead to instabilities in the synchronized motion. This counter-intuitive effect only occurs in directed networks. Our results allow to identify the dynamical importance of a link and thereby have a major impact on the design and control of direct...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Kinesthetic taping improves walking function in patients with stroke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...... test. Secondary outcomes were number of steps taken during the test and clinical signs of spasticity measured by the Tardieu Scale. Tests were conducted before and immediately after application of kinesthetic tape to the anterior thigh and knee of the paretic lower limb. RESULTS: After application...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Inhibition of neutrophil activity improves cardiac function after cardiopulmonary bypass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grünwald Frank

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The arterial in line application of the leukocyte inhibition module (LIM in the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB limits overshooting leukocyte activity during cardiac surgery. We studied in a porcine model whether LIM may have beneficial effects on cardiac function after CPB. Methods German landrace pigs underwent CPB (60 min myocardial ischemia; 30 min reperfusion without (group I; n = 6 or with LIM (group II; n = 6. The cardiac indices (CI and cardiac function were analyzed pre and post CPB with a Swan-Ganz catheter and the cardiac function analyzer. Neutrophil labeling with technetium, scintigraphy, and histological analyses were done to track activated neutrophils within the organs. Results LIM prevented CPB-associated increase of neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. In group I, the CI significantly declined post CPB (post: 3.26 ± 0.31; pre: 4.05 ± 0.45 l/min/m2; p 2; p = 0.23. Post CPB, the intergroup difference showed significantly higher CI values in the LIM group (p Conclusion Our data provides strong evidence that LIM improves perioperative hemodynamics and cardiac function after CPB by limiting neutrophil activity and inducing accelerated sequestration of neutrophils in the spleen.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine on platelet function is modified by a SLC6A4 serotonin transporter polymorphism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abdelmalik, N.; Ruhé, H.G.; Barwari, K.; Van Den Dool, E.-J.; Meijers, J.C.M.; Middeldorp, S.; Büller, H.R.; Schene, A.H.; Kamphuisen, P.W.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been associated with an increased bleeding tendency. Objectives: To prospectively quantify the dose-response effects of paroxetine and the influence of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) on platele

  14. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  16. On Improving Reliability of SRAM-Based Physically Unclonable Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arunkumar Vijayakumar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Physically unclonable functions (PUFs have been touted for their inherent resistance to invasive attacks and low cost in providing a hardware root of trust for various security applications. SRAM PUFs in particular are popular in industry for key/ID generation. Due to intrinsic process variations, SRAM cells, ideally, tend to have the same start-up behavior. SRAM PUFs exploit this start-up behavior. Unfortunately, not all SRAM cells exhibit reliable start-up behavior due to noise susceptibility. Hence, design enhancements are needed for improving reliability. Some of the proposed enhancements in literature include fuzzy extraction, error-correcting codes and voting mechanisms. All enhancements involve a trade-off between area/power/performance overhead and PUF reliability. This paper presents a design enhancement technique for reliability that improves upon previous solutions. We present simulation results to quantify improvement in SRAM PUF reliability and efficiency. The proposed technique is shown to generate a 128-bit key in ≤0.2 μ s at an area estimate of 4538 μ m 2 with error rate as low as 10 − 6 for intrinsic error probability of 15%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Design management of functional foods for quality of life improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butnariu, Monica; Caunii, Angela

    2013-01-01

    The paper examines the benefit of bread enriched with antioxidants on oxidative stress, and on the quantities of hydrosoluble antioxidants in a group of human subjects. The home-management of functional foods strategy seeks to improve prompt and effective basic nutrition using additional attributes that are directly positively beneficial for health and well-being. The purpose of this clinical study was to test the tolerance and benefits of multicomponent functional foods enriched with antioxidant compounds obtained from plant extracts on healthy adult volunteers. A detailed protocol was created to formalize and standardize the procedures for data collection, e.g. filling out standardized forms and functional diet questionnaires. For the research method, Group A was given the special diet enriched with multicomponent antioxidant foods and Group B (control). The data were analysed using the quantitative methods. They showed significant increase of hydrosoluble antioxidants in group A compared to control, from 220.61+/-27.92 - 313.56+/-37.09 micrograms/mL (p=0.05), compared to 280.47+/-32.1 - 238.27+/-44.93 micrograms/mL (p=0.45). Also, oxidative stress values showed a decrease in the diet group compared to control that reached statistical significance. Oxidative stress decreased in the diet group to 244 +/- 89 compared to 308+/-108 UFORT in the control group. The responses of the prevention of chronic diseases to a functional foods strategy depend on how they are absorbed and utilized in the body. An anti-oxidant diet with natural bioactive components could become an interesting solution for degenerative disorders in which oxidative stress is increased.

  1. Improving Project Management with Simulation and Completion Distribution Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cates, Grant R.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LIN, JI-YAN; ZHANG, MIN-WEI; WANG, JIN-GAO; LI, HUI; WEI, HONG-YAN; LIU, RONG; DAI, GANG; LIAO, XIAO-XING

    2016-01-01

    The alleviation of brain injury is a key issue following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiological process of ischemia-reperfusion injury, and exerts a protective effect on neurons. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of H2S on neural functions following cardiac arrest (CA) in rats. A total of 60 rats were allocated at random into three groups. CA was induced to establish the model and CPR was performed after 6 min. Subsequently, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), hydroxylamine or saline was administered to the rats. Serum levels of H2S, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100β were determined following CPR. In addition, neurological deficit scoring (NDS), the beam walking test (BWT), prehensile traction test and Morris water maze experiment were conducted. Neuronal apoptosis rates were detected in the hippocampal region following sacrifice. After CPR, as the H2S levels increased or decreased, the serum NSE and S100β concentrations decreased or increased, respectively (P<0.0w. The NDS results of the NaHS group were improved compared with those of the hydroxylamine group at 24 h after CPR (P<0.05). In the Morris water maze experiment, BWT and prehensile traction test the animals in the NaHS group performed best and rats in the hydroxylamine group performed worst. At day 7, the apoptotic index and the expression of caspase-3 were reduced in the hippocampal CA1 region, while the expression of Bcl-2 increased in the NaHS group; and results of the hydroxylamine group were in contrast. Therefore, the results of the present study indicate that H2S is able to improve neural function in rats following CPR. PMID:26893650

  3. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the ADS

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Collagen VI deficiency reduces muscle pathology, but does not improve muscle function, in the γ-sarcoglycan-null mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Greef, Jessica C; Hamlyn, Rebecca; Jensen, Braden S; O'Campo Landa, Raul; Levy, Jennifer R; Kobuke, Kazuhiro; Campbell, Kevin P

    2016-04-01

    Muscular dystrophy is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness and dystrophic muscle exhibits degeneration and regeneration of muscle cells, inflammation and fibrosis. Skeletal muscle fibrosis is an excessive deposition of components of the extracellular matrix including an accumulation of Collagen VI. We hypothesized that a reduction of Collagen VI in a muscular dystrophy model that presents with fibrosis would result in reduced muscle pathology and improved muscle function. To test this hypothesis, we crossed γ-sarcoglycan-null mice, a model of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2C, with a Col6a2-deficient mouse model. We found that the resulting γ-sarcoglycan-null/Col6a2Δex5 mice indeed exhibit reduced muscle pathology compared with γ-sarcoglycan-null mice. Specifically, fewer muscle fibers are degenerating, fiber size varies less, Evans blue dye uptake is reduced and serum creatine kinase levels are lower. Surprisingly, in spite of this reduction in muscle pathology, muscle function is not significantly improved. In fact, grip strength and maximum isometric tetanic force are even lower in γ-sarcoglycan-null/Col6a2Δex5 mice than in γ-sarcoglycan-null mice. In conclusion, our results reveal that Collagen VI-mediated fibrosis contributes to skeletal muscle pathology in γ-sarcoglycan-null mice. Importantly, however, our data also demonstrate that a reduction in skeletal muscle pathology does not necessarily lead to an improvement of skeletal muscle function, and this should be considered in future translational studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Shuhei; Kon, Noriko

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Improved Collision Attack on Hash Function MD5

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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....

  12. PapR6, a putative atypical response regulator, functions as a pathway-specific activator of pristinamycin II biosynthesis in Streptomyces pristinaespiralis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    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 to that of the parental strain HCCB 10218. However, either papR6 deletion or overexpression had very little effect on pristinamycin I (PI) biosynthesis. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) demonstrated that PapR6 bound specifically to the upstream region of snaF, the first gene of the snaFE1E2GHIJK operon, which is likely responsible for providing the precursor isobutyryl-coenzyme A (isobutyryl-CoA) and the intermediate C11 αβ-unsaturated thioester for PII biosynthesis. A signature PapR6-binding motif comprising two 4-nucleotide (nt) inverted repeat sequences (5'-GAGG-4 nt-CCTC-3') was identified. Transcriptional analysis showed that inactivation of the papR6 gene led to markedly decreased expression of snaFE1E2GHIJK. Furthermore, we found that a mutant (snaFmu) with base substitutions in the identified PapR6-binding sequence in the genome exhibited the same phenotype as that of the ΔpapR6 strain. Therefore, it may be concluded that pathway-specific regulation of PapR6 in PII biosynthesis is possibly exerted via controlling the provision of isobutyryl-CoA as well as the intermediate C11 αβ-unsaturated thioester.

  13. Oral bisoprolol improves surgical field during functional endoscopic sinus surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumitha Mary Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The success of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS depends on visual clarity of the surgical field, through the endoscope. The objective of this double-blind, randomized, controlled study was to determine if a pre-operative dose of bisoprolol (2.5 mg would reduce the bleeding during FESS and improve the visualization of the operative field. Materials and Methods: Thirty American Society of Anesthesiologists I or II patients, scheduled for FESS were randomized to receive either a placebo (Group A or 2.5 mg of bisoprolol (Group B 90 min prior to the surgery. All the patients received standard anesthesia and monitoring. The aim was to maintain the mean arterial pressure (MAP of 60-70 mmHg, by titrating dose of isoflurane and fentanyl. The concentration of isoflurane used was recorded every 15 min. At the end of the surgery, the volume of blood loss was measured and the surgeon was asked to grade the operative field as per the Fromme-Boezaart Scale. Result: The blood loss was significantly (P < 0.0001 more in the control group (398.67 ± 228.79 ml as compared with that in the bisoprolol group (110.67 ± 45.35 ml. The surgical field was graded better in those who received bisoprolol as compared with those in the control group ( P − 0.0001. The volume percent of isoflurane and the dose of fentanyl used was significantly lower in those who received bisoprolol. During the operative period, the MAPs were 70.0 ± 2.7 (Group A and 62.6 ± 3.6 mmHg (Group B and the heart rate was 99.8 ± 5.0/min (Group A and 69.2 ± 4.4/min (Group B. These differences were statistically significant ( P − 0.001. Conclusion: This clinical trial has demonstrated that administration of a single pre-operative dose of bisoprolol (2.5 mg can significantly reduce the blood loss during FESS and improve the visualization of the operating field.

  14. The rat GPRC6A

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    agonist with an EC(50) value of 264 microM, followed by several other aliphatic, neutral, and basic amino acids. Furthermore, the divalent cation Mg(2+) was found to be a positive modulator of the l-ornithine response. The presented quantitative pharmacological data underlines the evolutionary......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...... membrane of mammalian cell lines. Utilizing co-expression of rGPRC6A and the promiscuous Galpha(q)(G66D) protein in an engineered cell-based inositol phosphate turnover assay, we were able to study the ligand profile of the receptor. We found that l-ornithine is the most potent and efficacious l-amino acid...

  15. Improved parameter estimation for hydrological models using weighted object functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, A.; Zaadnoordijk, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    This paper discusses the sensitivity of calibration of hydrological model parameters to different objective functions. Several functions are defined with weights depending upon the hydrological background. These are compared with an objective function based upon kriging. Calibration is applied to pi

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annotti, Lee A; Teglasi, Hedwig

    2016-08-02

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  18. Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Monosodium Luminol for Improving Brain Function in Gulf War Illness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    adversely affect memory and mood function, drugs capable of suppressing oxidative stress and inflammation and/or increasing neurogenesis have received...MSL-GVT, 4-months after the exposure. (3) Mood and memory function analyses using a few behavioral tests. (4) Analyses of oxidative stress using...and memory function with decreased concentration of malondialdehyde (a byproduct of oxidative stress ) and normalized expression of oxidative stress

  20. New class of camshaft transfer functions with improved characteristics

    OpenAIRE

    Pavlović, Vlastimir D.; Lutovac, Maja M.

    2011-01-01

    The design of camshaft transfer functions is straightforward and explained in many scientific papers. Modern systems require a new design procedure in order to minimize unwanted movements and to reduce the power consumption. This paper presents a new class of transfer functions that reduces maximal deviations and increases number of cycles. The results are based on combined symbolic-numeric optimization. .

  1. Improved detection of event-related functional MRI signals using probability functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagberg, G E; Zito, G; Patria, F; Sanes, J N

    2001-11-01

    Selecting an optimal event distribution for experimental use in event-related fMRI studies can require the generation of large numbers of event sequences with characteristics hard to control. The use of known probability distributions offers the possibility to control event timing and constrain the search space for finding optimal event sequences. We investigated different probability distributions in terms of response estimation (estimation efficiency), detectability (detection power, parameter estimation efficiency, sensitivity to true positives), and false-positive activation. Numerous simulated event sequences were generated selecting interevent intervals (IEI) from the uniform, uniform permuted, Latin square, exponential, binomial, Poisson, chi(2), geometric, and bimodal probability distributions and fixed IEI. Event sequences from the bimodal distribution, like block designs, had the best performance for detection and the poorest for estimation, while high estimation and detectability occurred for the long-decay exponential distribution. The uniform distribution also yielded high estimation efficiency, but probability functions with a long tail toward higher IEI, such as the geometric and the chi(2) distributions, had superior detectability. The distributions with the best detection performance also had a relatively high incidence of false positives, in contrast to the ordered distributions (Latin square and uniform permuted). The predictions of improved sensitivities for distributions with long tails were confirmed with empirical data. Moreover, the Latin square design yielded detection of activated voxels similar to the chi(2) distribution. These results indicate that high detection and suitable behavioral designs have compatibility for application of functional MRI methods to experiments requiring complex designs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Lister

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 overseas companies have indicated some barriers to acceptance that have to be overcome. This paper identifies key elements which, if implemented or adopted, will improve the effectiveness of both industrial engineers, and the intrOduction of industrial engineering techniques.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Improving protein function prediction methods with integrated literature data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erasmus, ME; Petersen, AH; Hofstede, G; Haagsman, HP; Oetomo, SB; Prop, J

    1996-01-01

    An impaired function of alveolar surfactant can cause lung transplant dysfunction early after reperfusion. In this study it was investigated whether treatment with surfactant before reperfusion improves the immediate function of lung transplants and whether an improved transplant function was associ

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  8. Improved Decomposition for a System of Completely Specified Boolean Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Taghavi Afshord

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Functional decomposition is an important and powerful technique in the logic synthesis. The ternary matrix cover approach is one of the existing methods of this type. This method is also used in decomposition of a system of completely specified Boolean functions. Before constructing the desired superposition, it needs to encode a table. There is a trivial encoding method. But to find a better solution, it is important to use a special approach, because the result of the encoding has a direct influence on the obtained functions. In this paper, an efficient algorithm to encode this table is presented. It uses the approach connected with the assembling Boolean hyper cube method. The proposed algorithm is explained in details with an example. The benefits and impacts of the suggested technique are also discussed.

  9. AN IMPROVED RADIAL BASIS FUNCTION BASED METHOD FOR IMAGE WARPING

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nie Xuan; Zhao Rongchun; Zhang Cheng; Zhang Xiaoyan

    2005-01-01

    A new image warping method is proposed in this letter, which can warp a given image by some manual defined features. Based on the radial basis interpolation function algorithm, the proposed method can transform the original optimized problem into nonsingular linear problem by adding one-order term and affine differentiable condition. This linear system can get the steady unique solution by choosing suitable kernel function. Furthermore, the proposed method demonstrates how to set up the radial basis function in the target image so as to achieve supports to adopt the backward re-sampling technology accordingly which could gain the very slippery warping image. Theexperimental result shows that the proposed method can implement smooth and gradual image warping with multi-anchor points' accurate interpolation.

  10. Improving compact gravity inversion using new weighting functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Improving compact gravity inversion based on new weighting functions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  12. Improved Green's function parabolic equation method for atmospheric sound propagation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salomons, E.M.

    1998-01-01

    The numerical implementation of the Green's function parabolic equation (GFPE) method for atmospheric sound propagation is discussed. Four types of numerical errors are distinguished: (i) errors in the forward Fourier transform; (ii) errors in the inverse Fourier transform; (iii) errors in the refra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Christopher W.

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Improvement of Mixing Function for Modified Upwinding Compact Scheme

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  15. Oversampling ad converters with improved signal transfer functions

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  16. Improved Likelihood Function in Particle-based IR Eye Tracking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Satria, R.; Sorensen, J.; Hammoud, R.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we propose a log likelihood-ratio function of foreground and background models used in a particle filter to track the eye region in dark-bright pupil image sequences. This model fuses information from both dark and bright pupil images and their difference image into one model. Our...... performance in challenging sequences with test subjects showing large head movements and under significant light conditions....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: The role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the cardiovascular regulation is of primal importance. Since it has been associated with adverse conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias, sudden death, sleep disorders, hypertension and obesity. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the impact of recreational football practice on the autonomic cardiac function of male children, as measured by heart rate variability. Patients and Methods: Forty-seven male children aged 9 - 12 years were selected according to their engagement with football oriented practice outside school context. The children were divided into a football group (FG; n = 22) and a control group (CG; n = 25). The FG had regular football practices, with 2 weekly training sessions and occasional weekend matches. The CG was not engaged with any physical activity other than complementary school-based physical education classes. Data from physical activity, physical fitness, and heart rate variability measured in time and frequency domains were obtained. Results: The anthropometric and body composition characteristics were similar in both groups (P > 0.05). The groups were also similar in time spent daily on moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (FG vs. CG: 114 ± 64 vs. 87 ± 55 minutes; P > 0.05). However, the FG performed better (P football practice presented enhanced physical fitness and autonomic function, by increasing vagal tone at rest. PMID:26448848

  18. Compositional Study for Improving Wheat Flour with Functional Ingredients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 

  19. Targeting Treatments to Improve Cognitive Function in Mood Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, Kamilla Woznica; Rush, A. John; Gerds, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    randomized placebo-controlled trials that 8 weeks of erythropoietin (EPO) treatment has beneficial effects on verbal memory across unipolar and bipolar disorder, with 58% of EPO-treated patients displaying a clinically relevant memory improvement as compared to 15% of those treated with placebo. METHODS: We...... ≥ .06). CONCLUSIONS: Baseline objectively assessed memory impairments and-to a lesser degree-subjective cognitive complaints increased the chances of treatment efficacy on cognition in unipolar and bipolar disorder. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00916552.......OBJECTIVE: There is no established efficacious treatment for cognitive dysfunction in unipolar and bipolar disorder. This may be partially due to lack of consensus regarding the need to screen for cognitive impairment in cognition trials or which screening criteria to use. We have demonstrated in 2...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Improved SOFC performance with continuously graded anode functional layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Zhenhua; Xu, Ping [Department of Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China); Zhang, Naiqing; Sun, Kening [Academy of Fundamental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001 (China); Qiao, Jinshuo [Academy of Fundamental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001 (China); Post-doctoral Research Center of Civil Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001 (China)

    2009-06-15

    Continuously graded anode functional layers (CG-AFLs) were fabricated on the Ni-YSZ anode substrates by electrophoretic co-deposition (EPD) technique. The microstructure and composition of the CG-AFLs were investigated. The result showed that uniform and graded structure in AFL was obtained. The single cells were constructed on the basis of CG-AFLs, with a maximum output power density greater than 1.10 W cm{sup -2} obtained at 800 C for the cell with 9.8 {mu}m-thick CG-AFL. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) indicated that the excellent cell performance was contributed to the enlargement of triple phase boundary (TPB) by adding the CG-AFL. (author)

  4. Improved Collision Search for Hash Functions: New Advanced Message Modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yusuke; Ohta, Kazuo; Kunihiro, Noboru

    In this paper, we discuss the collision search for hash functions, mainly in terms of their advanced message modification. The advanced message modification is a collision search tool based on Wang et al.'s attacks. Two advanced message modifications have previously been proposed: cancel modification for MD4 and MD5, and propagation modification for SHA-0. In this paper, we propose a new concept of advanced message modification, submarine modification. As a concrete example combining the ideas underlying these modifications, we apply submarine modification to the collision search for SHA-0. As a result, we show that this can reduce the collision search attack complexity from 239 to 236 SHA-0 compression operations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antonelli, A; Serafini, S; Menotta, M; Sfara, C; Pierige, F; Rossi, L; Magnani, M [Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino ' Carlo Bo' , Via Saffi 2, 61029 Urbino (Italy); Giorgi, L; Ambrosi, G, E-mail: antonella.antonelli@uniurb.it, E-mail: sonja.serafini@erydel.com, E-mail: michele.menotta@uniurb.it, E-mail: carla.sfara@uniurb.it, E-mail: francesca.pierige@uniurb.it, E-mail: luca.giorgi@uniurb.it, E-mail: gianluca.ambrosi@uniurb.it, E-mail: luigia.rossi@uniurb.it, E-mail: mauro.magnani@uniurb.it [Department of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, University of Urbino ' Carlo Bo' , Via S Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino (Italy)

    2010-10-22

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) due to their unique structural and physicochemical properties, have been proposed as delivery systems for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. However, SWNTs have proven difficult to solubilize in aqueous solution, limiting their use in biological applications. In an attempt to improve SWNTs' solubility, biocompatibility, and to increase cell penetration we have thoroughly investigated the construction of carbon scaffolds coated with aliphatic carbon chains and phospholipids to obtain micelle-like structures. At first, oxidized SWNTs (2370 {+-} 30 nmol mg{sup -1} of SWNTs) were covalently coupled with an alcoholic chain (stearyl alcohol, C{sub 18}H{sub 37}OH; 816 nmol mg{sup -1} of SWNTs). Subsequently, SWNTs-COOC{sub 18}H{sub 37} derivatives were coated with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) or -serine (PS) phospholipids obtaining micelle-like structures. We found that cellular uptake of these constructs by phagocytic cells occurs via an endocytotic mechanism for constructs larger than 400 nm while occurs via diffusion through the cell membrane for constructs up to 400 nm. The material that enters the cell by phagocytosis is actively internalized by macrophages and localizes inside endocytotic vesicles. In contrast the material that enters the cells by diffusion is found in the cell cytosol. In conclusion, we have realized new biomimetic constructs based on alkylated SWNTs coated with phospholipids that are efficiently internalized by different cell types only if their size is lower than 400 nm. These constructs are not toxic to the cells and could now be explored as delivery systems for non-permeant cargoes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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....... Measures of sensory function (perception of touch, vibration sense, knee kinesthesia) and motor function (knee muscle strength, hop test) were assessed before and after 90 minutes of treatment with EMLA or placebo. The paired t-test was used for comparisons within groups and the independent t...

  12. Matrigel improves functional properties of primary human salivary gland cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria, Ola M; Zeitouni, Anthony; Gologan, Olga; Tran, Simon D

    2011-05-01

    Currently, there is no effective treatment available to patients with irreversible loss of functional salivary acini caused by Sjogren's syndrome or after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. A tissue-engineered artificial salivary gland would help these patients. The graft cells for this device must establish tight junctions in addition to being of fluid-secretory nature. This study analyzed a graft source from human salivary glands (huSG) cultured on Matrigel. Cells were obtained from parotid and submandibular glands, expanded in vitro, and then plated on either Matrigel-coated (2 mg/mL) or uncoated culture dish. Immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and transepithelial electrical resistance were employed. On Matrigel, huSG cells adopted an acinar phenotype by forming three-dimensional acinar-like units (within 24 h of plating) as well as a monolayer of cells. On uncoated surfaces (plastic), huSG cells only formed monolayers of ductal cells. Both types of culture conditions allowed huSG cells to express tight junction proteins (claudin-1, -2, -3, -4; occludin; JAM-A; and ZO-1) and adequate transepithelial electrical resistance. Importantly, 99% of huSG cells on Matrigel expressed α-amylase and the water channel protein Aquaporin-5, as compared to cells on plastic. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed an acinar phenotype with many secretory granules. Matrigel increased the secretion of α-amylase two to five folds into the media, downregulated certain salivary genes, and regulated the translation of acinar proteins. This three-dimensional in vitro serum-free cell culture method allows the organization and differentiation of huSG cells into salivary cells with an acinar phenotype.

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hikawa, Hiroomi; Maeda, Yutaka

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Improvement of cardiac function after kidney transplantation with dilated cardiomyopathy and long dialysis vintage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimura, Imari; Kawarazaki, Hiroo; Momose, Toshimitsu; Shibagaki, Yugo; Fujita, Toshiro

    2009-12-01

    Patients with long dialysis vintage have low cardiac output for various reasons. Although kidney transplantation is known to improve cardiac mortality, patients are sometimes evaluated as contraindicated for transplantation because of cardiac risk. We successfully performed kidney transplantation for a patient with a long dialysis vintage and dilated cardiomyopathy. Sequential (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanidine ((123)I-MIBG) scintigraphy suggested that amelioration of uraemia improved cardiac function. Kidney transplantation for patients with severely impaired cardiac function is safe and effective under careful perioperative monitoring irrespective of dialysis vintage. Sequential (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy can be used as an evaluation tool for the improvement in cardiac function.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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 magne...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andrés Nieto-Leal; Victor N.Kaliakin

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jie; Wang, Lin-Wang

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Antisecretory therapy with no improvement in functional level in Ménière's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvardsen, Charlotte J; Klokker, Mads

    2016-01-01

    -HNS) functional scale, and the frequency of attacks was registered. Results Thirty-two patients completed the study. No carryover effect was found. In both functional level and frequency of attacks no significant effect of SPC was found. Seventeen patients showed improvement in functional level when treated......, and 22 when treated with placebo. Three patients reported more frequent attacks when treated with SPC, and three when treated with placebo. A non-parametric comparison and a parametric analysis supported the findings....

  3. Functional improvement of antibody fragments using a novel phage coat protein III fusion system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim Bak; Larsen, Martin; Pedersen, Jesper Søndergaard;

    2002-01-01

    Functional expressions of proteins often depend on the presence of host specific factors. Frequently recombinant expression strategies of proteins in foreign hosts, such as bacteria, have been associated with poor yields or significant loss of functionality. Improvements in the performance...... of heterologous expression systems will benefit present-day quests in structural and functional genomics where high amounts of active protein are required. One example, which has been the subject of considerable interest, is recombinant antibodies or fragments thereof as expressions of these in bacteria......(s) of the filamentous phage coat protein III. Furthermore, it will be shown that the observed effect is neither due to improved stability nor increased avidity....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Gait improvement after treadmill training in ischemic stroke survivors A critical review of functional MRI studies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiang Xiao; Dongfeng Huang; Bryan O'Young

    2012-01-01

    Stroke survivors often present with abnormal gait, movement training can improve the walking performance post-stroke, and functional MRI can objectively evaluate the brain functions before and after movement training. This paper analyzes the functional MRI changes in patients with ischemic stroke after treadmill training with voluntary and passive ankle dorsiflexion. Functional MRI showed that there are some changes in some regions of patients with ischemic stroke including primary sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area and cingulate motor area after treadmill training. These findings suggest that treadmill training likely improves ischemic stroke patients' lower limb functions and gait performance and promotes stroke recovery by changing patients' brain plasticity; meanwhile, the novel treadmill training methods can better training effects.

  10. Functional electrical stimulation therapy improves grasping in chronic cervical spinal cord injury: Two case studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miller Rosalynn C.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: To present case studies of two individuals with chronic cervical spinal cord injury (SCI who participated in functional electrical stimulation (FES therapy with the objective to restore voluntary grasp function. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: Both individuals (right hand dominant males, age 24 and 31 had a sustained a cervical SCI (C6 and C4-5, respectively at least 8 years prior to participation in this study. INTERVENTION: Both individuals participated in an individualized FES therapy program for 6 weeks. FES therapy was administered through a regimen of three, one-hour sessions, per week for three months. A single arm of each participant (n = 2 was treated. FES therapy is an integrative intervention strategy combining muscle strengthening, functional movement training and stretching. The participant's hand movement abilities were assessed pre and post FES therapy using the Manual Muscle Test (MMT, a modified Sollerman Hand Function Test (mSHFT, and the Reach, Grasp, Transport and Release Task (RGTR. DISCUSSION: As the injuries of participants in the current study were chronic and thus neurologically stable, no spontaneous improvements/recovery in hand function was expected. However, FES as part of an integrated therapeutic approach affected restoration and improvement of hand function in both participants. CONCLUSION: The concurrent improvement in strength, integrated motor function and object contact following FES therapy, demonstrated that there is potential for affecting change in hand function of individuals with chronic SCI.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Can the reliability of three-dimensional running kinematics be improved using functional joint methodology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Michael B; Lloyd, Chandra; Ferber, Reed

    2010-10-01

    Traditional three-dimensional gait analyses require the skilled palpation of anatomical landmarks to identify joint parameters and produce reliable joint kinematics. Functional methods have been developed to help improve the reliability and validity of identifying joint kinematic parameters. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a functional method could improve the between-day reliability of joint kinematics during running compared to a traditional manual marker placement method. It was hypothesised that the functional technique would result in greater within- and between-tester reliability. An eight-camera motion analysis system was used to evaluate the reliability of 3D lower extremity kinematics during running for both a functional and a manual marker placement technique. Reliability of the waveform shape, amplitude and offset of the kinematic curves was assessed using the coefficient of multiple correlation, range of motion and root mean square error respectively. The functional joint methodology did not improve the within- and between-tester reliability in terms of kinematic curve shape, amplitude or offset compared to the manual placement technique. When experienced examiners are used to place the anatomical markers together with a lean subject sample, functional methods may not improve the day-to-day reliability of three-dimensional gait kinematics over traditional marker placement techniques.

  15. Functional improvement after carotid endarterectomy: demonstrated by gait analysis and acetazolamide stress brain perfusion SPECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, J. S.; Kim, G. E.; Yoo, J. Y.; Kim, D. G.; Moon, D. H. [Asan Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-07-01

    Scientific documentation of neurologic improvement following carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has not been established. The purpose of this prospective study is to investigate whether CEA performed for the internal carotid artery flow lesion improves gait and cerebrovascular hemodynamic status in patients with gait disturbance. We prospectively performed pre- and postCEA gait analysis and acetazolamide stress brain perfusion SPECT (Acz-SPECT) with Tc-99m ECD in 91 patients (M/F: 81/10, mean age: 64.1 y) who had gait disturbance before receiving CEA. Gait performance was assessed using a Vicon 370 motion analyzer. The gait improvement after CEA was correlated to cerebrovascular hemodynamic change as well as symptom duration. 12 hemiparetic stroke patients (M/F=9/3, mean age: 51 y) who did not receive CEA as a control underwent gait analysis twice in a week interval to evaluate whether repeat testing of gait performance shows learning effect. Of 91 patients, 73 (80%) patients showed gait improvement (change of gait speed > 10%) and 42 (46%) showed marked improvement (change of gait speed > 20%), but no improvement was observed in control group at repeat test. Post-operative cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement was noted in 49 (54%) of 91 patients. There was marked gait improvement in patients group with cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement compared to no change group (p<0.05). Marked gait improvement and cerebrovascular hemodynamic improvement were noted in 53% and 61% of the patient who had less than 3 month history of symptom compared to 31% and 24% of the patients who had longer than 3 months, respectively (p<0.05). Marked gait improvement was obtained in patients who had improvement of cerebrovascular hemodynamic status on Acz-SPECT after CEA. These results suggest functional improvement such as gait can result from the improved perfusion of misery perfusion area, which is viable for a longer period compared to literatures previously reported.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Danielle; Dugas, Claude

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Mousumi

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. How does the motor relearning program improve neurological function of brain ischemia monkeys?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yong Yin; Zhongtang Feng; Zhen Gu; Lei Pan; Lu Gan; Dongdong Qin; Bo Yang; Jin Guo; Xintian Hu; Tinghua Wang

    2013-01-01

    The motor relearning program can significantly improve various functional disturbance induced by ischemic cerebrovascular diseases. However, its mechanism of action remains poorly understood. In injured brain tissues, glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurofilament protein changes can reflect the condition of injured neurons and astrocytes, while vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor changes can indicate angiogenesis. In the present study, we induced ischemic brain injury in the rhesus macaque by electrocoagulation of the M1 segment of the right middle cerebral artery. The motor relearning program was conducted for 60 days from the third day after model establishment. Immunohistochemistry and single-photon emission CT showed that the numbers of glial fibrillary acidic protein-, neurofilament protein-, vascular endothelial growth factorand basic fibroblast growth factor-positive cells were significantly increased in the infarcted side compared with the contralateral hemisphere following the motor relearning program. Moreover, cerebral blood flow in the infarcted side was significantly improved. The clinical rating scale for stroke was used to assess neurological function changes in the rhesus macaque following the motor relearning program. Results showed that motor function was improved, and problems with consciousness, self-care ability and balance function were significantly ameliorated. These findings indicate that the motor relearning program significantly promoted neuronal regeneration, repair and angiogenesis in the surroundings of the infarcted hemisphere, and improve neurological function in the rhesus macaque following brain ischemia.

  20. Implementation of time-efficient adaptive sampling function design for improved undersampled MRI reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jinhyeok; Kim, Hyeonjin

    2016-12-01

    To improve the efficacy of undersampled MRI, a method of designing adaptive sampling functions is proposed that is simple to implement on an MR scanner and yet effectively improves the performance of the sampling functions. An approximation of the energy distribution of an image (E-map) is estimated from highly undersampled k-space data acquired in a prescan and efficiently recycled in the main scan. An adaptive probability density function (PDF) is generated by combining the E-map with a modeled PDF. A set of candidate sampling functions are then prepared from the adaptive PDF, among which the one with maximum energy is selected as the final sampling function. To validate its computational efficiency, the proposed method was implemented on an MR scanner, and its robust performance in Fourier-transform (FT) MRI and compressed sensing (CS) MRI was tested by simulations and in a cherry tomato. The proposed method consistently outperforms the conventional modeled PDF approach for undersampling ratios of 0.2 or higher in both FT-MRI and CS-MRI. To fully benefit from undersampled MRI, it is preferable that the design of adaptive sampling functions be performed online immediately before the main scan. In this way, the proposed method may further improve the efficacy of the undersampled MRI.

  1. Improvement of touch sensation after stroke is associated with resting functional connectivity changes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise C Bannister

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Distributed brain networks are known to be involved in facilitating behavioural improvement after stroke, yet few, if any, studies have investigated the relationship between improved touch sensation after stroke and changes in functional brain connectivity. Objective: We aimed to identify how recovery of somatosensory function in the first six months after stroke was associated with functional network changes as measured using resting-state connectivity analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data. Methods: Ten stroke survivors underwent clinical testing and resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI scans at one and six months post-stroke. Ten age-matched healthy participants were included as controls. Results: Patients demonstrated a wide range of severity of touch impairment one month post-stroke, followed by variable improvement over time. In the stroke group, significantly stronger interhemispheric functional correlations between regions of the somatosensory system, and with visual and frontal areas, were found at six months than at one month post-stroke. Clinical improvement in tactile discrimination was associated with stronger correlations at six months between contralesional secondary somatosensory cortex (SII and inferior parietal cortex (IPC and middle temporal gyrus, and between contralesional thalamus and cerebellum. Conclusions: The strength of connectivity between somatosensory regions and distributed brain networks, including vision and attention networks, may change over time in stroke survivors with impaired touch discrimination. Connectivity changes from contralesional SII and contralesional thalamus are associated with improved touch sensation at 6-months post-stroke. These functional connectivity changes could represent future targets for therapy.

  2. CUDA implementation of histogram stretching function for improving X-ray image.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yong H; Kim, Kwan W; Kim, Soon S

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a method to improve the contrast of digital X-ray image using CUDA program on a GPU. The histogram is commonly used to get the statistical distribution of the contrast in image processing. To increase the visibility of the image in real time, we use the histogram stretching function. It is difficult to implement the function on a GPU because the CUDA program is due to handle the complex process to transfer the source data and the processed results between the memory of GPU and the host system. As a result, we show to operate the histogram stretching function quickly on GPU by the CUDA program.

  3. A Bayesian method to incorporate hundreds of functional characteristics with association evidence to improve variant prioritization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Gagliano

    Full Text Available The increasing quantity and quality of functional genomic information motivate the assessment and integration of these data with association data, including data originating from genome-wide association studies (GWAS. We used previously described GWAS signals ("hits" to train a regularized logistic model in order to predict SNP causality on the basis of a large multivariate functional dataset. We show how this model can be used to derive Bayes factors for integrating functional and association data into a combined Bayesian analysis. Functional characteristics were obtained from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE, from published expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL, and from other sources of genome-wide characteristics. We trained the model using all GWAS signals combined, and also using phenotype specific signals for autoimmune, brain-related, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. The non-phenotype specific and the autoimmune GWAS signals gave the most reliable results. We found SNPs with higher probabilities of causality from functional characteristics showed an enrichment of more significant p-values compared to all GWAS SNPs in three large GWAS studies of complex traits. We investigated the ability of our Bayesian method to improve the identification of true causal signals in a psoriasis GWAS dataset and found that combining functional data with association data improves the ability to prioritise novel hits. We used the predictions from the penalized logistic regression model to calculate Bayes factors relating to functional characteristics and supply these online alongside resources to integrate these data with association data.

  4. The Use of the Functional Approach to Improve English Language Teaching Quality in Chinese Middle Schools

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨蕾

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes the condition of ELT(English Language Teaching)in China,analyzes the problems in middleschools' English teaching methods then introduces F.A.(Functional Approach)and its applications. It presents the advantages andsignificance of F.A.by comparing F.A.with common approaches.The disadvantages and possible improvements are also discussedin the paper.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdou, M.A. [Theoretical Research Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura (Egypt); Department of Physics, Faculty of Education for Girls, Science Departments, King Khalid University, Bisha (Saudi Arabia)], E-mail: m_abdou_eg@yahoo.com; Soliman, A.A. [Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Education (AL-Arish) Suez Canal University, AL-Arish 45111 (Egypt); Department of Mathematics, Teacher' s College (Bisha), King Khalid University, Bisha, PO Box 551 (Saudi Arabia)], E-mail: asoliman_99@yahoo.com; El-Basyony, S.T. [Theoretical Research Group, Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura (Egypt)

    2007-10-01

    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.

  6. Improvement of Processing Speed in Executive Function Immediately following an Increase in Cardiovascular Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicoladie D. Tam

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to identify the acute effects of physical exercise on specific cognitive functions immediately following an increase in cardiovascular activity. Stair-climbing exercise is used to increase the cardiovascular output of human subjects. The color-naming Stroop Test was used to identify the cognitive improvements in executive function with respect to processing speed and error rate. The study compared the Stroop results before and immediately after exercise and before and after nonexercise, as a control. The results show that there is a significant increase in processing speed and a reduction in errors immediately after less than 30 min of aerobic exercise. The improvements are greater for the incongruent than for the congruent color tests. This suggests that physical exercise induces a better performance in a task that requires resolving conflict (or interference than a task that does not. There is no significant improvement for the nonexercise control trials. This demonstrates that an increase in cardiovascular activity has significant acute effects on improving the executive function that requires conflict resolution (for the incongruent color tests immediately following aerobic exercise more than similar executive functions that do not require conflict resolution or involve the attention-inhibition process (for the congruent color tests.

  7. Improved production and function of llama heavy chain antibody fragments by molecular evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linden, van der R.H.; Geus, de B.; Frenken, G.J.; Peters, H.; Verrips, C.T.

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to improve production level of llama heavy chain antibody fragments (V (HH)) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae while retaining functional characteristics. For this purpose, the DNA shuffling technique was used on llama V (HH) fragments specific for the azo-dye reactive red-6. In

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Home-based training is becoming ever more important with increasing demands on the public health systems. We investigated whether individualized and supervised interactive home-based training delivered through the internet improves functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy...

  10. Derivation of Varying Specific Heat Gasdynamic Functions,Normal Shock Analytical Solution and its Improvements

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TsuiChih-Ya

    1992-01-01

    A set of new gasdynamic functions with varying specific heat are deriveo for the first time.An original analytical solution of normal shock waves is owrked out therewith.This solution is thereafter further improved by not involving total temperature,Illustrative examples of comparison are given,including also some approximate solutions to show the orders of their errors.

  11. Effects of Improved-floor Function on the Accuracy of Bilinear Interpolation Algorithm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rukundo, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the standard IEEE 754–2008 and modulo-based floor functions for rounding non-integers have been presented. Their effects on the accuracy of the bilinear interpolation algorithm have been demonstrated. The improved-floor uses the modulo operator in an effort to make each non-integer ad

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Metformin improves cardiac function in a nondiabetic rat model of post-MI heart failure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yin, Meimei; van der Horst, Iwan C. C.; van Melle, Joost P.; Qian, Cheng; van Gilst, Wiek H.; Sillje, Herman H. W.; de Boer, Rudolf A.

    2011-01-01

    Yin M, van der Horst IC, van Melle JP, Qian C, van Gilst WH, Sillje HH, de Boer RA. Metformin improves cardiac function in a nondiabetic rat model of post-MI heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 301: H459-H468, 2011. First published May 13, 2011; doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00054.2011.-Metformin

  14. Erythropoietin improves cardiac function through endothelial progenitor cell and vascular endothelial growth factor mediated neovascularization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westenbrink, B. Daan; Lipsic, Erik; van der Meer, Peter; van der Harst, Pirn; Oeseburg, Hisko; Sarvaas, Gideon J. Du Marchie; Koster, Johan; Voors, Adriaan A.; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.; van Gilst, Wiek H.; Schoemaker, Regien G.

    2007-01-01

    Aims Erythropoietin (EPO) improves cardiac function and induces neovascutarization in chronic heart failure (CHF), although the exact mechanism has not been elucidated. We studied the effects of EPO on homing and incorporation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) into the myocardial microvasculatur

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...... NOCTET data to assess everolimus introduction amongst TTx recipients with advanced renal failure....

  17. Improving Students' Representational Flexibility in Linear-Function Problems: An Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo Nistal, A.; Van Dooren, W.; Verschaffel, L.

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluates the effects of an intervention aimed at improving representational flexibility in linear-function problems. Forty-nine students aged 13-16 participated in the study. A pretest-intervention-posttest design with an experimental and control group was used. At pretest, both groups solved a choice test, where they could freely…

  18. Targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors improves renal function after transplantation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damman, Jeffrey; Hoeger, Simone; Boneschansker, Leo; Theruvath, Ashok; Waldherr, Ruediger; Leuvenink, Henri G.; Ploeg, Rutger J.; Yard, Benito A.; Seelen, Marc A.

    2011-01-01

    Kidneys recovered from brain-dead donors have inferior outcomes after transplantation compared to kidneys from living donors. Since complement activation plays an important role in renal transplant related injury, targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors might improve renal function afte

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  1. Fluorescently labeled peptide increases identification of degenerated facial nerve branches during surgery and improves functional outcome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timon Hussain

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. The Effectiveness of Transactional Analysis Group-counseling on the Improvement of Couples’ Family Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghorban Ali Yahyaee

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aims of the Study: Family functioning is among the most important factors ensuring the mental health of family members. Disorder or disturbance in family functioning would cause many psychological problems for family members. Current study intended to examine the effectiveness of transactional analysis group counseling on the improvement of couple's family functioning. Materials & Methods: The design of the study is as semi experimental research with pretest and posttest with follow up and control group. Statistical population consists all couples referring to the psychological and counseling centers of Rasht city in 2012. Samples were selected at first by available sampling method and after completing family assessment  device, and obtaining score for enter to research, were placement using random sampling method in two experimental and control groups (N = 8 couples per group. The experimental group participated in 12 sessions of group counseling based on transactional analysis and control group received no intervention. The gathered data were analyzed using covariance analysis. Results: The results show that there are significant differences between the pre-test and post test scores of the experimental group. This difference is significant at the level of 0.05. Therefore it seems that transactional group therapy improved the dimensions of family functioning in couples. Conclusions: The results indicated that transactional analysis group counseling can improve the family functioning and use this approach to working with couples is recommended.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve mood and motor function in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helmich, Rick C; Siebner, Hartwig R; Bakker, Maaike; Münchau, Alexander; Bloem, Bastiaan R

    2006-10-25

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that can produce lasting changes in excitability and activity in cortical regions underneath the stimulation coil (local effect), but also within functionally connected cortical or subcortical regions (remote effects). Since the clinical presentation of Parkinson's disease (PD) is related to abnormal neuronal activity within the basal ganglia and cortical regions, including the primary motor cortex, the premotor cortex and the prefrontal cortex, several studies have used rTMS to improve brain function in PD. Here, we review the studies that have investigated the possible therapeutic effects of rTMS on mood and motor function in PD patients. We highlight some methodological inconsistencies and problems, including the difficulty to define the most effective protocol for rTMS or to establish an appropriate placebo condition. We finally propose future directions of research that may help to improve the therapeutic efficacy of rTMS in PD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Scalp electroacupuncture at the Baihui acupoint (DU 20) improves functional recovery in rats with cerebral ischemia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min-Wook Kim; Seung Chan Kim; Woo-Seok Im; Jin Young Chung; Minky Kim; Manho Kim; You Chul Chung; Hee Chan Jung; Moon-Seo Park; Young-Min Han; Yong-An Chung; Lee-So Maeng; Sang-In Park; Jiyeon Lim

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we induced cerebral infarction in rats by occluding the right middle cerebral artery, and tested the effects of electroacupuncture at the Baihui acupoint (DU 20). Motor and sensory function was tested using Garcia's scale and motor weakness grading, and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in the brain was quantified using immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. We found that scalp electroacupuncture at DU 20 significantly improved motor performance and sensory function in rats with stroke, and this was accompanied by an increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in the ischemic brain tissue and peri-ischemic area. In addition, Pearson correlation analysis showed that the improvements in functional recovery were correlated with the increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Modified Da Chengqi granules improvement in immune function in early severe acute pancreatitis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, D-L; Yang, J; Jiang, S-Y; Yuan, F-L; Gu, Y-L; Li, J-P; Pei, Z-J

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the role of modified Da Chengqi granules in improving immune function in early severe acute pancreatitis patients. Early severe acute pancreatitis patients who agreed to receive combined treatment of traditional Chinese and Western medicine were randomly assigned to the experimental or control group. All subjects received conventional therapy to support organ function. The experimental group also received modified Da Chengqi granules. Cytokine (interleukin-6, interleukin-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α) levels, immunological markers (HLA-DR, Treg, and Th1/Th2), urinary lactulose/mannitol ratio, and endotoxin levels were measured at 1, 3, 7, and 14 days after hospital admission. The total mortality rate was 11.69% (9/77), which was significantly lower in the experimental group [4.88% (2/41)] than in the control group [19.44% (7/36); χ(2) = 3.940, P Da Chengqi granules can improve immune function in early severe acute pancreatitis patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-15

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

  12. Does changing pain-related knowledge reduce pain and improve function through changes in catastrophizing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hopin; McAuley, James H; Hübscher, Markus; Kamper, Steven J; Traeger, Adrian C; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2016-04-01

    Evidence from randomized controlled studies shows that reconceptualizing pain improves patients' knowledge of pain biology, reduces catastrophizing thoughts, and improves pain and function. However, causal relationships between these variables remain untested. It is hypothesized that reductions in catastrophizing could mediate the relationship between improvements in pain knowledge and improvements in pain and function. To test this causal mechanism, we conducted longitudinal mediation analyses on a cohort of 799 patients who were exposed to a pain education intervention. Patients provided responses to the neurophysiology of pain questionnaire, catastrophic thoughts about pain scale, visual analogue pain scale, and the patient specific functional scale, at baseline, 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. With adjustment for potential confounding variables, an improvement in pain biology knowledge was significantly associated with a reduction in pain intensity (total effect = -2.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.96 to -1.44). However, this effect was not mediated by a reduction in catastrophizing (indirect effect = -0.16, 95% CI = -0.36 to 0.02). This might be due to a weak, nonsignificant relationship between changes in catastrophizing and pain intensity (path b = 0.19, 95% CI = -0.03 to 0.41). Similar trends were found in models with function as the outcome. Our findings indicate that change in catastrophizing did not mediate the effect of pain knowledge acquisition on change in pain or function. The strength of this conclusion is moderated, however, if patient-clinician relational factors are conceptualized as a consequence of catastrophizing, rather than a cause.

  13. Functional improvement after Total Knee Arthroplasty Revision: New observations on the dimensional nature of outcome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bershadsky Boris

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the numerous outcomes measures described it remains unclear what aspects of patient outcome are important in determining actual improvement following total knee arthroplasty revisions (TKAR. We performed a prospective cohort study of TKAR to determine the components of clinical improvement and how they are related and best measured. Methods An improvement scale was devised utilizing data from 186 consecutive TKAR patients on SF-36 physical (PCS and mental (MCS components, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC Index, Knee Society Score (KSS, a novel Activity Scale (AS and a physician derived severity assessment scale performed both preoperatively and at 6 month post-operative follow-up. The change in each of these scores was analyzed using factor analysis, deriving a composite improvement scale. Results All the instruments demonstrated statistically significantly better scores following TKAR (except the SF-36 MCS. Furthermore, all significant correlations between the scores were positive. Statistical factor analysis demonstrated that scores could be arranged into 4 related factor groupings with high internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha = 0.7. Factor 1 reflected patient perceived functional outcomes, Factor 2 activity levels, Factor 3 the MCS and Factor 4 the KSS. Conclusion This study demonstrates that improvement following TKAR has a multidimensional structure. The improvement scales represent a more coordinated method of the previously fragmented analysis of TKAR outcomes. This will improve assessment of the actual effectiveness of TKAR for patients and what aspects of improvement are most critical.

  14. An improved, bias-reduced probabilistic functional gene network of baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Insuk Lee

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Probabilistic functional gene networks are powerful theoretical frameworks for integrating heterogeneous functional genomics and proteomics data into objective models of cellular systems. Such networks provide syntheses of millions of discrete experimental observations, spanning DNA microarray experiments, physical protein interactions, genetic interactions, and comparative genomics; the resulting networks can then be easily applied to generate testable hypotheses regarding specific gene functions and associations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report a significantly improved version (v. 2 of a probabilistic functional gene network of the baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe our optimization methods and illustrate their effects in three major areas: the reduction of functional bias in network training reference sets, the application of a probabilistic model for calculating confidences in pair-wise protein physical or genetic interactions, and the introduction of simple thresholds that eliminate many false positive mRNA co-expression relationships. Using the network, we predict and experimentally verify the function of the yeast RNA binding protein Puf6 in 60S ribosomal subunit biogenesis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: YeastNet v. 2, constructed using these optimizations together with additional data, shows significant reduction in bias and improvements in precision and recall, in total covering 102,803 linkages among 5,483 yeast proteins (95% of the validated proteome. YeastNet is available from http://www.yeastnet.org.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain's ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable and provides imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles. SR using imperceptible stochastic electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS) applied to normal subjects has shown to improve the degree of association between the weak input periodic signals introduced via venous blood pressure receptors and the heart-rate responses. Also, application of SVS over 24

  18. Calpain inhibitors reduce retinal hypoxia in ischemic retinopathy by improving neovascular architecture and functional perfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Mien V; Smith, Lois E H; Senger, Donald R

    2011-04-01

    In ischemic retinopathies, underlying hypoxia drives abnormal neovascularization that damages retina and causes blindness. The abnormal neovasculature is tortuous and leaky and fails to alleviate hypoxia, resulting in more pathological neovascularization and retinal damage. With an established model of ischemic retinopathy we found that calpain inhibitors, when administered in moderation, reduced architectural abnormalities, reduced vascular leakage, and most importantly reduced retinal hypoxia. Mechanistically, these calpain inhibitors improved stability and organization of the actin cytoskeleton in retinal endothelial cells undergoing capillary morphogenesis in vitro, and they similarly improved organization of actin cables within new blood vessels in vivo. Hypoxia induced calpain activity in retinal endothelial cells and severely disrupted the actin cytoskeleton, whereas calpain inhibitors preserved actin cables under hypoxic conditions. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that hyper-activation of calpains by hypoxia contributes to disruption of the retinal endothelial cell cytoskeleton, resulting in formation of neovessels that are defective both architecturally and functionally. Modest suppression of calpain activity with calpain inhibitors restores cytoskeletal architecture and promotes formation of a functional neovasculature, thereby reducing underlying hypoxia. In sharp contrast to "anti-angiogenesis" strategies that cannot restore normoxia and may aggravate hypoxia, the therapeutic strategy described here does not inhibit neovascularization. Instead, by improving the function of neovascularization to reduce underlying hypoxia, moderate calpain inhibition offers a method for alleviating retinal ischemia, thereby suggesting a new treatment paradigm based on improvement rather than inhibition of new blood vessel growth.

  19. Maintained Improvement of Neurocognitive Function in Major Depressive Disorders 6 Months after ECT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohn, Christine; Rund, Bjørn Rishovd

    2016-01-01

    Both impaired and improved cognitive function after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in major depressive disorder (MDD) patients may occur. We have previously found improved cognitive function 6 weeks after ECT in this group. The aim of this study was to report 6-month follow-up results from the same prospective project monitoring cognitive effects of ECT. Thirty-one patients with MDD were assessed with the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), the Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ), and the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale prior to, 6 weeks, and 6 months after ECT. Compared to baseline, the speed of processing, attention/vigilance, and reasoning/problem solving test results were significantly improved. The depression score was significantly reduced. There were no changes in subjective memory complaint. There was no significant relationship between the EMQ and the MCCB subtests, but a significant correlation between current depression level and the EMQ. Six months after ECT the cognitive improvement reported at 6-week follow-up was maintained and extended. The corresponding decrease in depressive symptoms and stability in subjectively reported memory complaints suggest that the antidepressant effects of ECT do not occur at the expense of cognitive function. PMID:28066273

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  1. Subliminal strengthening: improving older individuals' physical function over time with an implicit-age-stereotype intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Negative age stereotypes that older individuals assimilate from their culture predict detrimental outcomes, including worse physical function. We examined, for the first time, whether positive age stereotypes, presented subliminally across multiple sessions in the community, would lead to improved outcomes. Each of 100 older individuals (age=61-99 years, M=81) was randomly assigned to an implicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, an explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, a combined implicit- and explicit-positive-age-stereotype-intervention group, or a control group. Interventions occurred at four 1-week intervals. The implicit intervention strengthened positive age stereotypes, which strengthened positive self-perceptions of aging, which, in turn, improved physical function. The improvement in these outcomes continued for 3 weeks after the last intervention session. Further, negative age stereotypes and negative self-perceptions of aging were weakened. For all outcomes, the implicit intervention's impact was greater than the explicit intervention's impact. The physical-function effect of the implicit intervention surpassed a previous study's 6-month-exercise-intervention's effect with participants of similar ages. The current study's findings demonstrate the potential of directing implicit processes toward physical-function enhancement over time.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Community walking training program improves walking function and social participation in chronic stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, MinKyu; Cho, KiHun; Lee, WanHee

    2014-01-01

    Stroke patients live with balance and walking dysfunction. Walking is the most important factor for independent community activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a community walking training program (CWTP) within the real environment on walking function and social participation in chronic stroke patients. Twenty-two stroke patients (13 male, 50.45 years old, post stroke duration 231.64 days) were randomly assigned to either the CWTP group or the control group. All subjects participated in the same standard rehabilitation program consisting of physical and occupational therapy for 60 min per day, five times a week, for four weeks. In addition, the CWTP group participated in CWTP for 30 min per day, five times a week, for four weeks. Walking function was assessed using the 10-m walk test (measurement for 10-meter walking speed), 6-min walk assessment (measurement of gait length for 6-minutes), and community gait assessment. Social participation was assessed using a social participation domain of stroke impact scale. In walking function, greater improvement was observed in the CWTP group compared with the control group (P participation improved more in the CWTP group compared with the control group (P participation in chronic stroke patients. Therefore, we suggest that CWTP within the real environment may be an effective method for improving walking function and social participation of chronic stroke patients when added to standard rehabilitation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. A QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF PROPRIOCEPTIVE FUNCTION IMPROVEMENT AFTER ARTHROSCOPIC ACL RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dobson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To quantify the deficit in proprioceptive function in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL deficiency and to quantify the improvement after Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction . Type of Study : Prospective cohort study . METHOD S : The study included 73 patients (49 men , 24 women ; mean age 26 . 8 years ; range 21 to 40 years who underwent Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction . Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction was performed using either a patellar tendon or a hamstring auto graft . All patients followed a standard rehabilitation program . Proprioceptive function in the form of (B . I Balance Index Score was tested using Kinesthetic Ability Trainer (SPORT KAT 1750 preoperatively and at the end of third and sixth months after su rgery . Their contralateral knees served as control . Results were statistically analyzed by Paired t - test using SPSS 16 . 0 . RESULTS: Mean B . I Score in ACL insufficient limb was 2203 . 19 and of normal contralateral limb was1573 . 01 at the time of presentation , with a mean deficit of 630 . 18 (p<0 . 001 . The injured limb showed significant improvement in proprioception from preoperative B . I Score of 2203 . 19 to B . I Score of 1221 . 95 at the end of 6 months after Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction (p<0 . 001 . CONCLUSION: There is a significant deficit in proprioceptive function in the ACL insufficient limb compared to the normal contralateral limb . Proprioceptive function improves significantly after Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction .

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  7. Improving the antioxidant functionality of Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) fruit juice by underwater shockwave pretreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuraya, Eisuke; Nakada, Shina; Touyama, Akiko; Itoh, Shigeru

    2017-02-01

    Citrus junos Tanaka (yuzu) has a strong characteristic aroma, and hence, yuzu juice is used in a number of Japanese foods. We herein evaluated the functional compounds of yuzu juice to investigate whether underwater shockwave pretreatment affects its functionality. Employing the shockwave pretreatment at an increased discharge and energy of 3.5kV and 4.9kJ, respectively, resulted in an increase in the flavanone glycoside content and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). The ORAC value of yuzu juice cultivated in Rikuzentakata increased approximately 1.7 times upon underwater shockwave pretreatment. The treatment method proposed herein exhibited reliable and good performance for the extraction of functional and antioxidant chemicals in yuzu fruits, and was comparable with traditional squeezing methods. The high applicability and reliability of this technique for improving the antioxidant functionality of yuzu fruit juice was demonstrated, confirming the potential for application to a wide range of food extraction processes.

  8. Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Virtual Reality Training with Cognitive Load Improves Walking Function in Chronic Stroke Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Ki Hun; Kim, Min Kyu; Lee, Hwang-Jae; Lee, Wan Hee

    2015-01-01

    Virtual reality training is considered as an effective intervention method of stroke patients, and the virtual reality system for therapeutic rehabilitation has emphasized the cognitive factors to improve walking function. The purpose of current study was to investigate the effect of virtual reality training with cognitive load (VRTCL) on walking function of chronic stroke. Chronic stroke patients were randomly assigned to the VRTCL group (11 patients, including 5 men; mean age, 60.0 years; post-stroke duration, 273.9 days) or control group (11 patients, including 2 men; mean age, 58.6 years; post-stroke duration, 263.9 days). All subjects participated in the standard rehabilitation program that consisted of physical and occupational therapies. In addition, VRTCL group participated in the VRTCL for 4 weeks (30 min per day and five times a week), while those in the control group participated in virtual reality treadmill training. Walking function under single (walking alone) and dual task (walking with cognitive tasks) conditions was assessed using an electrical walkway system. After the 4-week intervention, under both single and dual task conditions, significant improvement on walking function was observed in VRTCL and control groups (P < 0.05). In addition, in the dual task condition, greater improvement on walking function was observed in the VRTCL group, compared with the control group (P < 0.05). These findings demonstrated the efficacy of VRTCL on the walking function under the dual task condition. Therefore, we suggest that VRTCL may be an effective method for the achievement of independent walking in chronic stroke patients.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. l-Carnitine improves cognitive and renal functions in a rat model of chronic kidney disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Ahmad, Nur; Armaly, Zaher; Berman, Sylvia; Jabour, Adel; Aga-Mizrachi, Shlomit; Mosenego-Ornan, Efrat; Avital, Avi

    2016-10-01

    Over the past decade, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has reached epidemic proportions. The search for novel pharmacological treatment for CKD has become an area of intensive clinical research. l-Carnitine, considered as the "gatekeeper" responsible for admitting long chain fatty acids into cell mitochondria. l-Carnitine synthesis and turnover are regulated mainly by the kidney and its levels inversely correlate with serum creatinine of normal subjects and CKD patients. Previous studies showed that l-carnitine administration to elderly people is improving and preserving cognitive function. As yet, there are no clinical intervention studies that investigated the effect of l-carnitine administration on cognitive impairment evidenced in CKD patients. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effects of l-carnitine treatment on renal function and on the cognitive performance in a rat model of progressive CKD. To assess the role of l-carnitine on CKD condition, we estimated the renal function and cognitive abilities in a CKD rat model. We found that all CKD animals exhibited renal function deterioration, as indicated by elevated serum creatinine, BUN, and ample histopathological abnormalities. l-Carnitine treatment of CKD rats significantly reduced serum creatinine and BUN, attenuated renal hypertrophy and decreased renal tissue damage. In addition, in the two way shuttle avoidance learning, CKD animals showed cognitive impairment which recovered by the administration of l-carnitine. We conclude that in a rat model of CKD, l-carnitine administration significantly improved cognitive and renal functions.

  15. From free energy to expected energy: Improving energy-based value function approximation in reinforcement learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfwing, Stefan; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2016-12-01

    Free-energy based reinforcement learning (FERL) was proposed for learning in high-dimensional state and action spaces. However, the FERL method does only really work well with binary, or close to binary, state input, where the number of active states is fewer than the number of non-active states. In the FERL method, the value function is approximated by the negative free energy of a restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM). In our earlier study, we demonstrated that the performance and the robustness of the FERL method can be improved by scaling the free energy by a constant that is related to the size of network. In this study, we propose that RBM function approximation can be further improved by approximating the value function by the negative expected energy (EERL), instead of the negative free energy, as well as being able to handle continuous state input. We validate our proposed method by demonstrating that EERL: (1) outperforms FERL, as well as standard neural network and linear function approximation, for three versions of a gridworld task with high-dimensional image state input; (2) achieves new state-of-the-art results in stochastic SZ-Tetris in both model-free and model-based learning settings; and (3) significantly outperforms FERL and standard neural network function approximation for a robot navigation task with raw and noisy RGB images as state input and a large number of actions.

  16. Testing an intervention to improve functional capability in advanced cardiopulmonary illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Cynthia M; Steele, Bonnie G; Hunziker, Jim

    2011-01-01

    The development of a conceptually driven exercise and self-management intervention for improving functional capability and reducing health care costs using social cognitive theory is described. The intervention has 2 components: a 1-month outpatient exercise intervention followed by a home component, lasting 5 months. The intervention is expected to have significant impact on daily function, quality of life, gait/balance, self-efficacy, and health care utilization in persons with advanced heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We report preliminary results related to process-related variables, including feasibility, safety, and intervention adherence. Intervention outcomes are currently under study and will be reported when available.

  17. Nitrile functionalized halloysite nanotubes/poly(arylene ether nitrile) nanocomposites: Interface control, characterization, and improved properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Xinyi; Zhan, Yingqing; Zeng, Guangyong; He, Yi

    2017-01-01

    To develop high-performance halloysite nanotube (HNT)-based nanocomposites, the two key issues need to be considered: precise interface control and the dispersal of HNTs. This study presents an efficient way to functionalize halloysite nanotubes with 3-aminophenoxy-phthalonitrile, followed by compounding with poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN), to prepare functional nanocomposite films. The surface functionalization of HNTs was characterized and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared with neat PEN, the tensile strength and modulus of the resulting PEN nanocomposites with 3 wt% functionalized HNTs were found to increase by 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively. The good dispersion and high capacitance of the dielectric layer resulted in PEN/HNTs nancomposites with enhanced dielectric permittivity and relatively low dielectric loss. Moreover, the addition of functional HNTs greatly improved the thermal stability of PEN, which could be further enhanced through the chemical cross-linking reaction between the functional HNTs and the PEN matrix. This work provides a new path toward obtaining advanced polymer-based nanocomposites with functional properties.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 years......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...... 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 frequency (0...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Home-based training is becoming ever more important with increasing demands on the public health systems. We investigated whether individualized and supervised interactive home-based training delivered through the internet improves functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy...... (CP). METHODS: Thirty four children with CP (aged 9-16; mean age 10.9 ± 2.4 years) (GMFCS I-II; MACS I-II) were included in this non-randomized controlled clinical training study. 12 children (aged 7-16; mean age: 11.3+/-0.9 years) were allocated to a control group in which measurements were performed...... home training of children with CP is an efficient way to deliver training, which can enable functional motor improvements and increased activity to perform daily activities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN13188513 . Date of registration: 04/12/2014....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  8. Different strategies to improve the functionality of biodegradable films based on starch and other polymers

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    [EN] In the present Doctoral Thesis, different strategies to improve functional properties of starch films for food packaging applications were analysed: study of the effect of amylose:amylopectin ratio, blend with other polymers poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), and incorporation of different fillers (rice bran and cellulose nanocrystals-CNCs) and antimicrobial agents (neem oil-N, oregano essential oil-O and silver nanoparticles-AgNPs). Likewise, a biodegradation study of the films as affected by a...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Exenatide Pretreatment Improved Graft Function in Nonhuman Primate Islet Recipients Compared to Treatment after Transplant Only

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill L. Buss

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The GLP-1 receptor agonist, exenatide, has previously been shown to improve insulin secretion, protect beta cells from apoptosis, and promote beta cell regeneration. We propose that pretreatment with exenatide will promote islet graft survival and improve graft function. Pancreatectomized cynomolgus monkeys underwent islet allotransplantation and were treated with exenatide beginning on day 0 or day −2. A third group of animals was treated with an immunosuppressive regimen while a fourth group remained untreated. Fasting blood glucose (FBG was used to evaluate graft function along with intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTTs performed at study endpoint (day 10 for untreated and posttransplant exenatide or day 90 for pretreatment exenatide and immunosuppression. The average FBG for pre-treated animals day 5 following transplant was 52.7±14.8 mg/dl, compared to 154.3±105.5 mg/dl for animals treated only following transplant, 59.4 mg/dl ±12.1 for animals treated with immunosuppression, and 265.5±172.3 mg/dl for untreated animals. IVGTTs performed at study endpoint showed normal glucose and insulin curves in the pre-treated exenatide and immunosuppression groups only, with beta cell function actually improving after transplant in the pre-treated group. We conclude, therefore, that exenatide pre-treatment can successfully maintain islet graft survival in nonhuman primates.

  14. Kinetin Improves Barrier Function of the Skin by Modulating Keratinocyte Differentiation Markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Sungkwan; Cha, Hwa Jun; Ko, Jung-Min; Han, Hyunjoo; Kim, Su Young; Kim, Kyung-Suk; Lee, Song Jeong; An, In-Sook; Kim, Sangwon; Youn, Hae Jeong

    2017-01-01

    Background Kinetin is a plant hormone that regulates growth and differentiation. Keratinocytes, the basic building blocks of the epidermis, function in maintaining the skin barrier. Objective We examined whether kinetin induces skin barrier functions in vitro and in vivo. Methods To evaluate the efficacy of kinetin at the cellular level, expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers was assessed. Moreover, we examined the clinical efficacy of kinetin by evaluating skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and skin surface roughness in patients who used kinetin-containing cream. We performed quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to measure the expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers in HaCaT cells following treatment. A clinical trial was performed to assess skin moisture, TEWL, and evenness of skin texture in subjects who used kinetin-containing cream for 4 weeks. Results Kinetin increased involucrin, and keratin 1 mRNA in HaCaT cells. Moreover, use of a kinetin-containing cream improved skin moisture and TEWL while decreasing roughness of skin texture. Conclusion Kinetin induced the expression of keratinocyte differentiation markers, suggesting that it may affect differentiation to improve skin moisture content, TEWL, and other signs of skin aging. Therefore, kinetin is a potential new component for use in cosmetics as an anti-aging agent that improves the barrier function of skin. PMID:28223740

  15. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease limits improvement in cognitive function after bariatric surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Alosco

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background/Objective: Bariatric surgery can reverse cognitive impairments associated with obesity. However, such benefits may be attenuated in individuals with a predisposing risk for cognitive impairment such as family history of Alzheimer’s disease. Methods: In all, 94 bariatric surgery participants completed a computerized cognitive test battery before and 12 weeks after surgery. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease was obtained through self-report. Results: In the overall sample, cognitive function improved in memory and attention/executive function 12 weeks post-surgery. Repeated measures showed similar rates of improvements in attention/executive function between patients with and without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, only individuals without a family history of Alzheimer’s disease exhibited post-operative improvements in memory. A family history of Alzheimer’s disease was associated with greater post-surgery rates of cognitive impairment. Conclusions: Family history of Alzheimer’s disease may limit post-surgery cognitive benefits. Future studies should examine whether weight loss can modify the course of cognitive decline in patients at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

  16. Nanowires and Electrical Stimulation Synergistically Improve Functions of hiPSC Cardiac Spheroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Dylan J; Tan, Yu; Coyle, Robert; Li, Yang; Xu, Ruoyu; Yeung, Nelson; Parker, Arran; Menick, Donald R; Tian, Bozhi; Mei, Ying

    2016-07-13

    The advancement of human induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiomyocyte (hiPSC-CM) technology has shown promising potential to provide a patient-specific, regenerative cell therapy strategy to treat cardiovascular disease. Despite the progress, the unspecific, underdeveloped phenotype of hiPSC-CMs has shown arrhythmogenic risk and limited functional improvements after transplantation. To address this, tissue engineering strategies have utilized both exogenous and endogenous stimuli to accelerate the development of hiPSC-CMs. Exogenous electrical stimulation provides a biomimetic pacemaker-like stimuli that has been shown to advance the electrical properties of tissue engineered cardiac constructs. Recently, we demonstrated that the incorporation of electrically conductive silicon nanowires to hiPSC cardiac spheroids led to advanced structural and functional development of hiPSC-CMs by improving the endogenous electrical microenvironment. Here, we reasoned that the enhanced endogenous electrical microenvironment of nanowired hiPSC cardiac spheroids would synergize with exogenous electrical stimulation to further advance the functional development of nanowired hiPSC cardiac spheroids. For the first time, we report that the combination of nanowires and electrical stimulation enhanced cell-cell junction formation, improved development of contractile machinery, and led to a significant decrease in the spontaneous beat rate of hiPSC cardiac spheroids. The advancements made here address critical challenges for the use of hiPSC-CMs in cardiac developmental and translational research and provide an advanced cell delivery vehicle for the next generation of cardiac repair.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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

  19. Improvement of Brain Function through Combined Yogic Intervention, Meditation and Pranayama: A Critical Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anup De

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The practice of yoga includes static and dynamic postures (asanas, breathing manipulations (pranayama and meditation (dhyana. Yoga is a tool which works in the gross body level to the shuttle mind level. Yoga is a simple and inexpensive health regimen that can be incorporated as an effective adjuvant therapy for the improvement of brain and mental activity. Aim: To review scientific literatures related to yoga practice and brain function. Method: Researchers collected scientific evidences through electronic databases; Pubmed, Embase, Medline, Google Scholar, Google Advance Search, PsycINFO, ROAJ, DOAJR, Web of Science and critically analyzed the entire relevant article according to the nature of this study. Findings:Combined yogic practices improve memory which can influence the academic performance of the students. Meditation practices improve higher level of concentration and consciousness which may reduce the psychic disorder. Pranayama practice may be applied as alternative therapy for reducing stress related diseases Conclusions: Regular yogic practices may improve brain and others neuro cognitive functions.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    施雯; 董汉山

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Improvement of the bio-functional properties of TiO2 nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roguska, A.; Pisarek, M.; Belcarz, A.; Marcon, L.; Holdynski, M.; Andrzejczuk, M.; Janik-Czachor, M.

    2016-12-01

    Titanium oxide nanotubes with diameters from ca. 40-120 nm fabricated by the anodic oxidation of Ti at a constant voltage (10-28 V) were investigated to identify factors improving their bio-functional properties. Prepared substrates were subsequently annealed at 450 °C and 650 °C to obtain nanotubes having a crystalline structure, and were then examined by SEM, XRD, XPS, BET and contact angle measurement techniques. The thermally stabilized surfaces were subjected to bidirectional functionalization: by deposition of a thin layer of Ca-P and by loading with silver nanoparticles. Three factors were found to promote the proliferation of osteoblast (U2OS) cells: a larger nanotube diameter, a higher annealing temperature, and the presence of a thin Ca-P layer. Differentiation of these cells (by ALP test) was stimulated by a higher (650 °C) nanotube annealing temperature, but not by a thin Ca-P layer. The TiO2 nanotubes-modified samples exhibited noticeable antibacterial properties. Moreover, the additional deposition of Ag nanoparticles almost completely inhibited the survivability of S. epidermidis cells beyond 3 h of contact. In conclusion, TiO2 nanotubes-modified surfaces exhibit distinct bone forming ability and significant antibacterial properties, and can be easily functionalized by a thin Ca-P layer or nano-Ag deposition for further improvement of the above functionalities.

  3. Cichorium intybus root extract: A "vitamin D-like" active ingredient to improve skin barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maia Campos, P M B G; G Mercurio, D; O Melo, M; Closs-Gonthier, B

    2017-02-01

    During the aging process, the human skin suffers many alterations including dryness, skin barrier function damage. The skin barrier function is important to the prevention of skin alterations and maintenance of homeostasis. So, the objective of this study was to assess the clinical efficacy on skin barrier function of Cichorium intybus root extract in cosmetic formulations with or without UV filters. Fifty women, aged between 45 and 60 years, were divided into two groups. One group received vehicle formulations containing UV filters, and the other group received formulations without UV filters. Both groups received a formulation containing the extract and the vehicle. The formulations were applied twice daily to the upper arms after washing with sodium lauryl sulphate. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin microrelief were evaluated before and after a 14- and 28-day period of treatment. The control regions and regions where the vehicles were applied showed an increase in the TEWL. For the formulations containing the extract, decreased TEWL and improved microrelief were observed when compared to the vehicle and control areas after a 28-day period. In conclusion, Cichorium intybus root extract showed protective and restructuring effects on the skin and stands out as an innovative ingredient to improve skin barrier function.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  7. Targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors improves renal function after transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damman, Jeffrey; Hoeger, Simone; Boneschansker, Leo; Theruvath, Ashok; Waldherr, Ruediger; Leuvenink, Henri G; Ploeg, Rutger J; Yard, Benito A; Seelen, Marc A

    2011-05-01

    Kidneys recovered from brain-dead donors have inferior outcomes after transplantation compared to kidneys from living donors. Since complement activation plays an important role in renal transplant related injury, targeting complement activation in brain-dead donors might improve renal function after transplantation. Brain death (BD) was induced in Fisher rats by inflation of an epidurally placed balloon catheter and ventilated for 6h. BD animals were treated with soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) 1h before or 1h after BD. Kidney transplantation was performed and 7 days after transplantation animals were sacrificed. Plasma creatinine and urea were measured at days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 after transplantation. Renal function was significantly better at day 1 after transplantation in recipients receiving a sCR1 pre-treated donor kidney compared to recipients of a non-treated donor graft. Also treatment with sCR1, 1h after the diagnosis of BD, resulted in a better renal function after transplantation. Gene expression of IL-6, IL-1beta and TGF-beta were significantly lower in renal allografts recovered from treated donors. This study shows that targeting complement activation, during BD in the donor, leads to an improved renal function after transplantation in the recipient.

  8. Safety and improvement of movement function after stroke with atomoxetine: A pilot randomized trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Andrea; Carrico, Cheryl; Powell, Elizabeth; Westgate, Philip M.; Nichols, Laurie; Fleischer, Anne; Sawaki, Lumy

    2016-01-01

    Background: Intensive, task-oriented motor training has been associated with neuroplastic reorganization and improved upper extremity movement function after stroke. However, to optimize such training for people with moderate-to-severe movement impairment, pharmacological modulation of neuroplasticity may be needed as an adjuvant intervention. Objective: Evaluate safety, as well as improvement in movement function, associated with motor training paired with a drug to upregulate neuroplasticity after stroke. Methods: In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 12 subjects with chronic stroke received either atomoxetine or placebo paired with motor training. Safety was assessed using vital signs. Upper extremity movement function was assessed using Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Wolf Motor Function Test, and Action Research Arm Test at baseline, post-intervention, and 1-month follow-up. Results: No significant between-groups differences were found in mean heart rate (95% CI, –12.4–22.6; p = 0.23), mean systolic blood pressure (95% CI, –1.7–29.6; p = 0.21), or mean diastolic blood pressure (95% CI, –10.4–13.3; p = 0.08). A statistically significant between-groups difference on Fugl-Meyer at post-intervention favored the atomoxetine group (95% CI, 1.6–12.7; p = 0.016). Conclusion: Atomoxetine combined with motor training appears safe and may optimize motor training outcomes after stroke. PMID:27858723

  9. Functionalization of Hollow Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for Improved 5-FU Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong She

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles were successfully fabricated and functionalized with appropriate silanes. After modifications, amine, carboxyl, cyano, and methyl groups were grafted onto the nanoparticles and all functionalized hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles maintained a spherical and hollow structure with a mean diameter of ~120 nm and a shell thickness of ~10 nm. The loading capacity of the hollow mesoporous silica nanoaprticles to the anticancer drug, 5-fluorouracil, can be controlled via precise functionalization. The presence of amine groups on the surface of nanoparticles resulted in the highest loading capacity of 28.89%, due to the amine functionalized nanoparticles having a similar hydrophilicity but reverse charge to the drug. In addition, the change in pH leads to the variation of the intensity of electrostatic force between nanoparticles and the drug, which finally affects the loading capacity of amine functionalized hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles to some extent. Higher drug loading was observed at pH of 7.4 and 8.5 as 5-fluorouracil becomes more deprotonated in alkaline conditions. The improved drug loading capacity by amine functionalized hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles has demonstrated that they can become potential intracellular 5-fluorouracil delivery vehicles for cancers.

  10. Chloroquine improves left ventricle diastolic function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan X

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Xun Yuan, Yi-Chuan Xiao, Gui-Ping Zhang, Ning Hou, Xiao-Qian Wu, Wen-Liang Chen, Jian-Dong Luo, Gen-Shui Zhang Department of Pharmacology, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Diabetes is a potent risk factor for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF. Autophagy can be activated under pathological conditions, including diabetic cardiomyopathy. The therapeutic effects of chloroquine (CQ, an autophagy inhibitor, on left ventricle function in streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic mice were investigated. The cardiac function, light chain 3 (LC3-II/LC3-I ratio, p62, beclin 1, reactive oxygen species, apoptosis, and fibrosis were measured 14 days after CQ (ip 60 mg/kg/d administration. In STZ-induced mice, cardiac diastolic function was decreased significantly with normal ejection fraction. CQ significantly ameliorated cardiac diastolic function in diabetic mice with HFpEF. In addition, CQ decreased the autophagolysosomes, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and cardiac fibrosis but increased LC3-II and p62 expressions. These results suggested that CQ improved the cardiac diastolic function by inhibiting autophagy in STZ-induced HFpEF mice. Autophagic inhibitor CQ might be a potential therapeutic agent for HFpEF. Keywords: chloroquine, diastolic function, HFpEF, autophagy, diabetic cardiomyopathy, type 1 diabetes mellitus

  11. Improving the precision of the structure-function relationship by considering phylogenetic context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the relationship between protein structure and function is one of the foremost challenges in post-genomic biology. Higher conservation of structure could, in principle, allow researchers to extend current limitations of annotation. However, despite significant research in the area, a precise and quantitative relationship between biochemical function and protein structure has been elusive. Attempts to draw an unambiguous link have often been complicated by pleiotropy, variable transcriptional control, and adaptations to genomic context, all of which adversely affect simple definitions of function. In this paper, I report that integrating genomic information can be used to clarify the link between protein structure and function. First, I present a novel measure of functional proximity between protein structures (F-score. Then, using F-score and other entirely automatic methods measuring structure and phylogenetic similarity, I present a three-dimensional landscape describing their inter-relationship. The result is a "well-shaped" landscape that demonstrates the added value of considering genomic context in inferring function from structural homology. A generalization of methodology presented in this paper can be used to improve the precision of annotation of genes in current and newly sequenced genomes.

  12. Kyphoplasty increases vertebral height, decreases both pain score and opiate requirements while improving functional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolba, Reda; Bolash, Robert B; Shroll, Joshua; Costandi, Shrif; Dalton, Jarrod E; Sanghvi, Chirag; Mekhail, Nagy

    2014-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can result from advanced osteoporosis, or less commonly from metastatic or traumatic insults to the vertebral column, and result in disabling pain and decreased functional capacity. Various vertebral augmentation options including kyphoplasty aim at preventing the sequelae of pain and immobility that can develop as the result of the vertebral fractures. The mechanism for pain relief following kyphoplasty is not entirely understood, and the restoration of a portion of the lost vertebral height is a subject of debate. We retrospectively reviewed radiographic imaging, pain relief, analgesic intake and functional outcomes in 67 consecutive patients who underwent single- or multilevel kyphoplasty with the primary goal of quantifying the restoration of lost vertebral height. We observed a mean of 45% of the lost vertebral height restored postprocedurally. Secondarily, kyphoplasty was associated with significant decreases in pain scores, daily morphine consumption and improvement in patient-reported functional measures.

  13. An Improved Calculation of the Non-Gaussian Halo Mass Function

    CERN Document Server

    D'Amico, Guido; Noreña, Jorge; Paranjape, Aseem

    2010-01-01

    The abundance of collapsed objects in the universe, or halo mass function, is an important theoretical tool in studying the effects of primordially generated non-Gaussianities on the large scale structure. The non-Gaussian mass function has been calculated by several authors in different ways, typically by exploiting the smallness of certain parameters which naturally appear in the calculation, to set up a perturbative expansion. We improve upon the existing results for the mass function by combining path integral methods and saddle point techniques (which have been separately applied in previous approaches). Additionally, we carefully account for the various scale dependent combinations of small parameters which appear. Some of these combinations in fact become of order unity for large mass scales and at high redshifts, and must therefore be treated non-perturbatively. Our approach allows us to do this, and to also account for multi-scale density correlations which appear in the calculation. We thus derive a...

  14. Improvement of exercise capacity and left ventricular diastolic function with metoprolol XL after acute myocardial infarction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, S H; Jensen, S E; Egstrup, K

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Left ventricular (LV) diastolic function predicts and correlates with exercise capacity. Beta-blockers improve exercise capacity and LV diastolic function in patients with severe LV systolic dysfunction in dilated cardiomyopathy. However, information on the effect of metoprolol XL...... on exercise capacity in relation to LV diastolic function in patients with mild to moderate LV systolic dysfunction after acute myocardial infarction is limited. METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 77 patients, a subgroup of 59 patients with mild to moderate LV systolic...... dysfunction after acute myocardial infarction were given metoprolol XL (n = 29) or placebo (n = 30). The effects of metoprolol XL on exercise capacity in relation to effects on LV diastolic filling were studied. Two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and maximal symptom limited bicycle test were performed...

  15. Abdominal binders may reduce pain and improve physical function after major abdominal surgery - a systematic review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rothman, Josephine Philip; Gunnarsson, Ulf; Bisgaard, Thue

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Evidence for the effect of post-operative abdominal binders on post-operative pain, seroma formation, physical function, pulmonary function and increased intra-abdominal pressure among patients after surgery remains largely un-investigated. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted....... The PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases were searched for studies on the use of abdominal binders after abdominal surgery or abdominoplasty. All types of clinical studies were included. Two independent assessors evaluated the scientific quality of the studies. The primary outcomes were pain, seroma...... to reduce seroma formation after laparoscopic ventral herniotomy and a non-significant reduction in pain. Physical function was improved, whereas evidence supports a beneficial effect on psychological distress after open abdominal surgery. Evidence also supports that intra-abdominal pressure increases...

  16. Functional clustering drives encoding improvement in a developing brain network during awake visual learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaspar Podgorski

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory experience drives dramatic structural and functional plasticity in developing neurons. However, for single-neuron plasticity to optimally improve whole-network encoding of sensory information, changes must be coordinated between neurons to ensure a full range of stimuli is efficiently represented. Using two-photon calcium imaging to monitor evoked activity in over 100 neurons simultaneously, we investigate network-level changes in the developing Xenopus laevis tectum during visual training with motion stimuli. Training causes stimulus-specific changes in neuronal responses and interactions, resulting in improved population encoding. This plasticity is spatially structured, increasing tuning curve similarity and interactions among nearby neurons, and decreasing interactions among distant neurons. Training does not improve encoding by single clusters of similarly responding neurons, but improves encoding across clusters, indicating coordinated plasticity across the network. NMDA receptor blockade prevents coordinated plasticity, reduces clustering, and abolishes whole-network encoding improvement. We conclude that NMDA receptors support experience-dependent network self-organization, allowing efficient population coding of a diverse range of stimuli.

  17. Early predictors of left ventricular function improvement late after myocardial infarction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mladenović Zorica

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. Prognosis after acute myocardial infarction (AIM depends on the extent of irreversibly damaged myocardium and viable tissue due to stunning or hibernation. The aim of the study was to assess the prognostic significance of early echocardiographic parameters of myocardial viability in prediction of late recovery of regional and global ventricular function. Methods. The study prospectively included 40 patients after the first, uncomplicated univessel AIM treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI. Low-dose dobutamine echocardiography (LDDE was preformed 7-10 days after AIM and follow-up resting echocardiography from 7 to 12 months later. Results. The sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of post revascularisation regional, dyssynergy improvement were 61.29% and 94.59% respectively. The positive and negative predicative values were 90.48% and 74.47% respectively. The number of viable segments (p = 0.01 and extent of contractile reserve (p = 0.01 were univariate, independent predictors of improvement in ejection fraction (EF. From the multivariate stepwise regression analysis contractile reserve was selected as most powerful predictor of late recovery of left ventricular contractile function (p = 0.007. Receiving-operator characteristic curve (ROC analysis demonstrated that three or more recovered segments were necessary for an improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF ≥ 5% after the revascularisation, with the highest sensitivity, 100% and specificity 56% (p = 0.01. Conclusion. Low-dose dobutamine echocardiography is a powerful predictor of the regional dyssynergy recovery late after AIM treated with PTCA with implantation stent. Late full functional improvement of the left ventricle is related to the extent of contractile reserve and amount of viable tissue. At least three recovered segments are necessary for a significant recovery of the global left ventricular contractility.

  18. Improvement of different source function expressions in SWAN model for the Bohai Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YIN Baoshu; YANG Dezhou; SHA Rina; CHENG Minghua

    2005-01-01

    The simulating wave nearshore (SWAN) wave model has been widely used in coastal areas, lakes and estuaries. However, we found a poor agreement between modeling results and measurements in analyzing the chosen four typical cases when we used the default parameters of the source function formulas of the SWAN to make wave simulation for the Bohai Sea. Also, it was found that at the same wind process the simulated results of two wind generation expressions (Komen, Janssen) demonstrated a large difference. Further study showed that the proportionality coefficient α in linear growth term of wave growth source function plays an unperceived role in the process of wave development. Based on experiments and analysis, we thought that the coefficient α should change rather than be a constant. Therefore, the coefficient α changing with the variation of friction velocity U* was introduced into the linear growth term of wave growth source function. Four weather processes were adopted to validate the improvement in the linear growth term. The results from the improved coefficient α agree much better with the measurements than those from the default constant coefficient α. Furthermore, the large differences of results between Komen wind generation expression and Janssen wind generation expression were eliminated. We also experimented with the four weather processes to test the new white-capping mechanisms based on the cumulative steepness method. It was found that the parameters of the new white-capping mechanisms are not suitable for the Bohai Sea, but Alkyon' s white-capping mechanisms can be applicable to the Bohai Sea after amendments, demonstrating that this improvement of parameter α can improve the simulated results of the Bohai Sea.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaguchi, Hideo

    2014-06-01

    Oral function improvement programs utilizing health behavior theories are considered to be effective in preventing the need for long-term social care. In the present study, an oral function improvement program based upon health behavior theories was designed, and its utility was assessed in 102 pre-frail elderly persons (33 males, 69 females, mean age: 76.9 +/- 5.7) considered to be in potential need of long-term social care and attending a long-term care prevention class in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. The degree of improvement in oral functions (7 items) and oral hygienic conditions (3 items) was assessed by comparing oral health before and after participation in the program. The results showed statistically significant improvements in the following oral functions: (1) lip functions (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllable "Pa"), (2) tongue functions, (3) tongue root motor skills (oral diadochokinesis, measured by the regularity of the repetition of the syllables "Ta" and "Ka"), (4) tongue extension/retraction, (5) side-to-side tongue movement functions, (6) cheek motor skills, and (7) repetitive saliva swallowing test (RSST). The following measures of oral hygiene also showed a statistically significant improvement: (1) debris on dentures or teeth, (2) coated tongue, and (3) frequency of oral cleaning. These findings demonstrated that an improvement program informed by health behavior theories is useful in improving oral functions and oral hygiene conditions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  1. SUMO-1 gene transfer improves cardiac function in a large-animal model of heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilemann, Lisa; Lee, Ahyoung; Ishikawa, Kiyotake; Aguero, Jaume; Rapti, Kleopatra; Santos-Gallego, Carlos; Kohlbrenner, Erik; Fish, Kenneth M; Kho, Changwon; Hajjar, Roger J

    2013-11-13

    Recently, the impact of small ubiquitin-related modifier 1 (SUMO-1) on the regulation and preservation of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium adenosine triphosphatase (SERCA2a) function was discovered. The amount of myocardial SUMO-1 is decreased in failing hearts, and its knockdown results in severe heart failure (HF) in mice. In a previous study, we showed that SUMO-1 gene transfer substantially improved cardiac function in a murine model of pressure overload-induced HF. Toward clinical translation, we evaluated in this study the effects of SUMO-1 gene transfer in a swine model of ischemic HF. One month after balloon occlusion of the proximal left anterior descending artery followed by reperfusion, the animals were randomized to receive either SUMO-1 at two doses, SERCA2a, or both by adeno-associated vector type 1 (AAV1) gene transfer via antegrade coronary infusion. Control animals received saline infusions. After gene delivery, there was a significant increase in the maximum rate of pressure rise [dP/dt(max)] that was most pronounced in the group that received both SUMO-1 and SERCA2a. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved after high-dose SUMO-1 with or without SERCA2a gene delivery, whereas there was a decline in LVEF in the animals receiving saline. Furthermore, the dilatation of LV volumes was prevented in the treatment groups. SUMO-1 gene transfer therefore improved cardiac function and stabilized LV volumes in a large-animal model of HF. These results support the critical role of SUMO-1 in SERCA2a function and underline the therapeutic potential of SUMO-1 for HF patients.

  2. Association between High Endocardial Unipolar Voltage and Improved Left Ventricular Function in Patients with Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ki; Lai, Dejian; Handberg, Eileen M; Moyé, Lem; Perin, Emerson C; Pepine, Carl J; Anderson, R David

    2016-08-01

    We know that endocardial mapping reports left ventricular electrical activity (voltage) and that these data can predict outcomes in patients undergoing traditional revascularization. Because the mapping data from experimental models have also been linked with myocardial viability, we hypothesized an association between increased unipolar voltage in patients undergoing intramyocardial injections and their subsequent improvement in left ventricular performance. For this exploratory analysis, we evaluated 86 patients with left ventricular dysfunction, heart-failure symptoms, possible angina, and no revascularization options, who were undergoing endocardial mapping. Fifty-seven patients received bone marrow mononuclear cell (BMC) injections and 29 patients received cell-free injections of a placebo. The average mapping site voltage was 9.7 ± 2 mV, and sites with voltage of ≥6.9 mV were engaged by needle and injected (with BMC or placebo). For all patients, at 6 months, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) improved, and after covariate adjustment this improvement was best predicted by injection-site voltage. For every 2-mV increase in baseline voltage, we detected a 1.3 increase in absolute LVEF units for all patients (P=0.038). Multiple linear regression analyses confirmed that voltage and the CD34(+) count present in bone marrow (but not treatment assignment) were associated with improved LVEF (P=0.03 and P=0.014, respectively). In an exploratory analysis, higher endocardial voltage and bone marrow CD34(+) levels were associated with improved left ventricular function among ischemic cardiomyopathy patients. Intramyocardial needle injections, possibly through stimulation of angiogenesis, might serve as a future therapy in patients with reduced left ventricular function and warrants investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Julia C; Shang, Andrea; Elman, Meredith; Karmouta, Ryan; Suzuki, Wendy A

    2015-11-01

    The effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive functions in humans have been the subject of much investigation; however, these studies are limited by several factors, including a lack of randomized controlled designs, focus on only a single cognitive function, and testing during or shortly after exercise. Using a randomized controlled design, the present study asked how a single bout of aerobic exercise affects a range of frontal- and medial temporal lobe-dependent cognitive functions and how long these effects last. We randomly assigned 85 subjects to either a vigorous intensity acute aerobic exercise group or a video watching control group. All subjects completed a battery of cognitive tasks both before and 30, 60, 90, or 120 min after the intervention. This battery included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, the Modified Benton Visual Retention Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Digit Span Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Based on these measures, composite scores were formed to independently assess prefrontal cortex- and hippocampal-dependent cognition. A three-way mixed Analysis of Variance was used to determine whether differences existed between groups in the change in cognitive function from pre- to post-intervention testing. Acute exercise improved prefrontal cortex- but not hippocampal-dependent functioning, with no differences found between delay groups. Vigorous acute aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on prefrontal cortex-dependent cognition and these effects can last for up to 2 hr after exercise.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  9. Neocortical layer 6, a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex M Thomson

    2010-03-01

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

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

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    Femke Streijger

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

  11. Exercise training improves vascular endothelial function in patients with type 1 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchsjäger-Mayrl, Gabriele; Pleiner, Johannes; Wiesinger, Günther F; Sieder, Anna E; Quittan, Michael; Nuhr, Martin J; Francesconi, Claudia; Seit, Hans-Peter; Francesconi, Mario; Schmetterer, Leopold; Wolzt, Michael

    2002-10-01

    OBJECTIVE-Impaired endothelial function of resistance and conduit arteries can be detected in patients with type 1 diabetes. We studied whether a persistent improvement of endothelial function can be achieved by regular physical training. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-The study included 26 patients with type 1 diabetes of 20 +/- 10 years' duration and no overt angiopathy; 18 patients (42 +/- 10 years old) participated in a bicycle exercise training program, and 8 patients with type 1 diabetes (33 +/- 11 years old) served as control subjects. Vascular function of conduit arteries was assessed by flow-mediated and endothelium-independent dilation of the brachial artery and of resistance vessels by the response of ocular fundus pulsation amplitudes to intravenous N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) at baseline, after 2 and 4 months of training, and 8 months after cessation of regular exercise. RESULTS-Training increased peak oxygen uptake (VO(2max)) by 13% after 2 months and by 27% after 4 months (P = 0.04). Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery increased from 6.5 +/- 1.1 to 9.8 +/- 1.1% (P = 0.04) by training. L-NMMA administration decreased fundus pulsation amplitude (FPA) by 9.1 +/- 0.9% before training and by 13.4 +/- 1.5% after 4 months of training (P = 0.02). VO(2max), FMD, and FPA were unchanged in the control group. Vascular effects from training were abrogated 8 months after cessation of exercise. CONCLUSIONS-Our study demonstrates that aerobic exercise training can improve endothelial function in different vascular beds in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes, who are at considerable risk for diabetic angiopathy. However, the beneficial effect on vascular function is not maintained in the absence of exercise.

  12. Functional improvements in β-lactoglobulin by conjugating with soybean soluble polysaccharide.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongliang Guo

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The chirally rotated Schr\\"odinger functional with Wilson fermions and automatic O(a) improvement

    CERN Document Server

    Sint, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    A modified version of the Schr\\"odinger functional (SF) with Wilson fermions is proposed, which is related to the standard SF by a non-singlet chiral field rotation. Besides offering the possibility of some interesting universality checks, the main advantage of the new set-up consists in its compatibility with the mechanism of automatic O(a) improvement. In the free theory, the implementation of chirally rotated SF boundary conditions is obtained using an orbifold construction. The lattice symmetries imply a list of counterterms, which then determine how the basic fermionic two-point functions are renormalised and O(a) improved. As in the standard SF, a logarithmically divergent boundary counterterm leads to a multiplicative renormalisation of the quark boundary fields. In addition, a finite dimension-3 boundary counterterm must be tuned in order to maintain the chirally rotated boundary condtions in the interacting theory. Once this is achieved, automatic O(a) improvement works up to boundary O(a) effects. F...

  15. Melatonin improves mitochondrial function in inguinal white adipose tissue of Zücker diabetic fatty rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenéz-Aranda, Aroa; Fernández-Vázquez, Gumersindo; Mohammad A-Serrano, María; Reiter, Russel J; Agil, Ahmad

    2014-08-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction in adipose tissue may contribute to obesity-related metabolic derangements such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Because mitochondria are a target for melatonin action, the goal of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on mitochondrial function in white (WAT) and beige inguinal adipose tissue of Zücker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, a model of obesity-related T2DM. In this experimental model, melatonin reduces obesity and improves the metabolic profile. At 6 wk of age, ZDF rats and lean littermates (ZL) were subdivided into two groups, each composed of four rats: control (C-ZDF and C-ZL) and treated with oral melatonin in the drinking water (10 mg/kg/day) for 6 wk (M-ZDF and M-ZL). After the treatment period, animals were sacrificed, tissues dissected, and mitochondrial function assessed in isolated organelles. Melatonin increased the respiratory control ratio (RCR) in mitochondria from white fat of both lean (by 26.5%, P types of fat, white and beige, in both lean and obese rats. These results demonstrate that chronic oral melatonin improves mitochondrial respiration and reduces the oxidative status and susceptibility to apoptosis in white and beige adipocytes. These melatonin effects help to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and thereby to improve obesity-related metabolic disorders such as diabetes and dyslipidemia of ZDF rats.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Zaghloul, Mofreh R

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Clonidine, moxonidine, folic acid, and mecobalamin improve baroreflex function in stroke-prone, spontaneously hypertensive rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiu-juan MA; Fu-ming SHEN; Ai-jun LIU; Ke-yong SHI; Ying-liang WU; Ding-feng SU

    2007-01-01

    Aim: To investigate the effect of clonidine, moxonidine, folic acid, and mecobalamin on arterial baroreflex (ABR) function in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR-SP) and the possible mechanisms involved.Methods: Eighty-one SHR-SP were divided into 7 groups. Four groups weredesignated for the intragastric (ig) administration of clonidine (1.0 and 10.0 μg/kg), moxonidine (0.1 and 1.0 mg/kg), folic acid (1.0 mg/kg), and mecobalamin(1.0 mg/kg). Three groups were for the intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of clonidine (4 μg/4 μL), moxonidine (5 μg/4 μL), and mecobalamin (20 μg/4 μL).Blood pressure (BP) was recorded in the conscious state for 30 min and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was determined respectively before and after drug administration. Results: Clonidine and moxonidine significantly decreased BP,prolonged the heart period (HP), and increased BRS when administered as either ig or icv injections. Both BP and HP were unchanged by ig folic acid or mecobalamin injection. However, BRS was significantly increased by both.Conclusion: Clonidine, moxonidine, folic acid, and mecobalamin improved impaired ABR function in SHR-SP. The central mechanism was involved in this effect of either clonidine or moxonidine. Mecobalamin improved ABR function through the peripheral mechanism.

  18. Dried bonito broth improves cognitive function via the histaminergic system in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozawa, Yoshizu; Mimura, Masako; Yamada, Keiko; Sugita, Mayu; Shibakusa, Tetsuro; Koyama, Naoto

    2014-01-01

    Bonito extract, i.e., dried bonito broth (DBB), has been reported to counteract mental fatigue and to increase performance in a simple calculation task, but the mechanism by which DBB increases task performance is not known. The brain neurotransmitter histamine is biosynthesized only from histidine in the tuberomammillary nucleus. Histamine neurons are projected to almost all areas of the cerebral cortex, and histamine has various behavioral and neurobiological functions, particularly in recognition memory. Here we used a mouse model to investigate the effects of the oral ingestion of DBB, which contains abundant histidine, as well as the ingestion of histidine on cognitive function. In a retention trial of novel object recognition test, the administration of 1.6 g/kg of DBB and 500 mg/kg of histidine significantly increased the animals' exploratory behavior toward a novel object, and that these agents significantly increased the spontaneous alternation behavior ratio in a Y-maze under conditions of scopolamine-induced amnesia, which induced learning and memory impairment. These results suggested the improvement of spatial short-term working memory in a scopolamine amnesia model, as well as the strengthening of visual cognitive function by a single ingestion of DBB and histidine. Interestingly, the administration of αFMH, which is an inhibitor of histamine biosynthesis, eliminated the increase in the spontaneous alternation behavior ratio by DBB ingestion in the scopolamine-induced amnesia model, suggesting that DBB may improve working memory impairment via activation of the histaminergic neuron system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianqin Ye

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

  20. Sodium nitrite protects against kidney injury induced by brain death and improves post-transplant function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelpke, Stacey S; Chen, Bo; Bradley, Kelley M; Teng, Xinjun; Chumley, Phillip; Brandon, Angela; Yancey, Brett; Moore, Brandon; Head, Hughston; Viera, Liliana; Thompson, John A; Crossman, David K; Bray, Molly S; Eckhoff, Devin E; Agarwal, Anupam; Patel, Rakesh P

    2012-08-01

    Renal injury induced by brain death is characterized by ischemia and inflammation, and limiting it is a therapeutic goal that could improve outcomes in kidney transplantation. Brain death resulted in decreased circulating nitrite levels and increased infiltrating inflammatory cell infiltration into the kidney. Since nitrite stimulates nitric oxide signaling in ischemic tissues, we tested whether nitrite therapy was beneficial in a rat model of brain death followed by kidney transplantation. Nitrite, administered over 2 h of brain death, blunted the increased inflammation without affecting brain death-induced alterations in hemodynamics. Kidneys were transplanted after 2 h of brain death and renal function followed over 7 days. Allografts collected from nitrite-treated brain-dead rats showed significant improvement in function over the first 2 to 4 days after transplantation compared with untreated brain-dead animals. Gene microarray analysis after 2 h of brain death without or with nitrite therapy showed that the latter significantly altered the expression of about 400 genes. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis indicated that multiple signaling pathways were affected by nitrite, including those related to hypoxia, transcription, and genes related to humoral immune responses. Thus, nitrite therapy attenuates brain death-induced renal injury by regulating responses to ischemia and inflammation, ultimately leading to better post-transplant kidney function.

  1. Aerobic Exercise as an Adjunct Therapy for Improving Cognitive Function in Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A. Gary

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Persons with heart failure (HF are typically older and are at a much higher risk for developing cognitive impairment (CI than persons without HF. Increasingly, CI is recognized as a significant, independent predictor of worse clinical outcomes, more frequent hospital readmissions, and higher mortality rates in persons with HF. CI can have devastating effects on ability to carry out HF effective self-care behaviors. If CI occurs, however, there are currently no evidence based guidelines on how to manage or improve cognitive function in this population. Improvement in cognition has been reported following some therapies in HF and is thought to be the consequence of enhanced cerebral perfusion and oxygenation, suggesting that CI may be amenable to intervention. Because there is substantial neuronal loss with dementia and no effective restorative therapies, interventions that slow, reverse, or prevent cognitive decline are essential. Aerobic exercise is documented to increase cerebral perfusion and oxygenation by promoting neuroplasticity and neurogenesis and, in turn, cognitive functioning. Few studies have examined exercise as a potential adjunct therapy for attenuating or alleviating cognitive decline in HF. In this review, the potential benefit of aerobic exercise on cognitive functioning in HF is presented along with future research directions.

  2. Improving molecular docking through eHiTS' tunable scoring function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravitz, Orr; Zsoldos, Zsolt; Simon, Aniko

    2011-11-01

    We present three complementary approaches for score-tuning that improve docking performance in pose prediction, virtual screening and binding affinity assessment. The methodology utilizes experimental data to customize the scoring function for the system of interest considering the specific docking scenario. The tuning approach, which has been implemented as an automated utility in eHiTS, is introduced as a solution to one of the conundrums of the molecular docking paradigm, namely, the lack of a universally well performing scoring function. The accuracy of scoring functions has been shown to be generally system-dependent, and particularly lacking for binding energy and bio-activity predictions. In the proposed approach, pose and energy predictions are enhanced by adjusting the relative weights of the eHiTS energy terms to improve score-RMSD or score-affinity correlations. In a virtual screening context ligand-based similarity is used to rescale the docking score such that better enrichment factors are achieved. We discuss the algorithmic details of the methods, and demonstrate the effects of score tuning on a variety of targets, including CDK2, BACE1 and neuraminidase, as well as on the popular benchmarks—the Directory of Useful Decoys and the PDBBind database.

  3. A new method for improving functional-to-structural MRI alignment using local Pearson correlation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, Ziad S; Glen, Daniel R; Chen, Gang; Beauchamp, Michael S; Desai, Rutvik; Cox, Robert W

    2009-02-01

    Accurate registration of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) T2-weighted volumes to same-subject high-resolution T1-weighted structural volumes is important for Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) FMRI and crucial for applications such as cortical surface-based analyses and pre-surgical planning. Such registration is generally implemented by minimizing a cost functional, which measures the mismatch between two image volumes over the group of proper affine transformations. Widely used cost functionals, such as mutual information (MI) and correlation ratio (CR), appear to yield decent alignments when visually judged by matching outer brain contours. However, close inspection reveals that internal brain structures are often significantly misaligned. Poor registration is most evident in the ventricles and sulcal folds, where CSF is concentrated. This observation motivated our development of an improved modality-specific cost functional which uses a weighted local Pearson coefficient (LPC) to align T2- and T1-weighted images. In the absence of an alignment gold standard, we used three human observers blinded to registration method to provide an independent assessment of the quality of the registration for each cost functional. We found that LPC performed significantly better (p<0.001) than generic cost functionals including MI and CR. Generic cost functionals were very often not minimal near the best alignment, thereby suggesting that optimization is not the cause of their failure. Lastly, we emphasize the importance of precise visual inspection of alignment quality and present an automated method for generating composite images that help capture errors of misalignment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Springer S

    2013-02-01

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

  5. Improved normal tissue sparing in head and neck radiotherapy using biological cost function based-IMRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, N; Lawford, C; Khoo, V; Rolfo, M; Joon, D L; Wada, M

    2011-12-01

    Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has reduced the impact of acute and late toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Treatment planning system (TPS) advances in biological cost function based optimization (BBO) and improved segmentation techniques have increased organ at risk (OAR) sparing compared to conventional dose-based optimization (DBO). A planning study was undertaken to compare OAR avoidance in DBO and BBO treatment planning. Simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were produced for 10 head and neck patients using both planning systems. Plans were compared for tar get coverage and OAR avoidance. Comparisons were made using the BBO TPS Monte Carlo dose engine to eliminate differences due to inherent algorithms. Target coverage (V95%) was maintained for both solutions. BBO produced lower OAR doses, with statistically significant improvement to left (12.3%, p = 0.005) and right parotid mean dose (16.9%, p = 0.004), larynx V50_Gy (71.0%, p = 0.005), spinal cord (21.9%, p < 0.001) and brain stem dose maximums (31.5%, p = 0.002). This study observed improved OAR avoidance with BBO planning. Further investigations will be undertaken to review any clinical benefit of this improved planned dosimetry.

  6. Active surface model improvement by energy function optimization for 3D segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azimifar, Zohreh; Mohaddesi, Mahsa

    2015-04-01

    This paper proposes an optimized and efficient active surface model by improving the energy functions, searching method, neighborhood definition and resampling criterion. Extracting an accurate surface of the desired object from a number of 3D images using active surface and deformable models plays an important role in computer vision especially medical image processing. Different powerful segmentation algorithms have been suggested to address the limitations associated with the model initialization, poor convergence to surface concavities and slow convergence rate. This paper proposes a method to improve one of the strongest and recent segmentation algorithms, namely the Decoupled Active Surface (DAS) method. We consider a gradient of wavelet edge extracted image and local phase coherence as external energy to extract more information from images and we use curvature integral as internal energy to focus on high curvature region extraction. Similarly, we use resampling of points and a line search for point selection to improve the accuracy of the algorithm. We further employ an estimation of the desired object as an initialization for the active surface model. A number of tests and experiments have been done and the results show the improvements with regards to the extracted surface accuracy and computational time of the presented algorithm compared with the best and recent active surface models.

  7. Functionalized low defect graphene nanoribbons and polyurethane composite film for improved gas barrier and mechanical performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Changsheng; Cox, Paris J; Kukovecz, Akos; Genorio, Bostjan; Hashim, Daniel P; Yan, Zheng; Peng, Zhiwei; Hwang, Chih-Chau; Ruan, Gedeng; Samuel, Errol L G; Sudeep, Parambath M; Konya, Zoltan; Vajtai, Robert; Ajayan, Pulickel M; Tour, James M

    2013-11-26

    A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) composite film containing hexadecyl-functionalized low-defect graphene nanoribbons (HD-GNRs) was produced by solution casting. The HD-GNRs were well distributed within the polyurethane matrix, leading to phase separation of the TPU. Nitrogen gas effective diffusivity of TPU was decreased by 3 orders of magnitude with only 0.5 wt % HD-GNRs. The incorporation of HD-GNRs also improved the mechanical properties of the composite films, as predicted by the phase separation and indicated by tensile tests and dynamic mechanical analyses. The improved properties of the composite film could lead to potential applications in food packaging and lightweight mobile gas storage containers.

  8. Mitochondria Synthesize Melatonin to Ameliorate Its Function and Improve Mice Oocyte's Quality under in Vitro Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Changjiu; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Zhenzhen; Yang, Minghui; Li, Yu; Tian, Xiuzhi; Ma, Teng; Tao, Jingli; Zhu, Kuanfeng; Song, Yukun; Ji, Pengyun; Liu, Guoshi

    2016-06-14

    The physiology of oocyte in vitro maturation remains elusive. Generally, the oocytes have a very low maturation rate under in vitro conditions. In the current study, we found that melatonin promotes the maturation of oocytes in which mitochondria play a pivotal role. It was identified that; (1) mitochondria are the major sites for melatonin synthesis in oocytes and they synthesize large amounts of melatonin during their maturation; (2) melatonin improves mitochondrial function by increased mtDNA copy, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and mitochondrial distribution and ATP production in oocytes; (3) the meiotic spindle assembly is enhanced; (4) melatonin reduces ROS production and inhibits 8-oxodG formation, thereby protecting potential DNA mutation from oxidative damage. As a result, melatonin improves the quality of oocytes, significantly accelerates the developmental ability of IVF embryo. The results provide novel knowledge on the physiology of oocyte's maturation, especially under in vitro conditions.

  9. An improved a-cut approach to transforming fuzzy membership function into basic belief assignment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Yi; X.Rong Li; Han Deqiang

    2016-01-01

    In practical applications, pieces of evidence originated from different sources might be modeled by different uncertainty theories. To implement the evidence combination under the Dempster–Shafer evidence theory (DST) framework, transformations from the other type of uncer-tainty representation into the basic belief assignment are needed. a-Cut is an important approach to transforming a fuzzy membership function into a basic belief assignment, which provides a bridge between the fuzzy set theory and the DST. Some drawbacks of the traditional a-cut approach caused by its normalization step are pointed out in this paper. An improved a-cut approach is pro-posed, which can counteract the drawbacks of the traditional a-cut approach and has good prop-erties. Illustrative examples, experiments and related analyses are provided to show the rationality of the improved a-cut approach.

  10. An Improved EMD and Its Applications to Find the Basis Functions of EMI Signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyi Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A B-spline empirical mode decomposition (BEMD method is proposed to improve the celebrated empirical mode decomposition (EMD method. The improvement of BEMD on EMD mainly concentrates on the sifting process. First, instead of the curve that resulted from computing the average of upper and lower envelopes, the curve interpolated by the midpoints of local maximal and minimal points is used as the mean curve, which can reduce the cost of computation. Second, the cubic spline interpolation is replaced with cubic B-spline interpolation on account of the advantages of B-spline over polynomial spline. The effectiveness of BEMD compared with EMD is validated by numerical simulations and an application to find the basis functions of EMI signals.

  11. An improved α-cut approach to transforming fuzzy membership function into basic belief assignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In practical applications, pieces of evidence originated from different sources might be modeled by different uncertainty theories. To implement the evidence combination under the Dempster–Shafer evidence theory (DST framework, transformations from the other type of uncertainty representation into the basic belief assignment are needed. α-Cut is an important approach to transforming a fuzzy membership function into a basic belief assignment, which provides a bridge between the fuzzy set theory and the DST. Some drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach caused by its normalization step are pointed out in this paper. An improved α-cut approach is proposed, which can counteract the drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach and has good properties. Illustrative examples, experiments and related analyses are provided to show the rationality of the improved α-cut approach.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Pretto Flores

    2011-08-01

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

  13. rTMS neuromodulation improves electrocortical functional measures of information processing and behavioral responses in autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estate M Sokhadze

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD of a minicolumnopathy with consequent deficits of lateral inhibition help explain observed behavioral and executive dysfunctions. We propose that neuromodulation based on rTMS will enhance lateral inhibition through activation of inhibitory double bouquet interneurons and will be accompanied by improvements in the prefrontal executive functions. Methods: The current study used ERPs in a visual oddball task with illusory figures. We compared clinical, behavioral and electrocortical outcomes in 2 groups of children with autism (TMS, wait-list group [WTL]. We predicted that 18 session long course in autistic patients will have better behavioral and ERP outcomes as compared to age- and IQ-matched wait-list group. We used 18 sessions of 1Hz rTMS applied over the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in 27 individuals with ASD diagnosis. The WTL group was comprised of 27 age-matched ASD subjects. Results: Post-TMS evaluations showed decreased irritability and hyperactivity and decreased stereotypic behaviors. Following rTMS we found decreased amplitude and prolonged latency in the fronto-central ERPs to non-targets in the TMS group. These ERP changes along with increased centro-parietal ERPs to targets are indicative of more efficient processing of information post-TMS. Another finding was increased magnitude of error-related negativity (ERN during commission errors. We calculated normative post-error reaction time (RT slowing response in both groups and found that rTMS was accompanied by post-error RT slowing and higher accuracy of responses, whereas the WTL group kept on showing typical for ASD post-error RT speeding and had higher error rate. Conclusion: Results from our study indicate that rTMS improves executive functioning in ASD as evidenced by normalization of ERP responses and behavioral reactions during executive function test, and also by improvements in clinical behavioral evaluations.

  14. The GPVI-Fc fusion protein Revacept improves cerebral infarct volume and functional outcome in stroke.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Goebel

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: We examined the effect of Revacept, an Fc fusion protein which is specifically linked to the extracellular domain of glycoprotein VI (GPVI, on thrombus formation after vessel wall injury and on experimental stroke in mice. BACKGROUND: Several antiplatelet drugs for the treatment of myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke with potent anti-ischemic effects have been developed, but all incur a significant risk of bleeding. METHODS: Platelet adhesion and thrombus formation after endothelial injury was monitored in the carotid artery by intra-vital fluorescence microscopy. The morphological and clinical consequences of stroke were investigated in a mouse model with a one hour-occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. RESULTS: Thrombus formation was significantly decreased after endothelial injury by 1 mg/kg Revacept i.v., compared to Fc only. 1 mg/kg Revacept i.v. applied in mice with ischemic stroke immediately before reperfusion significantly improved functional outcome, cerebral infarct size and edema compared to Fc only. Also treatment with 10 mg/kg rtPA was effective, and functional outcome was similar in both treatment groups. The combination of Revacept with rtPA leads to increased reperfusion compared to treatment with either agent alone. In contrast to rtPA, however, there were no signs of increased intracranial bleeding with Revacept. Both rtPA and Revacept improved survival after stroke compared to placebo treatment. Revacept and vWF bind to collagen and Revacept competitively prevented the binding of vWF to collagen. CONCLUSIONS: Revacept reduces arterial thrombus formation, reduces cerebral infarct size and edema after ischemic stroke, improves functional and prognostic outcome without intracranial bleeding. Revacept not only prevents GPVI-mediated, but probably also vWF-mediated platelet adhesion and aggregate formation. Therefore Revacept might be a potent and safe tool to treat ischemic complications of stroke.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-07-20

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

  16. Cardiomyocyte-specific expression of lamin a improves cardiac function in Lmna-/- mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard L Frock

    Full Text Available Lmna(-/- mice display multiple tissue defects and die by 6-8 weeks of age reportedly from dilated cardiomyopathy with associated conduction defects. We sought to determine whether restoration of lamin A in cardiomyocytes improves cardiac function and extends the survival of Lmna(-/- mice. We observed increased total desmin protein levels and disorganization of the cytoplasmic desmin network in ~20% of Lmna(-/- ventricular myocytes, rescued in a cell-autonomous manner in Lmna(-/- mice expressing a cardiac-specific lamin A transgene (Lmna(-/-; Tg. Lmna(-/-; Tg mice displayed significantly increased contractility and preservation of myocardial performance compared to Lmna(-/- mice. Lmna(-/-; Tg mice attenuated ERK1/2 phosphorylation relative to Lmna(-/- mice, potentially underlying the improved localization of connexin43 to the intercalated disc. Electrocardiographic recordings from Lmna(-/- mice revealed arrhythmic events and increased frequency of PR interval prolongation, which is partially rescued in Lmna(-/-; Tg mice. These findings support our observation that Lmna(-/-; Tg mice have a 12% median extension in lifespan compared to Lmna(-/- mice. While significant, Lmna(-/-; Tg mice only have modest improvement in cardiac function and survival likely stemming from the observation that only 40% of Lmna(-/-; Tg cardiomyocytes have detectable lamin A expression. Cardiomyocyte-specific restoration of lamin A in Lmna(-/- mice improves heart-specific pathology and extends lifespan, demonstrating that the cardiac pathology of Lmna(-/- mice limits survival. The expression of lamin A is sufficient to rescue certain cellular defects associated with loss of A-type lamins in cardiomyocytes in a cell-autonomous fashion.

  17. Insulin Sensitivity and β-Cell Function Improve after Gastric Bypass in Severely Obese Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inge, Thomas H.; Prigeon, Ronald L.; Elder, Deborah A.; Jenkins, Todd M.; Cohen, Robert M.; Xanthakos, Stavra A.; Benoit, Stephen C.; Dolan, Lawrence M.; Daniels, Stephen R.; D’Alessio, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity would be improved in adolescents after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Study design A longitudinal study of 22 adolescents and young adults without diabetes undergoing laparoscopic RYGB (mean age 17.1 ± 1.42 years; range 14.5–20.1; male/female 8/14; Non-Hispanic White/African American 17/5) was conducted. Intravenous glucose tolerance tests were done to obtain insulin sensitivity (insulin sensitivity index), insulin secretion (acute insulin response to glucose), and the disposition index as primary outcome variables. These variables were compared over the 1 year of observation using linear mixed modeling. Results In the 1-year following surgery, body mass index fell by 38% from a mean of 61 ± 12.3 to 39 ± 8.0 kg/m2 (P < .01). Over the year following surgery, fasting glucose and insulin values declined by 54% and 63%, respectively. Insulin sensitivity index increased 300% (P < .01), acute insulin response to glucose decreased 56% (P < .01), leading to a nearly 2-fold increase in the disposition index (P < .01). Consistent with improved β-cell function, the proinsulin to C-peptide ratio decreased by 21% (P < .01). Conclusions RYGB reduced body mass index and improved both insulin sensitivity and β-cell function in severely obese teens and young adults. These findings demonstrate that RYGB is associated with marked metabolic improvements in obese young people even as significant obesity persists. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00360373. PMID:26363548

  18. Waon therapy improves quality of life as well as cardiac function and exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobajima, Mitsuo; Nozawa, Takashi; Fukui, Yasutaka; Ihori, Hiroyuki; Ohori, Takashi; Fujii, Nozomu; Inoue, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Waon therapy (WT), which in Japanese means soothing warmth, is a repeated sauna therapy that improves cardiac and vascular endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). We investigated whether WT could improve the quality of life (QOL) of CHF patients in addition to improving cardiac function and exercise capacity.A total of 49 CHF patients (69 ± 14 years old) were treated with a 60°C far infrared-ray dry sauna bath for 15 minutes and then kept in a bed covered with blankets for 30 minutes once a day for 3 weeks. At baseline and 3 weeks after starting WT, cardiac function, 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, and SF36-QOL scores were determined.WT significantly improved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), 6MWD, and FMD (3.6 ± 2.3 to 5.1 ± 2.8%, P improved not only the physical (PC) but also mental component (MC) of the QOL scores. WT-induced improvement of PC was negatively correlated with changes in BNP (r = -0.327, P improvement was not related directly to changes in BNP, LVEF, or 6MWD. WT-induced changes in MC were not parallel to PC improvement.WT improved QOL as well as cardiac function and exercise capacity in patients with CHF. Mental QOL improved independently of WT-induced improvement of cardiac function and exercise capacity.

  19. Glycopolymer functionalization of engineered spider silk protein-based materials for improved cell adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, John G; Pfaff, André; Leal-Egaña, Aldo; Müller, Axel H E; Scheibel, Thomas R

    2014-07-01

    Silk protein-based materials are promising biomaterials for application as tissue scaffolds, due to their processability, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. The preparation of films composed of an engineered spider silk protein (eADF4(C16)) and their functionalization with glycopolymers are described. The glycopolymers bind proteins found in the extracellular matrix, providing a biomimetic coating on the films that improves cell adhesion to the surfaces of engineered spider silk films. Such silk-based materials have potential as coatings for degradable implantable devices.

  20. Combining MRI with PET for partial volume correction improves image-derived input functions in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Evans, Eleanor; Buonincontri, Guido [Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Izquierdo, David [Athinoula A Martinos Centre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (United States); Methner, Carmen [Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Hawkes, Rob C [Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Ansorge, Richard E [Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Kreig, Thomas [Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Carpenter, T Adrian [Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Sawiak, Stephen J [Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom)

    2014-07-29

    Kinetic modelling in PET requires the arterial input function (AIF), defined as the time-activity curve (TAC) in plasma. This measure is challenging to obtain in mice due to low blood volumes, resulting in a reliance on image-based methods for AIF derivation. We present a comparison of PET- and MR-based region-of-interest (ROI) analysis to obtain image-derived AIFs from the left ventricle (LV) of a mouse model. ROI-based partial volume correction (PVC) was performed to improve quantification.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Improving the accuracy of density-functional theory calculation: the genetic algorithm and neural network approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Shi, LiLi; Zhang, Min; Su, Zhongmin; Wang, XiuJun; Hu, LiHong; Chen, GuanHua

    2007-04-14

    The combination of genetic algorithm and neural network approach (GANN) has been developed to improve the calculation accuracy of density functional theory. As a demonstration, this combined quantum mechanical calculation and GANN correction approach has been applied to evaluate the optical absorption energies of 150 organic molecules. The neural network approach reduces the root-mean-square (rms) deviation of the calculated absorption energies of 150 organic molecules from 0.47 to 0.22 eV for the TDDFTB3LYP6-31G(d) calculation, and the newly developed GANN correction approach reduces the rms deviation to 0.16 eV.

  3. Functions of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives in Improving Rural Modern Circulation System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Conghui DU; Yongwei CUI

    2016-01-01

    This paper firstly described current development situation of China’s rural circulation system. In the process of accelerating modernization,the supply and marketing cooperative is always an essential force,but the gap between urban and rural circulation system is still expanding. On the basis of current development situation,it analyzed functions of supply and marketing cooperatives in rural logistics system. Finally,it came up with recommendations for improving China’s rural circulation system. In the new period,it is recommended to bring into play advantages of supply and marketing cooperatives,expand the coverage,gradually promote industry upgrade of renewable resource recycling,and constantly strengthen functions of supply and marketing cooperatives in building the rural modern circulation system,to build supply and marketing cooperatives into new forces and comprehensive platform for farmers’ production and living services.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian Qu; Chunying Li; Hongchang Liu; Chang Su

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bich, Dao Huy; Xuan Nguyen, Nguyen

    2012-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Støy, Ann Cathrine Findal; Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Thymann, Thomas;

    2014-01-01

    , abundance and location of bacteria, and inflammation markers were investigated. Results NEC severity and interleukins (IL)-1β and -8 protein concentrations were lower, while villus height, galactose absorption, and brush-border enzyme activities were increased in the distal small intestine in COLOS......Background & aims Only few hours of formula feeding may induce proinflammatory responses and predispose to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm pigs. We hypothesized that bovine colostrum, rich in bioactive factors, would improve intestinal function in preterm pigs following an initial...... exposure to formula feeding after some days of total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Methods After receiving TPN for 2 days, preterm pigs were fed formula (FORM, n = 14), bovine colostrum (COLOS, n = 6), or formula (6 h) followed by bovine colostrum (FCOLOS, n = 14). Intestinal lesions, function, and structure...

  9. Rational identification of diet-derived postbiotics for improving intestinal microbiota function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemashevich, Cory; Wu, Charmian; Howsmon, Daniel; Alaniz, Robert C; Lee, Kyongbum; Jayaraman, Arul

    2014-04-01

    The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in a wide range of functions and whole body homeostasis. Recent advances have linked microbiota dysbiosis to conditions ranging from Crohn's disease to cancer. The restoration or strengthening of the intestinal microbiota through diet-based approaches such as probiotics and prebiotics has been proposed for combating the onset or progression of these diseases. In this review, we highlight the importance of postbiotics for the manipulation of the intestinal microbiota, with special emphasis on systems biology computational tools and targeted metabolomics for the rational discovery and identification of these bioactive molecules. The identification of novel postbiotics and the pathways responsible for their production should lead to improved mechanistic understanding of the role that specific probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics have in restoring intestinal microbiota composition and function.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lisa M Bond; Lisa McKerracher

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Employment of sawtooth-shaped-function excitation signal and oversampling for improving resistance measurement accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ling; Li, Shujuan; Yan, Wenjuan; Li, Gang

    2016-10-01

    In order to achieve higher measurement accuracy of routine resistance without increasing the complexity and cost of the system circuit of existing methods, this paper presents a novel method that exploits a shaped-function excitation signal and oversampling technology. The excitation signal source for resistance measurement is modulated by the sawtooth-shaped-function signal, and oversampling technology is employed to increase the resolution and the accuracy of the measurement system. Compared with the traditional method of using constant amplitude excitation signal, this method can effectively enhance the measuring accuracy by almost one order of magnitude and reduce the root mean square error by 3.75 times under the same measurement conditions. The results of experiments show that the novel method can attain the aim of significantly improve the measurement accuracy of resistance on the premise of not increasing the system cost and complexity of the circuit, which is significantly valuable for applying in electronic instruments.

  12. Renin-Angiotensin System Blockade Associated with Statin Improves Endothelial Function in Diabetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Altenburg Gismondi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractBackground:Studies suggest that statins have pleiotropic effects, such as reduction in blood pressure, and improvement in endothelial function and vascular stiffness.Objective:To analyze if prior statin use influences the effect of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors on blood pressure, endothelial function, and vascular stiffness.Methods:Patients with diabetes and hypertension with office systolic blood pressure ≥ 130 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 80 mmHg had their antihypertensive medications replaced by amlodipine during 6 weeks. They were then randomized to either benazepril or losartan for 12 additional weeks while continuing on amlodipine. Blood pressure (assessed with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, endothelial function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, and vascular stiffness (pulse wave velocity were evaluated before and after the combined treatment. In this study, a post hoc analysis was performed to compare patients who were or were not on statins (SU and NSU groups, respectively.Results:The SU group presented a greater reduction in the 24-hour systolic blood pressure (from 134 to 122 mmHg, p = 0.007, and in the brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (from 6.5 to 10.9%, p = 0.003 when compared with the NSU group (from 137 to 128 mmHg, p = 0.362, and from 7.5 to 8.3%, p = 0.820. There was no statistically significant difference in pulse wave velocity (SU group: from 9.95 to 9.90 m/s, p = 0.650; NSU group: from 10.65 to 11.05 m/s, p = 0.586.Conclusion:Combined use of statins, amlodipine, and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors improves the antihypertensive response and endothelial function in patients with hypertension and diabetes.

  13. Use of anodes with tunable work function for improving organic light-emitting diode performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meng-Chi; Lo, Yen-Ming; Liao, Shih-Fang; Chen, Hsi-Chao; Chang, Hsin-Hua; Lee, Cheng-Chung; Kuo, Chien-Cheng

    2015-12-01

    The effect of reactive gases-oxygen and hydrogen-on the tunable work function of Al-doped ZnO (AZO) films was studied. An increase in the work function with an increase in the oxygen flow rate was mainly interpreted as reflecting a decrease in the carrier concentration, which was attributed to the filling of oxygen vacancies. However, a decrease in the carrier concentration would result in the resistivity increasing sharply. This article presents a new concept for improving the performance of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) through easy and effective hole injection from a multilayer AZO anode to the organic layer. A bilayer AZO film prepared using a tunable work function technique was used to modify the surface of AZO anodes and to ensure that the anodes had low resistivity. The AZO anode stacked with high-work-function AZO films, similar to hole transport buffer layers, had a low turn-on voltage of 2.89 V, and its luminance efficiency and power efficiency were 5.01% and 6.1% greater than those of tin-doped indium oxide anodes used in OLEDs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HA Davari

    2005-03-01

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

  15. Improving microbial fitness in the mammalian gut by in vivo temporal functional metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaung, Stephanie J; Deng, Luxue; Li, Ning; Braff, Jonathan L; Church, George M; Bry, Lynn; Wang, Harris H; Gerber, Georg K

    2015-03-11

    Elucidating functions of commensal microbial genes in the mammalian gut is challenging because many commensals are recalcitrant to laboratory cultivation and genetic manipulation. We present Temporal FUnctional Metagenomics sequencing (TFUMseq), a platform to functionally mine bacterial genomes for genes that contribute to fitness of commensal bacteria in vivo. Our approach uses metagenomic DNA to construct large-scale heterologous expression libraries that are tracked over time in vivo by deep sequencing and computational methods. To demonstrate our approach, we built a TFUMseq plasmid library using the gut commensal Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt) and introduced Escherichia coli carrying this library into germfree mice. Population dynamics of library clones revealed Bt genes conferring significant fitness advantages in E. coli over time, including carbohydrate utilization genes, with a Bt galactokinase central to early colonization, and subsequent dominance by a Bt glycoside hydrolase enabling sucrose metabolism coupled with co-evolution of the plasmid library and E. coli genome driving increased galactose utilization. Our findings highlight the utility of functional metagenomics for engineering commensal bacteria with improved properties, including expanded colonization capabilities in vivo.

  16. Improvement of cognitive function after a three-month pulmonary rehabilitation program for COPD patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Eanes D B; Viana, Cinthya Sampaio; Taunay, Tauily C E; Sales, Penha U; Lima, Jose W O; Holanda, Marcelo A

    2011-08-01

    The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation program on cognitive function in COPD patients, adjusting for potential confounders (gender, age, tobacco consumption, and educational level). In this prospective study, 34 COPD patients were submitted to neuropsychological testing before and after a 3-month pulmonary rehabilitation program. A control group with 18 healthy subjects of similar age, sex, and educational status was used to compare the cognitive function of COPD patients and healthy subjects at baseline. The association between the rehabilitation and change on th scores of cognitive variables, adjusted for each covariate, was estimated by means of linear random-intercept regression models. At baseline, the COPD patients had worse cognitive function with regard to verbal learning, memory, subjective organization, and verbal processing in comparison to the healthy volunteers. The improvement in cognitive performance by the COPD patients was evidenced even after adjusting for the sociodemographic factors that could potentially interfere on cognitive function. Male gender and age less than 65 years old were associated to higher scores in verbal learning and memory at baseline and after the rehabilitation program. The clinical approach to COPD-induced cognitive dysfunction should include participation in pulmonary rehabilitation programs. There were gender- and age-related differences in cognitive scores that persisted after rehabilitation.

  17. Improving microbial fitness in the mammalian gut by in vivo temporal functional metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaung, Stephanie J; Deng, Luxue; Li, Ning; Braff, Jonathan L; Church, George M; Bry, Lynn; Wang, Harris H; Gerber, Georg K

    2015-03-01

    Elucidating functions of commensal microbial genes in the mammalian gut is challenging because many commensals are recalcitrant to laboratory cultivation and genetic manipulation. We present Temporal FUnctional Metagenomics sequencing (TFUMseq), a platform to functionally mine bacterial genomes for genes that contribute to fitness of commensal bacteria in vivo. Our approach uses metagenomic DNA to construct large-scale heterologous expression libraries that are tracked over time in vivo by deep sequencing and computational methods. To demonstrate our approach, we built a TFUMseq plasmid library using the gut commensal Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt) and introduced Escherichia coli carrying this library into germfree mice. Population dynamics of library clones revealed Bt genes conferring significant fitness advantages in E. coli over time, including carbohydrate utilization genes, with a Bt galactokinase central to early colonization, and subsequent dominance by a Bt glycoside hydrolase enabling sucrose metabolism coupled with co-evolution of the plasmid library and E. coli genome driving increased galactose utilization. Our findings highlight the utility of functional metagenomics for engineering commensal bacteria with improved properties, including expanded colonization capabilities in vivo.

  18. MS Non-Pharmacological Countermeasure to Decrease Landing Sickness and Improve Functional Performance While Disorientad

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, M. J. F.; Kreutzberg, G. A.; Galvan-Garza, R. C.; Mulavara, A. P.; Reschke, M. F.

    2017-01-01

    Upon return from spaceflight, a majority of crewmembers experience motion sickness (MS) symptoms. The interactions between crewmembers' adaptation to a gravitational transition, the performance decrements resulting from MS and/or use of promethazine (PMZ), and the constraints imposed by mission task demands could significantly challenge and limit an astronaut's ability to perform functional tasks during gravitational transitions. No operational countermeasure currently exists to mitigate the risks associated with these sensorimotor disturbances. Stochastic resonance (SR) can be thought of simply as "noise benefit" or an increase in information transfer by a system when in the presence of a non-zero level of noise. We have shown that low levels of stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) improve balance and locomotor performance due to SR (Goel et al. 2015, Mulavara et al. 2011, 2015). Additionally, a study in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) hemi-lesioned rat model of Parkinson's disease demonstrated improvements in locomotor activity after low-level SVS delivery possibly due to an increase in nigral gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release in a dopamine independent way (Samoudi et al. 2012). SVS specifically increased GABA release on the lesioned, but not the intact side. These results suggest that SVS can cause targeted alterations of GABA release to affect performance of functional tasks. Activation of the GABA pathway is important in modulating MS and promoting adaptability (Cohen 2008). Magnusson et al. (2000) supported this finding by showing that the administration of a GABAB agonist caused a reversal of the symptoms that is normally seen after unilateral labyrinthectomy. Thus, GABA could play a significant role in reducing MS and promoting adaptability. We have taken advantage of the SR mechanism as a modulator of neurotransmitters to develop a unique SVS countermeasure system to mitigate MS symptoms and improve functional performance after landing. Healthy

  19. Theophylline and salbutamol improve pulmonary function in patients with irreversible chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P; Pugsley, J A; Stewart, J H

    1992-01-01

    To investigate the efficacy of bronchodilators in patients with irreversible chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we conducted a double-blind, randomized, four-phase, crossover comparison between placebo, oral theophylline, inhaled salbutamol, and a combination of both drugs in 12 patients with stable COPD (mean age, 63 years) whose increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was less than or equal to 15 percent following 200 micrograms of inhaled salbutamol. Patients received two weeks of therapy with each of the test regimens. Both theophylline and salbutamol resulted in statistically significant improvement in FEV1, forced vital capacity (FVC), slow vital capacity (SVC), residual volume (RV), airway resistance (Raw), and maximum expiratory flow rate at 50 percent of vital capacity (V50). In most instances, there were no significant differences between theophylline and salbutamol. Combination therapy produced significantly greater improvement in FEV1, FVC, V50, Raw, and RV than either agent alone. The two drugs interacted in an additive fashion. Neither of the drugs, used singly, significantly reduced the severity or incidence of symptoms. The reduction in dyspnea and wheeze during combination therapy approached statistical significance (p = 0.06) and patient preference was significantly in favor of the combination regimen. None of the active treatments produced significantly more side effects than placebo. We conclude that theophylline and inhaled salbutamol produce significant, and approximately equal, improvement in pulmonary function in patients traditionally classified as suffering from "irreversible" COPD. The combination of theophylline and inhaled salbutamol generally results in additional improvement over that obtained with either drug used alone and this improvement is reflected by reduced symptomatology and treatment preference.

  20. Functional Improvement Among Short-Stay Nursing Home Residents in the MDS 3.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysocki, Andrea; Thomas, Kali S.; Mor, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the completeness of the activities of daily living (ADL) items on admission and discharge assessments and the improvement in ADL performance among short-stay residents in the newly adopted Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0. Design Retrospective analysis of MDS admission and discharge assessments. Setting Nursing homes from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Participants New nursing home residents admitted from acute hospitals with corresponding admission and discharge assessments between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, who had a length of stay of 100 days or less. Measurements ADL self-performance items, including bed mobility, transfer, walking in room, walking in corridor, locomotion on unit, locomotion off unit, dressing, eating, toilet use, and personal hygiene, at admission and discharge. Results The ADL self-performance items are complete at both admission and discharge, with less than 1% missing for any item. More than 60% of residents improved over the course of their post-acute stay. New short-stay nursing home residents with conditions such as cognitive impairment, delirium, dementia, heart failure, and stroke showed less improvement in ADL performance during their stay. Conclusion The discharge assessment data in the MDS 3.0 provide new information to researchers and providers to examine and track ADL performance. Nursing homes can identify and track patients who require more intensive therapies or targeted interventions to achieve functional improvement during their stay. Future research can examine facility-level measures to better understand how ADL improvement varies across facilities. PMID:25659622

  1. Anti-inflammatory thalidomide improves islet grafts survival and functions in a xenogenic environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunguang Chen

    Full Text Available Thalidomide possesses both anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties. This study investigates its potential application in islet transplantation with a xenogenic transplantation model. Transplantation was performed using C57Bl/6 mice and NMRI nu/nu mice as recipients of porcine islets. Moreover, islet graft vasculature and inflammation were investigated to identify the mechanisms of thalidomide action. In the immunocompetent environment of C57Bl/6 mice, a fast graft rejection was observed. The group treated with thalidomide 200 mg/kg BW per day achieved and maintained euglycemia in the complete observation period for 42 days. The treated mice had more functional islet graft mass with less leukocyte infiltration. The pro-inflammatory TNF-alpha and VEGF content in islet grafted kidneys was significantly lowered by the treatment. By comparison, thalidomide was not effective in improving graft survival in immunocompromised nude mice. It strongly inhibited the VEGF and TNF-alpha-induced endothelial proliferation of isolated pig islets in a dose dependent manner. The magnitude of thalidomide's inhibitory effect was nearly identical to the effect of VEGF- receptor 2 inhibitor SU416 and anti-TNF-receptor 1 neutralizing antibody, and was reversed by sphingosine-1-phosphate. In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory effect of thalidomide improved islet graft survival and function in a transplantation model with a maximum immune barrier.

  2. Fenbendazole improves pathological and functional recovery following traumatic spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, C G; Singh, R; Crowdus, C; Raza, K; Kincer, J; Geddes, J W

    2014-01-03

    During a study of spinal cord injury (SCI), mice in our colony were treated with the anthelmintic fenbendazole to treat pinworms detected in other mice not involved in the study. As this was not part of the original experimental design, we subsequently compared pathological and functional outcomes of SCI in female C57BL/6 mice who received fenbendazole (150 ppm, 8 mg/kg body weight/day) for 4 weeks prior to moderate contusive SCI (50 kdyn force) as compared to mice on the same diet without added fenbendazole. The fenbendazole-treated mice exhibited improved locomotor function, determined using the Basso mouse scale, as well as improved tissue sparing following contusive SCI. Fenbendazole may exert protective effects through multiple possible mechanisms, one of which is inhibition of the proliferation of B lymphocytes, thereby reducing antibody responses. Autoantibodies produced following SCI contribute to the axon damage and locomotor deficits. Fenbendazole pretreatment reduced the injury-induced CD45R-positive B cell signal intensity and IgG immunoreactivity at the lesion epicenter 6 weeks after contusive SCI in mice, consistent with a possible effect on the immune response to the injury. Fenbendazole and related benzimadole antihelmintics are FDA approved, exhibit minimal toxicity, and represent a novel group of potential therapeutics targeting secondary mechanisms following SCI.

  3. Can physical exercise in old age improve memory and hippocampal function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duzel, Emrah; van Praag, Henriette; Sendtner, Michael

    2016-03-01

    Physical exercise can convey a protective effect against cognitive decline in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. While the long-term health-promoting and protective effects of exercise are encouraging, it's potential to induce neuronal and vascular plasticity in the ageing brain is still poorly understood. It remains unclear whether exercise slows the trajectory of normal ageing by modifying vascular and metabolic risk factors and/or consistently boosts brain function by inducing structural and neurochemical changes in the hippocampus and related medial temporal lobe circuitry-brain areas that are important for learning and memory. Hence, it remains to be established to what extent exercise interventions in old age can improve brain plasticity above and beyond preservation of function. Existing data suggest that exercise trials aiming for improvement and preservation may require different outcome measures and that the balance between the two may depend on exercise intensity and duration, the presence of preclinical Alzheimer's disease pathology, vascular and metabolic risk factors and genetic variability.

  4. Can Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improve Cognitive Functioning in Adults with Schizophrenia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schretlen, David J; van Steenburgh, Joseph J; Varvaris, Mark; Vannorsdall, Tracy D; Andrejczuk, Megan A; Gordon, Barry

    2014-11-03

    Cognitive impairment is nearly ubiquitous in schizophrenia. First-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia often show similar but milder deficits. Current methods for the treatment of schizophrenia are often ineffective in cognitive remediation. Since transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can enhance cognitive functioning in healthy adults, it might provide a viable option to enhance cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to explore whether tDCS can be tolerated by persons with schizophrenia and potentially improve their cognitive functioning. We examined the effects of anodal versus cathodal tDCS on working memory and other cognitive tasks in five outpatients with schizophrenia and six first-degree relatives of persons with schizophrenia. Each participant completed tasks thought to be mediated by the prefrontal cortex during two 30-minute sessions of tDCS to the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC improved performance relative to cathodal stimulation on measures of working memory and aspects of verbal fluency relevant to word retrieval. The patient group showed differential changes in novel design production without alteration of overall productivity, suggesting that tDCS might be capable of altering selfmonitoring and executive control. All participants tolerated tDCS well. None withdrew from the study or experienced any adverse reaction. We conclude that adults with schizophrenia can tolerate tDCS while engaging in cognitive tasks and that tDCS can alter their performance.

  5. Balance Exercises Circuit improves muscle strength, balance, and functional performance in older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avelar, Bruna Pereira; Costa, Juliana Nunes de Almeida; Safons, Marisete Peralta; Dutra, Maurílio Tiradentes; Bottaro, Martim; Gobbi, Sebastião; Tiedemann, Anne; de David, Ana Cristina; Lima, Ricardo Moreno

    2016-02-01

    This study introduces the Balance Exercises Circuit (BEC) and examines its effects on muscle strength and power, balance, and functional performance in older women. Thirty-five women aged 60+ (mean age = 69.31, SD = 7.35) were assigned to either a balance exercises group (BG, n = 14) that underwent 50-min sessions twice weekly, of a 12-week BEC program, or a wait-list control group (CG, n = 21). Outcome measures were knee extensor peak torque (PT), rate of force development (RFD), balance, Timed Up & Go (TUG), 30-s chair stand, and 6-min walk tests, assessed at baseline and 12 weeks. Twenty-three participants completed follow-up assessments. Mixed analysis of variance models examined differences in outcomes. The BG displayed improvements in all measures at follow-up and significantly improved compared with CG on, isokinetic PT60, PT180 (p = 0.02), RFD (p balance with eyes closed (p values range .02 to balance, and functionality in older women. The BEC warrants further investigation as a fall prevention intervention.

  6. Moderate Resistive Training Maintains Bone Mineral Density and Improves Functional Fitness in Postmenopausal Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Sales Bocalini

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Twenty five subjects were randomized to untrained (UN and resistive-trained (RT groups. The RT group exercised three sessions per week at 60%–70% of the load according to individual 1RM test during 24 weeks. Both groups were evaluated before and after protocol period assessing lumbar spine (LS and femoral neck (FN BMD by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, VO2 max, and neuromuscular fitness. After 24 weeks, there were significant reductions in LS (0.89±0.16% loss and FN BMD (1.54±0.35% loss for UN but no change was found in the TR (LS: 0.01±0.12% and FN: 0.04±0.05% loss. The UN group had no changes in neuromuscular performance. However, RT exhibited a significant improvement on the functional fitness parameters evaluated, with the exception of agility. Our results indicate RT suppresses the decline in BMD and simultaneously improves the functional fitness of postmenopausal women without hormone replacement therapy, which may reduce fall risk and related bone fractures.

  7. Cyclophilin D deficiency improves mitochondrial function and learning/memory in aging Alzheimer disease mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Heng; Guo, Lan; Zhang, Wensheng; Rydzewska, Monika; Yan, Shidu

    2011-03-01

    Mitochondrial stress is one of the early features of Alzheimer disease (AD). Mitochondrial Aβ has been linked to mitochondrial toxicity. Our recent study demonstrated that cyclophilin D (CypD) mediated mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is an important mechanism for neuronal and synaptic stress induced by both Aβ and oxidative stress. In transgenic AD-type mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Aβ (mAPP), CypD deficiency improves mitochondrial and synaptic function and learning/memory up to 12 months old. Here we provide evidence of the protective effects of CypD deficiency in aged AD mice (22-24 months). Cyp D deficient mAPP mice demonstrate less calcium-induced mitochondrial swelling, increased mitochondrial calcium uptake capacity, preserved mitochondrial respiratory function and improved spatial learning/memory even in old age (known to be the age for late stage AD pathology and synaptic dysfunction). These data demonstrate that abrogation of CypD results in persistent life-long protection against Aβ toxicity in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, thereby suggesting that blockade of CypD may be of benefit for Alzheimer disease treatment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. de la Puente

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Improvements of postburn renal function by early enteral feeding and their possible mechanisms in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Zhu; Zong-Cheng Yang; De-Chang Chen

    2003-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the protective effects of early enteral feeding (EEF) on postburn impairments of renal function and their possible mechanisms.METHODS: Wistar rats with 30 % of total body surface area (TBSA) full-thickness burn were adopted as the experimental model. The effects of EEF on the postburn changes of gastric intramucosal pH (pHi), endotoxin levels in portal vein, water contents of renal tissue, and blood concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine (Ct), as well as the changes of clearance of creatinine (CCr) were dynamically observed within 48 h postburn.RESULTS: EEF could significantly improve gastric mucosal acidosis, reduce portal vein endotoxin levels and water contents of renal tissue, as well as blood concentrations of TNF<α after severe burns (P<0.01). The postburn elevations of BUN and BCr were not found to be recovered by EEF.However, the CCr in EEF group was greatly increased by 4.67-fold compared with that of the non-feeding burned control (16.43±2.90 vs. 3.52±0.79, P<0.01).CONCLUSION: EEF has beneficial effects on the improvement of renal function in severely burned rats, which may be related to its increase of splanchnic blood flow,decrease of the translocation of gut-origin endotoxin and the release of inflammatory mediators.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, K J; Zhang, Jizhong; Han, Ling; Kamocka, Malgorzata; Miller, Caroline; Gattone, Vincent H; Dominguez, Jesus H

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Functional characterization of a gibberellin receptor and its application in alfalfa biomass improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuemin; Li, Jun; Ban, Liping; Wu, Yudi; Wu, Xinming; Wang, Yunqi; Wen, Hongyu; Chapurin, Vladimir; Dzyubenko, Nikolay; Li, Zhiyong; Wang, Zan; Gao, Hongwen

    2017-01-01

    Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) are essential phytohormones involved in the regulation of many aspects of plant development. GA receptors are crucial in GA signal transduction in plants. The GA receptor GoGID1 promotes plant elongation and improves biomass production when ectopically expressed in tobacco. Here, we discovered that GoGID1 can interact with the DELLA proteins of Arabidopsis in the presence of gibberellic acid. GoGID1 partially or completely functionally rescued the phenotypes of the Arabidopsis double-mutants atgid1a/atgid1c and atgid1a/atgid1b. The overexpression of GoGID1 led to increases in plant height and biomass production in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The GoGID1 gene enhanced GA sensitivity of the transgenic plants. More importantly, transgenic alfalfa plants overexpressing GoGID1 exhibited increased growth rates, heights and biomass and produced larger leaves when compared with the control plants. Thus, GoGID1 functions as a GA receptor, playing multiple roles in plant growth and development. The GoGID1 gene has the potential to be used in the genetic engineering of forage crops for biomass improvement. PMID:28128230

  12. Coffee polyphenols improve peripheral endothelial function after glucose loading in healthy male adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochiai, Ryuji; Sugiura, Yoko; Shioya, Yasushi; Otsuka, Kazuhiro; Katsuragi, Yoshihisa; Hashiguchi, Teruto

    2014-02-01

    Brewed coffee is a widely consumed beverage, and many studies have examined its effects on human health. We investigated the vascular effects of coffee polyphenols (CPPs), hypothesizing that a single ingestion of CPP during glucose loading would improve endothelial function. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a randomized acute clinical intervention study with crossover design and measured reactive hyperemia index (RHI) to assess the acute effects of a 75-g glucose load with CPP in healthy, nondiabetic adult men. Blood glucose and insulin levels were elevated after glucose loading with and without CPP, with no significant differences between treatments. The RHI did not significantly decrease after glucose loading without CPP. With CPP, however, RHI significantly (P < .05) increased over baseline after glucose loading. The difference between treatments was statistically significant (P < .05). No significant changes were observed in an oxidative stress marker after glucose loading with or without CPP. These findings suggest that a single ingestion of CPP improves peripheral endothelial function after glucose loading in healthy subjects.

  13. Improving prefrontal cortex function in schizophrenia through focused training of cognitive control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany G Edwards

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that individuals with schizophrenia show deficits in cognitive control functions thought to depend on the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC, and its interactions with related regions. The current study explored the effects of instructed strategy training on improving cognitive control functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Event-related fMRI was used to test whether effects of such training were associated with changes in brain activity dynamics during task performance. Patients with schizophrenia (N=22 performed the AX-CPT cognitive control task in two-sessions, with the first occurring pre-training and second following strategy training. The training protocol emphasized direct encoding of contextual cues and updating response selection goals in accordance with cue information. A matched group of healthy controls (N=14 underwent the same protocol but were only scanned in the pre-training session. In the pre-training session, patients exhibited behavioral evidence of impaired utilization of contextual cue information, along with reduced cue-related activity – but increased activation during probe and response periods – in a network of regions associated with cognitive control, centered on the lateral PFC. Following training, this pattern of activation dynamics significantly shifted, normalizing towards the pattern observed in controls. These activation effects were associated with both clinical symptoms and behavioral performance improvements. The results suggest that focused strategy training may facilitate cognitive task performance in patients with schizophrenia by changing the dynamics of activity within critical control-related brain regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Y; Li, Y P; He, F; Liu, X Q; Zhang, J Y

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy promotes the improvement and recovery of renal function in a preclinical model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antônio Urt Filho

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Acute renal failure (ARF is an extremely important public health issue in need of novel therapies. The present study aimed to evaluate the capacity of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC therapy to promote the improvement and recovery of renal function in a preclinical model. Wistar rats were used as the experimental model, and our results show that cisplatin (5mg/kg can efficiently induce ARF, as measured by changes in biochemical (urea and creatinine and histological parameters. MSC therapy performed 24h after the administration of chemotherapy resulted in normalized plasma urea and creatinine levels 30 and 45d after the onset of kidney disease. Furthermore, MSC therapy significantly reduced histological changes (intratubular cast formation in protein overload nephropathy and tubular hydropic degeneration in this ARF model. Thus, considering that current therapies for ARF are merely palliative and that MSC therapy can promote the improvement and recovery of renal function in this model system, we suggest that innovative/alternative therapies involving MSCs should be considered for clinical studies in humans to treat ARF.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K J Kelly

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Method of Improving a Digital Image as a Function of its Dynamic Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodell, Glenn (Inventor); Jobson, Daniel J. (Inventor); Rahman, Zia-ur (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    The present invention is a method of processing a digital image that is initially represented by digital data indexed to represent position on a display. The digital data is indicative of an intensity value I(sub i)(x,y) for each position (x,y) in each i-th spectral band. A classification of the image based on its dynamic range is then defined in each of the image's S spectral bands. The intensity value for each position in each i-th spectral band is adjusted to generate an adjusted intensity value for each position in each i-th spectral band in accordance with SIGMA (sup n)(sub n=1) W(sub n)(log I (sub i)(x,y) - log[I(sub i)(x,y)*F(sub n)(x,y)]), i=1,...,S where W(sub n) is a weighting factor, "*" is the convolution operator and S is the total number of unique spectral bands. For each n, the function F(sub n)(x,y) is a unique surround function applied to each position (x,y) and N is the total number of unique surround functions. Each unique surround function is scaled to improve some aspect of the digital image, e.g., dynamic range compression, color constancy, and lightness rendition. The adjusted intensity value to each position in each i-th spectral band of the image is then filtered with a filter function that is based on the dynamic range classification of the image.

  19. Administration of sesamol improved blood-brain barrier function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanGilder, R L; Kelly, K A; Chua, M D; Ptachcinski, R L; Huber, Jason D

    2009-07-01

    Uncontrolled or poorly controlled blood glucose during diabetes is an important factor in worsened vascular function. While evidence suggests that hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress plays a prominent role in development of microangiopathy of the retina, kidney, and nerves, the role oxidative stress plays on blood-brain barrier (BBB) function and structure has lagged behind. In this study, a natural antioxidant, sesamol, was administered to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats to examine the role that oxidative stress plays on BBB structure and function. Experiments were conducted at 56 days after STZ injection. Male Sprague-Dawley rats randomly were divided into four treatment groups CON--control; STZ--STZ-induced diabetes; CON + S--control + sesamol; STZ + S--STZ-induced diabetes + sesamol. Functional and structural changes to the BBB were measured by in situ brain perfusion and western blot analysis of changes in tight junction protein expression. Oxidative stress markers were visualized by fluorescent confocal microscopy and assayed by spectrophotometric analysis. Results demonstrated that the increased BBB permeability observed in STZ-induced diabetic rats was attenuated in STZ + S rats to levels observed in CON. Sesamol treatment reduced the negative impact of STZ-induced diabetes on tight junction protein expression in isolated cerebral microvessels. Oxidative stress markers were elevated in STZ as compared to CON. STZ + S displayed an improved antioxidant capacity which led to a reduced expression of superoxide and peroxynitrite and reduced lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, this study showed that sesamol treatment enhanced antioxidant capacity of the diabetic brain and led to decreased perturbation of hyperglycemia-induced changes in BBB structure and function.

  20. Direct measurement and calibration of the Kepler CCD Pixel Response Function for improved photometry and astrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninkov, Zoran

    Stellar images taken with telescopes and detectors in space are usually undersampled, and to correct for this, an accurate pixel response function is required. The standard approach for HST and KEPLER has been to measure the telescope PSF combined ("convolved") with the actual pixel response function, super-sampled by taking into account dithered or offset observed images of many stars (Lauer [1999]). This combined response function has been called the "PRF" (Bryson et al. [2011]). However, using such results has not allowed astrometry from KEPLER to reach its full potential (Monet et al. [2010], [2014]). Given the precision of KEPLER photometry, it should be feasible to use a pre-determined detector pixel response function (PRF) and an optical point spread function (PSF) as separable quantities to more accurately correct photometry and astrometry for undersampling. Wavelength (i.e. stellar color) and instrumental temperature should be affecting each of these differently. Discussion of the PRF in the "KEPLER Instrument Handbook" is limited to an ad-hoc extension of earlier measurements on a quite different CCD. It is known that the KEPLER PSF typically has a sharp spike in the middle, and the main bulk of the PSF is still small enough to be undersampled, so that any substructure in the pixel may interact significantly with the optical PSF. Both the PSF and PRF are probably asymmetric. We propose to measure the PRF for an example of the CCD sensors used on KEPLER at sufficient sampling resolution to allow significant improvement of KEPLER photometry and astrometry, in particular allowing PSF fitting techniques to be used on the data archive.

  1. Combining Satellite and Ground Magnetic Measurements to Improve Estimates of Electromagnetic Induction Transfer Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasis, G.; Egbert, G. D.

    2005-12-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) induction studies using satellite and ground-based magnetic data may ultimately provide critical new constraints on the electrical conductivity of Earth's mantle. Unlike ground-based observatories, which leave large areas of the Earth (especially the ocean basins) unsampled, satellites have the potential for nearly complete global coverage. However, because the number of operating satellites is limited, spatially complex (especially non-zonal) external current sources are sampled relatively poorly by satellites at any fixed time. The comparatively much larger number of ground-based observatories provides more complete synoptic sampling of external source structure. By combining data from both satellites and observatories models of external sources can be improved, leading to more reliable global mapping of Earth conductivity. For example, estimates of EM induction transfer functions estimated from night-side CHAMP data have been previously shown to have biases which depend systematically on local time (LT). This pattern of biases suggests that a purely zonal model does not adequately describe magnetospheric sources. As a first step toward improved modeling of spatial complexity in sources, we have applied empirical orthogonal function (EOF) methods to exploratory analysis of night-side observatory data. After subtraction of the predictions of the CM4 comprehensive model, which includes a zonally symmetric storm-time correction based on Dst, we find significant non-axisymmetric, but large scale coherent variability in the mid-latitude night-side observatory residuals. Over the restricted range of local times (18:00-6:00) and latitudes (50°S to 50°N) considered, the dominant spatial mode of variability is reasonably approximated by a q21 quadrupole spherical harmonic. Temporal variability of this leading EOF mode is well correlated with Dst. Strategies for moving beyond this initial exploratory EOF analysis to combine observatory data with

  2. Can Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Improve Success Rates in CNS Drug Discovery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borsook, David; Hargreaves, Richard; Becerra, Lino

    2011-01-01

    Introduction The bar for developing new treatments for CNS disease is getting progressively higher and fewer novel mechanisms are being discovered, validated and developed. The high costs of drug discovery necessitate early decisions to ensure the best molecules and hypotheses are tested in expensive late stage clinical trials. The discovery of brain imaging biomarkers that can bridge preclinical to clinical CNS drug discovery and provide a ‘language of translation’ affords the opportunity to improve the objectivity of decision-making. Areas Covered This review discusses the benefits, challenges and potential issues of using a science based biomarker strategy to change the paradigm of CNS drug development and increase success rates in the discovery of new medicines. The authors have summarized PubMed and Google Scholar based publication searches to identify recent advances in functional, structural and chemical brain imaging and have discussed how these techniques may be useful in defining CNS disease state and drug effects during drug development. Expert opinion The use of novel brain imaging biomarkers holds the bold promise of making neuroscience drug discovery smarter by increasing the objectivity of decision making thereby improving the probability of success of identifying useful drugs to treat CNS diseases. Functional imaging holds the promise to: (1) define pharmacodynamic markers as an index of target engagement (2) improve translational medicine paradigms to predict efficacy; (3) evaluate CNS efficacy and safety based on brain activation; (4) determine brain activity drug dose-response relationships and (5) provide an objective evaluation of symptom response and disease modification. PMID:21765857

  3. Functional improvement and maturation of rat and human engineered heart tissue by chronic electrical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirt, Marc N; Boeddinghaus, Jasper; Mitchell, Alice; Schaaf, Sebastian; Börnchen, Christian; Müller, Christian; Schulz, Herbert; Hubner, Norbert; Stenzig, Justus; Stoehr, Andrea; Neuber, Christiane; Eder, Alexandra; Luther, Pradeep K; Hansen, Arne; Eschenhagen, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    Spontaneously beating engineered heart tissue (EHT) represents an advanced in vitro model for drug testing and disease modeling, but cardiomyocytes in EHTs are less mature and generate lower forces than in the adult heart. We devised a novel pacing system integrated in a setup for videooptical recording of EHT contractile function over time and investigated whether sustained electrical field stimulation improved EHT properties. EHTs were generated from neonatal rat heart cells (rEHT, n=96) or human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (hEHT, n=19). Pacing with biphasic pulses was initiated on day 4 of culture. REHT continuously paced for 16-18 days at 0.5Hz developed 2.2× higher forces than nonstimulated rEHT. This was reflected by higher cardiomyocyte density in the center of EHTs, increased connexin-43 abundance as investigated by two-photon microscopy and remarkably improved sarcomere ultrastructure including regular M-bands. Further signs of tissue maturation include a rightward shift (to more physiological values) of the Ca(2+)-response curve, increased force response to isoprenaline and decreased spontaneous beating activity. Human EHTs stimulated at 2Hz in the first week and 1.5Hz thereafter developed 1.5× higher forces than nonstimulated hEHT on day 14, an ameliorated muscular network of longitudinally oriented cardiomyocytes and a higher cytoplasm-to-nucleus ratio. Taken together, continuous pacing improved structural and functional properties of rEHTs and hEHTs to an unprecedented level. Electrical stimulation appears to be an important step toward the generation of fully mature EHT.

  4. Coffee polyphenol consumption improves postprandial hyperglycemia associated with impaired vascular endothelial function in healthy male adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokura, Hiroko; Watanabe, Isamu; Umeda, Mika; Hase, Tadashi; Shimotoyodome, Akira

    2015-10-01

    Epidemiological studies indicate that habitual coffee consumption lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Postprandial hyperglycemia is a direct and independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. We previously demonstrated that coffee polyphenol ingestion increased secretion of Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which has been shown to exhibit anti-diabetic and cardiovascular effects. We hypothesized coffee polyphenol consumption may improve postprandial hyperglycemia and vascular endothelial function by increasing GLP-1 release and/or reducing oxidative stress. To examine this hypothesis, we conducted a randomized, acute, crossover, intervention study in healthy male adults, measuring blood parameters and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) after ingestion of a meal with or without coffee polyphenol extract (CPE). Nineteen subjects consumed a test meal with either a placebo- or CPE-containing beverage. Blood biomarkers and FMD were measured at fasting and up to 180 minutes postprandially. The CPE beverage led to a significantly lower peak postprandial increase in blood glucose and diacron-reactive oxygen metabolite, and significantly higher postprandial FMD than the placebo beverage. Postprandial blood GLP-1 increase tended to be higher after ingestion of the CPE beverage, compared with placebo. Subclass analysis revealed that the CPE beverage significantly improved postprandial blood GLP-1 response and reduced blood glucose increase in the subjects with a lower insulinogenic index. Correlation analysis showed postprandial FMD was negatively associated with blood glucose increase after ingestion of the CPE beverage. In conclusion, these results suggest that coffee polyphenol consumption improves postprandial hyperglycemia and vascular endothelial function, which is associated with increased GLP-1 secretion and decreased oxidative stress in healthy humans.

  5. Evidence of improved small airways function after azithromycin treatment in diffuse panbronchiolitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanon, Shane; Verbanck, Sylvia; Schuermans, Daniel; Vanden Berghe, Bram; Vanderhelst, Eef; Vincken, Walter

    2012-01-01

    A 67-year-old never-smoker was diagnosed with diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) and was started on 250 mg azithromycin twice weekly. Over a 16-month observation period, lung function was assessed monthly, including a dedicated small airways test, the multiple breath nitrogen washout (MBW) with indices S(cond) and S(acin) of ventilation heterogeneity at the level of the conductive and acinar air spaces, respectively. Baseline measurements indicated moderate airway obstruction, air trapping and considerable dysfunction of the small airways around the acinar entrance. Treatment resulted in excellent symptomatic improvement paralleled by marked improvements in FEV(1), FVC, RV/TLC, S(cond) and S(acin); by contrast, there were no consistent changes in FEF(75) or TL(CO). While improvements were such that S(cond) fell within normal limits after 5 months, S(acin) remained abnormal even after 16 months of treatment. This suggests a distinct acinar structural abnormality in DPB that cannot be reversed by azithromycin.

  6. VEGF-expressing Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Transplantation Improved Heart Function of Myocardial Infarct Rabbits

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sheng Xiaogang; Song Hui; Feng Jianzhang; Chen Qiuxiong; Wu Shulin

    2006-01-01

    Objectives To treat myocardial infarction with MSCs transplantation combined with VEGF gene therapy in rabbits and to study its mechanisms. Methods Forty-eight rabbits were randomly divided into MI group (n=12), MSCs group (n=12), VEGF group (n=12), MSCs+VEGF group (M+V group, n=12). Rabbit myocardial infarction models were founded by the ligation of left anterior descending artery. 107 MSCs were injected into the infarct-zone in four sites 2 weeks later in MSCs and M+V group. phVEGF gene were injected in infarct-zone in VEGF group and MSCs transfected with phVEGF gene were injected in M+V group. Heart function including LVEDP, LVSP, LVDP, -dp/dtmax, +dp/dtmax, were measured in vivo. The hearts were harvested at 4 weeks after transplantation and sectioned for HE stain,immunohistochemical stain of BrdU and Ⅷ factor antigen. Results The left ventricular hemodynamics parameters showed that heart function were improved more in M+V group than MSCs group, MI group and VEGF group. The numbers of BrdU positive cells in M+V group(61±8)were more than in MSCs group (44±8,P<0.01). The numbers of vessels in infarcted zone were more in M+V group (49±8) than in MSCs group (33±6, P<0.01)、VEGF group(30±8,P<0.01)and MI group (18±4,P<0.01). Conclusions VEGF-expressing MSCs transplantation could improve heart function after myocardial infarction, and they were more effective than sole MSCs transplantation. Keeping more MSCs survival and ameliorating the blood supply of infarct-zone might be involved in the mechanisms.

  7. Autologous transplantation of bone marrow mononuclear cells improved heart function after myocardial infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo-sheng LIN; Jing-jun L(U); Xue-jun JIANG; Xiao-yan LI; Geng-shan LI

    2004-01-01

    AIM: To investigate whether autologous transplantation of adult stem cells could improve post-infarcted heart function. METHODS: Bone marrow mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated from adult rabbits' tibias after coronary ligation. These cells were exposed to 5-azacytidine 10 μmol/L for 24 h on the third day of culture. After being labeled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), the cells were auto-transplanted into bordering zone of the infarcted area at 2 weeks after injury. The animals were killed at 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months after transplantation,respectively. The left ventricular functions, capillary density, and cardiac nerve density were measured and the differentiation of the engrafted cells was determined by immunostaining. RESULTS: BrdU-labeled MNCs were well aligned with the host cardiomyocytes. Parts of them were incorporated into capillary and arteriolar vessel walls. In addition to inducing angiogenic ligands (basic fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor) and imflammation cytokines (interleukin 1-β) during the early period of MNCs implantation, MNCs induced 2.0-fold increase in capillary density as well. Moreover, GAP43-positive and TH-positive nerve density were markedly higher in the MNCs-treated groups than that in the non-treated hearts. Left ventricular ejection fraction,LV+dp/dt and LV-dp/dtmax were 47 %, 67 %, and 55 % in MNCs-treated heart respectively, which was higher than that of the control heart, whereas left ventricular end-diastolic volume, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter,and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure were 45 %, 22 %, and 50 % respectively in MNCs-treated heart, which was lower than that of the control heart at 2 months after cell transplantation. CONCLUSION: Autologous transplantation of MNCs induced angiogenesis and nerve sprouting and improved left ventricular diastolic function.

  8. Vitamin D improves immune function in immunosuppressant mice induced by glucocorticoid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zongye; Wang, Ying; Xu, Bingxin; Liu, Junli; Ren, Ye; Dai, Zhuojie; Cui, Di; Su, Xiaoming; Si, Shaoyan; Song, Shu Jun

    2017-01-01

    Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin with multiple functions. Vitamin D receptor has been shown to be expressed in several types of immune cells suggesting vitamin D may have immune regulatory roles. Vitamin D insufficiency has been suggested to increase the risk of autoimmune diseases. However, little is known regarding its immunomodulatory effects in the condition of immune suppression. The aim of the present study was to investigate the regulatory effects of vitamin D on immune function in immunosuppressant mice. An immunosuppressant mouse model was induced by intraperitoneal injection with glucocorticiod for 3 days. Immunosuppressant mice were intragastrically administered with 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3; 0,4, 6 or 10 IU/g body weight] for 7 days. On day 8, the mice were decapitated. The body weight and the weights of thymus and spleen were measured. Thymus and spleen indexes were calculated. The ratio of CD4+/CD8+ T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, proliferation and interleukin-2 (IL-2) production of spleen T lymphocytes was detected. Compared with the mice in the control group, the body weight, thymus and spleen indexes, the ratios of CD4+/CD8+ in peripheral blood and IL-2 production and proliferation of spleen T lymphocytes were decreased in immunosuppressant mice induced by glucocorticiod. However, in vitamin D-treated mice, the thymus indexes, the ratios of CD4+/CD8+, secretion of IL-2 and the proliferation index of spleen T lymphocytes were significantly increased (P2D3, 6 IU/g was most effective in improving the immune function. These results indicate that vitamin D supplementation can improve immune recovery in immunosuppressant mice by stimulating T-cell proliferation and elevating IL-2 production. PMID:28123720

  9. Ketoprofen combined with artery graft entubulization improves functional recovery of transected peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, Rahim; Mehrtash, Moein; Nikonam, Nima; Mehrtash, Moied; Amini, Keyvan

    2014-12-01

    The objective was to assess the local effect of ketoprofen on sciatic nerve regeneration and functional recovery. Eighty healthy male white Wistar rats were randomized into four experimental groups of 20 animals each: In the transected group (TC), the left sciatic nerve was transected and nerve cut ends were fixed in the adjacent muscle. In the treatment group the defect was bridged using an artery graft (AG/Keto) filled with 10 microliter ketoprofen (0.1 mg/kg). In the artery graft group (AG), the graft was filled with phosphated-buffer saline alone. In the sham-operated group (SHAM), the sciatic nerve was exposed and manipulated. Each group was subdivided into four subgroups of five animals each and regenerated nerve fibres were studied at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks post operation. Behavioural testing, sciatic nerve functional study, gastrocnemius muscle mass and morphometric indices showed earlier regeneration of axons in AG/Keto than in AG group (p ketoprofen improved functional recovery and morphometric indices of the sciatic nerve. Local usage of this easily accessible therapeutic medicine is cost saving and avoids the problems associated with systemic administration.

  10. Improved executive functions in 6-12-year-old children following cognitively engaging tennis lessons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishihara, Toru; Sugasawa, Shigemi; Matsuda, Yusuke; Mizuno, Masao

    2016-11-16

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the relationships between cognitively engaging exercise (i.e., game-based and coordination exercises), executive functions (i.e., inhibitory control and working memory), and physical fitness. Forty junior tennis players (6-12 years old), who regularly participated in tennis lessons (2.55 years, SD = 1.61) prior to the study, were investigated. All participants completed evaluations of executive functions (inhibitory control and working memory) at rest. The duration of each lessons' instructional activities, including coordination training, game-based exercise, rallying, and non-physical activity (explanations and breaks), was recorded. Physical fitness was evaluated using the Tennis Field Test. A longer duration of game-based exercise was positively correlated with inhibitory control and physical fitness. Coordination training was associated with improved working memory. Non-physical activity was inversely correlated with inhibitory control, working memory, and physical fitness. The results suggest that game-based tennis lessons have beneficial effects on inhibitory control and physical fitness levels, and a longer duration of coordination training is associated with better working memory. The present study indicates that shortened non-physical activity time within a sports setting is associated with the development of executive functions and physical fitness.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siew Li Teoh

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker Dietz

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liaoliao Li

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdem Deveci

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-yong Bai

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liaoliao; Wang, Zhi; Zuo, Zhiyi

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Improved cardiac function and exercise capacity following correction of pectus excavatum: a review of current literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maagaard, Marie; Heiberg, Johan

    2016-09-01

    Patients with pectus excavatum (PE) often describe improvements in exercise stamina following corrective surgery. Studies have investigated the surgical effect on physiological parameters; still, no consensus has yet been reached. Therefore, the aim of this literature review was to describe the cardiac outcome after surgical correction, both at rest and during exercise. In February 2016, a detailed search of the databases PubMed, Medline, and EMBASE was performed. We assessed clinical studies that described cardiac outcomes both before and after surgical correction of PE. We only included studies reporting either pre-defined echocardiographic or exercise test parameters. No exclusion criteria or statistical analyses were applied. Twenty-one full-text articles, published between 1972 and 2016, were selected, with cohort-ranges of 3-168 patients, mean age-ranges of 5-33 years, and mean follow-up-ranges from immediately to 4 years after surgery. Twelve studies described resting cardiac parameters. Four studies measured cardiac output, where one described 36% immediate increase after surgery, one reported 15% increase after Nuss-bar removal and two found no difference. Three studies demonstrated improvement in mean stroke volume ranges of 22-34% and two studies found no difference. Fifteen studies investigated exercise capacity, with 11 considering peak O2 pr. kg, where five studies demonstrated improvements with the mean ranging from 8% to 15% after surgery, five studies demonstrated no difference, and one saw a decrease of 19% 3 months after Nuss-bar implantation. A measurable increase in exercise capacity exists following surgery, which may be caused by multiple factors. This may be owed to the relief of compressed cardiac chambers with the increased anterior-posterior thoracic dimensions, which could facilitate an improved filling of the heart. With these results, the positive physiological impact of the surgery is emphasized and the potential gain in cardiac

  20. Pulsed LLLT improves tendon healing in rats: a biochemical, organizational, and functional evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Flávia Da Ré; Vieira, Cristiano Pedrozo; dos Santos de Almeida, Marcos; Oliveira, Letícia Prado; Claro, Ana Carolina Ferreira; Simões, Gustavo Ferreira; de Oliveira, Alexandre Leite Rodrigues; Pimentel, Edson Rosa

    2014-03-01

    In the last decades, the tendon injuries have increased substantially. Previous results suggested that low-level laser treatment (LLLT) promotes synthesis of extracellular matrix and improves the functional properties of the tendon. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different protocols of LLLT on partially tenotomized tendons. Adult male rats were divided into the following: G1-intact, G2-injured, G3-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) continuous), G4-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) at 20 Hz). G2, G3, and G4 were euthanized 8 days after injury. G5-injured, G6-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) continuous), and G7-injured + LLL (4 J/cm(2) at 20 Hz until the seventh day and 2 kHz from 8 to 14 days). G5, G6, and G7 were euthanized on the 15th day. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) level was quantified by dimethylmethylene blue method and analyzed on agarose gel. Toluidine blue (TB) stain was used to observe metachromasy. CatWalk system was used to evaluate gait recovery. Collagen organization was analyzed by polarization microscopy. The GAG level increased in all transected groups, except G5. In G6 and G7, there was a significant increase in GAG in relation to G5. In G3 and G4, the presence of dermatan sulfate band was more prominent than G2. TB stains showed intense metachromasy in the treated groups. Birefringence analysis showed improvement in collagen organization in G7. The gait was significantly improved in G7. In conclusion, pulsed LLLT leads to increased organization of collagen bundles and improved gait recovery.

  1. rTMS neuromodulation improves electrocortical functional measures of information processing and behavioral responses in autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokhadze, Estate M.; El-Baz, Ayman S.; Sears, Lonnie L.; Opris, Ioan; Casanova, Manuel F.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Reports in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) of a minicolumnopathy with consequent deficits of lateral inhibition help explain observed behavioral and executive dysfunctions. We propose that neuromodulation based on low frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) will enhance lateral inhibition through activation of inhibitory double bouquet interneurons and will be accompanied by improvements in the prefrontal executive functions. In addition we proposed that rTMS will improve cortical excitation/inhibition ratio and result in changes manifested in event-related potential (ERP) recorded during cognitive tests. Materials and Methods: Along with traditional clinical behavioral evaluations the current study used ERPs in a visual oddball task with illusory figures. We compared clinical, behavioral and electrocortical outcomes in two groups of children with autism (TMS, wait-list group). We predicted that 18 session long course in autistic patients will have better behavioral and ERP outcomes as compared to age- and IQ-matched WTL group. We used 18 sessions of 1 Hz rTMS applied over the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in 27 individuals with ASD diagnosis. The WTL group was comprised of 27 age-matched subjects with ASD tested twice. Both TMS and WTL groups were assessed at the baseline and after completion of 18 weekly sessions of rTMS (or wait period) using clinical behavioral questionnaires and during performance on visual oddball task with Kanizsa illusory figures. Results: Post-TMS evaluations showed decreased irritability and hyperactivity on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), and decreased stereotypic behaviors on the Repetitive Behavior Scale (RBS-R). Following rTMS course we found decreased amplitude and prolonged latency in the frontal and fronto-central N100, N200 and P300 (P3a) ERPs to non-targets in active TMS treatment group. TMS resulted in increase of P2d (P2a to targets minus P2a to non-targets) amplitude. These ERP

  2. Vibrational Spectroscopy Investigation Using Ab Initio and Density Functional Theory Analysis on the Structure of tert-Butyl 3a-Chloroperhydro-2,6a-epoxyoxireno[e]isoindole-5-carboxylate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hakan Arslan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The molecular structure, vibrational frequencies, and infrared intensities of the tert-butyl 3a-chloroperhydro-2,6a-epoxyoxireno[e]isoindole-5-carboxylate were calculated by the HF and DFT (BLYP and B3LYP methods using 6-31G(d and 6-31G(d,p basis sets. The FT infrared spectrum of the solid sample was measured under standard condition. We obtained two stable conformers for the title compound; however Conformer 1 is approximately 0.2 kcal/mol more stable than the Conformer 2. The comparison of the theoretical and experimental geometry of the title compound shows that the X-ray parameters fairly well reproduce the geometry of Conformer 2. Comparison of the observed fundamental vibrational frequencies of the title molecule and calculated results by HF and DFT methods indicates that B3LYP is superior for molecular vibrational problems. The harmonic vibrations computed by the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p method are in a good agreement with the observed IR spectral data. Theoretical vibrational spectra of the title compound were interpreted by means of potential energy distributions (PEDs using VEDA 4 program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Byoung-Hee

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Renxiao

    2010-04-01

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

  6. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Correa Gonçalves

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrine Souissi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 8-week retraining programs, with either two or three training sessions per week, on measures of functional performance and muscular power in athletes with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR. Sixteen male athletes were randomly assigned to two groups after ACLR: a functional training group (FTG, n = 8 training 2 intense sessions per week (4hrs/week, and a control group (CG, n = 8 training 3 sessions per week with moderate intensity (6hrs/week. The two groups were assessed at four and six months post-ACLR and the effects of retraining were measured using the following assessments: the functional and the muscular power tests, and the agility T-test. After retraining, the FTG had improved more than the CG in the operated leg in the single leg hop test (+34.64% vs. +10.92%; large effect, the five jump test (+8.87% vs. +5.03%; medium effect, and single leg triple jump (+32.15% vs. +16.05%; medium effect. For the agility T-test, the FTG had larger improvements (+17.26% vs. +13.03%, medium effect as compared to the CG. For the bilateral power tests, no significant training effects were shown for the two groups in the squat jump (SJ, the counter movement jump (CMJ and the free arms CMJ (Arm CMJ. On the other hand, the unilateral CMJ test with the injured and the uninjured legs showed a significant increase for the FTG with respect to CG (p < 0.05. The present study introduces a new training modality in rehabilitation after ACLR that results in good recovery of the operated limb along with the contra-lateral leg. This may allow the athletes to reach good functional and strength performance with only two physical training sessions per week, better preparing them for a return to sport activity at 6 months post- ACLR and eventually sparing time for a possible progressive introduction of the sport specific technical training

  10. The Effect of Dexamethasone Iontophoresis on Decreasing Pain and Improving Function in Patients With Musculoskeletal Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Christopher D; Lauber, Christine A; Cappaert, Thomas

    2015-08-01

    Clinical Scenario: Iontophoresis is a method of local transfer of ionized medicated and nonmedicated substances through the skin and into the target tissues using magnetic polarization. The anti-inflammatory properties exhibited by dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DEX) combined with iontophoresis make it a potentially desirable treatment for clinicians wishing to administer a noninvasive localized drug concentration without having a large systemic concentration of that drug. Since concurrent treatments are commonly used in clinical practice, many of the published studies that included the use of DEX also used concurrent treatments. However, this may make it difficult for clinicians to determine the individual effectiveness of DEX iontophoresis in treating musculoskeletal conditions. Focused Clinical Question: Does DEX iontophoresis, alone, decrease pain and improve function in patients with musculoskeletal conditions when compared with placebo or control?

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-22

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. An efficient learning algorithm for improving generalization performance of radial basis function neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z O; Zhu, T

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents an efficient recursive learning algorithm for improving generalization performance of radial basis function (RBF) neural networks. The approach combines the rival penalized competitive learning (PRCL) [Xu, L., Kizyzak, A. & Oja, E. (1993). Rival penalized competitive learning for clustering analysis, RBF net and curve detection, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 4, 636-649] and the regularized least squares (RLS) to provide an efficient and powerful procedure for constructing a minimal RBF network that generalizes very well. The RPCL selects the number of hidden units of network and adjusts centers, while the RLS constructs the parsimonious network and estimates the connection weights. In the RLS we derived a simple recursive algorithm, which needs no matrix calculation, and so largely reduces the computational cost. This combined algorithm significantly enhances the generalization performance and the real-time capability of the RBF networks. Simulation results of three different problems demonstrate much better generalization performance of the present algorithm over other existing similar algorithms.

  14. Improving the hydrogen storage properties of metal-organic framework by functionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Liangzhi; Liu, Qing; Wang, Fengling; Lu, Jinming

    2016-10-01

    Based on the structure of MOF-808, different substituents were introduced to replace hydrogen atom on the phenyl ring of MOF-808. The GCMC method was used to study the effect of functional groups on the hydrogen storage properties of MOF-808-X (X = -OH, -NO2, -CH3, -CN, -I). The H2 uptakes and isosteric heat of adsorption were simulated at 77 K. The results indicate that all these substituents have favorable impact on the hydrogen storage capacity, and -CN is found to be the most promising substituent to improve H2 uptake. These results may be helpful for the design of MOFs with higher hydrogen storage capacity. Graphical abstract Atomistic structures of MOFs. (a) The structures of MOF-808-X. (b) Model of organic linker. Atom color scheme: C, gray; H, white; O, red; X, palegreen (X = -OH, -NO2, -CH3, -CN, -I).

  15. Performance Improvement of Distributed Coordination Function in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHU Yantai; DONG Linfang; WANG Guanghong; ZHANG Liang

    2006-01-01

    This paper proposes a modification to distributed coordination function (DCF) to improve the channel utilization in IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks (WLANs). In the modified DCF, when a station has contended for the channel, it may transmit multiple data frames continuously to the same destination, which is called transmission burst(TB). When the maximum number of data packets transmitted continuously in a TB is set to be 2, the performance is expected to be the best. The theoretical analysis and simulation results show that compared with the standard DCF, the modified DCF can increase the throughput and decrease the delay of the WLAN, and the modification does not introduce any additional control overhead.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEXANDRU, N. D.

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  18. Sirolimus conversion efficacy for graft function improvement and histopathology in renal recipients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Dong Jin; Yang, Chul Woo; Jeong, Hyeon Joo; Lim, Beom Jin; Huh, Kyu Ha; Chung, Byung Ha; Choi, Yeong Jin; Kang, Shin-Wook; Kim, Yu Seun

    2014-08-01

    This study was designed to evaluate whether sirolimus (SRL) conversion effectively improves renal function and histopathology in calcineurin inhibitor (CNI)-treated renal recipients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency. SRL conversion from CNI was performed in patients who underwent kidney transplantation from 6 months to 5 yr prior to screening. Forty-five patients were enrolled. The effect of SRL conversion on graft function was evaluated, and protocol biopsies were performed preconversion and 1 yr after conversion. Overall graft function after SRL conversion gradually improved, and the improvement in renal function was closely associated with the shorter duration of CNI exposure. When we divided the patients by the duration of CNI exposure, the patients with less than 1 yr of CNI exposure demonstrated significant improvement, but patients with a greater than 1 yr CNI exposure did not exhibit significant improvement. In contrast, protocol biopsies demonstrated no significant improvements in the modified "ah" score or other Banff scores after SRL conversion. Furthermore, the duration of CNI treatment prior to SRL conversion was not associated with histological findings 1 yr after SRL conversion. SRL conversion improved graft function in renal recipients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency, but this effect is not accompanied by histological improvement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A diet based on multiple functional concepts improves cardiometabolic risk parameters in healthy subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tovar Juscelino

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Different foods can modulate cardiometabolic risk factors in persons already affected by metabolic alterations. The objective of this study was to assess, in healthy overweight individuals, the impact of a diet combining multiple functional concepts on risk markers associated with cardiometabolic diseases (CMD. Methods Fourty-four healthy women and men (50-73 y.o, BMI 25-33, fasting glycemia ≤ 6.1 mmol/L participated in a randomized crossover intervention comparing a multifunctional (active diet (AD with a control diet (CD devoid of the "active" components. Each diet was consumed during 4 wk with a 4 wk washout period. AD included the following functional concepts: low glycemic impact meals, antioxidant-rich foods, oily fish as source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, viscous dietary fibers, soybean and whole barley kernel products, almonds, stanols and a probiotic strain (Lactobacillus plantarum Heal19/DSM15313. Results Although the aim was to improve metabolic markers without promoting body weight loss, minor weight reductions were observed with both diets (0.9-1.8 ± 0.2%; P P P P = 0.0056, LDL/HDL (-27 ± 2%; P P 1c (-2 ± 0.4%; P = 0.0013, hs-CRP (-29 ± 9%; P = 0.0497 and systolic blood pressure (-8 ± 1%¸ P = 0.0123. The differences remained significant after adjustment for weight change. After AD, the Framingham cardiovascular risk estimate was 30 ± 4% (P P Conclusion The improved biomarker levels recorded in healthy individuals following the multifunctional regime suggest preventive potential of this dietary approach against CMD.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle eAmado

    2016-04-01

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

  3. High hydrostatic pressure modification of whey protein concentrate for improved functional properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, S-Y; Swanson, B G; Clark, S

    2008-04-01

    Whey protein concentrate (WPC) has many applications in the food industry. Previous research demonstrated that treatment of whey proteins with high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) can enhance solubility and foaming properties of whey proteins. The objective of this study was to use HHP to improve functional properties of fresh WPC, compared with functional properties of reconstituted commercial whey protein concentrate 35 (WPC 35) powder. Fluid whey was ultrafiltered to concentrate proteins and reconstituted to equivalent total solids (8.23%) as reconstituted commercial WPC 35 powder. Solutions of WPC were treated with 300 and 400 MPa (0- and 15-min holding time) and 600 MPa (0-min holding time) pressure. After HHP, the solubility of the WPC was determined at both pH 4.6 and 7.0 using UDY and BioRad protein assay methods. Overrun and foam stability were determined after protein dispersions were whipped for 15 min. The protein solubility was greater at pH 7.0 than at pH 4.6, but there were no significant differences at different HHP treatment conditions. The maintenance of protein solubility after HHP indicates that HHP-treated WPC might be appropriate for applications to food systems. Untreated WPC exhibited the smallest overrun percentage, whereas the largest percentage for overrun and foam stability was obtained for WPC treated at 300 MPa for 15 min. Additionally, HHP-WPC treated at 300 MPa for 15 min acquired larger overrun than commercial WPC 35. The HHP treatment of 300 MPa for 0 min did not improve foam stability of WPC. However, WPC treated at 300 or 400 MPa for 15 min and 600 MPa for 0 min exhibited significantly greater foam stability than commercial WPC 35. The HHP treatment was beneficial to enhance overrun and foam stability of WPC, showing promise for ice cream and whipping cream applications.

  4. Regulation of Isotopic Composition of Water - way of Improvement of Cosmonauts Drinking Water Functional Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulikova, Ekaterina; Utina, Dina; Vorozhtsova, Svetlana; Severyuhin, Yuri; Abrosimova, Anna; Sinyak, Yuri; Ivanov, Alexander

    The problem in providing drinking water to cosmonauts is solved - at this moment there is a task to improve the functional properties of the water. One of the perspectives of this trend is the use of light isotopic water. The animal studies have shown that long-term consumption of water with a depletion of deuterium and oxygen heavy isotopes accelerates the rise of mass non-irradiated mice, the phase fluctuations reducing or increasing hematological parameters were having adaptive nature. These fluctuations didn’t overcome values beyond the physiological norm of this type of animal. It is established that the therapeutic use of light isotopic water with 35 - 90 ppm in deuterium increases the survival of irradiated mice by an average of 30%, contributes to the preservation of irradiated animals body weight. Treatment of acute radiation sickness with light isotopic water stimulates hematopoietic recovery. At the same time, keeping mice drinking light isotopic water for 7 - 8 days before the irradiation (from 4 to 8.5 Gr) has no effect on the level of radio resistance. Longer keeping mice on light isotopic water, for 14 -21 days - reduction in life expectancy, animal mass, bone marrow cellularity and the level of white blood cells in irradiated animals is noted. It was established that keeping mice on light isotopic water for 14 days before exposure in experimental animals causes an increase in the mitotic index and the frequency of formation of aberrant mitosis after 24 hours of Co(60) gamma radiation in doses of 1 , 2, and 4 Gr. Thus, it is clear that the regulation of the isotopic composition of drinking water - way to improve its functional properties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Liang

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-04-28

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

  8. Glycosaminoglycan mimetic improves enrichment and cell functions of human endothelial progenitor cell colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Fabien; Lavergne, Mélanie; Negroni, Elisa; Ferratge, Ségolène; Carpentier, Gilles; Gilbert-Sirieix, Marie; Siñeriz, Fernando; Uzan, Georges; Albanese, Patricia

    2014-05-01

    Human circulating endothelial progenitor cells isolated from peripheral blood generate in culture cells with features of endothelial cells named late-outgrowth endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFC). In adult blood, ECFC display a constant quantitative and qualitative decline during life span. Even after expansion, it is difficult to reach the cell dose required for cell therapy of vascular diseases, thus limiting the clinical use of these cells. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) are components from the extracellular matrix (ECM) that are able to interact and potentiate heparin binding growth factor (HBGF) activities. According to these relevant biological properties of GAG, we designed a GAG mimetic having the capacity to increase the yield of ECFC production from blood and to improve functionality of their endothelial outgrowth. We demonstrate that the addition of [OTR(4131)] mimetic during the isolation process of ECFC from Cord Blood induces a 3 fold increase in the number of colonies. Moreover, addition of [OTR(4131)] to cell culture media improves adhesion, proliferation, migration and self-renewal of ECFC. We provide evidence showing that GAG mimetics may have great interest for cell therapy applied to vascular regeneration therapy and represent an alternative to exogenous growth factor treatments to optimize potential therapeutic properties of ECFC.

  9. Investigation of Spectral Band Requirements for Improving Retrievals of Phytoplankton Functional Types

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    Aleksandra Wolanin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Studying phytoplankton functional types (PFTs from space is possible due to recent advances in remote sensing. Though a variety of products are available, the limited number of wavelengths available compared to the number of model parameters needed to be retrieved is still a major problem in using ocean-color data for PFT retrievals. Here, we investigated which band placement could improve retrievals of three particular PFTs (diatoms, coccolithophores and cyanobacteria. In addition to analyzing dominant spectral features in the absorption spectra of the target PFTs, two previously-developed methods using measured spectra were applied to simulated data. Such a synthetic dataset allowed for significantly increasing the number of scenarios and enabled a full control over parameters causing spectral changes. We evaluated the chosen band placement by applying an adapted ocean reflectance inversion, as utilized in the generalized inherent optical properties (GIOP retrieval. Results show that the optimal band settings depend on the method applied to determine the bands placement, as well as on the internal variability of the dataset investigated. Therefore, continuous hyperspectral instruments would be most beneficial for discriminating multiple PFTs, though a small improvement in spectral sampling and resolution does not significantly modify the results. Bands, which could be added to future instruments (e.g., Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI instrument on the upcoming Sentinel-3B,-3C,-3D, etc., and further satellites in order to enhance PFT retrieval capabilities, were also determined.

  10. Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldemir, M; Okulu, E; Neşelioğlu, S; Erel, O; Kayıgil, O

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the effects of Antep pistachio on International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) scores, penile color Doppler ultrasound (PCDU) parameters and serum lipid levels in patients with ED. A total of 17 married male patients with ED for at least 12 months were included in this prospective study. Patients were put on a 100 g pistachio nuts diet for 3 weeks. IIEF and PCDU were evaluated before and after the pistachio diet. In addition, plasma total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride were measured before and after dietary modifications from all subjects. Mean IIEF-15 score was 36 ± 7.5 before the diet and 54.2 ± 4.9 after the diet (P=0.001). Similarly, an increase in all five domains of IIEF was observed after the diet (Ppistachio diet were 35.5 ± 15.2 and 43.3 ± 12.4 cm s(-1), respectively (P=0.018). After the pistachio diet, TC and LDL levels decreased significantly, whereas HDL level increased (P=0.008, 0.007 and 0.001, respectively). We demonstrated that a pistachio diet improved IIEF scores and PCDU parameters without any associated side effects in patients with ED. Furthermore, the lipid parameters showed statistically significant improvements after this diet.

  11. Engineering upper hinge improves stability and effector function of a human IgG1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Boxu; Boyd, Daniel; Kaschak, Timothy; Tsukuda, Joni; Shen, Amy; Lin, Yuwen; Chung, Shan; Gupta, Priyanka; Kamath, Amrita; Wong, Anne; Vernes, Jean-Michel; Meng, Gloria Y; Totpal, Klara; Schaefer, Gabriele; Jiang, Guoying; Nogal, Bartek; Emery, Craig; Vanderlaan, Martin; Carter, Paul; Harris, Reed; Amanullah, Ashraf

    2012-02-17

    Upper hinge is vulnerable to radical attacks that result in breakage of the heavy-light chain linkage and cleavage of the hinge of an IgG1. To further explore mechanisms responsible for the radical induced hinge degradation, nine mutants were designed to determine the roles that the upper hinge Asp and His play in the radical reactions. The observation that none of these substitutions could inhibit the breakage of the heavy-light chain linkage suggests that the breakage may result from electron transfer from Cys(231) directly to the heavy-light chain linkage upon radical attacks, and implies a pathway separate from His(229)-mediated hinge cleavage. On the other hand, the substitution of His(229) with Tyr showed promising advantages over the native antibody and other substitutions in improving the stability and function of the IgG1. This substitution inhibited the hinge cleavage by 98% and suggests that the redox active nature of Tyr did not enable it to replicate the ability of His to facilitate radical induced degradation. We propose that the lower redox potential of Tyr, a residue that may be the ultimate sink for oxidizing equivalents in proteins, is responsible for the inhibition. More importantly, the substitution increased the antibody's binding to FcγRIII receptors by 2-3-fold, and improved ADCC activity by 2-fold, while maintaining a similar pharmacokinetic profile with respect to the wild type. Implications of these observations for antibody engineering and development are discussed.

  12. Marketing Concept in the Function of Croatian Seaport Business Operation Improvement

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    Marinko Jurčević

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The application of the scope of marketing concept in modemmarket conditions of business operation is obligatory. Therole of marketing, as a business philosophy, is in the end unavoidablefor the improvement of business operation. It is impossibleto do business in market conditions and not to applybasic marketing rules. Therefore, the solution for the improvementof operation of Croatian seaports should be soughtthrough the systematic application of the scopes of marketingconcept. Marketing mix should be applied to the system of businessoperation of Croatian seaports, with a breakdown of allunderlying marketing functions based on the results of a systematicmarket research, and through monitoring not only ofthe current status but also of market trends and forecasts, listeningto customer demands and trends in this particularbranch of industry. In addition to the improvement of the qualityof transport services, through the analysis of the price policyand by strengthening the logistics of port operation, particularattention should be focused towards the systematic applicationof all promotion mix elements aiming at strengthening the identityand the image of Croatian ports. In the end, such businessand marketing-like thinking should result in economic developmentand business prosperity not only of ports but of maritimetransport as well; in other words, by the prosperity of theentire transport activity, as a prerequisite for the economic developmentof the Republic of Croatia.

  13. Silicon application increases drought tolerance of kentucky bluegrass by improving plant water relations and morphophysiological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800 mg L(-1)) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, leaf water content, relative growth rate, water use efficiency, and turf quality, but to increase in the root/shoot and leaf carbon/nitrogen ratio. Such physiological interferences, disturbances in plant water relations, and visually noticeable growth reductions in Kentucky bluegrass were significantly alleviated by the addition of Si after drought stress. For example, Si application at 400 mg L(-1) significantly increased the net photosynthesis by 44%, leaf water contents by 33%, leaf green color by 42%, and turf quality by 44% after 20 days of drought stress. Si application proved beneficial in improving the performance of Kentucky bluegrass in the present study suggesting that manipulation of endogenous Si through genetic or biotechnological means may result in the development of drought resistance in grasses.

  14. Erythropoietin improves functional and histological recovery of traumatized skeletal muscle tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotter, Robert; Menshykova, Marija; Winkler, Tobias; Matziolis, Georg; Stratos, Ioannis; Schoen, Matthias; Bittorf, Thomas; Mittlmeier, Thomas; Vollmar, Brigitte

    2008-12-01

    Apart from its hematopoietic effect, erythropoietin (EPO) is known as pleiotropic cytokine with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. Here, we evaluated for the first time the EPO-dependent regeneration capacity in an in vivo rat model of skeletal muscle trauma. A myoblast cell line was used to study the effect of EPO on serum deprivation-induced cell apoptosis in vitro. A crush injury was performed to the left soleus muscle in 80 rats treated with either EPO or saline. Muscle recovery was assessed by analysis of contraction capacities. Intravital microscopy, BrdU/laminin double immunohistochemistry and cleaved caspase-3 immunohistochemistry of muscle tissue on days 1, 7, 14, and 42 posttrauma served for assessment of local microcirculation, tissue integrity, and cell proliferation. Serum deprivation-induced myoblast apoptosis of 23.9 +/- 1.5% was reduced by EPO to 17.2 +/- 0.8%. Contraction force analysis in the EPO-treated animals revealed significantly improved muscle strength with 10-20% higher values of twitch and tetanic forces over the 42-day observation period. EPO-treated muscle tissue displayed improved functional capillary density as well as reduced leukocytic response and consecutively macromolecular leakage over day 14. Concomitantly, muscle histology showed significantly increased numbers of BrdU-positive satellite cells and interstitial cells as well as slightly lower counts of cleaved caspase-3-positive interstitial cells. EPO results in faster and better regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue after severe trauma and goes along with improved microcirculation. Thus, EPO, a compound established as clinically safe, may represent a promising therapeutic option to optimize the posttraumatic course of muscle tissue healing.

  15. Cerebrolysin enhances neurogenesis in the ischemic brain and improves functional outcome after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunling; Chopp, Michael; Cui, Yisheng; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Ruilan; Zhang, Li; Lu, Mei; Szalad, Alexandra; Doppler, Edith; Hitzl, Monika; Zhang, Zheng Gang

    2010-11-15

    Cerebrolysin is a peptide preparation mimicking the action of neurotrophic factors and has beneficial effects on neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The present study investigated the effect of Cerebrolysin on neurogenesis in a rat model of embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Treatment with Cerebrolysin at doses of 2.5 and 5 ml/kg significantly increased the number of bromodeoxyuridine-positive (BrdU(+)) subventricular zone (SVZ) neural progenitor cells and doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity (migrating neuroblasts) in the ipsilateral SVZ and striatal ischemic boundary 28 days after stroke when the treatment was initiated 24 hr after stroke. The treatment also reduced TUNEL(+) cells by ∼50% in the ischemic boundary. However, treatment with Cerebrolysin at a dose of 2.5 ml/kg initiated at 24 and 48 hr did not significantly reduce infarct volume but substantially improved neurological outcomes measured by an array of behavioral tests 21 and 28 days after stroke. Incubation of SVZ neural progenitor cells from ischemic rats with Cerebrolysin dose dependently augmented BrdU(+) cells and increased the number of Tuj1(+) cells (a marker of immature neurons). Blockage of the PI3K/Akt pathway abolished Cerebrolysin-increased BrdU(+) cells. Moreover, Cerebrolysin treatment promoted neural progenitor cell migration. Collectively, these data indicate that Cerebrolysin treatment when initiated 24 and 48 hr after stroke enhances neurogenesis in the ischemic brain and improves functional outcome and that Cerebrolysin-augmented proliferation, differentiation, and migration of adult SVZ neural progenitor cells contribute to Cerebrolysin-induced neurogenesis, which may be related to improvement of neurological outcome. The PI3K/Akt pathway mediates Cerebrolysin-induced progenitor cell proliferation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikolajczyk, Edyta; Jankowicz-Szymanska, Agnieszka

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Predictors of Functional Improvement and Future Work Status After the Disability Benefit Claim : A Prospective Cohort Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelius, L. R.; van der Klink, J. J. L.; de Boer, M. R.; Groothoff, J. W.; Brouwer, S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective In most industrialized countries, disability benefit rates have increased substantially in the past decade. Few beneficiaries return into employment once disability benefit is awarded. The present study aims to investigate which factors predict functional improvement and future work status

  18. Improved stability and antidiabetic potential of insulin containing folic acid functionalized polymer stabilized multilayered liposomes following oral administration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agrawal, Ashish Kumar; Harde, Harshad; Thanki, Kaushik;

    2014-01-01

    The present study reports the folic acid (FA) functionalized insulin loaded stable liposomes with improved bioavailability following oral administration. Liposomes were stabilized by alternating coating of negatively charged poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and positively charged poly(allyl amine...

  19. Effects of integrated improving technique pilates and bodyflex level of functionality on students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozina Zh.L.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To identify the influence of complex application procedures bodyflex and pilates using information and communication technologies on the students’ level of functionality. Material : The study involved 46 students. Measured indicators: blood pressure, stroke volume, heart rate at rest and during exercise. Identify indicators of submaximal performance, autonomic balance. Results : There was a significant increase in young stroke volume - from 58 ml. to 62.1 ml., the threshold of anaerobic metabolism of 123.4 beats/min to 141.4 beats/min. The girls showed a significant increase in stroke volume - from 58.3 ml to 62.5 ml., the threshold of anaerobic metabolism of 123.7 beats/min. to 143.3 beats/min. Found an increase in performance power supply systems (S.A. Dushanin technique. Marked improvement in efficiency of the cardiovascular system (increased heart rate variability from 322.12 ms to 354.43 ms, reduced mode amplitude values of RR-intervals from 34.09 % to 21.54 %. Submaximal increase of capacity of students. Conclusions : complex application systems bodyflex and pilates enhances the functionality students.

  20. Hydrothermally Driven Transformation of Oxygen Functional Groups at Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes for Improved Electrocatalytic Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryanto, Bryan H R; Chen, Sheng; Duan, Jingjing; Zhao, Chuan

    2016-12-28

    The role of carbon nanotubes in the advancement of energy conversion and storage technologies is undeniable. In particular, carbon nanotubes have attracted significant applications for electrocatalysis. However, one central issue related to the use of carbon nanotubes is the required oxidative pretreatment that often leads to significant damage of graphitic structures which deteriorates their electrochemical properties. Traditionally, the oxidized carbon nanomaterials are treated at high temperature under an inert atmosphere to repair the oxidation-induced defect sites, which simultaneously removes a significant number of oxygen functional groups. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that oxygen functional groups on the surface of MWCNT are the essential active centers for a number of important electrocatalytic reactions such as hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Herein we first show that hydrothermal treatment as a mild method to improve the electrochemical properties and activities of surface-oxidized MWCNT for OER, HER, and ORR without significantly altering the oxygen content. The results indicate that hydrothermal treatment could potentially repair the defects without significantly reducing the pre-existing oxygen content, which has never been achieved before with conventional high-temperature annealing treatment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Kalisch

    2008-12-01

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

  2. Covalent Binding of Heparin to Functionalized PET Materials for Improved Haemocompatibility

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    Metod Kolar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The hemocompatibility of vascular grafts made from poly(ethylene terephthalate (PET is insufficient due to the rapid adhesion and activation of blood platelets that occur upon incubation with whole blood. PET polymer was treated with NHx radicals created by passing ammonia through gaseous plasma formed by a microwave discharge, which allowed for functionalization with amino groups. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterization using derivatization with 4-chlorobenzaldehyde indicated that approximately 4% of the –NH2 groups were associated with the PET surface after treatment with the gaseous radicals. The functionalized polymers were coated with an ultra-thin layer of heparin and incubated with fresh blood. The free-hemoglobin technique, which is based on the haemolysis of erythrocytes, indicated improved hemocompatibility, which was confirmed by imaging the samples using confocal optical microscopy. A significant decrease in number of adhered platelets was observed on such samples. Proliferation of both human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human microvascular endothelial cells was enhanced on treated polymers, especially after a few hours of cell seeding. Thus, the technique represents a promising substitute for wet-chemical modification of PET materials prior to coating with heparin.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Andrade

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

  4. IMPROVED INFORMATIVE PRIOR FOR THE MIXTURE OF LAPLACE DISTRIBUTION UNDER DIFFERENT LOSS FUNCTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sajid Ali

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, a new informative prior is developed for the scale parameter of themixture of Laplace distribution when data is censored and can be used to model various realworld problems. The basic proposal is to merge both informative and non-informative priors forimprovement of prior information. There are many real world problems in which investigator hasdifferent opinion than prior information e.g. one doctor provides information that the harmfulnessof medicine is 20% and another chemist observes the chemical combination of medicine andthinks that medicine is harmful 30% due to one element, so if we combine both doctor andchemist opinion as a prior our analysis will improve. An inclusive simulation scheme including alarge number of parameter is followed to highlight properties and behavior of the estimates interms of sample size, censoring rate and proportion of the component of the mixture. A simulatedmixture data with censored observations is generated by probabilistic mixing for computationalpurposes. Elegant closed form expressions for the Bayes estimators and their posterior risk arederived for the censored sample as well as for the complete sample. Some interesting comparisonand properties of the estimates are observed and presented. The complete sample expressions forML estimates and for their variances are derived and also the components of the informationmatrix are constructed as well. The Elicitation of hyper-parameters of mixture through priorpredictive approach and a real-life mixture data example has also been discussed. The Bayesestimates are evaluated under squared error loss function and precautionary loss function.

  5. Brazilian Green Propolis Improves Antioxidant Function in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liting; Pu, Lingling; Wei, Jingyu; Li, Jinghua; Wu, Jianquan; Xin, Zhonghao; Gao, Weina; Guo, Changjiang

    2016-05-13

    Propolis contains a variety of bioactive components and possesses many biological properties. This study was designed to evaluate potential effects of Brazilian green propolis on glucose metabolism and antioxidant function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the 18-week randomized controlled study, enrolled patients with T2DM were randomly assigned to Brazilian green propolis group (900 mg/day) (n = 32) and control group (n = 33). At the end of the study, no significant difference was found in serum glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, insulin, aldose reductase or adiponectin between the two groups. However, serum GSH and total polyphenols were significantly increased, and serum carbonyls and lactate dehydrogenase activity were significantly reduced in the Brazilian green propolis group. Serum TNF-α was significantly decreased, whereas serum IL-1β and IL-6 were significantly increased in the Brazilian green propolis group. It is concluded that Brazilian green propolis is effective in improving antioxidant function in T2DM patients.

  6. Improved purification of native meningococcal porin PorB and studies on its structure/function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massari, Paola; King, Carol A; MacLeod, Heather; Wetzler, Lee M

    2005-12-01

    The outer membrane protein PorB of Neisseria meningitidis is a pore-forming protein which has various effects on eukaryotic cells. It has been shown to (1) up-regulate the surface expression of the co-stimulatory molecule CD86 and of MHC class II (which are TLR2/MyD88 dependent and related to the porin's immune-potentiating ability), (2) be involved in prevention of apoptosis by modulating the mitochondrial membrane potential, and (3) form pores in eukaryotic cells. As an outer membrane protein, its native trimeric form isolation is complicated by its insoluble nature, requiring the presence of detergent throughout the whole procedure, and by its tight association with other outer membrane components, such as neisserial LOS or lipoproteins. In this study, an improved chromatographic purification method to obtain an homogeneous product free of endotoxin and lipoprotein is described, without loss of any of the above-mentioned properties of the porin. Furthermore, we have investigated the requirement of the native trimeric structure for the porin's activity. Inactivation of functional PorB trimers into non-functional monomers was achieved by incubation on ice. Thus, routine long- and medium-term storage at low temperature may be a cause of porin inactivation.

  7. Bovine milk as a source of functional oligosaccharides for improving human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivkovic, Angela M; Barile, Daniela

    2011-05-01

    Human milk oligosaccharides are complex sugars that function as selective growth substrates for specific beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. Bovine milk is a potentially excellent source of commercially viable analogs of these unique molecules. However, bovine milk has a much lower concentration of these oligosaccharides than human milk, and the majority of the molecules are simpler in structure than those found in human milk. Specific structural characteristics of milk-derived oligosaccharides are crucial to their ability to selectively enrich beneficial bacteria while inhibiting or being less than ideal substrates for undesirable and pathogenic bacteria. Thus, if bovine milk products are to provide human milk-like benefits, it is important to identify specific dairy streams that can be processed commercially and cost-effectively and that can yield specific oligosaccharide compositions that will be beneficial as new food ingredients or supplements to improve human health. Whey streams have the potential to be commercially viable sources of complex oligosaccharides that have the structural resemblance and diversity of the bioactive oligosaccharides in human milk. With further refinements to dairy stream processing techniques and functional testing to identify streams that are particularly suitable for enriching beneficial intestinal bacteria, the future of oligosaccharides isolated from dairy streams as a food category with substantiated health claims is promising.

  8. Improving effector functions of antibodies for cancer treatment: Enhancing ADCC and CDC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natsume, Akito; Niwa, Rinpei; Satoh, Mitsuo

    2009-09-21

    As platforms for therapeutic agents, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have already been approved, and several MAbs have demonstrated clinical effectiveness in a variety of malignancies. However, several issues have also been emerging in antibody therapy, such as high cost and insufficient drug action. Recently, to improve MAb activity in humans, effector functions have been subjects of focus, especially antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). Extensive efforts have been made to enhance these effector functions of MAbs, and successful approaches have been reported by us and others, wherein the binding activity of MAbs to FcgammaRIIIa or C1q is increased by introducing amino acid mutations into heavy chain constant regions or through glyco-modification of Fc-linked oligosaccharides. In addition, one of the next approaches to optimizing therapeutic antibodies would be to combine multiple enhancing modifications into a single antibody platform to overcome the diverse mechanisms of clinical resistance of tumor cells. For this aim, we have recently developed a successful combination composed of ADCC-enhancing modification by the fucose depletion from Fc-linked oligosaccharides and CDC-enhancing modification by IgG1 and IgG3 isotype shuffling in heavy chains, which could be of great value for the development of third-generation antibody therapeutics.

  9. A polysaccharide from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge improves immune function in gastric cancer rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Nan; Yang, Jingyue; Lu, Jianguo; Qiao, Qing; Wu, Tao; Du, Xilin; Bao, Guoqiang; He, Xianli

    2014-10-13

    A neutral polysaccharide fraction (SMPA) prepared from the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza by DEAE-cellulose and Sephadex G-100 chromatography was tested for its immune enhancing function in N-methyl-N'-nitro-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)-induced gastric cancer rats by intragastric administration. SMPA (200mg/kg) treatment not only increased the body weight, but also improved the immune organ indices. Furthermore, studies of various immunological activities in gastric cancer rats revealed that SMPA significantly stimulated splenocyte proliferation, promoted anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10) production, inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-6 and TNF-α) secretion, augmented the killing activity of natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), and increased phagocytotic function of macrophages in gastric cancer rats. In addition, SMPA administration evidently elevated total intracellular granzyme-B and IFN-γ levels produced by splenocytes in gastric cancer rats. Taken together, these results suggested that SMPA could act as an effective immunomodulator and might be explored as a potential supplemental source for gastric cancer therapy.

  10. An improved global analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions including RHIC data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskola, Kari J.; Paukkunen, Hannu; Salgado, Carlos A.

    2008-07-01

    We present an improved leading-order global DGLAP analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions (nPDFs), supplementing the traditionally used data from deep inelastic lepton-nucleus scattering and Drell-Yan dilepton production in proton-nucleus collisions, with inclusive high-pT hadron production data measured at RHIC in d+Au collisions. With the help of an extended definition of the χ2 function, we now can more efficiently exploit the constraints the different data sets offer, for gluon shadowing in particular, and account for the overall data normalization uncertainties during the automated χ2 minimization. The very good simultaneous fit to the nuclear hard process data used demonstrates the feasibility of a universal set of nPDFs, but also limitations become visible. The high-pT forward-rapidity hadron data of BRAHMS add a new crucial constraint into the analysis by offering a direct probe for the nuclear gluon distributions—a sector in the nPDFs which has traditionally been very badly constrained. We obtain a strikingly stronger gluon shadowing than what has been estimated in previous global analyses. The obtained nPDFs are released as a parametrization called EPS08.

  11. An improved global analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions including RHIC data

    CERN Document Server

    Eskola, K J; Salgado, C A

    2008-01-01

    We present an improved leading-order global DGLAP analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions (nPDFs), supplementing the traditionally used data from deep inelastic lepton-nucleus scattering and Drell-Yan dilepton production in proton-nucleus collisions, with inclusive high-$p_T$ hadron production data measured at RHIC in d+Au collisions. With the help of an extended definition of the $\\chi^2$ function, we now can more efficiently exploit the constraints the different data sets offer, for gluon shadowing in particular, and account for the overall data normalization uncertainties during the automated $\\chi^2$ minimization. The very good simultaneous fit to the nuclear hard process data used demonstrates the feasibility of a universal set of nPDFs, but also limitations become visible. The high-$p_T$ forward-rapidity hadron data of BRAHMS add a new crucial constraint into the analysis by offering a direct probe for the nuclear gluon distributions -- a sector in the nPDFs which has traditionally been very b...

  12. Tai chi improves cognitive and physical function in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiao; Kanagawa, Katsuko; Sasaki, Junko; Ooki, Syuichi; Xu, Huali; Wang, Li

    2015-05-01

    [Purpose] To investigate the effect of Tai Chi on cognitive and physical function in the elderly. [Subjects and Methods] A randomized trial design was used. A total 150 subjects were enrolled and were divided into Tai Chi and control groups. Subjects in the Tai Chi group participated Tai Chi for 6 months, and subjects in the control group participated in other non-athletic activities. [Results] There were no differences between the groups in the one leg standing time with eyes open, left grip strength, or the Frontal Assessment Battery at bedside after 3 and 6 months of intervention. The Mini-Mental State Examination scores after 3 and 6 months were higher in the Tai Chi group than in the control group. The right grip strength after 3 months increased more in the Tai Chi group than in the control group. Both the 5-m high walking speed and 10-m normal walking speed were significantly lower after 3 and 6 months of Tai Chi practice. [Conclusion] These results suggest that regular Tai Chi practice may improve cognitive and physical function in the elderly.

  13. Improved Strength and Toughness of Carbon Woven Fabric Composites with Functionalized MWCNTs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eslam Soliman

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This investigation examines the role of carboxyl functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (COOH-MWCNTs in the on- and off-axis flexure and the shear responses of thin carbon woven fabric composite plates. The chemically functionalized COOH-MWCNTs were used to fabricate epoxy nanocomposites and, subsequently, carbon woven fabric plates to be tested on flexure and shear. In addition to the neat epoxy, three loadings of COOH-MWCNTs were examined: 0.5 wt%, 1.0 wt% and 1.5 wt% of epoxy. While no significant statistical difference in the flexure response of the on-axis specimens was observed, significant increases in the flexure strength, modulus and toughness of the off-axis specimens were observed. The average increase in flexure strength and flexure modulus with the addition of 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs improved by 28% and 19%, respectively. Finite element modeling is used to demonstrate fiber domination in on-axis flexure behavior and matrix domination in off-axis flexure behavior. Furthermore, the 1.5 wt% COOH-MWCNTs increased the toughness of carbon woven composites tested on shear by 33%. Microstructural investigation using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR proves the existence of chemical bonds between the COOH-MWCNTs and the epoxy matrix.

  14. Metformin improves endothelial function in aortic tissue and microvascular endothelial cells subjected to diabetic hyperglycaemic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Suparna; Lakshmanan, Arun P; Hwang, Mu Ji; Kubba, Haidar; Mushannen, Ahmed; Triggle, Chris R; Ding, Hong

    2015-12-01

    The cellular mechanisms whereby metformin, the first line drug for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), mediates its antidiabetic effects remain elusive, particularly as to whether metformin has a direct protective action on the vasculature. This study was designed to determine if a brief 3-h exposure to metformin protects endothelial function against the effects of hyperglycaemia. We investigated the protective effects of metformin on endothelial-dependent vasodilatation (EDV) in thoracic aortae from T2DM db/db mice and on high glucose (HG, 40 mM) induced changes in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signaling in mouse microvascular endothelial cells (MMECs) in culture. Exposure of aortae from db+/? non-diabetic control mice to high glucose (HG, 40 mM) containing Krebs for 3-h significantly (Pmetformin; metformin also improved ACh-induced EDV in aortae from diabetic db/db mice. Immunoblot analysis of MMECs cultured in HG versus NG revealed a significant reduction of the ratio of phosphorylated (p-eNOS)/eNOS and p-Akt/Akt, but not the expression of total eNOS or Akt. The 3-h exposure of MMECs to metformin significantly (Pmetformin can reverse/reduce the impact of HG on endothelial function, via mechanisms linked to increased phosphorylation of eNOS and Akt.

  15. Determine Optimal Stimulus Amplitude for Using Vestibular Stochastic Stimulation to Improve Balance Function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Sensorimotor changes such as postural and gait instabilities can affect the functional performance of astronauts when they transition across different gravity environments. We are developing a method, based on stochastic resonance (SR), to enhance information transfer by applying non-zero levels of external noise on the vestibular system (vestibular stochastic resonance, VSR). Our previous work has shown the advantageous effects of VSR in a balance task of standing on an unstable surface [1]. This technique to improve detection of vestibular signals uses a stimulus delivery system that provides imperceptibly low levels of white noise-based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system. The goal of this project is to determine optimal levels of stimulation for SR applications by using a defined vestibular threshold of motion detection. A series of experiments were carried out to determine a robust paradigm to identify a vestibular threshold that can then be used to recommend optimal stimulation levels for sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training applications customized to each crewmember. The amplitude of stimulation to be used in the VSR application has varied across studies in the literature such as 60% of nociceptive stimulus thresholds [2]. We compared subjects' perceptual threshold with that obtained from two measures of body sway. Each test session was 463s long and consisted of several 15s long sinusoidal stimuli, at different current amplitudes (0-2 mA), interspersed with 20-20.5s periods of no stimulation. Subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and had to report their perception of motion through a joystick. A force plate underneath the chair recorded medio-lateral shear forces and roll moments. Comparison of threshold of motion detection obtained from joystick data versus body sway suggests that perceptual thresholds were significantly lower. In the balance task, subjects stood on an unstable surface and had to maintain balance

  16. Improved Stabilities of Immobilized Glucoamylase on Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Synthesised using Decane as Swelling Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reni George

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Ordered mesoporous silica, with high porosity was used to immobilize glucoamylase via adsorption and covalent binding. Immobilization of glucoamylase within mesoporous silica was successfully achieved, resulting in catalytically high efficiency during starch hydrolysis. In this study, mesoporous silica was functionalized by co-condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS with organosilane (3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES in a wide range of molar ratios of APTES: TEOS in the presence of triblock copolymer P123 under acidic hydrothermal conditions. The prepared materials were characterized by Small angle XRD, Nitrogen adsorption – desorption and 29Si MAS solid state NMR. N2 desorption studies showed that pore size distribution decreases due to pore blockage after functionalization and enzyme immobilization. Small angle XRD and 29Si MAS NMR study reveals mesophase formation and Si environment of the materials. The main aim of our work was to study the catalytical activity, effect of pH, temperature storage stability and reusability of covalently bound glucoamylase on mesoporous silica support. The result shows that the stability of enzyme can be enhanced by immobilization.  © 2013 BCREC UNDIP. All rights reservedReceived: 3rd December 2012; Revised: 4th April 2013; Accepted: 20th April 2013[How to Cite: George, R., Gopinath, S., Sugunan, S. (2013. Improved Stabilities of Immobilized Glucoamyl-ase on Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Synthesized using Decane as Swelling Agent. Bulletin of Chemical Reaction Engineering & Catalysis, 8 (1: 70-76. (doi:10.9767/bcrec.8.1.4208.70-76][Permalink/DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9767/bcrec.8.1.4208.70-76] | View in  |

  17. Characterisation of hypertensive patients with improved endothelial function after dark chocolate consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'El-Rei, Jenifer; Cunha, Ana Rosa; Burlá, Adriana; Burlá, Marcelo; Oigman, Wille; Neves, Mario Fritsch; Virdis, Agostino; Medeiros, Fernanda

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings indicate an inverse relationship between cardiovascular disease and consumption of flavonoids. We aimed to identify clinical and vascular parameters of treated hypertensive who present beneficial effects of dark chocolate for one-week period on vascular function. Twenty-one hypertensive subjects, aged 40-65 years, were included in a prospective study with measurement of blood pressure (BP), brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), peripheral arterial tonometry, and central hemodynamic parameters. These tests were repeated after seven days of eating dark chocolate 75 g/day. Patients were divided according to the response in FMD: responders (n = 12) and nonresponders (n = 9). The responder group presented lower age (54 ± 7 versus 61 ± 6 years, P = 0.037), Framingham risk score (FRS) (2.5 ± 1.8 versus 8.1 ± 5.1%, P = 0.017), values of peripheral (55 ± 9 versus 63 ± 5 mmHg, P = 0.041), and central pulse pressure (PP) (44 ± 10 versus 54 ± 6 mmHg, P = 0.021). FMD response showed negative correlation with FRS (r = -0.60, P = 0.014), baseline FMD (r = -0.54, P = 0.011), baseline reactive hyperemia index (RHI; r = -0.56, P = 0.008), and central PP (r = -0.43, P = 0.05). However, after linear regression analysis, only FRS and baseline RHI were associated with FMD response. In conclusion, one-week dark chocolate intake significantly improved endothelial function and reduced BP in younger hypertensive with impaired endothelial function in spite of lower cardiovascular risk.

  18. Characterisation of Hypertensive Patients with Improved Endothelial Function after Dark Chocolate Consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'El-Rei, Jenifer; Cunha, Ana Rosa; Burlá, Adriana; Burlá, Marcelo; Oigman, Wille

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings indicate an inverse relationship between cardiovascular disease and consumption of flavonoids. We aimed to identify clinical and vascular parameters of treated hypertensive who present beneficial effects of dark chocolate for one-week period on vascular function. Twenty-one hypertensive subjects, aged 40–65 years, were included in a prospective study with measurement of blood pressure (BP), brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), peripheral arterial tonometry, and central hemodynamic parameters. These tests were repeated after seven days of eating dark chocolate 75 g/day. Patients were divided according to the response in FMD: responders (n = 12) and nonresponders (n = 9). The responder group presented lower age (54 ± 7 versus 61 ± 6 years, P = 0.037), Framingham risk score (FRS) (2.5 ± 1.8 versus 8.1 ± 5.1%, P = 0.017), values of peripheral (55 ± 9 versus 63 ± 5 mmHg, P = 0.041), and central pulse pressure (PP) (44 ± 10 versus 54 ± 6 mmHg, P = 0.021). FMD response showed negative correlation with FRS (r = −0.60, P = 0.014), baseline FMD (r = −0.54, P = 0.011), baseline reactive hyperemia index (RHI; r = −0.56, P = 0.008), and central PP (r = −0.43, P = 0.05). However, after linear regression analysis, only FRS and baseline RHI were associated with FMD response. In conclusion, one-week dark chocolate intake significantly improved endothelial function and reduced BP in younger hypertensive with impaired endothelial function in spite of lower cardiovascular risk. PMID:23533716

  19. Improving effector functions of antibodies for cancer treatment: Enhancing ADCC and CDC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akito Natsume

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Akito Natsume, Rinpei Niwa, Mitsuo SatohAntibody Research Laboratories, Research Division, Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd.,/Machida-shi, Tokyo, JapanAbstract: As platforms for therapeutic agents, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs have already been approved, and several MAbs have demonstrated clinical effectiveness in a variety of malignancies. However, several issues have also been emerging in antibody therapy, such as high cost and insufficient drug action. Recently, to improve MAb activity in humans, effector functions have been subjects of focus, especially antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC. Extensive efforts have been made to enhance these effector functions of MAbs, and successful approaches have been reported by us and others, wherein the binding activity of MAbs to FcγRIIIa or C1q is increased by introducing amino acid mutations into heavy chain constant regions or through glyco-modification of Fc-linked oligosaccharides. In addition, one of the next approaches to optimizing therapeutic antibodies would be to combine multiple enhancing modifications into a single antibody platform to overcome the diverse mechanisms of clinical resistance of tumor cells. For this aim, we have recently developed a successful combination composed of ADCC-enhancing modification by the fucose depletion from Fc-linked oligosaccharides and CDC-enhancing modification by IgG1 and IgG3 isotype shuffling in heavy chains, which could be of great value for the development of third-generation antibody therapeutics.Keywords: ADCC, CDC, effector functions, Fc oligosaccharides, IgG isotypes, nonfucosylated IgG

  20. Hemodialysis improves endothelial venous function in end-stage renal disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M.V. Silva

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to determine the acute effect of hemodialysis on endothelial venous function and oxidative stress. We studied 9 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD, 36.8 ± 3.0 years old, arterial pressure 133.8 ± 6.8/80.0 ± 5.0 mmHg, time on dialysis 55.0 ± 16.6 months, immediately before and after a hemodialysis session, and 10 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Endothelial function was assessed by the dorsal hand vein technique using graded local infusion of acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent venodilation, EDV and sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent venodilation. Oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring protein oxidative damage (carbonyls and antioxidant defense (total radical trapping antioxidant potential - TRAP in blood samples. All patients were receiving recombinant human erythropoietin for at least 3 months and were not taking nitrates or a-receptor antagonists. EDV was significantly lower in ESRD patients before hemodialysis (65.6 ± 10.5 vs controls (109.6 ± 10.8; P = 0.010 and after hemodialysis (106.6 ± 15.7; P = 0.045. Endothelium-independent venodilation was similar in all comparisons performed. The hemodialysis session significantly decreased TRAP (402.0 ± 53.5 vs 157.1 ± 28.3 U Trolox/µL plasma; P = 0.001. There was no difference in protein damage comparing ESRD patients before and after hemodialysis. The magnitude of change in the EDV was correlated negatively with the magnitude of change in TRAP (r = -0.70; P = 0.037. These results suggest that a hemodialysis session improves endothelial venous function, in association with an antioxidant effect.

  1. The W-shaped pupil in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis): functions for improving horizontal vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäthger, Lydia M; Hanlon, Roger T; Håkansson, Jonas; Nilsson, Dan-Eric

    2013-05-03

    The eyes of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) have a modified horizontal slit-pupil with a distinctive W-shape in bright light, while in darkness the pupil is circular. Two suggestions have previously been made for a function of the W-shape: (1) camouflaging the eye; (2) providing distance information. Since neither of these suggestions can fully explain the function of this pupil across the entire visual field, particularly the frontal and caudal periphery, we re-addressed the question of its functional significance. We took infra-red images of the eyes of live S. officinalis at different light intensities and from different viewing angles. This allowed us to determine the shape and light-admitting area of the pupil for different parts of the visual field. Our data show that the W-shaped pupil projects a blurred "W" directly onto the retina and that it effectively operates as vertical slits for the frontal and caudal parts of the visual field. We also took images of the natural habitat of S. officinalis and calculated the average vertical brightness distribution in the visual habitat. Computing a retinal illumination map shows that the W-shaped pupil is effective in balancing a vertically uneven light field: The constricted pupil reduces light from the dorsal part of the visual field significantly more than it reduces light from the horizontal band. This will cut the amount of direct sunlight that is scattered by the lens and ocular media, and thus improve image contrast particularly for the dimmer parts of the scene. We also conclude that the pupil provides even attenuation along the horizontal band, whereas a circular pupil would attenuate the image relatively more in the important frontal and caudal periphery of the visual field.

  2. Folic acid supplementation improves microvascular function in older adults through nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanhewicz, Anna E; Alexander, Lacy M; Kenney, W Larry

    2015-07-01

    Older adults have reduced vascular endothelial function, evidenced by attenuated nitric oxide (NO)-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation. Folic acid and its metabolite, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), are reported to improve vessel function. We hypothesized that (i) local 5-MTHF administration and (ii) chronic folic acid supplementation would improve cutaneous microvascular function in ageing through NO-dependent mechanisms. There were two separate studies in which there were 11 young (Y: 22 ± 1 years) and 11 older (O: 71 ± 3 years) participants. In both studies, two intradermal microdialysis fibres were placed in the forearm skin for local delivery of lactated Ringer's solution with or without 5 mM 5-MTHF. Red cell flux was measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry. Cutaneous vascular conductance [CVC=red cell flux/mean arterial pressure] was normalized as percentage maximum CVC (%CVCmax) (28 mM sodium nitroprusside, local temperature 43°C). In study 1 after CVC plateaued during local heating, 20 mM NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) was perfused at each site to quantify NO-dependent vasodilatation. The local heating plateau (%CVCmax: O = 82 ± 3 vs Y = 96 ± 1, P = 0.002) and NO-dependent vasodilatation (%CVCmax: O = 26 ± 6% vs Y = 49 ± 5, P = 0.03) were attenuated in older participants. 5-MTHF augmented the overall (%CVCmax = 91 ± 2, P = 0.03) and NO-dependent (%CVCmax = 43 ± 9%, P = 0.04) vasodilatation in older but not young participants. In study 2 the participants ingested folic acid (5 mg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. A rise in oral temperature of 1°C was induced using a water-perfused suit, body temperature was held and 20 mM L-NAME was perfused at each site. Older participants had attenuated reflex (%CVCmax: O = 31 ± 8 vs Y = 44 ± 5, P = 0.001) and NO-dependent (%CVCmax: O = 9 ± 2 vs Y = 21 ± 2, P = 0.003) vasodilatation. Folic acid increased CVC (%CVCmax = 47 ± 5%, P = 0.001) and NO

  3. A short period of high-intensity interval training improves skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Peter Møller; Jacobs, Robert A; Bonne, Thomas Christian

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine whether improvements in pulmonary V̇O2 kinetics following a short period of high-intensity training (HIT) would be associated with improved skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. Ten untrained male volunteers (age: 26 ± 2; mean ± SD) performed six HIT ...

  4. Exercise training and antioxidant supplementation independently improve cognitive function in adult male and female GFAP-APOE mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiran Chaudhari

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: Exercise was the most effective treatment at improving cognitive function in both genotypes and sex, while antioxidants seemed to be effective only in the APOE4. In young adult mice only non-spatial learning and memory were improved. The combination of the two treatments did not yield further improvement in cognition, and there was no antagonistic action of the antioxidant supplementation on the beneficial effects of exercise.

  5. Can fish oil supplementation improve endothelial function in asymptomatic offspring of patients with peripheral arterial disease?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spark JI

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available J Ian Spark,1 Christopher L Delaney,1 Richard B Allan,1 Melissa HL Ho,2 Michelle D Miller21Department of Vascular Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaBackground: Peripheral arterial disease affects 10%–25% of adults aged .55 years, and while a multitude of risk factors exist, one key influence is genetics. Rather than awaiting the onset of debilitating symptoms, interventions that target high-risk individuals and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms would have widespread impact. The aim of this study is to implement a 12-week fish oil intervention (10 mL/day containing approximately 1.5 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid, with the intention of improving endothelial function, inflammation, and lipid status in a high-risk population, ie, those with impaired endothelial function and a parent with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease.Methods: This is a parallel-group, double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving administration of fish oil containing either about 1.5 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid (intervention or about 0.15 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and about 0.1 g of docosahexaenoic acid for 12 consecutive weeks (control. The participants are 100 offspring of adults with diagnosed peripheral arterial disease who themselves have an ankle-brachial pressure index ≥0.9 but impaired endothelial function according to peripheral arterial tonometry. Measures performed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks include flow-mediated dilatation, C-reactive protein, absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1ß, and interleukin-6 levels, thromboxane and prostacyclin, lipid status, and homocysteine, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Participants will be phoned fortnightly to monitor adherence and side effects, while participants will

  6. Brain structural connectivity increases concurrent with functional improvement: Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI in children with cerebral palsy during therapy

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    Zoë A. Englander

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral Palsy (CP refers to a heterogeneous group of permanent but non-progressive movement disorders caused by injury to the developing fetal or infant brain (Bax et al., 2005. Because of its serious long-term consequences, effective interventions that can help improve motor function, independence, and quality of life are critically needed. Our ongoing longitudinal clinical trial to treat children with CP is specifically designed to meet this challenge. To maximize the potential for functional improvement, all children in this trial received autologous cord blood transfusions (with order randomized with a placebo administration over 2 years in conjunction with more standard physical and occupational therapies. As a part of this trial, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI is used to improve our understanding of how these interventions affect brain development, and to develop biomarkers of treatment efficacy. In this report, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI and subsequent brain connectome analyses were performed in a subset of children enrolled in the clinical trial (n = 17, who all exhibited positive but varying degrees of functional improvement over the first 2-year period of the study. Strong correlations between increases in white matter (WM connectivity and functional improvement were demonstrated; however no significant relationships between either of these factors with the age of the child at time of enrollment were identified. Thus, our data indicate that increases in brain connectivity reflect improved functional abilities in children with CP. In future work, this potential biomarker can be used to help differentiate the underlying mechanisms of functional improvement, as well as to identify treatments that can best facilitate functional improvement upon un-blinding of the timing of autologous cord blood transfusions at the completion of this study.

  7. Do analgesics improve functioning in patients with chronic low back pain? An explorative triple-blinded RCT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schiphorst Preuper, Henrica; Geertzen, Jan. H. B.; van Wijhe, Marten; Boonstra, Anne M.; Molmans, Barbara H. W.; Dijkstra, Pieter U.; Reneman, Michiel F.

    2014-01-01

    Treatment of patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) aims to reduce disability, improve functional capacity, and participation. Time contingent prescription of analgesics is a treatment modality in CLBP. The impact of analgesics on functional capacity is unknown. Aim of the study was to explore t

  8. Improving Cognitive Function from Children to Old Age: A Systematic Review of Recent Smart Ageing Intervention Studies

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    Rui Nouchi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Cognitive functions are important for daily life at any age. One purpose of Smart Ageing is to investigate how to improve cognitive functions. This systematic review evaluates beneficial effects of the intervention on cognitive functions. Method. We conducted a systematic review of intervention studies of improvements of cognitive functions published or in press before December 2013. Because of the heterogeneity of the intervention programs, a systematic and critical review of the interventions and outcomes was conducted instead of a meta-analysis. Results. We identified nine completed and published studies, which were divided into four categories: cognitive training using video game, cognitive training using PC, cognitive training using paper and pencil, and exercise training. Review results showed that various intervention programs can improve cognitive functions such as executive functions, working memory, episodic memory, processing speed, and general cognitive ability/IQ. Conclusions. The systematic review demonstrated that some intervention programs can be effective for improving various aspects of cognitive functioning at any age. Some limitations to this review include its small sample size and heterogeneity of programs and cognitive function measures, in addition to unresolved issues such as transfer of everyday skills and effectiveness for nonhealthy people.

  9. Vascular endothelial function is improved by oral glycine treatment in aged rats.

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    Gómez-Zamudio, Jaime H; García-Macedo, Rebeca; Lázaro-Suárez, Martha; Ibarra-Barajas, Maximiliano; Kumate, Jesús; Cruz, Miguel

    2015-06-01

    Glycine has been used to reduce oxidative stress and proinflammatory mediators in some metabolic disorders; however, its effect on the vasculature has been poorly studied. The aim of this work was to explore the effect of glycine on endothelial dysfunction in aged rats. Aortic rings with intact or denuded endothelium were obtained from untreated or glycine-treated male Sprague-Dawley rats at 5 and 15 months of age. Concentration-response curves to phenylephrine (PHE) were obtained from aortic rings incubated with N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), superoxide dismutase (SOD), indomethacin, SC-560, and NS-398. Aortic mRNA expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX-4), cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin-1 β was measured by real time RT-PCR. The endothelial modulation of the contraction by PHE was decreased in aortic rings from aged rats. Glycine treatment improved this modulator effect and increased relaxation to acetylcholine. Glycine augmented the sensitivity for PHE in the presence of l-NAME and SOD. It also reduced the contraction by incubation with indomethacin, SC-560, and NS-398. Glycine increased the mRNA expression of eNOS and decreased the expression of COX-2 and TNF-α. Glycine improved the endothelium function in aged rats possibly by enhancing eNOS expression and reducing the role of superoxide anion and contractile prostanoids that increase the nitric oxide bioavailability.

  10. Improvements in multi-joint leg function following chronic eccentric exercise.

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    Elmer, S; Hahn, S; McAllister, P; Leong, C; Martin, J

    2012-10-01

    Previous authors have reported that chronic eccentric cycling facilitates greater changes in multi-joint leg function (hopping frequency, maximum jumping height) compared with concentric cycling. Our purpose was to evaluate changes in leg spring stiffness and maximum power following eccentric and concentric cycling training. Twelve individuals performed either eccentric (n=6) or concentric (n=6) cycling for 7 weeks (3 sessions/week) while training duration progressively increased. Participants performed trials of submaximal hopping, maximal counter movement jumps, and maximal concentric cycling to evaluate leg spring stiffness, maximum jumping power, and maximum concentric cycling power respectively, before and 1 week following training. Total work during training did not differ between eccentric and concentric cycling (126 ± 15-728 ± 91 kJ vs 125 ± 10-787 ± 76 kJ). Following training, eccentric cycling exhibited greater changes in k(leg) and jumping P(max) compared with CON(cyc) (10 ± 3% vs -2 ± 4% and 7 ± 2% vs -2 ± 3%, respectively, P=0.05). Alterations in CON(cyc) P(max) did not differ between ECC(cyc) (1035 ± 142 vs 1030 ± 133 W) and CON(cyc) (1072 ± 98 vs 1081 ± 85 W). These data demonstrate that eccentric cycling is an effective method for improving leg spring stiffness and maximum power during multi-joint tasks that include stretch-shortening cycles. Improvements in leg spring stiffness and maximum power would be beneficial for both aging and athletic populations.

  11. Omega-3 fatty acids improve liver and pancreas function in postoperative cancer patients.

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    Heller, Axel R; Rössel, Thomas; Gottschlich, Birgit; Tiebel, Oliver; Menschikowski, Mario; Litz, Rainer J; Zimmermann, Thomas; Koch, Thea

    2004-09-10

    Epidemiologic studies have indicated that high intake of saturated fat and/or animal fat increases the risk of colon and breast cancer. Omega-3 PUFAs in fish oil (FO) can inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. These effects are related to the uptake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) into the cellular substrate pool and their competitive metabolism with arachidonic acid (AA) at the cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase levels. The metabolites of EPA and DHA have less inflammatory and immunosuppressant potency than the substances derived from AA. Based on previous experimental data, we hypothesized that FO supplementation after major abdominal cancer surgery would improve hepatic and pancreatic function. Ours was a prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial on 44 patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery, randomly assigned to receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) supplemented with either soybean oil (SO 1.0 g/kg body weight daily, n = 20) for 5 days or a combination of FO and SO (FO 0.2 + SO 0.8 g/kg body weight daily, n = 24). Compared to pure SO supplementation in the postoperative period, FO significantly reduced ASAT [0.8 +/- 0.1 vs. 0.5 +/- 0.1 mmol/(l. sec)], ALAT [0.9 +/- 0.1 vs. 0.6 +/- 0.1 mmol/(l. sec)], bilirubin (16.1 +/- 5.3 vs. 6.9 +/- 0.6 mmol/l), LDH (7.7 +/- 0.4 vs. 6.7 +/- 0.4 mmol/(l. sec) and lipase (0.6 +/- 0.1 vs. 0.4 +/- 0.1 micromol/(l. sec) in the postoperative course. Moreover, patients with increased risk of sepsis (IL-6/IL-10 ratio >8) showed a tendency to shorter ICU stay (18 hr) under omega-3 PUFA treatment. Weight loss as encountered after the SO emulsion of 1.1 +/- 2.2 kg was absent in the FO group. After major abdominal tumor surgery, FO supplementation improved liver and pancreas function, which might have contributed to the faster recovery of patients.

  12. Heme oxygenase-1 induction improves cardiac function following myocardial ischemia by reducing oxidative stress.

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    Yossi Issan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress plays a key role in exacerbating diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, a stress response protein, is cytoprotective, but its role in post myocardial infarction (MI and diabetes is not fully characterized. We aimed to investigate the protection and the mechanisms of HO-1 induction in cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia and in diabetic mice subjected to LAD ligation. METHODS: In vitro: cultured cardiomyocytes were treated with cobalt-protoporphyrin (CoPP and tin protoporphyrin (SnPP prior to hypoxic stress. In vivo: CoPP treated streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were subjected to LAD ligation for 2/24 h. Cardiac function, histology, biochemical damage markers and signaling pathways were measured. RESULTS: HO-1 induction lowered release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH and creatine phospho kinase (CK, decreased propidium iodide staining, improved cell morphology and preserved mitochondrial membrane potential in cardiomyocytes. In diabetic mice, Fractional Shortening (FS was lower than non-diabetic mice (35±1%vs.41±2, respectively p<0.05. CoPP-treated diabetic animals improved cardiac function (43±2% p<0.01, reduced CK, Troponin T levels and infarct size compared to non-treated diabetic mice (P<0.01, P<0.001, P<0.01 respectively. CoPP-enhanced HO-1 protein levels and reduced oxidative stress in diabetic animals, as indicated by the decrease in superoxide levels in cardiac tissues and plasma TNFα levels (p<0.05. The increased levels of HO-1 by CoPP treatment after LAD ligation led to a shift of the Bcl-2/bax ratio towards the antiapoptotic process (p<0.05. CoPP significantly increased the expression levels of pAKT and pGSK3β (p<0.05 in cardiomyocytes and in diabetic mice with MI. SnPP abolished CoPP's cardioprotective effects. CONCLUSIONS: HO-1 induction plays a role in cardioprotection against hypoxic damage in cardiomyocytes and in reducing post ischemic cardiac damage in the diabetic heart

  13. Better estimation of protein-DNA interaction parameters improve prediction of functional sites

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    O'Flanagan Ruadhan A

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Characterizing transcription factor binding motifs is a common bioinformatics task. For transcription factors with variable binding sites, we need to get many suboptimal binding sites in our training dataset to get accurate estimates of free energy penalties for deviating from the consensus DNA sequence. One procedure to do that involves a modified SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment method designed to produce many such sequences. Results We analyzed low stringency SELEX data for E. coli Catabolic Activator Protein (CAP, and we show here that appropriate quantitative analysis improves our ability to predict in vitro affinity. To obtain large number of sequences required for this analysis we used a SELEX SAGE protocol developed by Roulet et al. The sequences obtained from here were subjected to bioinformatic analysis. The resulting bioinformatic model characterizes the sequence specificity of the protein more accurately than those sequence specificities predicted from previous analysis just by using a few known binding sites available in the literature. The consequences of this increase in accuracy for prediction of in vivo binding sites (and especially functional ones in the E. coli genome are also discussed. We measured the dissociation constants of several putative CAP binding sites by EMSA (Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay and compared the affinities to the bioinformatics scores provided by methods like the weight matrix method and QPMEME (Quadratic Programming Method of Energy Matrix Estimation trained on known binding sites as well as on the new sites from SELEX SAGE data. We also checked predicted genome sites for conservation in the related species S. typhimurium. We found that bioinformatics scores based on SELEX SAGE data does better in terms of prediction of physical binding energies as well as in detecting functional sites. Conclusion We think that training binding site detection

  14. Proteasome inhibition slightly improves cardiac function in mice with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossarek, Saskia; Singh, Sonia R; Geertz, Birgit; Schulz, Herbert; Reischmann, Silke; Hübner, Norbert; Carrier, Lucie

    2014-01-01

    A growing line of evidence indicates a dysfunctional ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in cardiac diseases. Anti-hypertrophic effects and improved cardiac function have been reported after treatment with proteasome inhibitors in experimental models of cardiac hypertrophy. Here we tested whether proteasome inhibition could also reverse the disease phenotype in a genetically-modified mouse model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which carries a mutation in Mybpc3, encoding the myofilament protein cardiac myosin-binding protein C. At 7 weeks of age, homozygous mutant mice (KI) have 39% higher left ventricular mass-to-body-weight ratio and 29% lower fractional area shortening (FAS) than wild-type (WT) mice. Both groups were treated with epoxomicin (0.5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 1 week via osmotic minipumps. Epoxomicin inhibited the chymotrypsin-like activity by ~50% in both groups. All parameters of cardiac hypertrophy (including the fetal gene program) were not affected by epoxomicin treatment in both groups. In contrast, FAS was 12% and 35% higher in epoxomicin-treated than vehicle-treated WT and KI mice, respectively. To identify which genes or pathways could be involved in this positive effect, we performed a transcriptome analysis in KI and WT neonatal cardiac myocytes, treated or not with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 (1 μM, 24 h). This revealed 103 genes (four-fold difference; 5% FDR) which are commonly regulated in both KI and WT cardiac myocytes. Thus, even in genetically-modified mice with manifest HCM, proteasome inhibition showed beneficial effects, at least with regard to cardiac function. Targeting the UPS in cardiac diseases remains therefore a therapeutic option.

  15. Improved Left Ventricular Diastolic Function with Exercise Training in Hypertension: A Doppler Imaging Study

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    Huan Zheng

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To study the effects of 6 months’ exercise training on ventricular function in hypertensive patients. Methods. Both groups received routine anti-hypertensive pharmacological therapy and one received a 6 months’ exercise program in addition. All patients underwent incremental cardiopulmonary exercise test and echocardiography in baseline and after 6 months. Results. (1 In 6 months’ follow-up, PeakVO2, Powermax (max workload, AT (anaerobic threshold, VO2AT (VO2 at anaerobic threshold, tAT (time from beginning to anaerobic threshold (<.05, were increased in the exercise group. HRrest (Heart rate at rest was decreased (<.05. LAVI (left atrial volume index, peak mitral filling velocities during early (E and late (A diastole E/A ratio, DT(deceleration time of the mitral E wave, IVST(Interventricular septum thickness in diastole, tissue Doppler indice Mean Ea/Aa ratio (<.05 were also improved. (2 Correlation analysis: 4 variates had significant effect on change of PeakVO2 in the exercise group: age (=−0.39, change of HRrest (=0.59, change of E/A (=0.55, change of Mean Ea/Aa (=0.58; Through analyzing 2 groups patients’ baseline values, their age (=−0.32, VO2AT (=0.29, HRrest (=−0.25, LAVI (=−0.24, E/A (=0.41 were found to be independent predictors of MeanEa/Aa. -value under .05 was considered statistically significant. Conclusion. 6 months’ exercise could enhance hypertensive patients’ aerobic exercise level and diastolic function to a certain extent.

  16. D-Cycloserine improves functional outcome after traumatic brain injury with wide therapeutic window

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adeleye, A.; Biegon, A.; Adeleye, A.; Shohami, E.; Nachman, D.; Alexandrovich, A.; Trembovler, V.; Yaka, R.; Shoshan, Y.; Dhawan, J.; Biegon, A.

    2009-12-01

    It has been long thought that hyperactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors underlies neurological decline after traumatic brain injury. However, all clinical trials with NMDA receptor antagonists failed. Since NMDA receptors are down-regulated from 4 h to 2 weeks after brain injury, activation at 24 h, rather than inhibition, of these receptors, was previously shown to be beneficial in mice. Here, we tested the therapeutic window, dose regimen and mechanism of action of the NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS) in traumatic brain injury. Male mice were subjected to trauma using a weight-drop model, and administered 10 mg/kg (i.p.) DCS or vehicle once (8, 16, 24, or 72 h) twice (24 and 48 h) or three times (24, 48 and 72 h). Functional recovery was assessed for up to 60 days, using a Neurological Severity Score that measures neurobehavioral parameters. In all groups in which treatment was begun at 24 or 72 h neurobehavioral function was significantly better than in the vehicle-treated groups. Additional doses, on days 2 and 3 did not further improve recovery. Mice treated at 8 h or 16 h post injury did not differ from the vehicle-treated controls. Co-administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 completely blocked the protective effect of DCS given at 24 h. Infarct volume measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining at 48 h or by cresyl violet at 28 days was not affected by DCS treatment. Since DCS is used clinically for other indications, the present study offers a novel approach for treating human traumatic brain injury with a therapeutic window of at least 24 h.

  17. A synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramide improves skin barrier functions from diversely perturbed epidermal conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Myoung Jin; Nam, Jin Ju; Lee, Eun Ok; Kim, Jin Wook; Park, Chang Seo

    2016-10-01

    Omega-hydroxyceramides (ω-OH-Cer) play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. ω-OH-Cer are the primary lipid constituents of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE) covalently attached to the outer surface of the cornified envelope linked to involucrin to become bound form lipids in stratum corneum (SC). CLE becomes a hydrophobic impermeable layer of matured corneocyte preventing loss of natural moisturizing factor inside the corneocytes. More importantly, CLE may also play an important role in the formation of proper orientation of intercellular lipid lamellar structure by interdigitating with the intercellular lipids in a comb-like fashion. Abnormal barrier conditions associated with atopic dermatitis but also UVB-irradiated skins are known to have lowered level of bound lipids, especially ω-OH-Cer, which indicate that ω-OH-Cer play an important role in maintaining the integrity of skin barrier. In this study, protective effects of a novel synthetic C16 omega-hydroxyphytoceramides (ω-OH-phytoceramide) on skin barrier function were investigated. Epidermal barrier disruption was induced by UVB irradiation, tape-stripping in hairless mouse and human skin. Protective effect of damaged epidermis was evaluated using the measurement of transepidermal water loss and cohesion of SC. Increased keratinocyte differentiation was verified using cultured keratinocyte through western blot. Results clearly demonstrated that a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide enhanced the integrity of SC and accelerated the recovery of damaged skin barrier function by stimulating differentiation process. In a conclusion, a synthetic C16 ω-OH-phytoceramide treatment improved epidermal homeostasis in several disrupted conditions.

  18. An improved theoretical approach to the empirical corrections of density functional theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lii, Jenn-Huei; Hu, Ching-Han

    2012-02-01

    An empirical correction to density functional theory (DFT) has been developed in this study. The approach, called correlation corrected atomization-dispersion (CCAZD), involves short- and long-range terms. Short-range correction consists of bond ( 1,2-) and angle ( 1,3-) interactions, which remedies the deficiency of DFT in describing the proto-branching stabilization effects. Long-range correction includes a Buckingham potential function aiming to account for the dispersion interactions. The empirical corrections of DFT were parameterized to reproduce reported Δ H f values of the training set containing alkane, alcohol and ether molecules. The Δ H f of the training set molecules predicted by the CCAZD method combined with two different DFT methods, B3LYP and MPWB1K, with a 6-31G* basis set agreed well with the experimental data. For 106 alkane, alcohol and ether compounds, the average absolute deviations (AADs) in Δ H f were 0.45 and 0.51 kcal/mol for B3LYP- and MPWB1K-CCAZD, respectively. Calculations of isomerization energies, rotational barriers and conformational energies further validated the CCAZD approach. The isomerization energies improved significantly with the CCAZD treatment. The AADs for 22 energies of isomerization reactions were decreased from 3.55 and 2.44 to 0.55 and 0.82 kcal/mol for B3LYP and MPWB1K, respectively. This study also provided predictions of MM4, G3, CBS-QB3 and B2PLYP-D for comparison. The final test of the CCAZD approach on the calculation of the cellobiose analog potential surface also showed promising results. This study demonstrated that DFT calculations with CCAZD empirical corrections achieved very good agreement with reported values for various chemical reactions with a small basis set as 6-31G*.

  19. Improving the functional expression of a Bacillus licheniformis laccase by random and site-directed mutagenesis

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    Schmid Rolf D

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Laccases have huge potential for biotechnological applications due to their broad substrate spectrum and wide range of reactions they are able to catalyze. These include, for example, the formation and degradation of dimers, oligomers, polymers, and ring cleavage as well as oxidation of aromatic compounds. Potential applications of laccases include detoxification of industrial effluents, decolorization of textile dyes and the synthesis of natural products by, for instance, dimerization of phenolic acids. We have recently published a report on the cloning and characterization of a CotA Bacillus licheniformis laccase, an enzyme that catalyzes dimerization of phenolic acids. However, the broad application of this laccase is limited by its low expression level of 26 mg l-1 that was achieved in Escherichia coli. To counteract this shortcoming, random and site-directed mutagenesis have been combined in order to improve functional expression and activity of CotA. Results A CotA double mutant, K316N/D500G, was constructed by combining random and site-directed mutagenesis. It can be functionally expressed at an 11.4-fold higher level than the wild-type enzyme. In addition, it is able to convert ferulic acid much faster than the wild-type enzyme (21% vs. 14% and is far more efficient in decolorizing a range of industrial dyes. The investigation of the effects of the mutations K316N and D500G showed that amino acid at position 316 had a major influence on enzyme activity and position 500 had a major influence on the expression of the laccase. Conclusion The constructed double mutant K316N/D500G of the Bacillus licheniformis CotA laccase is an appropriate candidate for biotechnological applications due to its high expression level and high activity in dimerization of phenolic acids and decolorization of industrial dyes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor improves cardiac function in rabbits following myocardial infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董安平; 马爱群; 韩克; 杨春; 蔡平; 蒋文慧

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the therapeutic potency of recombinant human Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) in a rabbit myocardial infarction model. Methods: A myocardial infarction was created by the ligation of the major ventricular branch of the left coronary artery in rabbits. After myocardial infarction, the animals were randomly assigned to GM-CSF treatment group, untreated groups and sham-operated group. The rabbits of the treated group were injected into GM-CSF by subcutaneous administration, 10 μg/kg/day, once a day for 5 days. The untreated and sham-operated group received a equal saline in the same manner as treated group. Six weeks later echocardiography and haemodynamic assessment were undertaken to assesse cardiac function. The size of the infarct region of the heart were also studied. Results: The untreated group exhibited significant higher left ventricle end-diastolic pressure, higher central venous pressure, and with significant lower mean blood pressure, lower peak first derivative of left ventricle pressure (dP/dt) than the sham group. Also, Rabbits in untreated group display significant systolic dysfunction shown by the decreased ejection fraction, diastolic dysfunction shown by increasing in the ratio of E wave to A wave (E/A), and display left ventricle enlargement. However, GS-CSF singnificantly prevented heart dysfunction, left ventricle enlargement, and reduced infarct size in treatment group. Conclusion: Administration GM-CSF after cardiac infarction can improve heart function. These findings indicate the technique may be a novel and simple therapeutic method for ischemic myocardium.

  2. An improved Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for the functional genetic analysis of Penicillium marneffei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummasook, Aksarakorn; Cooper, Chester R; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2010-12-01

    We have developed an improved Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (AMT) system for the functional genetic analysis of Penicillium marneffei, a thermally dimorphic, human pathogenic fungus. Our AMT protocol included the use of conidia or pre-germinated conidia of P. marneffei as the host recipient for T-DNA from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and co-cultivation at 28°C for 36 hours. Bleomycin-resistant transformants were selected as yeast-like colonies following incubation at 37°C. The efficiency of transformation was approximately 123 ± 3.27 and 239 ± 13.12 transformants per plate when using 5 × 10(4) conidia and pre-germinated conidia as starting materials, respectively. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that 95% of transformants contained single copies of T-DNA. Inverse PCR was employed for identifying flanking sequences at the T-DNA insertion sites. Analysis of these sequences indicated that integration occurred as random recombination events. Among the mutants isolated were previously described stuA and gasC defective strains. These AMT-derived mutants possessed single T-DNA integrations within their particular coding sequences. In addition, other morphological and pigmentation mutants possessing a variety of gene-specific defects were isolated, including two mutants having T-DNA integrations within putative promoter regions. One of the latter integration events was accompanied by the deletion of the entire corresponding gene. Collectively, these results indicated that AMT could be used for large-scale, functional genetic analyses in P. marneffei. Such analyses can potentially facilitate the identification of those genetic elements related to morphogenesis, as well as pathogenesis in this medically important fungus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves functional capacity in chronic heart-failure (HF) patients, but the basis for this improvement remains unclear. We evaluate the effects of RMT on the hemodynamic and autonomic function, arterial baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and respiratory mechanics in rats with HF. Rats were assigned to one of four groups: sedentary sham (n = 8), trained sham (n = 8), sedentary HF (n = 8), or trained HF (n = 8). Trained animals underwent a RMT protocol (30 min/day, 5 day/wk, 6 wk of breathing through a resistor), whereas sedentary animals did not. In HF rats, RMT had significant effects on several parameters. It reduced left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure (P RMT (P RMT (P RMT (P RMT protocol in HF rats promotes an improvement in hemodynamic function, sympathetic and vagal heart modulation, arterial BRS, and respiratory mechanics, all of which are benefits associated with improvements in cardiopulmonary interaction.

  4. Effect of dietary supplementation on improvement of growth and immune function of broilers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Liancheng; Zeng Wei; Li Yu; Wang Yongqiang

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of a dietary supplement (MirigenTM),a fungal cell wall derivative product,as a new generation alternative to antibiotics,on the growth and the innate and adaptive immune functions in broilers from birth to 45 d of age. Newborn chicken were randomly assigned to one of three groups:G1 (n=150) controls no supplement fed;G2 (n=150) is fed with dietary supplement at a designed regular dose (0.5%,weight of additive to food);G3 (n=150) is fed with dietary supplement at double doses (1%). All three groups were housed in the same conditions. Body weight and blood were taken on day 1,14,28 and 45. Medications used and costs/treatment were recorded for each group. The whole blood was used to purify heterophils for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and E coli killing abilities examination assays,and the serum samples were preserved in freezer for enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to determine concentration of macrophage inflammatory protein-1β(MIP-1β),CD4/CD8,interferon-γ(IFN-γ), and titers of antibody against Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Group differences were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) algorithm (S-Plus). There was no significant birth weight difference in three groups. Af-ter 45 d growth,the dietary supplement treated groups had significantly higher body weight gain (BWG) with lower mortality rate if compared to the untreated control group (P<0.05). Their BWG and mortality rate were 2.23 kg and 10%in G1 (control group),2.89 kg and 2%in G2 (experimental group,0.5%dose),and 2.77 kg and 1%in G3 (experimental group,1%dose),respectively. Heterophil ROS generation in treated groups were markedly improved through the addition of dietary supplement in both regular and double doses to the diet (P<0.05). The ability of heterophil to kill E coli was also significantly improved in dietary supplement treated groups (P<0.01). Comparing to control group,there was significantly higher serum

  5. Improvement of CPU time of Linear Discriminant Function based on MNM criterion by IP

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    Shuichi Shinmura

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Revised IP-OLDF (optimal linear discriminant function by integer programming is a linear discriminant function to minimize the number of misclassifications (NM of training samples by integer programming (IP. However, IP requires large computation (CPU time. In this paper, it is proposed how to reduce CPU time by using linear programming (LP. In the first phase, Revised LP-OLDF is applied to all cases, and all cases are categorized into two groups: those that are classified correctly or those that are not classified by support vectors (SVs. In the second phase, Revised IP-OLDF is applied to the misclassified cases by SVs. This method is called Revised IPLP-OLDF.In this research, it is evaluated whether NM of Revised IPLP-OLDF is good estimate of the minimum number of misclassifications (MNM by Revised IP-OLDF. Four kinds of the real data—Iris data, Swiss bank note data, student data, and CPD data—are used as training samples. Four kinds of 20,000 re-sampling cases generated from these data are used as the evaluation samples. There are a total of 149 models of all combinations of independent variables by these data. NMs and CPU times of the 149 models are compared with Revised IPLP-OLDF and Revised IP-OLDF. The following results are obtained: 1 Revised IPLP-OLDF significantly improves CPU time. 2 In the case of training samples, all 149 NMs of Revised IPLP-OLDF are equal to the MNM of Revised IP-OLDF. 3 In the case of evaluation samples, most NMs of Revised IPLP-OLDF are equal to NM of Revised IP-OLDF. 4 Generalization abilities of both discriminant functions are concluded to be high, because the difference between the error rates of training and evaluation samples are almost within 2%.   Therefore, Revised IPLP-OLDF is recommended for the analysis of big data instead of Revised IP-OLDF. Next, Revised IPLP-OLDF is compared with LDF and logistic regression by 100-fold cross validation using 100 re-sampling samples. Means of error rates of

  6. Cognitive Improvement after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Measured with Functional Neuroimaging during the Acute Period.

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    Glenn R Wylie

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging studies in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI have been largely limited to patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, utilizing images obtained months to years after the actual head trauma. We sought to distinguish acute and delayed effects of mild traumatic brain injury on working memory functional brain activation patterns < 72 hours after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI and again one-week later. We hypothesized that clinical and fMRI measures of working memory would be abnormal in symptomatic mTBI patients assessed < 72 hours after injury, with most patients showing clinical recovery (i.e., improvement in these measures within 1 week after the initial assessment. We also hypothesized that increased memory workload at 1 week following injury would expose different cortical activation patterns in mTBI patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms, compared to those with full clinical recovery. We performed a prospective, cohort study of working memory in emergency department patients with isolated head injury and clinical diagnosis of concussion, compared to control subjects (both uninjured volunteers and emergency department patients with extremity injuries and no head trauma. The primary outcome of cognitive recovery was defined as resolution of reported cognitive impairment and quantified by scoring the subject's reported cognitive post-concussive symptoms at 1 week. Secondary outcomes included additional post-concussive symptoms and neurocognitive testing results. We enrolled 46 subjects: 27 with mild TBI and 19 controls. The time of initial neuroimaging was 48 (+22 S.D. hours after injury (time 1. At follow up (8.7, + 1.2 S.D., days after injury, time 2, 18 of mTBI subjects (64% reported moderate to complete cognitive recovery, 8 of whom fully recovered between initial and follow-up imaging. fMRI changes from time 1 to time 2 showed an increase in posterior cingulate activation in the mTBI subjects

  7. Improved adipose tissue function with initiation of protease inhibitor-only ART

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maughan, Robert T.; Feeney, Eoin R.; Capel, Emilie; Capeau, Jacqueline; Domingo, Pere; Giralt, Marta; Lange, Joep M. A.; Phanuphak, Praphan; Cooper, David A.; Reiss, Peter; Mallon, Patrick W. G.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Use of ART containing HIV PIs has previously been associated with toxicity in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), potentially contributing to the development of lipodystrophy and insulin resistance. However, the effect of PIs on SAT function in ART-naive patients independent of other ART classes is unknown. This study aimed to elucidate the effect of initiating PI-only ART on SAT function in ART-naive subjects. Methods In the HIVNAT-019 study, 48 HIV-infected, ART-naive Thai adults commencing PI-only ART comprising lopinavir/ritonavir/saquinavir for 24 weeks underwent assessments of fasting metabolic parameters and body composition. In a molecular substudy, 20 subjects underwent SAT biopsies at weeks 0, 2 and 24 for transcriptional, protein, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and histological analyses. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00400738. Results Over 24 weeks, limb fat increased (+416.4 g, P = 0.023), coinciding with larger adipocytes as indicated by decreased adipocyte density in biopsies (−32.3 cells/mm2, P = 0.047) and increased mRNA expression of adipogenesis regulator PPARG at week 2 (+58.1%, P = 0.003). Increases in mtDNA over 24 weeks (+600 copies/cell, P = 0.041), decreased NRF1 mRNA expression at week 2 (−33.7%, P < 0.001) and increased COX2/COX4 protein ratio at week 24 (+288%, P = 0.038) indicated improved mitochondrial function. Despite decreased AKT2 mRNA at week 2 (−28.6%, P = 0.002) and increased PTPN1 mRNA at week 24 (+50.3%, P = 0.016) suggesting insulin resistance, clinical insulin sensitivity [by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR)] was unchanged. Conclusions Initiation of PI-only ART showed little evidence of SAT toxicity, the changes observed being consistent with a return to health rather than contributing to lipodystrophy. PMID:27516476

  8. Improving the galaxy clustering Fisher matrix: window function, bin cross-correlation, and bin redshift uncertainty

    CERN Document Server

    Bailoni, Alberto; Amendola, Luca

    2016-01-01

    The Fisher matrix is a widely used tool to forecast the performance of future experiments and approximate the likelihood of large data sets. Most of the forecasts for cosmological parameters in galaxy clustering studies rely on the Fisher matrix approach for large-scale experiments like DES, Euclid, or SKA. Here we improve upon the standard method by taking into account three effects: the finite window function, the correlation between redshift bins, and the uncertainty on the bin redshift. The first two effects are negligible only in the limit of infinite surveys. The third effect, on the contrary, is negligible for infinitely small bins. Here we show how to take into account these effects and what the impact on forecasts of a Euclid-type experiment will be. The main result of this article is that the windowing and the bin cross-correlation induce a considerable change in the forecasted errors, of the order of 10-30% for most cosmological parameters, while the redshift bin uncertainty can be neglected for bi...

  9. Dark chocolate consumption improves leukocyte adhesion factors and vascular function in overweight men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esser, Diederik; Mars, Monica; Oosterink, Els; Stalmach, Angelique; Müller, Michael; Afman, Lydia A

    2014-03-01

    Flavanol-enriched chocolate consumption increases endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Most research so far has focused on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) only; the effects on other factors relevant to endothelial health, such as inflammation and leukocyte adhesion, have hardly been addressed. We investigated whether consumption of regular dark chocolate also affects other markers of endothelial health, and whether chocolate enrichment with flavanols has additional benefits. In a randomized double-blind crossover study, the effects of acute and of 4 wk daily consumption of high flavanol chocolate (HFC) and normal flavanol chocolate (NFC) on FMD, augmentation index (AIX), leukocyte count, plasma cytokines, and leukocyte cell surface molecules in overweight men (age 45-70 yr) were investigated. Sensory profiles and motivation scores to eat chocolate were also collected. Findings showed that a 4 wk chocolate intake increased FMD by 1%, which was paralleled by a decreased AIX of 1%, decreased leukocyte cell count, decreased plasma sICAM1 and sICAM3, and decreased leukocyte adhesion marker expression (Pchocolate. This study provides new insights on how chocolate affects endothelial health by demonstrating that chocolate consumption, besides improving vascular function, also lowers the adherence capacity of leukocytes in the circulation.

  10. Functional poly(ε-caprolactone)/chitosan dressings with nitric oxide-releasing property improve wound healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xin; Wang, He; Zhang, Jimin; Li, Xuemei; Wu, Yifan; Wei, Yongzhen; Ji, Shenglu; Kong, Deling; Zhao, Qiang

    2017-03-09

    Wound healing dressings are increasingly needed clinically due to the large number of skin damage annually. Nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in promoting wound healing, thus biomaterials with NO-releasing property receive increasing attention as ideal wound dressing. In present study, we prepared a novel functional wound dressing by combining electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nonwoven mat with chitosan-based NO-releasing biomaterials (CS-NO). As-prepared PCL/CS-NO dressing released NO sustainably under the physiological conditions, which was controlled by the catalysis of β-galactosidase. In vivo wound healing characteristics were further evaluated on full-thickness cutaneous wounds in mice. Results showed that PCL/CS-NO wound dressings remarkably accelerated wound healing process through enhancing re-epithelialization and granulation formation and effectively improved the organization of regenerated tissues including epidermal-dermal junction, which could be ascribed to the pro-angiogenesis, immunomodulation, and enhanced collagen synthesis provided by the sustained release of NO. Therefore, PCL/CS-NO may be a promising candidate for wound dressings, especially for the chronic wound caused by the ischemia.

  11. N-acetyl glucosamine improves intestinal mucosal barrier function in rat

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    Yanxia Liu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Our study investigated the effect of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc on the intestinal mucosal barrier function in rats. Rats were randomly assigned into normal control group, diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D group and GlcNAc group. IBS-D was introduced into the IBS-D group without any treatment. The GlcNAc group were treated with GlcNAc. Microvilli and tight junctions of intestinal epithelial cells were detected. The D-lactic acid level and diamine oxidase (DAO activity in the serum were determined. Compared with normal rats, microvilli were sparsely distributed on the intestinal epithelial cells, the tight junction gap also widened, and D-lactic acid level and DAO activity were significantly higher in the IBS-D group. After GlcNAc treatment, the microscopic structure of the intestinal mucosa became largely normal, and the level of D-lactic acid and the DAO activity were lowered. In conclusion, GlcNAc can effectively improve the intestinal mucosal barrier dysfunction, perhaps through enhancing the cellular metabolism.

  12. Cannabidiol improves lung function and inflammation in mice submitted to LPS-induced acute lung injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, A; Almeida, V I; Costola-de-Souza, C; Ferraz-de-Paula, V; Pinheiro, M L; Vitoretti, L B; Gimenes-Junior, J A; Akamine, A T; Crippa, J A; Tavares-de-Lima, W; Palermo-Neto, J

    2015-02-01

    We have previously shown that the prophylactic treatment with cannabidiol (CBD) reduces inflammation in a model of acute lung injury (ALI). In this work we analyzed the effects of the therapeutic treatment with CBD in mice subjected to the model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI on pulmonary mechanics and inflammation. CBD (20 and 80 mg/kg) was administered (i.p.) to mice 6 h after LPS-induced lung inflammation. One day (24 h) after the induction of inflammation the assessment of pulmonary mechanics and inflammation were analyzed. The results show that CBD decreased total lung resistance and elastance, leukocyte migration into the lungs, myeloperoxidase activity in the lung tissue, protein concentration and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF and IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2) in the bronchoalveolar lavage supernatant. Thus, we conclude that CBD administered therapeutically, i.e. during an ongoing inflammatory process, has a potent anti-inflammatory effect and also improves the lung function in mice submitted to LPS-induced ALI. Therefore the present and previous data suggest that in the future cannabidiol might become a useful therapeutic tool for the attenuation and treatment of inflammatory lung diseases.

  13. Resistance Exercise Reduces Skeletal Muscle Cachexia and Improves Muscle Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    Salaheddin Sharif

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Rheumatoid arthritis (RA is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune, inflammatory disease associated with cachexia (reduced muscle and increased fat. Although strength-training exercise has been used in persons with RA, it is not clear if it is effective for reducing cachexia. A 46-year-old woman was studied to determine: (i if resistance exercise could reverse cachexia by improving muscle mass, fiber cross-sectional area, and muscle function; and (2 if elevated apoptotic signaling was involved in cachexia with RA and could be reduced by resistance training. A needle biopsy was obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle of the RA subject before and after 16 weeks of resistance training. Knee extensor strength increased by 13.6% and fatigue decreased by 2.8% Muscle mass increased by 2.1%. Average muscle fiber cross-sectional area increased by 49.7%, and muscle nuclei increased slightly after strength training from 0.08 to 0.12 nuclei/μm2. In addition, there was a slight decrease (1.6% in the number of apoptotic muscle nuclei after resistance training. This case study suggests that resistance training may be a good tool for increasing the number of nuclei per fiber area, decreasing apoptotic nuclei, and inducing fiber hypertrophy in persons with RA, thereby slowing or reversing rheumatoid cachexia.

  14. Unani Treatment Decreased Fibrosis and Improved Liver Functions in Decompensated Cirrhosis of Liver: A Case Series

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    Akhtar Siddiqui

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available At present, liver transplantation remains the only curative option for the patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver diseases. The survival rate and recurrent diseases remain the major issues in the patient post-transplantation. Unani medicine is one of the oldest traditional systems of medicine which has been treating chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis (Talayyaful-Kabid for centuries. The current study aimed to assess the impact of Unani treatment on decompensated cirrhosis and collect data to warrant further clinical trials. Authors conducted a case series on five patients with decompensated cirrhosis and portal hypertension. The disease was confirmed through FibroScan and ultrasound and treated with Unani treatment orally for seven months. Results were evaluated based on FibroScan, liver function test (LFT, EuroQol-5D (EQ5D, Child-Pugh and TTO-TIME (trade-off question. Significant improvements in LFT, fibrosis and quality of life were achieved in the studied patients. The literature related to the herbal constituents of chief medicines used to treat in this case was reviewed. The herbs proved their potential anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective, immuno-modulator and antiviral activities, suggesting plausible mechanisms of action in the cases. The preliminary findings indicated the potential therapeutic role of Unani treatment in decompensated cirrhosis. Clinical trials should be conducted to explore further therapeutic potential of Unani treatment in decompensated cirrhosis.

  15. Predicting Improvement in Depression Across Therapies Using Indicators of Romantic Relationship Functioning: A Preliminary Investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Sarah B; Priest, Jacob B; Denton, Wayne H

    2015-01-01

    Depression is a common presenting problem, often affected by couple interactions in unique ways. However, research in the area of romantic relationship functioning and depression often replicates previous research or consists of literature reviews, limiting the clinical relevancy. The purpose of this preliminary study is to expand the research on the effects of relational processes on depression treatment outcomes. We tested whether initiator tendency, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and marital satisfaction predicted improvement in depression for women with Major Depressive Disorder enrolled in a depression treatment clinical trial (n = 17). Women completed treatments of either pharmacotherapy or combined Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and pharmacotherapy. We found that higher baseline levels of partner initiator tendency resulted in less change in depression (worse outcomes), regardless of treatment type and that higher baseline levels of attachment avoidance predicted better depression outcomes in treatment. Marital satisfaction, however, was not linked to change in depression. Initiator tendency is discussed as a critical romantic relationship factor for depression treatment outcomes.

  16. Cell Adhesion Selectivity of Stent Material to improve Bio-functionality by Ion Beam Modification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jaesang; Park, JUngchan; Jung, Myunghwan; Kim, Yongki [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Junkyu [Bio alpha., Co. Ltd., Gimhae (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He{sup +} ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He{sup +} ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft.

  17. Atomization Inhalation of Terbutaline and Budesonide Efficiently Improved Immunity and Lung Function of AECOPD Patients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guilan Xiong; Lijun Xu; Liu Wei; Xiaodan Li

    2008-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a syndrome of chronic progressive airflow limitation as a result of chronic inflammation of the airways and lung parenchyma. COPD patients always have airway hyperreactivity (AHR), so how to reduce AHR becomes the key purpose of clinical treatment. It is hypothesized that combined inhalation of corticosteroids andβ2-agonists can reduce the AHR in COPD. In this study, atomization inhalation of budesonide and terbutaline plus conventional therapies was applied to treat AECOPD (acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients for two weeks. The results showed that additional inhalation of budesonide and terbutaline could upregulate serum IL-2 levels, the percentages of CD3+ T and CD4+ T cells, and CD4/CD8 ratio, and decrease eosinophils and serum CRP level more efficiently than conventional treatment in patients with AECOPD. And the lung function of the atomization inhalation group was improved more obviously after the treatment compared with the conventional treatment group. Thus, atomization inhalation of terbutaline and budesonide can control AECOPD effectively, and has wide clinical perspective in controlling and preventing the exacerbation of COPD. Cellular & Molecular Immunology. 2008;5(4):287-291.

  18. Improved functional recovery of denervated skeletal muscle after temporary sensory nerve innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, J R; Veltri, K L; Chamberlain, D; Fahnestock, M

    2001-01-01

    Prolonged muscle denervation results in poor functional recovery after nerve repair. The possible protective effect of temporary sensory innervation of denervated muscle, prior to motor nerve repair, has been examined in the rat. Soleus and gastrocnemius muscles were denervated by cutting the tibial nerve, and the peroneal nerve was then sutured to the transected distal tibial nerve stump either immediately or after two, four or six months. In half of the animals with delayed repair, the saphenous (sensory) nerve was temporarily attached to the distal nerve stump. Muscles were evaluated three months after the peroneal-to-tibial union, and were compared with each other, with unoperated control muscles and with untreated denervated muscles. After four to six months of sensory "protection", gastrocnemius muscles weighed significantly more than unprotected muscles, and both gastrocnemius and soleus muscles exhibited better preservation of their structure, with less fiber atrophy and connective tissue hyperplasia. The maximum compound action potentials were significantly larger in gastrocnemius and soleus muscles following sensory protection, irrespective of the delay in motor nerve union. Isometric force, although less than in control animals and in those with immediate nerve repair, remained reasonably constant after sensory protection, while in unprotected muscles there was a progressive and significant decline as the period of denervation lengthened. We interpret these results as showing that, although incapable of forming excitable neuromuscular junctions, sensory nerves can nevertheless exert powerful trophic effects on denervated muscle fibers. We propose that these findings indicate a useful strategy for improving the outcome of peripheral nerve surgery.

  19. Exendin-4 improves cardiac function in mice overexpressing monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Younce, Craig W; Niu, Jianli; Ayala, Jennifer; Burmeister, Melissa A; Smith, Layton H; Kolattukudy, Pappachan; Ayala, Julio E

    2014-11-01

    The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (Glp1) is cardioprotective in models of ischemia-reperfusion injury, myocardial infarction and gluco/lipotoxicity. Inflammation is a factor in these models, yet it is unknown whether Glp1 receptor (Glp1r) agonists are protective against cardiac inflammation. We tested the hypothesis that the Glp1r agonist Exendin-4 (Ex4) is cardioprotective in mice with cardiac-specific monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 overexpression. These MHC-MCP1 mice exhibit increased cardiac monocyte infiltration, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, apoptosis, fibrosis and left ventricular dysfunction. Ex4 treatment for 8 weeks improved cardiac function and reduced monocyte infiltration, fibrosis and apoptosis in MHC-MCP1 mice. Ex4 enhanced expression of the ER chaperone glucose-regulated protein-78 (GRP78), decreased expression of the pro-apoptotic ER stress marker CCAAT/-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) and increased expression of the ER calcium regulator Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase-2a (SERCA2a). These findings suggest that the Glp1r is a viable target for treating cardiomyopathies associated with stimulation of pro-inflammatory factors.

  20. Ingestion of sodium plus water improves cardiovascular function and performance during dehydrating cycling in the heat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamouti, N; Fernández-Elías, V E; Ortega, J F; Mora-Rodriguez, R

    2014-06-01

    We studied if salt and water ingestion alleviates the physiological strain caused by dehydrating exercise in the heat. Ten trained male cyclists (VO2max : 60 ± 7 mL/kg/min) completed three randomized trials in a hot-dry environment (33 °C, 30% rh, 2.5 m/s airflow). Ninety minutes before the exercise, participants ingested 10 mL of water/kg body mass either alone (CON trial) or with salt to result in concentrations of 82 or 164 mM Na(+) (ModNa(+) or HighNa(+) trial, respectively). Then, participants cycled at 63% of VO2 m ⁢ a x for 120 min immediately followed by a time-trial. After 120 min of exercise, the reduction in plasma volume was lessened with ModNa(+) and HighNa(+) trials (-11.9 ± 2.1 and -9.8 ± 4.2%) in comparison with CON (-16.4 ± 3.2%; P performance by 7.4% above CON (∼ 289 ± 42 vs 269 ± 50 W, respectively; P dehydrating exercise in the heat without thermoregulatory effects. However, it maintains cardiovascular function and improves cycling performance.

  1. Improving respiration in patients with tetraplegia by functional electrical stimulation: an anatomical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Sarah; Shaw-Dunn, John; Gollee, Henrik; Allan, David B; Fraser, Matthew H; McLean, Alan N

    2007-08-01

    Patients with tetraplegia often have respiratory complications because of paralysis of the abdominal and intercostal muscles. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has been used to improve breathing in these patients by applying surface stimulation to the abdominal muscles. We aimed to find the best nerves to stimulate directly to increase tidal volume and make cough more effective. Surface electrodes were placed on a patient's abdominal wall to find the optimum points for surface stimulation. These positions were plotted on a transparent sheet. The abdomino-intercostal nerves were dissected in five male dissecting room cadavers matched for size with the patient. The plastic sheet was then superimposed over each of the dissections to clarify the relationship between optimum surface stimulation points and the underlying nerves. Results show that the optimum surface stimulation points overlie the course of abdomino-intercostal nerves T9, 10, and 11. The success with selecting stimulation points associated with T9, 10, and 11 is probably because of the large mass of abdominal muscle supplied by these nerves. The constant position of the nerves below the ribs makes the intercostal space a possible site for direct stimulation of the abdomino-intercostal nerves.

  2. Iron-responsive olfactory uptake of manganese improves motor function deficits associated with iron deficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonghan Kim

    Full Text Available Iron-responsive manganese uptake is increased in iron-deficient rats, suggesting that toxicity related to manganese exposure could be modified by iron status. To explore possible interactions, the distribution of intranasally-instilled manganese in control and iron-deficient rat brain was characterized by quantitative image analysis using T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI. Manganese accumulation in the brain of iron-deficient rats was doubled after intranasal administration of MnCl(2 for 1- or 3-week. Enhanced manganese level was observed in specific brain regions of iron-deficient rats, including the striatum, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Iron-deficient rats spent reduced time on a standard accelerating rotarod bar before falling and with lower peak speed compared to controls; unexpectedly, these measures of motor function significantly improved in iron-deficient rats intranasally-instilled with MnCl(2. Although tissue dopamine concentrations were similar in the striatum, dopamine transporter (DAT and dopamine receptor D(1 (D1R levels were reduced and dopamine receptor D(2 (D2R levels were increased in manganese-instilled rats, suggesting that manganese-induced changes in post-synaptic dopaminergic signaling contribute to the compensatory effect. Enhanced olfactory manganese uptake during iron deficiency appears to be a programmed "rescue response" with beneficial influence on motor impairment due to low iron status.

  3. Phosphocreatine represents a thermodynamic and functional improvement over other muscle phosphagens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellington, W R

    1989-05-01

    In vertebrate tissues, the only phosphagen is phosphocreatine (PC), and the corresponding phosphotransferase is creatine phosphokinase (CPK). Among invertebrates, a variety of phosphotransferase reactions are found in addition to CPK, including arginine phosphokinase (APK), glycocyamine phosphokinase (GPK), taurocyamine phosphokinase (TPK) and lombricine phosphokinase (LPK). Although there is some uncertainty about the exact value, the apparent equilibrium constant for the CPK reaction (K'cpk = [creatine][ATP]/[PC][ADP]), under physiological conditions similar to those of vertebrate muscle, ranges from 100 to 160. The corresponding K' value for the APK reaction is somewhat controversial, and K' values for the GPK. TPK and LPK reactions are not known. In this study, conventional and 31P-NMR methods were used to evaluate the equilibrium constants for the APK, GPK, TPK and LPK reactions relative to that of CPK. The corresponding K' values for the APK, GPK, TPK and LPK reactions, expressed as a percentage of K'cpk, are 13, 29, 29 and 32%, respectively. The exclusively invertebrate phosphagens exist as a cohort of thermodynamically more stable compounds. Thus, PC constitutes a thermodynamic (and functional) improvement, in that the CPK reaction is able to buffer ATP at much higher ATP/ADP ratios than are other phosphagens. However, possession of a phosphagen system with a lower K' value may be advantageous under certain specific physiological conditions such as intracellular acidosis.

  4. Improved Asymmetric Cipher Based on Matrix Power Function with Provable Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eligijus Sakalauskas

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The improved version of the author’s previously declared asymmetric cipher protocol based on matrix power function (MPF is presented. Proposed modification avoids discrete logarithm attack (DLA which could be applied to the previously declared protocol. This attack allows us to transform the initial system of MPF equations to so-called matrix multivariate quadratic (MMQ system of equations, which is a system representing a subclass of multivariate quadratic (MQ systems of equations. We are making a conjecture that avoidance of DLA in protocol, presented here, should increase its security, since an attempt to solve the initial system of MPF equations would appear to be no less complex than solving the system of MMQ equations. No algorithms are known to solve such a system of equations. Security parameters and their secure values are defined. Security analysis against chosen plaintext attack (CPA and chosen ciphertext attack (CCA is presented. Measures taken to prevent DLA attack increase the security of this protocol with respect to the previously declated protocol.

  5. Improvement of hemodialysis catheter function with tenecteplase: a phase III, open-label study: TROPICS 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishbane, Steven; Milligan, Samuel L; Lempert, Kenneth D; Hertel, Joachim E W; Wetmore, James B; Oliver, Matthew J; Blaney, Martha; Gillespie, Barbara S; Jacobs, Joan R; Begelman, Susan M

    2011-01-01

    Hemodialysis (HD) catheters are prone to thrombotic occlusion. We evaluated tenecteplase, a thrombolytic, for the treatment of dysfunctional HD catheters. Patients with tunneled HD catheters and blood flow rate (BFR) tenecteplase (2 mg/lumen) for a 1 h intracatheter dwell. Treatment success was defined as BFR ≥ 300 mL/min and a ≥ 25 mL/min increase from baseline BFR, 30 min before and at the end of HD. Patients without treatment success at the end of the initial visit received another 2 mg dose of tenecteplase for an up to 72 h extended dwell. Of 223 enrolled patients, 34% (95% confidence interval [CI], 28-40%) had treatment success after a 1 h dwell. Mean (standard deviation [SD]) BFR change from baseline was 82 (124) mL/min. Treatment success in those who received extended-dwell tenecteplase (n = 116) was 49% (95% CI, 40-58%), with mean (SD) BFR change from baseline of 117 (140) mL/min. Reported targeted adverse events included five catheter-related bloodstream infections and one thrombosis. No intracranial hemorrhage, major bleeding, embolic events, or catheter-related complications were reported. Tenecteplase administered as a 1 h or 1 h plus extended dwell was associated with improved HD catheter function in the TROPICS 4 trial.

  6. Improving the performance of the NIST five axis goniospectrometer for measurements of bidirectional reflectance distribution function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podobedov, V. B.; Nadal, M. E.; Miller, C. C.

    2011-05-01

    The five axis goniospectrometer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) measures the spectral reflectance of colored samples over a wide range of illumination and viewing angles. This capability is important for the colorimetric characterization of complex materials, such as gonioapparent coatings or retroreflective surfaces. To improve the efficiency of the goniometer, a broad-band source with a matrix-based stray-light corrected CCD based spectrometer was implemented. This new configuration offers a significant reduction in the measurement time allowing for the complete characterization of the goniodistribution of complex materials. Shorter measurement time reduces the load on the precise mechanical assembly, to ensure high angular accuracy over time. Special care was taken to extend the effective dynamic range of measured intensities in the multichannel detection mode to the values of 106 - 107 needed for the characterization of colored samples. The expanded uncertainty of the measured Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) for this new setup is about 0.5 % (k = 2) which is comparable to the uncertainty levels of the instrument operating with monochromatic illumination and a silicon photodiode. To validate the new system configuration, the measured BRDF or spectral reflectance factors (R) of test samples were compared with different instruments and we found an agreement of about 0.5 %.

  7. Sensitivity Improvement of an Impedimetric Immunosensor Using Functionalized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imen Hafaid

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This work has explored the development of impedimetric immunosensors based on magnetic iron nanoparticles (IrNP functionalized with streptavidin to which a biotinylated FAB part of the antibody has been bound using a biotin-streptavidin interaction. SPR analysis shows a deviation on the measured (angle during antigen-antibody recognition whereas label free detection using by EIS allows us to monitor variation of polarization resistance. Before detection, layers were analyzed by FTIR and AFM. Compared to immobilization of antibody on bare gold surface using aminodecanethiol SAM, antibody immobilization on nanoparticles permitted to reach lower detection limit: 500 pg/ml instead of 1 ng/ml to in the case of EIS and 300 ng/ml instead of 4.5 μg/ml in the case of SPR. Thus, it permitted to improve the sensitivity: from 257.3  Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml to 1871 Ω⋅cm2⋅μg−1⋅ml in the case of EIS and from 0.003°μg−1⋅ml to 0.094°μg−1⋅ml in the case of SPR.

  8. Comprehensive chronic pain management: improving physical and psychological function (CME multimedia activity).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarberg, Bill H; Stanos, Steven; Williams, David A

    2012-06-01

    As shown in this CME online activity (www.cmeaccess.com/AJM/ChronicPain02), chronic, non-cancer pain can arise from a variety of etiologies and can be broadly classified based on its underlying mechanism as nociceptive, inflammatory, neuropathic, or central, with some patients having pain arising from a combination of mechanisms. Chronic pain assessment and treatment involves evaluating not only its biological aspects, but also psychological and sociocultural factors. Beyond neural mechanisms, a patient's perception of chronic pain can be influenced by comorbid mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety; cognitive and affective traits, such as catastrophizing and fear-avoidance; environmental stressors, family relationships, social support, and cultural beliefs. Based on this biopsychosocial model, a multidisciplinary approach to management incorporates pharmacotherapy (opioid, nonopioid, and centrally-acting analgesics, and pain adjuvant medications) with nonpharmacologic physical rehabilitation and psychological and behavioral therapies to address the multifactorial causes of chronic pain, which in turn leads to improvement of physical and psychological function.

  9. Does injection of metanephric mesenchymal cells improve renal function in rats?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-qing Jiao

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic kidney disease (CKD is a massive global health-care problem. Cell therapy offers a potential treatment for CKD. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the administration of a population of stem cells could be used to treat adriamycin (ADR-induced glomerulopathy in rats, a form of CKD. We intravenously transplanted metanephric mesenchymal cells (MMCs into rats treated with ADR. We also induced MMC differentiation in vitro using a medium derived from serum and homogenates of ADR-induced glomerulopathy rats. We detected the induction of an early epithelial phenotype (cytokeratin-18 expression and a proximal tubule phenotype (vitamin D receptor expression in vitro, and MMC-derived epithelial cells corresponding to the proximal tubule and glomeruli in vivo. Transplantation of MMCs after induction of glomerulopathy significantly increased the creatinine clearance rate (Ccr, a marker for glomerular filtration rate, but had no significant effect on other parameters (24-hour urinary protein excretion, serum albumin, total cholesterol. In addition, there was no significant difference in blood urea nitrogen or serum creatinine levels in rats with and without ADR administration. Our results indicate that MMCs might survive, engraft and differentiate into renal epithelia in vivo when transplanted into ADR-treated rats. However, further studies are needed to determine whether MMC transplantation improves renal function and causes renal repair in this model.

  10. Ivabradine improves left ventricular function during chronic hypertension in conscious pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rienzo, Mario; Melka, Jonathan; Bizé, Alain; Sambin, Lucien; Jozwiak, Mathieu; Su, Jin Bo; Hittinger, Luc; Berdeaux, Alain; Ghaleh, Bijan

    2015-01-01

    During chronic hypertension, increases in heart rate (HR) or adrenergic stimulation are associated with maladaptive left ventricular responses as isovolumic contraction and relaxation durations failed to reduce, impeding filling. We, therefore, investigated the effects of acute selective HR reduction with ivabradine on left ventricular dysfunction during chronic hypertension. Accordingly, chronically instrumented pigs received angiotensin II infusion during 4 weeks to induce chronic hypertension. Left ventricular function was investigated while angiotensin II infusion was stopped. A single intravenous dose of ivabradine was administered at days 0 and 28. Dobutamine infusion was also performed. HR was increased at day 28 versus day 0. Paradoxically, both isovolumic contraction and relaxation times failed to reduce and remained unchanged (57±3 versus 58±3 ms and 74±3 versus 70±3 at day 28 versus day 0, respectively). At day 28, ivabradine significantly reduced HR by 27%. Concomitantly, abnormal ventricular responses were corrected because both isovolumic contraction and relaxation times were significantly reduced while filling time was improved. Similarly at day 28, maladaptive responses of isovolumic contraction and relaxation to dobutamine were no longer observed during HR reduction with ivabradine. Correction of HR reduction with pacing showed that non-HR-related mechanisms also participated to these beneficial effects. In this model of chronic hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy, acute HR reduction with ivabradine corrects the maladaptive responses of cardiac cycle phases by restoring a normal profile for isovolumic contraction and relaxation both at rest and under adrenergic stimuli, ultimately favoring filling.

  11. Improved insulin sensitivity and islet function after PPARdelta activation in diabetic db/db mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winzell, Maria Sörhede; Wulff, Erik Max; Olsen, Grith Skytte; Sauerberg, Per; Gotfredsen, Carsten F; Ahrén, Bo

    2010-01-25

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. Several reports have shown that PPARdelta is involved in lipid metabolism, increasing fat oxidation and depleting lipid accumulation. Whether PPARdelta is involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism is not completely understood. In this study, we examined effects of long-term PPARdelta activation on glycemic control, islet function and insulin sensitivity in diabetic db/db mice. Male db/db mice were administered orally once daily with a selective and partial PPARdelta agonist (NNC 61-5920, 30 mg/kg) for eight weeks; control mice received vehicle. Fasting and non-fasting plasma glucose were reduced, reflected in reduced hemoglobinA(1c) (3.6+/-1.6% vs. 5.4+/-1.8 in db/db controls, Pdiabetic db/db mice. This suggests that activation of PPARdelta improves glucose metabolism and may therefore potentially be target for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

  12. Nanotubes Functionalized with BMP2 Knuckle Peptide Improve the Osseointegration of Titanium Implants in Rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yuanping; Zhang, Zhenting; Liu, Yiran; Li, Hongyi; Wang, Na; Liu, Wenwen; Li, Wenjun; Jin, Lingling; Wang, Jinshu; Chen, Su

    2015-02-01

    To determine the effects of surface modification on implant osseointegration in vivo, we first immobilized polydopamine onto 70-nm diameter TiO2 nanotubes as an intermediate layer, and then conjugated a 21 amino acid peptide sequence (the so-called "knuckle peptide") of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) onto the nanotubes created by electrochemical anodization. We inserted these implants into the tibiae of rabbits and measured the gene expression and bone formation around them. The successful fabrication of BMP-2 knuckle peptide was confirmed by contact angle measurement, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The histological features and the amount of bone fluorescence around the implants on non-decalcified sections were investigated at 3, 5, 8, and 12 weeks after implantation using traditional light and fluorescence microscopy, and the gene expression of alkaline phosphatase, osterix, collagen-I, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase was examined by real-time PCR at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after implantation. The results demonstrated a significant increase in bone-implant contact, quantity of fluorescence, and gene expression levels of the bone attached to implants with immobilized BMP-2 knuckle peptide compared with the other two control groups. In conclusion, the surface functionalization of TiO2 nanotubes with BMP-2 knuckle peptide was beneficial for osseointegration and this approach could be further developed to improve Ti-based implants for various applications.

  13. Transplanted human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells improve left ventricular function through angiogenesis in myocardial infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Cheng-heng; WU Gui-fu; WANG Xiao-qing; YANG Yan-hua; DU Zhi-min; HE Xiao-hong; XIANG Peng

    2006-01-01

    Background Human umbilical cord blood contains an abundance of immature stem/progenitor cells, which may participate in the repair of hearts that have been damaged by myocardial infarction (MI). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCBC) transplantation on cardiac function and left ventricular remodeling in rat model of MI.Methods Forty-five male Wistar rats were randomized into three groups: MI or control group (n=15), MI plus cell transplantation (n=15), and sham group (n=15). Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was established by ligating the left anterior descending artery, thereafter, hUCBC were implanted into the marginal area of infarcted myocardium. In MI/control group, DMEM was injected instead of hUCBC following the same protocol. Left ventricular function assessment was carried out by echocardiography and invasive hemodynamic measurements one month post MI. All rats were sacrificed for histological and immunochemical examinations.Results The transplanted hUCBC survived and engaged in the process of myocardial repair in the host heart.Echocardiography demonstrated that left ventricular function improved significantly in the rats that underwent cell transplantation. Hemodynamic studies found a significantly decreased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) [(21.08±8.10) mmHg vs (30.82±9.59) mmHg, P<0.05], increase in +dp/dtmax [(4.29± 1.27)mmHg/ms vs (3.24±0.75) mmHg/ms, P<0.05), and increase in -dp/dtmax [(3.71 ±0.79) mmHg/ms vs (3.00±0.49) mmHg/ms, P<0.05] among MI group with hUCBC transplantation when compared with MI/control group.Masson's trichrome staining revealed that the collagen density in the left ventricle was significantly lower in rats of transplantation group than that in the MI control groups [(6.33±2.69)% vs (11.10±3.75)%, P< 0.01]. Based on immunostaining of α-actin, the numbers of microvessels were significantly (P<0.01) increased at the boundary of

  14. Genetic Variation of Functional Components in Grains of Improved Barley Lines from Four Continents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yawen ZENG; Xiaoying PU; Jing ZHANG; Juan DU; Ganggang GUO; Tao YANG; ChunyanZHAO; Shuming YANG; Dawei ZHAO; Junjie TANG; Ping JIA

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] The study was to analyze functional components in improved barley grains. [Method] Genetic variations of functional components in grains among 629 barley improved lines from four continents were determined with DU640-type ul- traviolet spectrophotometry (BECKMAN). [Result] The contents (mg/100 g) of total flavones and GABA in grains of Asian barley lines (123.09_+29.56, 9.49_+4.34) were significantly higher than that of American barley lines (103.85_22.33, 7.38_+3.59), while no significant difference was observed between Asia/Americas and Europe (115.47_+11.41, 9.66-+3.98) and Australia (104.20-+4.76, 8.83-+3.41); furthermore, there was no significant difference of resistant starch content (%) in barley grains among four continents [Asia (1.63_+1.44), America (1.54_+1.13), Europe (1.20+0.85) and Aus- tralia (0.27_+0.26)]. The contents (%) of resistant starch in grains of two-rowed barley (ssp. Hordeurn distichon Koern., 1.45_+1.20) was significantly lower than that of poly- rowed barley (ssp. Hordeum vulgare Orlov., 1.95_+1.24). On the contrary, the content of total flavones in two-rowed lines (111.43_+27.79 mg/100 g) wa, s significantly higher than that of poly-rowed lines (102.15_+14.95 mg/100 g), and the content of GABA in two-rowed lines (8.55+_3.73 mg/100 g) was also significantly higher than that of poly-rowed lines (5.96_+3.95 mg/100 g). There was the most significant correlation between GABA content and resistant starch (-0.21)/total flavones content (0.12 , P〈0.01, n=-629). There were great genotype differences among the functional compo- nents in barley grains. The coefficient of variation (78.60%) and range (0-9.29%) of resistant starch (1.56_+1.22%) were relatively large, including 11 high-resistant starch lines above 5%; the coefficient of variation (49.00%) and range (0-30.67 mg/100g) of GABA (8.00-

  15. Improvement of motor function and decreased need for postnatal shunting in children who had undergone intrauterine myelomeningocele repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tereza Cristina Carbonari de Faria

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare neuromotor development between patients who did and those who did not undergo intrauterine myelomeningocele repair. Methods Children with myelomeningocele aged between 3.5 and 6 years who did undergo intrauterine repair (Group A, n=6 or not (Group B; n=7 were assessed for neuromotor development at both anatomical and functional levels, need for orthoses, and cognitive function. Results Intrauterine myelomeningocele repair significantly improved motor function. The functional level was higher than the anatomical level by 2 or more spinal segments in all children in Group A and 2 children in Group B, with a significant statistical difference between groups (p<0.05. Five children in Group A and one in Group B were community ambulators. Conclusion Despite the small sample, it was observed that an improvement of motor function and decreased need for postnatal shunting in the 6 children who had undergone intrauterine myelomeningocele repair.

  16. Partition functions 1: Improved partition functions and thermodynamic quantities for normal, equilibrium, and ortho and para molecular hydrogen

    CERN Document Server

    Popovas, Andrius

    2016-01-01

    Aims. In this work we rigorously show the shortcomings of various simplifications that are used to calculate the total internal partition function. These shortcomings can lead to errors of up to 40 percent or more in the estimated partition function. These errors carry on to calculations of thermodynamic quantities. Therefore a more complicated approach has to be taken. Methods. Seven possible simplifications of various complexity are described, together with advantages and disadvantages of direct summation of experimental values. These were compared to what we consider the most accurate and most complete treatment (case 8). Dunham coefficients were determined from experimental and theoretical energy levels of a number of electronically excited states of H$_2$ . Both equilibrium and normal hydrogen was taken into consideration. Results. Various shortcomings in existing calculations are demonstrated, and the reasons for them are explained. New partition functions for equilibrium, normal, and ortho and para hyd...

  17. Changes in executive functions and self-efficacy are independently associated with improved usual gait speed in older women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsu Chun

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Improved usual gait speed predicts substantial reduction in mortality. A better understanding of the modifiable factors that are independently associated with improved gait speed would ensure that intervention strategies are developed based on a valid theoretical framework. Thus, we examined the independent association of change in executive functions and change in falls-related self-efficacy with improved gait speed among community-dwelling senior women. Methods A secondary analysis of the 135 senior women aged 65 to 75 years old who completed a 12-month randomized controlled trial of resistance training. Usual gait speed was assessed using a 4-meter walk. Three executive processes were assessed by standard neuropsychological tests: 1 set shifting; 2 working memory; and 3 selective attention and response inhibition. A linear regression model was constructed to determine the independent association of change in executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy with change in gait speed. Results Improved selective attention and conflict resolution, and falls-related self-efficacy, were independently associated with improved gait speed after accounting for age, global cognition, baseline gait speed, and change in quadriceps strength. The total variance explained was 24%. Conclusions Interventions that target executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy, in addition to physical functions, to improve gait speed may be more efficacious than those that do not. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00426881

  18. Patients Undergoing Subacute Physical Rehabilitation following an Acute Hospital Admission Demonstrated Improvement in Cognitive Functional Task Independence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M. McPhail

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. This study investigated cognitive functioning among older adults with physical debility not attributable to an acute injury or neurological condition who were receiving subacute inpatient physical rehabilitation. Design. A cohort investigation with assessments at admission and discharge. Setting. Three geriatric rehabilitation hospital wards. Participants. Consecutive rehabilitation admissions (n=814 following acute hospitalization (study criteria excluded orthopaedic, neurological, or amputation admissions. Intervention. Usual rehabilitation care. Measurements. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM Cognitive and Motor items. Results. A total of 704 (86.5% participants (mean age = 76.5 years completed both assessments. Significant improvement in FIM Cognitive items (Z-score range 3.93–8.74, all P<0.001 and FIM Cognitive total score (Z-score = 9.12, P<0.001 occurred, in addition to improvement in FIM Motor performance. A moderate positive correlation existed between change in Motor and Cognitive scores (Spearman’s rho = 0.41. Generalized linear modelling indicated that better cognition at admission (coefficient = 0.398, P<0.001 and younger age (coefficient = −0.280, P<0.001 were predictive of improvement in Motor performance. Younger age (coefficient = −0.049, P<0.001 was predictive of improvement in FIM Cognitive score. Conclusions. Improvement in cognitive functioning was observed in addition to motor function improvement among this population. Causal links cannot be drawn without further research.

  19. Functional-task exercise versus resistance strength exercise to improve daily function in older women : A randomized, controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Samson, MM; van Meeteren, NLU; Duursma, SA; Verhaar, HJJ; de Vreede, P.

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To determine whether a functional-task exercise program and a resistance exercise program have different effects on the ability of community-living older people to perform daily tasks. DESIGN: A randomized, controlled, single-blind trial. SETTING: Community leisure center in Utrecht, the

  20. Improvement of the Exp-function method for solving the BBM equation with time-dependent coefficients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahani, Maghsoud; Manafian, Jalil

    2016-03-01

    In this article, we establish the exact solutions for the BBM equation with time-dependent coefficients. The Exp-function method (EFM) and improvement of the Exp-function method (IEFM) are used to construct solitary and soliton solutions of nonlinear evolution equations. These methods are developed for searching exact travelling wave solutions of nonlinear partial differential equations. The exact particular solutions are of four types: the hyperbolic function solution, trigonometric function solution, exponential solution and rational solution. It is shown that the EFM and IEFM, with the help of symbolic computation, provide a straightforward and powerful mathematical tool for solving nonlinear evolution equations in mathematical physics.

  1. The Improvement of Quantum Genetic Algorithm and Its Application on Function Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Huaixiao Wang; Jianyong Liu; Jun Zhi; Chengqun Fu

    2013-01-01

    To accelerate the evolutionary process and increase the probability to find the optimal solution, the following methods are proposed to improve the conventional quantum genetic algorithm: an improved method to determine the rotating angle, the self-adaptive rotating angle strategy, adding the quantum mutation operation and quantum disaster operation. The efficiency and accuracy to search the optimal solution of the algorithm are greatly improved. Simulation test shows that the improved quantu...

  2. Significant improvement in dynamic visual acuity after cataract surgery: a promising potential parameter for functional vision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingxin Ao

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Dynamic visual acuity (DVA is a relatively independent parameter for evaluating the ability to distinguish details of a moving target. The present study has been designed to discuss the extent to which age-related cataract impacts DVA in elderly individuals and to determine whether it could be restored after bilateral phacoemulsification combined with intraocular lens implantation surgery. METHODS: Twenty-six elderly cataract patients scheduled for binocular cataract surgery and 30 elderly volunteers without cataract were enrolled in the study. DVA at 15, 30, 60 and 90 degree per second (dps was assessed, and velocity-dependent visual acuity decreases between consecutive speed levels were calculated. RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the patient group exhibited significantly worse DVA performance at all speed levels (p<0.001, and the decreases in velocity-dependent visual acuity were more serious in the patient group at the intervals of 0-15 dps (p<0.001, 15-30 dps (p = 0.007 and 30-60 dps (p = 0.008. Postoperatively, DVA performance at every speed level in the patient group clearly improved (p<0.001 and recovered to levels compatible to the control group. The decrease in visual acuity with increasing speed was less pronounced than during the preoperative phase (p0-15 dps = 0.001, p15-30 dps<0.001 and p30-60 dps = 0.001 and became similar to that of the control group. The postoperative visual benefit regarding DVA was more pronounced than the improvement in static visual acuity (p15 dps = 0.001 and p<0.001 at 30 dps, 60 dps and 90 dps. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of age-related cataract on DVA was more severe than its effects on static visual acuity. After cataract surgery, not only static vision of the patients was restored markedly, but also the dynamic vision. DVA could be an important adjunct to the current evaluation system of functional vision, thereby meriting additional attention in clinical assessment.

  3. Improved design of cementless hip stems using two-dimensional functionally graded materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedia, H S; Shabara, M A N; El-Midany, T T; Fouda, N

    2006-10-01

    Increasingly, it is acknowledged that bone resorption around cementless hip implants may cause future problems. The solution is frequently sought in reducing implant stiffness. However, this confronts the designer with a true design conflict: how to reduce the stiffness without excessively loading the proximal bone/prosthesis interface? The aim of this work is to improve the design of cementless hip stem material, using two-dimensional (2D) functionally graded material (FGM) concept in order to solve the above problems. Two models were used in this analysis, using three materials with different elastic moduli, E(1), E(2), and E(3). In model I, the elastic moduli E(1) and E(2) gradually change along the upper stem surface, while E(3) is maintained constant along all the lower surface of the stem. However, in model II, the elastic moduli E(1) and E(2) gradually change along the lower stem surface, while E(3) is maintained constant all along the upper stem surface. It is found that the recommended model is model I, which has three distinct materials of hydroxyapatite, Bioglass, and collagen. The recommended design of 2D FGM is expected to reduce the stress shielding by 91% and 12%, respectively, compared with titanium stem and model II of FGM. It is found that this new design reduces the maximum interface shear stress at the lateral and medial sides of the femur by about 50%, compared with titanium stem. Furthermore, the maximum interface shear stress is reduced by about 17% and 11% at the lateral and medial sides of the femur, respectively, compared with that of model II of FGM.

  4. Yokukansan improves behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia by suppressing dopaminergic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeyoshi, Kenji; Kurita, Masatake; Nishino, Satoshi; Teranishi, Mika; Numata, Yukio; Sato, Tadahiro; Okubo, Yoshiro

    2016-01-01

    Although three drugs, risperidone, yokukansan, and fluvoxamine, have shown equal efficacy in treating behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in our previous study, their mechanisms of action are different from one another. Monoamines have attracted attention for their key roles in mediating several behavioral symptoms or psychological symptoms through synaptic signaling. We aimed to clarify the monoamines changed by treatment with each drug in patients with BPSD. The main purpose of this study was to determine whether plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites are correlated with pharmacological treatments. This was an 8-week, rater-blinded, randomized, flexible-dose, triple-group trial. In total, 90 subjects were recruited and subsequently three different drugs were allocated to 82 inpatients with BPSD. We examined BPSD data from patients who completed 8 weeks of treatment. Eventually, we analyzed 42 patients (yokukansan: 17; risperidone: 9; fluvoxamine: 16). Homovanillic acid, a metabolite of dopamine, and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, a metabolite of noradrenaline, in their plasma were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. All three drugs showed equal significant efficacy between baseline and study endpoint. By contrast, biomarkers showed mutually different changes. Patients in the yokukansan group had significantly decreased plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Conversely, patients in the risperidone and fluvoxamine groups exhibited no significant changes in plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Yokukansan contains geissoschizine methyl ether, which is known to have a partial agonist effect on dopamine D2 receptors. An improvement in BPSD condition with the intake of yokukansan is suggested to occur through a suppressed dopaminergic function, which is similar to the effect of aripiprazole.

  5. Insulin improves cardiac myocytes contractile