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Sample records for 6a improves functional

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Down syndrome related muscle hypotonia: association with COL6A3 functional SNP rs2270669

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arpita eDey

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Down syndrome (DS, the principal cause for intellectual disability, is also associated with hormonal, immunological, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Muscle hypotonia (MH and congenital heart diseases (CHD are also frequently observed. Collagen molecules are essential components for maintaining muscle integrity and are formed by the assembly of three chains, alpha 1-3. The type VI collagen is crucial for cardiac as well as skeletal muscles. The COL 1 (VI and 2 (VI chains are encoded by genes located at the 21st chromosome and are expected to have higher dosage in individuals with DS. The  3 (VI chain is encoded by the COL6A3 located at the chromosome 2. We hypothesized that apart from COL6A1 and COL6A2, COL6A3 may also have some role in the MH of subjects with DS. To find out the relevance of COL6A3 in DS associated MH and CHD, we genotyped two SNPs in COL6A3, rs2270669 and rs2270668, in individuals with DS. Subjects with DS were recruited based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders-IV and having trisomy of the 21st chromosome. Parents of individuals with DS and ethnically matched controls were enrolled for comparison. Informed written consent was obtained for participation. Peripheral blood was used for isolation of genomic DNA. Target genetic loci were studied by DNA sequence analysis. Data obtained was subjected to population- as well as family-based statistical analysis. rs2270668 was found to be nonpolymorphic in the studied population. rs2270669 showed significant association of the ‘C’ allele and ‘CC’ genotype with DS probands having MH (P=0.02. Computational analysis showed that rs2270669 may induce structural and functional alterations in the COL 3 (VI. Interaction of COL3 (VI with different proteins, crucial for muscle integrity, was also noticed by computational methods. This pioneering study on COL6A3 with DS related MH thus indicates that rs2270669 ‘C’ could be considered as a

  3. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Exercise training improves vascular mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Cardiac Rehabilitation: Improving Function and Reducing Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servey, Jessica T; Stephens, Mark

    2016-07-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  14. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behlau M

    2015-12-01

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

  15. 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. 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. PMID:17507730

  17. 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

  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. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  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. Testosterone improves motor function in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, E; Thomas, D; Burnet, R

    2006-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Functional dysphonia: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    OpenAIRE

    Behlau M; Madazio G; Oliveira G

    2015-01-01

    Mara Behlau, Glaucya Madazio, Gisele Oliveira Voice Department, Centro de Estudos da Voz – CEV, São Paulo, Brazil Abstract: Functional dysphonia (FD) refers to a voice problem in the absence of a physical condition. It is a multifaceted voice disorder. There is no consensus with regard to its definition and inclusion criteria for diagnosis. FD has many predisposing and precipitating factors, which may include genetic susceptibility, psychological traits, and the vocal be...

  7. Functional tasks exercise improves daily function in older women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vreede, P.L. de

    2006-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Improving Density Functionals with Quantum Harmonic Oscillators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkatchenko, Alexandre

    2013-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Improved esophageal function in Barrett esophagus with intravenous metoclopramide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    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...

  14. Identification, Structural, and Functional Characterization of a New Early Gene (6A3-5, 7 kb: Implication in the Proliferation and Differentiation of Smooth Muscle Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazem Zibara

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs play a major role in atherosclerosis and restenosis. Differential display was used to compare transcription profiles of synthetic SMCs to proliferating rat cultured SMC line. An isolated cDNA band (6A3-5 was shown by northern (7 kb to be upregulated in the proliferating cell line. A rat tissue northern showed differential expression of this gene in different tissues. Using 5’ RACE and screening of a rat brain library, part of the cDNA was cloned and sequenced (5.4 kb. Sequence searches showed important similarities with a new family of transcription factors, bearing ARID motifs. A polyclonal antibody was raised and showed a protein band of 175 kd, which is localized intracellularly. We also showed that 6A3-5 is upregulated in dedifferentiated SMC (P9 in comparison to contractile SMC ex vivo (P0. This work describes cloning, structural, and functional characterization of a new early gene involved in SMC phenotype modulation.

  15. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The rat GPRC6A

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    orthologue of GPRC6A. Full-length cloning of rat GPRC6A (rGPRC6A) was accomplished using amplification of cDNA from taste tissue, and the identity of rGPRC6A confirmed at both the genomic and the protein level by similarity studies. Using selective primers, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction......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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    International audience Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's executive capacities were found to have improved greatly relative to pre-treatment assessment on a range of executive function ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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......, although a trend was observed indicating a lesser degree of spasticity. CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that kinesthetic taping of the anterior thigh and knee provides an immediate improvement in walking function in patients with stroke. Such a positive effect on motor function could...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Background. Timely pulmonary function testing is crucial to improving diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary diseases. Perceptions of poor access at an academic pulmonary function laboratory prompted analysis of system demand and capacity to identify factors contributing to poor access. Methods. Surveys and interviews identified stakeholder perspectives on operational processes and access challenges. Retrospective data on testing demand and resource capacity was analyzed to understand utilizati...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Using Quality Function Deployment To Improve Academic Advising Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrows, Richard; Murray, Bruce

    1997-01-01

    Quality Function Deployment, a set of concepts and tools used in manufacturing engineering to link consumer needs with product design, can also improve academic advising systems and processes. The technique promotes structured, logical examination of students' advising needs and their relationship to advising system design, processes, methods,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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...

  17. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Improved regional ventricular function after successful surgical revascularization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-25

    Despite years of research, no effective therapy is yet available for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The most prevalent and debilitating features in survivors of TBI are cognitive deficits and motor dysfunction. A potential therapeutic method for improving the function of patients following TBI would be to restore, at least in part, plasticity to the CNS in a controlled way that would allow for the formation of compensatory circuits. Inosine, a naturally occurring purine nucleoside, has been shown to promote axon collateral growth in the corticospinal tract (CST) following stroke and focal TBI. In the present study, we investigated the effects of inosine on motor and cognitive deficits, CST sprouting, and expression of synaptic proteins in an experimental model of closed head injury (CHI). Treatment with inosine (100 mg/kg i.p. at 1, 24 and 48 h following CHI) improved outcome after TBI, significantly decreasing the neurological severity score (NSS, pcognitive performance (object recognition, peffect on sensorimotor coordination (rotarod) and spatial cognitive functions (Y-maze). Inosine did not affect CST sprouting in the lumbar spinal cord but did restore levels of the growth-associated protein GAP-43 in the hippocampus, though not in the cerebral cortex. Our results suggest that inosine may improve functional outcome after TBI. PMID:24502983

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

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

  3. Diazoxide accelerates wound healing by improving EPC function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhang-Peng; Xin, Ru-Juan; Yang, Hong; Jiang, Guo-Jun; Deng, Ya-Ping; Li, Dong-Jie; Shen, Fu-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Endothelial cell dysfunction is the primary cause of microvascular complications in diabetes. Diazoxide enables beta cells to rest by reversibly suppressing glucose-induced insulin secretion by opening ATP-sensitive K+ channels in the beta cells. This study investigated the role of diazoxide in wound healing in mice with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes and explored the possible mechanisms of its effect. Compared to the controls, mice with STZ-induced diabetes exhibited significantly impaired wound healing. Diazoxide treatment (30 mg/kg/d, intragastrically) for 28 days accelerated wound closure and stimulated angiogenesis in the diabetic mice. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) increased significantly in the diazoxide-treated diabetic mice. The adhesion, migration, and tube formation abilities of bone marrow (BM)-EPCs were impaired by diabetes, and these impairments were improved by diazoxide treatment. The expression of both p53 and TSP-1 increased in diabetic mice compared to that in the controls, and these increases were inhibited significantly by diazoxide treatment. In vitro, diazoxide treatment improved the impaired BM-EPC function and diminished the increased expression of p53 and TSP-1 in cultured BM-EPCs caused by high glucose levels. We conclude that diazoxide improved BM-EPC function in mice with STZ-induced diabetes, possibly via a p53- and TSP-1-dependent pathway. PMID:27100489

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Z. Stradomski; A. Pirek; Stachura, S

    2008-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    经荥清; 胡大璞; 等

    1996-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis N. Awad

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanamori, Hiroshi; Toma, Masanao; Fukatsu, Atsushi

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustafiz, Ananda; Kumari, Sumita; Karan, Ratna

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustafiz, Ananda; Kumari, Sumita; Karan, Ratna

    2016-06-01

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

  8. 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

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

  14. Using Quality Function Deployment to Improve Reference Services Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Pao-Long Chang; Pao-Nuan Hsieh

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-11-01

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

  16. 42 CFR 493.2001 - Establishment and function of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Improving the controlling function with a structured optimization project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laval Valerian

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanguthevar Rajasekaran

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

  2. 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...... and foot to improve sensorimotor function can be applied on the knee. We hypothesized that temporary anesthesia of the skin area above and below the knee would improve sensorimotor function of the ipsilateral knee and leg. METHODS: In this first double-blind exploratory study, 28 uninjured subjects (mean...

  3. 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.

  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

    if treatments that lower tissue AGE burden in patients and mice would improve obesity-related renal dysfunction. Overweight and obese individuals (body mass index (BMI) 26-39¿kg/m(2)) were recruited to a randomized, crossover clinical trial involving 2 weeks each on a low- and a high-AGE-containing diet. Renal......-lowering pharmaceutical, alagebrium, and mice in which the receptor for AGE (RAGE) was deleted. Obesity, resulting from a diet high in both fat and AGE, caused renal impairment; however, treatment of the RAGE knockout mice with alagebrium improved urinary albumin excretion, creatinine clearance, the inflammatory profile...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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…

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Hinne

    2015-11-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:27190473

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morris S

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Functional lipids and lipoplexes for improved gene delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Xiao-xiang; McIntosh, Thomas J.; Grinstaff, Mark W.

    2011-01-01

    Cationic lipids are the most common non-viral vectors used in gene delivery with a few currently being investigated in clinical trials. However, like most other synthetic vectors, these vectors suffer from low transfection efficiencies. Among the various approaches to address this challenge, functional lipids (i.e., lipids responding to a stimuli) offer a myriad of opportunities for basic studies of nucleic acid–lipid interactions and for in vitro and in vivo delivery of nucleic acid for a sp...

  17. 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. 

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Oka, Olli

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 N...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1993-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) functions as part of the “extracellular actin-scavenging system,” but its potential to improve host defense against infection has not been studied. In a mouse model of primary pneumococcal pneumonia, recombinant human pGSN (rhu-pGSN) caused enhanced bacterial clearance, reduced acute inflammation, and improved survival. In vitro, rhu-pGSN rapidly improved lung macrophage uptake and killing of bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Francisella tularens...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Exergames can be considered a dual task because the games are performed by a man-videogame interface, requiring cognitive and motor functions simultaneously. Although the literature has shown improvements of cognitive and physical functions due to exergames, the intrinsic mechanisms involved in these functional changes have still not been elucidated. The aims of the present study were (1) to demonstrate the known biological mechanisms of physical exercise regarding muscle adaptation and estab...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Passive heat therapy improves cutaneous microvascular function in sedentary humans via improved nitric oxide-dependent dilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunt, Vienna E; Eymann, Taylor M; Francisco, Michael A; Howard, Matthew J; Minson, Christopher T

    2016-09-01

    Passive heat therapy (repeated hot tub or sauna use) reduces cardiovascular risk, but its effects on the mechanisms underlying improvements in microvascular function have yet to be studied. We investigated the effects of heat therapy on microvascular function and whether improvements were related to changes in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability using cutaneous microdialysis. Eighteen young, sedentary, otherwise healthy subjects participated in 8 wk of heat therapy (hot water immersion to maintain rectal temperature ≥38.5°C for 60 min/session; n = 9) or thermoneutral water immersion (sham, n = 9), and participated in experiments before and after the 8-wk intervention in which forearm cutaneous hyperemia to 39°C local heating was assessed at three microdialysis sites receiving 1) Lactated Ringer's (Control), 2) N(ω)-nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA; nonspecific NO synthase inhibitor), and 3) 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (Tempol), a superoxide dismutase mimetic. The arm used for microdialysis experiments remained out of the water at all times. Data are means ± SE cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC = laser Doppler flux/mean arterial pressure), presented as percent maximal CVC (% CVCmax). Heat therapy increased local heating plateau from 42 ± 6 to 53 ± 6% CVCmax (P effect on the local heating response (P = 0.53 vs. Control). There were no changes at the Tempol site across interventions (P = 0.58). Passive heat therapy improves cutaneous microvascular function by improving NO-dependent dilation, which may have clinical implications. PMID:27418688

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Improved Sensing Behaviors in Reduced Graphene Oxide Functionalized with Ni(OH)2 Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Han Gil; Kwon, Yong Jung; Cho, Hong Yeon; Kang, Sung Yong; Jung, Taek Kyun; Lee, Hyo-Soo; Kim, Hyoun Woo

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, we detail improvements in the sensing properties of reduced graphene oxide (RGO), which were achieved through functionalization. The functionalization process utilizes graphene oxide suspensions, generating nanoparticles on the RGO surface mainly comprised of Ni(OH)2 phase. Raman spectra indicate that functionalization increases the degree of disorder in RGOs. NO2 gas sensing tests reveal an approximate increase of 154% in the sensor response of the RGOs after functionalization. Possible mechanisms for improving sensing responses via functionalization are discussed. The enhancement is due to the spillover effect, to the increase of the sensor surface by the catalytic particles, to the reduction of RGO conduction volume through the generation of depletion region, and to the resistance modulation of the heterojunctions. PMID:26726632

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25799255

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viveka P Jyotsna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of this study was to observe the effect comprehensive yogic breathing (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga [SKY] and Pranayam had on cardiac autonomic functions in patients with diabetes. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled intervention trial. Cardiac autonomic functions were assessed in 64 diabetics. Patients were randomized into two groups, one group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and the other group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and comprehensive yogic breathing program. Standard therapy included dietary advice, brisk walking for 45 min daily, and administration of oral antidiabetic drugs. Comprehensive yogic breathing program was introduced to the participants through a course of 12 h spread over 3 days. It was an interactive session in which SKY, a rhythmic cyclical breathing, preceded by Pranayam is taught under the guidance of a certified teacher. Cardiac autonomic function tests were done before and after 6 months of intervention. Results: In the intervention group, after practicing the breathing techniques for 6 months, the improvement in sympathetic functions was statistically significant (P 0.04. The change in sympathetic functions in the standard therapy group was not significant (P 0.75.Parasympathetic functions did not show any significant change in either group. When both parasympathetic and sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions were considered, there was a trend toward improvement in patients following comprehensive yogic breathing program (P 0.06. In the standard therapy group, no change in cardiac autonomic functions was noted (P 0.99. Conclusion: Cardiac autonomic functions improved in patients with diabetes on standard treatment who followed the comprehensive yogic breathing program compared to patients who were on standard therapy alone.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laukkanen Eila

    2006-12-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:23533954

  8. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:19673815

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) functions as part of the "extracellular actin-scavenging system," but its potential to improve host defense against infection has not been studied. In a mouse model of primary pneumococcal pneumonia, recombinant human pGSN (rhu-pGSN) caused enhanced bacterial clearance, reduced acute inflammation, and improved survival. In vitro, rhu-pGSN rapidly improved lung macrophage uptake and killing of bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Francisella tularensis). pGSN triggers activating phosphorylation (Ser(1177)) of macrophage nitric oxide synthase type III (NOS3), an enzyme with important bactericidal functions in lung macrophages. rhu-pGSN failed to enhance bacterial killing by NOS3(-/-) macrophages in vitro or bacterial clearance in NOS3(-/-) mice in vivo. Prophylaxis with immunomodulators may be especially relevant for patients at risk for secondary bacterial pneumonia, e.g., after influenza. Treatment of mice with pGSN challenged with pneumococci on postinfluenza day 7 (the peak of enhanced susceptibility to secondary infection) caused a ∼15-fold improvement in bacterial clearance, reduced acute neutrophilic inflammation, and markedly improved survival, even without antibiotic therapy. pGSN is a potential immunomodulator for improving lung host defense against primary and secondary bacterial pneumonia. PMID:25957291

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Plasma gelsolin (pGSN) functions as part of the “extracellular actin-scavenging system,” but its potential to improve host defense against infection has not been studied. In a mouse model of primary pneumococcal pneumonia, recombinant human pGSN (rhu-pGSN) caused enhanced bacterial clearance, reduced acute inflammation, and improved survival. In vitro, rhu-pGSN rapidly improved lung macrophage uptake and killing of bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Francisella tularensis). pGSN triggers activating phosphorylation (Ser1177) of macrophage nitric oxide synthase type III (NOS3), an enzyme with important bactericidal functions in lung macrophages. rhu-pGSN failed to enhance bacterial killing by NOS3−/− macrophages in vitro or bacterial clearance in NOS3−/− mice in vivo. Prophylaxis with immunomodulators may be especially relevant for patients at risk for secondary bacterial pneumonia, e.g., after influenza. Treatment of mice with pGSN challenged with pneumococci on postinfluenza day 7 (the peak of enhanced susceptibility to secondary infection) caused a ∼15-fold improvement in bacterial clearance, reduced acute neutrophilic inflammation, and markedly improved survival, even without antibiotic therapy. pGSN is a potential immunomodulator for improving lung host defense against primary and secondary bacterial pneumonia. PMID:25957291

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:21722657

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christos Rammos

    Full Text Available Endothelial dysfunction is predictive for cardiovascular events and may be caused by decreased bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO. NO is scavenged by cell-free hemoglobin with reduction of bioavailable NO up to 70% subsequently deteriorating vascular function. While patients with mitral regurgitation (MR suffer from an impaired prognosis, mechanisms relating to coexistent vascular dysfunctions have not been described yet. Therapy of MR using a percutaneous mitral valve repair (PMVR approach has been shown to lead to significant clinical benefits. We here sought to investigate the role of endothelial function in MR and the potential impact of PMVR.Twenty-seven patients with moderate-to-severe MR treated with the MitraClip® device were enrolled in an open-label single-center observational study. Patients underwent clinical assessment, conventional echocardiography, and determination of endothelial function by measuring flow-mediated dilation (FMD of the brachial artery using high-resolution ultrasound at baseline and at 3-month follow-up. Patients with MR demonstrated decompartmentalized hemoglobin and reduced endothelial function (cell-free plasma hemoglobin in heme 28.9±3.8 μM, FMD 3.9±0.9%. Three months post-procedure, PMVR improved ejection fraction (from 41±3% to 46±3%, p = 0.03 and NYHA functional class (from 3.0±0.1 to 1.9±1.7, p<0.001. PMVR was associated with a decrease in cell free plasma hemoglobin (22.3±2.4 μM, p = 0.02 and improved endothelial functions (FMD 4.8±1.0%, p<0.0001.We demonstrate here that plasma from patients with MR contains significant amounts of cell-free hemoglobin, which is accompanied by endothelial dysfunction. PMVR therapy is associated with an improved hemoglobin decompartmentalization and vascular function.

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26180820

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Neuromuscular exercise improves functional performance in patients with severe hip osteoarthritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villadsen, Allan; Overgaard, Søren; Larsen, Anders Holsgaard;

    Purpose. Exercise is regarded a cornerstone in the treatment of mild to moderate osteoarthritis (OA). However, little is known of the effects in patients with advanced and end-stage OA. The purpose was to evaluate the effect of neuromuscular exercise in patients with severe hip OA. Methods. Desig...... to the NEMEX-TJR program improves functional performance and leg extension power in patients with severe OA of the hip joint....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Error bounds and exponential improvement for Hermite's asymptotic expansion for the Gamma function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gergő Nemes

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we reconsider the asymptotic expansion of the Gamma function with shifted argument, which is the generalization of the well-known Stirling series. To our knowledge, no explicit error bounds exist in the literature for this expansion. Therefore, the first aim of this paper is to extend the known error estimates of Stirling's series to this general case. The second aim is to give exponentially-improved asymptotics for this asymptotic series.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osvaldo J Hernandez Soto

    2014-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    PUBLISHED Physical activity has been reported to improve cognitive function in humans and rodents, possibly via a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-regulated mechanism. In this study of human subjects, we have assessed the effects of acute and chronic exercise on performance of a face-name matching task, which recruits the hippocampus and associated structures of the medial temporal lobe, and the Stroop word-colour task, which does not, and have assessed circulating concentrations o...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:26417069

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ruiqi; Hettiarachchy, Navam; Rayaprolu, Srinivas; Davis, Mike; Eswaranandam, Satchithanandam; Jha, Alok; Chen, Pengyin

    2015-09-01

    Functional properties of the soy protein need to improve to have better applications in food industry. Alkali extracted and acid precipitated soy protein isolate (SPI) was glycosylated using D-glucose (G) and Xanthan gum (X) via Maillard reaction to improve solubility. The effects of SPI to G and SPI to X ratios (SPI:G = 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2; SPI:X = 100:1 and 10:1) and incubation time (0, 6, 12, and 24 h) on the solubility and functional properties of glycosylated SPI were evaluated. The SPI:G ratio of 1:2 yielded a maximum degree of glycosylation of 71.1 %. The solubility of SPI after glycosylation significantly increased (P 4.0-8.0 compared to SPI alone. Although the emulsion stability of glycosylated SPIs has not significantly increased (P > 0.05), the emulsifying activity improved significantly (P < 0.05). Glycosylation with SPI-X at a ratio of 10: 1 showed maximum emulsifying activity of 191.6 m(2)/g (SPI alone: 66.3 m(2)/g). Moreover, the SPI:X (ratio of 100:1) showed the maximum foaming activity (205 mL) compared to SPI alone (155 mL). The foaming stability of SPI (2.6 %) increased to 5.5 and 8.2 % when using xanthan gum at the ratio of 100:1 and 10:1, respectively. Glycosylated SPI with enhanced emulsifying and foaming properties has potential to improve the functional quality of the food products. PMID:26345030

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 lean mass (P < 0.05), and muscle strength (P < 0.001). There were no changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, body weight, BMI, or M. In the control group, body weight (P < 0.01), BMI (P < 0.01), and total fat mass (P < 0.05) increased. At week 24, improvements in vascular function were reversed. This study indicates that exercise training can improve both conduit and microvascular endothelial function and health, independent of changes in insulin sensitivity in adolescents with type 2 diabetes. PMID:26887327

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xun; Xiao, Yi-Chuan; Zhang, Gui-Ping; Hou, Ning; Wu, Xiao-Qian; Chen, Wen-Liang; Luo, Jian-Dong; Zhang, Gen-Shui

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27621594

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:25355438

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahbobeh Faramarzi

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. 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...... patients showed further decline, while the CBT group showed a trend for improvement (difference in mean change 4 (95 % CI 2-6) weeks per year), leading to an ultimate difference of 10 (95 % CI 3-18) weeks in the third year after treatment. Conclusion: A group CBT programme prevented further deterioration...

  14. Improved Glycemic Control and Vascular Function in Overweight and Obese Subjects by Glyoxalase 1 Inducer Formulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Mingzhan; Weickert, Martin O; Qureshi, Sheharyar; Kandala, Ngianga-Bakwin; Anwar, Attia; Waldron, Molly; Shafie, Alaa; Messenger, David; Fowler, Mark; Jenkins, Gail; Rabbani, Naila; Thornalley, Paul J

    2016-08-01

    Risk of insulin resistance, impaired glycemic control, and cardiovascular disease is excessive in overweight and obese populations. We hypothesized that increasing expression of glyoxalase 1 (Glo1)-an enzyme that catalyzes the metabolism of reactive metabolite and glycating agent methylglyoxal-may improve metabolic and vascular health. Dietary bioactive compounds were screened for Glo1 inducer activity in a functional reporter assay, hits were confirmed in cell culture, and an optimized Glo1 inducer formulation was evaluated in a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover clinical trial in 29 overweight and obese subjects. We found trans-resveratrol (tRES) and hesperetin (HESP), at concentrations achieved clinically, synergized to increase Glo1 expression. In highly overweight subjects (BMI >27.5 kg/m(2)), tRES-HESP coformulation increased expression and activity of Glo1 (27%, P adhesion molecule-1 (-10%, P treatment for improved metabolic and vascular health in overweight and obese populations. PMID:27207552

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...... magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated the effects of EPO on neural circuitry activity during working memory (WM) performance. METHOD: Patients with treatment-resistant major depression, who were moderately depressed, or with BD in partial remission, were randomized to eight weekly infusions...... of EPO (40 000 IU) (N = 30) or saline (N = 26) in a double-blind, parallel-group design. Patients underwent fMRI, mood ratings and blood tests at baseline and week 14. During fMRI patients performed an n-back WM task. RESULTS: EPO improved WM accuracy compared with saline (p = 0.045). Whole...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. Does therapeutic electrical stimulation improve function in children with disabilities? A comprehensive literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosques, Glendaliz; Martin, Rebecca; McGee, Leah; Sadowsky, Cristina

    2016-05-31

    The use of therapeutic electrical stimulation for medical purposes is not new; it has been described in medical textbooks since the 18th century, but its use has been limited due to concerns for tolerance and lack of research showing efficacy. The purpose of this review is to discuss the potential clinical applicability, while clarifying the differences in electrical stimulation (ES) treatments and the theory behind potential benefits to remediate functional impairments in youth.The literature review was performed as follows: A total of 37 articles were reviewed and the evidence for use in pediatric diagnoses is reported.The synthesis of the literature suggests that improvements in various impairments may be possible with the integration of ES. Most studies were completed on children with cerebral palsy (CP). Electrical stimulation may improve muscle mass and strength, spasticity, passive range of motion (PROM), upper extremity function, walking speed, and positioning of the foot and ankle kinematics during walking. Sitting posture and static/dynamic sitting balance may be improved with ES to trunk musculature. Bone mineral density may be positively affected with the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) ergometry. ES may also be useful in the management of urinary tract dysfunction and chronic constipation. Among all reviewed studies, reports of direct adverse reactions to electrical stimulation were rare.In conclusion, NMES and FES appear to be safe and well tolerated in children with various disabilities. It is suggested that physiatrists and other healthcare providers better understand the indications and parameters in order to utilize these tools effectively in the pediatric population. MeSH terms: Electrical stimulation; child; review. PMID:27285801

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-15

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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miśkiewicz, Janusz

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Training improves oxidative capacity, but not function, in spinal muscular atrophy type III

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Karen Lindhardt; Hansen, Regitze Sølling; Preisler, Nicolai;

    2015-01-01

    a 12-week training program, performing 42 30-minute sessions exercising at 65-70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max ). VO2max , muscle strength, functional tests, and self-reported activities of daily living were assessed before and after the training. RESULTS: Training induced a 27 ± 3% increase in VO2......max (17 ± 2 to 21 ± 2 ml/kg/min, P sleep in 3 patients, and led to training modifications in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Cycle exercise improves VO2max in SMA III without causing muscle...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Buris; Bellostas Muguerza, Natalia; Petersen, Atheline Major;

    2010-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Ingestion of glucosinolates has previously been reported to improve endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats, possibly because of an increase in NO availability in the endothelium due to an attenuation of oxidative stress; in our study we tried to see if this also would...... be the case in humans suffering from essential hypertension. METHODS: 40 hypertensive individuals without diabetes and with normal levels of cholesterol were examined. The participants were randomized either to ingest 10 g dried broccoli sprouts, a natural donor of glucosinolates with high in vitro...... antioxidative potential, for a 4 week period or to continue their ordinary diet and act as controls. Blood pressure, endothelial function measured by flow mediated dilation (FMD) and blood samples were obtained from the participants every other week and the content of glucosinolates was measured before...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, A. R.; Zafalon, G. F. D.; Neves, L. A.; Pinto, A. R.; Valêncio, C. R.; Machado, J. M.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Nicholas P

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Teaching others rule-use improves executive function and prefrontal activations in young children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Sakata, Yoko; Ishibashi, Mikako; Ishikawa, Yusuke

    2015-01-01

    Intervention of executive function during early childhood is an important research topic. This study examined the effect of a child-friendly intervention program, where children interacted with a doll or a puppet. Children were presented with cognitive shifting tasks before and after an intervention. In the intervention, children interacted with a doll or a puppet, and taught rules of the cognitive shifting tasks to the object. As the results, 3- to 5-year-old children significantly improved the performances and strengthened activations in the lateral prefrontal regions as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. The results suggest that interaction with a doll or a puppet may have a significant impact on the development of executive function. PMID:26175706

  19. Teaching others rule-use improves executive function and prefrontal activations in young children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eMoriguchi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Intervention of executive function during early childhood is an important research topic. This study examined the effect of a child-friendly intervention program, where children interacted with a doll or a puppet. Children were presented with cognitive shifting tasks before and after an intervention. In the intervention, children interacted with a doll or a puppet, and taught rules of the cognitive shifting tasks to the object. As the results, 3- to 5-year-old children significantly improved the performances and strengthened activations in the lateral prefrontal regions as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. The results suggest that interaction with a doll or a puppet may have a significant impact on the development of executive function.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. STUDY REGARDING THE EFFICIENCY OF NEUROPROPRICEPTIVE FACILITTING TECHNIQUES AND METHODS IN IMPROVING THE ARTHROTIC KNEE FUNCTIONALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirela DAN

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Physical therapy, through its fundamental and/orhelping means, aims at the recovery of arthroticknee functionality, responding to pathologicalchanges determined by the degenerative process.The knee joint has a major role in statics andlocomotion and it is the biggest joint of the body,but it is also the less protected of the soft parts,being thus one of the most traumatized and painfuljoints. We started from de hypothesis that theapplication of a complex physical therapeuticprogram which should include neuroproprioceptivefacilitating techniques specific for mobility andstability promotion, as well as the Kabat method(diagonals for lower limb will lead to theimprovement of functionality condition of theentire lower limb, stopping the evolution, or evendetermining the regression of the degenerativeprocess.Although the values obtained at the end of thisstudy do not differ much between the subjects ofthe two lots, generally taken, according to theresearch and to the presented results, it can benoticed that the hypothesis is confirmed throughthe followings:- Improvement of functional level in the case ofthe experimental lot (24.5, more significant thanat the witness lot (23, mainly due to a betterstability in the knee joint at the end of thetreatment period, favored by the introduction ofspecific techniques and of Kabat method in thekinetic program;- Decrease of pain intensity reflected both in theevolution of the functional score and in the ongoingof daily activities

  6. Accelerated remyelination during inflammatory demyelination prevents axonal loss and improves functional recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Feng; Lehmann-Horn, Klaus; Shen, Yun-An A; Rankin, Kelsey A; Stebbins, Karin J; Lorrain, Daniel S; Pekarek, Kara; A Sagan, Sharon; Xiao, Lan; Teuscher, Cory; von Büdingen, H-Christian; Wess, Jürgen; Lawrence, J Josh; Green, Ari J; Fancy, Stephen PJ; Zamvil, Scott S; Chan, Jonah R

    2016-01-01

    Demyelination in MS disrupts nerve signals and contributes to axon degeneration. While remyelination promises to restore lost function, it remains unclear whether remyelination will prevent axonal loss. Inflammatory demyelination is accompanied by significant neuronal loss in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model and evidence for remyelination in this model is complicated by ongoing inflammation, degeneration and possible remyelination. Demonstrating the functional significance of remyelination necessitates selectively altering the timing of remyelination relative to inflammation and degeneration. We demonstrate accelerated remyelination after EAE induction by direct lineage analysis and hypothesize that newly formed myelin remains stable at the height of inflammation due in part to the absence of MOG expression in immature myelin. Oligodendroglial-specific genetic ablation of the M1 muscarinic receptor, a potent negative regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, results in accelerated remyelination, preventing axonal loss and improving functional recovery. Together our findings demonstrate that accelerated remyelination supports axonal integrity and neuronal function after inflammatory demyelination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18246.001 PMID:27671734

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krikorian, Robert; Nash, Tiffany A; Shidler, Marcelle D; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Joseph, James A

    2010-03-01

    Concord grape juice contains polyphenol compounds, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and influence neuronal signalling. Concord grape juice supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure and vascular pathology in individuals with CVD, and consumption of such flavonoid-containing foods is associated with a reduced risk for dementia. In addition, preliminary animal data have indicated improvement in memory and motor function with grape juice supplementation, suggesting potential for cognitive benefit in ageing humans. In this initial investigation of neurocognitive effects, we enrolled twelve older adults with memory decline but not dementia in a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial with Concord grape juice supplementation for 12 weeks. We observed significant improvement in a measure of verbal learning and non-significant enhancement of verbal and spatial recall. There was no appreciable effect of the intervention on depressive symptoms and no effect on weight or waist circumference. A small increase in fasting insulin was observed for those consuming grape juice. These preliminary findings suggest that supplementation with Concord grape juice may enhance cognitive function for older adults with early memory decline and establish a basis for more comprehensive investigations to evaluate potential benefit and assess mechanisms of action. PMID:20028599

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Daniel T.; Conkin, Johnny

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Daniel T.; Conkin, Johnny

    2003-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Dietary and plant polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in cerebral ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panickar, Kiran S; Jang, Saebyeol

    2013-08-01

    Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Rehabilitation of masticatory function improves the alveolar bone architecture of the mandible in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mavropoulos, Anestis; Odman, Anna; Ammann, Patrick; Kiliaridis, Stavros

    2010-09-01

    Masticatory functional changes have been shown to influence the quantity and quality of the alveolar bone during growth. This study was designed to investigate the effect of masticatory function rehabilitation on the morphology and the trabecular architecture of the mandibular alveolar bone after cessation of growth. Forty-four Sprague-Dawley male rats received soft diet in order to develop masticatory muscle hypofunction. After 21 weeks, after cessation of growth, the animals were divided into two groups: the first group continued receiving soft diet for six more weeks (hypofunction group), while the second group changed to ordinary (hard) diet with the aim to restore a normal masticatory function (rehabilitation group). A third group of 16 male rats (normal group) received ordinary (hard) diet during the whole experimental period and served as control. Micro-tomographic histomorphometry was used to evaluate the architecture of the mandibular alveolar bone (e.g. bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, trabecular separation, etc.) at the end of the experiment (27 weeks). The height and width of the alveolar process were measured as well. The alveolar process trabecular bone volume fraction (BV/TV) was lower for the animals of the hypofunctional group as compared to those of the normal (pTV was lower in comparison to the normal group (pled to a significant improvement of alveolar bone architecture in adult rats, although the negative effects of hypofunction were not totally reversed during the period under study. PMID:20601301

  8. 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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adalberto Sperb Rubin

    2015-08-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:21457274

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26721684

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:27171844

  13. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC prevented the progression of renovascular hypertension, improved renal function and architecture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth B Oliveira-Sales

    Full Text Available Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC (2×10(5 cells/animal were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future.

  14. 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.

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

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    Sylvia Abadir

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giselle Soares Passos

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Investigation of Spectral Band Requirements for Improving Retrievals of Phytoplankton Functional Types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Grape seed extract to improve liver function in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khoshbaten Manouchehr

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim: Therapeutic interventions in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are limited, while anti-oxidative materials have shown benefits in animal models. This study aimed to evaluate grape seed extract as an anti-oxidative material in this process. Therapeutic effects of grape seed extract were evaluated in comparison to vitamin C in a double-blind setting. Materials and Methods: Fifteen patients were enrolled in each group. Liver function tests were done; also, grade of steatosis and pattern of echogenicity of the liver were determined. Patients were followed up by the same evaluation repeated in first, second and third months. Results: Mean age ± standard deviation was 43.2 ± 10.3 years. Grape seed extract (GSE significantly improved the grade of fatty liver change; and resulted in significant decrease in alanine aminotransferase in patients receiving the concentrate compared to those receiving vitamin C independently, from the initial grade of steatosis. Conclusions: This study describes the beneficial effect of using grape seed extract for three months in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These results may improve with a longer period of follow-up.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapchak, Paul A; Boitano, Paul D

    2016-09-01

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

  15. The improvement in functional characteristics of eco-friendly composites made of natural rubber and cellulose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araki, Kunihiro; Kaneko, Shonosuke; Matsumoto, Koki; Tanaka, Tatsuya; Arao, Yoshihiko [Applied Materials Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Doshisha University, 1-3, Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, 610-0321 (Japan); Nagatani, Asahiro [Applied Materials Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Doshisha University, 1-3, Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, 610-0321 (Japan); Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Technology, 3-1-12, Yukihira-cho, Suma-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 654-0037 (Japan)

    2015-05-22

    We investigated the efficient use of cellulose to resolve the problem of the depletion of fossil resources. In this study, as the biomass material, the green composite based on natural rubber (NR) and the flake-shaped cellulose particles (FSCP) was produced. In order to further improvement of functional characteristics, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) was also used instead of NR. The FSCP were produced by mechanical milling in a planetary ball mill with a grinding aid as a cellulose aggregation inhibitor. Moreover, talc and mica particles were used to compare with FSCP. NR and ENR was mixed with vulcanizing agents and then each filler was added to NR compound in an internal mixer. The vulcanizing agents are as follows: stearic acid, zinc oxide, sulfur, and vulcanization accelerator. The functionalities of the composites were evaluated by a vibration-damping experiment and a gas permeability experiment. As a result, we found that FSCP filler has effects similar to (or more than) inorganic filler in vibration-damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties. And then, vibration- damping and O{sub 2} barrier properties of the composite including FSCP was increased with use of ENR. In particular, we found that ENR-50 composite containing 50 phr FSCP has three times as high vibration-damping property as ENR-50 without FSCP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Covalent Binding of Heparin to Functionalized PET Materials for Improved Haemocompatibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Kalisch

    2008-08-01

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

  3. Functioning of the university focused on the quality and continuous improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Dudek-Burlikowska

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: A new approach to the functioning of quality management system at university focused on the quality has been presented.Design/methodology/approach: The profits resulting from possessing of Quality Management System certificate in higher education has been proposed.Findings: At the present time the educational organizations should implement Quality Management Systems, and next they should try to find a possibility of estimation of this System, and the same acting according to Deming’s principles introduce philosophy of total quality management.Research limitations/implications: Generally definitions of quality educational has been described. Quality of university should implement to integrate aspects based on the quality criterion which will allow the entire organizational system of university to achieve the optimum level of the quality, of the high effectiveness and the innovation, and proquality action should include the entire organization.Practical implications: The possibility of implementing Method of Averaging Quality Groups of Rating as a factor of improving of university functioning has been shown.Originality/value: Implementing the Method of Averaging Quality Groups of Rating has been a new approach for estimating quality of university. Design the quality pattern of Criterial Model of the Evaluation of Quality University and calculate the index of quality of scientific organization become the kind of monitoring the entire university oriented on the quality.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Characterisation of Hypertensive Patients with Improved Endothelial Function after Dark Chocolate Consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenifer d'El-Rei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. 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  |

  10. 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

  11. Flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer improves hand function in children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease: Case series

    OpenAIRE

    Estilow, T.; Kozin, S.H.; Glanzman, A. M.; Burns, J; Finkel, R.S.

    2012-01-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease limits hand function. Tendon transfer has not been reported in pediatric CMT. We report two severely affected children following long finger flexor digitorum superficialis opposition tendon transfer. Improvement was noted in palmar abduction, (30°/40°), opposition, (thumb to all digits), and acquisition of pincer, palmar, and lateral pinch with measureable force (1 lb). Dexterity testing improved on the 9 Hole Peg Test (1.03 s/77 s, 22 s) and Functional Dexterity T...

  12. Κ-opioid receptor stimulation improves endothelial function in hypoxic pulmonary hypertension.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Wu

    Full Text Available The present study was designed to investigate the effect of κ-opioid receptor stimulation with U50,488H on endothelial function and underlying mechanism in rats with hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH. Chronic hypoxia-induced HPH was simulated by exposing the rats to 10% oxygen for 2 wk. After hypoxia, mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP, right ventricular pressure (RVP and right ventricular hypertrophy index (RVHI were measured. Relaxation of pulmonary artery in response to acetylcholine (ACh was determined. Expression and activity of endothelial nitric oxide (NO synthase (eNOS and inducible NO synthase (iNOS with NO production, total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC, gp91(phox expression and nitrotyrosine content were measured. The effect of U50,488H administration during chronic hypoxia was investigated. Administration of U50,488H significantly decreased mPAP and right ventricular hypertrophy as evidenced by reduction in RVP and RVHI. These effects were mediated by κ-opioid receptor. In the meantime, treatment with U50,488H significantly improved endothelial function as evidenced by enhanced relaxation in response to ACh. Moreover, U50,488H resulted in a significant increase in eNOS phosphorylation, NO content in serum, and T-AOC in pulmonary artery of HPH rats. In addition, the activity of eNOS was enhanced, but the activity of iNOS was attenuated in the pulmonary artery of chronic hypoxic rats treated with U50,488H. On the other hand, U50,488H markedly blunted HPH-induced elevation of gp91(phox expression and nitrotyrosine content in pulmonary artery, and these effects were blocked by nor-BNI, a selective κ-opioid receptor antagonist. These data suggest that κ-opioid receptor stimulation with U50,488H improves endothelial function in rats with HPH. The mechanism of action might be attributed to the preservation of eNOS activity, enhancement of eNOS phosphorylation, downregulation of iNOS activity and its antioxidative/nitrative effect.

  13. 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 < 0.01). Moreover, WT significantly 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 < 0.05), but MC 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.

  14. Cognitive training improves sleep quality and cognitive function among older adults with insomnia.

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    Iris Haimov

    Full Text Available STUDY OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program on sleep quality and cognitive performance among older adults with insomnia. DESIGN: Participants (n = 51 were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group (n = 34 or to an active control group (n = 17. The participants in the cognitive training group completed an eight-week, home-based, personalized, computerized cognitive training program, while the participants in the active control group completed an eight-week, home-based program involving computerized tasks that do not engage high-level cognitive functioning. Before and after training, all participants' sleep was monitored for one week by an actigraph and their cognitive performance was evaluated. SETTING: COMMUNITY SETTING: residential sleep/performance testing facility. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-one older adults with insomnia (aged 65-85. INTERVENTIONS: Eight weeks of computerized cognitive training for older adults with insomnia. RESULTS: Mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed between-group improvements for the cognitive training group on both sleep quality (sleep onset latency and sleep efficiency and cognitive performance (avoiding distractions, working memory, visual memory, general memory and naming. Hierarchical linear regressions analysis in the cognitive training group indicated that improved visual scanning is associated with earlier advent of sleep, while improved naming is associated with the reduction in wake after sleep onset and with the reduction in number of awakenings. Likewise the results indicate that improved "avoiding distractions" is associated with an increase in the duration of sleep. Moreover, the results indicate that in the active control group cognitive decline observed in working memory is associated with an increase in the time required to fall asleep. CONCLUSIONS: New learning is instrumental in promoting

  15. Exercise training and antioxidant supplementation independently improve cognitive function in adult male and female GFAP-APOE mice

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    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.

  16. Can fish oil supplementation improve endothelial function in asymptomatic offspring of patients with peripheral arterial disease?

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    Spark JI

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available J Ian Spark,1 Christopher L Delaney,1 Richard B Allan,1 Melissa HL Ho,2 Michelle D Miller21Department of Vascular Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia, AustraliaBackground: Peripheral arterial disease affects 10%–25% of adults aged .55 years, and while a multitude of risk factors exist, one key influence is genetics. Rather than awaiting the onset of debilitating symptoms, interventions that target high-risk individuals and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms would have widespread impact. The aim of this study is to implement a 12-week fish oil intervention (10 mL/day containing approximately 1.5 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid, with the intention of improving endothelial function, inflammation, and lipid status in a high-risk population, ie, those with impaired endothelial function and a parent with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease.Methods: This is a parallel-group, double-blind, randomized controlled trial involving administration of fish oil containing either about 1.5 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 1 g of docosahexaenoic acid (intervention or about 0.15 g of eicosapentaenoic acid and about 0.1 g of docosahexaenoic acid for 12 consecutive weeks (control. The participants are 100 offspring of adults with diagnosed peripheral arterial disease who themselves have an ankle-brachial pressure index ≥0.9 but impaired endothelial function according to peripheral arterial tonometry. Measures performed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks include flow-mediated dilatation, C-reactive protein, absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1ß, and interleukin-6 levels, thromboxane and prostacyclin, lipid status, and homocysteine, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Participants will be phoned fortnightly to monitor adherence and side effects, while participants will

  17. Loquat leaf extract enhances myogenic differentiation, improves muscle function and attenuates muscle loss in aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Bokyung; Hwang, Seong Yeon; Kim, Min Jo; Kim, Minjung; Jeong, Ji Won; Kim, Cheol Min; Chung, Hae Young; Kim, Nam Deuk

    2015-09-01

    A main characteristic of aging is the debilitating, progressive and generalized impairment of biological functions, resulting in an increased vulnerability to disease and death. Skeletal muscle comprises approximately 40% of the human body; thus, it is the most abundant tissue. At the age of 30 onwards, 0.5‑1% of human muscle mass is lost each year, with a marked acceleration in the rate of decline after the age of 65. Thus, novel strategies that effectively attenuate skeletal muscle loss and enhance muscle function are required to improve the quality of life of older subjects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) leaf extract (LE) can prevent the loss of skeletal muscle function in aged rats. Young (5-month-old) and aged (18‑19-month-old) rats were fed LE (50 mg/kg/day) for 35 days and the changes in muscle mass and strength were evaluated. The age‑associated loss of grip strength was attenuated, and muscle mass and muscle creatine kinase (CK) activity were enhanced following the administration of LE. Histochemical analysis also revealed that LE abrogated the age‑associated decrease in cross‑sectional area (CSA) and decreased the amount of connective tissue in the muscle of aged rats. To investigate the mode of action of LE, C2C12 murine myoblasts were used to evaluate the myogenic potential of LE. The expression levels of myogenic proteins (MyoD and myogenin) and functional myosin heavy chain (MyHC) were measured by western blot analysis. LE enhanced MyoD, myogenin and MyHC expression. The changes in the expression of myogenic genes corresponded with an increase in the activity of CK, a myogenic differentiation marker. Finally, LE activated the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, which is involved in muscle protein synthesis during myogenesis. These findings suggest that LE attenuates sarcopenia by promoting myogenic differentiation and subsequently promoting muscle protein synthesis

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 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 < 0.05), but MC 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. PMID:25740582

  2. Brief bursts of infrasound may improve cognitive function--an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weichenberger, Markus; Kühler, Robert; Bauer, Martin; Hensel, Johannes; Brühl, Rüdiger; Ihlenfeld, Albrecht; Ittermann, Bernd; Gallinat, Jürgen; Koch, Christian; Sander, Tilmann; Kühn, Simone

    2015-10-01

    At present, infrasound (sound frequency < 20 Hz; IS) is being controversially discussed as a potential mediator of several adverse bodily as well as psychological effects. However, it remains unclear, if and in what way IS influences cognition. Here, we conducted an fMRI experiment, in which 13 healthy participants were exposed to IS, while cognitive performance was assessed in an n-back working memory paradigm. During the task, short sinusoidal tone bursts of 12 Hz were administered monaurally with sound pressure levels that had been determined individually in a categorical loudness scaling session prior to the fMRI experiment. We found that task execution was associated with a significant activation of the prefrontal and the parietal cortex, as well as the striatum and the cerebellum, indicating the recruitment of a cognitive control network. Reverse contrast analysis (n-back with tone vs. n-back without tone) revealed a significant activation of the bilateral primary auditory cortex (Brodmann areas 41, 42). Surprisingly, we also found a strong, yet non-significant trend for an improvement of task performance during IS exposure. There was no correlation between performance and brain activity measures in tone and no-tone condition with sum scores of depression-, anxiety-, and personality factor assessment scales (BDI, STAIX1/X2, BFI-S). Although exerting a pronounced effect on cortical brain activity, we obtained no evidence for an impairment of cognition due to brief bursts of IS. On the contrary, potential improvement of working memory function introduces an entirely new aspect to the debate on IS-related effects. PMID:26260309

  3. Sustained Delivery of Nicotinamide Limits Cortical Injury and Improves Functional Recovery Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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    Andrea M. Goffus

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Previously, we have demonstrated that nicotinamide (NAM, a neuroprotective soluble B-group vitamin, improves recovery of function following traumatic brain injury (TBI. However, no prior studies have examined whether NAM is beneficial following continuous infusions over 7 days post-TBI. The purpose of this study was to investigate the preclinical efficacy of NAM treatment as it might be delivered clinically; over several days by slow infusion. Rats were prepared with either unilateral controlled cortical impact (CCI injuries or sham procedures and divided into three groups: CCI-NAM, CCI-vehicle and sham. Thirty minutes following CCI, Alzet osmotic mini-pumps were implanted subcutaneously. NAM was delivered at a rate of 50 mg/kg/day for 7 days immediately post-CCI. On day 7 following injury, the pumps were removed and blood draws were collected for serum NAM and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ analyses. Starting on day 2 post-CCI, animals were tested on a battery of sensorimotor tests (bilateral tactile adhesive removal, locomotor placing and limb-use asymmetry. Continuous infusion of NAM resulted in a significant serum elevation in NAM, but not NAD+. Statistical analyses of the tactile removal and locomotor placing data revealed that continuous administration of NAM significantly reduced the initial magnitude of the injury deficit and improved overall recovery compared to the vehicle-treated animals. NAM treatment also significantly decreased limb-use asymmetries compared to vehicle-treated animals. The overall extent of the cortical damage was also reduced by NAM treatment. No detrimental effects were seen following continuous infusion. The present results suggest that NAM delivered via a clinically relevant therapeutic regimen may truncate behavioral damage following TBI. Thus our results offer strong support for translation into the clinical population.

  4. 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

  5. Nogo-A Neutralization Improves Graft Function in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Stefanie; Di Santo, Stefano; Widmer, Hans Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Transplantation of fetal human ventral mesencephalic (VM) dopaminergic neurons into the striatum is a promising strategy to compensate for the characteristic dopamine deficit observed in Parkinson’s disease (PD). This therapeutic approach, however, is currently limited by the high number of fetuses needed for transplantation and the poor survival and functional integration of grafted dopaminergic neurons into the host brain. Accumulating evidence indicates that contrasting inhibitory signals endowed in the central nervous system (CNS) might support neuronal regeneration. Hence, in the present study we aimed at improving survival and integration of grafted cells in the host brain by neutralizing Nogo-A, one of the most potent neurite growth inhibitors in the CNS. For that purpose, VM tissue cultures were transplanted into rats with a partial 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion causing a hemi-PD model and concomitantly treated for 2 weeks with intra-ventricular infusion of neutralizing anti-Nogo-A antibodies. Motor behavior using the cylinder test was assessed prior to and after transplantation as functional outcome. At the end of the experimental period the number of dopaminergic fibers growing into the host brain, the number of surviving dopaminergic neurons in the grafts as well as graft size was examined. We found that anti-Nogo-A antibody infusion significantly improved the asymmetrical forelimb use observed after lesions as compared to controls. Importantly, a significantly three-fold higher dopaminergic fiber outgrowth from the transplants was detected in the Nogo-A antibody treated group as compared to controls. Furthermore, Nogo-A neutralization showed a tendency for increased survival of dopaminergic neurons (by two-fold) in the grafts. No significant differences were observed for graft volume and the number of dopaminergic neurons co-expressing G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium channel subunit two between groups. In sum, our findings support the

  6. Nogo-A Neutralization Improves Graft Function in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Stefanie; Di Santo, Stefano; Widmer, Hans Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Transplantation of fetal human ventral mesencephalic (VM) dopaminergic neurons into the striatum is a promising strategy to compensate for the characteristic dopamine deficit observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). This therapeutic approach, however, is currently limited by the high number of fetuses needed for transplantation and the poor survival and functional integration of grafted dopaminergic neurons into the host brain. Accumulating evidence indicates that contrasting inhibitory signals endowed in the central nervous system (CNS) might support neuronal regeneration. Hence, in the present study we aimed at improving survival and integration of grafted cells in the host brain by neutralizing Nogo-A, one of the most potent neurite growth inhibitors in the CNS. For that purpose, VM tissue cultures were transplanted into rats with a partial 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion causing a hemi-PD model and concomitantly treated for 2 weeks with intra-ventricular infusion of neutralizing anti-Nogo-A antibodies. Motor behavior using the cylinder test was assessed prior to and after transplantation as functional outcome. At the end of the experimental period the number of dopaminergic fibers growing into the host brain, the number of surviving dopaminergic neurons in the grafts as well as graft size was examined. We found that anti-Nogo-A antibody infusion significantly improved the asymmetrical forelimb use observed after lesions as compared to controls. Importantly, a significantly three-fold higher dopaminergic fiber outgrowth from the transplants was detected in the Nogo-A antibody treated group as compared to controls. Furthermore, Nogo-A neutralization showed a tendency for increased survival of dopaminergic neurons (by two-fold) in the grafts. No significant differences were observed for graft volume and the number of dopaminergic neurons co-expressing G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium channel subunit two between groups. In sum, our findings support the

  7. 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

  8. Receiver function images beneath Kii Peninsula, southwest Japan with an improved procedure

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    Nakagawa, Y.; Shibutani, T.; Abe, Y.; Kawakata, H.; Doi, I.

    2010-12-01

    Teleseismic P waves can be theoretically represented by convolving the impulse response of recording instruments, seismic source functions and the impulse response of earth structures. And the convolution of the instrument response and the source time function can be approximated by the vertical component waveform because an incidence angle of the teleseismic P wave is small (Langston, 1979). Hence, receiver functions (RFs) are conventionally calculated by deconvolving the vertical component from the radial and transverse components of the P wave part of teleseismic events. However, noises uncorrelated among the components cause the deconvolution unstable (Langston and Hammer, 2000). Therefore, it is necessary to reduce the noises in the vertical component to obtain accurate RFs. In addition, a radial RF includes PS converted waves at S wave velocity discontinuities and scattered waves caused by heterogeneous structures as well as a direct P wave which does not include structure information. The direct Pp phase in the radial RF may mask smaller Ps phases generated at shallower depths or prevent observed and synthetic waveforms from fitting smaller phases in RF waveform inversions. In this study, we tried to estimate better source time functions and remove the direct Pp phase from RFs according to the procedure of Bostock and Rondenay (1999). We used wave data from linear seismic arrays in Kii Peninsula (Shibutani et al, 2009). In the RFs obtained by this method, the direct Pp phase with a large amplitude is removed and PS converted waves near t = 0 s clearly appear. The pre-signal noise is also reduced. For the part after the direct P waves, the RFs obtained by this method are mostly consistent with the corresponding RFs by the conventional method although some phases are not fitted in their amplitude and phase. For an example, some peaks between 2 s and 10 s become sharper in the revised RFs than in the conventional RFs. The conventional RFs are probably more

  9. Rate capability improvement of polypyrrole via integration with functionalized commercial carbon cloth for pseudocapacitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Dong-Yang; Song, Yu; Huang, Zi-Hang; Xu, Xin-Xin; Liu, Xiao-Xia

    2016-08-01

    Rate capability of polypyrrole (PPy) was improved through additional doping by oxygen containing functional groups introduced in the substrate of functionalized carbon cloth (FCC). The PPy deposited on surfaces of carbon fibers in FCC displayed good rate capability, 70% of its capacitance (341.2 mF cm-2 at 1 mA cm-2) can be retained when the charge/discharge current density increased 20 times to 20 mA cm-2, while the PPy deposited on untreated carbon cloth (CC) could only retain 52% of its capacitance (308.7 mF cm-2 at 1 mA cm-2). PPy/FCC also displayed excellent cycling stability, 96% of its initial capacitance can be retained after 10,000 charge/discharge cycles. The asymmetric supercapacitor (ASC) assembled by using PPy/FCC as anode and crumpled MnO2 nanosheets electrochemically deposited on carbon cloth (MnO2/CC) as cathode also displayed good rate capability. When the charge/discharge current density increased 10 times from 1 to 10 mA cm-2, the ASC can retain 79% of its volumetric capacitance (from 1.78 to 1.41 F cm-3). The ASC demonstrated a high volumetric energy density of 0.80 mWh cm-3 at 12.85 mW cm-3. After 10,000 galvanostatic charge/discharge cycles, the ASC can retain 90.7% of its capacitance, demonstrating its good cycling stability.

  10. 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.

  11. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

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    Derek G Groenendyk

    Full Text Available Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization

  12. Hydrologic-Process-Based Soil Texture Classifications for Improved Visualization of Landscape Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenendyk, Derek G; Ferré, Ty P A; Thorp, Kelly R; Rice, Amy K

    2015-01-01

    Soils lie at the interface between the atmosphere and the subsurface and are a key component that control ecosystem services, food production, and many other processes at the Earth's surface. There is a long-established convention for identifying and mapping soils by texture. These readily available, georeferenced soil maps and databases are used widely in environmental sciences. Here, we show that these traditional soil classifications can be inappropriate, contributing to bias and uncertainty in applications from slope stability to water resource management. We suggest a new approach to soil classification, with a detailed example from the science of hydrology. Hydrologic simulations based on common meteorological conditions were performed using HYDRUS-1D, spanning textures identified by the United States Department of Agriculture soil texture triangle. We consider these common conditions to be: drainage from saturation, infiltration onto a drained soil, and combined infiltration and drainage events. Using a k-means clustering algorithm, we created soil classifications based on the modeled hydrologic responses of these soils. The hydrologic-process-based classifications were compared to those based on soil texture and a single hydraulic property, Ks. Differences in classifications based on hydrologic response versus soil texture demonstrate that traditional soil texture classification is a poor predictor of hydrologic response. We then developed a QGIS plugin to construct soil maps combining a classification with georeferenced soil data from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The spatial patterns of hydrologic response were more immediately informative, much simpler, and less ambiguous, for use in applications ranging from trafficability to irrigation management to flood control. The ease with which hydrologic-process-based classifications can be made, along with the improved quantitative predictions of soil responses and visualization of landscape

  13. Improved Left Ventricular Diastolic Function with Exercise Training in Hypertension: A Doppler Imaging Study

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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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Improving the alignment quality of consistency based aligners with an evaluation function using synonymous protein words.

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    Hsin-Nan Lin

    Full Text Available Most sequence alignment tools can successfully align protein sequences with higher levels of sequence identity. The accuracy of corresponding structure alignment, however, decreases rapidly when considering distantly related sequences (<20% identity. In this range of identity, alignments optimized so as to maximize sequence similarity are often inaccurate from a structural point of view. Over the last two decades, most multiple protein aligners have been optimized for their capacity to reproduce structure-based alignments while using sequence information. Methods currently available differ essentially in the similarity measurement between aligned residues using substitution matrices, Fourier transform, sophisticated profile-profile functions, or consistency-based approaches, more recently.In this paper, we present a flexible similarity measure for residue pairs to improve the quality of protein sequence alignment. Our approach, called SymAlign, relies on the identification of conserved words found across a sizeable fraction of the considered dataset, and supported by evolutionary analysis. These words are then used to define a position specific substitution matrix that better reflects the biological significance of local similarity. The experiment results show that the SymAlign scoring scheme can be incorporated within T-Coffee to improve sequence alignment accuracy. We also demonstrate that SymAlign is less sensitive to the presence of structurally non-similar proteins. In the analysis of the relationship between sequence identity and structure similarity, SymAlign can better differentiate structurally similar proteins from non- similar proteins. We show that protein sequence alignments can be significantly improved using a similarity estimation based on weighted n-grams. In our analysis of the alignments thus produced, sequence conservation becomes a better indicator of structural similarity. SymAlign also provides alignment visualization that

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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 %.

  1. 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...

  2. Limbic Activity Modulation Guided by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Inspired Electroencephalography Improves Implicit Emotion Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keynan, Jackob N; Meir-Hasson, Yehudit; Gilam, Gadi; Cohen, Avihay; Jackont, Gilan; Kinreich, Sivan; Ikar, Limor; Or-Borichev, Ayelet; Etkin, Amit; Gyurak, Anett; Klovatch, Ilana; Intrator, Nathan; Hendler, Talma

    2016-09-15

    The amygdala has a pivotal role in processing traumatic stress; hence, gaining control over its activity could facilitate adaptive mechanism and recovery. To date, amygdala volitional regulation could be obtained only via real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a highly inaccessible procedure. The current article presents high-impact neurobehavioral implications of a novel imaging approach that enables bedside monitoring of amygdala activity using fMRI-inspired electroencephalography (EEG), hereafter termed amygdala-electrical fingerprint (amyg-EFP). Simultaneous EEG/fMRI indicated that the amyg-EFP reliably predicts amygdala-blood oxygen level-dependent activity. Implementing the amyg-EFP in neurofeedback demonstrated that learned downregulation of the amyg-EFP facilitated volitional downregulation of amygdala-blood oxygen level-dependent activity via real-time fMRI and manifested as reduced amygdala reactivity to visual stimuli. Behavioral evidence further emphasized the therapeutic potential of this approach by showing improved implicit emotion regulation following amyg-EFP neurofeedback. Additional EFP models denoting different brain regions could provide a library of localized activity for low-cost and highly accessible brain-based diagnosis and treatment. PMID:26996601

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Resistance Exercise Reduces Skeletal Muscle Cachexia and Improves Muscle Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Sensitivity Improvement of an Impedimetric Immunosensor Using Functionalized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

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    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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Unani Treatment Decreased Fibrosis and Improved Liver Functions in Decompensated Cirrhosis of Liver: A Case Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. 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...

  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. 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

  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. Chronic tuberculous empyema: relationships between preoperative CT findings and postoperative improvement measured by pulmonary function testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    AIMS: To evaluate whether preoperative computed tomography (CT) findings correlate with postoperative improvements in forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume during 1 s (FEV1) in persons who have undergone unilateral decortication because of unilateral chronic tuberculous empyema. METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out of 67 individuals who had undergone decortication because of chronic tuberculous empyema between January 1996 and December 2000. Of these, 13 subjects who had had preoperative chest CT and preoperative and postoperative pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were included in the investigation. On preoperative CT, the degree of volume reduction of the affected side was compared with that of the contralateral normal lung. The relative volume of empyema was calculated by dividing the volume occupied by the empyema by the sum of the total volume of the ipsilateral lung and the empyema volume. The thicknesses of pleura and extrapleural fat in the involved hemithorax were measured by CT at their thickest points, and the degree of atelectasis adjacent to the empyema in the diseased lung was assessed and classified. These five CT parameters and the ages of the patients were compared with preoperative and postoperative FVC and FEV1 changes. RESULTS: A significant negative correlation was found between FVC changes and the relative volume of the affected lung (FVC: p=0.039, RS=-0.58). FVC and FEV1 were found to be significantly and positively correlated with the relative volume of the empyema (FVC: p=0.005, RS=0.72; FEV1: p=0.014, RS=0.66) and the degree of atelectasis (FVC: p=0.007, RS=0.71; FEV1: p=0.029, RS=0.60) by Spearman's nonparametric correlation test. Other CT parameters and the ages of the patients were not found to be correlated with PFT changes. CONCLUSION: The relative volume of the affected side, the relative volume of empyema and the degree of atelectasis can predict improvements in FVC and FEV1 after decortication in patients

  19. Improving plant functional groups for dynamic models of biodiversity: at the crossroads between functional and community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isabelle, Boulangeat; Pauline, Philippe; Sylvain, Abdulhak; Roland, Douzet; Luc, Garraud; Sébastien, Lavergne; Sandra, Lavorel; Jérémie, Van Es; Pascal, Vittoz; Wilfried, Thuiller

    2012-11-01

    The pace of on-going climate change calls for reliable plant biodiversity scenarios. Traditional dynamic vegetation models use plant functional types that are summarized to such an extent that they become meaningless for biodiversity scenarios. Hybrid dynamic vegetation models of intermediate complexity (hybrid-DVMs) have recently been developed to address this issue. These models, at the crossroads between phenomenological and process-based models, are able to involve an intermediate number of well-chosen plant functional groups (PFGs). The challenge is to build meaningful PFGs that are representative of plant biodiversity, and consistent with the parameters and processes of hybrid-DVMs. Here, we propose and test a framework based on few selected traits to define a limited number of PFGs, which are both representative of the diversity (functional and taxonomic) of the flora in the Ecrins National Park, and adapted to hybrid-DVMs. This new classification scheme, together with recent advances in vegetation modeling, constitutes a step forward for mechanistic biodiversity modeling. PMID:24403847

  20. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor NVP-BGJ398 functionally improves FGFR3-related dwarfism in mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komla-Ebri, Davide; Dambroise, Emilie; Kramer, Ina; Benoist-Lasselin, Catherine; Kaci, Nabil; Le Gall, Cindy; Martin, Ludovic; Busca, Patricia; Barbault, Florent; Graus-Porta, Diana; Munnich, Arnold; Kneissel, Michaela; Di Rocco, Federico; Biosse-Duplan, Martin; Legeai-Mallet, Laurence

    2016-05-01

    Achondroplasia (ACH) is the most frequent form of dwarfism and is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3-encoding (FGFR3-encoding) gene. Although potential therapeutic strategies for ACH, which aim to reduce excessive FGFR3 activation, have emerged over many years, the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) to counteract FGFR3 hyperactivity has yet to be evaluated. Here, we have reported that the pan-FGFR TKI, NVP-BGJ398, reduces FGFR3 phosphorylation and corrects the abnormal femoral growth plate and calvaria in organ cultures from embryos of the Fgfr3Y367C/+ mouse model of ACH. Moreover, we demonstrated that a low dose of NVP-BGJ398, injected subcutaneously, was able to penetrate into the growth plate of Fgfr3Y367C/+ mice and modify its organization. Improvements to the axial and appendicular skeletons were noticeable after 10 days of treatment and were more extensive after 15 days of treatment that started from postnatal day 1. Low-dose NVP-BGJ398 treatment reduced intervertebral disc defects of lumbar vertebrae, loss of synchondroses, and foramen-magnum shape anomalies. NVP-BGJ398 inhibited FGFR3 downstream signaling pathways, including MAPK, SOX9, STAT1, and PLCγ, in the growth plates of Fgfr3Y367C/+ mice and in cultured chondrocyte models of ACH. Together, our data demonstrate that NVP-BGJ398 corrects pathological hallmarks of ACH and support TKIs as a potential therapeutic approach for ACH. PMID:27064282

  1. Nafamostat mesilate improves function recovery after stroke by inhibiting neuroinflammation in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chenhui; Wang, Jing; Fang, Yinquan; Liu, Yuan; Chen, Tao; Sun, Hao; Zhou, Xin-Fu; Liao, Hong

    2016-08-01

    Inflammation plays an important role in stroke pathology, making it a promising target for stroke intervention. Nafamostat mesilate (NM), a wide-spectrum serine protease inhibitor, is commonly used for treating inflammatory diseases, such as pancreatitis. However, its effect on neuroinflammation after stroke was unknown. Hence, the effects of NM on the inflammatory response post stroke were characterized. After transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in rats, NM reduced the infarct size, improved behavioral functions, decreased the expression of proinflammatory mediators (TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS and COX-2) in a time-dependent manner and promoted the expression of different anti-inflammatory factors (CD206, TGF-β, IL-10 and IL-4) at different time points. Furthermore, NM could inhibit the expression of proinflammatory mediators and promote anti-inflammatory mediators expression in rat primary microglia following exposure to thrombin combined with oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The immune-modulatory effect of NM might be partly due to its inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway and inflammasome activation after tMCAO. In addition, NM significantly inhibited the infiltration of macrophage, neutrophil and T lymphocytes, which was partly mediated by the inhibition of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Taken together, our results indicated that NM can provide long-term protection of the brain against tMCAO by modulating a broad components of the inflammatory response. PMID:27033633

  2. 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.

  3. Recent improvements in prediction of protein structure by global optimization of a potential energy function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillardy, Jarosław; Czaplewski, Cezary; Liwo, Adam; Lee, Jooyoung; Ripoll, Daniel R.; Kaźmierkiewicz, Rajmund; Ołdziej, Stanisław; Wedemeyer, William J.; Gibson, Kenneth D.; Arnautova, Yelena A.; Saunders, Jeff; Ye, Yuan-Jie; Scheraga, Harold A.

    2001-01-01

    Recent improvements of a hierarchical ab initio or de novo approach for predicting both α and β structures of proteins are described. The united-residue energy function used in this procedure includes multibody interactions from a cumulant expansion of the free energy of polypeptide chains, with their relative weights determined by Z-score optimization. The critical initial stage of the hierarchical procedure involves a search of conformational space by the conformational space annealing (CSA) method, followed by optimization of an all-atom model. The procedure was assessed in a recent blind test of protein structure prediction (CASP4). The resulting lowest-energy structures of the target proteins (ranging in size from 70 to 244 residues) agreed with the experimental structures in many respects. The entire experimental structure of a cyclic α-helical protein of 70 residues was predicted to within 4.3 Å α-carbon (Cα) rms deviation (rmsd) whereas, for other α-helical proteins, fragments of roughly 60 residues were predicted to within 6.0 Å Cα rmsd. Whereas β structures can now be predicted with the new procedure, the success rate for α/β- and β-proteins is lower than that for α-proteins at present. For the β portions of α/β structures, the Cα rmsd's are less than 6.0 Å for contiguous fragments of 30–40 residues; for one target, three fragments (of length 10, 23, and 28 residues, respectively) formed a compact part of the tertiary structure with a Cα rmsd less than 6.0 Å. Overall, these results constitute an important step toward the ab initio prediction of protein structure solely from the amino acid sequence. PMID:11226239

  4. Improved left ventricular function after growth hormone replacement in patients with hypopituitarism: assessment with radionuclide angiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuocolo, A. [Cattedra di Medicina Nucleare, Centro per la Medicina Nucleare del CNR, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Nicolai, E. [Cattedra di Medicina Nucleare, Centro per la Medicina Nucleare del CNR, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Colao, A. [Dipartimento di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Molecolare e Clinica, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Longobardi, S. [Dipartimento di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Molecolare e Clinica, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Cardei, S. [Cattedra di Medicina Nucleare, Centro per la Medicina Nucleare del CNR, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Fazio, S. [Medicina Interna, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Merola, B. [Dipartimento di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Molecolare e Clinica, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Lombardi, G. [Dipartimento di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Molecolare e Clinica, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Sacca, L. [Medicina Interna, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy); Salvatore, M. [Cattedra di Medicina Nucleare, Centro per la Medicina Nucleare del CNR, Universita Federico II, Napoli (Italy)

    1996-04-01

    Prolonged growth hormone deficiency (GHD) leads to marked cardiac dysfunction; however, whether reversal of this abnormality may be achieved after specific replacement therapy has not yet been completely clarified. Fourteen patients with childhood-onset GHD (nine men and five women, mean age 27{+-}4 years) and 12 normal control subjects underwent equilibrium radionuclide angiography under control conditions at rest. Patients with GHD were also studied 6 months after recombinant human (rh) GH treatment (0.05 IU/kg per day). Normal control subjects and patients with GHD did not differ with respect to age, gender and heart rate. In contrast, left ventricular ejection fraction (53%{+-}9% vs 66%{+-}6%, P <0.001), stroke volume index (41{+-}11 vs 51{+-}8 ml/m{sup 2}, P <0.01) and cardiac index (2.8{+-}0.6 vs 3.{+-}0.5 l/min/m{sup 2}, P <0.001) were significantly lower in GHD patients than in normal control subjects. None of the GHD patients showed adverse or side-effects during rhGH therapy; thus none required a reduction in GH dose during the treatment period. Heart rate and arterial blood pressure were not significantly modified by rhGH treatment. After 6 months of rhGH therapy a significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (from 53%{+-}9% to 59%{+-}9%, P <0.01), stroke volume index (from 41{+-}11 to 47{+-}13 ml/m{sup 2}, P <0.05) and cardiac index (from 2.8{+-}0.6 to 3.3{+-}0.8 l/min/m{sup 2}, P <0.01) was observed in GHD patients. In conclusion, prolonged lack of GH leads to impaired left ventricular function at rest. Reversal of this abnormality may be observed after 6 months of specific replacement therapy in patients with childhood-onset GHD. (orig.). With 4 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Insulin improves cardiac myocytes contractile function recovery in simulated ischemia-reperfusion: Key role of Akt

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Bo; ZHANG Haifeng; FAN Qian; MA Xinliang; GAO Feng

    2003-01-01

    The present study examined cardiac myocyte contractile and Ca2+ transient responses to insulin during simulated ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and furtherinvestigated the role of protein kinase B (Akt) in the insulin- induced inotropic effect. Ventricular myocytes were enzymatically isolated from adult Sprague-Dawley rats and perfused with Tyrode solution while electrically field-stimulated. Simulated I/R was induced by perfusing the cells with chemical anoxic solution including sodium cyanide-sodium lactate for 15 min followed by reperfusion with normal oxygenated Tyrode solution with or without insulin. It is found that insulin only at concentration as high as 10 IU/L could increase cell shortening (16±5%, P < 0.05) in normal myocytes, whereas it concentration-dependently (0.01-10 IU/L) increased the contraction,the velocity of shortening/releng- theningand Ca2+ transient in I/R myocytes. In addition, insulin treatment (1 IU/L) increased Akt phosphorylation of I/R cardiomyocytes by 2.4-fold compared with that of the control (P < 0.01). Most importantly, pretreatment with LY 294002, a specific inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3-kinase), significantly inhibited both Akt phosphorylation and the positive inotropic response to insulin in the I/R cardiomyocytes. These results suggest that insulin exerts direct positive inotropic effect by increasing Ca2+ transient of cardiomyocytes, which is enhanced in the pathological condition of I/R. Akt activation plays an important role in the insulin-induced improvement of myocyte contractile function following I/R.

  6. 3',4'-Dihydroxyflavonol reduces superoxide and improves nitric oxide function in diabetic rat mesenteric arteries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-Huei Leo

    endothelial NO synthase (eNOS. Treatment of the diabetic rats with DiOHF significantly reduced vascular ROS and restored NO-mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation. Treatment of the diabetic rats with DiOHF also increased eNOS expression, both in total and as a dimer. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: DiOHF improves NO activity in diabetes by reducing Nox2-dependent superoxide production and preventing eNOS uncoupling to improve endothelial function.

  7. Intraoral Vertical Ramus Osteotomy Improved the Stomatognathic Function in an Elderly Patient with Mandibular Protrusion:A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishihara,Yoshihito

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This article reports the successful surgical-orthodontic treatment of an elderly patient with dentofacial deformity and signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD. The patient was a 63-year-old woman with a concave profile due to mandibular protrusion. To correct skeletal deformities, the mandible was posteriorly repositioned by employing intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy (IVRO following presurgical orthodontic treatment. After active treatment for 31 months, the facial profile was significantly improved and satisfactory occlusion was achieved. In addition, TMD symptoms of clicking sounds on the left side and difficulty in mouth opening were resolved. Regarding the findings of magnetic resonance imaging, anterior disc displacement in the opening phase was improved in the temporomandibular joint on the left side. Furthermore, stomatognathic functions were also improved without any aggravation of age-related problems. In conclusion, surgical repositioning of the mandible using IVRO leads to both morphological and functional improvements even in elderly patients.

  8. IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION FROM MEDITATION FOLLOWING AN AWARENESS TRAINING PROGR AMME IN SPIRITUAL MEDICINE (ATPi SM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jain

    2015-06-01

    Spiritual Medicine”. MATERIAL & METHODS: STUDY SUBJECTS : 40 medical students of either sex between the ages of 18 to 21 years studying in MBBS at the institute constituted study population. After explaining purpose of the study and getting their consent , all the volunteers underwent a battery of tests for psycho - motor , cognitive and psycho - social functions. All volunteers were instructed regarding meditation practice by an expert. They were asked to meditate daily for about 15 minutes in the morning and as well as in the evening for two months. Subsequently , volunteers were divided in to two groups of 20 each by random allocation as treatment (T and control (C groups. The treatment group also received additional information on spiritual medicine in the form ATPiSM at the start of the study. At the end of t wo months , all the test parameters were repeated for both the groups. Observations were recorded and results were analyzed. RESULTS: Compliance for meditation: Test group compliance for meditation was found to be in the range of 83 to 90% while control gro up compliance ranged between 48 to 90%. There was significant difference between pre and post interventional scores among test volunteers for psychomotor tests viz Visual reaction time (VRT , p<.002 , stopwatch - VRT (S - VRT , p<.005 and Critical Flicker Fusio n (CFF , <0.007. Significant differences were also noted between pre and post intervention scores among study volunteers in cognitive function tests. Computer based Memory Test (CMT , p<.001 , Digit Cancellation Test (DCT , p<.002 and Letter Substitution Te st (LST , p<0.05. There was significant improvement in psychosocial behavior for all three categories as evident from higher scores post intervention in Cognitive Failure (p<.005 , Anxiety Level (p<.05 and Self Esteem (p<.006. Control group also showed s ignificant difference between pre and post score for CCF (p<.05 , Cognitive Failure (p<.05 and Self Esteem (p<.01. CONCLUSIONS: ATPiSM act like a

  9. Randomised controlled trial of colostrum to improve intestinal function in patients with short bowel syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Pernille; Sangild, Per Torp; Aunsholt, L.;

    2012-01-01

    Colostrum is rich in immunoregulatory, antimicrobial and trophic components supporting intestinal development and function in newborns. We assessed whether bovine colostrum could enhance intestinal adaptation and function in adult short bowel syndrome (SBS) patients.......Colostrum is rich in immunoregulatory, antimicrobial and trophic components supporting intestinal development and function in newborns. We assessed whether bovine colostrum could enhance intestinal adaptation and function in adult short bowel syndrome (SBS) patients....

  10. Improved Cognitive Function After Transcranial, Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Traumatic Brain Injury: Two Case Reports

    OpenAIRE

    Naeser, Margaret A.; Saltmarche, Anita; Krengel, Maxine H.; Hamblin, Michael R.; Knight, Jeffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Two chronic, traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, where cognition improved following treatment with red and near-infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs), applied transcranially to forehead and scalp areas, are presented. Background: Significant benefits have been reported following application of transcranial, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) to humans with acute stroke and mice with acute TBI. These are the first case reports documenting improved cognitive function in chronic, TBI pati...

  11. Intelligent Control of Welding Gun Pose for Pipeline Welding Robot Based on Improved Radial Basis Function Network and Expert System

    OpenAIRE

    Jingwen Tian; Meijuan Gao; Yonggang He

    2013-01-01

    Since the control system of the welding gun pose in whole‐position welding is complicated and nonlinear, an intelligent control system of welding gun pose for a pipeline welding robot based on an improved radial basis function neural network (IRBFNN) and expert system (ES) is presented in this paper. The structure of the IRBFNN is constructed and the improved genetic algorithm is adopted to optimize the network structure. This control system makes full use of the characteristics of the IRBFNN...

  12. Evaluation of Systemic Follistatin as an Adjuvant to Stimulate Muscle Repair and Improve Motor Function in Pompe Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Foley, Joseph W.; Bercury, Scott D.; Finn, Patrick; Cheng, Seng H.; Scheule, Ronald K; Ziegler, Robin J

    2010-01-01

    Due to the lack of acid α-glucosidase (GAA) activity, Pompe mice develop glycogen storage pathology and progressive skeletal muscle dysfunction with age. Applying either gene or enzyme therapy to reconstitute GAA levels in older, symptomatic Pompe mice effectively reduces glycogen storage in skeletal muscle but provides only modest improvements in motor function. As strategies to stimulate muscle hypertrophy, such as by myostatin inhibition, have been shown to improve muscle pathology and str...

  13. Progenitor Hematopoietic Cells Implantation Improves Functional Capacity of End Stage Coronary Artery Disease Patients with Advanced Heart Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuniadi, Yoga; Kusnadi, Yuyus; Sandhow, Lakshmi; Erika, Rendra; Hanafy, Dicky A; Sardjono, Caroline; Kaligis, R W M; Kasim, Manoefris; Harimurti, Ganesja M

    2016-01-01

    Background. Proangiogenic Hematopoietic Cells (PHC) which comprise diverse mixture of cell types are able to secrete proangiogenic factors and interesting candidate for cell therapy. The aim of this study was to seek for benefit in implantation of PHC on functional improvement in end stage coronary artery disease patients with advanced heart failure. Methods. Patients with symptomatic heart failure despite guideline directed medical therapy and LVEF less than 35% were included. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated, cultivated for 5 days, and then harvested. Flow cytometry and cell surface markers were used to characterize PHC. The PHC were delivered retrogradely via sinus coronarius. Echocardiography, myocardial perfusion, and clinical and functional data were analyzed up to 1-year observation. Results. Of 30 patients (56.4 ± 7.40 yo) preimplant NT proBNP level is 5124.5 ± 4682.50 pmol/L. Harvested cells characterized with CD133, CD34, CD45, and KDR showed 0.87 ± 0.41, 0.63 ± 0.66, 99.00 ± 2.60, and 3.22 ± 3.79%, respectively. LVEF was improved (22 ± 5.68 versus 26.8 ± 7.93, p observation. Myocardial perfusion significantly improved 6 months after treatment. NYHA Class and six-minute walk test are improved during short term and long term follow-up. Conclusion. Expanded peripheral blood PHC implantation using retrograde delivery approach improved LV systolic function, myocardial perfusion, and functional capacity.

  14. Neurocognitive and Social Cognitive Approaches for Improving Functional Outcome in Early Psychosis: Theoretical Considerations and Current State of Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cali F. Bartholomeusz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Improving functional outcome, in addition to alleviating psychotic symptoms, is now a major treatment objective in schizophrenia research. Given the large body of evidence suggesting pharmacological treatments generally have minimal effects on indices of functioning, research has turned to psychosocial rehabilitation programs. Among these, neurocognitive and social cognitive interventions are at the forefront of this field and are argued to target core deficits inherent to the schizophrenia illness. However, to date, research trials have primarily focused on chronic schizophrenia populations, neglecting the early psychosis groups who are often as severely impaired in social and occupational functioning. This theoretical paper will outline the rationale for investigating adjunctive cognitive-based interventions in the early phases of psychotic illness, critically examine the current approach strategies used in these interventions, and assess the evidence supporting certain training programs for improving functional outcome in early psychosis. Potential pathways for future research will be discussed.

  15. Consumption of High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function in Individuals with Stage 1 Hypertension and Excess Body Weight

    OpenAIRE

    Lívia de Paula Nogueira; Marcela Paranhos Knibel; Márcia Regina Simas Gonçalves Torres; José Firmino Nogueira Neto; Antonio Felipe Sanjuliani

    2012-01-01

    Background. Hypertension and excess body weight are important risk factors for endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidence suggests that high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. This study aimed to evaluate the association of chocolate 70% cocoa intake with metabolic profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and endothelial function in stage 1 hypertensives with excess body weight. Methods. Intervention clinical trial includes 22 stag...

  16. Inter-functional collaboration between marketing and logistic functions : Study of improvement of inter functional collaboration through instruments, based on empirical research at Nivea Seoul ltd

    OpenAIRE

    Dorresteijn, Joop

    2009-01-01

      Introduction The aim of the research is to understand collaboration between marketing and logistics, increasing knowledge about perceived barriers in organizations, in order to addressing functional silos in organizations by inter-functional collaboration as a solution. The author questions the advantages of inter-functional collaboration in the scope of organizational performance. The significance of this research is that collaboration is one of the remaining cost cutting advantages that a...

  17. Transplantation of magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cells improves cardiac function in a swine myocardial infarction model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QI Chun-mei; JU Sheng-hong; MA Ming; TANG Yao-liang; MA Gen-shan; LIU Nai-feng; SHEN Cheng-xing; CHEN Zhong; LIU Xiao-jun; HU Yao-peng; ZHANG Xiao-li; TENG Gao-jun

    2008-01-01

    Background Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation provides a new approach for myocardial repair.However,many important fundamental questions about MSCs transplantation remain unanswered.There is an urgent need to identify MSCs from the beating heart and analyze the efficacy of this new approach.This study aimed to localize the magnetically labeled MSCs(MR-MSCs)and monitor the restorative effects of MR-MSCs with magnetic resonance(MR) imaging.Methods Acute myocardial infarction(AMI)was created in swine by a balloon occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery.Cells were delivered via intracoronary infusion after myocardial infarction.Infarct size change and cardiac function were assessed with 3.0T MR scanner.The results were then confirmed by histological and western blot analysis.All statistical procedures were performed with Systat (SPSS version 12.01).Results A total of 26 swine were divided into four groups(sham-operated group,n=6;AMI group with PBS transplantation,n=6;labeled MSCs group,n=7;unlabeled MSCs group,n=7).MSCs,MR-MSCs(107 cells)or PBS were delivered by intracoronary injection after MI and serial cardiac MR imaging studies were performed at 0,4 and 8 weeks after transplantation.MR imaging demonstrated MI size decreased after MSCs transplantation in labeled and unlabeled groups,however,increases were seen in the AMI group at 8 weeks after MI.The left ventricular eiection fraction(LVEF) was slightly increased in the AMI group((41.87±2.45)%vs(39.04±2.80)%,P>0.05),but significantly improved in the MR-MSCs group((56.85±1.29)%vs(40.67±2.00)%,P<0.05)and unlabeled group((55.38±1.07)%vs(41.78±2.08)%,P<0.05) at 8 weeks after treatment.MR-MSCs were further confirmed by Prussian blue and immunofluorescent staining.Western blot analvsis demonstrated that there was an increased expression of cardiomyocyte markers such as myosin heavy chain and troponin T in the MSCs treatment groups and the ratio of matrix metalloproteinase 2 to

  18. Yokukansan improves behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia by suppressing dopaminergic function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeyoshi K

    2016-03-01

    plasma homovanillic acid levels from baseline. Yokukansan contains geissoschizine methyl ether, which is known to have a partial agonist effect on dopamine D2 receptors. An improvement in BPSD condition with the intake of yokukansan is suggested to occur through a suppressed dopaminergic function, which is similar to the effect of aripiprazole.Keywords: herbal medicine, MHPG, homovanillic acid, HVA, noradrenaline, BPSD

  19. Slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise function using variationally improved perturbation theory in a quantum chromodynamics inspired potential model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bhaskar Jyoti Hazarika; D K Choudhury

    2010-09-01

    We used variationally improved perturbation theory (VIPT) in calculating the slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise (I–W) function with the Cornell potential $− \\dfrac{4_{s}}{3r} br + c$ instead of the usual stationary state perturbation theory as done earlier. We used $−(4_{s} /3r)$, i.e. the Coulombic potential, as the parent and the linear one, i.e. $br +c$ as the perturbed potential in the theory and calculated the slope and curvature of Isgur–Wise function including three states in the summation involved in the first-order correction to wave function in the method.

  20. BDNF mediates improvements in executive function following a 1-year exercise intervention

    OpenAIRE

    Regina Lynn Leckie; Oberlin, Lauren E.; Voss, Michelle W.; Prakash, Ruchika S.; Amanda eSzabo-Reed; Laura eChaddock-Heyman; Phillips, Siobhan M.; Gothe, Neha P.; Emily eMailey; Victoria Jeanne Vieira-Potter; Martin, Stephen A.; Pence, Brandt D.; Mingkuan eLin; Raja eParasuraman; Greenwood, Pamela M.

    2014-01-01

    Executive function declines with age, but engaging in aerobic exercise may attenuate decline. One mechanism by which aerobic exercise may preserve executive function is through the up-regulation of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which also declines with age. The present study examined BDNF as a mediator of the effects of a 1-year walking intervention on executive function in 90 older adults (mean age = 66.82). Participants were randomized to a stretching and toning control group or ...

  1. Prospective randomized controlled intervention trial: Comprehensive Yogic Breathing Improves Cardiac autonomic functions and Quality of life in Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V P Jyotsna

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims and Objectives: To assess the effect of Comprehensive Yogic Breathing Program on glycemic control, quality of life, and cardiac autonomic functions in diabetes. Material and Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled intervention trial. Cardiac autonomic functions were assessed in 120 diabetics. Patients were randomized into two groups, one group receiving standard therapy for diabetes (n = 56 and the other group receiving standard therapy for diabetes and comprehensive yogic breathing program (n = 64. Standard therapy included advice on diet, walk, and oral antidiabetic drugs. Comprehensive yogic breathing program was an interactive session in which Sudarshan kriya yoga, a rhythmic cyclical breathing, preceded by Pranayam was taught under guidance of a certified teacher. Change in fasting, post prandial blood sugars, glycated hemoglobin, and quality of life were assessed. Cardiac autonomic function tests were done before and six months after intervention. Results: There was significant improvement in psychological (P = 0.006 and social domains (P = 0.04 and total quality of life (P = 0.02 in the group practicing comprehensive yogic breathing program as compared to the group following standard therapy alone. In the group following breathing program, the improvement in sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions was statistically significant (P = 0.01, while the change in the standard group was not significant (P = 0.17. When both parasympathetic and sympathetic cardiac autonomic functions were considered, there was a trend toward improvement in patients following comprehensive yogic breathing program (P = 0.07. In the standard therapy group, no change in cardiac autonomic functions was noted (P = 0.76. The parameters of glycemic control were comparable in both groups. Conclusion: There was significant improvement in quality of life and cardiac autonomic functions in the diabetes patients practicing comprehensive yogic breathing

  2. Surface Treatments and Functional Coatings for Biocompatibility Improvement and Bacterial Adhesion Reduction in Dental Implantology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pietro Mandracci

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Surface modification of dental implants is a key process in the production of these medical devices, and especially titanium implants used in the dental practice are commonly subjected to surface modification processes before their clinical use. A wide range of treatments, such as sand blasting, acid etching, plasma etching, plasma spray deposition, sputtering deposition and cathodic arc deposition, have been studied over the years in order to improve the performance of dental implants. Improving or accelerating the osseointegration process is usually the main goal of these surface processes, but the improvement of biocompatibility and the prevention of bacterial adhesion are also of considerable importance. In this review, we report on the research of the recent years in the field of surface treatments and coatings deposition for the improvement of dental implants performance, with a main focus on the osseointegration acceleration, the reduction of bacterial adhesion and the improvement of biocompatibility.

  3. m(6)A: Signaling for mRNA splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Samir; Xiao, Wen; Zhao, Yong-Liang; Yang, Yun-Gui

    2016-09-01

    Among myriads of distinct chemical modifications in RNAs, dynamic N6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is one of the most prevalent modifications in eukaryotic mRNAs and non-coding RNAs. Similar to the critical role of chemical modifications in regulation of DNA and protein activities, RNA m(6)A modification is also observed to be involved in the regulation of diverse functions of RNAs including meiosis, fertility, development, cell reprogramming and circadian period. The RNA m(6)A modification is recognized by YTH domain containing family proteins comprising of YTHDC1-2 and YTHDF1-3. Here we focus on the nuclear m(6)A reader YTHDC1 and its regulatory role in alternative splicing and other RNA metabolic processes. PMID:27351695

  4. BARC 2009 Annual Report TO NC-1037: Genetic and functional genomic approaches to improve production and quality of pork

    Science.gov (United States)

    The NC-1037 project addresses “Genetic and functional genomic approaches to improve production and quality of pork.” It has 2 objectives: 1) Further understand the dynamic genetic mechanisms that influence production efficiency and quality of pork; and 2) Discover genetic mechanisms controlling anim...

  5. Targeting alertness to improve cognition in older adults: A preliminary report of benefits in executive function and skill acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vleet, Thomas M; DeGutis, Joseph M; Merzenich, Michael M; Simpson, Gregory V; Zomet, Ativ; Dabit, Sawsan

    2016-09-01

    Efficient self-regulation of alertness declines with age exacerbating normal declines in performance across multiple cognitive domains, including learning and skill acquisition. Previous cognitive intervention studies have shown that it is possible to enhance alertness in patients with acquired brain injury and marked attention impairments, and that this benefit generalizes to improvements in more global cognitive functions. In the current preliminary studies, we sought to test whether this approach, that targets both tonic (over a period of minutes) and phasic (moment-to-moment) alertness, can improve key executive functioning declines in older adults, and enhance the rate of skill acquisition. The results of both Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that, compared to active control (AC) training, alertness training significantly enhanced performance in several validated executive function measures. In Experiment 2, alertness training significantly improved skill acquisition compared to AC training in a well-characterized speed of processing (SOP) task, with the largest benefits shown in the most challenging SOP blocks. The results of the current study suggest that targeting intrinsic alertness through cognitive training provides a novel approach to improve executive functions in older adults and may be a useful adjunct treatment to enhance benefits gained in other clinically validated treatments. PMID:27372902

  6. Value Added Processing of Peanut Meal: Enzymatic Hydrolysis to Improve Functional and Nutritional Properties of Water Soluble Extracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Value added applications are needed for peanut meal, which is the high protein byproduct of commercial peanut oil production. Peanut meal dispersions were hydrolyzed with alcalase, flavourzyme and pepsin in an effort to improve functional and nutritional properties of the resulting water soluble ex...

  7. Internet Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Panic Disorder: Does the Inclusion of Stress Management Information Improve End-State Functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Jeffrey C.; Klein, Britt; Austin, David W.

    2006-01-01

    Previous research has established Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD) as effective in reducing panic severity and frequency. There is evidence, however, that such programs are less effective at improving overall end-state functioning, defined by a PD clinician severity rating of [less than or equal to] 2 and…

  8. A Quality Function Deployment Analysis of Customer Needs for Meeting School Improvement Goals: The Voice of the School Principal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushner, Susan N.; And Others

    In providing leadership for school improvement teams, principals must employ group communication and decision-making skills. In this study, a planning procedure called Quality Function Deployment (QFD) was modified for use with school-based administrators. Teams of school leaders used QFD to generate the top priority needs of school customers…

  9. Physical activity and enhanced fitness to improve cognitive function in older people without known cognitive impairment, A Cochrane Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angevaren, Maaike; Aufdemkampe, Geert; Verhaar, H.J.J.; Aleman, A.; Vanhees, L.E.M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005381. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005381.pub2. Background: Physical activity is beneficial for healthy ageing. It may also help maintain good cognitive function in older age. Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular fitness, but it is

  10. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Dongre

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Many women experience sexual dysfunction where there are orgasm disorders and sexual difficulties. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera is a herb known to improve the body’s physical and psychological condition. Objective. The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy and safety of a high-concentration ashwagandha root extract (HCARE supplementation for improving sexual function in healthy females. Methods. In this pilot study, 50 study subjects were randomized to either (i HCARE-treated group or (ii placebo- (starch- treated group. The subjects consumed either HCARE or placebo capsules of 300mg twice daily for 8 weeks. Sexual function was assessed using two psychometric scales, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI Questionnaire and the Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS, and by the number of total and successful sexual encounters. Results. The analysis indicates that treatment with HCARE leads to significantly higher improvement, relative to placebo, in the FSFI Total score (p<0.001, FSFI domain score for “arousal” (p<0.001, “lubrication” (p<0.001, “orgasm” (p=0.004, and “satisfaction” (p<0.001, and also FSDS score (p<0.001 and the number of successful sexual encounters (p<0.001 at the end of the treatment. Conclusions. This study demonstrated that oral administration of HCARE may improve sexual function in healthy women. The present study is registered in the Clinical Trial Registry, Government of India, with a number CTRI/2015/07/006045.

  11. A 9-wk docosahexaenoic acid-enriched supplementation improves endurance exercise capacity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Guen, Marie; Chaté, Valérie; Hininger-Favier, Isabelle; Laillet, Brigitte; Morio, Béatrice; Pieroni, Gérard; Schlattner, Uwe; Pison, Christophe; Dubouchaud, Hervé

    2016-02-01

    Decline in skeletal muscle mass and function starts during adulthood. Among the causes, modifications of the mitochondrial function could be of major importance. Polyunsaturated fatty (ω-3) acids have been shown to play a role in intracellular functions. We hypothesize that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation could improve muscle mitochondrial function that could contribute to limit the early consequences of aging on adult muscle. Twelve-month-old male Wistar rats were fed a low-polyunsaturated fat diet and were given DHA (DHA group) or placebo (control group) for 9 wk. Rats from the DHA group showed a higher endurance capacity (+56%, P supplementation could be of potential interest for the muscle function in adults and for fighting the decline in exercise tolerance with age that could imply energy-sensing pathway, as suggested by changes in phospho-AMPK/AMPK ratio. PMID:26646102

  12. FUNCTIONAL STATUS AFTER INTENSIVE CARE: A CHALLENGE FOR REHABILITATION PROFESSIONALS TO IMPROVE OUTCOME

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van der Schaaf; A. Beelen; D.A. Dongelmans; M.B. Vroom; F. Nollet

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To examine restrictions in daily functioning from a rehabilitation perspective in patients one year after discharge front the intensive care unit, and to identify prognostic factors for functional status. Design: Cross-sectional design. Patients: Consecutive patients who were admitted to

  13. Improvement of the Van Lieshout hand function test for tetraplegia using a Rasch analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spooren, A.I.; Arnould, C.; Smeets, R.J.P.; Bongers, H.M.; Seelen, H.A.

    2013-01-01

    STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. OBJECTIVE: The Van Lieshout hand function test for tetraplegia (VLT) measures the quality of arm-hand functioning in persons with tetraplegia. It is valid, reliable and responsive. However, it does not satisfy all the criteria for interval level measurement. The

  14. Blending Functional Communication Training and Choice Making to Improve Task Engagement and Decrease Problem Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Stephanie M. Peck; Caniglia, Cyndi; Royster, Amy Jo; Macfarlane, Emily; Plowman, Kristen; Baird, Sally Jo; Wu, Nadia

    2005-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of choice making within functional communication training (FCT) to increase the task engagement of two participants with inappropriate behaviour. Pretreatment functional analyses indicated that both participants' inappropriate behaviour was maintained by escape. For one of the participants, inappropriate behaviour…

  15. Improved Neural Processing Efficiency in a Chronic Aphasia Patient Following Melodic Intonation Therapy: A Neuropsychological and Functional MRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabei, Ken-ichi; Satoh, Masayuki; Nakano, Chizuru; Ito, Ai; Shimoji, Yasuo; Kida, Hirotaka; Sakuma, Hajime; Tomimoto, Hidekazu

    2016-01-01

    Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a treatment program for the rehabilitation of aphasic patients with speech production disorders. We report a case of severe chronic non-fluent aphasia unresponsive to several years of conventional therapy that showed a marked improvement following intensive 9-day training on the Japanese version of MIT (MIT-J). The purpose of this study was to verify the efficacy of MIT-J by functional assessment and examine associated changes in neural processing by functional magnetic resonance imaging. MIT improved language output and auditory comprehension, and decreased the response time for picture naming. Following MIT-J, an area of the right hemisphere was less activated on correct naming trials than compared with before training but similarly activated on incorrect trials. These results suggest that the aphasic symptoms of our patient were improved by increased neural processing efficiency and a concomitant decrease in cognitive load.

  16. Predictors of improvement in observed functional ability in patients with fibromyalgia as an outcome of rehabilitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amris, Kirstine; Luta, George; Christensen, Robin;

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate predictors of improvement in observed ability to manage activities of daily living as an outcome of rehabilitation in fibromyalgia. METHODS: Exploratory analyses used data from the Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation and Evaluation Programme for Patients with Chronic...... Widespread Pain (the IMPROvE study); a randomized controlled trial including 191 females with fibromyalgia randomized (1:1) to rehabilitation or a waiting list. The primary outcome was observed activities of daily living ability evaluated with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) 6 months post...

  17. Forecasting nonlinear chaotic time series with function expression method based on an improved genetic-simulated annealing algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Zhou, Bi-hua; Zhou, Shu-dao; Sheng, Zheng

    2015-01-01

    The paper proposes a novel function expression method to forecast chaotic time series, using an improved genetic-simulated annealing (IGSA) algorithm to establish the optimum function expression that describes the behavior of time series. In order to deal with the weakness associated with the genetic algorithm, the proposed algorithm incorporates the simulated annealing operation which has the strong local search ability into the genetic algorithm to enhance the performance of optimization; besides, the fitness function and genetic operators are also improved. Finally, the method is applied to the chaotic time series of Quadratic and Rossler maps for validation. The effect of noise in the chaotic time series is also studied numerically. The numerical results verify that the method can forecast chaotic time series with high precision and effectiveness, and the forecasting precision with certain noise is also satisfactory. It can be concluded that the IGSA algorithm is energy-efficient and superior.

  18. Forecasting Nonlinear Chaotic Time Series with Function Expression Method Based on an Improved Genetic-Simulated Annealing Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper proposes a novel function expression method to forecast chaotic time series, using an improved genetic-simulated annealing (IGSA algorithm to establish the optimum function expression that describes the behavior of time series. In order to deal with the weakness associated with the genetic algorithm, the proposed algorithm incorporates the simulated annealing operation which has the strong local search ability into the genetic algorithm to enhance the performance of optimization; besides, the fitness function and genetic operators are also improved. Finally, the method is applied to the chaotic time series of Quadratic and Rossler maps for validation. The effect of noise in the chaotic time series is also studied numerically. The numerical results verify that the method can forecast chaotic time series with high precision and effectiveness, and the forecasting precision with certain noise is also satisfactory. It can be concluded that the IGSA algorithm is energy-efficient and superior.

  19. Effectiveness of distributed form of constraint induced movement therapy to im