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Sample records for improved biventricular function

  1. Left Ventricular Function Improves after Pulmonary Valve Replacement in Patients with Previous Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Reconstruction and Biventricular Dysfunction

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    Kane, Colin; Kogon, Brian; Pernetz, Maria; McConnell, Michael; Kirshbom, Paul; Rodby, Katherine; Book, Wendy M.

    2011-01-01

    Congenital heart defects that have a component of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction, such as tetralogy of Fallot, are frequently palliated in childhood by disruption of the pulmonary valve. Although this can provide an initial improvement in quality of life, these patients are often left with severe pulmonary valve insufficiency. Over time, this insufficiency can lead to enlargement of the right ventricle and to the deterioration of right ventricular systolic and diastolic function. Pulmonary valve replacement in these patients decreases right ventricular volume overload and improves right ventricular performance. To date, few studies have examined the effects of pulmonary valve replacement on left ventricular function in patients with biventricular dysfunction. We sought to perform such an evaluation. Records of adult patients who had undergone pulmonary valve replacement from January 2003 through November 2006 were analyzed retrospectively. We reviewed preoperative and postoperative echocardiograms and calculated left ventricular function in 38 patients. In the entire cohort, the mean left ventricular ejection fraction increased by a mean of 0.07 after pulmonary valve replacement, which was a statistically significant change (P < 0.01). In patients with preoperative ejection fractions of less than 0.50, mean ejection fractions increased by 0.10. We conclude that pulmonary valve replacement in patients with biventricular dysfunction arising from severe pulmonary insufficiency and right ventricular enlargement can improve left ventricular function. Prospective studies are needed to verify this finding. PMID:21720459

  2. Sequential biventricular pacing improves regional contractility, longitudinal function and dyssynchrony in patients with heart failure and prolonged QRS

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    Ring Margareta

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aims Biventricular pacing (BiP is an effective treatment in systolic heart failure (HF patients with prolonged QRS. However, approximately 35% of the patients receiving BiP are classified as non-responders. The aim of this study is to evaluate the acute effects of VV-optimization on systolic heart function. Methods Twenty-one HF patients aged 72 (46-88 years, QRS 154 (120-190 ms, were studied with echocardiography, Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI and 3D-echo the first day after receiving a BiP device. TDI was performed; during simultaneous pacing (LV-lead pacing 4 ms before the RV-lead and during sequential pacing (LV 20 and 40 ms before RV and RV 20 and 40 ms before LV-lead pacing. Systolic heart function was studied by tissue tracking (TT for longitudinal function and systolic maximal velocity (SMV for regional contractility and signs of dyssynchrony assessed by time-delays standard deviation of aortic valve opening to SMV, AVO-SMV/SD and tissue synchronization imaging (TSI. Results The TT mean value preoperatively was 4,2 ± 1,5 and increased at simultaneous pacing to 5,0 ± 1,2 mm (p Conclusions VV-optimization in the acute phase improves systolic heart function more than simultaneous BiP pacing. Long-term effects should be evaluated in prospective randomized trials.

  3. Benefit of warm water immersion on biventricular function in patients with chronic heart failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kardassis Dimitris

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Regular physical activity and exercise are well-known cardiovascular protective factors. Many elderly patients with heart failure find it difficult to exercise on land, and hydrotherapy (training in warm water could be a more appropriate form of exercise for such patients. However, concerns have been raised about its safety. The aim of this study was to investigate, with echocardiography and Doppler, the acute effect of warm water immersion (WWI and effect of 8 weeks of hydrotherapy on biventricular function, volumes and systemic vascular resistance. A secondary aim was to observe the effect of hydrotherapy on brain natriuretic peptide (BNP. Methods Eighteen patients [age 69 ± 8 years, left ventricular ejection fraction 31 ± 9%, peakVO2 14.6 ± 4.5 mL/kg/min] were examined with echocardiography on land and in warm water (34°C. Twelve of these patients completed 8 weeks of control period followed by 8 weeks of hydrotherapy twice weekly. Results During acute WWI, cardiac output increased from 3.1 ± 0.8 to 4.2 ± 0.9 L/min, LV tissue velocity time integral from 1.2 ± 0.4 to 1.7 ± 0.5 cm and right ventricular tissue velocity time integral from 1.6 ± 0.6 to 2.5 ± 0.8 cm (land vs WWI, p There was no change in the cardiovascular response or BNP after 8 weeks of hydrotherapy. Conclusion Hydrotherapy was well tolerated by all patients. The main observed cardiac effect during acute WWI was a reduction in heart rate, which, together with a decrease in afterload, resulted in increases in systolic and diastolic biventricular function. Although 8 weeks of hydrotherapy did not improve cardiac function, our data support the concept that exercise in warm water is an acceptable regime for patients with heart failure.

  4. Effects of milrinone and epinephrine or dopamine on biventricular function and hemodynamics in right heart failure after pulmonary regurgitation.

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    Hyldebrandt, Janus Adler; Agger, Peter; Sivén, Eleonora; Wemmelund, Kristian Borup; Heiberg, Johan; Frederiksen, Christian Alcaraz; Ravn, Hanne Berg

    2015-09-01

    Right ventricular failure (RVF) secondary to pulmonary regurgitation (PR) impairs right ventricular (RV) function and interrupts the interventricular relationship. There are few recommendations for the medical management of severe RVF after prolonged PR. PR was induced in 16 Danish landrace pigs by plication of the pulmonary valve leaflets. Twenty-three pigs served as controls. At reexamination the effect of milrinone, epinephrine, and dopamine was evaluated using biventricular conductance and pulmonary catheters. Seventy-nine days after PR was induced, RV end-diastolic volume index (EDVI) had increased by 33% (P = 0.006) and there was a severe decrease in the load-independent measurement of contractility (PRSW) (-58%; P = 0.003). Lower cardiac index (CI) (-28%; P Milrinone improved RV-PRSW and CI and maintained systemic pressure while reducing central venous pressure (CVP). Epinephrine and dopamine further improved biventricular PRSW and CI equally in a dose-dependent manner. Systemic and pulmonary pressures were higher in the dopamine-treated animals compared with epinephrine-treated animals. None of the treatments improved stroke volume index (SVI) despite increases in contractility. Strong correlation was detected between SVI and LV-EDVI, but not SVI and biventricular contractility. In RVF due to PR, milrinone significantly improved CI, SvO2, and CVP and increased contractility in the RV. Epinephrine and dopamine had equal inotropic effect, but a greater vasopressor effect was observed for dopamine. SV was unchanged due to inability of both treatments to increase LV-EDVI. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Left ventricular function and visual phase analysis with equilibrium radionuclide angiography in patients with biventricular device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muxi, Africa; Setoain, Francisco J.; Pons, Francisca; Paredes, Pilar; Duch, Joan; Fuertes, Silvia; Ortin, Jaime; Mont, Lluis; Diaz-Infante, Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) is a technique indicated in patients with moderate to severe heart failure and ventricular dyssynchrony. To evaluate left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and synchronisation changes after CRT with a biventricular pacing implant, we used an equilibrium radionuclide angiography (ERNA). Fifty patients were studied. An ERNA was made 72 h and 6 months after the implant. Two acquisitions were performed: with the CRT device connected and after disconnecting it. In the follow-up, responders were defined as those who had improved in accordance with various clinical variables. Quantitative changes in LVEF and visual changes in synchronisation (phase analysis) were studied comparing the two studies and also comparing the connected and disconnected modes. At 6 months, 30 patients were defined as responders. LVEF increased significantly at 6 months compared with the 72-h study only in responders. At 72 h, the number of patients showing a decrease in LVEF (p < 0.05) or a synchronisation worsening after disconnecting the device was higher in responders than in nonresponders. At 6 months, 57% of responders had no synchronisation changes between the connected and disconnected modes, suggesting a resynchronisation process. ERNA permits the study of resynchronisation patients, showing a statistical LVEF improvement at 6 months. Moreover, visual phase analysis permits the study of the mechanism involved in the response, with an important number of responders with no changes between the two modes at 6 months. In the 72-h study, after disconnection of the device, LVEF and resynchronisation worsening can predict patient improvement at 6 months. (orig.)

  6. Effect of biventricular pacing on heart function evaluated by gated blood pool study in patients with end-stage heart failure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cholewinski, W.; Tarkowska, A.; Stefaniak, B.; Poniatowicz-Frasunek, E.; Kutarski, A.; Oleszczak, K.

    2002-01-01

    Biventricular cardiac pacing has been used as a complementary form of therapy in patients with severe heart failure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the synchronous stimulation of both ventricles on the heart function measured by gated blood pool study (GBP). Ten patients (9 men and 1 woman aged 53-74 years) with end-stage heart failure (HF) were studied. In all patients long-term biventricular pacing (BV) was applied. The obtained results were compared with single-chamber stimulation in 5 patients and with sinus rhythm (SR) in 8 patients. All patients underwent repeated GBP with RBC labelled with 740 MBq of 99m Tc-pertechnetate. The LVEF was calculated according to the standard method based on the count rates. Phase analysis was performed with the standard method using first Fourier element. Clinically in almost all patients moderate to important symptomatic improvement has been observed. The analysis of LVEF values revealed that BV pacing resulted in significantly higher values only in comparison with SR (21.6% ±10.3 v. 20.1% ± 10.1; p o± 29.6 v. 13.4 o± 37.6 and 7.4 o± 26.5 v. 6.0 o± 17.1, respectively). However, in comparison with LV pacing, BV stimulation revealed a change of dominant conduction abnormalities with a delay of RV contraction in relation to LV (9.0 o± 17.5 v. -3.0 o± 11.4). Biventricular pacing results in slight improvement of LVEF in patients with heart failure and can be considered a promising approach in patients with end-stage heart failure. Synchronous stimulation of both ventricles not always results in decrease of interventricular shift, however that observation requires further studies on a larger population. (author)

  7. [Improvement of biventricular heart failure in a case of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome by nasal CPAP therapy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, H; Akashiba, T; Minemura, H; Kurashina, K; Yoshizawa, T; Otsuka, K; Horie, T

    1993-08-01

    A 42-year-old male patient with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) suffering from biventricular heart failure is reported. He had been treated for OSAS with conventional therapy. However, he complained of severe dyspnea in association with extreme weight gain and general edema. Therefore, he was admitted to our department. He weighed 168 kg on admission, and marked edema was observed. Chest film revealed significant dilatation of the cardiac silhouette and pleural effusion. PaO2 was 37 mmHg and PaCO2 was 66 mmHg. Polysomnography showed an apnea index of 58.3 and severe oxygen desaturation during sleep. Right heart catheterization showed elevation of mean pulmonary artery pressure mPAP: 55 mmHg) and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (Pcwp: 33 mmHg) suggesting biventricular heart failure. Digitalization and diuretic therapy were immediately initiated. In addition, nasal CPAP was applied to this patient during sleep, and sleep apnea and oxygen desaturation were almost completely reversed. Significant diuresis was observed, and blood gas data and sleep disturbance were improved. Fifty-nine days after admission, his weight had decreased to 96 kg, and mPAP and Pcwp decreased to 32 and 23 mmHg, respectively. This case demonstrates that nasal CPA is an effective tool for the treatment severe OSAS patients.

  8. Functional and geometrical interference and interdependency between the right and left ventricle in cor pulmonale: an experimental study on simultaneous measurement of biventricular geometry of acute right ventricular pressure overload.

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    Yamashita, H; Onodera, S; Imamoto, T; Obara, A; Tanazawa, S; Takashio, T; Morimoto, H; Inoue, H

    1989-10-01

    To clarify the effects of right ventricular (RV) pressure overload on functional and geometrical interference and interdependency between the right and left ventricle, both ventricular internal diameters were measured by the microcrystal technique during lycopodium induced pulmonary embolization in the dog. By repeated embolization, RV systolic pressure was increased progressively until it reached a peak value of about 60-70 mmHg, then it began to fall. At the same time, the hemodynamics deteriorated progressively resulting in death. During the experiment, gradual leftward displacement of the interventricular septum (IVS) without any change in left ventricular (LV) free wall geometry was observed. In pulmonary embolic shock, which showed a fall in LV pressure to about 60 mmHg and cardiac output to about 40% of control, the leftward displacement of IVS became marked, and the cooperative movement of IVS to LV contraction disappeared. The IVS position during acute RV pressure overload was able to account for the transseptal pressure gradient. The importance of IVS position and motion in cardiac function during acute RV pressure overload was stressed. Furthermore, to establish the theoretical treatment in acute cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ligation of the descending aorta (AoL) or norepinephrine ("N") or isoproterenol ("I") administration were examined in a canine pulmonary embolic shock model. AoL or "N" improved the deteriorated hemodynamics with restoration of biventricular geometry. However, "I" did not restore the biventricular geometry despite the transiently improved hemodynamics, and the experimental animals were unable to survive. These results suggest the importance of the maintainance of systemic pressure for the restoration of failed RV function. Further integrated studies are required to understand biventricular interference and interdependency.

  9. Creating Shape Templates for Patient Specific Biventricular Modeling in Congenital Heart Disease

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    Gilbert, Kathleen; Farrar, Genevieve; Cowan, Brett R.; Suinesiaputra, Avan; Occleshaw, Christopher; Pontré, Beau; Perry, James; Hegde, Sanjeet; Marsden, Alison; Omens, Jeff; McCulloch, Andrew; Young, Alistair A.

    2018-01-01

    Survival rates for infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) are improving, resulting in a growing population of adults with CHD. However, the analysis of left and right ventricular function is very time-consuming owing to the variety of congenital morphologies. Efficient customization of patient geometry and function depends on high quality shape templates specifically designed for the application. In this paper, we combine a method for creating finite element shape templates with an interactive template customization to patient MRI examinations. This enables different templates to be chosen depending on patient morphology. To demonstrate this pipeline, a new biventricular template with 162 elements was created and tested in place of an existing 82-element template. The method was able to provide fast interactive biventricular analysis with 0.31 sec per edit response time. The new template was customized to 13 CHD patients with similar biventricular topology, showing improved performance over the previous template and good agreement with clinical indices. PMID:26736353

  10. Biventricular function in sickle-cell anemia: radionuclide angiographic and thallium-201 scintigraphic evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manno, B.V.; Burka, E.R.; Hakki, A.H.; Manno, C.S.; Iskandrian, A.S.; Noone, A.M.

    1983-01-01

    Left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) function were evaluated at rest and during exercise using radionuclide ventriculography in 10 patients, aged 19-53 years, with sickle-cell anemia (SCA). Seven patients were in New York Heart Association functional class I and 3 were in class II. The resting LV ejection fraction (EF) was normal in 9 patients and the resting RVEF was normal in 4. LV dilation and high cardiac output were observed in 6 patients at rest. The LVEF during exercise was normal in all 10 patients, whereas only 2 patients had normal RVEF at rest and during exercise. The LVEF was lower in patients with SCA at rest (54 +/- 4% versus 61 +/- 6%, p less than 0.001) and exercise (66 +/- 4% versus 74 +/- 6%, p less than 0.001) than in 42 age-matched normal subjects. Rest thallium-201 images from 9 patients showed abnormal RV uptake in 8 and normal LV uptake in 8. Thus, in adult patients with SCA, LV function was normal during exercise in all patients and at rest in all but 1 patient. The LVEF, however, was lower than that in age-matched normal subjects. RV function was abnormal in most patients at rest and during exercise. RV thallium-201 uptake suggested pressure or volume overload (or both), most likely due to pulmonary vaso-occlusive complications of the disease

  11. Large-Animal Biventricular Working Heart Perfusion System with Low Priming Volume-Comparison between in vivo and ex vivo Cardiac Function.

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    Abicht, Jan-Michael; Mayr, Tanja Axinja Jelena; Jauch, Judith; Guethoff, Sonja; Buchholz, Stefan; Reichart, Bruno; Bauer, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Existing large-animal, ex vivo, cardiac perfusion models are restricted in their ability to establish an ischemia/reperfusion condition as seen in cardiac surgery or transplantation. Other working heart systems only challenge one ventricle or require a substantially larger priming volume. We describe a novel biventricular cardiac perfusion system with reduced priming volume. Juvenile pig hearts were cardiopleged, explanted, and reperfused ex vivo after 150 minutes of cold ischemia. Autologous whole blood was used as perfusate (minimal priming volume 350 mL). After 15 minutes of Langendorff perfusion (LM), the system was switched into a biventricular working mode (WM) and studied for 3 hours. During reperfusion, complete unloading of both ventricles and constant-pressure coronary perfusion was achieved. During working mode perfusion, the preload and afterload pressure of both ventricles was controlled within the targeted physiologic range. Functional parameters such as left ventricular work index were reduced in ex vivo working mode (in vivo: 787 ± 186 vs. 1 h WM 498 ± 66 mm Hg·mL/g·min; p  hours while functional and blood parameters are easily accessible. Moreover, because of the minimal priming volume, the novel ex vivo cardiac perfusion circuit allows for autologous perfusion, using the limited amount of blood available from the organ donating animal. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  12. Effects of milrinone and epinephrine or dopamine on biventricular function and hemodynamics in an animal model with right ventricular failure after pulmonary artery banding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyldebrandt, Janus Adler; Sivén, Eleonora; Agger, Peter; Frederiksen, Christian Alcaraz; Heiberg, Johan; Wemmelund, Kristian Borup; Ravn, Hanne Berg

    2015-07-01

    Right ventricular (RV) failure due to chronic pressure overload is a main determinant of outcome in congenital heart disease. Medical management is challenging because not only contractility but also the interventricular relationship is important for increasing cardiac output. This study evaluated the effect of milrinone alone and in combination with epinephrine or dopamine on hemodynamics, ventricular performance, and the interventricular relationship. RV failure was induced in 21 Danish landrace pigs by pulmonary artery banding. After 10 wk, animals were reexamined using biventricular pressure-volume conductance catheters. The maximum pressure in the RV increased by 113% (P Milrinone increased CI (11%, P = 0.008) and heart rate (HR; 21%, P milrinone improved CI and increased contractility. Albeit additional dose-dependent effects of both epinephrine and dopamine on CI and contractility, neither of the interventions improved SVI due to reduced filling of the LV. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Quantification of biventricular myocardial function using cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking, endocardial border delineation and echocardiographic speckle tracking in patients with repaired tetralogy of fallot and healthy controls

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    2012-01-01

    Background Parameters of myocardial deformation have been suggested to be superior to conventional measures of ventricular function in patients with tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), but have required non-routine, tagged cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques. We assessed biventricular myocardial function using CMR cine-based feature tracking (FT) and compared it to speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) and to simple endocardial border delineation (EBD). In addition, the relation between parameters of myocardial deformation and clinical parameters was assessed. Methods Overall, 28 consecutive adult patients with repaired ToF (age 40.4 ± 13.3 years) underwent standard steady-state-free precession sequence CMR, echocardiography, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. In addition, 25 healthy subjects served as controls. Myocardial deformation was assessed by CMR based FT (TomTec Diogenes software), CMR based EBD (using custom written software) and STE (TomTec Cardiac Performance Analysis software). Results Feature tracking was feasible in all subjects. A close agreement was found between measures of global left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) global strain. Interobserver agreement for FT and STE was similar for longitudinal LV global strain, but FT showed better inter-observer reproducibility than STE for circumferential or radial LV and longitudinal RV global strain. Reproducibility of regional strain on FT was, however, poor. The relative systolic length change of the endocardial border measured by EBD yielded similar results to FT global strain. Clinically, biventricular longitudinal strain on FT was reduced compared to controls (P < 0.0001) and was related to the number of previous cardiac operations. In addition, FT derived RV strain was related to exercise capacity and VE/VCO2-slope. Conclusions Although neither the inter-study reproducibility nor accuracy of FT software were investigated, and its inter-observer reproducibility for regional

  14. Biventricular non-compaction with predominant right ventricular involvement, reduced left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, and pulmonary hypertension in a Hispanic male.

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    Said, Sarmad; Cooper, Chad J; Quevedo, Karla; Rodriguez, Emmanuel; Hernandez, German T

    2013-01-01

    Male, 22 FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Cardiomyopathy Symptoms: Shortness of breath • dispnoea • chest discomfort - Clinical Procedure: Echocardiogram • cardiac MRI Specialty: Cardiology. Challenging differential diagnosis. Non-compaction cardiomyopathy (NCM) is a rare congenital cardiomyopathy characterized by increased trabeculation in one or more segments of the ventricle. The left ventricle is most commonly affected. However, biventricular involvement or right ventricle predominance has also been described. Clinical features of NCM are non-specific and can range from being asymptomatic to symptoms of congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and systemic thromboembolism. 22-year-old Hispanic male presented with two month history of chest discomfort. Laboratory workup revealed an elevated brain-natriuretic-peptide of 1768 pg/ml. ECG and chest x-ray was nonspecific. Transthoracic echocardiogram revealed prominent trabeculae and spongiform appearance of the left ventricle (LV) with an ejection-fraction of 15-20%; 5 of 9 segments of the LV were trabeculated with deep intertrabecular recesses also involving the right ventricle (RV) with demonstrated blood flow in these recesses on color-doppler. The biventricular spongiform appearance was morphologically suggestive for NCM with involvement of the RV. Confirmatory cardiac MRI was performed, demonstrating excessive trabeculation of the left-ventricular apex and mid-ventricular segments. Hypertrabecularion was exhibited at the apical and lateral wall of the RV. Cardiac catheterization showed an intact cardiac vessel system. The patient was discharged on heart failure treatment and was placed on the heart transplantation list. NCM is a unique disorder resulting in serious and severe complications. The majority of the reported cases describe the involvement of the left ventricle. However, the right ventricle should be taken into careful consideration. The early diagnosis may help to increase the event-free survival.

  15. Impact of pacing modality and biventricular pacing on cardiac output and coronary conduit flow in the post-cardiotomy patient.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Healy, David G

    2012-02-03

    We have previously demonstrated the role of univentricular pacing modalities in influencing coronary conduit flow in the immediate post-operative period in the cardiac surgery patient. We wanted to determine the mechanism of this improved coronary conduit and, in addition, to explore the possible benefits with biventricular pacing. Sixteen patients undergoing first time elective coronary artery bypass grafting who required pacing following surgery were recruited. Comparison of cardiac output and coronary conduit flow was performed between VVI and DDD pacing with a single right ventricular lead and biventricular pacing lead placement. Cardiac output was measured using arterial pulse waveform analysis while conduit flow was measured using ultrasonic transit time methodology. Cardiac output was greatest with DDD pacing using right ventricular lead placement only [DDD-univentricular 5.42 l (0.7), DDD-biventricular 5.33 l (0.8), VVI-univentricular 4.71 l (0.8), VVI-biventricular 4.68 l (0.6)]. DDD-univentricular pacing was significantly better than VVI-univentricular (P=0.023) and VVI-biventricular pacing (P=0.001) but there was no significant advantage to DDD-biventricular pacing (P=0.45). In relation to coronary conduit flow, DDD pacing again had the highest flow [DDD-univentricular 55 ml\\/min (24), DDD-biventricular 52 ml\\/min (25), VVI-univentricular 47 ml\\/min (23), VVI-biventricular 50 ml\\/min (26)]. DDD-univentricular pacing was significantly better than VVI-univentricular (P=0.006) pacing but not significantly different to VVI-biventricular pacing (P=0.109) or DDD-biventricular pacing (P=0.171). Pacing with a DDD modality offers the optimal coronary conduit flow by maximising cardiac output. Biventricular lead placement offered no significant benefit to coronary conduit flow or cardiac output.

  16. Biventricular MR volumetric analysis and MR flow quantification in the ascending aorta and pulmonary trunk for quantification of valvular regurgitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rominger, M.B.

    2004-01-01

    Purpose: To test the value of biventricular volumetric analysis and the combination of biventricular volumetric analysis with flow quantification in the ascending aorta (Ao) and pulmonary trunk (Pu) for quantification of regurgitation volume and cardiac function in valvular regurgitation (VR) according to location and presence of single or multivalvular disease. Materials and Methods: In 106 patients, the stroke volumes were assessed by measuring the biventricular volumes and the forward-stroke volumes in the great and small circulation by measuring the flow in the Ao and Pu. Valve regurgitation volumes and quotients were calculated for single and multivalvular disease and correlated with semiquantitative 2D-echocardiography (grade I-IV). For the assessment of the cardiac function in VR, the volumetric parameters of ejection fraction and end-diastolic (EDV) and end-systolic (ESV) volumes were determined. Results: The detection rate was 49% for left ventricular (LV) VR and 42% for right ventricular (RV) VR. Low LV VR and RV VR usually could not be detected quantitatively, with the detection rate improving with echocardiographically higher insufficiency grades. Quantitative MRI could detect a higher grade solitary aortic valve insufficiency (≥2) in 11 of 12 patients and higher grade mitral valve insufficiency in 4 of 10 patients. A significant increase in RV and LV ventricular EDV and ESV was seen more often with increased MR regurgitation volumes. Aortic stenosis did not interfere with flow measurements in the Ao. Conclusions: Biventricular volumetry combined with flow measurements in Ao and Pu is a robust, applicable and simple method to assess higher grade regurgitation volumes and the cardiac function in single and multivalvular regurgitation at different locations. It is an important application for the diagnosis of VR by MRI [de

  17. Biventricular thrombus in hypereosinophilic syndrome presenting with shortness of breath

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    Abdul Baqi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A 48 years old male presented to clinic with 12 months of low grade fever with shortness of breath which has progressively worsened with no associated weight loss, night sweats or loss of appetite. There was no prior history of chronic illness before the current illness. Laboratory workup revealed a high white blood cell count with predominant eosinophils. Chest X-ray was normal. Transthoracic echocardiography and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance showed biventricular thrombi. On further extensive workup the findings were consistent with hypereosinophilic syndrome. The patient was started on oral steroids, hydroxyurea, imatanib mesylate and oral anticoagulation. The patient responded to the treatment with complete resolution of his symptoms over the course of few months. The repeat Echocardiogram after a year showed normal left ventricular systolic and diastolic function with complete resolution of biventricular thrombi. Keywords: Hypereosinophilic syndrome, Thrombus

  18. Biventricular pacemaker implantation with the BV Pulsera

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    Wright, J.D.W.; Todd, D.; Waktare, J.E.P.; Hughes, S.; Abell, C. [The Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-01

    The BV Pulsera mobile X-ray system is used for biventricular pacemaker implantation in a surgical environment. It provides high-quality images of the moving structures, including the fine coronary leads, and can be used for long fluoroscopy runs without overheating. (orig.)

  19. Biventricular pacemaker implantation with the BV Pulsera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, J.D.W.; Todd, D.; Waktare, J.E.P.; Hughes, S.; Abell, C.

    2005-01-01

    The BV Pulsera mobile X-ray system is used for biventricular pacemaker implantation in a surgical environment. It provides high-quality images of the moving structures, including the fine coronary leads, and can be used for long fluoroscopy runs without overheating. (orig.)

  20. Transesophageal Echocardiography-Guided Epicardial Left Ventricular Lead Placement by Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery in Nonresponders to Biventricular Pacing and Previous Chest Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Carsten; Chung, Jane M; Mackall, Judith A; Cakulev, Ivan T; Patel, Aaron; Patel, Sunny J; Hoit, Brian D; Sahadevan, Jayakumar

    2018-06-14

    The aim of the study was to study the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of transesophageal echocardiography-guided intraoperative left ventricular lead placement via a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery approach in patients with failed conventional biventricular pacing. Twelve patients who could not have the left ventricular lead placed conventionally underwent epicardial left ventricular lead placement by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Eight patients had previous chest surgery (66%). Operative positioning was a modified far lateral supine exposure with 30-degree bed tilt, allowing for groin and sternal access. To determine the optimal left ventricular location for lead placement, the left ventricular surface was divided arbitrarily into nine segments. These segments were transpericardially paced using a hand-held malleable pacing probe identifying the optimal site verified by transesophageal echocardiography. The pacing leads were screwed into position via a limited pericardiotomy. The video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery approach was successful in all patients. Biventricular pacing was achieved in all patients and all reported symptomatic benefit with reduction in New York Heart Association class from III to I-II (P = 0.016). Baseline ejection fraction was 23 ± 3%; within 1-year follow-up, the ejection fraction increased to 32 ± 10% (P = 0.05). The mean follow-up was 566 days. The median length of hospital stay was 7 days with chest tube removal between postoperative days 2 and 5. In patients who are nonresponders to conventional biventricular pacing, intraoperative left ventricular lead placement using anatomical and functional characteristics via a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery approach is effective in improving heart failure symptoms. This optimized left ventricular lead placement is feasible and safe. Previous chest surgery is no longer an exclusion criterion for a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery approach.

  1. Comparison between biventricular cine MRI and MR flow quantification in ascending aorta and pulmonary outflow tract for the assessment of intracardial shunt volumes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rominger, M.B.; Kluge, A.; Bachmann, G.F.; Dinkel, H.P.

    2002-01-01

    Purpose: Comparison between biventricular volumetric measurements and flow measurements in ascending aorta (Ao) and pulmonary outflow tract (Pu) for quantification of intracardial shunts, and evaluation of the combination of biventricular cine MRI with flow measurements for the assessment of RV and LV heart failure and valvular regurgitation (VR). Material and Methods: In 24 patients, right (RV) and left (LV) ventricular volumetric and flow measurements were performed in the Ao and Pu to assess the ratio of RV stroke volume (SV) or, respectively, pulmonary SV to LV SV or, respectively, systemic aortic SV (Qp/Qs). 34 patients without echocardiographically proven shunt or VR served as control group for measurement accuracy. Left-to-right shunt ratios were calculated from RV and LV SV, Pu and Ao SV, Pu and LV SV, and RV and Ao SV. Left ventricular VR was calculated by the difference of LV SV and Ao SV, and right ventricular VR by the difference of RV SV and Pu SV. Global systolic function was evaluated by biventricular cine MRI. Results: Intracardial shunts with Qp/Qs>1,16 can be quantified by flow measurements in Ao and Pu. Using biventricular volumetric measurements in cases without VR, requires a Qp/Qs>1.21. 17 of 18 intracardiac shunts were identified on MRI, and all 8 hemodynamically significant shunts were quantitatively confirmed. The diagnosis of complete shunt closure or absent shunt was correctly made in all 6 cases RV EF reduction was found in 6 of 24 patients. LV EF reduction was also found in 6 of 24 patients. Conclusion: Flow measurements in Ao and Pu are more accurate than biventricular cine MRI for the assessment of Qp/Qs ratios. Flow measurements in Ao and Pu combined with biventricular cine MRI enables the quantification of hemodynamic significant shunts, higher grade VR and biventricular global systolic function with a single examination. (orig.) [de

  2. Total artificial heart in the pediatric patient with biventricular heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, S S; Sanders, D B; Smith, B P; Ryan, J; Plasencia, J; Osborn, M B; Wellnitz, C M; Southard, R N; Pierce, C N; Arabia, F A; Lane, J; Frakes, D; Velez, D A; Pophal, S G; Nigro, J J

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical circulatory support emerged for the pediatric population in the late 1980s as a bridge to cardiac transplantation. The Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t) (SynCardia Systems Inc., Tuscon, AZ) has been approved for compassionate use by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure as a bridge to heart transplantation since 1985 and has had FDA approval since 2004. However, of the 1,061 patients placed on the TAH-t, only 21 (2%) were under the age 18. SynCardia Systems, Inc. recommends a minimum patient body surface area (BSA) of 1.7 m(2), thus, limiting pediatric application of this device. This unique case report shares this pediatric institution's first experience with the TAH-t. A 14-year-old male was admitted with dilated cardiomyopathy and severe biventricular heart failure. The patient rapidly decompensated, requiring extracorporeal life support. An echocardiogram revealed severe biventricular dysfunction and diffuse clot formation in the left ventricle and outflow tract. The decision was made to transition to biventricular assist device. The biventricular failure and clot formation helped guide the team to the TAH-t, in spite of a BSA (1.5 m(2)) below the recommendation of 1.7 m(2). A computed tomography (CT) scan of the thorax, in conjunction with a novel three-dimensional (3D) modeling system and team, assisted in determining appropriate fit. Chest CT and 3D modeling following implantation were utilized to determine all major vascular structures were unobstructed and the bronchi were open. The virtual 3D model confirmed appropriate device fit with no evidence of compression to the left pulmonary veins. The postoperative course was complicated by a left lung opacification. The left lung anomalies proved to be atelectasis and improved with aggressive recruitment maneuvers. The patient was supported for 11 days prior to transplantation. Chest CT and 3D modeling were crucial in assessing whether the device would

  3. Improvement of Left Ventricular Function by Permanent Direct His-Bundle Pacing in a Case with Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukiko Sashida, MD

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The patient was a 67-year-old female diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She had chronic atrial fibrillation (AF with bradycardia and low left ventricular function (left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF 40%. She was admitted for congestive heart failure. She remained New York Heart Association (NYHA functional class III due to AF bradycardia. Pacemaker implantation was necessary for treatment of heart failure and administration of dose intensive β-blockers. As she had normal His-Purkinje activation, we examined the optimal pacing sites. Hemodynamics of His-bundle pacing and biventricular pacing were compared. Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP was significantly lower on Hisbundle pacing than right ventricular (RV apical pacing and biventricular pacing (13mmHg, 19mmHg, and 19mmHg, respectively with an almost equal cardiac index. Based on the examination we implanted a permanent pacemaker for Direct His-bundle pacing (DHBP. After the DHBP implantation, the LVEF immediately improved from 40% to 55%, and BNP level decreased from 422 pg/ml to 42 pg/ml. The number of premature ventricular complex (PVC was decreased, and non sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT disappeared. Pacing threshold for His-bundle pacing has remained at the same level. His-bundle pacing has been maintained during 27 months and her long-term DHBP can improve cardiac function and the NYHA functional class.

  4. Biventricular / Left Ventricular Pacing in Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Vatasescu, MD

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM is an autosomal dominant inherited genetic disease characterized by compensatory pathological left ventricle (LV hypertrophy due to sarcomere dysfunction. In an important proportion of patients with HCM, the site and extent of cardiac hypertrophy results in severe obstruction to LV outflow tract (LVOT, contributing to disabling symptoms and increasing the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD. In patients with progressive and/or refractory symptoms despite optimal pharmacological treatment, invasive therapies that diminish or abolish LVOT obstruction relieve heart failure-related symptoms, improve quality of life and could be associated with long-term survival similar to that observed in the general population. The gold standard in this respect is surgical septal myectomy, which might be supplementary associated with a reduction in SCD. Percutaneous techniques, particularly alcohol septal ablation (ASA and more recently radiofrequency (RF septal ablation, can achieve LVOT gradient reduction and symptomatic benefit in a large proportion of HOCM patients at the cost of a supposedly limited septal myocardial necrosis and a 10-20% risk of chronic atrioventricular block. After an initial period of enthusiasm, standard DDD pacing failed to show in randomized trials significant LVOT gradient reductions and objective improvement in exercise capacity. However, case reports and recent small pilot studies suggested that atrial synchronous LV or biventricular (biV pacing significantly reduce LVOT obstruction and improve symptoms (acutely as well as long-term in a large proportion of severely symptomatic HOCM patients not suitable to other gradient reduction therapies. Moreover, biV/LV pacing in HOCM seems to be associated with significant LV reverse remodelling.

  5. Accuracy of different imaging modalities prior to biventricular repair ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Arun Kumar Agnihotri

    catheterization with invasive angiocardiography is indicated when the PA ... arterial and venous imaging.3,4. The major ... history of aorto-pulmonary shunt awaiting bi-ventricular ..... regarding the central and peripheral PAs, APCs as well as in ...

  6. Is hydrotherapy an appropriate form of exercise for elderly patients with biventricular systolic heart failure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sveälv, Bente Grüner; Täng, Margareta Scharin; Cider, Åsa

    2012-01-01

    Hydrotherapy (exercise in warm water) is considered to be a safe and beneficial method to use in the rehabilitation of stable heart failure patients, but there is little information on the effect of the increased venous return and enhanced preload in elderly patients with biventricular heart failure. We present a case of an elderly man who was recruited to participate in a hydrotherapy study. We compared echocardiographic data during warm water immersion with land measurements, and observed increases in stroke volume from 32 mL (land) to 42 mL (water), left ventricular ejection fraction from 22% to 24%, left ventricular systolic velocity from 4.8 cm/s to 5.0 cm/s and left atrioventricular plane displacement from 2.1 mm to 2.2 mm. By contrast, right ventricular systolic velocity decreased from 11.2 cm/s to 8.4 cm/s and right atrioventricular plane displacement from 8.1 mm to 4.7 mm. The tricuspid pressure gradient rose from 18 mmHg on land to 50 mmHg during warm water immersion. Thus, although left ventricular systolic function was relatively unaffected during warm water immersion, we observed a decrease in right ventricular function with an augmented right ventricular pressure. We recommend further investigations to observe the cardiac effect of warm water immersion on patients with biventricular systolic heart failure and at risk of elevated right ventricular pressure. PMID:23341846

  7. Machines versus medication for biventricular heart failure: focus on the total artificial heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arabia, Francisco A; Moriguchi, Jaime D

    2014-09-01

    The medical/surgical management of advanced heart failure has evolved rapidly over the last few decades. With better understanding of heart failure pathophysiology, new pharmacological agents have been introduced that have resulted in improvements in survival. For those patients that fail to improve, mechanical circulatory support with left ventricular assist devices and total artificial hearts (TAHs) have served as a beneficial bridge to transplantation. The TAH has continued to play a significant role as a bridge to transplantation in patients with biventricular failure and more selected indications that could not be completely helped with left ventricular assist devices. Improved survival with the TAH has resulted in more patients benefiting from this technology. Improvements will eventually lead to a totally implantable device that will permanently replace the failing human heart.

  8. Biventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy in a Patient Presenting with New Onset Seizure: Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oghenerukevwe Odiete

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ventricular noncompaction (VNC of the myocardium is a rare genetic cardiomyopathy caused by a disorder during endocardial morphogenesis and could be accompanied by life-threatening complications. The major clinical manifestations of VNC are heart failure, arrhythmias, and embolic events. The left ventricle is the most commonly reported affected site, but a few cases of right ventricular involvement have also been reported. We report a case of biventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy in a 31-year-old woman presenting with a new onset seizure. On the second day of her telemetry-monitored hospitalization, she suffered a witnessed ventricular fibrillation arrest requiring emergency direct-current cardioversion and induced hypothermia. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE showed isolated left ventricular (LV noncompaction and depressed LV systolic function. Subsequent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI revealed both left and right ventricular noncompaction. This unusual presentation highlights the importance of a complete and thorough evaluation of patients even when presenting with apparently noncardiac symptom(s.

  9. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Feature Tracking Biventricular Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Strains to Evaluate Ventricular Function in Children After Repaired Tetralogy of Fallot as Compared with Healthy Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berganza, Fernando M; de Alba, Cesar Gonzalez; Özcelik, Nazire; Adebo, Dilachew

    2017-03-01

    Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is an important tool to evaluate cardiac anatomy and ventricular size and function after repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Magnetic resonance tissue tagging is the gold standard for evaluation of myocardial strain. However, myocardial tagging strain requires tagged images to be obtained prospectively, during the scan and with limited temporal resolution. Cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking is a new tool that allows the retrospective analysis of cine images. There is limited experience with cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking strain analysis in children. The medical records of patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot that had a cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) study from December 2013 to June 2015 were reviewed. The control group included patients who underwent a CMR with normal cardiac anatomy and ventricular function. Global longitudinal, circumferential and radial strain parameters (2D and 3D) were obtained by retrospectively contouring cine images from ventricular short axis, two chamber and four chamber views using post-processing software (Circle CVi 42 , Calgary, Canada). The correlation between conventional ventricular function parameters and ventricular strain was performed using Pearson's correlation. The mean age of tetralogy of Fallot and control subjects was 12.4 and 14.1 years, respectively. In patients after repaired tetralogy of Fallot, the mean left ventricular global 2D and 3D circumferential strains were -17.4 ± 2.9 and -10.1 ± 3, respectively. The mean indexed right ventricular end-diastolic volume was 135.4 cc m 2  ± 46 compared to 75.7 cc m 2  ± 17 in control subjects (P = 0.0001, CI 95%). Left ventricular global circumferential 3D strain showed a statistically significant difference in patients after TOF repair compared to normal subjects (-10.1 ± 3 vs. -14.71 ± 1.9, P = 0.00001). A strong correlation between left ventricular global circumferential 3D strain and right

  10. Inappropriate shock and battery switching to "End of Life" in a patient with biventricular ICD during magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atar, İlyas; Bal, Uğur; Ertan, Çağatay; Özin, Bülent; Müderrisoğlu, Haldun

    2016-01-01

    Presence of a cardiac pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a relative contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Biventricular ICDs are often used in the treatment of advanced heart failure; however, reports on experience with biventricular ICDs are lacking in the literature. In this case report, we describe a pacemaker-dependent patient with a biventricular ICD on whom an MRI of the lumbar spine was performed without having realized the presence of the ICD.

  11. Using left-ventricular-only pacing to eliminate T-wave oversensing in a biventricular implantable cardiac defibrillator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoo, Clarence; Bennett, Matthew; Chakrabarti, Santabhanu; LeMaitre, John; Tung, Stanley K K

    2013-02-01

    A man aged 75 years and with nonischemic cardiomyopathy had implantation of a biventricular implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). Consistent biventricular pacing was limited by intermittent T-wave oversensing (TWOS). A strategy of left-ventricular-only pacing was used to eliminate TWOS. This strategy obviates the need to reduce ventricular sensitivity and thus may be an effective alternative to biventricular pacing complicated by TWOS. Copyright © 2013 Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Pre-ejection period by radial artery tonometry supplements echo doppler findings during biventricular pacemaker optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qamruddin Salima

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biventricular (Biv pacemaker echo optimization has been shown to improve cardiac output however is not routinely used due to its complexity. We investigated the role of a simple method involving computerized pre-ejection time (PEP assessment by radial artery tonometry in guiding Biv pacemaker optimization. Methods Blinded echo and radial artery tonometry were performed simultaneously in 37 patients, age 69.1 ± 12.8 years, left ventricular (LV ejection fraction (EF 33 ± 10%, during Biv pacemaker optimization. Effect of optimization on echo derived velocity time integral (VTI, ejection time (ET, myocardial performance index (MPI, radial artery tonometry derived PEP and echo-radial artery tonometry derived PEP/VTI and PEP/ET indices was evaluated. Results Significant improvement post optimization was achieved in LV ET (286.9 ± 37.3 to 299 ± 34.6 ms, p Conclusion An acute shortening of PEP by radial artery tonometry occurs post Biv pacemaker optimization and correlates with improvement in hemodynamics by echo Doppler and may provide a cost-efficient approach to assist with Biv pacemaker echo optimization.

  13. Graves' disease presenting as bi-ventricular heart failure with severe pulmonary hypertension and pre-eclampsia in pregnancy--a case report and review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabah, Khandker Mohammad Nurus; Chowdhury, Abdul Wadud; Islam, Mohammad Shahidul; Cader, Fathima Aaysha; Kawser, Shamima; Hosen, Md Imam; Saleh, Mohammed Abaye Deen; Alam, Md Shariful; Chowdhury, Mohammad Monjurul Kader; Tabassum, Humayara

    2014-11-18

    Graves' disease, a well-known cause of hyperthyroidism, is an autoimmune disease with multi-system involvement. More prevalent among young women, it appears as an uncommon cardiovascular complication during pregnancy, posing a diagnostic challenge, largely owing to difficulty in detecting the complication, as a result of a low index of suspicion of Graves' disease presenting during pregnancy. Globally, cardiovascular disease is an important factor for pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. Here, we report a case of Graves' disease detected for the first time in pregnancy, in a patient presenting with bi- ventricular heart failure, severe pulmonary hypertension and pre- eclampsia. Emphasis is placed on the spectrum of clinical presentations of Graves' disease, and the importance of considering this thyroid disorder as a possible aetiological factor for such a presentation in pregnancy. A 30-year-old Bangladeshi-Bengali woman, in her 28th week of pregnancy presented with severe systemic hypertension, bi-ventricular heart failure and severe pulmonary hypertension with a moderately enlarged thyroid gland. She improved following the administration of high dose intravenous diuretics, and delivered a premature female baby of low birth weight per vaginally, twenty four hours later. Pre-eclampsia was diagnosed on the basis of hypertension first detected in the third trimester, 3+ oedema and mild proteinuria. Electrocardiography revealed sinus tachycardia with incomplete right bundle branch block and echocardiography showed severe pulmonary hypertension with an estimated pulmonary arterial systolic pressure of 73 mm Hg, septal and anterior wall hypokinesia with an ejection fraction of 51%, grade I mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Thyroid function tests revealed a biochemically hyperthyroid state and positive anti- thyroid peroxidase antibodies was found. (99m)Technetium pertechnetate thyroid scans demonstrated diffuse toxic goiter as evidenced by an enlarged thyroid

  14. Comparison of total artificial heart and biventricular assist device support as bridge-to-transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Allen; Trivedi, Jaimin R; Van Berkel, Victor H; Massey, H Todd; Slaughter, Mark S

    2016-10-01

    The use of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) has increased significantly in the last decade. However, right heart dysfunction remains a problem despite the improved outcomes with continuous-flow LVADs. Surgical options for bridge to transplantation (BTT) in patients with biventricular failure are total artificial heart (TAH) or biventricular support (BiVAD). This study examines the differences in pre- and post-transplantation outcomes and survival in patients with TAH or BiVAD support as BTT. The United Network of Organ Sharing database was retrospectively queried from January 2005 to December 2014 to identify adult patients undergoing heart transplantation (n = 17,022). Patients supported with either TAH (n = 212) or BiVAD (n = 366) at the time of transplantation were evaluated. Pre- and post-transplantation Kaplan-Meier survival curves were examined. Cox regression model was used to study the hazard ratios of the association between TAH versus BiVAD support and post-transplant survival. The median age of the study groups was 49.8 ± 12.9 (TAH) and 47.2 ± 13.9 (BiVAD) years (range 18-74 years). There were more men, 87% versus 74%, in the TAH group (p < 0.0001) with greater body mass index, 27.3 ± 5.2 versus 25.6 ± 4.7 (p < 0.0001), compared to those with BiVADs. Creatinine was higher, 1.7 + 1.2 versus 1.3 + 0.8 mg/dL (p < 0.0001), in the TAH group before transplant. The 30-day, one-, and three-year post-transplantation survival was 88%, 78%, and 67%, respectively, for patients with TAH support versus 93%, 83%, and 73% (p = 0.06) for patients with BiVAD support. Cox regression model shows pre-transplant creatinine (HR = 1.21, p = 0.008) is associated with a lower post-transplant survival. TAH is not associated with a worse post-transplant survival (p = 0.1). There was no difference in wait-list survival in patients supported with TAH or BiVAD (p = 0.8). Although there has been a recent

  15. Total artificial heart implantation for biventricular failure due to eosinophilic myocarditis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabori, Masashi; Kurihara, Chitaru; Miller, Yair; Heck, Kent A; Bogaev, Roberta C; Civitello, Andrew B; Cohn, William E; Frazier, O H; Morgan, Jeffrey A

    2017-09-01

    Idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome is a condition of unknown etiology characterized by proliferation of eosinophils and their infiltration into tissues. Although cardiac involvement is rare, eosinophilic myocarditis can lead to life-threating fulminant congestive heart failure. Treatment of patients with eosinophilic myocarditis is challenging as heart failure can be caused by biventricular dysfunction. To our knowledge, this is the first case reported in the literature describing a patient with acute severe biventricular heart failure caused by eosinophilic myocarditis with mural left ventricular apical thrombus who was successfully treated with implantation of a total artificial heart as a bridge to heart transplant.

  16. Fertility, pregnancy, and delivery after biventricular repair for pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drenthen, Willem; Pieper, Petronella G.; Roos-Hesselink, Jollen W.; Zoon, Nicole; Voors, Adrlaan A.; Mulder, Barbara J. M.; van Dijk, Arie P. J.; Vliegen, Hubert W.; Sollie, Krystyna M.; Ebels, Tjark; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J.

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the present study to investigate fertility, pregnancy, and delivery in women with biventricular repair for pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum (PAIVS). Using a nationwide registry (CONCOR), 37 patients with pulmonary atresia were identified, 6 of whom (aged 21 to 34

  17. Fertility, pregnancy, and delivery after biventricular repair for pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drenthen, W.; Pieper, P.G.; Roos-Hesselink, J.W.; Zoon, N.; Voors, A.A.; Mulder, B.J.M.; Dijk, A.P.J. van; Vliegen, H.W.; Sollie, K.M.; Ebels, T.; Veldhuisen, D.J. van

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the present study to investigate fertility, pregnancy, and delivery in women with biventricular repair for pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum (PAIVS). Using a nationwide registry (CONCOR), 37 patients with pulmonary atresia were identified, 6 of whom (aged 21 to 34

  18. Improving functional value of meat products.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  19. The Infant with Aortic Arch Hypoplasia and Small Left Heart Structures: Echocardiographic Indices of Mitral and Aortic Hypoplasia Predicting Successful Biventricular Repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plymale, Jennifer M; Frommelt, Peter C; Nugent, Melodee; Simpson, Pippa; Tweddell, James S; Shillingford, Amanda J

    2017-08-01

    In infants with aortic arch hypoplasia and small left-sided cardiac structures, successful biventricular repair is dependent on the adequacy of the left-sided structures. Defining accurate thresholds of echocardiographic indices predictive of successful biventricular repair is paramount to achieving optimal outcomes. We sought to identify pre-operative echocardiographic indices of left heart size that predict intervention-free survival in infants with small left heart structures undergoing primary aortic arch repair to establish biventricular circulation (BVC). Infants ≤2 months undergoing aortic arch repair from 1999 to 2010 with aortic and/or mitral valve hypoplasia, (Z-score ≤-2) were included. Pre-operative and follow-up echocardiograms were reviewed. Primary outcome was successful biventricular circulation (BVC), defined as freedom from death, transplant, or single ventricular conversion at 1 year. Need for catheter based or surgical re-intervention (RI), valve annular growth, and significant late aortic or mitral valve obstruction were additional outcomes. Fifty one of 73 subjects (79%) had successful BVC and were free of RI at 1 year. Seven subjects failed BVC; four of those died. The overall 1 year survival for the cohort was 95%. Fifteen subjects underwent a RI but maintained BVC. In univariate analysis, larger transverse aorta (p = 0.006) and aortic valve (p = 0.02) predicted successful BVC without RI. In CART analysis, the combination of mitral valve (MV) to tricuspid valve (TV) ratio ≤0.66 with an aortic valve (AV) annulus Z-score ≤-3 had the greatest power to predict BVC failure (sensitivity 71%, specificity 94%). In those with successful BVC, the combination of both AV and MV Z-score ≤-2.5 increased the odds of RI (OR 3.8; CI 1.3-11.4). Follow-up of non-RI subjects revealed improvement in AV and MV Z-score (median AV annulus changed over time from -2.34 to 0.04 (p indices. In this complex population, 1 year survival is high, but

  20. 78. Asistencia biventricular de larga duración mediante dispositivo heartware hvad miniaturizado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.T. González López

    2012-04-01

    Conclusiones: Existe una limitada experiencia a nivel mundial con el empleo de asistencia de flujo continuo en el corazón derecho. Sin embargo, este tipo de dispositivo permite una técnica relativamente sencilla de implantación, junto con una mayor autonomía y calidad de vida del paciente que precisa soporte biventricular de larga duración como puente al trasplante.

  1. Biventricular assist using a portable driver in combination with implanted devices: preliminary experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Segesser, L K; Tkebuchava, T; Leskosek, B; Marty, B; Pei, Y C; Turina, M

    1997-01-01

    Left ventricular assist systems with portable drive units are increasingly used in the clinical setting. However, such systems usually are not suitable for right ventricular support, and therefore, in the case of biventricular heart failure, they must be combined with other support devices that require additional drive consoles. As a result, most of the benefits of the wearable drive units (early mobilization and outpatient care) are lost. This present study was performed to evaluate biventricular support with implanted assist devices and a portable DC/battery-powered driver (Thoratec TLC-II). Electronic control by nonvolatile RAM accessible via RS232 interface, internal backup emergency battery, and optional manual activation are additional features of this 6 kg biventricular drive unit. In 3 bovine experiments (body weight 70 +/- 5 kg) partial cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) was established, and two ventricular assist devices were implanted into a preperitoneal pocket on each side after connection to the right atrium and the pulmonary artery and to the left atrium and aorta, respectively. After weaning the patient from CPB, activated coagulation time (ACT) was kept at greater than 180 s, and biventricular support with the portable driver was activated. After 10 min, mean device flow stabilized at 3.5 +/- 0 L/min and remained at that level throughout the ensuing 6 h (3.5 +/- 0.3 L/min; NS). The heart rate moved from 130 +/- 13 beats per minute (bpm) at the end of CPB to 116 +/- 13 bpm after 10 min of assist (p < 0.05). Right atrial pressure moved from 11 +/- 2 mm Hg at the end of CPB to 13 +/- 3 mm Hg after 10 min of assist (not significant [NS]). Mean pulmonary artery pressure was 18 +/- mm Hg at the end of CPB and 17 +/- 5 mm Hg after 10 min of assist (NS). Left atrial pressure was 10 +/- 1 mm Hg at the end of CPB and 13 +/- 3 mm Hg after 10 min of assist (NS). Mean aortic pressure was 73 +/- 11 mm Hg at the end of CPB and 77 +/- 3 mm Hg after 10 min of assist (NS

  2. 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.

  3. High pulmonary vascular resistance in addition to low right ventricular stroke work index effectively predicts biventricular assist device requirement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imamura, Teruhiko; Kinugawa, Koichiro; Kinoshita, Osamu; Nawata, Kan; Ono, Minoru

    2016-03-01

    Although the right ventricular stroke work index (RVSWI) is a good index for RV function, a low RVSWI is not necessarily an indicator for the need for a right ventricular assist device at the time of left VAD implantation. We here aimed to determine a more precise indicator for the need for a biventricular assist device (BiVAD). In total, 116 patients (mean age, 38 ± 14 years), who underwent hemodynamic assessments preoperatively including 12 BiVAD patients, and had been followed at our institute from 2003 to 2015, were included. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that RVSWI and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) were independent predictors of BiVAD requirement (P 5 g/m, PVR 5, PVR > 3.7), (3) RV failure (RVSWI 3.7), and examined. Most of the patients in Group 4 (75 %), with acutely depressed hemodynamics and inflammatory responses in the myocardium, required BiVAD. Overall, patients with BiVAD had a worse survival rate as compared with those with LVAD alone. In conclusion, high PVR in addition to low RVSWI effectively predicts BiVAD requirement.

  4. A bi-ventricular cardiac atlas built from 1000+ high resolution MR images of healthy subjects and an analysis of shape and motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Wenjia; Shi, Wenzhe; de Marvao, Antonio; Dawes, Timothy J W; O'Regan, Declan P; Cook, Stuart A; Rueckert, Daniel

    2015-12-01

    Atlases encode valuable anatomical and functional information from a population. In this work, a bi-ventricular cardiac atlas was built from a unique data set, which consists of high resolution cardiac MR images of 1000+ normal subjects. Based on the atlas, statistical methods were used to study the variation of cardiac shapes and the distribution of cardiac motion across the spatio-temporal domain. We have shown how statistical parametric mapping (SPM) can be combined with a general linear model to study the impact of gender and age on regional myocardial wall thickness. Finally, we have also investigated the influence of the population size on atlas construction and atlas-based analysis. The high resolution atlas, the statistical models and the SPM method will benefit more studies on cardiac anatomy and function analysis in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Association between frequency of atrial and ventricular ectopic beats and biventricular pacing percentage and outcomes in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruwald, Martin H; Mittal, Suneet; Ruwald, Anne-Christine

    2014-01-01

    -defibrillator device with data available on biventricular pacing percentage and pre-implantation 24-h Holter recordings were included. Using logistic regression, we estimated the influence of ectopic beats on the percentage of biventricular pacing. Reverse remodeling was measured as reductions in atrial and left...

  6. Optimal pacing for right ventricular and biventricular devices: minimizing, maximizing, and right ventricular/left ventricular site considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Anne M

    2014-10-01

    The results from numerous clinical studies provide guidance for optimizing outcomes related to RV or biventricular pacing in the pacemaker and ICD populations. (1) Programming algorithms to minimize RV pacing is imperative in patients with dual-chamber pacemakers who have intrinsic AV conduction or intermittent AV conduction block. (2) Dual-chamber ICDs should be avoided in candidates without an indication for bradycardia pacing. (3) Alternate RV septal pacing sites may be considered at the time of pacemaker implantation. (4) Biventricular pacing may be beneficial in some patients with mild LV dysfunction. (5) LV lead placement at the site of latest LV activation is desirable. (6) Programming CRT systems to achieve biventricular/LV pacing >98.5% is important. (7) Protocols for AV and VV optimization in patients with CRT are not recommended after device implantation but may be considered for CRT nonresponders. (8) Novel algorithms to maximize the benefit of CRT are in evolution further.

  7. Biventricular Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in a Child with LEOPARD Syndrome: a Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blesneac Cristina

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: LEOPARD syndrome is a complex dysmorphogenetic disorder of inconstant penetrance and various morphologic expressions. The syndrome is an autosomal dominant disease that features multiple lentigines, electrocardiographic changes, eye hypertelorism, pulmonary valve stenosis or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, genital malformations, and a delayed constitutional growth hearing loss, which can be associated with rapidly progressive severe biventricular obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. No epidemiologic data are available on the real incidence of LEOPARD syndrome; however, this seems to be a rare disease, being often underdiagnosed, as many of its features are mild.

  8. Biventricular heart failure secondary to a pericardial cystic mass: case report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nizzero, A. [Sudbury Regional Hospital, Dept. of Diagnostic Imaging, Sudbury, Ontario (Canada); Dobranowski, J. [St. Joseph' s Hospital, Dept. of Radiology, Hamilton, Ontario (Canada); Tanser, P. [St. Joseph' s Hospital, Dept. of Cardiology, Hamilton, Ontario (Canada)

    2000-07-01

    Cystic masses of the pericardium causing symptoms due to cardiac compression are very unusual. Such cysts may be congenital, or they may occur secondary to inflammatory processes or hemorrhage, similar to cysts seen in the pleura or peritoneum. Echocardiography, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are useful for noninvasive investigation of the pericardium, although in the remote past, definitive diagnosis was possible only with thoracotomy. We present a case of biventricular cardiac failure secondary to a calcified pericardial cystic mass in a patient with constrictive pericarditis. Because of the extensive calcification, echocardiography was not helpful. CT and MRI allowed excellent delineation of the nature and effects of this abnormality. (author)

  9. Right heart failure due to loss of right ventricular capture in a patient with atrioventricular junction ablation and biventricular pacing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffa, Santi; Fantoni, Cecilia; Restauri, Luigia; Auricchio, Angelo

    2005-10-01

    We describe the case of a patient with atrioventricular (AV) junction ablation and chronic biventricular pacing in which intermittent dysfunction of the right ventricular (RV) lead resulted in left ventricular (LV) stimulation alone and onset of severe right heart failure. Restoration of biventricular pacing by increasing device output and then performing lead revision resolved the issue. This case provides evidence that LV pacing alone in patients with AV junction ablation may lead to severe right heart failure, most likely as a result of iatrogenic mechanical dyssynchrony within the RV. Thus, probably this pacing mode should be avoided in pacemaker-dependent patients with heart failure.

  10. 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.

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Resveratrol: A Multifunctional Compound Improving Endothelial Function

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Huige; F?rstermann, 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Virtual reality training improves balance function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gerbild, Helle; Larsen, Camilla Marie; Graugaard, Christian

    2018-01-01

    , and metabolic syndrome. Physical activity (PA) has proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems, and it has been shown to improve erectile function for men affected by vascular ED. This systematic review estimated the levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity...... for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was performed of research articles specifically investigating PA as a possible treatment of ED. The review included research on ED from physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases......Introduction The leading cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) is arterial dysfunction, with cardiovascular disease as the most common comorbidity. Therefore, ED is typically linked to a web of closely interrelated cardiovascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension...

  15. Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gerbild, Helle; Larsen, Camilla Marie; Graugaard, Christian

    2018-01-01

    , and metabolic syndrome. Physical activity (PA) has proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems, and it has been shown to improve erectile function for men affected by vascular ED. This systematic review estimated the levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity......, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or manifest cardiovascular diseases. Aim To provide recommendations of levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases. Methods In accord with the Preferred Reporting Items...... intensity 4 times per week. Overall, weekly exercise of 160 minutes for 6 months contributes to decreasing erectile problems in men with ED caused by physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases....

  16. 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

  17. Universal algorithm for diagnosis of biventricular capture in patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jastrzebski, Marek; Kukla, Piotr; Fijorek, Kamil; Czarnecka, Danuta

    2014-08-01

    An accurate and universal method for diagnosis of biventricular (BiV) capture using a standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) would be useful for assessment of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) patients. Our objective was to develop and validate such an ECG method for BiV capture diagnosis that would be independent of pacing lead positions-a major confounder that significantly influences the morphologies of paced QRS complexes. On the basis of an evaluation of 789 ECGs of 443 patients with heart failure and various right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) lead positions, the following algorithm was constructed and validated. BiV capture was diagnosed if the QRS in lead I was predominantly negative and either V1 QRS was predominantly positive or V6 QRS was of negative onset and predominantly negative (step 1), or if QRS complex duration was capture. The algorithm showed good accuracy (93%), sensitivity (97%), and specificity (90%) for detection of loss of LV capture. The performance of the algorithm did not differ among apical, midseptal, and outflow tract RV lead positions and various LV lead positions. LV capture leaves diagnostic hallmarks in the fused BiV QRS related to different vectors of depolarization and more rapid depolarization of the ventricles. An accurate two-step ECG algorithm for BiV capture diagnosis was developed and validated. This algorithm is universally applicable to all CRT patients, regardless of the positions of the pacing leads. ©2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Efficiency of timing delays and electrode positions in optimization of biventricular pacing: a simulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miri, Raz; Graf, Iulia M; Dössel, Olaf

    2009-11-01

    Electrode positions and timing delays influence the efficacy of biventricular pacing (BVP). Accordingly, this study focuses on BVP optimization, using a detailed 3-D electrophysiological model of the human heart, which is adapted to patient-specific anatomy and pathophysiology. The research is effectuated on ten heart models with left bundle branch block and myocardial infarction derived from magnetic resonance and computed tomography data. Cardiac electrical activity is simulated with the ten Tusscher cell model and adaptive cellular automaton at physiological and pathological conduction levels. The optimization methods are based on a comparison between the electrical response of the healthy and diseased heart models, measured in terms of root mean square error (E(RMS)) of the excitation front and the QRS duration error (E(QRS)). Intra- and intermethod associations of the pacing electrodes and timing delays variables were analyzed with statistical methods, i.e., t -test for dependent data, one-way analysis of variance for electrode pairs, and Pearson model for equivalent parameters from the two optimization methods. The results indicate that lateral the left ventricle and the upper or middle septal area are frequently (60% of cases) the optimal positions of the left and right electrodes, respectively. Statistical analysis proves that the two optimization methods are in good agreement. In conclusion, a noninvasive preoperative BVP optimization strategy based on computer simulations can be used to identify the most beneficial patient-specific electrode configuration and timing delays.

  19. Physiological control of dual rotary pumps as a biventricular assist device using a master/slave approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Michael C; Wilson, Stephen; Bradley, Andrew; Fraser, John; Timms, Daniel

    2014-09-01

    Dual rotary left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) can provide biventricular mechanical support during heart failure. Coordination of left and right pump speeds is critical not only to avoid ventricular suction and to match cardiac output with demand, but also to ensure balanced systemic and pulmonary circulatory volumes. Physiological control systems for dual LVADs must meet these objectives across a variety of clinical scenarios by automatically adjusting left and right pump speeds to avoid catastrophic physiological consequences. In this study we evaluate a novel master/slave physiological control system for dual LVADs. The master controller is a Starling-like controller, which sets flow rate as a function of end-diastolic ventricular pressure (EDP). The slave controller then maintains a linear relationship between right and left EDPs. Both left/right and right/left master/slave combinations were evaluated by subjecting them to four clinical scenarios (rest, postural change, Valsalva maneuver, and exercise) simulated in a mock circulation loop. The controller's performance was compared to constant-rotational-speed control and two other dual LVAD control systems: dual constant inlet pressure and dual Frank-Starling control. The results showed that the master/slave physiological control system produced fewer suction events than constant-speed control (6 vs. 62 over a 7-min period). Left/right master/slave control had lower risk of pulmonary congestion than the other control systems, as indicated by lower maximum EDPs (15.1 vs. 25.2-28.4 mm Hg). During exercise, master/slave control increased total flow from 5.2 to 10.1 L/min, primarily due to an increase of left and right pump speed. Use of the left pump as the master resulted in fewer suction events and lower EDPs than when the right pump was master. Based on these results, master/slave control using the left pump as the master automatically adjusts pump speed to avoid suction and increases pump flow

  20. Functional tasks exercise improves daily function in older women

    OpenAIRE

    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 the performance of daily tasks, functional limitations and a loss of independence may occur. Approximately 20% of people between 65 and 75 years of age report problems with activities of daily livi...

  1. 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.

  2. Resting cardiovascular function improvements in adult men ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impaired cardiovascular function increases the risk for fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease, renal disease and all-cause mortality. Research has demonstrated an inverse relationship between these cardiovascular impairments and exercise. However, previous research has mainly focused on aerobic training since ...

  3. 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

  4. Critically Underdeveloped Left Heart Morphology Associated with Prematurity and Low Birth Weight: Conditional Staged Rehabilitation Towards Biventricular Repair and Time-Related Growth of Left Heart Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Fareed; Mangano, Robert; Shore, Shirah; Polimenakos, Anastasios

    2017-10-01

    This is a case report of premature low birth weight infant with hypoplasia of left heart structures and a large malaligned VSD who underwent successful staged approach of biventricular repair. We obtained qualitative and quantitative echocardiographic, MRI, and conventional catheterization data to support stepwise strategy towards LV rehabilitation to sustain adequate cardiac output. A thorough and intense follow-up has shown significant growth of left heart structures and favorable clinical status following staged biventricular repair. Our data indicate usefulness of qualitative and quantitative advanced complimentary multi-imaging modalities in predicting the postnatal growth potential of critically underdeveloped left heart structures.

  5. Improved Density Functional Tight Binding Potentials for Metalloid Aluminum Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    unlimited IMPROVED DENSITY-FUNCTIONAL TIGHT BINDING POTENTIALS FOR METALLOID ALUMINUM CLUSTERS by Joon H. Kim June 2016 Thesis Advisor...DATES COVERED Master’s thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE IMPROVED DENSITY-FUNCTIONAL TIGHT BINDING POTENTIALS FOR METALLOID ALUMINUM CLUSTERS 5. FUNDING...repulsive potentials for use in density-functional tight binding (DFTB) simulations of low-valence aluminum metalloid clusters . These systems are under

  6. Simulation of Ventricular, Cavo-Pulmonary, and Biventricular Ventricular Assist Devices in Failing Fontan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Molfetta, Arianna; Amodeo, Antonio; Fresiello, Libera; Trivella, Maria Giovanna; Iacobelli, Roberta; Pilati, Mara; Ferrari, Gianfranco

    2015-07-01

    Considering the lack of donors, ventricular assist devices (VADs) could be an alternative to heart transplantation for failing Fontan patients, in spite of the lack of experience and the complex anatomy and physiopathology of these patients. Considering the high number of variables that play an important role such as type of Fontan failure, type of VAD connection, and setting (right VAD [RVAD], left VAD [LVAD], or biventricular VAD [BIVAD]), a numerical model could be useful to support clinical decisions. The aim of this article is to develop and test a lumped parameter model of the cardiovascular system simulating and comparing the VAD effects on failing Fontan. Hemodynamic and echocardiographic data of 10 Fontan patients were used to simulate the baseline patients' condition using a dedicated lumped parameter model. Starting from the simulated baseline and for each patient, a systolic dysfunction, a diastolic dysfunction, and an increment of the pulmonary vascular resistance were simulated. Then, for each patient and for each pathology, the RVAD, LVAD, and BIVAD implantations were simulated. The model can reproduce patients' baseline well. In the case of systolic dysfunction, the LVAD unloads the single ventricle and increases the cardiac output (CO) (35%) and the arterial systemic pressure (Pas) (25%). With RVAD, a decrement of inferior vena cava pressure (Pvci) (39%) was observed with 34% increment of CO, but an increment of the single ventricle external work (SVEW). With the BIVAD, an increment of Pas (29%) and CO (37%) was observed. In the case of diastolic dysfunction, the LVAD increases CO (42%) and the RVAD decreases the Pvci, while both increase the SVEW. In the case of pulmonary vascular resistance increment, the highest CO (50%) and Pas (28%) increment is obtained with an RVAD with the highest decrement of Pvci (53%) and an increment of the SVEW but with the lowest VAD power consumption. The use of numerical models could be helpful in this innovative

  7. Interdependence of right ventricular systolic function and left ventricular filling and its association with outcome for patients with pulmonary hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoji, Yoshiki; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Fukuda, Yuko; Sano, Hiroyuki; Ryo, Keiko; Imanishi, Junichi; Miyoshi, Tatsuya; Sawa, Takuma; Mochizuki, Yasuhide; Matsumoto, Kensuke; Emoto, Noriaki; Hirata, Ken-ichi

    2015-04-01

    Although impaired right ventricular (RV) performance has been associated with adverse outcomes for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, the relationship between bi-ventricular interdependence and outcomes is not yet fully understood. We studied 96 PH patients. RV systolic function was assessed by means of RV free-wall longitudinal speckle-tracking strain (RV-free), and left ventricular (LV) filling as early diastolic transmitral flow velocity (TMF-E). RV-free ≤19 % and TMF-E functional class IV and brain natriuretic peptide >150 pg/dl (χ(2) = 1.2) was improved by the addition of RV-free (χ(2) = 5.5, p = 0.04) as well as of TMF-E (χ(2) = 11.5, p = 0.01). In conclusions, RV systolic function was shown to correlate significantly with LV filling in PH patients. In addition, not only assessment of RV systolic function, but also of a combined bi-ventricular parameter comprising RV systolic function and LV filling may well have clinical implications for more successful management of PH patients.

  8. Late deterioration of left ventricular function after right ventricular pacemaker implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellmann, Barbara; Muntean, Bogdan G; Lin, Tina; Gemein, Christopher; Schmitz, Kathrin; Schauerte, Patrick

    2016-09-01

    Right ventricular (RV) pacing induces a left bundle branch block pattern on ECG and may promote heart failure. Patients with dual chamber pacemakers (DCPs) who present with progressive reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) secondary to RV pacing are candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). This study analyzes whether upgrading DCP to CRT with the additional implantation of a left ventricular (LV) lead improves LV function in patients with reduced LVEF following DCP implantation. Twenty-two patients (13 males) implanted with DCPs and a high RV pacing percentage (>90%) were evaluated in term of new-onset heart failure symptoms. The patients were enrolled in this retrospective single-center study after obvious causes for a reduced LVEF were excluded with echocardiography and coronary angiography. In all patients, DCPs were then upgraded to biventricular devices. LVEF was analyzed with a two-sided t-test. QRS duration and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels were analyzed with the unpaired t-test. LVEF declined after DCP implantation from 54±10% to 31±7%, and the mean QRS duration was 161±20 ms during RV pacing. NT-pro BNP levels were elevated (3365±11436 pmol/L). After upgrading to a biventricular device, a biventricular pacing percentage of 98.1±2% was achieved. QRS duration decreased to 108±16 ms and 106±20 ms after 1 and 6 months, respectively. There was a significant increase in LVEF to 38±8% and 41±11% and a decrease in NT-pro BNP levels to 3088±2326 pmol/L and 1860±1838 pmol/L at 1 and 6 months, respectively. Upgrading to CRT may be beneficial in patients with DCPs and heart failure induced by a high RV pacing percentage.

  9. Abnormal biventricular performance in asymptomatic adolescents late after repaired Tetralogy of Fallot: Combined two-dimensional speckle tracking and three-dimensional echocardiography study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken-Pen Weng

    2018-02-01

    Conclusion: Our results suggest asymptomatic adolescents with repaired TOF had abnormal biventricular myocardial performance, as demonstrated by combined 2D speckle-tracking and 3D echocardiography. The implications of these findings for management of adolescents late after repaired TOF remain to be determined.

  10. 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...... be a valuable adjunct in physical therapy and rehabilitation of patients with stroke....

  11. Improvement of standards on functional reliability of electric power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barinov, V.A.; Volkov, G.A.; Kalita, V.V.; Kogan, F.L.; Makarov, S.F.; Manevich, A.S.; Mogirev, V.V.; Sin'chugov, F.I.; Skopintsev, V.A.; Khvoshchinskaya, Z.G.

    1993-01-01

    Analysis of the most principal aspects of the existing standards and requirements on assuring safety and stability of electric power systems (EPS) and effective (reliable and economical) power supply of consumers is given. The reliability is determined as ability to accomplish the assigned functions. Basic recommendations on improving the standards regulating the safety and reliability of the NPP functioning are formulated

  12. Application of Improved Wavelet Thresholding Function in Image Denoising Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Qi Zhang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Wavelet analysis is a time – frequency analysis method, time-frequency localization problems are well solved, this paper analyzes the basic principles of the wavelet transform and the relationship between the signal singularity Lipschitz exponent and the local maxima of the wavelet transform coefficients mold, the principles of wavelet transform in image denoising are analyzed, the disadvantages of traditional wavelet thresholding function are studied, wavelet threshold function, the discontinuity of hard threshold and constant deviation of soft threshold are improved, image is denoised through using the improved threshold function.

  13. 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.

  14. Text Mining Improves Prediction of Protein Functional Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Judith D.; Ravikumar, Komandur E.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Will Incremental Hemodialysis Preserve Residual Function and Improve Patient Survival?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The progressive loss of residual renal function in peritoneal dialysis patients is associated with increased mortality. It has been suggested that incremental dialysis may help preserve residual renal function and improve patient survival. Residual renal function depends upon both patient related and dialysis associated factors. Maintaining patients in an over-hydrated state may be associated with better preservation of residual renal function but any benefit comes with a significant risk of cardiovascular consequences. Notably, it is only observational studies that have reported an association between dialysis patient survival and residual renal function; causality has not been established for dialysis patient survival. The tenuous connections between residual renal function and outcomes and between incremental hemodialysis and residual renal function should temper our enthusiasm for interventions in this area. PMID:25385441

  16. Personal digital assistant-based, internet-enabled remote communication system for a wearable pneumatic biventricular assist device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Kyoung Won; Lee, Jung Joo; Hwang, Chang Mo; Choi, Seong Wook; Son, Ho Sung; Sun, Kyung

    2007-11-01

    Currently, personal mobile communication devices have become quite common, and the applications of such devices have expanded quickly. Remote communication systems might be employed for the telemonitoring of patients or the operating status of their medical devices. In this article, we describe the development of a mobile-based artificial heart telemanagement system for use in a wearable extracorporeal pneumatic biventricular assist device, which is capable of telemonitoring and telecontrolling the operating status of the ventricular assist device from any site. The system developed herein utilized small mobile phones for the client device and adopted a standard transmission control protocol/Internet protocol communication protocol for the purposes of telecommunication. The results of in vitro and animal experiments showed that the telemanagement system developed herein operated in accordance with the desired parameters.

  17. Making perceptual learning practical to improve visual functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polat, Uri

    2009-10-01

    Task-specific improvement in performance after training is well established. The finding that learning is stimulus-specific and does not transfer well between different stimuli, between stimulus locations in the visual field, or between the two eyes has been used to support the notion that neurons or assemblies of neurons are modified at the earliest stage of cortical processing. However, a debate regarding the proposed mechanism underlying perceptual learning is an ongoing issue. Nevertheless, generalization of a trained task to other functions is an important key, for both understanding the neural mechanisms and the practical value of the training. This manuscript describes a structured perceptual learning method that previously used (amblyopia, myopia) and a novel technique and results that were applied for presbyopia. In general, subjects were trained for contrast detection of Gabor targets under lateral masking conditions. Training improved contrast sensitivity and diminished the lateral suppression when it existed (amblyopia). The improvement was transferred to unrelated functions such as visual acuity. The new results of presbyopia show substantial improvement of the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity, leading to improved processing speed of target detection as well as reaction time. Consequently, the subjects, who were able to eliminate the need for reading glasses, benefited. Thus, here we show that the transfer of functions indicates that the specificity of improvement in the trained task can be generalized by repetitive practice of target detection, covering a sufficient range of spatial frequencies and orientations, leading to an improvement in unrelated visual functions. Thus, perceptual learning can be a practical method to improve visual functions in people with impaired or blurred vision.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improving Video Generation for Multi-functional Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Kratzwald, Bernhard; Huang, Zhiwu; Paudel, Danda Pani; Dinesh, Acharya; Van Gool, Luc

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we aim to improve the state-of-the-art video generative adversarial networks (GANs) with a view towards multi-functional applications. Our improved video GAN model does not separate foreground from background nor dynamic from static patterns, but learns to generate the entire video clip conjointly. Our model can thus be trained to generate - and learn from - a broad set of videos with no restriction. This is achieved by designing a robust one-stream video generation architectur...

  1. On Improving Density Estimators which are not Bona Fide Functions

    OpenAIRE

    Gajek, Leslaw

    1986-01-01

    In order to improve the rate of decrease of the IMSE for nonparametric kernel density estimators with nonrandom bandwidth beyond $O(n^{-4/5})$ all current methods must relax the constraint that the density estimate be a bona fide function, that is, be nonnegative and integrate to one. In this paper we show how to achieve similar improvement without relaxing any of these constraints. The method can also be applied for orthogonal series, adaptive orthogonal series, spline, jackknife, and other ...

  2. Improved wave functions for large-N expansions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imbo, T.; Sukhatme, U.

    1985-01-01

    Existing large-N expansions of radial wave functions phi/sub n/,l(r) are only accurate near the minimum of the effective potential. Within the framework of the shifted 1/N expansion, we use known analytic results to motivate a simple modification so that the improved wave functions are accurate over a wide range of r and any choice of quantum numbers n and l. It is shown that these wave functions yield simple and accurate analytic expressions for certain quantities of interest in quarkonium physics

  3. Improved dielectric functions in metallic films obtained via template stripping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyuk Park, Jong; Nagpal, Prashant; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Norris, David J.

    2012-02-01

    We compare the dielectric functions of silver interfaces obtained via thermal evaporation with those obtained with template stripping. Ellipsometry measurements show that the smoother template-stripped surfaces exhibit effective dielectric functions with a more negative real component and a smaller imaginary component, implying higher conductivity and less energy loss, respectively. These results agree with the relation between dielectric function and surface roughness derived from combining the effective-medium model and the Drude-Lorentz model. The improvement in the effective dielectric properties shows that metallic films prepared via template stripping can be favorable for applications in electronics, nanophotonics, and plasmonics.

  4. 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…

  5. 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,…

  6. 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

    -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...... 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......, and renal oxidative stress. Alagebrium treatment, however, resulted in decreased weight gain and improved glycemic control compared with wild-type mice on a high-fat Western diet. Thus, targeted reduction of the advanced glycation pathway improved renal function in obesity....

  7. 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. PMID:26761849

  8. 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.

  9. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Nathaniel J; Maddox, W Todd; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco

    2017-03-01

    Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a new non-invasive form of low-level light therapy that may have a wide range of neuropsychological applications. It entails using low-power and high-energy-density infrared light from lasers to increase metabolic energy. Preclinical work showed that this intervention can increase cortical metabolic energy, thereby improving frontal cortex-based memory function in rats. Barrett and Gonzalez-Lima (2013, Neuroscience, 230, 13) discovered that transcranial laser stimulation can enhance sustained attention and short-term memory in humans. We extend this line of work to executive function. Specifically, we ask whether transcranial laser stimulation enhances performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task that is considered the gold standard of executive function and is compromised in normal ageing and a number of neuropsychological disorders. We used a laser of a specific wavelength (1,064 nm) that photostimulates cytochrome oxidase - the enzyme catalysing oxygen consumption for metabolic energy production. Increased cytochrome oxidase activity is considered the primary mechanism of action of this intervention. Participants who received laser treatment made fewer errors and showed improved set-shifting ability relative to placebo controls. These results suggest that transcranial laser stimulation improves executive function and may have exciting potential for treating or preventing deficits resulting from neuropsychological disorders or normal ageing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  10. Corticosteroid therapy for duchenne muscular dystrophy: improvement of psychomotor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yuko; Yamauchi, Akemi; Urano, Mari; Kondo, Eri; Saito, Kayoko

    2014-01-01

    Of the numerous clinical trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, only the corticosteroid prednisolone has shown potential for temporal improvement in motor ability. In this study, the effects of prednisolone on intellectual ability are examined in 29 cases of Duchenne muscular dystrophy because little information has been reported. And also, motor functions and cardiac functions were evaluated. The treated group was administered prednisolone (0.75 mg/kg) orally on alternate days and the compared with the untreated control group. Gene mutations were investigated. The patients were examined for intelligence quotient adequate for age, brain natriuretic peptide, creatine kinase, and manual muscle testing before treatment and after the period 6 months to 2 years. Intelligence quotient scores of the treated increased to 6.5 ± 11.9 (mean ± standard deviation) were compared with the controls 2.1 ± 4.9 (P = 0.009). Intelligence quotient scores of the patients with nonsense point mutations improved significantly (21.0 ± 7.9) more than those with deletion or duplication (1.9 ± 9.0; P = 0.015). Motor function, such as time to stand up, of those treated improved significantly and brain natriuretic peptide level was reduced to a normal level after treatment in 15 patients (73%). Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of prednisolone in improving intellectual impairment as well as in preserving motor function and brain natriuretic peptide levels. We presume that prednisolone has a read-through effect on the stop codons in the central nervous systems of Duchenne muscular dystrophy because intelligence quotient of point mutation case was improved significantly. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Efficacy of Interventions to Improve Respiratory Function After Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Kênia Kp; Nascimento, Lucas R; Avelino, Patrick R; Alvarenga, Maria Tereza Mota; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci F

    2018-07-01

    The aim of this study was to systematically review all current interventions that have been utilized to improve respiratory function and activity after stroke. Specific searches were conducted. The experimental intervention had to be planned, structured, repetitive, purposive, and delivered with the aim of improving respiratory function. Outcomes included respiratory strength (maximum inspiratory pressure [P Imax ], maximum expiratory pressure [P Emax ]) and endurance, lung function (FVC, FEV 1 , and peak expiratory flow [PEF]), dyspnea, and activity. The quality of the randomized trials was assessed by the PEDro scale using scores from the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (www.pedro.org.au), and risk of bias was assessed in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. The 17 included trials had a mean PEDro score of 5.7 (range 4-8) and involved 616 participants. Meta-analyses showed that respiratory muscle training significantly improved all outcomes of interest: P Imax (weighted mean difference 11 cm H 2 O, 95% CI 7-15, I 2 = 0%), P Emax (8 cm H 2 O, 95% CI 2-15, I 2 = 65%), FVC (0.25 L, 95% CI 0.12-0.37, I 2 = 29%), FEV 1 (0.24 L, 95% CI 0.17-0.30, I 2 = 0%), PEF (0.51 L/s, 95% CI 0.10-0.92, I 2 = 0%), dyspnea (standardized mean difference -1.6 points, 95% CI -2.2 to -0.9; I 2 = 0%), and activity (standardized mean difference 0.78, 95% CI 0.22-1.35, I 2 = 0%). Meta-analyses found no significant results for the effects of breathing exercises on lung function. For the remaining interventions (ie, aerobic and postural exercises) and the addition of electrical stimulation, meta-analyses could not be performed. This systematic review reports 5 possible interventions used to improve respiratory function after stroke. Respiratory muscle training proved to be effective for improving inspiratory and expiratory strength, lung function, and dyspnea, and benefits were carried over to activity. However, there is still no evidence to accept or

  12. 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.

  13. An improved method for estimating the frequency correlation function

    KAUST Repository

    Chelli, Ali; Pä tzold, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improved quasi-static nodal green's function method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Junli; Jing Xingqing; Hu Dapu

    1997-01-01

    Improved Quasi-Static Green's Function Method (IQS/NGFM) is presented, as an new kinetic method. To solve the three-dimensional transient problem, improved Quasi-Static Method is adopted to deal with the temporal problem, which will increase the time step as long as possible so as to decrease the number of times of space 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 NGFM is used to get the distribution of shape function, and it's spatial mesh can be nearly 20 times larger than that of Definite Differential Method. So the IQS/NGFM is considered as an efficient kinetic method

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelfand Mikhail S

    2009-06-01

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

  17. Bridge to transplantation using paracorporeal biventricular assist devices or the syncardia temporary total artificial heart: is there a difference?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, A; Pozzi, M; Mastroianni, C; Léger, P; Loisance, D; Pavie, A; Leprince, P; Kirsch, M

    2015-06-01

    Biventricular support can be achieved using paracorporeal ventricular assist devices (p-BiVAD) or the Syncardia temporary total artificial heart (t-TAH). The purpose of the present study was to compare survival and morbidity between these devices. Data from 2 French neighboring hospitals were reviewed. Between 1996 and 2009, 148 patients (67 p-BiVADs and 81 t-TAH) underwent primary, planned biventricular support. There were 128 (86%) males aged 44±13 years. Preoperatively, p-BiVAD recipients had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures, more severe hepatic cytolysis and higher white blood cell counts than t-TAH recipients. In contrast, t-TAH patients had significantly higher rates of pre-implant ECLS and hemofiltration. Mean support duration was 79±100 days for the p-BiVAD group and 71±92 for t-TAH group (P=0.6). Forty two (63%) p-BiVAD recipients were bridged to transplantation (39, 58%) or recovery (3, 5%), whereas 51 (63%) patients underwent transplantation in the t-TAH group. Death on support was similar between groups (p-BiVAD, 26 (39%); t-TAH, 30 (37%); P=0.87). Survival while on device was not significantly different between patient groups and multivariate analysis showed that only preimplant diastolic blood pressure and alanine amino-transferase levels were significant predictors of death. Post-transplant survival in the p-BiVAD group was 76±7%, 70±8%, and 58±9% at 1, 3, and 5 years after transplantation, respectively, and was similar to that of the t-TAH group (77±6%, 72±6%, and 70±7%, P=0.60). Survival while on support and up to 5 years after heart transplantation was not significantly different in patients supported by p-BiVADs or t-TAH. Multivariate analysis revealed that survival while on transplantation was not affected by the type of device implanted.

  18. Improving Mitochondrial Function Protects Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Pesticides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B Powner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Renal function improves with the treatment of hypothyroidism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulur, Oktay; Dal, Kursat; Ertugrul, Derun Taner; Eser, Murat; Kaplan Efe, Fatma; Karakaya, Serdar; Şahin, Kubilay; Baser, Salih; Ata, Naim; Aybal Kutlugun, Aysun; Beyan, Esin

    2017-08-01

    It has been known that thyroid hormones may affect renal function. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of levothyroxine replacement on renal function in hypothyroid patients before and after treatment. We retrospectively investigated free T3 (fT3), free T4 (fT4), TSH, creatinine, and eGFR measurements during both hypothyroid and euthyroid states of hypothyroid patients. The eGFR was calculated using the simplified Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula. fT3, fT4, and eGFR measurements increased, meanwhile creatinine and TSH levels decreased significantly after euthyroidism was achieved with levothyroxine treatment (p treatment (r: 0.288, p treatment (r: -0.272, p hypothyroidism and found out that renal function improved in most patients after euthyroidism was achieved. In some patients, above-normal creatinine levels completely returned to normal once the patients became euthyroid.

  1. Patterns of functional improvement after revision knee arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghomrawi, Hassan M K; Kane, Robert L; Eberly, Lynn E; Bershadsky, Boris; Saleh, Khaled J

    2009-12-01

    Despite the increase in the number of total knee arthroplasty revisions, outcomes of such surgery and their correlates are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize patterns of functional improvement after revision total knee arthroplasty over a two-year period and to investigate factors that affect such improvement patterns. Three hundred and eight patients in need of revision surgery were enrolled into the study, conducted at seventeen centers, and 221 (71.8%) were followed for two years. Short Form-36 (SF-36), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), and Lower-Extremity Activity Scale (LEAS) scores were collected at baseline and every six months for two years postoperatively. A piecewise general linear mixed model, which models correlation between repeated measures and estimates separate slopes for different follow-up time periods, was employed to examine functional improvement patterns. Separate regression slopes were estimated for the zero to twelve-month and the twelve to twenty-four-month periods. The slopes for zero to twelve months showed significant improvement in all measures in the first year. The slopes for twelve to twenty-four months showed deterioration in the scores of the WOMAC pain subscale (slope = 0.67 +/- 0.21, p coefficient = -5.46 +/- 1.91, p coefficient = 5.41 +/- 2.35, p coefficient = 1.42 +/- 0.69, p < 0.05]). Factors related to the surgical technique did not predict outcomes. The onset of worsening pain and knee-specific function in the second year following revision total knee arthroplasty indicates the need to closely monitor patients, irrespective of the mode of failure of the primary procedure or the surgical technique for the revision. This information may be especially important for patients with multiple comorbidities.

  2. How Can a Ketogenic Diet Improve Motor Function?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Veyrat-Durebex

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A ketogenic diet (KD is a normocaloric diet composed by high fat (80–90%, low carbohydrate, and low protein consumption that induces fasting-like effects. KD increases ketone body (KBs production and its concentration in the blood, providing the brain an alternative energy supply that enhances oxidative mitochondrial metabolism. In addition to its profound impact on neuro-metabolism and bioenergetics, the neuroprotective effect of specific polyunsaturated fatty acids and KBs involves pleiotropic mechanisms, such as the modulation of neuronal membrane excitability, inflammation, or reactive oxygen species production. KD is a therapy that has been used for almost a century to treat medically intractable epilepsy and has been increasingly explored in a number of neurological diseases. Motor function has also been shown to be improved by KD and/or medium-chain triglyceride diets in rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal cord injury. These studies have proposed that KD may induce a modification in synaptic morphology and function, involving ionic channels, glutamatergic transmission, or synaptic vesicular cycling machinery. However, little is understood about the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of KD on motor function and the perspectives of its use to acquire the neuromuscular effects. The aim of this review is to explore the conditions through which KD might improve motor function. First, we will describe the main consequences of KD exposure in tissues involved in motor function. Second, we will report and discuss the relevance of KD in pre-clinical and clinical trials in the major diseases presenting motor dysfunction.

  3. Bariatric surgery is associated with renal function improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holcomb, Carla N; Goss, Lauren E; Almehmi, Ammar; Grams, Jayleen M; Corey, Britney L

    2018-01-01

    Weight loss after bariatric surgery improves both blood pressure and glycemic control following surgery. The effect of bariatric surgery on renal function is not well characterized. In this study, we sought to quantify the change in renal function over time following surgery. We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) between 2012 and 2014 at our institution. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR, mL/min) was calculated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation. Body mass index (BMI, kg/m 2 ) and percent weight loss (%WL) were calculated following the surgery. A total of 149 patients who underwent bariatric surgery were included in this study: LRYGB (n = 86 and LSG (n = 63). In LRYGB group, baseline BMI (kg/m 2 , ±SD) and GFR (mL/min, ±SD) were 48.5 ± 6.8 and 94.7 ± 23.8, respectively. In comparison, BMI and GFR were 49.1 ± 11.9 kg/m 2 and 93.1 ± 28.0 mL/min in the LSG group, respectively. Over the follow-up period (19.89 ± 10.93 months), the patients who underwent LRGYB lost a larger percentage of weight as compared to those in the LSG group (29.9 ± 11.7% vs 22.3 ± 10.7%; p = weight loss surgery (n = 62), 42% had improvement of their GFR to > 90 mL/min postoperatively (p weight loss percentage and GFR improvement (p = 0.8703). Bariatric surgery was associated with improvement in postoperative renal function at almost two years following surgery but was not different for LRYGB versus LSG. The gain in GFR was independent of percentage of weight lost suggesting an alternate mechanism in the improvement of renal function other than weight loss alone.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1999-01-01

    A simple formulation of a generalized gradient approximation for the exchange and correlation energy of electrons has been proposed by Perdew, Burke, and Ernzerhof (PBE) [Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 3865 (1996)]. Subsequently Zhang and Yang [Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 890 (1998)] have shown that a slight...... revision of the PBE functional systematically improves the atomization energies for a large database of small molecules. In the present work, we show that the Zhang and Yang functional (revPBE) also improves the chemisorption energetics of atoms and molecules on transition-metal surfaces. Our test systems...

  5. Synergy of first principles modelling with predictive control for a biventricular assist device: In silico evaluation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Vivian C A; Yong Kuen Ho; Stevens, Michael C; Salamonsen, Robert F; Lovell, Nigel H; Lim, Einly

    2017-07-01

    Control for dual rotary left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) used as a biventricular assist device (BiVAD) is challenging. If the control system fails, flow imbalance between the systemic and the pulmonary circulations would result, subsequently leading to ventricular suction or pulmonary congestion. With the expectation that advanced control approaches such as model predictive control could address the challenges naturally and effectively, we developed a synergistic first principles model predictive controller (MPC) for the BiVAD. The internal model of the MPC is a simplified state-space model that has been developed and validated in a previous study. A single Frank-Starling (FS) control curve was used to define the target pump flow corresponding to the preload on each side of the heart. The MPC was evaluated in a validated numerical model using three clinical scenarios: blood loss, myocardial recovery, and exercise. Simulation results showed that the MPC was effective in adapting to changes in physiological states without causing ventricular suction or pulmonary congestion. The use of MPC for a BiVAD eliminates the need for two controllers of dual LVADs thus making the task of controller tuning easier.

  6. 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.

  7. Increased left ventricular myocardial extracellular volume is associated with longer cardiopulmonary bypass times, biventricular enlargement and reduced exercise tolerance in children after repair of Tetralogy of Fallot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesenkampff, Eugénie; Luining, Wietske; Seed, Mike; Chungsomprasong, Paweena; Manlhiot, Cedric; Elders, Bernadette; McCrindle, Brian W; Yoo, Shi-Joon; Grosse-Wortmann, Lars

    2016-10-26

    Unfavorable left ventricular (LV) remodelling may be associated with adverse outcomes after Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) repair. We sought to assess T1 cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) markers of diffuse LV myocardial fibrosis in children after TOF repair, and associated factors. In this prospective, cross-sectional study, native (=non-contrast) T1 times and extracellular volume fraction (ECV) were quantified in the LV myocardium using CMR. Results were related to ventricular volumes and function, degree of pulmonary regurgitation, as well as surgical characteristics, and exercise capacity. There was no difference in native T1 times or ECV between 31 TOF patients (age at CMR 13.9 ± 2.4 years, 19 male) and 15 controls (age at CMR 13.4 ± 2.6 years, 7 male). Female TOF patients had higher ECVs than males (25.2 ± 2.9 % versus 22.7 ± 3.3 %, p < 0.05). In the patient group, higher native T1 and ECV correlated with higher Z-Scores of right and left ventricular end-diastolic volumes, but not with reduced left and right ventricular ejection fraction or higher pulmonary regurgitation fraction. Longer cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross clamp times at surgery correlated with increased native T1 times and ECVs (r = 0.48, p < 0.05 and r = 0.65, p < 0.01, respectively). Maximum workload (percent of predicted for normal) correlated inversely with ECV (r = -0.62, p < 0.05). Higher native T1 times correlated with worse LV longitudinal (r = 0.50, p < 0.05) and mid short axis circumferential strain (r = 0.38, p < 0.05). As compared to controls, TOF patients did not express higher markers of diffuse fibrosis. Longer cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross clamp times at surgery as well as biventricular enlargement and reduced exercise tolerance are associated with markers of diffuse myocardial fibrosis after TOF repair. Female patients have higher markers of diffuse myocardial fibrosis than males.

  8. Dynamic Sensor Management Algorithm Based on Improved Efficacy Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TANG Shujuan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A dynamic sensor management algorithm based on improved efficacy function is proposed to solve the multi-target and multi-sensory management problem. The tracking task precision requirements (TPR, target priority and sensor use cost were considered to establish the efficacy function by weighted sum the normalized value of the three factors. The dynamic sensor management algorithm was accomplished through control the diversities of the desired covariance matrix (DCM and the filtering covariance matrix (FCM. The DCM was preassigned in terms of TPR and the FCM was obtained by the centralized sequential Kalman filtering algorithm. The simulation results prove that the proposed method could meet the requirements of desired tracking precision and adjust sensor selection according to target priority and cost of sensor source usage. This makes sensor management scheme more reasonable and effective.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niloufar Samiei

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are signature illnesses of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but current diagnostic and therapeutic measures for these conditions are suboptimal. In our study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to try to differentiate military service members with: PTSD and mTBI, PTSD alone, mTBI alone, and neither PTSD nor mTBI. Those with PTSD are then randomized to virtual reality exposure therapy or imaginal exposure. fMRI is repeated after treatment and along with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores to compare with baseline. Twenty subjects have completed baseline fMRI scans, including four controls and one mTBI only; of 15 treated for PTSD, eight completed posttreatment scans. Most subjects have been male (93%) and Caucasian (83%), with a mean age of 34. Significant improvements are evident on fMRI scans, and corroborated by CGI scores, but CAPS scores improvements are modest. In conclusion, CGI scores and fMRI scans indicate significant improvement in PTSD in both treatment arms, though CAPS score improvements are less robust. © 2010 Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease.

  11. Study on the functional improvement of the CARE system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Seung Jae; Nam, K. W.; Kim, D. I.; Kim, D. S.; Kim, S. H.; Kang, W. S.; Kim, B. H.

    2003-12-01

    The CARE system was developed in order to protect the public during nuclear emergency in Korea by KINS staffs with cooperation of other concerned organizations. In this study, some improvements to be considered for effective operation of CARE system were drawn. In 2002, Emergency Technical Advisory Center was constructed. Following the function of this center, the CARE system should be enforced for effective analysis of the nuclear power plant operation and the severe accident as well as for another areas such as radiological accidents and physical protection. The modules in this system shall be expanded to analysis of broader radiological accidents by long-range consequences modelling and so on

  12. The Use of Implants to Improve Removable Partial Denture Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimentel, Marcele Jardim; Arréllaga, Juan Pablo; Bacchi, Ataís; Del Bel Cury, Altair A

    2014-12-01

    The oral rehabilitation with conventional removable partial dentures in Kennedy class I patients allows continuous bone resorption, dislodgment of the prosthesis during the mastication caused by the resilience of the mucosa, and rotation of the prosthesis. Thus, the associations of distal implants become an attractive modality of treatment for these patients. This case report presented an association of removable partial dentures, milled crowns and osseointegrated implants to rehabilitate a partial edentulous patient. A removable partial denture associated with implants and metal-ceramic milled crowns can offer excellent esthetics, and will improve function and biomechanics, at a reduced cost.

  13. PSA Model Improvement Using Maintenance Rule Function Mapping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seo, Mi Ro [KHNP-CRI, Nuclear Safety Laboratory, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-10-15

    The Maintenance Rule (MR) program, in nature, is a performance-based program. Therefore, the risk information derived from the Probabilistic Safety Assessment model is introduced into the MR program during the Safety Significance determination and Performance Criteria selection processes. However, this process also facilitates the determination of the vulnerabilities in currently utilized PSA models and offers means of improving them. To find vulnerabilities in an existing PSA model, an initial review determines whether the safety-related MR functions are included in the PSA model. Because safety-related MR functions are related to accident prevention and mitigation, it is generally necessary for them to be included in the PSA model. In the process of determining the safety significance of each functions, quantitative risk importance levels are determined through a process known as PSA model basic event mapping to MR functions. During this process, it is common for some inadequate and overlooked models to be uncovered. In this paper, the PSA model and the MR program of Wolsong Unit 1 were used as references

  14. 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.

  15. Traditional Japanese Medicine Daikenchuto Improves Functional Constipation in Poststroke Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takehiro Numata

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Poststroke patients with functional constipation, assessed by the Rome III criteria, from 6 hospitals were recruited in a study on the effects of the traditional Japanese medicine Daikenchuto (DKT on constipation. Thirty-four patients (17 men and 17 women; mean age: 78.1 ± 11.6 years were randomly assigned to 2 groups; all patients received conventional therapy for constipation, and patients in the DKT group received 15 g/day of DKT for 4 weeks. Constipation scoring system (CSS points and the gas volume score (GVS (the measure of the intestinal gas volume calculated from plain abdominal radiographs were recorded before and after a 4-week observation period. The total score on the CSS improved significantly in the DKT group compared to the control (P<0.01. In addition, scores for some CSS subcategories (frequency of bowel movements, feeling of incomplete evacuation, and need for enema/disimpaction significantly improved in the DKT group (P<0.01, P=0.049, and P=0.03, resp.. The GVS was also significantly reduced in the DKT group compared to the control (P=0.03. DKT in addition to conventional therapy is effective in treating functional constipation in poststroke patients. This study was a randomized controlled trial and was registered in the UMIN Clinical Trial Registry (no. UMIN000007393.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin Byung-Cheul

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Byung-Cheul; Lee, Myeong Soo; Yang, Eun Jin; Lim, Hyun-Suk; Ernst, Edzard

    2010-08-06

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

  18. Spironolactone in chronic hemodialysis patients improves cardiac function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taheri, Shahram; Mortazavi, Mojhgan; Shahidi Shahrzad; Seirafian, Shiva; Pourmoghadas, Ali; Garakyaraghi, Mohammad; Eshaghian, Afrooz; Ghassami, Maryam

    2009-01-01

    We performed this study to assess whether low dose spironolactone could be administered in hemodialysis (HD) patients with moderate to severe heart failure to improve cardiovascular function and reduce hospitalization without inducing hyperkalemia. We enrolled 16 chronic HD patients with moderate to severe heart failure and left ventricle ejection fraction :5 45%. In a double blinded randomized placebo controlled study, one group of 8 patients received 25 mg of spironolactone after each dialysis session within six months, and the rest received a placebo. Echocardiography was performed on all the patients to assess ejection fraction and left ventricular mass during 12 hours after completion of hemodialysis at the beginning and the end of study. Serum potassium was measured predialysis every 4 weeks. The mean ejection fraction increased significantly more in spironolactone group during the study period than in the placebo group (6.2 + - 1.64 vs. 0.83 + - 4.9, P0.046). The mean left ventricular mass decreased in the spironolactone group, but increased significantly in the placebo group during the period (-8.4 + - 4.72 vs. 3 + -7.97. 95%, P= 0.021). The incidence of hyperkalemia was not significantly increased in the study or controlled groups. In conclusion, we found in this study that administration of spironolactone in chronic HD patients with moderate to severe heart failure substantially improved their cardiac function and decreases left ventricular mass without development of significant hyperkalemia. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arunkumar Vijayakumar

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Improved Functional Performance in Geriatric Patients During Hospital Stay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anders; Loeb, Mads Rohde; Andersen, Kristine Bramsen

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.Measurement......OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.......Measurements were obtained on days 2 to 4, day 5 to 8, and days 9 to 13. Functional performance was measured with De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) test and a 30-second chair stand test (30-s CST). Muscular strength was measured with handgrip strength. Activity level was determined with accelerometry (Activ...... in 30-s CST (P performance of the lower extremities in geriatric patients improves moderately over the time of a hospital stay...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Improving stomatal functioning at elevated growth air humidity: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanourakis, Dimitrios; Bouranis, Dimitrios; Giday, Habtamu; Carvalho, Dália R A; Rezaei Nejad, Abdolhossein; Ottosen, Carl-Otto

    2016-12-01

    Plants grown at high relative air humidity (RH≥85%) are prone to lethal wilting upon transfer to conditions of high evaporative demand. The reduced survival of these plants is related to (i) increased cuticular permeability, (ii) changed anatomical features (i.e., longer pore length and higher stomatal density), (iii) reduced rehydration ability, (iv) impaired water potential sensitivity to leaf dehydration and, most importantly, (v) compromised stomatal closing ability. This review presents a critical analysis of the strategies which stimulate stomatal functioning during plant development at high RH. These include (a) breeding for tolerant cultivars, (b) interventions with respect to the belowground environment (i.e., water deficit, increased salinity, nutrient culture and grafting) as well as (c) manipulation of the aerial environment [i.e., increased proportion of blue light, increased air movement, temporal temperature rise, and spraying with abscisic acid (ABA)]. Root hypoxia, mechanical disturbance, as well as spraying with compounds mimicking ABA, lessening its inactivation or stimulating its within-leaf redistribution are also expected to improve stomatal functioning of leaves expanded in humid air. Available evidence leaves little doubt that genotypic and phenotypic differences in stomatal functioning following cultivation at high RH are realized through the intermediacy of ABA. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. Integrating Flow, Form, and Function for Improved Environmental Water Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin Lane, Belize Arela

    Rivers are complex, dynamic natural systems. The performance of river ecosystem functions, such as habitat availability and sediment transport, depends on the interplay of hydrologic dynamics (flow) and geomorphic settings (form). However, most river restoration studies evaluate the role of either flow or form without regard for their dynamic interactions. Despite substantial recent interest in quantifying environmental water requirements to support integrated water management efforts, the absence of quantitative, transferable relationships between river flow, form, and ecosystem functions remains a major limitation. This research proposes a novel, process-driven methodology for evaluating river flow-form-function linkages in support of basin-scale environmental water management. This methodology utilizes publically available geospatial and time-series data and targeted field data collection to improve basic understanding of river systems with limited data and resource requirements. First, a hydrologic classification system is developed to characterize natural hydrologic variability across a highly altered, physio-climatically diverse landscape. Next, a statistical analysis is used to characterize reach-scale geomorphic variability and to investigate the utility of topographic variability attributes (TVAs, subreach-scale undulations in channel width and depth), alongside traditional reach-averaged attributes, for distinguishing dominant geomorphic forms and processes across a hydroscape. Finally, the interacting roles of flow (hydrologic regime, water year type, and hydrologic impairment) and form (channel morphology) are quantitatively evaluated with respect to ecosystem functions related to hydrogeomorphic processes, aquatic habitat, and riparian habitat. Synthetic river corridor generation is used to evaluate and isolate the role of distinct geomorphic attributes without the need for intensive topographic surveying. This three-part methodology was successfully

  7. Global Bi-ventricular endocardial distribution of activation rate during long duration ventricular fibrillation in normal and heart failure canines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Qingzhi; Jin, Qi; Zhang, Ning; Han, Yanxin; Wang, Yilong; Huang, Shangwei; Lin, Changjian; Ling, Tianyou; Chen, Kang; Pan, Wenqi; Wu, Liqun

    2017-04-13

    The objective of this study was to detect differences in the distribution of the left and right ventricle (LV & RV) activation rate (AR) during short-duration ventricular fibrillation (SDVF, 1 min) in normal and heart failure (HF) canine hearts. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) was electrically induced in six healthy dogs (control group) and six dogs with right ventricular pacing-induced congestive HF (HF group). Two 64-electrode basket catheters deployed in the LV and RV were used for global endocardium electrical mapping. The AR of VF was estimated by fast Fourier transform analysis from each electrode. In the control group, the LV was activated faster than the RV in the first 20 s, after which there was no detectable difference in the AR between them. When analyzing the distribution of the AR within the bi-ventricles at 3 min of LDVF, the posterior LV was activated fastest, while the anterior was slowest. In the HF group, a detectable AR gradient existed between the two ventricles within 3 min of VF, with the LV activating more quickly than the RV. When analyzing the distribution of the AR within the bi-ventricles at 3 min of LDVF, the septum of the LV was activated fastest, while the anterior was activated slowest. A global bi-ventricular endocardial AR gradient existed within the first 20 s of VF but disappeared in the LDVF in healthy hearts. However, the AR gradient was always observed in both SDVF and LDVF in HF hearts. The findings of this study suggest that LDVF in HF hearts can be maintained differently from normal hearts, which accordingly should lead to the development of different management strategies for LDVF resuscitation.

  8. Risk stratification in patients with advanced heart failure requiring biventricular assist device support as a bridge to cardiac transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Richard K; Deng, Mario C; Tseng, Chi-hong; Shemin, Richard J; Kubak, Bernard M; MacLellan, W Robb

    2012-08-01

    Prior studies have identified risk factors for survival in patients with end-stage heart failure (HF) requiring left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. However, patients with biventricular HF may represent a unique cohort. We retrospectively evaluated a consecutive cohort of 113 adult, end-stage HF patients at University of California Los Angeles Medical Center who required BIVAD support between 2000 and 2009. Survival to transplant was 66.4%, with 1-year actuarial survival of 62.8%. All patients were Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) Level 1 or 2 and received Thoratec (Pleasanton, CA) paracorporeal BIVAD as a bridge to transplant. Univariate analyses showed dialysis use, ventilator use, extracorporal membrane oxygenation use, low cardiac output, preserved LV ejection fraction (restrictive physiology), normal-to-high sodium, low platelet count, low total cholesterol, low high-density and high-density lipoprotein, low albumin, and elevated aspartate aminotransferase were associated with increased risk of death. We generated a scoring system for survival to transplant. Our final model, with age, sex, dialysis, cholesterol, ventilator, and albumin, gave a C-statistic of 0.870. A simplified system preserved a C-statistic of 0.844. Patients were divided into high-risk or highest-risk groups (median respective survival, 367 and 17 days), with strong discrimination between groups for death. We have generated a scoring system that offers high prognostic ability for patients requiring BIVAD support and hope that it may assist in clinical decision making. Further studies are needed to prospectively validate our scoring system. Copyright © 2012 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Improved Fibroblast Functionalities by Microporous Pattern Fabricated by Microelectromechanical Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hongbo; Zhao, Lingzhou; Chen, Bangdao; Bai, Shizhu; Zhao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Fibroblasts, which play an important role in biological seal formation and maintenance, determine the long-term success of percutaneous implants. In this study, well-defined microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm were fabricated by microelectromechanical systems and their influence on the fibroblast functionalities was observed. The results show that the microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm did not influence the initial adherent fibroblast number; however, those with diameters of 40 and 50 µm improved the spread, actin stress fiber organization, proliferation and fibronectin secretion of the fibroblasts. The microporous structures with micropore diameters of 40–50 µm may be promising for application in the percutaneous part of an implant. PMID:25054322

  10. Improved Fibroblast Functionalities by Microporous Pattern Fabricated by Microelectromechanical Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongbo Wei

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Fibroblasts, which play an important role in biological seal formation and maintenance, determine the long-term success of percutaneous implants. In this study, well-defined microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm were fabricated by microelectromechanical systems and their influence on the fibroblast functionalities was observed. The results show that the microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm did not influence the initial adherent fibroblast number; however, those with diameters of 40 and 50 µm improved the spread, actin stress fiber organization, proliferation and fibronectin secretion of the fibroblasts. The microporous structures with micropore diameters of 40–50 µm may be promising for application in the percutaneous part of an implant.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  12. Pulmonary functions of children with asthma improve following massage therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattah, Mohammed Abdel; Hamdy, Basant

    2011-11-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the effect of massage therapy on the pulmonary functions of stable Egyptian children with asthma. This study was an open, randomized, controlled trial. The study was conducted in pediatric allergy and chest unit of the New Children's Hospital of Cairo University, Egypt. Sixty (60) children with asthma were divided randomly into two equal groups: massage therapy group and control group. Subjects in the massage therapy group received a 20-minute massage therapy by their parents at home before bedtime every night for 5 weeks in addition to the standard asthma treatment. The control group received the standard asthma treatment alone for 5 weeks. Spirometry was performed for all children on the first and last days of the study. Forced expiratory flow in first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were recorded. At the end of the study, mean FEV1 of the massage therapy group was significantly higher than controls (2.3-0.8 L versus 1.9-0.9 L, p=0.04). There was no significant difference in FVC (2.5-0.8 L versus 2.7-0.7 L, p=0.43). However, FEV1/FVC ratio showed a significant improvement in the massage therapy group (92.3-21.5 versus 69.5-17, pmassage therapy in pediatric asthma is suggested. It improved the key pulmonary functions of the children, namely, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio. However, further research on a larger scale is warranted. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  13. Exercise improves cardiac autonomic function in obesity and diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voulgari, Christina; Pagoni, Stamatina; Vinik, Aaron; Poirier, Paul

    2013-05-01

    Physical activity is a key element in the prevention and management of obesity and diabetes. Regular physical activity efficiently supports diet-induced weight loss, improves glycemic control, and can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Furthermore, physical activity positively affects lipid profile, blood pressure, reduces the rate of cardiovascular events and associated mortality, and restores the quality of life in type 2 diabetes. However, recent studies have documented that a high percentage of the cardiovascular benefits of exercise cannot be attributed solely to enhanced cardiovascular risk factor modulation. Obesity in concert with diabetes is characterized by sympathetic overactivity and the progressive loss of cardiac parasympathetic influx. These are manifested via different pathogenetic mechanisms, including hyperinsulinemia, visceral obesity, subclinical inflammation and increased thrombosis. Cardiac autonomic neuropathy is an underestimated risk factor for the increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality associated with obesity and diabetes. The same is true for the role of physical exercise in the restoration of the heart cardioprotective autonomic modulation in these individuals. This review addresses the interplay of cardiac autonomic function in obesity and diabetes, and focuses on the importance of exercise in improving cardiac autonomic dysfunction. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Traditional Japanese medicine daikenchuto improves functional constipation in poststroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Numata, Takehiro; Takayama, Shin; Tobita, Muneshige; Ishida, Shuichi; Katayose, Dai; Shinkawa, Mitsutoshi; Oikawa, Takashi; Aonuma, Takanori; Kaneko, Soichiro; Tanaka, Junichi; Kanemura, Seiki; Iwasaki, Koh; Ishii, Tadashi; Yaegashi, Nobuo

    2014-01-01

    Poststroke patients with functional constipation, assessed by the Rome III criteria, from 6 hospitals were recruited in a study on the effects of the traditional Japanese medicine Daikenchuto (DKT) on constipation. Thirty-four patients (17 men and 17 women; mean age: 78.1 ± 11.6 years) were randomly assigned to 2 groups; all patients received conventional therapy for constipation, and patients in the DKT group received 15 g/day of DKT for 4 weeks. Constipation scoring system (CSS) points and the gas volume score (GVS) (the measure of the intestinal gas volume calculated from plain abdominal radiographs) were recorded before and after a 4-week observation period. The total score on the CSS improved significantly in the DKT group compared to the control (P DKT group (P DKT group compared to the control (P = 0.03). DKT in addition to conventional therapy is effective in treating functional constipation in poststroke patients. This study was a randomized controlled trial and was registered in the UMIN Clinical Trial Registry (no. UMIN000007393).

  15. Improved Functionality and Curation Support in the ADS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan-Bathke, Maria; Harris, Zoey I; Arnett, Deborah G; Klein, Rob R; Burd, Randy; Ann, David K; Limesand, Kirsten H

    2014-01-01

    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 the chronic side

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Detention Outlet Retrofit Improves the Functionality of Existing ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal Article Provide a stormwater management device for States and watershed management organizations. By discharging excess stormwater runoff at rates that more frequently exceed the critical flow for stream channel erosion, conventional detention basins often contribute to the escalated levels of instability that are common in urban and suburban streams and can be detrimental to aquatic habitat and water quality, as well as adjacent property and infrastructure. However, these ubiquitous assets, valued at ca. $600,000/km2 in a representative suburban watershed in Northern Kentucky, are ideal candidates to aid in reversing such cycles of channel degradation because improving their functionality would not necessarily require property acquisition or heavy construction. The objective of this research was to develop a simple, cost-effective device that could be installed in detention basin outlets to reduce the erosive power of the relatively frequent, but otherwise erosive, storm events (e.g. ~ ≤ 2-yr recurrence) and provide a passive bypass to maintain flood control performance during infrequent storms (e.g. 100-yr recurrence). Results from a pilot installation show that the Detain H2O device can not only meet these goals, but can also contribute to reduced flashiness and prolonged baseflows in receiving streams. When scaling the strategy across a watershed, these results suggest that substantial gains in water quality and stream channel stability could b

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is an important determinant of poor clinical status in repaired patients with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). The purpose of our study is to assess the impact of surgical repair on short-term RV and LV function by 2-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE). Sixty-seven patients (median age 12 months) with TOF before and 6 months after repair and 35 healthy subjects were studied. The patients were divided into the younger (age at surgery ≤12 months) and older (age at surgery >12 months) subgroups. RV and LV global longitudinal systolic strain and strain rate (SR), and LV global circumferential and radial systolic strain and SR were measured by STE. After repair, RV longitudinal strain and SR increased in the younger patients, whereas RV longitudinal SR was decreased in the older patients. LV deformation parameters were unchanged in all patients. In the multivariate analysis, patients with better RV and LV deformation parameters preoperatively were identified to have better RV and LV strain and SR postoperatively (P < 0.05 for all). The surgical approach of the pulmonary valve ring was predictive of RV and LV systolic function postoperatively (P < 0.05 for all). After TOF repair, short-term RV function improvement is identified in the younger but not in the older patients, whereas LV function is unchanged in all patients. The preoperative RV and LV deformational indices are the determinant of postoperative biventricular function improvement. STE appears to be a valuable tool for assessment of biventricular function after congenital heart disease surgery. PMID:27495064

  2. 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....

  3. Improved covalent functionalization of multi-walled carbon ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    MWCNTs). The structures of the functionalized MWCNTs were characterized with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Thermogravimetric analysis results also demonstrated the presence of organic portions of the functionalized MWCNTs.

  4. Improved Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Pedotransfer Functions Using Machine Learning Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, S. N.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2017-12-01

    Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the fundamental hydraulic properties of soils. Its measurement, however, is cumbersome and instead pedotransfer functions (PTFs) are often used to estimate it. Despite a lot of progress over the years, generic PTFs that estimate hydraulic conductivity generally don't have a good performance. We develop significantly improved PTFs by applying state of the art machine learning techniques coupled with high-performance computing on a large database of over 20,000 soils—USKSAT and the Florida Soil Characterization databases. We compared the performance of four machine learning algorithms (k-nearest neighbors, gradient boosted model, support vector machine, and relevance vector machine) and evaluated the relative importance of several soil properties in explaining Ks. An attempt is also made to better account for soil structural properties; we evaluated the importance of variables derived from transformations of soil water retention characteristics and other soil properties. The gradient boosted models gave the best performance with root mean square errors less than 0.7 and mean errors in the order of 0.01 on a log scale of Ks [cm/h]. The effective particle size, D10, was found to be the single most important predictor. Other important predictors included percent clay, bulk density, organic carbon percent, coefficient of uniformity and values derived from water retention characteristics. Model performances were consistently better for Ks values greater than 10 cm/h. This study maximizes the extraction of information from a large database to develop generic machine learning based PTFs to estimate Ks. The study also evaluates the importance of various soil properties and their transformations in explaining Ks.

  5. Impact of pacing on systemic ventricular function in L-transposition of the great arteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofferberth, Sophie C; Alexander, Mark E; Mah, Douglas Y; Bautista-Hernandez, Victor; del Nido, Pedro J; Fynn-Thompson, Francis

    2016-01-01

    To assess the impact of univentricular versus biventricular pacing (BiVP) on systemic ventricular function in patients with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (ccTGA). We performed a retrospective review of all patients with a diagnosis of ccTGA who underwent pacemaker insertion. From 1993 to 2014, 53 patients were identified from the cardiology database and surgical records. Overall mortality was 7.5% (n = 4). One patient required transplantation and 3 late deaths occurred secondary to end-stage heart failure. Median follow-up was 3.7 years (range, 4 days to 22.5 years). Twenty-five (47%) underwent univentricular pacing only, of these, 8 (32%) developed significant systemic ventricular dysfunction. Twenty-eight (53%) received BiVP, 17 (26%) were upgraded from a dual-chamber system, 11 (21%) received primary BiVP. Fourteen (82%) of the 17 undergoing secondary BiVP demonstrated systemic ventricular dysfunction at the time of pacer upgrade, with 7 (50%) demonstrating improved systemic ventricular function after pacemaker upgrade. Overall, 42 (79%) patients underwent univentricular pacing, with 22 (52%) developing significant systemic ventricular dysfunction. In contrast, the 11 (21%) who received primary BiVP had preserved systemic ventricular function at latest follow-up. Late-onset systemic ventricular dysfunction is a major complication associated with the use of univentricular pacing in patients with ccTGA. All patients with ccTGA who develop heart block should undergo primary biventricular pacing, as this prevents late systemic ventricular dysfunction. Preemptive placement of BiVP leads at the time of anatomical repair or other permanent palliative procedure will facilitate subsequent BiVP should heart block develop. Copyright © 2016 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving Sensorimotor Function and Adaptation using Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Is the relationship between increased knee muscle strength and improved physical function following exercise dependent on baseline physical function status?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Michelle; Hinman, Rana S; van der Esch, Martin; van der Leeden, Marike; Kasza, Jessica; Wrigley, Tim V; Metcalf, Ben R; Dobson, Fiona; Bennell, Kim L

    2017-12-08

    Clinical guidelines recommend knee muscle strengthening exercises to improve physical function. However, the amount of knee muscle strength increase needed for clinically relevant improvements in physical function is unclear. Understanding how much increase in knee muscle strength is associated with improved physical function could assist clinicians in providing appropriate strength gain targets for their patients in order to optimise outcomes from exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an increase in knee muscle strength is associated with improved self-reported physical function following exercise; and whether the relationship differs according to physical function status at baseline. Data from 100 participants with medial knee osteoarthritis enrolled in a 12-week randomised controlled trial comparing neuromuscular exercise to quadriceps strengthening exercise were pooled. Participants were categorised as having mild, moderate or severe physical dysfunction at baseline using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Associations between 12-week changes in physical function (dependent variable) and peak isometric knee extensor and flexor strength (independent variables) were evaluated with and without accounting for baseline physical function status and covariates using linear regression models. In covariate-adjusted models without accounting for baseline physical function, every 1-unit (Nm/kg) increase in knee extensor strength was associated with physical function improvement of 17 WOMAC units (95% confidence interval (CI) -29 to -5). When accounting for baseline severity of physical function, every 1-unit increase in knee extensor strength was associated with physical function improvement of 24 WOMAC units (95% CI -42 to -7) in participants with severe physical dysfunction. There were no associations between change in strength and change in physical function in participants with mild or moderate physical

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

    variations, and clinical concerns associated with this surgical procedure; it is not intended to be a comprehensive reference for improving nasal form and function after rhinoplasty. Recommendations in this guideline concerning education and counseling to the patient are also intended to include the caregiver if the patient is 24 hours after surgery. (2) Surgeons should not routinely place packing in the nasal cavity of rhinoplasty patients (with or without septoplasty) at the conclusion of surgery. The panel group made the following statement an option: (1) The surgeon, or the surgeon's designee, may administer perioperative systemic steroids to the rhinoplasty patient.

  9. 151. Paciente con implantación de oxigenador de membrana extracorpórea para traslado a un centro de referencia donde se implanta asistencia biventricular como puente al trasplante cardíaco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A. Sarralde

    2012-04-01

    Conclusiones: El sistema ECMO está indicado para el traslado de pacientes en shock cardiogénico entre hospitales de una misma región e incluso de una comunidad a otra. La asistencia biventricular permite el mantenimiento y la mejoría significativa del paciente para incluirlo en lista y trasplantarlo en las mejores condiciones.

  10. Recovery of right and left ventricular function after acute pulmonary embolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klok, F.A., E-mail: f.a.klok@lumc.nl [Section of Vascular Medicine, Department of General Internal Medicine-Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands); Romeih, S. [Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands); Kroft, L.J.M.; Westenberg, J.J.M. [Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands); Huisman, M.V. [Section of Vascular Medicine, Department of General Internal Medicine-Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands); Roos, A. de [Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (Netherlands)

    2011-12-15

    Aim: To evaluate recovery of cardiac function after acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Materials and methods: Routine breath-held computed tomography (CT)-pulmonary angiography was performed in patients with suspected PE to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of PE at initial presentation. Electrocardiogram (ECG)-triggered cardiac CT was performed to assess biventricular function. After 6 months, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed. In total, 15 consecutive patients with PE and 10 without were studied. A significant change in ventricular volume was defined as a >15% change in end-diastolic or -systolic volumes (EDV, ESV), and significant ventricular function improvement as a >5% increase in ejection fraction (EF) as based on reported cut-off values. Results: Right and left ventricular (RV and LV) EDV and ESV changed non-significantly (<1.3%) in the patients without PE, indicating good comparability of those values measured by CT and MRI. PE patients with baseline normal RV function (RVEF {>=}47%) revealed a >5% improvement in the RVEF (+5.4 {+-} 3.1%) due to a decrease in the RVESV. Patients with baseline abnormal RV function showed a >5% improvement in the RVEF (+14 {+-} 15%) due to decreases in both the RVESV and RVEDV. Furthermore, the LVEDV increased in this latter patient group. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated an improvement in RV function in the majority of patients with PE, independent of baseline RV function. The degree of RV and LV recovery was dependent on the severity of baseline RV dysfunction.

  11. Weight loss improves biomarkers endothelial function and systemic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Although postmenopausal associated disorders are important public health problems worldwide, to date limited studies evaluated the endothelial function and systemic inflammation response to weight loss in obese postmenopausal women. Objective: This study was done to evaluate the endothelial function ...

  12. Improved Wave-vessel Transfer Functions by Uncertainty Modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Ulrik Dam; Fønss Bach, Kasper; Iseki, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    This paper deals with uncertainty modelling of wave-vessel transfer functions used to calculate or predict wave-induced responses of a ship in a seaway. Although transfer functions, in theory, can be calculated to exactly reflect the behaviour of the ship when exposed to waves, uncertainty in inp...

  13. Improved WKB radial wave functions in several bases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Durand, B.; Durand, L.; Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706)

    1986-01-01

    We develop approximate WKB-like solutions to the radial Schroedinger equation for problems with an angular momentum barrier using Riccati-Bessel, Coulomb, and harmonic-oscillator functions as basis functions. The solutions treat the angular momentum singularity near the origin more accurately in leading approximation than the standard WKB solutions based on sine waves. The solutions based on Riccati-Bessel and free Coulomb wave functions continue smoothly through the inner turning point and are appropriate for scattering problems. The solutions based on oscillator and bound Coulomb wave functions incorporate both turning points smoothly and are particularly appropriate for bound-state problems; no matching of piecewise solutions using Airy functions is necessary

  14. Inhibiting epigenetic enzymes to improve atherogenic macrophage functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bossche, Jan; Neele, Annette E.; Hoeksema, Marten A.; de Heij, Femke; Boshuizen, Marieke C. S.; van der Velden, Saskia; de Boer, Vincent C.; Reedquist, Kris A.; de Winther, Menno P. J.

    2014-01-01

    Macrophages determine the outcome of atherosclerosis by propagating inflammatory responses, foam cell formation and eventually necrotic core development. Yet, the pathways that regulate their atherogenic functions remain ill-defined. It is now apparent that chromatin remodeling chromatin modifying

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fricke, B.; Anton, J.; Fritzsche, S.; Sarpe-Tudoran, C.

    2005-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-15

    While the role of impaired cognition in accounting for functional outcome in schizophrenia is generally established, the relationship between cognitive and functional change in the context of treatments is far from clear. The current paper tries to identify which cognitive changes lead to improvements in daily functioning among persons with chronic schizophrenia who had current negative symptoms and evidenced neuropsychological impairments. In a previous work, Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) was compared with a control therapy, involving similar length of therapist contact but different targets. At the end of treatment, CRT conferred a benefit to people with schizophrenia in cognition and functioning [Schizophrenia Research, 87 (2006) 323-331]. Subsequently, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted with baseline and cognitive change scores as covariates to test whether cognitive change predicted change in functioning. Additionally, statistical tests to establish the mediation path with significant variables were performed. Although verbal memory, but not executive functioning, was associated with functioning at baseline, it was the improvement in executive functioning that predicted improved daily functioning. Verbal memory played a mediator role in the change process. Consequently, in order to improve daily functioning with CRT, executive function still needs to be targeted in despite of multiple cognitive impairments being present. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. [Spectrum of biventricular aortic connection and double outlet chamber of the right ventricle produced experimentally in the chicken heart by hypothermia (34.5 degrees C)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz Castellanos, L; Kuri Nivón, M; Chévez, A

    1982-01-01

    In this experimental work, fertilized chicken eggs were subjected to hypothermia (34.5 degrees) as to inhibit the incorporation of the aortic infundibulum into the left ventricle. This produced a spectrum of biventricular connection of the aorta including double outlet right ventricle (DORV), a cardiopathy seen naturally in man and in chicken. It represents the persistence in the postnatal heart of the spectrum of embryonic aortic dextroposition, a fact which allowed us to establish a precise anatomoembryologic correlation. Pathogenetically, the failure in the connection of the aortic infundibulum with the left ventricle is due to inhibition, in different degrees, of the leftward morphogenetic movement of the infundibular segment, an embryologic process which is discussed in relation to different theories on the origin of DORV. The role played by cell death in normal and pathologic morphogenesis, is emphasized and some methodological aspects on experimental teratogeneses are mentioned.

  20. Whole-body vibration exercise improves functional parameters in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Patients with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) have abnormal bone modelling and resorption. The bone tissue adaptation and responsivity to dynamic and mechanical loading may be of therapeutic use under controlled circumstances. Improvements due to the wholebody vibration (WBV) exercises have been ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Christopher W.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, A H; Doré, C J; Morris, T P; Morris, S; Jamrozik, K

    2010-01-26

    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. 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 x 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. This trial will determine whether the outcome of spinal surgery can be enhanced by either a post-operative rehabilitation programme or an

  7. Improved Fibroblast Functionalities by Microporous Pattern Fabricated by Microelectromechanical Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Wei, Hongbo; Zhao, Lingzhou; Chen, Bangdao; Bai, Shizhu; Zhao, Yimin

    2014-01-01

    Fibroblasts, which play an important role in biological seal formation and maintenance, determine the long-term success of percutaneous implants. In this study, well-defined microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm were fabricated by microelectromechanical systems and their influence on the fibroblast functionalities was observed. The results show that the microporous structures with micropore diameters of 10–60 µm did not influence the initial adherent fibroblast number; ...

  8. 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.

  9. Methodological Improvements in Combining TMS and Functional MRI

    OpenAIRE

    Moisa, Marius

    2011-01-01

    Since 1997, when Bohning and colleagues demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of interleaving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with blood oxygenation level dependency functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI), this combination became a very promising techniques to study brain connectivity. However, the implementation of a reliable setup for interleaved TMS/fMRI is still technically challenging. In this thesis, I intended to further explore and develop methodological i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    much attention. First, veterans who were stationed in the battlefield areas believed to have consumed pills of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) during...966, 2007; Yassa and Stark, Trends Neurosci , 34: 515-525). Maintenance of this function depends upon the integrity of the hippocampus particularly...as described in our published report (Hattiangady et al., Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience , 2014). We examined rats belonging to different

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8...

  12. Targeting Treatments to Improve Cognitive Function in Mood Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Learning Test (RAVLT) total recall with multiple logistic regression adjusted for diagnosis, age, gender, symptom severity, and education levels. RESULTS: We included 79 patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar disorder, of whom 39 received EPO and 40 received placebo (saline). For EPO......-treated patients with objective memory dysfunction at baseline (n = 16) (defined as RAVLT total recall ≤ 43), the odds of a clinically relevant memory improvement were increased by a factor of 290.6 (95% CI, 2.7-31,316.4; P = .02) compared to patients with no baseline impairment (n = 23). Subjective cognitive...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we propose a log likelihood-ratio function of foreground and background models used in a particle filter to track the eye region in dark-bright pupil image sequences. This model fuses information from both dark and bright pupil images and their difference image into one model. Our...... enhanced tracker overcomes the issues of prior selection of static thresholds during the detection of feature observations in the bright-dark difference images. The auto-initialization process is performed using cascaded classifier trained using adaboost and adapted to IR eye images. Experiments show good...

  14. 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. 

  15. [Effects on salivation, xerostomia and halitosis in elders after oral function improvement exercises].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Jin; Park, Kyung Min

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of Oral Function Improvement Exercises on salivation, xerostomia and halitosis in elderly people. The participants in the study were 48 female community-dwelling elders in D city. The Oral Function Improvement Exercises were given 3 times a week, for a total of 24 times from August to October 2011. Spitting method, Visual Analogue Scale, and halimeter (mBA-21) were used to evaluate the effects of Oral Function Improvement Exercises on salivation, xerostomia, and halitosis. The data were analyzed using χ²-test and t-test with the SPSS program. The experimental group had significantly better salivation, and less xerostomia and halitosis than the control group. The results indicate that Oral Function Improvement Exercises were effective for salivation, xerostomia and halitosis in the elders. Therefore, it was suggested that Oral Function Improvement Exercise are applicable in a community nursing intervention program to improve the quality of life for elders.

  16. 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. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. 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.

  18. Improved fuzzy PID controller design using predictive functional control structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuzhong; Jin, Qibing; Zhang, Ridong

    2017-11-01

    In conventional PID scheme, the ensemble control performance may be unsatisfactory due to limited degrees of freedom under various kinds of uncertainty. To overcome this disadvantage, a novel PID control method that inherits the advantages of fuzzy PID control and the predictive functional control (PFC) is presented and further verified on the temperature model of a coke furnace. Based on the framework of PFC, the prediction of the future process behavior is first obtained using the current process input signal. Then, the fuzzy PID control based on the multi-step prediction is introduced to acquire the optimal control law. Finally, the case study on a temperature model of a coke furnace shows the effectiveness of the fuzzy PID control scheme when compared with conventional PID control and fuzzy self-adaptive PID control. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Improving the Performance of Semiconductor Sensor Devices Using Surface Functionalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohrbaugh, Nathaniel W.

    As production and understanding of III-nitride growth has progressed, this class of material has been used for its semiconducting properties in the fields of computer processing, microelectronics, and LEDs. As understanding of materials properties has advanced, devices were fabricated to be sensitive to environmental surroundings such as pH, gas, or ionic concentration. Simultaneously the world of pharmaceuticals and environmental science has come to the age where the use of wearable devices and active environmental sensing can not only help us learn more about our surroundings, but help save lives. At the crossroads of these two fields work has been done in marrying the high stability and electrical properties of the III-nitrides with the needs of a growing sensor field for various environments and stimuli. Device architecture can only get one so far, and thus the need for well understood surface functionalization techniques has arisen in the field of III-nitride environmental sensing. Many existing schemes for functionalization involve chemistries that may be unfriendly to a biological environment, unstable in solution, or expensive to produce. One possible solution to these issues is the work presented here, which highlights a surface modification scheme utilizing phosphonic acid based chemistry and biomolecular attachment. This dissertation presents a set of studies and experiments quantifying and analyzing the response behaviors of AlGaN/GaN field effect transistor (FET) devices via their interfacial electronic properties. Additional investigation was done on the modification of these surfaces, effects of stressful environmental conditions, and the utility of the phosphonic acid surface treatments. Signals of AlGaN/GaN FETs were measured as IDrain values and in the earliest study an average signal increase of 96.43% was observed when surfaces were incubated in a solution of a known recognition peptide sequence (SVSVGMKPSPRP). This work showed that even without

  1. 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,

  2. 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.

  3. Function modeling: improved raster analysis through delayed reading and function raster datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    John S. Hogland; Nathaniel M. Anderson; J .Greg Jones

    2013-01-01

    Raster modeling is an integral component of spatial analysis. However, conventional raster modeling techniques can require a substantial amount of processing time and storage space, often limiting the types of analyses that can be performed. To address this issue, we have developed Function Modeling. Function Modeling is a new modeling framework that streamlines the...

  4. Gain-of-function mutagenesis approaches in rice for functional genomics and improvement of crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moin, Mazahar; Bakshi, Achala; Saha, Anusree; Dutta, Mouboni; Kirti, P B

    2017-07-01

    The epitome of any genome research is to identify all the existing genes in a genome and investigate their roles. Various techniques have been applied to unveil the functions either by silencing or over-expressing the genes by targeted expression or random mutagenesis. Rice is the most appropriate model crop for generating a mutant resource for functional genomic studies because of the availability of high-quality genome sequence and relatively smaller genome size. Rice has syntenic relationships with members of other cereals. Hence, characterization of functionally unknown genes in rice will possibly provide key genetic insights and can lead to comparative genomics involving other cereals. The current review attempts to discuss the available gain-of-function mutagenesis techniques for functional genomics, emphasizing the contemporary approach, activation tagging and alterations to this method for the enhancement of yield and productivity of rice. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. 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...... age 26 years, range 19-34, 50% women) were randomized to temporary local cutaneous application of anesthetic (EMLA) (n=14) or placebo cream (n=14). Fifty grams of EMLA, or placebo, was applied on the leg 10 cm above and 10 cm below the center of patella, leaving the area around the knee without cream...

  6. Exercise training improves selected aspects of daytime functioning in adults with obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Christopher E; Ewing, Gary B; Burch, James B; Blair, Steven N; Durstine, J Larry; Davis, J Mark; Youngstedt, Shawn D

    2012-08-15

    To explore the utility of exercise training for improving daytime functioning in adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Forty-three sedentary and overweight/obese adults aged 18-55 years with at least moderate-severity untreated OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15) were randomized to 12 weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise training (n = 27) or low-intensity stretching control treatment (n = 16). As part of a trial investigating the efficacy of exercise training on OSA severity, daytime functioning was assessed before and following the intervention. Sleepiness, functional impairment due to sleepiness, depressive symptoms, mood, and quality of life (QOL) were evaluated with validated questionnaires, and cognitive function was assessed with a neurobehavioral performance battery. OSA severity was measured with one night of laboratory polysomnography before and following the intervention. Compared with stretching control, exercise training resulted in significant improvements in depressive symptoms, fatigue and vigor, and aspects of QOL (p improved following exercise versus control to a similar degree in terms of effect sizes (d > 0.5), though these changes were not statistically significant. No neurobehavioral performance improvements were found. Reduced fatigue following exercise training was mediated by a reduction in OSA severity, but changes in OSA severity did not significantly mediate improvement in any other measure of daytime functioning. These data provide preliminary evidence that exercise training may be helpful for improving aspects of daytime functioning of adults with OSA. Larger trials are needed to further verify the observed improvements.

  7. Terlipressin improves renal function in patients with cirrhosis and ascites without hepatorenal syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krag, Aleksander; Møller, Søren; Henriksen, Jens H

    2007-01-01

    Patients with advanced cirrhosis and ascites are characterized by circulatory dysfunction with splanchnic vasodilatation and renal vasoconstriction, which often lead to ascites. The vasoconstrictor terlipressin improves renal function in hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). The aim of this study...

  8. Leukocyte depletion results in improved lung function and reduced inflammatory response after cardiac surgery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gu, YJ; Boonstra, PW; vanOeveren, W

    Leukocyte depletion during cardiopulmonary bypass has been demonstrated in animal experiments to improve pulmonary function, Conflicting results have been reported, however, with clinical depletion by arterial line filter of leukocytes at the beginning of cardiopulmonary bypass. In this study, we

  9. Moments of unpolarized nucleon structure functions in chirally improved lattice QCD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goeckeler, Meinulf; Maurer, Thilo; Schaefer, Andreas [University of Regensburg (Germany); Lang, Christian B.; Limmer, Markus [University of Graz (Austria)

    2008-07-01

    We present our results for the lowest moments of unpolarized nucleon structure functions at leading twist. We employ lattice quantum chromodynamics using chirally improved fermions in quenched as well as dynamical simulations.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    Functional expressions of proteins often depend on the presence of host specific factors. Frequently recombinant expression strategies of proteins in foreign hosts, such as bacteria, have been associated with poor yields or significant loss of functionality. Improvements in the performance of het......(s) of the filamentous phage coat protein III. Furthermore, it will be shown that the observed effect is neither due to improved stability nor increased avidity....

  11. Prosthetic Smart Socket Technology to Improve Patient Interaction, Usability, Comfort, Fit and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    impact on society beyond science and technology ? Nothing to report at this time. 5. CHANGES/PROBLEMS: Changes in approach and reasons for...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0785 TITLE: Prosthetic Smart Socket Technology to Improve Patient Interaction, Usability, Comfort, Fit and Function...2016 - 29 Sep 2017 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Prosthetic Smart Socket Technology to Improve Patient Interaction, Usability, Comfort, Fit and Function 5a

  12. Group Therapy for Improving Self-Esteem and Social Functioning of College Students with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaikh, Ayesha

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined the effectiveness of interpersonal group therapy designed to improve self-esteem and social functioning in college students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Participants with documented ADHD diagnoses completed self-report measures of self-esteem and social functioning at the initiation of the study,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Functional Improvements in Parkinson’s Disease Following a Randomized Trial of Yoga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke Van Puymbroeck

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD experience significant limitations in motor function, functional gait, postural stability, and balance. These limitations often lead to higher incidences of falls, which have significant complications for individuals with PD. Yoga may improve these functional deficits in individuals with PD. The objective of this study was to determine changes in motor function, functional gait, postural stability, and balance control for community dwelling individuals with PD. This randomized, wait-list controlled pilot study examined the influence of an 8-week yoga intervention for people with PD who met the following inclusion criteria: endorsing a fear of falling, being able to speak English, scoring 4/6 on the minimental state exam, and being willing to attend the intervention twice weekly for 8-weeks. Participants in the yoga group (n=15 experienced improvements in motor function, postural stability, functional gait, and freezing gait, as well as reductions in fall risk. Participants in the wait-list control (n=12 also significantly improved in postural stability, although their fall risk was not reduced. Individuals in the yoga group significantly reduced their fall risk. An 8-week yoga intervention may reduce fall risk and improve postural stability, and functional and freezing gait in individuals with PD. This clinical trial is registered as protocol record Pro00041068 in clinicaltrials.gov.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Local heating of an extremity increases blood flow and vascular shear stress throughout the arterial tree. Local heating acutely improves macrovascular dilator function in the upper limbs of young healthy adults through a shear stress-dependent mechanism but has no such effect in the lower limbs of this age group. The effect of acute limb heating on dilator function within the atherosclerotic prone vasculature of the lower limbs of aged adults is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that acute lower limb heating improves macro- and microvascular dilator function within the leg vasculature of aged adults. Nine young and nine aged adults immersed their lower limbs at a depth of ~33 cm into a heated (~42°C) circulated water bath for 45 min. Before and 30 min after heating, macro (flow-mediated dilation)- and microvascular (reactive hyperemia) dilator functions were assessed in the lower limb, following 5 min of arterial occlusion, via Doppler ultrasound. Compared with preheat, macrovascular dilator function was unchanged following heating in young adults (P = 0.6) but was improved in aged adults (P = 0.04). Similarly, microvascular dilator function, as assessed by peak reactive hyperemia, was unchanged following heating in young adults (P = 0.1) but was improved in aged adults (P lower limb heating improves both macro- and microvascular dilator function in an age dependent manner. We demonstrate that lower limb heating acutely improves macro- and microvascular dilator function within the atherosclerotic prone vasculature of the leg in aged adults. These findings provide evidence for a potential therapeutic use of chronic lower limb heating to improve vascular health in primary aging and various disease conditions. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  16. 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....

  17. How to improve the efficient use of functional vision of people with visual impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Mohorko, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Barraga was the first researcher to study the effects of a special program for developing visual efficiency which showed improvements in visual acuity and visual functioning in blind children with remaining vision. Her breakthrough findings helped develop new theories of visual functioning. These theories represent a foundation from which a professional can understand the visual functioning of an individual with low vision. Providing opportunities for individuals to learn how to use their vis...

  18. Obesity impedes functional improvement in youth with chronic pain: An initial investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, A M; Jastrowski Mano, K E; Weisman, S J; Hainsworth, K R

    2017-10-01

    Youth with chronic pain are at higher risk for obesity than the general population. In youth with chronic pain, obesity exacerbates pain-specific activity limitations, and in adults with chronic pain, obesity perpetuates a cycle of disability. The current study examined whether weight status predicts functional disability outcomes over time in youth with chronic pain. Data were obtained from a retrospective chart review of patients who consented to participate in a longitudinal outcomes study. The Child Activity Limitations Questionnaire was used to assess functional disability at intake, 1-, and 3-month follow-up. Height and weight were measured at intake. A linear mixed model was used to test whether weight status and time predicted functional disability. Trend analysis with polynomial contrasts was used to test whether improvements in functional disability showed a linear trend over time. The linear mixed model analysis showed a main effect of weight, suggesting that youth with higher BMI demonstrated less improvement in functional disability over time. The trend analysis suggested that improvements in functional disability were consistent with a linear trend for both healthy weight and overweight participants, but not for obese participants. These findings demonstrate that obesity impedes improvement in functioning for youth with chronic pain. Despite multidisciplinary pain treatment, youth with comorbid chronic pain and obesity demonstrate greater functional disability at follow-up and little improvement over time. These results support the need for interventions specifically tailored to the unique challenges faced by youth with comorbid chronic pain and obesity. This study shows that obesity impedes improvement in functioning for youth with chronic pain. On the basis of these findings, interventions should be tailored to the unique challenges of this population. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.

  19. 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.

  20. Dodecylamine functionalization of carbon nanotubes to improve dispersion, thermal and mechanical properties of polyethylene based nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, F. V.; Franceschi, W.; Menezes, B. R. C.; Brito, F. S.; Lozano, K.; Coutinho, A. R.; Cividanes, L. S.; Thim, G. P.

    2017-07-01

    This study presents the effect of dodecylamine (DDA) functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the thermo-physical and mechanical properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) based composites. Here, we showed that the functionalization with DDA improved the dispersion of the CNTs as well as the interfacial adhesion with the HDPE matrix via non-covalent interactions. The better dispersion and interaction of CNT in the HDPE matrix as a function of the surface chemistry was correlated with the improved thermo-physical and mechanical properties.

  1. High-intensity functional training improves functional movement and body composition among cancer survivors: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, K M; Becker, C; Carlisle, T; Gilmore, K; Hauser, J; Frye, J; Harms, C A

    2015-11-01

    This pilot study investigated feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a high-intensity functional training (HIFT) group-exercise programme among adult cancer survivors within 5 years of last cancer treatment. Eight participants were assigned to a 5-week, 3 days/week HIFT intervention with four testing sessions and 12 workouts along with mobility and stretching exercises. Feasibility was assessed by initiation, adherence, and acceptability. Efficacy was determined by changes from baseline to post-test in health-related quality of life, body composition and functional movement. The recruitment rate was 80% and the adherence rate was 75%. Significant improvements were found for emotional functioning (P = 0.042) and body composition (lean mass +3.8 ± 2.1 kg, P = 0.008; fat mass -3.3 ± 1.0 kg, P = 0.001; body fat percentage -4.7 ± 1.2%, P body strength and power (P = 0.009), aerobic capacity and endurance (P = 0.039), and perceived difficulty for flexibility (P = 0.012). Five weeks of HIFT training was well-received and feasible for most cancer survivors, and effective for improving emotional functioning, body composition and functional movement. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-08

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

  3. Improvement in cognitive function after surgery for low-grade glioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzilai, Ori; Ben Moshe, Shlomit; Sitt, Razi; Sela, Gal; Shofty, Ben; Ram, Zvi

    2018-03-23

    OBJECTIVE Cognition is a key component in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and is currently incorporated as a major parameter of outcome assessment in patients treated for brain tumors. The effect of surgery on cognition and HRQoL remains debatable. The authors investigated the impact of resection of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) on cognition and the correlation with various histopathological markers. METHODS A retrospective analysis of patients with LGG who underwent craniotomy for tumor resection at a single institution between 2010 and 2014 was conducted. Of 192 who underwent resective surgery for LGG during this period, 49 had complete pre- and postoperative neurocognitive evaluations and were included in the analysis. These patients completed a full battery of neurocognitive tests (memory, language, attention and working memory, visuomotor organization, and executive functions) pre- and postoperatively. Tumor and surgical characteristics were analyzed, including volumetric measurements and histopathological markers (IDH, p53, GFAP). RESULTS Postoperatively, significant improvement was found in memory and executive functions. A subgroup analysis of patients with dominant-side tumors, most of whom underwent intraoperative awake mapping, revealed significant improvement in the same domains. Patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side displayed significant improvement only in memory functions. Positive staining for p53 testing was associated with improved language function and greater extent of resection in dominant-side tumors. GFAP positivity was associated with improved memory in patients whose tumors were on the nondominant side. No correlation was found between cognitive outcome and preoperative tumor volume, residual volume, extent of resection, or IDH1 status. CONCLUSIONS Resection of LGG significantly improves memory and executive function and thus is likely to improve functional outcome in addition to providing oncological benefit. GFAP and pP53

  4. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A improves hepatic differentiation of immortalized adult human hepatocytes and improves liver function and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hang, Hua-Lian; Liu, Xin-Yu; Wang, Hai-Tian; Xu, Ning; Bian, Jian-Min; Zhang, Jian-Jun; Xia, Lei; Xia, Qiang

    2017-11-15

    Immortalized human hepatocytes (IHH) could provide an unlimited supply of hepatocytes, but insufficient differentiation and phenotypic instability restrict their clinical application. This study aimed to determine the role of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4A (HNF4A) in hepatic differentiation of IHH, and whether encapsulation of IHH overexpressing HNF4A could improve liver function and survival in rats with acute liver failure (ALF). Primary human hepatocytes were transduced with lentivirus-mediated catalytic subunit of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) to establish IHH. Cells were analyzed for telomerase activity, proliferative capacity, hepatocyte markers, and tumorigenicity (c-myc) expression. Hepatocyte markers, hepatocellular functions, and morphology were studied in the HNF4A-overexpressing IHH. Hepatocyte markers and karyotype analysis were completed in the primary hepatocytes using shRNA knockdown of HNF4A. Nuclear translocation of β-catenin was assessed. Rat models of ALF were treated with encapsulated IHH or HNF4A-overexpressing IHH. A HNF4A-positive IHH line was established, which was non-tumorigenic and conserved properties of primary hepatocytes. HNF4A overexpression significantly enhanced mRNA levels of genes related to hepatic differentiation in IHH. Urea levels were increased by the overexpression of HNF4A, as measured 24h after ammonium chloride addition, similar to that of primary hepatocytes. Chromosomal abnormalities were observed in primary hepatocytes transfected with HNF4A shRNA. HNF4α overexpression could significantly promote β-catenin activation. Transplantation of HNF4A overexpressing IHH resulted in better liver function and survival of rats with ALF compared with IHH. HNF4A improved hepatic differentiation of IHH. Transplantation of HNF4A-overexpressing IHH could improve the liver function and survival in a rat model of ALF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Forced, not voluntary, exercise improves motor function in Parkinson's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgel, Angela L; Vitek, Jerrold L; Alberts, Jay L

    2009-01-01

    Animal studies indicate forced exercise (FE) improves overall motor function in Parkinsonian rodents. Global improvements in motor function following voluntary exercise (VE) are not widely reported in human Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of VE and FE on PD symptoms, motor function, and bimanual dexterity. Ten patients with mild to moderate PD were randomly assigned to complete 8 weeks of FE or VE. With the assistance of a trainer, patients in the FE group pedaled at a rate 30% greater than their preferred voluntary rate, whereas patients in the VE group pedaled at their preferred rate. Aerobic intensity for both groups was identical, 60% to 80% of their individualized training heart rate. Aerobic fitness improved for both groups. Following FE, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor scores improved 35%, whereas patients completing VE did not exhibit any improvement. The control and coordination of grasping forces during the performance of a functional bimanual dexterity task improved significantly for patients in the FE group, whereas no changes in motor performance were observed following VE. Improvements in clinical measures of rigidity and bradykinesia and biomechanical measures of bimanual dexterity were maintained 4 weeks after FE cessation. Aerobic fitness can be improved in PD patients following both VE and FE interventions. However, only FE results in significant improvements in motor function and bimanual dexterity. Biomechanical data indicate that FE leads to a shift in motor control strategy, from feedback to a greater reliance on feedforward processes, which suggests FE may be altering central motor control processes.

  6. Developing models of how cognitive improvements change functioning: Mediation, moderation and moderated mediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wykes, Til; Reeder, Clare; Huddy, Vyv; Taylor, Rumina; Wood, Helen; Ghirasim, Natalia; Kontis, Dimitrios; Landau, Sabine

    2012-01-01

    Background Cognitive remediation (CRT) affects functioning but the extent and type of cognitive improvements necessary are unknown. Aim To develop and test models of how cognitive improvement transfers to work behaviour using the data from a current service. Method Participants (N49) with a support worker and a paid or voluntary job were offered CRT in a Phase 2 single group design with three assessments: baseline, post therapy and follow-up. Working memory, cognitive flexibility, planning and work outcomes were assessed. Results Three models were tested (mediation — cognitive improvements drive functioning improvement; moderation — post treatment cognitive level affects the impact of CRT on functioning; moderated mediation — cognition drives functioning improvements only after a certain level is achieved). There was evidence of mediation (planning improvement associated with improved work quality). There was no evidence that cognitive flexibility (total Wisconsin Card Sorting Test errors) and working memory (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III digit span) mediated work functioning despite significant effects. There was some evidence of moderated mediation for planning improvement if participants had poorer memory and/or made fewer WCST errors. The total CRT effect on work quality was d = 0.55, but the indirect (planning-mediated CRT effect) was d = 0.082 Conclusion Planning improvements led to better work quality but only accounted for a small proportion of the total effect on work outcome. Other specific and non-specific effects of CRT and the work programme are likely to account for some of the remaining effect. This is the first time complex models have been tested and future Phase 3 studies need to further test mediation and moderated mediation models. PMID:22503640

  7. Predictors of improved functioning in patients with psychosis: The role of amotivation and defeatist performance beliefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillny, Matthias; Lincoln, Tania M

    2016-10-30

    Defeatist performance beliefs (DPBs) are associated with the severe impairments in functioning of patients with negative symptoms of schizophrenia. This association has been found to be mediated by amotivation, a core aspect of negative symptoms. Although causality is assumed, longitudinal evidence for this is lacking. The current study aimed to extend previous findings by investigating both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between DPBs, motivational impairments and functioning in a sample of patients with psychotic disorders (N=58). We hypothesized, that DPBs would be related to functioning in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses and that this link would be mediated by motivational impairments. Data was assessed at baseline and post-treatment in a trial on the effects of cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis. At baseline, amotivation mediated the association between DPBs and functioning. From baseline to post-treatment, reduction of amotivation was associated with improvement of functioning significantly, whereas reduction of DPBs was unrelated to improvements in functioning or amotivation. The findings suggest that improvement in amotivation accounts for favorable treatment outcomes in regard to functioning but question the causal role of DPBs in negative symptoms and functioning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Parametric Bayesian priors and better choice of negative examples improve protein function prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngs, Noah; Penfold-Brown, Duncan; Drew, Kevin; Shasha, Dennis; Bonneau, Richard

    2013-05-01

    Computational biologists have demonstrated the utility of using machine learning methods to predict protein function from an integration of multiple genome-wide data types. Yet, even the best performing function prediction algorithms rely on heuristics for important components of the algorithm, such as choosing negative examples (proteins without a given function) or determining key parameters. The improper choice of negative examples, in particular, can hamper the accuracy of protein function prediction. We present a novel approach for choosing negative examples, using a parameterizable Bayesian prior computed from all observed annotation data, which also generates priors used during function prediction. We incorporate this new method into the GeneMANIA function prediction algorithm and demonstrate improved accuracy of our algorithm over current top-performing function prediction methods on the yeast and mouse proteomes across all metrics tested. Code and Data are available at: http://bonneaulab.bio.nyu.edu/funcprop.html

  9. Levomilnacipran Extended-Release Treatment in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Improvements in Functional Impairment Categories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gommoll, Carl P.; Chen, Changzheng; Greenberg, William M.; Ruth, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Objective: In this post hoc analysis, improvement in functional impairment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with levomilnacipran extended release (ER) was evaluated by assessing shifts from more severe to less severe functional impairment categories on individual Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) subscales. Method: SDS data were pooled from 5 phase II/III studies conducted between December 2006 and March 2012 of levomilnacipran ER versus placebo in adult patients with MDD (DSM-IV-TR criteria). Proportions of patients shifting from moderate-extreme baseline impairment (score ≥ 4) to mild-no impairment (score ≤ 3) at end of treatment were assessed for each SDS subscale. Proportions of patients shifting from marked-extreme (score ≥ 7) baseline impairment to moderate-no (score ≤ 6) or mild-no impairment (score ≤ 3) at end of treatment, and shifts in which patients worsened from moderate-no to marked-extreme impairment, were also evaluated. Results: A significantly higher proportion of patients treated with levomilnacipran ER than placebo-treated patients improved from more severe categories of functional impairment at baseline to less severe impairment categories across all SDS subscales: work/school, social life, and family life/home responsibilities (P impairment at baseline improved to mild or no impairment, compared with no more than 40% of placebo patients on any subscale. Almost half (42%–47%) of levomilnacipran ER–treated patients versus only about one-third (29%–34%) of placebo patients improved from marked-extreme to mild or no impairment across functional domains. Conclusions: These results suggest that functional improvement was observed across the SDS functional domains. To our knowledge, this is the first such categorical analysis of functional improvement, as measured by the SDS, for an antidepressant. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT00969709, NCT01377194, NCT00969150, and NCT01034462 and Eudra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Fan; Ding, Wei

    2010-10-01

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

  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. CPAP therapy improves erectile function in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Richard; Bischof, Fabian; Galetke, Wolfgang; Gall, Henning; Heitmann, Jörg; Hetzenecker, Andrea; Laudenburg, Markus; Magnus, Till Jonas; Nilius, Georg; Priegnitz, Christina; Randerath, Winfried; Schröder, Maik; Treml, Marcel; Arzt, Michael

    2018-04-10

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is highly prevalent in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), however, the effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on erectile function has not yet been thoroughly investigated in these patients. Ninety-four men with severe OSA (ie, with an apnea-hypopnea-index ≥ 30/h of sleep) were prospectively evaluated for the presence and severity of ED before and after 6-12 months of CPAP therapy. The abbreviated version of the International Index of Erectile Function, (the IIEF-5) was used to rate erectile function. Furthermore, all study participants responded to standard questionnaires of daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), quality of life (WHO Wellbeing 5 questionnaire) and depression (Major Depression Inventory). ED as defined by an IIEF-5 score of ≤21 was present in 64 patients (68.1%). CPAP treatment significantly improved erectile function in those patients suffering from moderate and severe ED. Additionally, a trend for a correlation between the improvement of erectile function under CPAP and the hours of its use was observed. Finally, this effect was associated with larger improvements of quality of life in affected patients. ED is very frequent in men with severe OSA and can at least partly be reversed by long-term CPAP therapy in most seriously affected patients. The beneficial effect on erectile function may depend on CPAP compliance and is accompanied by improvements of quality of life. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Flavanol-rich cocoa consumption enhances exercise-induced executive function improvements in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukamoto, Hayato; Suga, Tadashi; Ishibashi, Aya; Takenaka, Saki; Tanaka, Daichi; Hirano, Yoshitaka; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Goto, Kazushige; Ebi, Kumiko; Isaka, Tadao; Hashimoto, Takeshi

    2018-02-01

    Aerobic exercise is known to acutely improve cognitive functions, such as executive function (EF) and memory function (MF). Additionally, consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa has been reported to acutely improve cognitive function. The aim of this study was to determine whether high cocoa flavanol (CF; HCF) consumption would enhance exercise-induced improvement in cognitive function. To test this hypothesis, we examined the combined effects of HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise on EF and MF during postexercise recovery. Ten healthy young men received either an HCF (563 mg of CF) or energy-matched low CF (LCF; 38 mg of CF) beverage 70 min before exercise in a single-blind counterbalanced manner. The men then performed moderate-intensity cycling exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake for 30 min. The participants performed a color-word Stroop task and face-name matching task to evaluate EF and MF, respectively, during six time periods throughout the experimental session. EF significantly improved immediately after exercise compared with before exercise in both conditions. However, EF was higher after HCF consumption than after LCF consumption during all time periods because HCF consumption improved EF before exercise. In contrast, HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise did not improve MF throughout the experiment. The present findings demonstrated that HCF consumption before moderate-intensity exercise could enhance exercise-induced improvement in EF, but not in MF. Therefore, we suggest that the combination of HCF consumption and aerobic exercise may be beneficial for improving EF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Functional-Strengthening: A Pilot Study on Balance Control Improvement in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micah D. Josephson

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Adults over the age of 65 have a 1 in 3 chance of falling; in 2012, more than $30 billion was spent on medical costs due to these falls. The division of resistance training and neuromotor training balance improvement interventions has shown to yield low to moderate results. Athletes combine both resistance training and skill development (function training to improve skilled performance. Older adults may not be performing high-level sports activities, but still require strength, power, and functional fitness levels to perform relatively high-level skills. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of combining resistance and functional training into functional-strength training on dynamic balance control in moderately active older adults. Eighteen healthy older adults were divided into three groups; functional resistance, standard resistance, and control. All groups met for their intervention twice a week for six weeks. Dynamic balance was assessed using the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale (0-40. Results of individual paired T-tests showed a significant improvement in balance control in the functional resistance group (t(5 =-3.492, p=.017 and a very large effect size (d=1.33 whereas neither the standard resistance nor control group had a significant reduction in the risk of falls. Manipulating multidimensional, neuromotor function during resistance training exercises is an effective method of applying the overload principle in order to reduce falls risk in moderately active seniors.

  15. Improve the functional status of students using the proposed method recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evtukh M.I.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose - to improve the organizational and methodological foundations of physical education for the improvement of high school students in training. The study involved 152 students of the second year of the International Economics and Humanities University named after Stepan Demyanchuk. Students were divided into control (n = 76 and primary (n = 76 groups, which were similar in age and physical development. At the end of the study, through the application of the proposed technique improvement in students the core group, was able to restore the function of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems to the possibilities of healthy untrained people. A similar increase in the functionality of the core group of students registered with the definition of the index Skibinski - held a combined evaluation of functions of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of students and determine its growth with satisfactory to good level.

  16. Parents Perceive Improvements in Socio-emotional Functioning in Adolescents with ASD Following Social Skills Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The current study examined the effectiveness of a social skills treatment (PEERS) for improving socio-emotional competencies in a sample of high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Neuropsychological and self- and parent-report measures assessing social, emotional, and behavioral functioning were administered before and after treatment. Following social skills treatment, adolescents with ASD exhibited decreased aggression, anxiety, and withdrawal, as well as improvements in emotional responsiveness, adaptability, leadership, and participation in activities of daily living, though no change was found in affect recognition abilities. These findings suggest that PEERS social skills treatment improves particular aspects of emotional, behavioral, and social functioning that may be necessary for developing and maintaining quality peer relationships and remediating social isolation in adolescents with ASD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Resistance training improves muscle strength and functional capacity in multiple sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgas, U; Stenager, E; Jakobsen, J

    2009-01-01

    strength and functional capacity in patients with multiple sclerosis, the effects persisting after 12 weeks of self-guided physical activity. Level of evidence: The present study provides level III evidence supporting the hypothesis that lower extremity progressive resistance training can improve muscle......OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that lower extremity progressive resistance training (PRT) can improve muscle strength and functional capacity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to evaluate whether the improvements are maintained after the trial. METHODS: The present study was a 2-arm...... and was afterward encouraged to continue training. After the trial, the control group completed the PRT intervention. Both groups were tested before and after 12 weeks of the trial and at 24 weeks (follow-up), where isometric muscle strength of the knee extensors (KE MVC) and functional capacity (FS; combined score...

  19. Functional high-intensity training improves pancreatic β-cell function in adults with type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwoudt, Stephan; Fealy, Ciarán E; Foucher, Julie A; Scelsi, Amanda R; Malin, Steven K; Pagadala, Mangesh; Rocco, Michael; Burguera, Bartolome; Kirwan, John P

    2017-09-01

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by reductions in β-cell function and insulin secretion on the background of elevated insulin resistance. Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve β-cell function, despite a subset of T2D patients displaying "exercise resistance." Further investigations into the effectiveness of alternate forms of exercise on β-cell function in the T2D patient population are needed. We examined the effect of a novel, 6-wk CrossFit functional high-intensity training (F-HIT) intervention on β-cell function in 12 sedentary adults with clinically diagnosed T2D (54 ± 2 yr, 166 ± 16 mg/dl fasting glucose). Supervised training was completed 3 days/wk, comprising functional movements performed at a high intensity in a variety of 10- to 20-min sessions. All subjects completed an oral glucose tolerance test and anthropometric measures at baseline and following the intervention. The mean disposition index, a validated measure of β-cell function, was significantly increased (PRE: 8.4 ± 3.1, POST: 11.5 ± 3.5, P = 0.02) after the intervention. Insulin processing inefficiency in the β-cell, expressed as the fasting proinsulin-to-insulin ratio, was also reduced (PRE: 2.40 ± 0.37, POST: 1.78 ± 0.30, P = 0.04). Increased β-cell function during the early-phase response to glucose correlated significantly with reductions in abdominal body fat ( R 2 = 0.56, P = 0.005) and fasting plasma alkaline phosphatase ( R 2 = 0.55, P = 0.006). Mean total body-fat percentage decreased significantly (Δ: -1.17 0.30%, P = 0.003), whereas lean body mass was preserved (Δ: +0.05 ± 0.68 kg, P = 0.94). We conclude that F-HIT is an effective exercise strategy for improving β-cell function in adults with T2D. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  20. The Role of Echocardiography and Intracardiac Exploration in the Evaluation of Candidacy for Biventricular Repair in Patients With Borderline Left Heart Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mery, Carlos M; Nieto, R Michael; De León, Luis E; Morris, Shaine A; Zhang, Wei; Colquitt, John L; Adachi, Iki; Kane, Lauren C; Heinle, Jeffrey S; McKenzie, E Dean; Fraser, Charles D

    2017-03-01

    Predictors for single ventricle palliation (SVP) or successful biventricular repair (BVR) in patients with borderline left-side heart structures are not well defined. The goal was to evaluate the role of echocardiography and intracardiac exploration in determining feasibility of BVR. All neonates surgically treated from 1995 to 2015 with mitral valve (MV), aortic valve, or left ventricle end-diastolic dimension z score of -2 or less for whom management was controversial were included. Data were analyzed using Fisher's exact test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Kaplan-Meier analysis. The cohort consisted of 42 patients: 7 SVP (17%) and 35 BVR (83%). Median follow-up was 7 years (range, 6 months to 18 years). Intracardiac exploration was performed in 29 patients (69%). There was poor correlation between echocardiographic and intraoperative MV measurements (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.14). Preoperative echocardiography significantly underestimated MV size in 14 patients (54%). Two BVR patients were converted to SVP, and 4 (including 1 converted patient) had cardiac-related deaths. All patients with MV greater than 8 mm on preoperative echocardiography had successful BVR. An intraoperative MV less than 8 mm and an abnormal subvalvar apparatus was present in 5 of 6 SVP (83%) and 3 of 3 (100%) failed BVR patients who had intracardiac exploration, and in only 1 of 20 successful BVR patients (5%) who had an intracardiac exploration. The decision to proceed to BVR in patients with borderline left-side heart structures should not rely strictly on echocardiographic measurements. Intracardiac exploration of the MV and subvalvar apparatus is useful before committing a patient to SVP. Patients with low MV z scores, especially those with a normal subvalvar apparatus, may undergo BVR with good outcomes. Copyright © 2017 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A Multimodal, Nonpharmacologic Intervention Improves Mood and Cognitive Function in People with Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jennifer E; Bisht, Babita; Hall, Michael J; Rubenstein, Linda M; Louison, Rebecca; Klein, Danielle T; Wahls, Terry L

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine whether participation in a 12-month multimodal intervention would improve mood and cognitive function in adults with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). In this one-arm, open-label feasibility trial, participants were prescribed a home-based multimodal intervention, including (1) a modified Paleolithic diet; (2) an exercise program (stretching and strengthening of the trunk and lower limb muscles); (3) neuromuscular electrical stimulation (EStim) of trunk and lower limb muscles; and (4) stress management (meditation and self-massage). Individuals completed measures of mood (Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventories) and cognitive (Cognitive Stability Index, Cognitive Screening Test, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System) and executive function (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) at baseline and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the start of the intervention. Dosage of the multimodal intervention was assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The more individuals participated in the intervention activities, the greater improvements they had from baseline to 12 months on self-report measures of anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory [BAI]; ps = 0.001 to 0.02), depression (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]; ps = Mood and cognitive improvements were more closely related to a higher intake of the modified Paleolithic diet than to exercise and stress management dosage. Anxiety and depression changes were evident after just a few months, whereas changes in cognitive function were generally not observed until later in the intervention period. Mood and cognitive function changes from baseline to 12 months were significantly associated with fatigue improvements (ps = exercise, EStim, and stress management intervention like this one has the potential to improve the mood and cognitive symptoms that can lead to considerable suffering in people with MS, potentially improving quality of life and function for people with progressive MS.

  2. Improvement of swallowing function in patients with esophageal cancer treated by radiotherapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugahara, Shinji; Nakajima, Kotaro; Nozawa, Kumiko [Hitachi Ltd., Ibaraki (Japan). Hitachi General Hospital; Ohara, Kiyoshi; Yoshioka, Hiroshi; Tatsuzaki, Hideo; Tanaka, Naomi; Fukao, Katashi; Itai, Yuji

    1996-12-01

    This study investigated the impact of radiotherapy on swallowing function in 152 patients with esophageal cancer. Swallowing function was retrospectively assessed in these patients using a swallowing-function scoring system. Total tumor dose ranged from 22.5 Gy in 14 fractions to 104.4 Gy in 50 fractions. Improvement in dysphagia was noted in 62.3% of these patients, with a median time to improvement of 6 weeks. Improvement rate of patients irradiated with 20.0 to 34.9 Gy, 35.0 to 59.9 Gy and 60.0 Gy or more was 23.1%, 58.3% and 71.6%, respectively. Patients with T1-3 showed, a greater improvement rate than patients with T4 cancer (72.2% versus 54.1%). On multivariate analysis, the initial score, total dose and T factor correlated with improvements in swallowing function. Our results suggest that 35.0 Gy or more is necessary to improve swallowing function. The median duration in which patients could swallow soft or solid foods, was 8 months in patients receiving 60.0 Gy or more and 2 months in patients receiving 50.0 to 59.9 Gy, respectively. There was a significant difference between these periods (p<0.01). Regarding duration of palliation, median duration for patients receiving 60.0 Gy or more was 30 weeks, while it was 22 weeks for patients treated with lesser doses (p=0.053). We recommend 60.0 Gy or more as the optimal dosage for improving dysphagia. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, J. S.; Kim, G. E.; Yoo, J. Y.; Kim, D. G.; Moon, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    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

  4. Immediate improvement of motor function after epilepsy surgery in congenital hemiparesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascoal, Tharick; Paglioli, Eliseu; Palmini, André; Menezes, Rafael; Staudt, Martin

    2013-08-01

    Hemispherectomy often leads to a loss of contralateral hand function. In some children with congenital hemiparesis, however, paretic hand function remains unchanged. An immediate improvement of hand function has never been reported. A 17-year-old boy with congenital hemiparesis and therapy-refractory seizures due to a large infarction in the territory of the middle cerebral artery underwent epilepsy surgery. Intraoperatively, electrical cortical stimulation of the affected hemisphere demonstrated preserved motor projections from the sensorimotor cortex to the (contralateral) paretic hand. A frontoparietal resection was performed, which included a complete disconnection of all motor projections originating in the sensorimotor cortex of the affected hemisphere. Surprisingly, the paretic hand showed a significant functional improvement immediately after the operation. This observation demonstrates that, in congenital hemiparesis, crossed motor projections from the affected hemisphere are not always beneficial, but can be dysfunctional, interfering with ipsilateral motor control over the paretic hand by the contralesional hemisphere. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 International League Against Epilepsy.

  5. Improvement of Myocardial Function Following Catheter-Based Renal Denervation in Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Song-Yan Liao, MD

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Renal denervation (RD is a potential novel nonpharmacological therapy for heart failure (HF. We performed bilateral catheter-based RD in 10 adult pigs and compared them with 10 control subjects after induction of HF to investigate the long-term beneficial effects of RD on left ventricular (LV function and regional norepinephrine gradient after conventional HF pharmacological therapy. Compared with control subjects, animals treated with RD demonstrated an improvement in LV function and reduction of norepinephrine gradients over the myocardium and kidney at 10-week follow-up. Our results demonstrated that effective bilateral RD decrease regional norepinephrine gradients and improve LV contractile function compared with medical therapy alone. Key Words: heart failure, left ventricular function, norepinephrine, renal denervation

  6. 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.

  7. Repeated sessions of noninvasive brain DC stimulation is associated with motor function improvement in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggio, Paulo S; Nunes, Alice; Rigonatti, Sergio P; Nitsche, Michael A; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Fregni, Felipe

    2007-01-01

    Recent evidence has suggested that a simple technique of noninvasive brain stimulation - transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) - is associated with a significant motor function improvement in stroke patients. We tested the motor performance improvement in stroke patients following 4 weekly sessions of sham, anodal- and cathodal tDCS (experiment 1) and the effects of 5 consecutive daily sessions of cathodal tDCS (experiment 2). A blinded rater evaluated motor function using the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test. There was a significant main effect of stimulation condition (p=0.009) in experiment 1. Furthermore there was a significant motor function improvement after either cathodal tDCS of the unaffected hemisphere (p=0.016) or anodal tDCS of the affected hemisphere (p=0.046) when compared to sham tDCS. There was no cumulative effect associated with weekly sessions of tDCS, however consecutive daily sessions of tDCS (experiment 2) were associated with a significant effect on time (pmotor function improvement in stroke patients; and support that consecutive daily sessions of tDCS might increase its behavioral effects. Because the technique of tDCS is simple, safe and non-expensive; our findings support further research on the use of this technique for the rehabilitation of patients with stroke.

  8. A QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT APPLICATION IN IMPROVING LIBRARY SERVISES: THE CASE OF DUZCE UNIVERSITY CENTRAL LIBRARY

    OpenAIRE

    ÜNAL, Aslıhan; YILDIZ, Mehmet Selami

    2017-01-01

    University libraries have a great importance in accessing information fortheir intermediary role. In today’s world, developments in various areas leadsto new user needs and expectations. Libraries are obliged to improve currentservices and to adapt new developments. The purpose of this research is tocontribute to the improvement of the library services of Duzce University -astate university, was founded in 2006- by following Quality Function Deploymentmethodology. As a result of the research ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, David M

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Improving the influence function method to take topography into the calculation of mining subsidence

    OpenAIRE

    Cai , Yinfei; Verdel , Thierry; Deck , Olivier; LI , Xiao-Jong

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The classic influence function method is often used in the calculation of mining subsidence caused by stratiform underground excavations. Theoretically,its use is limited to the subsidence predictions under the condition of horizontal ground surface. In order to improve the original influence function method to take topographic variations into account. Due to real-world mining conditions that are usually complicated, it is difficult to separate topography influences fr...

  11. Improving Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function After Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0378 TITLE: Improving Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function After Cervical Spinal Cord Injury PRINCIPAL...TITLE AND SUBTITLE CordCorInjury 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Improvi g Survival and Promoting Respiratory Motor Function After Cervical Spinal Cord...care. However, despite these drastic interventions, the cervical injured patient is still susceptible to death due to respiratory complications

  12. Watsu approach for improving spasticity and ambulatory function in hemiparetic patients with stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Seung Chul; Oh, Duck Won; Shim, Jae Hun

    2009-06-01

    This study reports the effect of Watsu as rehabilitation method for hemiparetic patients with stroke. Watsu consisted of 40 treatment sessions for 8 weeks, delivered underwater or at water surface level, it applied in three patients. Outcome measures included tools for assessing spasticity and ambulatory function. All patients showed decreased scores in the TAS and RVGA after Watsu application. Watsu was helpful in controlling spasticity and improving ambulatory function of the patients with hemiparesis.

  13. Improvement of cardiac function persists long term with medical therapy for left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, David; Chang, Richard; Umakanthan, Branavan; Stoletniy, Liset N; Heywood, J Thomas

    2007-09-01

    In certain patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction, improvements in cardiac function are seen after initiation of medical therapy; however, the long-term stability of ventricular function in such patients is not well described. We retrospectively analyzed 171 patients who had a baseline ejection fraction of 45% or less, a follow-up echocardiogram at 2 to 12 months after initiation of medical therapy, and a final echocardiogram. We found that 48.5% of the patients demonstrated initial improvements in LV function after initiation of medical therapy, and the improvements appear to be sustained (88% of patients) at 44 +/- 21 months follow-up. A nonischemic etiology and younger age were the only independent predictors of change of LV ejection fraction of 10 or more at a mean 8.4 +/- 3.4 months after optimal medical therapy. Our study revealed a trend toward improved long-term survival in individuals with an early improvement in LV ejection fraction with medical therapy, especially in those with sustained improvement.

  14. Improving Assessment of Work Related Mental Health Function Using the Work Disability Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marfeo, Elizabeth E; Ni, Pengsheng; McDonough, Christine; Peterik, Kara; Marino, Molly; Meterko, Mark; Rasch, Elizabeth K; Chan, Leighton; Brandt, Diane; Jette, Alan M

    2018-03-01

    Purpose To improve the mental health component of the Work Disability Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB), developed for the US Social Security Administration's (SSA) disability determination process. Specifically our goal was to expand the WD-FAB scales of mood & emotions, resilience, social interactions, and behavioral control to improve the depth and breadth of the current scales and expand the content coverage to include aspects of cognition & communication function. Methods Data were collected from a random, stratified sample of 1695 claimants applying for the SSA work disability benefits, and a general population sample of 2025 working age adults. 169 new items were developed to replenish the WD-FAB scales and analyzed using factor analysis and item response theory (IRT) analysis to construct unidimensional scales. We conducted computer adaptive test (CAT) simulations to examine the psychometric properties of the WD-FAB. Results Analyses supported the inclusion of four mental health subdomains: Cognition & Communication (68 items), Self-Regulation (34 items), Resilience & Sociability (29 items) and Mood & Emotions (34 items). All scales yielded acceptable psychometric properties. Conclusions IRT methods were effective in expanding the WD-FAB to assess mental health function. The WD-FAB has the potential to enhance work disability assessment both within the context of the SSA disability programs as well as other clinical and vocational rehabilitation settings.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintikka, Ulla; Marttunen, Mauri; Pelkonen, Mirjami; Laukkanen, Eila; Viinamäki, Heimo; Lehtonen, Johannes

    2006-12-29

    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) 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. 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. These findings illustrate that a multimodal treatment program seems to improve psychosocial functioning and self-image among severely disordered suicidal adolescent inpatients. There were no

  17. 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

  18. Breaking bad habits by improving executive function in individuals with obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allom, Vanessa; Mullan, Barbara; Smith, Evelyn; Hay, Phillipa; Raman, Jayanthi

    2018-04-16

    Two primary factors that contribute to obesity are unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior. These behaviors are particularly difficult to change in the long-term because they are often enacted habitually. Cognitive Remediation Therapy has been modified and applied to the treatment of obesity (CRT-O) with preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial demonstrating significant weight loss and improvements in executive function. The objective of this study was to conduct a secondary data analysis of the CRT-O trial to evaluate whether CRT-O reduces unhealthy habits that contribute to obesity via improvements in executive function. Eighty participants with obesity were randomized to CRT-O or control. Measures of executive function (Wisconsin Card Sort Task and Trail Making Task) and unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior habits were administered at baseline, post-intervention and at 3 month follow-up. Participants receiving CRT-O demonstrated improvements in both measures of executive function and reductions in both unhealthy habit outcomes compared to control. Mediation analyses revealed that change in one element of executive function performance (Wisconsin Card Sort Task perseverance errors) mediated the effect of CRT-O on changes in both habit outcomes. These results suggest that the effectiveness of CRT-O may result from the disruption of unhealthy habits made possible by improvements in executive function. In particular, it appears that cognitive flexibility, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort task, is a key mechanism in this process. Improving cognitive flexibility may enable individuals to capitalise on interruptions in unhealthy habits by adjusting their behavior in line with their weight loss goals rather than persisting with an unhealthy choice. The RCT was registered with the Australian New Zealand Registry of Clinical Trials (trial id: ACTRN12613000537752 ).

  19. Aspectos técnicos da cateterização do seio coronariano baseada no componente atrial do eletrograma intracavitário e anatomia radiológica durante o procedimento de implante de marcapasso biventricular Technical aspects of coronary sinus catheterization based on the atrial component of the intracavitary electrogram and radiological anatomy during the implantation procedure of a biventricular pacemaker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Sérgio Oliva de Souza

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Apresentar uma proposição técnica baseada na experiência de 130 implantes utilizando técnica simplificada para cateterização do seio coronariano, baseada no componente atrial do eletrograma intracavi-tário e anatomia radiológica. MÉTODOS: De outubro de 2001 a outubro de 2004 foram realiza-dos 130 implantes de marcapasso biventricular, utilizando-se anatomia radiológica e observação de eletrograma intracavitário, com prioridade ao componente atrial. RESULTADOS: O implante do sistema, utilizando-se a estimulação do ventrículo esquerdo via seio coronariano, não foi possível em 8 pacientes. Em 12 pacientes foram observadas dificuldades na canulação do óstio coronário e em 15 pacientes observaram-se dificuldades de progressão do eletrodo através do seio coronariano. O tempo médio de utilização de radioscopia foi de 18,69 min. CONCLUSÃO: A técnica de implante, utilizando a morfologia do componente atrial do eletrograma intracavitário e anatomia radiológica, demonstrou ser pouco trabalhosa, segura e eficaz para canulação do óstio do seio coronariano, necessitando de reduzido tempo de radioscopia.OBJECTIVE: To present a technical proposal based on the experience of 130 implantations using a simplified technique for coronary sinus catheterization, based on the atrial component of the intracavitary electrogram and radiological anatomy. METHODS: From October, 2001 to October, 2004, 130 biventricular pacemaker implantations were performed, using radiological anatomy and observation of the intracavitary electrogram, focusing on the atrial component. RESULTS: The implantation of the system using left ventricular pacing via coronary sinus was not possible in 8 patients. Difficulties on the cannulation of the coronary ostium were felt in 12 patients and difficulties of lead advancement through the coronary sinus were felt in 15 patients. The mean time of radioscopy utilization was 18.69 min. CONCLUSION: The

  20. Colchicine Depolymerizes Microtubules, Increases Junctophilin-2, and Improves Right Ventricular Function in Experimental Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Kurt W; Tian, Lian; Wu, Danchen; Thenappan, Thenappan; Metzger, Joseph M; Archer, Stephen L

    2017-05-31

    Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a lethal disease characterized by obstructive pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. Although RV function predicts outcomes in PAH, mechanisms of RV dysfunction are poorly understood, and RV-targeted therapies are lacking. We hypothesized that in PAH, abnormal microtubular structure in RV cardiomyocytes impairs RV function by reducing junctophilin-2 (JPH2) expression, resulting in t-tubule derangements. Conversely, we assessed whether colchicine, a microtubule-depolymerizing agent, could increase JPH2 expression and enhance RV function in monocrotaline-induced PAH. Immunoblots, confocal microscopy, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, and treadmill testing were used to examine colchicine's (0.5 mg/kg 3 times/week) effects on pulmonary hemodynamics, RV function, and functional capacity. Rats were treated with saline (n=28) or colchicine (n=24) for 3 weeks, beginning 1 week after monocrotaline (60 mg/kg, subcutaneous). In the monocrotaline RV, but not the left ventricle, microtubule density is increased, and JPH2 expression is reduced, with loss of t-tubule localization and t-tubule disarray. Colchicine reduces microtubule density, increases JPH2 expression, and improves t-tubule morphology in RV cardiomyocytes. Colchicine therapy diminishes RV hypertrophy, improves RV function, and enhances RV-pulmonary artery coupling. Colchicine reduces small pulmonary arteriolar thickness and improves pulmonary hemodynamics. Finally, colchicine increases exercise capacity. Monocrotaline-induced PAH causes RV-specific derangement of microtubules marked by reduction in JPH2 and t-tubule disarray. Colchicine reduces microtubule density, increases JPH2 expression, and improves both t-tubule architecture and RV function. Colchicine also reduces adverse pulmonary vascular remodeling. These results provide biological plausibility for a clinical trial to repurpose colchicine as a RV-directed therapy for PAH

  1. Review of functional markers for improving cooking, eating, and the nutritional qualities of rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Wendy C. P.; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Ismail, Mohd R.; Puteh, Adam; Latif, Mohammad A.; Ramli, Asfaliza

    2015-01-01

    After yield, quality is one of the most important aspects of rice breeding. Preference for rice quality varies among cultures and regions; therefore, rice breeders have to tailor the quality according to the preferences of local consumers. Rice quality assessment requires routine chemical analysis procedures. The advancement of molecular marker technology has revolutionized the strategy in breeding programs. The availability of rice genome sequences and the use of forward and reverse genetics approaches facilitate gene discovery and the deciphering of gene functions. A well-characterized gene is the basis for the development of functional markers, which play an important role in plant genotyping and, in particular, marker-assisted breeding. In addition, functional markers offer advantages that counteract the limitations of random DNA markers. Some functional markers have been applied in marker-assisted breeding programs and have successfully improved rice quality to meet local consumers’ preferences. Although functional markers offer a plethora of advantages over random genetic markers, the development and application of functional markers should be conducted with care. The decreasing cost of sequencing will enable more functional markers for rice quality improvement to be developed, and application of these markers in rice quality breeding programs is highly anticipated. PMID:26528304

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fan, Jiang; Wei, Ding

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Akitsuki, Yuko; Shigemune, Yayoi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Tsukiura, Takashi; Yomogida, Yukihito; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2012-01-01

    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. 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. 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. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.

  6. Leukocyte and platelet depletion improves blood flow and function in a renal transplant model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Phillip J; Hosgood, Sarah A; Nicholson, Michael L

    2012-01-01

    Donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors are an important source of organs for transplantation. Due to warm and cold ischemic injury, DCD kidneys undergo a significant reperfusion insult when transplanted. This is manifested clinically as a high incidence of delayed graft function (DGF) and primary non-function (PNF). The importance of leukocytes in the generation of reperfusion injury is pivotal. Using an ex vivo porcine model of kidney transplantation, the effects of reperfusion with leukocyte and platelet depleted blood (LDB) and whole blood (WB) on renal blood flow and function were compared. Hemodynamic measurements were recorded, and biochemical, hematological, and histologic samples taken at set time-points. Reperfusion with LDB improved renal blood flow significantly compared with WB reperfusion. In addition, there was a significant improvement in creatinine clearance and renal oxygen consumption, but not fractional excretion of sodium, acid-base homeostasis, urinary nitric oxide (NO), or 8-isoprostane levels. This study represents a good model for the initial reperfusion period in renal transplantation. Improvement in only some functional markers and neither urinary NO nor 8-isoprostane levels indicates that improved blood flow alone is not sufficient to reverse the severe ischemic insult endured by DCD kidneys. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Innovative Use of Thighplasty to Improve Prosthesis Fit and Function in a Transfemoral Amputee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd A. Kuiken, MD, PhD

    2018-01-01

    Conclusions:. This study demonstrates the potential of using a routine plastic surgery procedure to modify the intrinsic properties of the limb and to improve functional outcomes in overweight or obese transfemoral amputees. This technique is a potentially attractive option compared with multiple reiterations of sockets, which can be time-consuming and costly.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arora, Satish; Gude, Einar; Sigurdardottir, Vilborg

    2012-01-01

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

  14. EXERCISE IMPROVES SEXUAL FUNCTION IN WOMEN TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS: RESULTS FROM A RANDOMIZED CROSSOVER TRIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Tierney Ahrold; Meston, Cindy May

    2014-01-01

    Background In laboratory studies, exercise immediately before sexual stimuli improved sexual arousal of women taking antidepressants [1]. We evaluated if exercise improves sexual desire, orgasm, and global sexual functioning in women experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual side effects. Methods Fifty-two women who were reporting antidepressant sexual side effects were followed for 3 weeks of sexual activity only. They were randomized to complete either three weeks of exercise immediately before sexual activity (3×/week) or 3 weeks of exercise separate from sexual activity (3×/week). At the end of the first exercise arm, participants crossed to the other. We measured sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, depression, and physical health. Results Exercise immediately prior to sexual activity significantly improved sexual desire and, for women with sexual dysfunction at baseline, global sexual function. Scheduling regular sexual activity significantly improved orgasm function; exercise did not increase this benefit. Neither regular sexual activity nor exercise significantly changed sexual satisfaction. Conclusions Scheduling regular sexual activity and exercise may be an effective tool for the behavioral management of sexual side effects of antidepressants. PMID:24754044

  15. Towards improved local hybrid functionals by calibration of exchange-energy densities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arbuznikov, Alexei V.; Kaupp, Martin

    2014-01-01

    A new approach for the calibration of (semi-)local and exact exchange-energy densities in the context of local hybrid functionals is reported. The calibration functions are derived from only the electron density and its spatial derivatives, avoiding spatial derivatives of the exact-exchange energy density or other computationally unfavorable contributions. The calibration functions fulfill the seven more important out of nine known exact constraints. It is shown that calibration improves substantially the definition of a non-dynamical correlation energy term for generalized gradient approximation (GGA)-based local hybrids. Moreover, gauge artifacts in the potential-energy curves of noble-gas dimers may be corrected by calibration. The developed calibration functions are then evaluated for a large range of energy-related properties (atomization energies, reaction barriers, ionization potentials, electron affinities, and total atomic energies) of three sets of local hybrids, using a simple one-parameter local-mixing. The functionals are based on (a) local spin-density approximation (LSDA) or (b) Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof (PBE) exchange and correlation, and on (c) Becke-88 (B88) exchange and Lee-Yang-Parr (LYP) correlation. While the uncalibrated GGA-based functionals usually provide very poor thermochemical data, calibration allows a dramatic improvement, accompanied by only a small deterioration of reaction barriers. In particular, an optimized BLYP-based local-hybrid functional has been found that is a substantial improvement over the underlying global hybrids, as well as over previously reported LSDA-based local hybrids. It is expected that the present calibration approach will pave the way towards new generations of more accurate hyper-GGA functionals based on a local mixing of exchange-energy densities

  16. 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.

  17. IMPROVING CORRELATION FUNCTION FITTING WITH RIDGE REGRESSION: APPLICATION TO CROSS-CORRELATION RECONSTRUCTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matthews, Daniel J.; Newman, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Cross-correlation techniques provide a promising avenue for calibrating photometric redshifts and determining redshift distributions using spectroscopy which is systematically incomplete (e.g., current deep spectroscopic surveys fail to obtain secure redshifts for 30%-50% or more of the galaxies targeted). In this paper, we improve on the redshift distribution reconstruction methods from our previous work by incorporating full covariance information into our correlation function fits. Correlation function measurements are strongly covariant between angular or spatial bins, and accounting for this in fitting can yield substantial reduction in errors. However, frequently the covariance matrices used in these calculations are determined from a relatively small set (dozens rather than hundreds) of subsamples or mock catalogs, resulting in noisy covariance matrices whose inversion is ill-conditioned and numerically unstable. We present here a method of conditioning the covariance matrix known as ridge regression which results in a more well behaved inversion than other techniques common in large-scale structure studies. We demonstrate that ridge regression significantly improves the determination of correlation function parameters. We then apply these improved techniques to the problem of reconstructing redshift distributions. By incorporating full covariance information, applying ridge regression, and changing the weighting of fields in obtaining average correlation functions, we obtain reductions in the mean redshift distribution reconstruction error of as much as ∼40% compared to previous methods. We provide a description of POWERFIT, an IDL code for performing power-law fits to correlation functions with ridge regression conditioning that we are making publicly available.

  18. Targeting paretic propulsion to improve poststroke walking function: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awad, Louis N; Reisman, Darcy S; Kesar, Trisha M; Binder-Macleod, Stuart A

    2014-05-01

    To determine the feasibility and safety of implementing a 12-week locomotor intervention targeting paretic propulsion deficits during walking through the joining of 2 independent interventions, walking at maximal speed on a treadmill and functional electrical stimulation of the paretic ankle musculature (FastFES); to determine the effects of FastFES training on individual subjects; and to determine the influence of baseline impairment severity on treatment outcomes. Single group pre-post preliminary study investigating a novel locomotor intervention. Research laboratory. Individuals (N=13) with locomotor deficits after stroke. FastFES training was provided for 12 weeks at a frequency of 3 sessions per week and 30 minutes per session. Measures of gait mechanics, functional balance, short- and long-distance walking function, and self-perceived participation were collected at baseline, posttraining, and 3-month follow-up evaluations. Changes after treatment were assessed using pairwise comparisons and compared with known minimal clinically important differences or minimal detectable changes. Correlation analyses were run to determine the correlation between baseline clinical and biomechanical performance versus improvements in walking speed. Twelve of the 13 subjects that were recruited completed the training. Improvements in paretic propulsion were accompanied by improvements in functional balance, walking function, and self-perceived participation (each Pstudy of this promising locomotor intervention for persons poststroke. Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. What variables influence the ability of an AFO to improve function and when are they indicated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malas, Bryan S

    2011-05-01

    Children with spina bifida often present with functional deficits of the lower limb associated with neurosegmental lesion levels and require orthotic management. The most used orthosis for children with spina bifida is the ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). The AFO improves ambulation and reduces energy cost while walking. Despite the apparent benefits of using an AFO, limited evidence documents the influence of factors predicting the ability of an AFO to improve function and when they are indicated. These variables include AFO design, footwear, AFO-footwear combination, and data acquisition. When these variables are not adequately considered in clinical decision-making, there is a risk the AFO will be abandoned prematurely or the patient's stability, function, and safety compromised. The purposes of this study are to (1) describe the functional deficits based on lesion levels; (2) identify and describe variables that influence the ability of an AFO to control deformities; and (3) describe what variables are indicated for the AFO to control knee flexion during stance, hyperpronation, and valgus stress at the knee. A selective literature review was undertaken searching MEDLINE and Cochrane databases using terms related to "orthosis" and "spina bifida." Based on previous studies and gait analysis data, suggestions can be made regarding material selection/geometric configuration, sagittal alignment, footplate length, and trim lines of an AFO for reducing knee flexion, hyperpronation, and valgus stress at the knee. Further research is required to determine what variables allow an AFO to improve function.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Inhibition of CXCL12 signaling attenuates the postischemic immune response and improves functional recovery after stroke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruscher, Karsten; Kuric, Enida; Liu, Yawei

    2013-01-01

    cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12). To mimic beneficial effects of EE, we studied the impact of inhibiting CXCL12 action on functional recovery after transient MCAO (tMCAO). Rats treated with the specific CXCL12 receptor antagonist 1-[4-(1,4,8,11-tetrazacyclotetradec-1-ylmethyl)phenyl]methyl]-1......After stroke, brain inflammation in the ischemic hemisphere hampers brain tissue reorganization and functional recovery. Housing rats in an enriched environment (EE) dramatically improves recovery of lost neurologic functions after experimental stroke. We show here that rats housed in EE after......,4,8,11-tetrazacyclo-tetradecan (AMD3100) showed improved recovery compared with saline-treated rats after tMCAO, without a concomitant reduction in infarct size. This was accompanied by a reduction of infiltrating immune cells in the ischemic hemisphere, particularly cluster of differentiation 3-positive (CD3...

  4. Coffee polyphenols extracted from green coffee beans improve skin properties and microcirculatory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukagawa, Satoko; Haramizu, Satoshi; Sasaoka, Shun; Yasuda, Yuka; Tsujimura, Hisashi; Murase, Takatoshi

    2017-09-01

    Coffee polyphenols (CPPs), including chlorogenic acid, exert various physiological activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of CPPs on skin properties and microcirculatory function in humans. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 49 female subjects with mildly xerotic skin received either a test beverage containing CPPs (270 mg/100 mL/day) or a placebo beverage for 8 weeks. The ingestion of CPPs significantly lowered the clinical scores for skin dryness, decreased transepidermal water loss, skin surface pH, and increased stratum corneum hydration and the responsiveness of skin blood flow during local warming. Moreover, the amounts of free fatty acids and lactic acid in the stratum corneum significantly increased after the ingestion of CPPs. These results suggest that an 8-week intake of CPPs improve skin permeability barrier function and hydration, with a concomitant improvement in microcirculatory function, leading to efficacy in the alleviation of mildly xerotic skin.

  5. Vagus nerve stimulation paired with tactile training improved sensory function in a chronic stroke patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgard, Michael P; Rennaker, Robert L; Alexander, Jen; Dawson, Jesse

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with rehabilitation can enhance neural plasticity in the primary sensory and motor cortices, improve forelimb function after stroke in animal models and improve motor function in patients with arm weakness after stroke. To gain "first-in-man" experience of VNS paired with tactile training in a patient with severe sensory impairment after stroke. During the long-term follow-up phase of a clinical trial of VNS paired with motor rehabilitation, a 71-year-old man who had made good motor recovery had ongoing severe sensory loss in his left hand and arm. He received VNS paired with tactile therapy in an attempt to improve his sensory function. During twenty 2-hour sessions, each passive and active tactile event was paired with a 0.5 second burst of 0.8 mA VNS. Sensory function was measured before, halfway through, and after this therapy. The patient did not report any side effects during or following VNS+Tactile therapy. Quantitative measures revealed lasting and clinically meaningful improvements in tactile threshold, proprioception, and stereognosis. After VNS+Tactile therapy, the patient was able to detect tactile stimulation to his affected hand that was eight times less intense, identify the joint position of his fingers in the affected hand three times more often, and identify everyday objects using his affected hand seven times more often, compared to baseline. Sensory function significantly improved in this man following VNS paired with tactile stimulation. This approach merits further study in controlled clinical trials.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucassen, Eliane A; Piaggi, Paolo; Dsurney, John; de Jonge, Lilian; Zhao, Xiong-ce; Mattingly, Megan S; Ramer, Angela; Gershengorn, Janet; Csako, Gyorgy; Cizza, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    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. To characterize neurocognitive functions and assess its reversibility. Prospective cohort study. Tertiary Referral Research Clinical Center. A cohort of 121 short-sleeping (Sleep extension (468±88 days) with life-style modifications. Neurocognitive functions, sleep quality and sleep duration. 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% (psleep duration increased by 11% by questionnaires (pattention 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. Drop-out rate. Chronically sleep-deprived obese individuals exhibit substantial neurocognitive deficits that are partially reversible upon improvement of sleep in a non-pharmacological way. These findings have clinical implications for large segments of the US population. www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00261898. NIDDK protocol 06-DK-0036.

  7. Enhanced mesenchymal cell engraftment by IGF-1 improves left ventricular function in rats undergoing myocardial infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enoki, Chiharu; Otani, Hajime; Sato, Daisuke; Okada, Takayuki; Hattori, Reiji; Imamura, Hiroji

    2010-01-07

    We hypothesized that enhanced mesenchymal cell (MC) engraftment with insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) improves left ventricular (LV) function and survival. IGF-1 (10 microg/ml) increased adhesion and inhibited apoptosis under hypoxia in vitro through activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) in bone marrow-derived MCs obtained from transgenic rats expressing green fluorescence protein. Myocardial infarction (MI) in rats was produced by ligature of the left coronary artery. One month after MI, rat hearts were injected with MCs in the presence or absence of 10 microg/ml IGF-1 with or without PI3K inhibitor, 5 microM LY294002. IGF-1 significantly increased engraftment of MCs between 6 h and 3 days after transplantation associated with the increase in stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha in the infracted LV. The transplanted MCs had disappeared 1 month after transplantation in all groups. MC transplantation with IGF-1 significantly increased neovascularization and inhibited cardiomyocyte apoptosis 3 days and 1 month after MC transplantation. This was associated with improved LV function 1 month after MC transplantation and eventually survival. LY294002 abrogated all of the beneficial effects of MC transplantation with IGF-1. IGF-1 alone had no effect on neovascularization and did not improve LV function and/or survival. These results suggest that IGF-1 improves engraftment of MCs at the time of transplantation via activation of PI3K and this improved engraftment of MCs may be attributed to an increased neovascularization and inhibition of cardiomyocyte death, leading to improvement of LV function and prolongation of survival despite the eventual loss of the transplanted MCs.

  8. Increasing Muscle Mass Improves Vascular Function in Obese (db/db) Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shuiqing; Mintz, James D.; Salet, Christina D.; Han, Weihong; Giannis, Athanassios; Chen, Feng; Yu, Yanfang; Su, Yunchao; Fulton, David J.; Stepp, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Background A sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and exercise has been shown to ameliorate this risk. Inactivity is associated with a loss of muscle mass, which is also reversed with isometric exercise training. The relationship between muscle mass and vascular function is poorly defined. The aims of the current study were to determine whether increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, can influence vascular function in mesenteric arteries from obese db/db mice. Methods and Results Myostatin expression was elevated in skeletal muscle of obese mice and associated with reduced muscle mass (30% to 50%). Myostatin deletion increased muscle mass in lean (40% to 60%) and obese (80% to 115%) mice through increased muscle fiber size (PMyostatin deletion decreased adipose tissue in lean mice, but not obese mice. Markers of insulin resistance and glucose tolerance were improved in obese myostatin knockout mice. Obese mice demonstrated an impaired endothelial vasodilation, compared to lean mice. This impairment was improved by superoxide dismutase mimic Tempol. Deletion of myostatin improved endothelial vasodilation in mesenteric arteries in obese, but not in lean, mice. This improvement was blunted by nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor l‐NG‐nitroarginine methyl ester (l‐NAME). Prostacyclin (PGI2)‐ and endothelium‐derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)‐mediated vasodilation were preserved in obese mice and unaffected by myostatin deletion. Reactive oxygen species) was elevated in the mesenteric endothelium of obese mice and down‐regulated by deletion of myostatin in obese mice. Impaired vasodilation in obese mice was improved by NADPH oxidase inhibitor (GKT136901). Treatment with sepiapterin, which increases levels of tetrahydrobiopterin, improved vasodilation in obese mice, an improvement blocked by l‐NAME. Conclusions Increasing muscle mass by genetic deletion of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Insuk Lee

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  10. Improved functional capacity evaluation performance predicts successful return to work one year after completing a functional restoration rehabilitation program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fore, Lisa; Perez, Yoheli; Neblett, Randy; Asih, Sali; Mayer, Tom G; Gatchel, Robert J

    2015-04-01

    To evaluate whether functional capacity evaluation (FCE) scores are responsive to functional restoration treatment, and to assess the ability of FCEs at program discharge to predict work outcomes. An interdisciplinary cohort study of prospectively collected data. A functional restoration center. A consecutive sample of 354 patients with chronic disabling occupational musculoskeletal disorders (CDOMDs) completed a functional restoration program consisting of quantitatively directed exercise progression and multi-modal disability management with interdisciplinary medical supervision. Each patient participated in an FCE at admission and discharge from treatment. The results of each FCE yielded the physical demand level (PDL) at which patients were functioning. Patients were initially divided into 5 PDL groups, based on job-of-injury lifting, carrying, and pushing/pulling requirements, for the pre- to posttreatment responsiveness analyses. Patients were subsequently divided into 5 PDL groups, based on their performance on the FCE upon program completion. Outcome measures included admission-to-discharge changes in PDLs and 2 specific FCE lifting tasks: isokinetic lifting; and the Progressive Isoinertial Lifting Evaluation (PILE). Socioeconomic outcomes were also evaluated, including post-discharge work return and work retention 1-year after treatment completion. Overall, 96% of the patients demonstrated improvement in their PDLs from admission to discharge. A majority of patients (56%) were able to achieve a discharge PDL that was comparable to their estimated job-of-injury lifting requirement or higher (P work return (P work retention (P work return after treatment completion and work retention 1 year later. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Xinyi [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Zhan, Yingqing, E-mail: 201599010032@swpu.edu.cn [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Oil & Gas Field Applied Chemistry Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610500 (China); Zeng, Guangyong [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); He, Yi, E-mail: heyi007@163.com [School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Petroleum University, 8 Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China); Oil & Gas Field Applied Chemistry Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China, 610500 (China); State Key Lab of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, 8Xindu Avenue, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610500 (China)

    2017-01-30

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

  14. Improving the Functional Diagnostic Process using Dynamic Master Logic Diagram (DMLD) Modeling Strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, A.H.

    2008-01-01

    In recent years, state based functional diagnostic systems have gained a growing attention among the model based diagnostic systems. They have been used to diagnose the new faults of the complex systems. On the other hand, a main point considered against it is its subjective, and the inability of reusing the knowledge gathered from one engineer by others. Different methods have been' suggested to solve these problems. In the same way, the suggested functional diagnostic system introduces the uses of Dynamic Master Logic Diagram (DMLD) modeling strategy for the functional diagnostic systems. DMLD has proven its power as a good modeling strategy. It can model the functions of the system's components in terms of a set of defined primitives for the domain of applications. However, the suggested system can use the DMLD technique to model the small functions of the system according to the defined primitives of its domain. So, the modeling process of the system is relatively invariant from one modeler to another. Also, the functions defined can be reused by other users in the domain for solving different problems. Besides, it can deal with the complex system in a flexible manner. Thus, the proposed system can improve the performance of the state based functional diagnostic systems. It can be applied for a wide area of the complex systems. It has been applied for a fluid system as a case of the real-time systems. The suggested system has proved its success as a powerful practical state based functional diagnostic system

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Evidence for the effect of post-operative abdominal binders on post-operative pain, seroma formation, physical function, pulmonary function and increased intra-abdominal pressure among patients after surgery remains largely un-investigated. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted...... formation and physical function. RESULTS: A total of 50 publications were identified; 42 publications were excluded leaving eight publications counting a total of 578 patients for analysis. Generally, the scientific quality of the studies was poor. Use of abdominal binder revealed a non-significant tendency...... to reduce seroma formation after laparoscopic ventral herniotomy and a non-significant reduction in pain. Physical function was improved, whereas evidence supports a beneficial effect on psychological distress after open abdominal surgery. Evidence also supports that intra-abdominal pressure increases...

  16. Taurine Supplementation Improves Functional Capacity, Myocardial Oxygen Consumption, and Electrical Activity in Heart Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian, Mehdi; Dabidi Roshan, Valiollah; Ashourpore, Eadeh

    2017-07-04

    Taurine is an amino acid found abundantly in the heart in very high concentrations. It is assumed that taurine contributes to several physiological functions of mammalian cells, such as osmoregulation, anti-inflammation, membrane stabilization, ion transport modulation, and regulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial protein synthesis. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of taurine supplementation on functional capacity, myocardial oxygen consumption, and electrical activity in patients with heart failure. In a double-blind and randomly designed study, 16 patients with heart failure were assigned to two groups: taurine (TG, n = 8) and placebo (PG, n = 8). TG received 500-mg taurine supplementation three times per day for two weeks. Significant decrease in the values of Q-T segments (p heart failure patients. Together, these findings support the view that taurine improves cardiac function and functional capacity in patients with heart failure. This idea warrants further study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted. Copyright © 2015 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Accuracy Improvement of Boron Meter Adopting New Fitting Function and Multi-Detector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chidong Kong

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a boron meter with improved accuracy compared with other commercially available boron meters. Its design includes a new fitting function and a multi-detector. In pressurized water reactors (PWRs in Korea, many boron meters have been used to continuously monitor boron concentration in reactor coolant. However, it is difficult to use the boron meters in practice because the measurement uncertainty is high. For this reason, there has been a strong demand for improvement in their accuracy. In this work, a boron meter evaluation model was developed, and two approaches were considered to improve the boron meter accuracy: the first approach uses a new fitting function and the second approach uses a multi-detector. With the new fitting function, the boron concentration error was decreased from 3.30 ppm to 0.73 ppm. With the multi-detector, the count signals were contaminated with noise such as field measurement data, and analyses were repeated 1,000 times to obtain average and standard deviations of the boron concentration errors. Finally, using the new fitting formulation and multi-detector together, the average error was decreased from 5.95 ppm to 1.83 ppm and its standard deviation was decreased from 0.64 ppm to 0.26 ppm. This result represents a great improvement of the boron meter accuracy.

  19. Accuracy improvement of boron meter adopting new fitting function and multi-detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kong, Chidong; Lee, Hyun Suk; Tak, Tae Woo; Lee, Deok Jung [Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan (Korea, Republic of); KIm, Si Hwan; Lyou, Seok Jean [Users Incorporated Company, Hansin S-MECA, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-15

    This paper introduces a boron meter with improved accuracy compared with other commercially available boron meters. Its design includes a new fitting function and a multi-detector. In pressurized water reactors (PWRs) in Korea, many boron meters have been used to continuously monitor boron concentration in reactor coolant. However, it is difficult to use the boron meters in practice because the measurement uncertainty is high. For this reason, there has been a strong demand for improvement in their accuracy. In this work, a boron meter evaluation model was developed, and two approaches were considered to improve the boron meter accuracy: the first approach uses a new fitting function and the second approach uses a multi-detector. With the new fitting function, the boron concentration error was decreased from 3.30 ppm to 0.73 ppm. With the multi-detector, the count signals were contaminated with noise such as field measurement data, and analyses were repeated 1,000 times to obtain average and standard deviations of the boron concentration errors. Finally, using the new fitting formulation and multi-detector together, the average error was decreased from 5.95 ppm to 1.83 ppm and its standard deviation was decreased from 0.64 ppm to 0.26 ppm. This result represents a great improvement of the boron meter accuracy.

  20. Improving patient emotional functioning and psychological morbidity: evaluation of a consultation skills training program for oncologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girgis, Afaf; Cockburn, Jill; Butow, Phyllis; Bowman, Deborah; Schofield, Penelope; Stojanovski, Elizabeth; D'Este, Catherine; Tattersall, Martin H N; Doran, Christopher; Turner, Jane

    2009-12-01

    To evaluate whether a consultation skills training (CST) program with oncologists and trainees would improve skills in detecting and responding to patient distress, thereby improving their patients' emotional functioning and reducing psychological distress. Randomized-controlled trial with 29 medical and radiation oncologists from Australia randomized to CST group (n=15) or usual-care group (n=14). The CST consisted of a 1.5-day face-to-face workshop incorporating presentation of principles, a DVD modelling ideal behaviour and role-play practice, and four 1.5h monthly video-conferences. At the CST conclusion, patients of participating doctors were recruited (n=192 in CST group, n=183 in usual-care group), completing telephone surveys at baseline, 1 week and 3 months to assess quality of life, anxiety, depression and unmet psychosocial needs. Despite high patient functioning at baseline, anxiety significantly improved at 1-week follow-up in the CST group, compared to the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in emotional functioning, depression or unmet supportive care need between the groups. Consistent trends for greater improvements were observed in intervention compared to control group patients, suggesting the CST program deserves wider evaluation. Video-conferencing after a short training course may be an effective strategy for delivering CST.

  1. Maintained improvement in neurocognitive function in major depressive disorders 6 months after ECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Mohn

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both impaired and improved cognitive function after electroconvulsive treatment (ECT in major depressive disorder (MDD patients may occur. We have previously found improved cognitive function 6 weeks after ECT in this group. The aim of this study was to report 6-month follow-up results from the same prospective project monitoring cognitive effects of ECT. Thirty-one patients with major depressive disorder were assessed with the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB, the Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ, and the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS prior to, 6 weeks, and 6 months after ECT.Compared to baseline, the Speed of Processing, Attention/Vigilance, and Reasoning/Problem Solving test results were significantly improved. The depression score was significantly reduced. There were no changes in subjective memory complaint. There were no significant relationship between the EMQ and the MCCB subtests, but a significant correlation between current depression level and the EMQ.Six months after ECT the cognitive improvement reported at 6 weeks follow-up was maintained and extended. The corresponding decrease in depressive symptoms and stability in subjectively reported memory complaints suggests that the antidepressant effects of ECT do not occur at the expense of cognitive function.

  2. Anti-tachycardia therapy can improve altered cardiac adrenergic function in tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohkusu, Yasuo; Takahashi, Nobukazu; Ishikawa, Toshiyuki [Yokohama City Univ. (Japan). School of Medicine] [and others

    2002-11-01

    We investigated whether anti-tachycardia therapy might improve the altered cardiac adrenergic and systolic function in tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy (TC) in contrast to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The subjects were 23 patients with heart failure, consisting of 8 patients with TC (43.6{+-}10.0 yrs) and 15 with DCM (45.3{+-}8.2 yrs). TC was determined as impairment of left ventricular function secondary to chronic or very frequent arrhythmia during more than 10% of the day. All patients were receiving anti-tachycardia treatment. Cardiac {sup 123}I-MIBG uptake was assessed as the heart/mediastinum activity ratio (H/M) before and after treatment. Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was also assessed. In the baseline study, H/M and LVEF showed no difference between TC and DCM (2.21{+-}0.44 vs. 2.10{+-}0.42, 35.3{+-}13.1 vs. 36.0{+-}10.9%, respectively). After treatment, the degree of change in H/M and LVEF differed significantly (0.41{+-}0.34 vs. 0.08{+-}0.20, 20.5{+-}14.4 vs. -2.1{+-}9.6%, p<0.01). In TC, heart failure improved after a shorter duration of treatment (p<0.05). In conclusion, anti-tachycardia therapy can improve altered cardiac adrenergic function and systolic function in patients with TC over a shorter period than in those with DCM. (author)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of neurofeedback and electromyographic-biofeedback therapy on improving hand function in stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayegani, S M; Raeissadat, S A; Sedighipour, L; Rezazadeh, I Mohammad; Bahrami, M H; Eliaspour, D; Khosrawi, S

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of applying electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback (neurobiofeedback) or electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback to conventional occupational therapy (OT) on improving hand function in stroke patients. This study was designed as a preliminary clinical trial. Thirty patients with stroke were entered the study. Hand function was evaluated by Jebsen Hand Function Test pre and post intervention. Patients were allocated to 3 intervention cohorts: (1) OT, (2) OT plus EMG-biofeedback therapy, and (3) OT plus neurofeedback therapy. All patients received 10 sessions of conventional OT. Patients in cohorts 2 and 3 also received EMG-biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy, respectively. EMG-biofeedback therapy was performed to strengthen the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. Neurofeedback training was aimed at enhancing sensorimotor rhythm after mental motor imagery. Hand function was improved significantly in the 3 groups. The spectral power density of the sensorimotor rhythm band in the neurofeedback group increased after mental motor imagery. Maximum and mean contraction values of electrical activities of the APB muscle during voluntary contraction increased significantly after EMG-biofeedback training. Patients in the neurofeedback and EMG-biofeedback groups showed hand improvement similar to conventional OT. Further studies are suggested to assign the best protocol for neurofeedback and EMG-biofeedback therapy.

  6. Improvement of hydration and epidermal barrier function in human skin by a novel compound isosorbide dicaprylate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, R K; Bojanowski, K

    2017-10-01

    The study involved the synthesis of a novel derivative of caprylic acid - isosorbide dicaprylate (IDC) - and the evaluation of its potential in improving water homoeostasis and epidermal barrier function in human skin. The effect of IDC on gene expression was assayed in skin organotypic cultures by DNA microarrays. The results were then confirmed for a few key genes by quantitative PCR, immuno- and cytochemistry. Final validation of skin hydration properties was obtained by four separate clinical studies. Level of hydration was measured by corneometer either by using 2% IDC lotion alone vs placebo or in combination with 2% glycerol lotion vs 2% glycerol only. A direct comparison in skin hydration between 2% IDC and 2% glycerol lotions was also carried out. The epidermal barrier function improvement was assessed by determining changes in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) on the arms before and after treatment with 2% IDC lotion versus placebo. IDC was found to upregulate the expression of AQP3, CD44 and proteins involved in keratinocyte differentiation as well as the formation and function of stratum corneum. A direct comparison between 2% IDC versus 2% glycerol lotions revealed a three-fold advantage of IDC in providing skin hydration. Severely dry skin treated with 2% IDC in combination with 2% glycerol showed 133% improvement, whereas 35% improvement was observed with moderately dry human skin. Topical isosorbide dicaprylate favourably modulates genes involved in the maintenance of skin structure and function, resulting in superior clinical outcomes. By improving skin hydration and epidermal permeability barrier, it offers therapeutic applications in skin ageing. © 2017 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.

  7. Mesenchymal stromal cells improve human islet function through released products and extracellular matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzouni, Ahmed A; Vargas-Seymour, Andreia; Rackham, Chloe L; Dhadda, Paramjeet; Huang, Guo-Cai; Choudhary, Pratik; Nardi, Nance; King, Aileen J F; Jones, Peter M

    2017-12-01

    The aims of the present study were (i) to determine whether the reported beneficial effects of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) on mouse islet function extend to clinically relevant human tissues (islets and MSCs), enabling translation into improved protocols for clinical human islet transplantation; and (ii) to identify possible mechanisms through which human MSCs influence human islet function. Human islets were co-cultured with human adipose tissue-derived MSCs (hASCs) or pre-treated with its products - extracellular matrix (ECM) and annexin A1 (ANXA1). Mouse islets were pre-treated with mouse MSC-derived ECM. Islet insulin secretory function was assessed in vitro by radioimmunoassay. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to screen human adipMSCs for potential ligands of human islet G-protein-coupled receptors. We show that co-culture with hASCs improves human islet secretory function in vitro , as measured by glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, confirming previous reports using rodent tissues. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these beneficial effects on islet function can be partly attributed to the MSC-derived products ECM and ANXA1. Our results suggest that hASCs have the potential to improve the quality of human islets isolated for transplantation therapy of Type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, it may be possible to achieve improvements in human islet quality in a cell-free culture system by using the MSC-derived products ANXA1 and ECM. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane A Lucassen

    Full Text Available 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.To characterize neurocognitive functions and assess its reversibility.Prospective cohort study.Tertiary Referral Research Clinical Center.A cohort of 121 short-sleeping (<6.5 h/night obese (BMI 30-55 kg/m(2 men and pre-menopausal women.Sleep extension (468±88 days with life-style modifications.Neurocognitive functions, sleep quality and sleep duration.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.Drop-out rate.Chronically sleep-deprived obese individuals exhibit substantial neurocognitive deficits that are partially reversible upon improvement of sleep in a non-pharmacological way. These findings have clinical implications for large segments of the US population.www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00261898

  9. FES-assisted Cycling Improves Aerobic Capacity and Locomotor Function Postcerebrovascular Accident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron, Stacey E; Vanderwerker, Catherine J; Embry, Aaron E; Newton, Jennifer H; Lee, Samuel C K; Gregory, Chris M

    2018-03-01

    After a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) aerobic deconditioning contributes to diminished physical function. Functional electrical stimulation (FES)-assisted cycling is a promising exercise paradigm designed to target both aerobic capacity and locomotor function. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the effects of an FES-assisted cycling intervention on aerobic capacity and locomotor function in individuals post-CVA. Eleven individuals with chronic (>6 months) post-CVA hemiparesis completed an 8-wk (three times per week; 24 sessions) progressive FES-assisted cycling intervention. V˙O2peak, self-selected, and fastest comfortable walking speeds, gait, and pedaling symmetry, 6-min walk test (6MWT), balance, dynamic gait movements, and health status were measured at baseline and posttraining. Functional electrical stimulation-assisted cycling significantly improved V˙O2peak (12%, P = 0.006), self-selected walking speed (SSWS, 0.05 ± 0.1 m·s, P = 0.04), Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale score (12.75 ± 17.4, P = 0.04), Berg Balance Scale score (3.91 ± 4.2, P = 0.016), Dynamic Gait Index score (1.64 ± 1.4, P = 0.016), and Stroke Impact Scale participation/role domain score (12.74 ± 16.7, P = 0.027). Additionally, pedal symmetry, represented by the paretic limb contribution to pedaling (paretic pedaling ratio [PPR]) significantly improved (10.09% ± 9.0%, P = 0.016). Although step length symmetry (paretic step ratio [PSR]) did improve, these changes were not statistically significant (-0.05% ± 0.1%, P = 0.09). Exploratory correlations showed moderate association between change in SSWS and 6-min walk test (r = 0.74), and moderate/strong negative association between change in PPR and PSR. These results support FES-assisted cycling as a means to improve both aerobic capacity and locomotor function. Improvements in SSWS, balance, dynamic walking movements, and participation in familial and societal roles are important targets for rehabilitation of individuals

  10. Application of Taguchi methodology to improve the functional quality of a mechanical device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Regeai, Awatef Omar

    2005-01-01

    Manufacturing and quality control are recognized branches of engineering management. special attention has been made to improve thr tools and methods for the purpose of improving the products quality and finding solutions for any Obstacles and/or problems during the production process. Taguchi methodology is one of the most powerful techniques for improving product and manufacturing process quality at low cost. It is a strategical and practical method that aims to assist managers and industrial engineers to tackle manufacturing quality problems in a systematic and structured manner. The potential benefit of Taguchi methodology lies in its ease of use, its emphasis on reducing variability to give more economical products and hence the accessibility to the engineering fraternity for solving real life quality problems. This study applies Taguchi methodology to improve the functional quality of a local made chain gear by a purposed heat treatment process. The hardness of steel is generally a function not of its composition only, but rather of its heat treatment. The study investigates the effects of various heat treatment parameters, including ramp rate of heating, normalizing holding time, normalizing temperature, annealing holding time, annealing temperature, hardening holding time, hardening temperature, quenching media, tempering temperature and tempering holding time upon the hardness, which is a measure of resistance to plastic deformation. Both the analysis of means (ANOM) and Signal to Noise ratio (S/N) have been carried out for determining the optimal condition of the process. A significant improvement of the functional quality characteristic (hardness) by more than 32% was obtained. The Scanning Electron Microscopy technique was used in this study to obtain visual evidence of the quality and continuous improvement of the heat treated samples. (author)

  11. Using Low Levels of Stochastic Vestibular Stimulation to Improve Balance Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Goel

    Full Text Available Low-level stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS has been associated with improved postural responses in the medio-lateral (ML direction, but its effect in improving balance function in both the ML and anterior-posterior (AP directions has not been studied. In this series of studies, the efficacy of applying low amplitude SVS in 0-30 Hz range between the mastoids in the ML direction on improving cross-planar balance function was investigated. Forty-five (45 subjects stood on a compliant surface with their eyes closed and were instructed to maintain a stable upright stance. Measures of stability of the head, trunk, and whole body were quantified in ML, AP and combined APML directions. Results show that binaural bipolar SVS given in the ML direction significantly improved balance performance with the peak of optimal stimulus amplitude predominantly in the range of 100-500 μA for all the three directions, exhibiting stochastic resonance (SR phenomenon. Objective perceptual and body motion thresholds as estimates of internal noise while subjects sat on a chair with their eyes closed and were given 1 Hz bipolar binaural sinusoidal electrical stimuli were also measured. In general, there was no significant difference between estimates of perceptual and body motion thresholds. The average optimal SVS amplitude that improved balance performance (peak SVS amplitude normalized to perceptual threshold was estimated to be 46% in ML, 53% in AP, and 50% in APML directions. A miniature patch-type SVS device may be useful to improve balance function in people with disabilities due to aging, Parkinson's disease or in astronauts returning from long-duration space flight.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Declining ambient air pollution and lung function improvement in Austrian children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuberger, Manfred; Moshammer, Hanns; Kundi, Michael

    Three thousand four hundred fifty-one Austrian elementary school children were examined (between 2 and 8 times) by spirometry by standardized methods, over a 5 yr period. The districts where they lived were grouped into those where NO 2 declined during this period (by at least 30 μg/m 3 measured as half year means) and those with less or no decline in ambient NO 2. In both groups of districts, SO 2 and TSP fell by similar amounts over this period. A continuous improvement of MEF25 (maximum exspiratory flow rate at 25% vital capacity) was found in districts with declining ambient NO 2. Populations did not differ in respect of anthropometric factors, passive smoking or socioeconomic status. A birth cohort from this study population which was followed up to age 18 confirmed the improved growth of MEF25 with decline in NO 2, while the improved growth of forced vital capacity was more related to decline in SO 2. This study provides the first evidence that improvements in the outdoor air quality during the 1980s are correlated with health benefits, and suggest that adverse effects on lung function related to ambient air pollution are reversible before adulthood. Improvement of small airway functions appeared to be more dependent on reductions of NO 2 than reduction in SO 2 and TSP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfwing, Stefan; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2016-12-01

    Free-energy based reinforcement learning (FERL) was proposed for learning in high-dimensional state and action spaces. However, the FERL method does only really work well with binary, or close to binary, state input, where the number of active states is fewer than the number of non-active states. In the FERL method, the value function is approximated by the negative free energy of a restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM). In our earlier study, we demonstrated that the performance and the robustness of the FERL method can be improved by scaling the free energy by a constant that is related to the size of network. In this study, we propose that RBM function approximation can be further improved by approximating the value function by the negative expected energy (EERL), instead of the negative free energy, as well as being able to handle continuous state input. We validate our proposed method by demonstrating that EERL: (1) outperforms FERL, as well as standard neural network and linear function approximation, for three versions of a gridworld task with high-dimensional image state input; (2) achieves new state-of-the-art results in stochastic SZ-Tetris in both model-free and model-based learning settings; and (3) significantly outperforms FERL and standard neural network function approximation for a robot navigation task with raw and noisy RGB images as state input and a large number of actions. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. DA-9701 improves colonic transit time and symptoms in patients with functional constipation: A prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Su Young; Woo, Hyun Sun; Kim, Kyoung Oh; Choi, Sung Han; Kwon, Kwang An; Chung, Jun-Won; Kim, Yoon Jae; Kim, Jung Ho; Kim, Su Ji; Park, Dong Kyun

    2017-12-01

    DA-9701, a newly developed prokinetic agent formulated with Pharbitis Semen and Corydalis Tuber, has been shown to effectively treat functional dyspepsia. Recently, it has also been suspected to improve gastrointestinal motor function. The aims of this study were to assess the effect of DA-9701 on colonic transit time (CTT) and symptoms of functional constipation. Thirty-three patients with functional constipation based on the Rome III criteria were prospectively enrolled. The patients received 30-mg DA-9701 three times a day for 24 days. CTT was estimated initially and at the end of treatment. Symptoms such as spontaneous bowel movements, straining, stool form, feeling of incomplete emptying and anorectal blockage, abdominal discomfort and pain, overall defecation satisfaction, and incidence of adverse events were also analyzed. Twenty-seven patients completed the study. DA-9701 was associated with a significantly reduced CTT from 34.9 ± 17.6 to 23.7 ± 19.1 h (P = 0.001). Segmental CTT also significantly decreased after treatment (right CTT: from 16.8 [0.0-28.8] to 6.0 [0.0-25.2] hours, P DA-9701 accelerates colonic transit and safely improves symptoms in patients with functional constipation. Therefore, we suggest that this novel agent could help to treat patients with this condition. © 2017 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  17. Performance Improvement of the Core Protection Calculator System (CPCS) by Introducing Optimal Function Sets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won, Byung Hee; Kim, Kyung O; Kim, Jong Kyung; Kim, Soon Young

    2012-01-01

    The Core Protection Calculator System (CPCS) is an automated device which is adopted to inspect the safety parameters such as Departure from Nuclear Boiling Ratio (DNBR) and Local Power Density (LPD) during normal operation. One function of the CPCS is to predict the axial power distributions using function sets in cubic spline method. Another function of that is to impose penalty when the estimated distribution by the spline method disagrees with embedded data in CPCS (i.e., over 8%). In conventional CPCS, restricted function sets are used to synthesize axial power shape, whereby it occasionally can draw a disagreement between synthesized data and the embedded data. For this reason, the study on improvement for power distributions synthesis in CPCS has been conducted in many countries. In this study, many function sets (more than 18,000 types) differing from the conventional ones were evaluated in each power shape. Matlab code was used for calculating/arranging the numerous cases of function sets. Their synthesis performance was also evaluated through error between conventional data and consequences calculated by new function sets

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. [Case managers experience improved trajectories for cancer patients after implementation of the case manager function].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsen, Karina Rahbek; Nafei, Hanne; Jakobsen, Stine Finne; Gandrup, Per; Knudsen, Janne Lehmann

    2015-06-08

    Case managers are increasingly used to optimize trajectories for patients. This study is based on a questionnaire among case managers in cancer care, aiming at the clarification of the func­tion and its impact on especially patient safety, when handing over the responsibility. The results show a major variation in how the function is organized, the level of competence and the task to be handled. The responsibility has in general been nar­rowed to department level. Overall, the case managers believe that the function has optimized pathways for cancer patients and improved safety, but barriers persist.

  20. Improvement of sexual function in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia by pharmacologic therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Nebojša

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH causes disorders of voiding and sexual function. Pharmacologic therapy reduces symptoms of voiding thus impacting sexual function. Objective. To determine sex life status in men with BPH before and after pharmacologic treatment adapted to achieve satisfactory sexual function. Methods. We studied 117 sexually active BPH patients, not previously treated for BPH. After clinical examinations, symptoms of voiding, sexual and ejaculatory function were measured using standardized IPSS, IIEF and MSHQ-EjD questionnaires. After obtaining patients’ personal opinion about the importance of their sex life, therapy was chosen and possible side effects explained. Three groups of 39 patients each were formed. The first group was treated with alpha-blocker, tamsulosin, the second with 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, finasteride, while the third group was administered a combination therapy. The complete examination procedure was repeated after 3 and 6 months of therapy. Results. The average age of patients was 61.34±3.04 years. Eighty-seven percent reported that their sex life was important to a certain degree. Satisfaction with their sex life was reported by 47% of patients before treatment and by 67% of respondents 6 months after treatment. Questionnaire scores indicated general improvement of sexual function in all groups, which was statistically significant compared to baseline only in the group on tamsulosin alpha-blocker (2.95±7.81; p=0.028. The overall satisfaction with sex life as a component of sexual function, improved significantly in the group on the combined therapy (0.78±1.81; p=0.012. Conclusion. Before BPH treatment sexual function should be assessed and therapy customized to the patient’s expectations. Side effects of drugs should be presented especially to patients who emphasize the importance of sex life. In the manifested stages of the disease overall satisfaction with sex life may be

  1. Footwear Use at Workplace and Recommendations for the Improvement of its Functionality and Hygiene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irzmańska Emilia

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In protecting themselves against different dangerous and noxious factors at the workplace, workers are often faced with the necessity of using footwear that puts a significant strain on the human body. Such footwear is frequently not accepted by the users due to wearing discomfort and difficulties with performing one’s tasks efficiently. The paper describes requirements concerning the evaluation of protective footwear functionality and hygiene as well as formulates recommendations for the improvement of these footwear properties. Based on own studies it was observed that the use of appropriate textiles in protective footwear increases its functionality and hygiene.

  2. Use of Eltrombopag in Improving Poor Graft Function after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samip Master

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Eltrombopag is a thrombopoietin agonist and has been used in aplastic anemia and post-transplantation thrombocytopenia. The c-MPL receptor is present on hematopoietic stem cells. There are no reports of eltrombopag utilization for improving poor graft function in the post-transplant setting. Here were report a case of a young female with post-transplant poor graft function as evident from the low absolute neutrophil count, anemia, and thrombocytopenia on day 60. Eltrombopag was started on day 72 and resulted in improvement in all 3 cell lines. The counts continued to be stable even after eltrombopag was discontinued. The patient tolerated the drug without significant side effects for 1 year.

  3. 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

    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......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...... 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...

  4. 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.

  5. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javed, Afzal; Charles, Asha

    2018-01-01

    Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception) as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs) and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have yielded more mixed

  6. The Importance of Social Cognition in Improving Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afzal Javed

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Social cognition has become recognized as an important driver of functional outcomes and overall recovery in patients with schizophrenia, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social functioning. Since antipsychotic therapy targeting remission of clinical symptoms has been shown to have a limited impact on social cognition, there has been an increasing drive to develop therapeutic strategies to specifically improve social cognition in schizophrenia. We sought to review current evidence relating to social cognition in schizophrenia and its clinical implications, including interventions designed to target the core domains of social cognition (emotion processing, theory of mind, attributional bias, and social perception as a means of improving functional outcomes and thereby increasing the likelihood of recovery. Relevant articles were identified by conducting a literature search in PubMed using the search terms “schizophrenia” AND “cognition” AND “social functioning,” limited to Title/Abstract, over a time period of the past 10 years. Current evidence demonstrates that schizophrenia is associated with impairments in all four core domains of social cognition, during the pre-first-episode, first-episode, early, and chronic phases of the disease, and that such impairments are important determinants of functional outcome. Interventions targeting the four core domains of social cognition comprise psychosocial approaches (social cognition training programs and pharmacological therapies. Social cognition training programs targeting multiple and specific core domains of social cognition have shown promise in improving social cognition skills, which, in some cases, has translated into improvements in functional outcomes. Use of some psychosocial interventions has additionally resulted in improvements in clinical symptoms and/or quality of life. Pharmacological therapies, including oxytocin and certain antipsychotics, have

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 a...

  8. Does manual therapy improve pain and function in patients with plantar fasciitis? A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, John J; Corbett, Revay; Donner, Chris; Hertel, Jay

    2018-05-01

    To assess if manual therapy (MT) in the treatment of plantar fasciitis (PF) patients improves pain and function more effectively than other interventions. A systematic review of all randomized control trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of MT in the treatment of human patients with PF, plantar fasciosis, and heel pain published in English on PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases was conducted. Research quality was appraised utilizing the PEDro scale. Cohen's d effect sizes (ES) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated between treatment groups. Seven RCTs were selected that employed MT as a primary independent variable and pain and function as dependent variables. Inclusion of MT in treatment yielded greater improvement in function (6 of 7 studies, CI that did not cross zero in 14 of 25 variables, ES = 0.5-21.5) and algometry (3 of 3 studies, CI that did not cross zero in 9 of 10 variables, ES = 0.7-3.0) from 4 weeks to 6 months when compared to interventions such as stretching, strengthening, or modalities. Though pain improved with the inclusion of MT, ES calculations favored MT in only 2 of 6 studies (3 of 13 variables) and was otherwise equivalent in effectiveness to comparison interventions. MT is clearly associated with improved function and may be associated with pain reduction in PF patients. It is recommended that clinicians consider use of both joint and soft tissue mobilization techniques in conjunction with stretching and strengthening when treating patients with PF. Treatment, level 1a.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Passos, Giselle Soares; Poyares, Dalva; Santana, Marcos Gonçalves; Teixeira, Alexandre Abílio de Souza; Lira, Fábio Santos; Youngstedt, Shawn D.; dos Santos, Ronaldo Vagner Thomatieli; Tufik, Sergio; de Mello, Marco Túlio

    2014-01-01

    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 symp...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-13

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

  11. Improvement of CNT dispersion in HDPE by acid and octadecylamine functionalizations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menezes, Beatriz Rossi Canuto de; Ferreira, Filipe Vargas; Franceschi, Wesley; Brito, Felipe Sales; Nunes, Evelyn Alves; Rodrigues, Karla Faquine; Cividanes, Luciana de Simone; Thim, Gilmar Patrocínio; Rosa, Cintia

    2016-01-01

    Full text: Since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted great attention due to their extraordinary structure and exceptional mechanical properties that make them a suitable candidate for polymer-based nanocomposites reinforcement [1]. However, CNTs full potential can only be achieved with a proper dispersion in the matrix, that depends of Van der Waals interactions among CNTs due to the large surface area and the small size. These interactions decrease the CNT dispersion due to the formation of agglomerates. In order to overcome this limitation, surface functionalization with acid and alkyl groups has been used to increase the CNTs dispersion and compatibility with polymer matrix [2]. Therefore, the focus of the present work is to improve the dispersion of CNTs in high density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix through their functionalization with acid (H 2 SO 4 +HNO 3 ) and octadecylamine (ODA:CH 3 (CH 2 ) 17 NH 2 ). The CNT/HDPE nanocomposites (0.8%wt of CNTs) were prepared by mechanical agitation of the melted mixture of CNTs and HDPE and subsequent compression molding. Three nanocomposites were prepared: (1) HDPE + pristine CNTs, (2) HDPE + acid functionalized CNTs, and (3) HDPE + ODA functionalized CNTs. In order to confirm the surface treatment, CNTs was characterized by FT-IR, XPS, Raman, and TEM. The improvement in CNTs dispersion and compatibility with HDPE was verified by tensile test, microhardness, SEM-FEG. The results showed an improvement in the CNTs dispersion for HDPE with acid and ODA functionalized CNTs. The Young's modulus and Vickers microhardness increased significantly for HDPE with treated CNTs when compared with pristine CNTs. References: [1] S Iijima, Nature 354, 56-58 (1991). [2] R Ansari, S Ajori, S Rouhi, Appl Surf Sci 332, 640-647 (2015). (author)

  12. Grape Powder Improves Age-Related Decline in Mitochondrial and Kidney Functions in Fischer 344 Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indira Pokkunuri

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined the effects and mechanism of grape powder- (GP- mediated improvement, if any, on aging kidney function. Adult (3-month and aged (21-month Fischer 344 rats were treated without (controls and with GP (1.5% in drinking water and kidney parameters were measured. Control aged rats showed higher levels of proteinuria and urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1, which decreased with GP treatment in these rats. Renal protein carbonyls (protein oxidation and gp91phox-NADPH oxidase levels were high in control aged rats, suggesting oxidative stress burden in these rats. GP treatment in aged rats restored these parameters to the levels of adult rats. Moreover, glomerular filtration rate and sodium excretion were low in control aged rats suggesting compromised kidney function, which improved with GP treatment in aged rats. Interestingly, low renal mitochondrial respiration and ATP levels in control aged rats were associated with reduced levels of mitochondrial biogenesis marker MtTFA. Also, Nrf2 proteins levels were reduced in control aged rats. GP treatment increased levels of MtTFA and Nrf2 in aged rats. These results suggest that GP by potentially regulating Nrf2 improves aging mitochondrial and kidney functions.

  13. Virtual reality training improves turning capacity and functional reach in stroke patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malik, A.N.; Masood, T.

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To determine the added effects of virtual reality training on turning capacity, gait parameters and functional reach capacity of stroke patients compared to task oriented training alone. Methodology: A randomized control trial was conducted from February 2016 to July 2106 at Physical Rehabilitation Department Pakistan Railway Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Twenty stroke patients were selected through purposive sampling. The patients were randomly assigned through sealed envelope method into two groups; Task Oriented Training (TOT) and Virtual Reality Training (VRT) Group. The standardized tools were used for assessment. The TOT was provided for 4 days per week for 6 weeks while VRT group received additional exer-gaming training during sessions. Results: Significant improvement was observed in both groups regarding reaching forward, turning 360, gait pivot turn (p a 0.01) and FRT (p a 0.001). The two groups were statistically different from each other in terms of turning capacity, reaching forward, gait pivot turn and functional reach after 6 weeks of intervention (p a 0.05) Conclusion: Addition of virtual reality training further improves the significant improvement caused by task oriented training on turning capacity, reaching forward, gait pivot turn and functional reach in stroke patients. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • An in situ plasma processing for SNS SRF cavities has been developed to remove hydrocarbons from cavity surface. • Reactive oxygen plasma is very effective to remove hydrocarbons from niobium top surface. • Reactive oxygen plasma processing increases the work function of niobium surface in the range of 0.5–1.0 eV. • It was observed that hydrocarbons can migrate at plasma cleaned top surface from near surface regions when waiting in vacuum at room temperature. • Multiple cycles of plasma processing with waiting periods in between was found beneficial to mitigate such hydrocarbons migration at plasma cleaned surface. - Abstract: 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.

  15. Combined treatment with atorvastatin and imipenem improves survival and vascular functions in mouse model of sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Soumen; Kannan, Kandasamy; Pule Addison, M; Darzi, Sazad A; Singh, Vishakha; Singh, Thakur Uttam; Thangamalai, Ramasamy; Dash, Jeevan Ranjan; Parida, Subhashree; Debroy, Biplab; Paul, Avishek; Mishra, Santosh Kumar

    2015-08-01

    We have recently reported that pre-treatment, but not the post-treatment with atorvastatin showed survival benefit and improved hemodynamic functions in cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis in mice. Here we examined whether combined treatment with atorvastatin and imipenem after onset of sepsis can prolong survival and improve vascular functions. At 6 and 18h after sepsis induction, treatment with atorvastatin plus imipenem, atorvastatin or imipenem alone or placebo was initiated. Ex vivo experiments were done on mouse aorta to examine the vascular reactivity to nor-adrenaline and acetylcholine and mRNA expressions of α1D AR, GRK2 and eNOS. Atorvastatin plus imipenem extended the survival time to 56.00±4.62h from 20.00±1.66h observed in CLP mice. The survival time with atorvastatin or imipenem alone was 20.50±1.89h and 27.00±4.09h, respectively. The combined treatment reversed the hyporeactivity to nor-adrenaline through preservation of α1D AR mRNA/protein expression and reversal of α1D AR desensitization mediated by GRK2/Gβγ pathway. The treatment also restored endothelium-dependent relaxation to ACh through restoration of aortic eNOS mRNA expression and NO availability. In conclusion, combined treatment with atorvastatin and imipenem exhibited survival benefit and improved vascular functions in septic mice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

    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. 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. 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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang-Fang Shen

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn E. Christ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication. It has been postulated that such difficulties are related to disruptions in underlying cognitive processes such as executive function. The present study examined potential changes in executive function performance associated with participation in the Social Competence Intervention (SCI program, a short-term intervention designed to improve social competence in adolescents with ASD. Laboratory behavioral performance measures were used to separately evaluate potential intervention-related changes in individual executive function component processes (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility in a sample of 22 adolescents with ASD both before and after intervention. For comparison purposes, a demographically matched sample of 14 individuals without ASD was assessed at identical time intervals. Intervention-related improvements were observed on the working memory task, with gains evident in spatial working memory and, to a slightly lesser degree, verbal working memory. Significant improvements were also found for a working memory-related aspect of the task switching test (i.e., mixing costs. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in the SCI program is accompanied by changes in underlying neurocognitive processes such as working memory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Alosco

    2014-06-01

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

  20. INTENSITY, DURATION AND TYPE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REQUIRED TO IMPROVE FUNCTION IN KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    KIRIHARA, RICARDO AKIHIRO; CATELAN, FELLIPE BRAVIM; FARIAS, FABIANE ELIZE SABINO DE; SILVA, CLEIDNÉIA APARECIDA CLEMENTE DA; CERNIGOY, CLAUDIA HELENA DE AZEVEDO; REZENDE, MÁRCIA UCHOA DE

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the effects of physical activity intensity, type and duration in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Methods: A retrospective study of 195 KOA patients who were followed for two years after receiving educational material about KOA with or without attending classes. The patients were evaluated at baseline and 24 months. At the evaluations, the patients answered questionnaires pertaining to pain and function (WOMAC, Lequesne, VAS and SF-36); reported the intensity, duration and type of exercise performed per week; and performed the Timed Up & Go (TUG) and Five Times Sit-to-Stand (FTSST) tests. Results: Increased age affected improvements in the TUG results (p=0.017). The type, intensity and duration of physical activity did not correlate with pain, function or quality of life improvements (p>0.05), but the TUG results were on average 4 seconds faster among the patients who practiced intense physical activity and/or exercised for more than 180 minutes per week and/or performed isolated weight training or swam compared with those who remained sedentary after 2 years (p=0.01; pbodybuilding) for relevant pain reduction and functional improvement.Level of Evidence II, Retrospective Study. PMID:28642646

  1. Improvement of Functional Properties by Sever Plastic Deformation on Parts of Titanium Biomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czán, Andrej; Babík, Ondrej; Daniš, Igor; Martikáň, Pavol; Czánová, Tatiana

    2017-12-01

    Main task of materials for invasive implantology is their biocompatibility with the tissue but also requirements for improving the functional properties of given materials are increasing constantly. One of problems of materials biocompatibility is the impossibility to improve of functional properties by change the percentage of the chemical elements and so it is necessary to find other innovative methods of improving of functional properties such as mechanical action in the form of high deformation process. This paper is focused on various methods of high deformation process such as Equal Channel Angular Pressing (ECAP) when rods with record strength properties were obtained.The actual studies of the deformation process properties as tri-axial compress stress acting on workpiece with high speed of deformation shows effects similar to results obtained using the other methods, but in lower levels of stress. Hydrostatic extrusion (HE) is applying for the purpose of refining the structure of the commercially pure titanium up to nano-scale. Experiments showed the ability to reduce the grain size below 100 nm. Due to the significant change in the performance of the titanium materials by severe plastic deformation is required to identify the processability of materials with respect to the identification of created surfaces and monitoring the surface integrity, where the experimental results show ability of SPD technologies application on biomaterials.

  2. 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.

  3. Pomegranate supplementation improves cognitive and functional recovery following ischemic stroke: A randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellone, John A; Murray, Jeffrey R; Jorge, Paolo; Fogel, Travis G; Kim, Mary; Wallace, Desiree R; Hartman, Richard E

    2018-02-13

    We tested whether supplementing with pomegranate polyphenols can enhance cognitive/functional recovery after stroke. In this parallel, block-randomized clinical trial, we administered commercially-available pomegranate polyphenol or placebo pills twice per day for one week to adult inpatients in a comprehensive rehabilitation setting starting approximately 2 weeks after stroke. Pills contained 1 g of polyphenols derived from whole pomegranate, equivalent to levels in approximately 8 oz of juice. Placebo pills were similar to the pomegranate pills except that they contained only lactose. Of the 163 patients that were screened, 22 were eligible and 16 were randomized (8 per group). We excluded one subject per group from the neuropsychological analyses since they were lost to follow-up, but we included all subjects in the analysis of functional data since outcome data were available. Clinicians and subjects were blinded to group assignment. Neuropsychological testing (primary outcome: Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status) and functional independence scores were used to determine changes in cognitive and functional ability. Pomegranate-treated subjects demonstrated more neuropsychological and functional improvement and spent less time in the hospital than placebo controls. Pomegranate polyphenols enhanced cognitive and functional recovery after stroke, justifying pursuing larger clinical trials.

  4. Predicting Manual Therapy Treatment Success in Patients With Chronic Ankle Instability: Improving Self-Reported Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikstrom, Erik A; McKeon, Patrick O

    2017-04-01

      Therapeutic modalities that stimulate sensory receptors around the foot-ankle complex improve chronic ankle instability (CAI)-associated impairments. However, not all patients have equal responses to these modalities. Identifying predictors of treatment success could improve clinician efficiency when treating patients with CAI.   To conduct a response analysis on existing data to identify predictors of improved self-reported function in patients with CAI.   Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled clinical trial.   Sports medicine research laboratories.   Fifty-nine patients with CAI, which was defined in accordance with the International Ankle Consortium recommendations.   Participants were randomized into 3 treatment groups (plantar massage [PM], ankle-joint mobilization [AJM], or calf stretching [CS]) that received six 5-minute treatments over 2 weeks.   Treatment success, defined as a patient exceeding the minimally clinically important difference of the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure-Sport (FAAM-S).   Patients with ≤5 recurrent sprains and ≤82.73% on the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure had a 98% probability of having a meaningful FAAM-S improvement after AJM. As well, ≥5 balance errors demonstrated 98% probability of meaningful FAAM-S improvements from AJM. Patients <22 years old and with ≤9.9 cm of dorsiflexion had a 99% probability of a meaningful FAAM-S improvement after PM. Also, those who made ≥2 single-limb-stance errors had a 98% probability of a meaningful FAAM-S improvement from PM. Patients with ≤53.1% on the FAAM-S had an 83% probability of a meaningful FAAM-S improvement after CS.   Each sensory-targeted ankle-rehabilitation strategy resulted in a unique combination of predictors of success for patients with CAI. Specific indicators of success with AJM were deficits in self-reported function, single-limb balance, and <5 previous sprains. Age, weight-bearing-dorsiflexion restrictions, and single-limb balance

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    Vertebral compression fractures can result from advanced osteoporosis, or less commonly from metastatic or traumatic insults to the vertebral column, and result in disabling pain and decreased functional capacity. Various vertebral augmentation options including kyphoplasty aim at preventing the sequelae of pain and immobility that can develop as the result of the vertebral fractures. The mechanism for pain relief following kyphoplasty is not entirely understood, and the restoration of a portion of the lost vertebral height is a subject of debate. We retrospectively reviewed radiographic imaging, pain relief, analgesic intake and functional outcomes in 67 consecutive patients who underwent single- or multilevel kyphoplasty with the primary goal of quantifying the restoration of lost vertebral height. We observed a mean of 45% of the lost vertebral height restored postprocedurally. Secondarily, kyphoplasty was associated with significant decreases in pain scores, daily morphine consumption and improvement in patient-reported functional measures. © 2013 World Institute of Pain.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Background & aims Only few hours of formula feeding may induce proinflammatory responses and predispose to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm pigs. We hypothesized that bovine colostrum, rich in bioactive factors, would improve intestinal function in preterm pigs following an initial...... exposure to formula feeding after some days of total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Methods After receiving TPN for 2 days, preterm pigs were fed formula (FORM, n = 14), bovine colostrum (COLOS, n = 6), or formula (6 h) followed by bovine colostrum (FCOLOS, n = 14). Intestinal lesions, function, and structure...... and FCOLOS pigs, relative to FORM pigs. Intestinal gene expression of serum amyloid A, IL-1β, -6 and -8, and bacterial abundance, correlated positively with NEC severity of the distal small intestine. Conclusions Bovine colostrum restores intestinal function after initial formula-induced inflammation...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Rosu

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Improving Multi-Functional Properties in Polymer Based Nano Composites by Interfacial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajaddod, Navid

    Polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) have become an area of increasing interest for study in the field of polymer science and technology since the rise of nanotechnology research. Despite the significant amount of progress being made towards producing high quality PNC materials, improvement in the mechanical, electrical, thermal and other functional properties still remain a challenge. To date, these properties are only a fraction of the expected theoretical values predicted for these materials. Development of interfacial regions between the filler and matrix within the composite has been found to be an important focus in terms of processing. Proper interfacial control and development may ensure excellent interaction and property transfer between the filler and polymer matrix in addition to improvement of multi-functional properties of PNCs. The property-structure importance for the existence of the interfacial and interphase region within PNCs is discussed in this thesis work. Two specific PNC systems are selected for study as part of this dissertation in order to understand the effect of interfacial region development on influencing multi-functional property trends. Polyethylene (PE)/boron nitride (BN) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites were selected to investigate their mechanical performance and thermal and electrical conductivity properties, respectively. For these systems it was found that the interfacial region structure is directly related to the enhancement of the subsequent multi-functional properties.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Kinesthetic taping improves walking function in patients with stroke: a pilot cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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. Thirty-two patients (9 women) receiving rehabilitation after stroke (average, 50 days since stroke) who had impaired walking ability were recruited. Primary outcome was maximal walking speed measured by the 10-meter walk test. Secondary outcomes were number of steps taken during the test and clinical signs of spasticity measured by the Tardieu Scale. Tests were conducted before and immediately after application of kinesthetic tape to the anterior thigh and knee of the paretic lower limb. After application of the tape, the maximal walking speed increased, on average, by 0.08 m/s (95% CI, 0.04 to 0.12; P kinesthetic taping of the anterior thigh and knee provides an immediate improvement in walking function in patients with stroke. Such a positive effect on motor function could be a valuable adjunct in physical therapy and rehabilitation of patients with stroke.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahramian Iraj

    2010-03-01

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

  12. Testosterone receptor blockade after trauma-hemorrhage improves cardiac and hepatic functions in males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remmers, D E; Wang, P; Cioffi, W G; Bland, K I; Chaudry, I H

    1997-12-01

    Although studies have shown that testosterone receptor blockade with flutamide after hemorrhage restores the depressed immune function, it remains unknown whether administration of flutamide following trauma and hemorrhage and resuscitation has any salutary effects on the depressed cardiovascular and hepatocellular functions. To study this, male rats underwent a laparotomy (representing trauma) and were then bled and maintained at a mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 40 mmHg until the animals could not maintain this pressure. Ringer lactate was given to maintain a MAP of 40 mmHg until 40% of the maximal shed blood volume was returned in the form of Ringer lactate. The rats were then resuscitated with four times the shed blood volume in the form of Ringer lactate over 60 min. Flutamide (25 mg/kg) or an equal volume of the vehicle propanediol was injected subcutaneously 15 min before the end of resuscitation. Various in vivo heart performance parameters (e.g., maximal rate of the pressure increase or decrease), cardiac output, and hepatocellular function (i.e., the maximum velocity and the overall efficiency of indocyanine green clearance) were determined at 20 h after resuscitation. Additionally, hepatic microvascular blood flow (HMBF) was determined using a laser Doppler flowmeter. The results indicate that left ventricular performance, cardiac output, HMBF, and hepatocellular function decreased significantly at 20 h after the completion of trauma, hemorrhage, and resuscitation. Administration of the testosterone receptor blocker flutamide, however, significantly improved cardiac performance, HMBF, and hepatocellular function. Thus flutamide appears to be a novel and useful adjunct for improving cardiovascular and hepatocellular functions in males following trauma and hemorrhagic shock.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaguchi, Hideo

    2014-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Improvement of the bio-functional properties of TiO{sub 2} nanotubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roguska, A. [Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw (Poland); Pisarek, M., E-mail: mpisarek@ichf.edu.pl [Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw (Poland); Belcarz, A. [Chair and Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Medical University of Lublin, Chodźki 1, 20-093 Lublin (Poland); Marcon, L. [Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR CNRS 3078 Parc de la Haute Borne, 50 av. de Halley 59658 Villeneuve d’Ascq (France); Holdynski, M. [Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw (Poland); Andrzejczuk, M. [Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Wołoska 141, 02-507 Warsaw (Poland); Janik-Czachor, M. [Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kasprzaka 44/52, 01-224 Warsaw (Poland)

    2016-12-01

    Highlights: • The methods of biofunctional properties improvement of TiO{sub 2} nanotubes are proposed. • The increase of TiO{sub 2} nanotubes diameter promotes the U2OS cell proliferation. • Calcium phosphate coating deposited TiO{sub 2} nanotube layer promotes the cell growth. • Deposition of Ag nanoparticles inhibits the survivability of S. epidermidis cells. - Abstract: Titanium oxide nanotubes with diameters from ca. 40–120 nm fabricated by the anodic oxidation of Ti at a constant voltage (10–28 V) were investigated to identify factors improving their bio-functional properties. Prepared substrates were subsequently annealed at 450 °C and 650 °C to obtain nanotubes having a crystalline structure, and were then examined by SEM, XRD, XPS, BET and contact angle measurement techniques. The thermally stabilized surfaces were subjected to bidirectional functionalization: by deposition of a thin layer of Ca-P and by loading with silver nanoparticles. Three factors were found to promote the proliferation of osteoblast (U2OS) cells: a larger nanotube diameter, a higher annealing temperature, and the presence of a thin Ca-P layer. Differentiation of these cells (by ALP test) was stimulated by a higher (650 °C) nanotube annealing temperature, but not by a thin Ca-P layer. The TiO{sub 2} nanotubes-modified samples exhibited noticeable antibacterial properties. Moreover, the additional deposition of Ag nanoparticles almost completely inhibited the survivability of S. epidermidis cells beyond 3 h of contact. In conclusion, TiO{sub 2} nanotubes-modified surfaces exhibit distinct bone forming ability and significant antibacterial properties, and can be easily functionalized by a thin Ca-P layer or nano-Ag deposition for further improvement of the above functionalities.

  16. Vascular input function correction of inflow enhancement for improved pharmacokinetic modeling of liver DCE-MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Jia; Schubert, Tilman; Johnson, Kevin M; Roldán-Alzate, Alejandro; Chen, Huijun; Yuan, Chun; Reeder, Scott B

    2018-06-01

    To propose a simple method to correct vascular input function (VIF) due to inflow effects and to test whether the proposed method can provide more accurate VIFs for improved pharmacokinetic modeling. A spoiled gradient echo sequence-based inflow quantification and contrast agent concentration correction method was proposed. Simulations were conducted to illustrate improvement in the accuracy of VIF estimation and pharmacokinetic fitting. Animal studies with dynamic contrast-enhanced MR scans were conducted before, 1 week after, and 2 weeks after portal vein embolization (PVE) was performed in the left portal circulation of pigs. The proposed method was applied to correct the VIFs for model fitting. Pharmacokinetic parameters fitted using corrected and uncorrected VIFs were compared between different lobes and visits. Simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method can improve accuracy of VIF estimation and pharmacokinetic fitting. In animal study results, pharmacokinetic fitting using corrected VIFs demonstrated changes in perfusion consistent with changes expected after PVE, whereas the perfusion estimates derived by uncorrected VIFs showed no significant changes. The proposed correction method improves accuracy of VIFs and therefore provides more precise pharmacokinetic fitting. This method may be promising in improving the reliability of perfusion quantification. Magn Reson Med 79:3093-3102, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  17. Community-Based Rehabilitation to Improve Stroke Survivors' Rehabilitation Participation and Functional Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ru, Xiaojuan; Dai, Hong; Jiang, Bin; Li, Ninghua; Zhao, Xingquan; Hong, Zhen; He, Li; Wang, Wenzhi

    2017-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based rehabilitation appropriate technique (CRAT) intervention program in increasing rehabilitation participation and improving functional recovery of stroke survivors. This study followed a quasi-experimental design. In each of 5 centers servicing approximately 50,000 individuals, 2 communities were designated as either the intervention or control community. A CRAT intervention program, including 2-year rehabilitation education and 3-month CRAT treatment, was regularly implemented in the intervention communities, whereas there was no special intervention in the control community. Two sampling surveys, at baseline and after intervention, were administered to evaluate the rehabilitation activity undertaken. In intervention communities, stroke survivor's motor function, daily activity, and social activity were evaluated pretreatment and posttreatment, using the Fugl-Meyer Motor Function Assessment, Barthel index, and Social Functional Activities Questionnaire. The proportion of individuals participating in rehabilitation-related activity was increased significantly (P rehabilitation (P 0.05). Community-based rehabilitation appropriate technique increases rehabilitation participation rates and enhances motor function, daily activity, and social activity of stroke survivors.

  18. Improving Dispersion and Barrier Properties of Polyketone/Graphene Nanoplatelet Composites via Noncovalent Functionalization Using Aminopyrene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jaehyun; Jeon, Ikseong; Kim, Seong Yun; Lim, Soonho; Jho, Jae Young

    2017-08-23

    A series of polyketone (PK) nanocomposite films with varying content of noncovalently functionalized graphene nanoplatelet with 1-aminopyrene (GNP/APy) is prepared by solution blending with a solvent of hexafluoro-2-propanol. GNP/APy, prepared by a facile method, can effectively induce specific interaction such as hydrogen bonding between the amine functional group of GNP/APy and the carbonyl functional group of the PK matrix. With comparison of GNP and GNP/Py as reference materials, intensive investigation on filler-matrix interaction is achieved. In addition, the dispersion state of the functionalized GNP (f-GNPs; GNP/Py and GNP/APy) in the PK matrix is analyzed by three-dimensional nondestructive X-ray microcomputed tomography, and the increased dispersion state of those fillers results in significant improvement in the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR). The enhancement in WVTR of the PK/GNP/APy nanocomposite film at 1 wt % loading of filler leads to a barrier performance approximately 2 times larger compared to that of PK/GNP nanocomposite film and an approximately 92% reduction in WVTR compared to the case of pristine PK film. We expect that this facile method of graphene functionalization to enhance graphene dispersibility as well as interfacial interaction with the polymer matrix will be widely utilized to expand the potential of graphene materials to barrier film applications.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved design architecture to minimize functional complexity of plant protection system for nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, JaeCheon

    2016-01-01

    An improved design architecture method to minimize the functional complexity of PPS (Plant Protection System) is proposed in this work. Firstly, the design concerns are identified with both AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) analysis. AHP is able to identify the source of design concerns using pairwise comparison. AHP result shows CCF is the primary concern and the complexity is the secondly. Even though complexity is the second largest concern to the effectiveness of digital I&C system, but it has not been highlighted as CCF. This is the reason why this work focuses on the sources of complexity to maximize the effectiveness of digital system in the viewpoint of design architecture. The proposed methods are, separating non-safety functions from bistable logics and simplifying communication links and network. In order to verify the new concept, EFFBD (Enhanced Functional Flow Block Diagram) models are developed for two bistable logics of PPS and the complexities are measured using Halstead’s program maintainability measures. This measure specifies what provokes functional complexity. Periodic testing and operating bypass function are the source of complexity in this analysis.

  1. Improved design architecture to minimize functional complexity of plant protection system for nuclear power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, JaeCheon, E-mail: jcjung@kings.ac.kr

    2016-12-01

    An improved design architecture method to minimize the functional complexity of PPS (Plant Protection System) is proposed in this work. Firstly, the design concerns are identified with both AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) analysis. AHP is able to identify the source of design concerns using pairwise comparison. AHP result shows CCF is the primary concern and the complexity is the secondly. Even though complexity is the second largest concern to the effectiveness of digital I&C system, but it has not been highlighted as CCF. This is the reason why this work focuses on the sources of complexity to maximize the effectiveness of digital system in the viewpoint of design architecture. The proposed methods are, separating non-safety functions from bistable logics and simplifying communication links and network. In order to verify the new concept, EFFBD (Enhanced Functional Flow Block Diagram) models are developed for two bistable logics of PPS and the complexities are measured using Halstead’s program maintainability measures. This measure specifies what provokes functional complexity. Periodic testing and operating bypass function are the source of complexity in this analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Chen

    2016-04-01

    [Purpose] The increase in the Taiwanese older population is associated with age-related inconveniences. Finding adequate and simple physical activities to help the older people maintaining their physiological function and preventing them from falls has become an urgent social issue. [Subjects and Methods] This study aimed to design a virtual exercise training game suitable for Taiwanese older people. This system will allow for the maintenance of the physiological function and standing stability through physical exercise, while using a virtual reality game. The participants can easily exercise in a carefree, interactive environment. This study will use Kinect for Windows for physical movement detection and Unity software for virtual world development. [Results] Group A and B subjects were involved in the exercise training method of Kinect interactive multimedia for 12 weeks. The results showed that the functional reach test and the unipedal stance test improved significantly. [Conclusion] The physiological function and standing stability of the group A subjects were examined at six weeks post training. The results showed that these parameters remained constant. This proved that the proposed system provide substantial support toward the preservation of the Taiwanese older people' physiological function and standing stability.

  3. Etoricoxib improves osteoarthritis pain relief, joint function, and quality of life in the extreme elderly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Nan Huang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Etoricoxib is a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, with a lower risk of gastrointestinal toxicity compared to traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs. We evaluated the effectiveness and tolerability of etoricoxib in extremely elderly patients with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis (OA. A prospective, single-center, single-arm study was conducted, enrolling 19 extremely elderly men with OA (mean age 85.9, range 79-96 years, who responded inadequately to NSAIDs or other analgesics. Patients were switched to etoricoxib, 60 mg once daily for 4 weeks, without prior medication washout. Data were recorded before and after etoricoxib treatment. The primary endpoint was improvement in pain, assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC after the 4-week treatment. Other endpoints included the Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (BPI-SF, Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication (TSQM, Short Form 36 (SF36, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D. Safety and tolerability were assessed by collecting adverse events data. Pain and disability scores measured by WOMAC index were lower after treatment (pain, p ≤ 0.001; disability, p = 0.020. BPI-SF showed a significant improvement in joint function when walking and performing normal work (walking, p = 0.021; normal work, p = 0.030. SF36 scores improved for 7 out of 11 items after etoricoxib treatment (#1, p = 0.032; #4, p = 0.026; #5, p = 0.017; #6, p = 0.008; #7, p = 0.009; #8, p = 0.013; and #10, p = 0.038. EQ-5D showed a significant improvement in visual analogue scale scores (p = 0.036. TSQM results demonstrated a higher patient perception of overall satisfaction. No adverse events were reported. Pain relief, joint function, quality of life, and treatment satisfaction improved significantly in elderly patients with OA after etoricoxib administration.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelli, Tim J.; Gautier, Axel; Perelman, Sergio; Saplacan-Pop, Roxana

    2013-01-01

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

  5. A method for improving global pyranometer measurements by modeling responsivity functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lester, A. [Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 (United States); Myers, D.R. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401 (United States)

    2006-03-15

    Accurate global solar radiation measurements are crucial to climate change research and the development of solar energy technologies. Pyranometers produce an electrical signal proportional to global irradiance. The signal-to-irradiance ratio is the responsivity (RS) of the instrument (RS=signal/irradiance=microvolts/(W/m{sup 2})). Most engineering measurements are made using a constant RS. It is known that RS varies with day of year, zenith angle, and net infrared radiation. This study proposes a method to find an RS function to model a pyranometer's changing RS. Using a reference irradiance calculated from direct and diffuse instruments, we found instantaneous RS for two global pyranometers over 31 sunny days in a two-year period. We performed successive independent regressions of the error between the constant and instantaneous RS with respect to zenith angle, day of year, and net infrared to obtain an RS function. An alternative method replaced the infrared regression with an independently developed technique to account for thermal offset. Results show improved uncertainties with the function method than with the single-calibration value. Lower uncertainties also occur using a black-and-white (8-48), rather than all-black (PSP), shaded pyranometer as the diffuse reference instrument. We conclude that the function method is extremely effective in reducing uncertainty in the irradiance measurements for global PSP pyranometers if they are calibrated at the deployment site. Furthermore, it was found that the function method accounts for the pyranometer's thermal offset, rendering further corrections unnecessary. The improvements in irradiance data achieved in this study will serve to increase the accuracy of solar energy assessments and atmospheric research. (author)

  6. 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.

  7. Continuous positive air pressure improves orthonasal olfactory function of patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walliczek-Dworschak, Ute; Cassel, Werner; Mittendorf, Luisa; Pellegrino, Robert; Koehler, Ulrich; Güldner, Christian; Dworschak, Philipp Otto Georg; Hildebrandt, Olaf; Daniel, Hanna; Günzel, Thomas; Teymoortash, Afshin; Hummel, Thomas

    2017-06-01

    Recent studies have suggested that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might be affected by olfactory impairment. However, more evidence is needed on the effect that OSA has on the chemical senses (olfaction and gustatory) of these patients, and whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment might help to reverse possible impairment. A prospective study was conducted with 44 OSA patients (17 female and 27 male, mean age 54 ± 9.9 years) who were diagnosed via polysomnography and eligible for CPAP treatment. Orthonasal olfactory and gustatory function was measured with the extended Sniffin' Sticks test battery and "taste strips," respectively, before and after CPAP treatment. Baseline olfaction was decreased in OSA patients and after CPAP therapy olfactory scores (odor threshold-discrimination-identification score [TDI]: baseline 29.4 ± 4.11 after CPAP 32.3 ± 4.82; p = 0.001; odor threshold [THR]: baseline 5.28 ± 1.69 after CPAP 6.78 ± 2.61; p = 0.000; odor identification [ID]: baseline 12.9 ± 1.95 after CPAP 13.6 ± 1.33; p = 0.013) improved significantly. In contrast, neither baseline taste function in OSA patients nor gustatory function after treatment seemed to be affected. Orthonasal olfactory function in patients with OSA improves under CPAP therapy; however, gustatory function is not impaired in OSA patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Modulating Cytotoxic Effector Functions by Fc Engineering to Improve Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Christian; Otte, Anna; Cappuzzello, Elisa; Klausz, Katja; Peipp, Matthias

    2017-09-01

    In the last two decades, monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the therapy of cancer patients. Although antibody therapy has continuously been improved, still a significant number of patients do not benefit from antibody therapy. Therefore, rational optimization of the antibody molecule by Fc engineering represents a major area of translational research to further improve this potent therapeutic option. Monoclonal antibodies are able to trigger a variety of effector mechanisms. Especially Fc-mediated effector functions such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and complement- dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) are considered important in antibody therapy of cancer. Novel mechanistic insights into the action of monoclonal antibodies allowed the development of various Fc engineering approaches to modulate antibodies' effector functions. Strategies in modifying the Fc glycosylation profile (Fc glyco-engineering) or approaches in engineering the protein backbone (Fc protein engineering) have been intensively evaluated. In the current review, Fc engineering strategies resulting in improved ADCC, ADCP and CDC activity are summarized and discussed.

  9. Improvement of a Pneumatic Control Valve with Self-Holding Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohta, Shujiro; Akagi, Tetsuya; Kobayashi, Wataru; Shimooka, So; Masago, Yusuke

    2017-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a small-sized, lightweight and low-cost control valve with low energy consumption and to apply it to the assistive system. We have developed some control valves; a tiny on/off valve using a vibration motor, and an on/off valve with self-holding function. We have also proposed and tested the digital servo valve with self-holding function using permanent magnets and a small-sized servo motor. In this paper, in order to improve the valve, an analytical model of the digital servo valve is proposed. And the simulated results by using the analytical model and identified parameters were compared with the experimental results. Then, the improved digital servo valve was designed based on the calculated results and tested. As a result, we realized the digital servo valve that can control the flow rate more precisely while maintaining its volume and weight compared with the previous valve. As an application of the improved valve, a position control system of rubber artificial muscle was built and the position control was performed successfully.

  10. Improved MODIS aerosol retrieval in urban areas using a land classification approach and empirical orthogonal functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitan, Nathaniel; Gross, Barry

    2016-10-01

    New, high-resolution aerosol products are required in urban areas to improve the spatial coverage of the products, in terms of both resolution and retrieval frequency. These new products will improve our understanding of the spatial variability of aerosols in urban areas and will be useful in the detection of localized aerosol emissions. Urban aerosol retrieval is challenging for existing algorithms because of the high spatial variability of the surface reflectance, indicating the need for improved urban surface reflectance models. This problem can be stated in the language of novelty detection as the problem of selecting aerosol parameters whose effective surface reflectance spectrum is not an outlier in some space. In this paper, empirical orthogonal functions, a reconstruction-based novelty detection technique, is used to perform single-pixel aerosol retrieval using the single angular and temporal sample provided by the MODIS sensor. The empirical orthogonal basis functions are trained for different land classes using the MODIS BRDF MCD43 product. Existing land classification products are used in training and aerosol retrieval. The retrieval is compared against the existing operational MODIS 3 KM Dark Target (DT) aerosol product and co-located AERONET data. Based on the comparison, our method allows for a significant increase in retrieval frequency and a moderate decrease in the known biases of MODIS urban aerosol retrievals.

  11. Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Improved Thermal Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Alexander; Burt, Timothy; Mullen, Kieran; Glatzhofer, Daniel; Houck, Matthew; Huang, Paul

    The use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to improve the thermal conductivity of composite materials is thwarted by their large thermal boundary resistance. We study how to overcome this Kapitza resistance by functionalizing CNTs with mixed molecular chains. Certain configurations of chains improve the transmission of thermal vibrations through our systems by decreasing phonon mismatch between the CNTs and their surrounding matrix. Through the calculation of vibrational normal modes and Green's functions, we develop a variety of computational metrics to compare the thermal conductivity (κ) of our systems. We show how different configurations of attached chains affect the samples' κ values by varying chain identity, chain length, number of chains, and heat driver behavior. We vary the parameters to maximize κ. To validate and optimize these metrics, we perform molecular dynamics simulations for comparison. We also present experimental results of composites enhanced with CNTs and make comparisons to the theory. We observe that some composites are thermally improved with the inclusion of CNTs, while others are scarcely changed, in agreement with theoretical models. This work was supported by NSF Grant DMR-1310407.

  12. 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.

  13. Paliperidone Palmitate Improves and Maintains Functioning in Asia-Pacific Patients with Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongyan; Turkoz, Ibrahim; Zhuo, Jianmin; Mathews, Maju; Tan, Wilson; Feng, Yu

    2017-11-01

    Post hoc analyses (two single-arm studies) were conducted to determine the impact of once-monthly injection of paliperidone palmitate on functioning in adult patients with schizophrenia in the Asia-Pacific region. Study 1 enrolled hospitalized patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia, and study 2 enrolled patients with recently diagnosed schizophrenia unsatisfactorily treated with oral antipsychotics. Patients received paliperidone palmitate, 150 mg eq. on day 1, 100 mg eq. on day 8, then once monthly (50-150 mg eq.) (study 1, days 36 and 64; study 2, 18 months). Functional status was evaluated by Personal and Social Performance score in both studies and employment only in study 2. In study 1, 54 of 184 patients (29.4%) with an unfavorable level of functioning at the baseline improved to a favorable level (Personal and Social Performance score greater than 70) at day 92. This improvement was significantly greater among patients with recently diagnosed schizophrenia (5 years or less) compared with patients with chronic schizophrenia (more than 5 years): 40% versus 22% (p schizophrenia. Janssen-Cilag Asia-Pacific Medical Affairs.

  14. Omalizumab reduces bronchial mucosal IgE and improves lung function in non-atopic asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Prathap; Chan, Yih-Chih; Wu, Shih-Ying; Ohm-Laursen, Line; Thomas, Clare; Durham, Stephen R; Menzies-Gow, Andrew; Rajakulasingam, Raj K; Ying, Sun; Gould, Hannah J; Corrigan, Chris J

    2016-12-01

    Omalizumab therapy of non-atopic asthmatics reduces bronchial mucosal IgE and inflammation and preserves/improves lung function when disease is destabilised by staged withdrawal of therapy.18 symptomatic, non-atopic asthmatics were randomised (1:1) to receive omalizumab or identical placebo treatment in addition to existing therapy for 20 weeks. Bronchial biopsies were collected before and after 12-14 weeks of treatment, then the patients destabilised by substantial, supervised reduction of their regular therapy. Primary outcome measures were changes in bronchial mucosal IgE + cells at 12-14 weeks, prior to regular therapy reduction, and changes in lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 s) after destabilisation at 20 weeks. Quality of life was also monitored.Omalizumab but not placebo therapy significantly reduced median total bronchial mucosal IgE + cells (pomalizumab treated patients, with significant differences in absolute (p=0.04) and % predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (p=0.015).Omalizumab therapy of non-atopic asthmatics reduces bronchial mucosal IgE + mast cells and improves lung function despite withdrawal of conventional therapy. Copyright ©ERS 2016.

  15. An improved parameter estimation and comparison for soft tissue constitutive models containing an exponential function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Ankush

    2017-08-01

    Motivated by the well-known result that stiffness of soft tissue is proportional to the stress, many of the constitutive laws for soft tissues contain an exponential function. In this work, we analyze properties of the exponential function and how it affects the estimation and comparison of elastic parameters for soft tissues. In particular, we find that as a consequence of the exponential function there are lines of high covariance in the elastic parameter space. As a result, one can have widely varying mechanical parameters defining the tissue stiffness but similar effective stress-strain responses. Drawing from elementary algebra, we propose simple changes in the norm and the parameter space, which significantly improve the convergence of parameter estimation and robustness in the presence of noise. More importantly, we demonstrate that these changes improve the conditioning of the problem and provide a more robust solution in the case of heterogeneous material by reducing the chances of getting trapped in a local minima. Based upon the new insight, we also propose a transformed parameter space which will allow for rational parameter comparison and avoid misleading conclusions regarding soft tissue mechanics.

  16. Gaming and Conventional Exercises for Improvement of Arm Function After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottink, Anke I R; Prange, Gerdienke B; Krabben, Thijs; Rietman, Johan S; Buurke, Jaap H

    2014-06-01

    The use of new technologies in rehabilitation, such as virtual reality and/or computerized gaming exercises, may be useful to enable patients to practice intensively in a motivating way. The objective of the present randomized controlled pilot study was to compare the effect of reach training using a target group specific-designed rehabilitation game to time-matched standardized conventional reach training on arm function after stroke. Twenty chronic stroke patients were randomized to either the rehabilitation game group or the conventional training group. Both groups received three arm training sessions of 30 minutes each week, during a period of 6 weeks. Arm (the upper extremity part of Fugl-Meyer [FM] assessment) and hand (the Action Research Arm [ARA] test) functions were tested 1 week before (T0) and 1 week after (T1) training. A follow-up measurement was performed at 1 month after T1 (T2). ARA and FM scores improved significantly within both groups. Post hoc comparisons revealed significant increases in test scores between T0 and T1 and between T0 and T2 for both ARA and FM, but not for changes from T1 to T2. There were no significant differences between both groups for either clinical test. The present randomized controlled pilot study showed that both arm and hand function improved as much after training with a rehabilitation game as after time-matched conventional training.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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. The process was stepwise: we searched extensively to identify extant Physical Function items and then classified and selectively reduced the item pool. We evaluated retained items for content, clarity, relevance and comprehension, reading level, and translation ease by experts and patient surveys, focus groups, and cognitive interviews. We then assessed items by using classic test theory and IRT, used confirmatory factor analyses to estimate item parameters, and graded response modeling for parameter estimation. We retained the 20 Legacy (original) Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) and the 10 SF-36's PF-10 items for comparison. Subjects were from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and healthy aging cohorts (n = 1,100) and a national Internet sample of 21,133 subjects. We identified 1,860 items. After qualitative and quantitative evaluation, 124 newly developed PROMIS items composed the PROMIS item bank, which included revised Legacy items with good fit that met IRT model assumptions. Results showed that the clearest and best-understood items were simple, in the present tense, and straightforward. Basic tasks (like dressing) were more relevant and important versus complex ones (like dancing). Revised HAQ-DI and PF-10 items with five response options had higher item-information content than did comparable original Legacy items with fewer response options. IRT analyses showed that the Physical Function domain satisfied general criteria for unidimensionality with one-, two-, three-, and four-factor models

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estate M Sokhadze

    2014-08-01

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

  20. Treating insomnia improves mood state, sleep, and functioning in bipolar disorder: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Allison G; Soehner, Adriane M; Kaplan, Kate A; Hein, Kerrie; Lee, Jason; Kanady, Jennifer; Li, Descartes; Rabe-Hesketh, Sophia; Ketter, Terence A; Neylan, Thomas C; Buysse, Daniel J

    2015-06-01

    To determine if a treatment for interepisode bipolar disorder I patients with insomnia improves mood state, sleep, and functioning. Alongside psychiatric care, interepisode bipolar disorder I participants with insomnia were randomly allocated to a bipolar disorder-specific modification of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia (CBTI-BP; n = 30) or psychoeducation (PE; n = 28) as a comparison condition. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, the end of 8 sessions of treatment, and 6 months later. This pilot was conducted to determine initial feasibility and generate effect size estimates. During the 6-month follow-up, the CBTI-BP group had fewer days in a bipolar episode relative to the PE group (3.3 days vs. 25.5 days). The CBTI-BP group also experienced a significantly lower hypomania/mania relapse rate (4.6% vs. 31.6%) and a marginally lower overall mood episode relapse rate (13.6% vs. 42.1%) compared with the PE group. Relative to PE, CBTI-BP reduced insomnia severity and led to higher rates of insomnia remission at posttreatment and marginally higher rates at 6 months. Both CBTI-BP and PE showed statistically significant improvement on selected sleep and functional impairment measures. The effects of treatment were well sustained through follow-up for most outcomes, although some decline on secondary sleep benefits was observed. CBTI-BP was associated with reduced risk of mood episode relapse and improved sleep and functioning on certain outcomes in bipolar disorder. Hence, sleep disturbance appears to be an important pathway contributing to bipolar disorder. The need to develop bipolar disorder-specific sleep diary scoring standards is highlighted. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Sustained IGF-1 Secretion by Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Improves Infarcted Heart Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagno, Luiza L; Carvalho, Deivid; Mesquita, Fernanda; Louzada, Ruy A; Andrade, Bruno; Kasai-Brunswick, Taís H; Lago, Vivian M; Suhet, Grazielle; Cipitelli, Debora; Werneck-de-Castro, João Pedro; Campos-de-Carvalho, Antonio C

    2016-01-01

    The mechanism by which stem cell-based therapy improves heart function is still unknown, but paracrine mechanisms seem to be involved. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) secrete several factors, including insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which may contribute to myocardial regeneration. Our aim was to investigate whether the overexpression of IGF-1 in ADSCs (IGF-1-ADSCs) improves treatment of chronically infarcted rat hearts. ADSCs were transduced with a lentiviral vector to induce IGF-1 overexpression. IGF-1-ADSCs transcribe100- to 200-fold more IGF-1 mRNA levels compared to nontransduced ADSCs. IGF-1 transduction did not alter ADSC immunophenotypic characteristics even under hypoxic conditions. However, IGF-1-ADSCs proliferate at higher rates and release greater amounts of growth factors such as IGF-1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Importantly, IGF-1 secreted by IGF-1-ADSCs is functional given that Akt-1 phosphorylation was remarkably induced in neonatal cardiomyocytes cocultured with IGF-1-ADSCs, and this increase was prevented with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor treatment. Next, we tested IGF-1-ADSCs in a rat myocardial infarction (MI) model. MI was performed by coronary ligation, and 4 weeks after MI, animals received intramyocardial injections of either ADSCs (n = 7), IGF-1-ADSCs (n = 7), or vehicle (n = 7) into the infarcted border zone. Left ventricular function was evaluated by echocardiography before and after 6 weeks of treatment, and left ventricular hemodynamics were assessed 7 weeks after cell injection. Notably, IGF-1-ADSCs improved left ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac contractility index, but did not reduce scar size when compared to the ADSC-treated group. In summary, transplantation of ADSCs transduced with IGF-1 is a superior therapeutic approach to treat MI compared to nontransduced ADSCs, suggesting that gene and cell

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    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...... 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...... damage, but it also induces significant fatigue. This warrants study into alternative training methods to improve exercise capacity in SMA III patients....

  4. 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.

  5. Improving density functional tight binding predictions of free energy surfaces for peptide condensation reactions in solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroonblawd, Matthew; Goldman, Nir

    First principles molecular dynamics using highly accurate density functional theory (DFT) is a common tool for predicting chemistry, but the accessible time and space scales are often orders of magnitude beyond the resolution of experiments. Semi-empirical methods such as density functional tight binding (DFTB) offer up to a thousand-fold reduction in required CPU hours and can approach experimental scales. However, standard DFTB parameter sets lack good transferability and calibration for a particular system is usually necessary. Force matching the pairwise repulsive energy term in DFTB to short DFT trajectories can improve the former's accuracy for chemistry that is fast relative to DFT simulation times (Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  6. Improving Density Functional Tight Binding Predictions of Free Energy Surfaces for Slow Chemical Reactions in Solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroonblawd, Matthew; Goldman, Nir

    2017-06-01

    First principles molecular dynamics using highly accurate density functional theory (DFT) is a common tool for predicting chemistry, but the accessible time and space scales are often orders of magnitude beyond the resolution of experiments. Semi-empirical methods such as density functional tight binding (DFTB) offer up to a thousand-fold reduction in required CPU hours and can approach experimental scales. However, standard DFTB parameter sets lack good transferability and calibration for a particular system is usually necessary. Force matching the pairwise repulsive energy term in DFTB to short DFT trajectories can improve the former's accuracy for reactions that are fast relative to DFT simulation times (Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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

  8. Engineering the heart: Evaluation of conductive nanomaterials for improving implant integration and cardiac function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Chen, Jun; Sun, Hongyu; Qiu, Xiaozhong; Mou, Yongchao; Liu, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Yuwei; Li, Xia; Han, Yao; Duan, Cuimi; Tang, Rongyu; Wang, Chunlan; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Jie; Luo, Ying; (Mengqiu) Xing, Malcolm; Wang, Changyong

    2014-01-01

    Recently, carbon nanotubes together with other types of conductive materials have been used to enhance the viability and function of cardiomyocytes in vitro. Here we demonstrated a paradigm to construct ECTs for cardiac repair using conductive nanomaterials. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were incorporated into gelatin hydrogel scaffolds to construct three-dimensional ECTs. We found that SWNTs could provide cellular microenvironment in vitro favorable for cardiac contraction and the expression of electrochemical associated proteins. Upon implantation into the infarct hearts in rats, ECTs structurally integrated with the host myocardium, with different types of cells observed to mutually invade into implants and host tissues. The functional measurements showed that SWNTs were essential to improve the performance of ECTs in inhibiting pathological deterioration of myocardium. This work suggested that conductive nanomaterials hold therapeutic potential in engineering cardiac tissues to repair myocardial infarction. PMID:24429673

  9. High-Intensity Ultrasound to Improve Physical and Functional Properties of Lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagh, Ashwini; Birkin, Peter; Martini, Silvana

    2016-01-01

    High-intensity ultrasound (HIU) has been used in recent years to change the crystallization behavior of edible lipids. This technique can be used in combination with other processing technologies to tailor lipids' functional properties and broaden their application for various food products. In general, sonication induces crystallization, increases crystallization rate, and generates a harder and more elastic crystalline network characterized by smaller crystals with a sharper melting profile. An important application of HIU is to improve the hardness and elasticity of shortenings that have a low content of saturated fatty acids and are free of trans-fats. This review summarizes recent research that used HIU to change the physical and functional properties of edible lipids and focuses on the importance of controlling processing variables such as sonication power level and duration and crystallization temperature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azimifar, Zohreh; Mohaddesi, Mahsa

    2015-04-01

    This paper proposes an optimized and efficient active surface model by improving the energy functions, searching method, neighborhood definition and resampling criterion. Extracting an accurate surface of the desired object from a number of 3D images using active surface and deformable models plays an important role in computer vision especially medical image processing. Different powerful segmentation algorithms have been suggested to address the limitations associated with the model initialization, poor convergence to surface concavities and slow convergence rate. This paper proposes a method to improve one of the strongest and recent segmentation algorithms, namely the Decoupled Active Surface (DAS) method. We consider a gradient of wavelet edge extracted image and local phase coherence as external energy to extract more information from images and we use curvature integral as internal energy to focus on high curvature region extraction. Similarly, we use resampling of points and a line search for point selection to improve the accuracy of the algorithm. We further employ an estimation of the desired object as an initialization for the active surface model. A number of tests and experiments have been done and the results show the improvements with regards to the extracted surface accuracy and computational time of the presented algorithm compared with the best and recent active surface models. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-29

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

  13. Chronic treatment with tadalafil improves endothelial function in men with increased cardiovascular risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosano, Giuseppe M C; Aversa, Antonio; Vitale, Cristiana; Fabbri, Andrea; Fini, Massimo; Spera, Giovanni

    2005-02-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often associated with a cluster of risk factors for coronary artery disease and reduced endothelial function. Acute and chronic administration of oral sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, improves endothelial function in patients with ED. Tadalafil (TAD) is a new PDE5 inhibitor with a long half life that allows alternate day administration. Aim of the study was to evaluate whether chronic therapy (4 weeks) with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk and whether this effect is sustained after discontinuation of therapy. We randomized 32 patients with increased cardiovascular risk to receive either TAD 20 mg on alternate days or matching placebo (PLB) for 4 weeks. Patients underwent evaluation of brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitrite/nitrate and endothelin-1 plasma levels at baseline, at the end of treatment period and after two-weeks follow-up. At 4 weeks, FMD was significantly improved by TAD (from 4.2+/-3.2 to 9.3+/-3.7%, p<0.01 vs. baseline), but was not modified by PLB (from 4.1+/-2.8 to 4.0+/-3.4%, p=NS). At 6 weeks the benefit in FMD was sustained in patients that received TAD (9.1+/-3.9% vs. 4.2+/-3.2%, p=0.01 vs. baseline; 9.1+/-3.9% vs. 9.3+/-3.7%, vs. 4 weeks, p=NS) while no changes in FMD were observed in patients randomized to PLB. Also, compared to baseline, a net increase in nitrite/nitrate levels (38.2+/-12.3 vs. 52.6+/-11.7 and 51.1+/-3.1, p<0.05) and a decrease in endothelin-1 levels (3.3+/-0.9 vs. 2.9.+/-0.7 and 2.9+/-0.9, p<0.05) was found both at four and six-weeks after TAD; these changes were inversely correlated as shown by regression analysis (adjusted R2=0.81, p<0.0001). Chronic therapy with TAD improves endothelial function in patients with increased cardiovascular risk regardless their degree of ED. The benefit of this therapy is sustained for at least two weeks after the discontinuation of therapy. Larger studies are needed in order

  14. The uncertainty of crop yield projections is reduced by improved temperature response functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Enli; Martre, Pierre; Zhao, Zhigan

    2017-01-01

    , we show that variations in the mathematical functions currently used to simulate temperature responses of physiological processes in 29 wheat models account for >50% of uncertainty in simulated grain yields for mean growing season temperatures from 14 °C to 33 °C. We derived a set of new temperature......Quality) and analysing their results against the HSC data and an additional global dataset from the International Heat Stress Genotpye Experiment (IHSGE)8 carried out by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). More importantly, we derive, based on newest knowledge and data, a set of new...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, Eleanor; Buonincontri, Guido; Izquierdo, David; Methner, Carmen; Hawkes, Rob C; Ansorge, Richard E; Kreig, Thomas; Carpenter, T Adrian; Sawiak, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. The pharmacists' role in improving guideline compliance for thyroid function testing in patients with heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziman, Melanie E; Bui, Hien T; Smith, Craig S; Tsukiji, Lori A; Asmatey, Veda M; Chu, Steven B; Miano, John S

    2012-04-01

    This single-center retrospective pilot program's objective was to utilize outpatient pharmacists to improve laboratory test adherence in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients overdue for thyroid function testing, thereby demonstrating the value of the outpatient pharmacist and justifying possible clinical role expansion. Thyroid disorders may contribute to CHF development, progression, and exacerbation. Testing is the standard of care in CHF patients per American Heart Association's 2009 Guidelines. Delinquency was defined as labs not conducted within 1 year in patients with euthyroid history, within 6 months in patients with thyroid dysfunction, abnormal labs at any time without follow-up, or lab absence after thyroid medication initiation, adjustment, or discontinuation. Targeted 80 nonpregnant adult CHF patients with delinquent thyroid function tests were counseled to get thyroid labs at point of sale, via telephone, e-mail, or letter. In collaboration with physicians, pharmacists ordered thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4 (FT4) labs. For patients with abnormal laboratory results, pharmacists coordinated drug therapy and follow-up labs. Data were collected from November 1, 2009 to March 30, 2010. Seventy-two patients (90%) previously delinquent for thyroid function testing received relevant thyroid labs. Ten patients (12.5%) with abnormal thyroid function tests not on prior drug therapy received treatment.

  19. Improved functionality of graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam architecture by UV-ozone treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Ruiz, Isaac; Lee, Ilkeun; Zaera, Francisco; Ozkan, Mihrimah; Ozkan, Cengiz S.

    2015-04-01

    Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability.Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr06795a

  20. How Does Paying Attention Improve Sexual Functioning in Women? A Review of Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Nikita; Brotto, Lori A

    2017-07-01

    Female sexual dysfunction (FSD), consisting of a constellation of distressing sexual symptoms, is highly prevalent worldwide. Given the central role played by psychological factors in the development of FSD, psychologically and in particular mindfulness-based interventions have arisen as potential treatment options for women. Although mindfulness-based interventions have been evaluated in samples of women with gynecologic cancer; a history of sexual abuse; multiple sclerosis; and spinal cord injury; and provoked vestibulodynia, the mechanisms by which mindfulness leads to improvements in sexual functioning are largely unstudied. To summarize the literature on mechanisms of mindfulness interventions in general and to hypothesize which mechanisms most likely apply to samples of women with FSD. Medline was searched with terms such as mindfulness, meditation, mediator, mode, moderator, mechanism, sex, and sexual dysfunction. Only studies that conducted a formal mediation or moderation analysis were included. We also conducted a broader review on mechanisms in other populations, with slightly modified inclusion criteria: the terms sex and sexual dysfunction were removed and only studies from 2012 to 2016 and studies that included an active mindfulness intervention were included. In general populations, trait mindfulness and decentering were the most common mechanisms identified for the efficacy of mindfulness. In four studies that examined mediators of improvement in samples with FSD, the following mediators were found to be significant: relationship satisfaction, genital self-image, interoceptive awareness, depressed mood, anxiety, and trait mindfulness, of which interoceptive awareness had the most supporting evidence. Clinicians and researchers can use the identified mediators of improvement (ie, interoceptive awareness, depression, and trait mindfulness) when making decisions about which patient might be more likely to benefit from a mindfulness-based approach to

  1. Swimming Improves Pain and Functional Capacity of Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Giovana; Jennings, Fabio; Nery Cabral, Michele Vieira; Pirozzi Buosi, Ana Letícia; Natour, Jamil

    2016-08-01

    To evaluate the effect of swimming on pain, functional capacity, aerobic capacity, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Randomized controlled trial. Rheumatology outpatient clinics of a university hospital. Women with FM (N=75; age range, 18-60y) randomly assigned to a swimming group (SG) (n=39) or a walking group (WG) (n=36). The SG performed 50 minutes of swimming 3 times a week for 12 weeks, with a heart rate at 11 beats under the anaerobic threshold. The WG performed walking with a heart rate at the anaerobic threshold, with the same duration and frequency as the SG. Participants were evaluated before the exercise protocols (t0), at 6 weeks (t6), and at 12 weeks (t12) after the onset of the protocols. The primary outcome measure was the visual analog scale for pain. The secondary measurements were the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey for quality of life; a spiroergometric test for cardiorespiratory variables; and the timed Up & Go test for functional performance. Patients in both groups experienced improvement in pain after the 12-week program, with no difference between groups (P=.658). The same results were found regarding functional capacity and quality of life. Moreover, no statistical difference between groups was found regarding aerobic capacity over time. Swimming, like walking, is an effective method for reducing pain and improving both functional capacity and quality of life in patients with FM. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronaldo Altenburg Gismondi

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Probiotics and Probiotic Metabolic Product Improved Intestinal Function and Ameliorated LPS-Induced Injury in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Bo; Wu, Jie; Li, Xiaohui; Men, Xiaoming; Xu, Ziwei

    2017-11-01

    In the present study, we sought to determine the effects of Bacillus subtilis (BAS) and Bacillus licheniformis (BAL) in rats after lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute intestinal inflammation. We also determined whether the B. subtilis metabolic product (BASM) is as effective as the live-cell probiotic. 60 male SD rats were randomly assigned to five groups and administered a diet containing 0.05% B. licheniformis (BAL group), 0.05% B. subtilis (BAS group), 0.5% B. subtilis metabolic product (BASM group), or a basic diet (PC group and NC group) for 40 days. On day 40, BAL, BAS, BASM, and NC groups were injected with 4 mg/kg body weight LPS. 4 h later, all rats were anesthetized and sacrificed. The results showed that the administration of B. licheniformis and B. subtilis improved intestinal function as evidenced by histology, increased enzyme activity, and mucosal thickness. They also increased the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes and decreased mucosal myeloperoxidase activity and plasma TNF-α. In addition, the cecal content of B. subtilis-treated rats had significantly increased microbial diversity, decreased numbers of Firmicutes, and increased numbers of Bacteroidetes as compared to rats fed basic diets. Similar to BAS group, the cecal content of B. licheniformis-treated rats decreased the number of Firmicutes. Administration of B. subtilis metabolic product had similar effects on intestinal function, inflammation response, and microbial diversity as B. subtilis but these effects were attenuated. In conclusion, administration of probiotic strains B. licheniformis or B. subtilis improved intestinal function, ameliorated the inflammation response, and modulated microflora after LPS-induced acute inflammation in rats. Non-living cells also exerted probiotic properties but live cells tended to function better.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Recent trends in robot-assisted therapy environments to improve real-life functional performance after stroke

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Michelle J

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Upper and lower limb robotic tools for neuro-rehabilitation are effective in reducing motor impairment but they are limited in their ability to improve real world function. There is a need to improve functional outcomes after robot-assisted therapy. Improvements in the effectiveness of these environments may be achieved by incorporating into their design and control strategies important elements key to inducing motor learning and cerebral plasticity such as mass-practice, feedback, t...

  6. Quantification of amine functional groups and their influence on OM/OC in the IMPROVE network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamruzzaman, Mohammed; Takahama, Satoshi; Dillner, Ann M.

    2018-01-01

    Recently, we developed a method using FT-IR spectroscopy coupled with partial least squares (PLS) regression to measure the four most abundant organic functional groups, aliphatic C-H, alcohol OH, carboxylic acid OH and carbonyl C=O, in atmospheric particulate matter. These functional groups are summed to estimate organic matter (OM) while the carbon from the functional groups is summed to estimate organic carbon (OC). With this method, OM and OM/OC can be estimated for each sample rather than relying on one assumed value to convert OC measurements to OM. This study continues the development of the FT-IR and PLS method for estimating OM and OM/OC by including the amine functional group. Amines are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and come from motor vehicle exhaust, animal husbandry, biomass burning, and vegetation among other sources. In this study, calibration standards for amines are produced by aerosolizing individual amine compounds and collecting them on PTFE filters using an IMPROVE sampler, thereby mimicking the filter media and collection geometry of ambient standards. The moles of amine functional group on each standard and a narrow range of amine-specific wavenumbers in the FT-IR spectra (wavenumber range 1 550-1 500 cm-1) are used to develop a PLS calibration model. The PLS model is validated using three methods: prediction of a set of laboratory standards not included in the model, a peak height analysis and a PLS model with a broader wavenumber range. The model is then applied to the ambient samples collected throughout 2013 from 16 IMPROVE sites in the USA. Urban sites have higher amine concentrations than most rural sites, but amine functional groups account for a lower fraction of OM at urban sites. Amine concentrations, contributions to OM and seasonality vary by site and sample. Amine has a small impact on the annual average OM/OC for urban sites, but for some rural sites including amine in the OM/OC calculations increased OM/OC by 0.1 or more.

  7. Plasma-Functionalized Polytetrafluoroethylene Nanoparticles for Improved Wear in Lubricated Contact

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharma, Vinay [Materials Science; Timmons, Richard [Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19065, Arlington, Texas 76019, United States; Erdemir, Ali [Argonne National Lab, Argonne, Illinois 60439, United States; Aswath, Pranesh B. [Materials Science

    2017-07-20

    Plasma-functionalized polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles were employed to evaluate their utility in improving the lubrication property of a group III mineral oil with a significantly low amount of zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP). The particles were coated with two consecutive films; the initial coating contained silica to enhance amorphous glassy tribofilm formation, followed by a methacrylate film to protect the silica coating and enhance dispersibility in the oil. The functionalized nanoparticles were evaluated for their tribological performance using a high-frequency reciprocating rig, in a cylinder-on-flat configuration. The oil formulations containing ZDDP (350 ppm phosphorus level) and the functionalized nanoparticles resulted in dramatic reductions in the friction coefficient and overall wear compared to the samples containing nonfunctionalized PTFE nanoparticles, ZDDP (350 ppm P), and samples devoid of nanoparticles but containing ZDDP with a 700 ppm P treat rate. XPS and XANES spectroscopy were employed to characterize the tribological films formed on the test samples. The samples with functionalized particles and ZDDP clearly exhibited tribofilms with Si- and F-doped polyphosphates of Zn coupled with the presence of ZnS at the metal-tribofilm interface. On the other hand, oils without the functionalized nanoparticles have oxides of Fe and to a lesser extent short-chain phosphates of Zn. The overall results suggest that the synergism between plasma-coated PTFE nanoparticles and ZDDP contributed to the development of protective tribofilms even at reduced amount of phosphorus in the oil. This new method of employing nanoparticles to deliver novel antifriction and antiwear chemistries at the tribological interfaces stands out as a promising approach to further reduce P levels in oils without compromising friction and wear performance.

  8. Improved mechanical and functional properties of elastomer/graphite nanocomposites prepared by latex compounding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Jian; Tian Ming; Jia Qingxiu; Shi Junhong; Zhang Liqun; Lim Szuhui; Yu Zhongzhen; Mai Yiuwing

    2007-01-01

    The facile latex approach has been adopted to finely incorporate graphite nanosheets into elastomeric polymer matrix to obtain high-performance elastomeric nanocomposites with improved mechanical properties and functional properties. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction experiments show that the nanostructures of the final nanocomposites exhibit a high degree of exfoliation and intercalation of graphite in the nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) matrix. Mechanical and dynamic-mechanical tests demonstrate that the NBR/graphite nanocomposites possess greatly increased elastic modulus and tensile strength, and desirably strong interfaces. The unexpected self-crosslinking of elastomer/graphite nanocomposites was discovered and then verified by oscillating disc rheometry and equilibrium swelling experiments. After critically examining various polymer types by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron spin resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, a radical initiation mechanism was proposed to explain the self-crosslinking reaction. These NBR/graphite nanocomposites possess significantly improved wear resistance and gas barrier properties, and superior electrical/thermal conductivity. Such versatile functional properties make NBR nanocomposites a promising new class of advanced materials

  9. Rehabilitation in home care is associated with functional improvement and preferred discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard J; Berg, Katherine; Lee, Ker-Ai; Poss, Jeffrey W; Hirdes, John P; Stolee, Paul

    2013-06-01

    To investigate the impact of physiotherapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) services on long-stay home care patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Observational study. Home care programs. All long-stay home care patients between 2003 and 2008 (N=99,764) with musculoskeletal disorders who received a baseline Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care assessment, 1 follow-up assessment, and had discharge or death records. PT and OT. The effects of PT and OT services on transitions in functional state, discharge from home care with service plans complete, institutionalization, and death were assessed via multistate Markov models. Home care patients with deficiencies in instrumental activities of daily living and/or activities of daily living at baseline and who received home-based rehabilitation had significantly increased odds of showing functional improvements by their next assessment (for a state 3 to state 2 transition: odds ratio [OR]=1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-1.26; Pfunding for health care services, it is essential to provide the right services at the right time in a cost-effective manner. Long-stay home care patients who receive rehabilitation at home have improved outcomes and lower utilization of costly health services. Our findings suggest that investment in PT and OT services for relatively short periods may provide savings to the health care system over the longer term. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improved mechanical and functional properties of elastomer/graphite nanocomposites prepared by latex compounding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Jian [Key Laboratory for Nano-materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Ministry of Education of China, Beijing 100029 (China); Key Laboratory on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029 (China); Tian Ming [Key Laboratory for Nano-materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Ministry of Education of China, Beijing 100029 (China); Jia Qingxiu [Key Laboratory on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029 (China); Shi Junhong [Key Laboratory for Nano-materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Ministry of Education of China, Beijing 100029 (China); Zhang Liqun [Key Laboratory for Nano-materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Ministry of Education of China, Beijing 100029 (China); Key Laboratory on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029 (China)], E-mail: zhanglq@mail.buct.edu.cn; Lim Szuhui; Yu Zhongzhen [Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (CAMT), School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (J07), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Mai Yiuwing [Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (CAMT), School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (J07), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia)], E-mail: y.mai@usyd.edu.au

    2007-10-15

    The facile latex approach has been adopted to finely incorporate graphite nanosheets into elastomeric polymer matrix to obtain high-performance elastomeric nanocomposites with improved mechanical properties and functional properties. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction experiments show that the nanostructures of the final nanocomposites exhibit a high degree of exfoliation and intercalation of graphite in the nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) matrix. Mechanical and dynamic-mechanical tests demonstrate that the NBR/graphite nanocomposites possess greatly increased elastic modulus and tensile strength, and desirably strong interfaces. The unexpected self-crosslinking of elastomer/graphite nanocomposites was discovered and then verified by oscillating disc rheometry and equilibrium swelling experiments. After critically examining various polymer types by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron spin resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, a radical initiation mechanism was proposed to explain the self-crosslinking reaction. These NBR/graphite nanocomposites possess significantly improved wear resistance and gas barrier properties, and superior electrical/thermal conductivity. Such versatile functional properties make NBR nanocomposites a promising new class of advanced materials.

  11. Improvements to executive function during exercise training predict maintenance of physical activity over the following year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eBest

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that exercise training benefits cognitive, neural, and physical health markers in older adults. It is likely that these positive effects will diminish if participants return to sedentary lifestyles following training cessation. Theory posits that that the neurocognitive processes underlying self-regulation, namely executive function (EF, are important to maintaining positive health behaviors. Therefore, we examined whether better EF performance in older women would predict greater adherence to routine physical activity (PA over 1 year following a 12-month resistance exercise training randomized controlled trial. The study sample consisted of 125 community-dwelling women aged 65 to 75 years old. Our primary outcome measure was self-reported PA, as measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE, assessed on a monthly basis from month 13 to month 25. Executive function was assessed using the Stroop Test at baseline (month 0 and post-training (month 12. Latent growth curve analyses showed that, on average, PA decreased during the follow-up period but at a decelerating rate. Women who made greater improvements to EF during the training period showed better adherence to PA during the 1-year follow-up period (β = -.36, p .10. Overall, these findings suggest that improving EF plays an important role in whether older women maintain higher levels of PA following exercise training and that this association is only apparent after training when environmental support for PA is low.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  13. Drainage of pleural effusion improves diaphragmatic function in mechanically ventilated patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbrello, Michele; Mistraletti, Giovanni; Galimberti, Andrea; Piva, Ilaria R; Cozzi, Ottavia; Formenti, Paolo

    2017-03-01

    Pleural effusion adversely affects the pressuregenerating capacity of the diaphragm. It uncouples the lung and chest wall, which may result in diaphragmatic dysfunction. Information on the effects of effusion drainage on diaphragmatic function is limited, but several studies report relief of dyspnoea after drainage, which was attributed to improved diaphragmatic mechanics, even if this issue was never formally addressed. To investigate the effect of drainage of unilateral pleural effusion on diaphragmatic function. In a prospective twostep protocol (at baseline and after drainage of effusion), we conducted a spontaneous breathing trial in fourteen critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients undergoing pressure support ventilation. We used ultrasonography of the ipsilateral hemidiaphragm to evaluate and record respiratory displacement and thickening during tidal and maximal breathing efforts. We recorded and analysed airway pressures, respiratory system compliance, vital capacity, indices of respiratory effort and arterial blood gases. After drainage of the effusion, the respiratory rate decreased and tidal volume increased, but haemodynamic parameters were unaffected and oxygenation levels showed a non-significant increase. Drainage was associated with significant decreases in indices of respiratory drive and the maximal pressure generated by the respiratory muscles, as well as an increased compliance of the respiratory system. Diaphragmatic displacement and thickening significantly increased after drainage. We found there was a significant correlation between the volume of the effusion drained and the increase in tidal diaphragmatic thickening. Drainage of a unilateral pleural effusion during weaning from mechanical ventilation improves diaphragmatic contractile activity and respiratory system performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. [Improvement in functional capacity after levothyroxine treatment in patients with chronic heart failure and subclinical hypothyroidism].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curotto Grasiosi, Jorge; Peressotti, Bruno; Machado, Rogelio A; Filipini, Eduardo C; Angel, Adriana; Delgado, Jorge; Cortez Quiroga, Gustavo A; Rus Mansilla, Carmen; Martínez Quesada, María del Mar; Degregorio, Alejandro; Cordero, Diego J; Dak, Marcelo; Izurieta, Carlos; Esper, Ricardo J

    2013-10-01

    To assess whether levothyroxine treatment improves functional capacity in patients with chronic heart failure (New York Heart Association class i-iii) and subclinical hypothyroidism. One hundred and sixty-three outpatients with stable chronic heart failure followed up for at least 6 months were enrolled. A physical examination was performed, and laboratory tests including thyroid hormone levels, Doppler echocardiogram, radionuclide ventriculography, and Holter monitoring were requested. Functional capacity was assessed by of the 6-min walk test. Patients with subclinical hypothyroidism were detected and, after undergoing the s6-min walk test, were given replacement therapy. When they reached normal thyrotropin (TSH) levels, the 6-min walk test was performed again. The distance walked in both tests was recorded, and the difference in meters covered by each patient was analyzed. Prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in patients with heart failure was 13%. These patients walked 292±63m while they were hypothyroid and 350±76m when TSH levels returned to normal, a difference of 58±11m (P<.011). Patients with normal baseline TSH levels showed no significant difference between the 2 6-min walk tests. Patients with chronic heart failure and subclinical hypothyroidism significantly improved their physical performance when normal TSH levels were reached. Copyright © 2012 SEEN. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  17. Improved left ventricular function and perfusion at rest after successful transluminal coronary angioplasty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klepzig, H.; Kaltenbach, M.; Standke, R.; Maul, F.D.; Hoer, G.

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate left ventricular function and perfusion at rest before and after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. In consecutive 69 patients in whom coronary stenoses were dilated, the radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction at rest increased significantly. In 26 of these patients, the ejection fraction increased by at least 4%. In these patients, exercise-induced ischemic ST depression had been more pronounced than in the others. 36 other patients underwent 201 Tl myocardial scintigraphy before and after angioplasty. Twelve patients in whom pre-PTCA images had revealed regions with irreversible 201 Tl uptake defects, showed normal 201 Tl distribution patterns on post-PTCA scintigrams. Post-exercise 201 Tl uptake (representing myocardial perfusion and metabolic activity) during pre-PTCA exercise stress tests was significantly lower in these cases. It is concluded that PTCA can improve left ventricular function and perfusion at rest. This improvement is most obvious in patients with pronounced exercise-induced myocardial ischemia as diagnosed by typical ST segment depression and reduced thallium uptake. (orig.) [de

  18. Ticagrelor Improves Endothelial Function by Decreasing Circulating Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Vieceli Dalla Sega

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Ticagrelor is one of the most powerful P2Y12 inhibitor. We have recently reported that, in patients with concomitant Stable Coronary Artery Disease (SCAD and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI, treatment with ticagrelor, as compared to clopidogrel, is associated with an improvement of the endothelial function (Clinical Trial NCT02519608. In the present study, we showed that, in the same population, after 1 month treatment with ticagrelor, but not with clopidogrel, there is a decrease of the circulating levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF and that these changes in circulating levels of EGF correlate with on-treatment platelet reactivity. Furthermore, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC incubated with sera of the patients treated with ticagrelor, but not with clopidogrel there is an increase of p-eNOS levels. Finally, analyzing the changes in EGF and p-eNOS levels after treatment, we observed an inverse correlation between p-eNOS and EGF changes only in the ticagrelor group. Causality between EGF and eNOS activation was assessed in vitro in HUVEC where we showed that EGF decreases eNOS activity in a dose dependent manner. Taken together our data indicate that ticagrelor improves endothelial function by lowering circulating EGF that results in the activation of eNOS in the vascular endothelium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-03

    During a study of spinal cord injury (SCI), mice in our colony were treated with the anthelmintic fenbendazole to treat pinworms detected in other mice not involved in the study. As this was not part of the original experimental design, we subsequently compared pathological and functional outcomes of SCI in female C57BL/6 mice who received fenbendazole (150 ppm, 8 mg/kg body weight/day) for 4 weeks prior to moderate contusive SCI (50 kdyn force) as compared to mice on the same diet without added fenbendazole. The fenbendazole-treated mice exhibited improved locomotor function, determined using the Basso mouse scale, as well as improved tissue sparing following contusive SCI. Fenbendazole may exert protective effects through multiple possible mechanisms, one of which is inhibition of the proliferation of B lymphocytes, thereby reducing antibody responses. Autoantibodies produced following SCI contribute to the axon damage and locomotor deficits. Fenbendazole pretreatment reduced the injury-induced CD45R-positive B cell signal intensity and IgG immunoreactivity at the lesion epicenter 6 weeks after contusive SCI in mice, consistent with a possible effect on the immune response to the injury. Fenbendazole and related benzimadole antihelmintics are FDA approved, exhibit minimal toxicity, and represent a novel group of potential therapeutics targeting secondary mechanisms following SCI. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Methotrexate carried in lipid core nanoparticles reduces myocardial infarction size and improves cardiac function in rats

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    Maranhão RC

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Raul C Maranhão,1,2 Maria C Guido,1 Aline D de Lima,1 Elaine R Tavares,1 Alyne F Marques,1 Marcelo D Tavares de Melo,3 Jose C Nicolau,3 Vera MC Salemi,3 Roberto Kalil-Filho3 1Laboratory of Metabolism and Lipids, 2Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3Heart Failure Unit, Clinical Cardiology Division, Heart Institute (InCor, Medical School Hospital, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Purpose: Acute myocardial infarction (MI is accompanied by myocardial inflammation, fibrosis, and ventricular remodeling that, when excessive or not properly regulated, may lead to heart failure. Previously, lipid core nanoparticles (LDE used as carriers of the anti-inflammatory drug methotrexate (MTX produced an 80-fold increase in the cell uptake of MTX. LDE-MTX treatment reduced vessel inflammation and atheromatous lesions induced in rabbits by cholesterol feeding. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of LDE-MTX on rats with MI, compared with commercial MTX treatment.Materials and methods: Thirty-eight Wistar rats underwent left coronary artery ligation and were treated with LDE-MTX, or with MTX (1 mg/kg intraperitoneally, once/week, starting 24 hours after surgery or with LDE without drug (MI-controls. A sham-surgery group (n=12 was also included. Echocardiography was performed 24 hours and 6 weeks after surgery. The animals were euthanized and their hearts were analyzed for morphometry, protein expression, and confocal microscopy.Results: LDE-MTX treatment achieved a 40% improvement in left ventricular (LV systolic function and reduced cardiac dilation and LV mass, as shown by echocardiography. LDE-MTX reduced the infarction size, myocyte hypertrophy and necrosis, number of inflammatory cells, and myocardial fibrosis, as shown by morphometric analysis. LDE-MTX increased antioxidant enzymes; decreased apoptosis, macrophages, reactive oxygen species production; and tissue hypoxia in non-infarcted myocardium. LDE-MTX increased adenosine

  1. Contralaterally Controlled Functional Electrical Stimulation Improves Hand Dexterity in Chronic Hemiparesis: A Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, Jayme S; Gunzler, Douglas D; Wilson, Richard D; Chae, John

    2016-10-01

    It is unknown whether one method of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for poststroke upper limb rehabilitation is more effective than another. Our aim was to compare the effects of contralaterally controlled functional electrical stimulation (CCFES) with cyclic neuromuscular electrical stimulation (cNMES). Stroke patients with chronic (>6 months) moderate to severe upper extremity hemiparesis (n=80) were randomized to receive 10 sessions/wk of CCFES- or cNMES-assisted hand opening exercise at home plus 20 sessions of functional task practice in the laboratory for 12 weeks. The task practice for the CCFES group was stimulation assisted. The primary outcome was change in Box and Block Test (BBT) score at 6 months post treatment. Upper extremity Fugl-Meyer and Arm Motor Abilities Test were also measured. At 6 months post treatment, the CCFES group had greater improvement on the BBT, 4.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-7.0), than the cNMES group, 1.8 (95% CI, 0.6-3.0), between-group difference of 2.8 (95% CI, 0.1-5.5), P=0.045. No significant between-group difference was found for the upper extremity Fugl-Meyer (P=0.888) or Arm Motor Abilities Test (P=0.096). Participants who had the largest improvements on BBT were <2 years post stroke with moderate (ie, not severe) hand impairment at baseline. Among these, the 6-month post-treatment BBT gains of the CCFES group, 9.6 (95% CI, 5.6-13.6), were greater than those of the cNMES group, 4.1 (95% CI, 1.7-6.5), between-group difference of 5.5 (95% CI, 0.8-10.2), P=0.023. CCFES improved hand dexterity more than cNMES in chronic stroke survivors. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00891319. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  2. Improved proprioceptive function by application of subsensory electrical noise: Effects of aging and task-demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo, Diana R; Barela, José A; Kohn, André F

    2017-09-01

    The application of subsensory noise stimulation over the lower limbs has been shown to improve proprioception and postural control under certain conditions. Whereas the effect specificity seems to depend on several factors, studies are still needed to determine the appropriate method for training and rehabilitation purposes. In the current study, we investigated whether the application of subsensory electrical noise over the legs improves proprioceptive function in young and older adults. We aimed to provide evidence that stronger and age-related differential effects occur in more demanding tasks. Proprioceptive function was initially assessed by testing the detection of passive ankle movement (kinesthetic perception) in twenty-eight subjects (14 young and 14 older adults). Thereafter, postural control was assessed during tasks with different sensory challenges: i) by removing visual information (eyes closed) and; ii) by moving the visual scene (moving room paradigm). Tests performed with the application of electrical noise stimulation were compared to those performed without noise. The results showed that electrical noise applied over the legs led to a reduction in the response time to kinesthetic perception in both young and older adults. On the other hand, the magnitude of postural sway was reduced by noise stimulation only during a more challenging task, namely, when the optical flow was changing in an unpredictable (nonperiodic) manner. No differential effects of stimulation between groups were observed. These findings suggest that the relevance of proprioceptive inputs in tasks with different challenges, but not the subjects' age, is a determining factor for sensorimotor improvements due to electrical noise stimulation. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Machine-learning scoring functions to improve structure-based binding affinity prediction and virtual screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ain, Qurrat Ul; Aleksandrova, Antoniya; Roessler, Florian D; Ballester, Pedro J

    2015-01-01

    Docking tools to predict whether and how a small molecule binds to a target can be applied if a structural model of such target is available. The reliability of docking depends, however, on the accuracy of the adopted scoring function (SF). Despite intense research over the years, improving the accuracy of SFs for structure-based binding affinity prediction or virtual screening has proven to be a challenging task for any class of method. New SFs based on modern machine-learning regression models, which do not impose a predetermined functional form and thus are able to exploit effectively much larger amounts of experimental data, have recently been introduced. These machine-learning SFs have been shown to outperform a wide range of classical SFs at both binding affinity prediction and virtual screening. The emerging picture from these studies is that the classical approach of using linear regression with a small number of expert-selected structural features can be strongly improved by a machine-learning approach based on nonlinear regression allied with comprehensive data-driven feature selection. Furthermore, the performance of classical SFs does not grow with larger training datasets and hence this performance gap is expected to widen as more training data becomes available in the future. Other topics covered in this review include predicting the reliability of a SF on a particular target class, generating synthetic data to improve predictive performance and modeling guidelines for SF development. WIREs Comput Mol Sci 2015, 5:405-424. doi: 10.1002/wcms.1225 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  4. Home- and Community-Based Occupational Therapy Improves Functioning in Frail Older People: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Coninck, Leen; Bekkering, Geertruida E; Bouckaert, Leen; Declercq, Anja; Graff, Maud J L; Aertgeerts, Bert

    2017-08-01

    The objective is to assess the effectiveness of occupational therapy to improve performance in daily living activities in community-dwelling physically frail older people. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. We included randomized controlled trials reporting on occupational therapy as intervention, or as part of a multidisciplinary approach. This systematic review was carried out in accordance with the Cochrane methods of systematic reviews of interventions. Meta-analyses were performed to pool results across studies using the standardized mean difference. The primary outcome measures were mobility, functioning in daily living activities, and social participation. Secondary outcome measures were fear of falling, cognition, disability, and number of falling persons. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the studies were of reasonable quality with low risk of bias. There was a significant increase in all primary outcomes. The pooled result for functioning in daily living activities was a standardized mean difference of -0.30 (95% CI -0.50 to -0.11; P = .002), for social participation -0.44 (95% CI -0.69, -0.19; P = .0007) and for mobility -0.45 (95% CI -0.78 to -0.12; P = .007). All secondary outcomes showed positive trends, with fear of falling being significant. No adverse effects of occupational therapy were found. There is strong evidence that occupational therapy improves functioning in community-dwelling physically frail older people. © 2017, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2017, The American Geriatrics Society.

  5. A Single Resistance Exercise Session Improves Aortic Endothelial Function in Hypertensive Rats

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    Thaís de Oliveira Faria

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Physical exercise is an important tool for the improvement of endothelial function. Objective: To assess the effects of acute dynamic resistance exercise on the endothelial function of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR. Methods: Ten minutes after exercise, the aorta was removed to evaluate the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, phosphorylated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (p-eNOS1177 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS and to generate concentration-response curves to acetylcholine (ACh and to phenylephrine (PHE. The PHE protocol was also performed with damaged endothelium and before and after NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME and indomethacin administration. The maximal response (Emax and the sensitivity (EC50 to these drugs were evaluated. Results: ACh-induced relaxation increased in the aortic rings of exercised (Ex rats (Emax= -80 ± 4.6%, p < 0.05 when compared to those of controls (Ct (Emax = -50 ± 6.8%. The Emax to PHE was decreased following exercise conditions (95 ± 7.9%, p < 0.05 when compared to control conditions (120 ± 4.2%. This response was abolished after L-NAME administration or endothelial damage. In the presence of indomethacin, the aortic rings' reactivity to PHE was decreased in both groups (EC50= Ex -5.9 ± 0.14 vs. Ct -6.6 ± 0.33 log µM, p < 0.05 / Emax = Ex 9.5 ± 2.9 vs. Ct 17 ± 6.2%, p < 0.05. Exercise did not alter the expression of eNOS and iNOS, but increased the level of p-eNOS. Conclusion: A single resistance exercise session improves endothelial function in hypertensive rats. This response seems to be mediated by increased NO production through eNOS activation.

  6. Soluble Milk Protein Supplementation with Moderate Physical Activity Improves Locomotion Function in Aging Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aude Lafoux

    Full Text Available Aging is associated with a loss of muscle mass and functional capacity. Present study was designed to compare the impact of specific dairy proteins on muscular function with or without a low-intensity physical activity program on a treadmill in an aged rat model. We investigated the effects of nutritional supplementation, five days a week over a 2-month period with a slow digestible protein, casein or fast digestible proteins, whey or soluble milk protein, on strength and locomotor parameters in sedentary or active aged Wistar RjHan rats (17-19 months of age. An extensive gait analysis was performed before and after protein supplementation. After two months of protein administration and activity program, muscle force was evaluated using a grip test, spontaneous activity using an open-field and muscular mass by specific muscle sampling. When aged rats were supplemented with proteins without exercise, only minor effects of different diets on muscle mass and locomotion were observed: higher muscle mass in the casein group and improvement of stride frequencies with soluble milk protein. By contrast, supplementation with soluble milk protein just after physical activity was more effective at improving overall skeletal muscle function in old rats compared to casein. For active old rats supplemented with soluble milk protein, an increase in locomotor activity in the open field and an enhancement of static and dynamic gait parameters compared to active groups supplemented with casein or whey were observed without any differences in muscle mass and forelimb strength. These results suggest that consumption of soluble milk protein as a bolus immediately after a low intensity physical activity may be a suitable nutritional intervention to prevent decline in locomotion in aged rats and strengthen the interest to analyze the longitudinal aspect of locomotion in aged rodents.

  7. Soluble Milk Protein Supplementation with Moderate Physical Activity Improves Locomotion Function in Aging Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafoux, Aude; Baudry, Charlotte; Bonhomme, Cécile; Le Ruyet, Pascale; Huchet, Corinne

    2016-01-01

    Aging is associated with a loss of muscle mass and functional capacity. Present study was designed to compare the impact of specific dairy proteins on muscular function with or without a low-intensity physical activity program on a treadmill in an aged rat model. We investigated the effects of nutritional supplementation, five days a week over a 2-month period with a slow digestible protein, casein or fast digestible proteins, whey or soluble milk protein, on strength and locomotor parameters in sedentary or active aged Wistar RjHan rats (17-19 months of age). An extensive gait analysis was performed before and after protein supplementation. After two months of protein administration and activity program, muscle force was evaluated using a grip test, spontaneous activity using an open-field and muscular mass by specific muscle sampling. When aged rats were supplemented with proteins without exercise, only minor effects of different diets on muscle mass and locomotion were observed: higher muscle mass in the casein group and improvement of stride frequencies with soluble milk protein. By contrast, supplementation with soluble milk protein just after physical activity was more effective at improving overall skeletal muscle function in old rats compared to casein. For active old rats supplemented with soluble milk protein, an increase in locomotor activity in the open field and an enhancement of static and dynamic gait parameters compared to active groups supplemented with casein or whey were observed without any differences in muscle mass and forelimb strength. These results suggest that consumption of soluble milk protein as a bolus immediately after a low intensity physical activity may be a suitable nutritional intervention to prevent decline in locomotion in aged rats and strengthen the interest to analyze the longitudinal aspect of locomotion in aged rodents.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viorica Ionut

    Full Text Available Exenatide's effects on glucose metabolism have been studied extensively in diabetes but not in pre-diabetes.We examined the chronic effects of exenatide alone on glucose metabolism in pre-diabetic canines.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.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 (P<0.001 without altering food 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.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.

  9. An Improved Optimization Function for Maximizing User Comfort with Minimum Energy Consumption in Smart Homes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Israr Ullah

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the smart home environment, efficient energy management is a challenging task. Solutions are needed to achieve a high occupant comfort level with minimum energy consumption. User comfort is measured in terms of three fundamental parameters: (a thermal comfort, (b visual comfort and (c air quality. Temperature, illumination and CO 2 sensors are used to collect indoor contextual information. In this paper, we have proposed an improved optimization function to achieve maximum user comfort in the building environment with minimum energy consumption. A comprehensive formulation is done for energy optimization with detailed analysis. The Kalman filter algorithm is used to remove noise in sensor readings by predicting actual parameter values. For optimization, we have used genetic algorithm (GA and particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithms and performed comparative analysis with a baseline scheme on real data collected for a one-month duration in our lab’s indoor environment. Experimental results show that the proposed optimization function has achieved a 27 . 32 % and a 31 . 42 % reduction in energy consumption with PSO and GA, respectively. The user comfort index was also improved by 10 % i.e., from 0 . 86 to 0 . 96 . GA-based optimization results were better than PSO, as it has achieved almost the same user comfort with 4 . 19 % reduced energy consumption. Results show that the proposed optimization function gives better results than the baseline scheme in terms of user comfort and the amount of consumed energy. The proposed system can help with collecting the data about user preferences and energy consumption for long-term analysis and better decision making in the future for efficient resource utilization and overall profit maximization.

  10. Functional improvement and correlations with symptomatic improvement in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder receiving long-acting methylphenidate.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buitelaar, J.K.; Casas, M.; Philipsen, A.; Kooij, J.J.; Ramos-Quiroga, J.A.; Dejonckheere, J.; Oene, J.C. van; Schauble, B.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Data on the relationship between core symptoms and daily functioning in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are limited. Daily functioning was assessed as part of an open-label extension, and associations with symptom scores were evaluated. METHOD: After a 5-week

  11. Combined quality function deployment and logical framework analysis to improve quality of emergency care in Malta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttigieg, Sandra Catherine; Dey, Prasanta Kumar; Cassar, Mary Rose

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrated patient-focused analytical framework to improve quality of care in accident and emergency (A & E) unit of a Maltese hospital. The study adopts a case study approach. First, a thorough literature review has been undertaken to study the various methods of healthcare quality management. Second, a healthcare quality management framework is developed using combined quality function deployment (QFD) and logical framework approach (LFA). Third, the proposed framework is applied to a Maltese hospital to demonstrate its effectiveness. The proposed framework has six steps, commencing with identifying patients' requirements and concluding with implementing improvement projects. All the steps have been undertaken with the involvement of the concerned stakeholders in the A & E unit of the hospital. The major and related problems being faced by the hospital under study were overcrowding at A & E and shortage of beds, respectively. The combined framework ensures better A & E services and patient flow. QFD identifies and analyses the issues and challenges of A & E and LFA helps develop project plans for healthcare quality improvement. The important outcomes of implementing the proposed quality improvement programme are fewer hospital admissions, faster patient flow, expert triage and shorter waiting times at the A & E unit. Increased emergency consultant cover and faster first significant medical encounter were required to start addressing the problems effectively. Overall, the combined QFD and LFA method is effective to address quality of care in A & E unit. PRACTICAL/IMPLICATIONS: The proposed framework can be easily integrated within any healthcare unit, as well as within entire healthcare systems, due to its flexible and user-friendly approach. It could be part of Six Sigma and other quality initiatives. Although QFD has been extensively deployed in healthcare setup to improve quality of care, very little has been

  12. The Efficacy of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies on Improving Physical Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigby, B Rhett; Grandjean, Peter W

    2016-01-01

    To summarize the physical benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and hippotherapy and suggest directions for future research. Review of databases for peer-reviewed articles related to equine-assisted activities and therapies. Databases included MEDLINE via EBSCO, Web of Science, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Complete. Articles were limited to those with full-text access published in English since 1987. Acute and residual improvements in physical benefits, such as gross motor function (e.g., walking, running, jumping), spasticity, muscle symmetry, posture, balance, and gait occur in adults and children with varying disabilities. The benefits appear to be greatest following multiweek interventions with one or more sessions per week. Modest acute cardiovascular responses are observed during equine-assisted activities and therapies with little or no evidence for training improvements in heart rate or blood pressure at rest or during riding. The present body of literature provides evidence that equine-assisted activities and therapies are an effective means of improving many measures of physical health. However, more controlled trials are urgently needed to strengthen the current knowledge base, establish dose-response characteristics of equine-assisted activities and therapies, and explore the physiologic basis for the promising results suggested from the literature.

  13. Functional improvement of dystrophic muscle by repression of utrophin: let-7c interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj K Mishra

    Full Text Available Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD is a fatal genetic disease caused by an absence of the 427kD muscle-specific dystrophin isoform. Utrophin is the autosomal homolog of dystrophin and when overexpressed, can compensate for the absence of dystrophin and rescue the dystrophic phenotype of the mdx mouse model of DMD. Utrophin is subject to miRNA mediated repression by several miRNAs including let-7c. Inhibition of utrophin: let-7c interaction is predicted to 'repress the repression' and increase utrophin expression. We developed and tested the ability of an oligonucleotide, composed of 2'-O-methyl modified bases on a phosphorothioate backbone, to anneal to the utrophin 3'UTR and prevent let-7c miRNA binding, thereby upregulating utrophin expression and improving the dystrophic phenotype in vivo. Suppression of utrophin: let-7c interaction using bi-weekly intraperitoneal injections of let7 site blocking oligonucleotides (SBOs for 1 month in the mdx mouse model for DMD, led to increased utrophin expression along with improved muscle histology, decreased fibrosis and increased specific force. The functional improvement of dystrophic muscle achieved using let7-SBOs suggests a novel utrophin upregulation-based therapeutic strategy for DMD.

  14. Aerobic Exercise Improves Mood, Cognition, and Language Function in Parkinson's Disease: Results of a Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmann, Lori J P; Stegemöller, Elizabeth; Hazamy, Audrey A; Wilson, Jonathan P; Bowers, Dawn; Okun, Michael S; Hass, Chris J

    2016-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) results in a range of non-motor deficits that can affect mood, cognition, and language, and many of these issues are unresponsive to pharmacological intervention. Aerobic exercise can improve mood and cognition in healthy older adults, although only a few studies have examined exercise effects on these domains in PD. The current study assesses the effects of aerobic exercise on aspects of cognition, mood, and language production in people with PD. This study compares the effects of aerobic exercise to stretch-balance training and a no-contact control group in participants with idiopathic PD. The aerobic and stretch-balance groups trained three times a week for 16 weeks, while controls continued normal activities. Outcome measures included disease severity, mood, cognition (speed of processing, memory, and executive function), and language production (picture descriptions). Cognition and language were assessed in single and dual task conditions. Depressive symptoms increased only in the control group (pimproved in the aerobic exercise group only in the single task (p=.007) and declined in controls in the dual task. Completeness of picture descriptions improved significantly more in the aerobic group than in the stretch-balance group (pexercise is a viable intervention for PD that can be protective against increased depressive symptoms, and can improve several non-motor domains, including executive dysfunction and related aspects of language production. (JINS, 2016, 22, 878-889).

  15. 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.

  16. Improving the corrosion resistance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell carbon supports by pentafluorophenyl surface functionalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forouzandeh, Farisa; Li, Xiaoan; Banham, Dustin W.; Feng, Fangxia; Joseph Kakanat, Abraham; Ye, Siyu; Birss, Viola

    2018-02-01

    In this study, the effect of surface functionalization on the electrochemical corrosion resistance of a high surface area, mesoporous colloid imprinted carbon powder (CIC), as well as microporous Vulcan carbon (VC, serving as the benchmark), was demonstrated, primarily for PEM fuel cell applications. CIC-22, which is highly hydrophilic and was synthesized with 22 nm silica colloid templates, and as-received, mildly hydrophobic, VC powders, were functionalized with 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorophenyl (-PhF5) surface groups using a straightforward diazonium reduction reaction. These carbons were then subjected to corrosion testing, involving a potential cycling-step sequence in room temperature 0.5 M H2SO4. Using cyclic voltammetry and charge/time analysis, the double layer and pseudo-capacitive gravimetric charges of the carbons, prior to and after the application of these potential steps, were tracked in order to obtain information about surface area changes and the extent of carbon oxidation, respectively. It is shown that the corrosion resistance was improved by ca. 50-80% by surface functionalization, likely due to a combination of surface passivation (loss of carbon active sites) and increased surface hydrophobicity.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Cellulose acetate membranes functionalized with resveratrol by covalent immobilization for improved osseointegration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandele, A. M.; Neacsu, P.; Cimpean, A.; Staras, A. I.; Miculescu, F.; Iordache, A.; Voicu, S. I.; Thakur, V. K.; Toader, O. D.

    2018-04-01

    Covalent immobilization of resveratrol onto cellulose acetate polymeric membranes used as coating on a Mg-1Ca-0.2Mn-0.6Zr alloy is presented for potential application in the improvement of osseointegration processes. For this purpose, cellulose acetate membrane is hydrolysed in the presence of potassium hydroxide, followed by covalent immobilization of aminopropyl triethoxy silane. Resveratrol was immobilized onto membranes using glutaraldehyde as linker. The newly synthesised functional membranes were thoroughly characterized for their structural characteristics determination employing X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA/DTG) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Subsequently, in vitro cellular tests were performed for evaluating the cytotoxicity biocompatibility of synthesized materials and also the osseointegration potential of obtained derivatised membrane material. It was demonstrated that both polymeric membranes support viability and proliferation of the pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells, thus providing a good protection against the potential harmful effects of the compounds released from coated alloys. Furthermore, cellulose acetate membrane functionalized with resveratrol exhibits a significant increase in alkaline phosphatase activity and extracellular matrix mineralization, suggesting its suitability to function as an implant surface coating for guided bone regeneration.

  20. 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.

  1. Silk amino acids improve physical stamina and male reproductive function of mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Sunhee; Yeon, Seongho; Park, Dongsun; Oh, Jiyoung; Kang, Hyomin; Kim, Sunghyun; Joo, Seong Soo; Lim, Woo-Taek; Lee, Jeong-Yong; Choi, Kyung-Chul; Kim, Ki Yon; Kim, Seung Up; Kim, Jong-Choon; Kim, Yun-Bae

    2010-01-01

    The effects of a silk amino acid (SAA) preparation on the physical stamina and male reproductive function of mice were investigated. Eight-week-old male ICR mice (29-31 g) were orally administered SAA (50, 160 or 500 mg/kg) for 44 d during 30-min daily swimming exercise. The mice were subjected to a weight-loaded (5% of body weight) forced swimming on the 14th, 28th and 42nd day to determine maximum swimming time, and after a 2-d recovery period (treated with SAA without swimming exercise), parameters related to fatigue and reproductive function were analyzed from blood, muscles and reproductive organs. Repeated swimming exercise increased the maximum swimming time to some extent, in spite of a marked reduction in body weight gain, and SAA further enhanced the stamina in a dose-dependent manner. Forced swimming exercises increased blood parameters of tissue injury, but depleted blood glucose and tissue glycogen, which were substantially prevented by SAA treatment. In addition, SAA significantly reduced the muscular thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and blood corticosterone content increased by forced swimming. Swimming exercise decreased the blood testosterone level, which was recovered by SAA, leading to enhanced sperm counts. These combined results indicate that SAA not only enhances physical stamina by minimizing damage to tissues, including muscles, as well as preventing energy depletion caused by swimming stress, but also improves male reproductive function by increasing testosterone and sperm counts.

  2. Are functional fillers improving environmental behavior of plastics? A review on LCA studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civancik-Uslu, Didem; Ferrer, Laura; Puig, Rita; Fullana-I-Palmer, Pere

    2018-06-01

    The use of functional fillers can be advantageous in terms of cost reduction and improved properties in plastics. There are many types of fillers used in industry, organic and inorganic, with a wide application area. As a response to the growing concerns about environmental damage that plastics cause, recently fillers have started to be considered as a way to reduce it by decreasing the need for petrochemical resources. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is identified as a proper tool to evaluate potential environmental impacts of products or systems. Therefore, in this study, the literature regarding LCA of plastics with functional fillers was reviewed in order to see if the use of fillers in plastics could be environmentally helpful. It was interesting to find out that environmental impacts of functional fillers in plastics had not been studied too often, especially in the case of inorganic fillers. Therefore, a gap in the literature was identified for the future works. Results of the study showed that, although there were not many and some differences exist among the LCA studies, the use of fillers in plastics industry may help to reduce environmental emissions. In addition, how LCA methodology was applied to these materials was also investigated. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Substituent effects on furan-phenylene copolymer for photovoltaic improvement: A density functional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janprapa, Nuttaporn; Vchirawongkwin, Viwat; Kritayakornupong, Chinapong

    2018-06-01

    The structural, electronic and photovoltaic properties of furan-phenylene copolymer ((Fu-co-Ph)4) and its derivatives were evaluated using density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT). The calculated band gaps of pristine furan and phenylene are in good agreement with the available experimental data. The lower band gap value of 2.72 eV was obtained from -NO2 and -NHCH3 substituents, leading to broader solar absorption range. With respected to the reorganization energy, -OCH3, -NHCH3, -OH, -SCH3, -CH3, -CF3, -NO2, and -F substituted (Fu-co-Ph)4 structures were classified as better electron donor materials. For combination with PC61BM, -NO2, -CN, -CF3 and -F functionalized copolymers demonstrated significantly higher open circuit voltage (Voc) values ranging from 1.07 to 2.10 eV. Our results revealed that electron withdrawing group substitution on furan-phenylene copolymers was an effective way for improving electronic and optical properties of donor materials used in photovoltaic applications.

  6. Improving material removal determinacy based on the compensation of tool influence function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Bo; Chen, Xian-hua; Deng, Wen-hui; Zhao, Shi-jie; Zheng, Nan

    2018-03-01

    In the process of computer-controlled optical surfacing (CCOS), the key of correcting the surface error of optical components is to ensure the consistency between the simulated tool influence function and the actual tool influence function (TIF). The existing removal model usually adopts the fixed-point TIF to remove the material with the planning path and velocity, and it considers that the polishing process is linear and time invariant. However, in the actual polishing process, the TIF is a function related to the feed speed. In this paper, the relationship between the actual TIF and the feed speed (i.e. the compensation relationship between static removal and dynamic removal) is determined by experimental method. Then, the existing removal model is modified based on the compensation relationship, to improve the conformity between simulated and actual processing. Finally, the surface error modification correction test are carried out. The results show that the fitting degree of the simulated surface and the experimental surface is better than 88%, and the surface correction accuracy can be better than 1/10 λ (Λ=632.8nm).

  7. Improved response function calculations for scintillation detectors using an extended version of the MCNP code

    CERN Document Server

    Schweda, K

    2002-01-01

    The analysis of (e,e'n) experiments at the Darmstadt superconducting electron linear accelerator S-DALINAC required the calculation of neutron response functions for the NE213 liquid scintillation detectors used. In an open geometry, these response functions can be obtained using the Monte Carlo codes NRESP7 and NEFF7. However, for more complex geometries, an extended version of the Monte Carlo code MCNP exists. This extended version of the MCNP code was improved upon by adding individual light-output functions for charged particles. In addition, more than one volume can be defined as a scintillator, thus allowing the simultaneous calculation of the response for multiple detector setups. With the implementation of sup 1 sup 2 C(n,n'3 alpha) reactions, all relevant reactions for neutron energies E sub n <20 MeV are now taken into consideration. The results of these calculations were compared to experimental data using monoenergetic neutrons in an open geometry and a sup 2 sup 5 sup 2 Cf neutron source in th...

  8. Can prevention classification be improved by considering the function of prevention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxcroft, David R

    2014-12-01

    Universal, selective and indicated forms of prevention have been adopted as improvements on previous notions of primary and secondary prevention. However, some conceptual confusion remains concerning the placing of environmental, community-based or mass media preventive interventions within this typology. It is suggested that a new dimension of functional types of prevention, namely environmental, developmental and informational prevention should be specified alongside the forms of prevention in a taxonomy matrix. The main advantage of this new taxonomy is that a matrix combining the form and function dimensions of prevention can be used to identify and map out prevention strategies, to consider where research evidence is present and where more is needed, and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of different categories and components of prevention for specific health and social issues. Such evaluations would provide empirical evidence as to whether the different categories of prevention are related to outcomes or processes of prevention in ways that suggest the value of the taxonomy for understanding and increasing the impact of prevention science. This new prevention taxonomy has been useful for conceptualising and planning prevention activities in a case study involving the Swedish National Institute for Public Health. Future work should assess (1) the robustness of this new taxonomy and (2) the theoretical and empirical basis for profiling prevention investments across the various forms and functions of prevention.

  9. Can computer assistance improve the clinical and functional scores in total knee arthroplasty?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Vaquero, Daniel; Suarez-Vazquez, Abelardo; Iglesias-Fernandez, Susana

    2011-12-01

    Surgical navigation in TKA facilitates better alignment; however, it is unclear whether improved alignment alters clinical evolution and midterm and long-term complication rates. We determined the alignment differences between patients with standard, manual, jig-based TKAs and patients with navigation-based TKAs, and whether any differences would modify function, implant survival, and/or complications. We retrospectively reviewed 97 patients (100 TKAs) undergoing TKAs for minimal preoperative deformities. Fifty TKAs were performed with an image-free surgical navigation system and the other 50 with a standard technique. We compared femoral angle (FA), tibial angle (TA), and femorotibial angle (FTA) and determined whether any differences altered clinical or functional scores, as measured by the Knee Society Score (KSS), or complications. Seventy-three patients (75 TKAs) had a minimum followup of 8 years (mean, 8.3 years; range, 8-9.1 years). All patients included in the surgical navigation group had a FTA between 177° and 182º. We found no differences in the KSS or implant survival between the two groups and no differences in complication rates, although more complications occurred in the standard technique group (seven compared with two in the surgical navigation group). In the midterm, we found no difference in functional and clinical scores or implant survival between TKAs performed with and without the assistance of a navigation system. Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines online for a complete description of levels of evidence.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liaoliao; Wang, Zhi; Zuo, Zhiyi

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Improvement of the Model of Enterprise Management Process on the Basis of General Management Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruslan Skrynkovskyy

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to improve the model of the enterprise (institution, organization management process on the basis of general management functions. The graphic model of the process of management according to the process-structured management is presented. It has been established that in today's business environment, the model of the management process should include such general management functions as: 1 controlling the achievement of results; 2 planning based on the main goal; 3 coordination and corrective actions (in the system of organization of work and production; 4 action as a form of act (conscious, volitional, directed; 5 accounting system (accounting, statistical, operational-technical and managerial; 6 diagnosis (economic, legal with such subfunctions as: identification of the state and capabilities; analysis (economic, legal, systemic with argumentation; assessment of the state, trends and prospects of development. The prospect of further research in this direction is: 1 the formation of a system of interrelation of functions and management methods, taking into account the presented research results; 2 development of the model of effective and efficient communication business process of the enterprise.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Xiao, Xiang; Huang, Dongfeng; O’Young, Bryan

    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 sensorimot...

  14. Relief of depression and pain improves daily functioning and quality of life in patients with major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ching-Hua; Yen, Yung-Chieh; Chen, Ming-Chao; Chen, Cheng-Chung

    2013-12-02

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of depression relief and pain relief on the improvement in daily functioning and quality of life (QOL) for depressed patients receiving a 6-week treatment of fluoxetine. A total of 131 acutely ill inpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were enrolled to receive 20mg of fluoxetine daily for 6 weeks. Depression severity, pain severity, daily functioning, and health-related QOL were assessed at baseline and again at week 6. Depression severity, pain severity, and daily functioning were assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) Body Pain Index, and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale. Health-related QOL was assessed by three primary domains of the SF-36, including social functioning, vitality, and general health perceptions. Pearson's correlation and structural equation modeling were used to examine relationships among the study variables. Five models were proposed. In model 1, depression relief alone improved daily functioning and QOL. In model 2, pain relief alone improved daily functioning and QOL. In model 3, depression relief, mediated by pain relief, improved daily functioning and QOL. In model 4, pain relief, mediated by depression relief, improved daily functioning and QOL. In model 5, both depression relief and pain relief improved daily functioning and QOL. One hundred and six patients completed all the measures at baseline and at week 6. Model 5 was the most fitted structural equation model (χ(2) = 8.62, df = 8, p = 0.376, GFI = 0.975, AGFI = 0.935, TLI = 0.992, CFI = 0.996, RMSEA = 0.027). Interventions which relieve depression and pain improve daily functioning and QOL among patients with MDD. The proposed model can provide quantitative estimates of improvement in treating patients with MDD. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Nutritional Improvement and Energy Intake Are Associated with Functional Recovery in Patients after Cerebrovascular Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nii, Maria; Maeda, Keisuke; Wakabayashi, Hidetaka; Nishioka, Shinta; Tanaka, Atsuko

    2016-01-01

    Malnutrition affects the activities of daily living (ADLs) in convalescent patients with cerebrovascular disorders. We investigated the relationship between nutritional improvement, energy intake at admission, and recovery of ADLs. We evaluated 67 patients with cerebrovascular disorders admitted to our rehabilitation hospital between April 2013 and April 2015. These patients received interventions from the rehabilitation nutritional support team according to the following criteria: weight loss of 2 kg or more and body mass index of 19 kg/m(2) or lower. Exclusion criteria included a body mass index of 25 kg/m(2) or higher, duration of intervention of less than 14 days, or transfer to an acute care hospital because of clinical deterioration. We assessed nutritional status using the Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index (GNRI) and ADL using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) score, FIM gain, and FIM efficiency. The mean age of the patients was 78.7 ± 8.0 years. The numbers of patients in each category of cerebrovascular disorder were 39 with cerebral infarction, 16 with intracerebral hemorrhage, 8 with subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 4 others. Compared with the counterpart group, the group with an improvement in GNRI had a greater gain in FIM (median 17 and 20, respectively; P = .036) and a higher FIM efficiency (.14 and .22, respectively; P = .020). Multivariate stepwise regression analysis showed that an improvement in GNRI, increasing energy intake at admission, and intracerebral hemorrhage were associated independently with greater FIM efficiency. This study suggested that nutritional improvement and energy intake at admission are associated with recovery of ADL after cerebrovascular disorders. Copyright © 2015 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maagaard, Marie; Heiberg, Johan

    2016-09-01

    Patients with pectus excavatum (PE) often describe improvements in exercise stamina following corrective surgery. Studies have investigated the surgical effect on physiological parameters; still, no consensus has yet been reached. Therefore, the aim of this literature review was to describe the cardiac outcome after surgical correction, both at rest and during exercise. In February 2016, a detailed search of the databases PubMed, Medline, and EMBASE was performed. We assessed clinical studies that described cardiac outcomes both before and after surgical correction of PE. We only included studies reporting either pre-defined echocardiographic or exercise test parameters. No exclusion criteria or statistical analyses were applied. Twenty-one full-text articles, published between 1972 and 2016, were selected, with cohort-ranges of 3-168 patients, mean age-ranges of 5-33 years, and mean follow-up-ranges from immediately to 4 years after surgery. Twelve studies described resting cardiac parameters. Four studies measured cardiac output, where one described 36% immediate increase after surgery, one reported 15% increase after Nuss-bar removal and two found no difference. Three studies demonstrated improvement in mean stroke volume ranges of 22-34% and two studies found no difference. Fifteen studies investigated exercise capacity, with 11 considering peak O 2 pr. kg, where five studies demonstrated improvements with the mean ranging from 8% to 15% after surgery, five studies demonstrated no difference, and one saw a decrease of 19% 3 months after Nuss-bar implantation. A measurable increase in exercise capacity exists following surgery, which may be caused by multiple factors. This may be owed to the relief of compressed cardiac chambers with the increased anterior-posterior thoracic dimensions, which could facilitate an improved filling of the heart. With these results, the positive physiological impact of the surgery is emphasized and the potential gain in cardiac

  17. Protective mechanical ventilation during general anesthesia for open abdominal surgery improves postoperative pulmonary function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severgnini, Paolo; Selmo, Gabriele; Lanza, Christian; Chiesa, Alessandro; Frigerio, Alice; Bacuzzi, Alessandro; Dionigi, Gianlorenzo; Novario, Raffaele; Gregoretti, Cesare; de Abreu, Marcelo Gama; Schultz, Marcus J; Jaber, Samir; Futier, Emmanuel; Chiaranda, Maurizio; Pelosi, Paolo

    2013-06-01

    The impact of intraoperative ventilation on postoperative pulmonary complications is not defined. The authors aimed at determining the effectiveness of protective mechanical ventilation during open abdominal surgery on a modified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score as primary outcome and postoperative pulmonary function. Prospective randomized, open-label, clinical trial performed in 56 patients scheduled to undergo elective open abdominal surgery lasting more than 2 h. Patients were assigned by envelopes to mechanical ventilation with tidal volume of 9 ml/kg ideal body weight and zero-positive end-expiratory pressure (standard ventilation strategy) or tidal volumes of 7 ml/kg ideal body weight, 10 cm H2O positive end-expiratory pressure, and recruitment maneuvers (protective ventilation strategy). Modified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score, gas exchange, and pulmonary functional tests were measured preoperatively, as well as at days 1, 3, and 5 after surgery. Patients ventilated protectively showed better pulmonary functional tests up to day 5, fewer alterations on chest x-ray up to day 3 and higher arterial oxygenation in air at days 1, 3, and 5 (mmHg; mean ± SD): 77.1 ± 13.0 versus 64.9 ± 11.3 (P = 0.0006), 80.5 ± 10.1 versus 69.7 ± 9.3 (P = 0.0002), and 82.1 ± 10.7 versus 78.5 ± 21.7 (P = 0.44) respectively. The modified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score was lower in the protective ventilation strategy at days 1 and 3. The percentage of patients in hospital at day 28 after surgery was not different between groups (7 vs. 15% respectively, P = 0.42). A protective ventilation strategy during abdominal surgery lasting more than 2 h improved respiratory function and reduced the modified Clinical Pulmonary Infection Score without affecting length of hospital stay.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gerbild, Helle Nygaard; Larsen, Camilla Marie; Graugaard, Christian

    2018-01-01

    , and metabolic syndrome. Physical activity (PA) has proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems, and it has been shown to improve erectile function for men affected by vascular ED. This systematic review estimated the levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity...... for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was performed of research articles specifically investigating PA as a possible treatment of ED. The review included research on ED from physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases......Introduction: The leading cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) is arterial dysfunction, with cardiovascular disease as the most common comorbidity. Therefore, ED is typically linked to a web of closely interrelated cardiovascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension...

  1. The improvement of functional food in yogurt enriched with purple sweet potato (Ipomea batatas var. Ayamurasaki

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Afiati

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available he research was conducted to examine the use of purple sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas var. Ayamurasaki to improve functional food of yogurt. This experiment has 2 factors of treatments. The first factor (i was concentration of skim milk, i.e. 0%, 3% and 6%; the second factor (ii was concentration of purple sweet potato, i.e. 0%, 2% and 4% of purple sweet potato. The parameters observed were viability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB, pH, moisture content, protein, fat, carbohydrate, ash and crude fiber and organoleptic. The results showed that there was no interaction between the concentration of skim-milk and the purple sweet potato on total LAB, moisture content and crude fiber. However, the interaction occurred on the levels of fat, protein, carbohydrate and ash. The organoleptic test results that yogurt enriched by 2% purple sweet potato without addition of skim was more preferable by panelist with a value of 3.65.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    AIM: This study investigates consequences of chronic neck pain on muscle function and the rehabilitating effects of contrasting interventions. METHODS: Women with trapezius myalgia (MYA, n = 42) and healthy controls (CON, n = 20) participated in a case-control study. Subsequently MYA were...... randomized to 10 weeks of specific strength training (SST, n = 18), general fitness training (GFT, n = 16), or a reference group without physical training (REF, n = 8). Participants performed tests of 100 consecutive cycles of 2 s isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) of shoulder elevation followed...... MYA and CON. In the intervention study, SST improved all force parameters significantly more than the two other groups, to levels comparable to that of CON. This was seen along with muscle fiber hypertrophy and increased capillarization. CONCLUSION: Women with trapezius myalgia have lower strength...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    Based on the structure of MOF-808, different substituents were introduced to replace hydrogen atom on the phenyl ring of MOF-808. The GCMC method was used to study the effect of functional groups on the hydrogen storage properties of MOF-808-X (X = -OH, -NO 2 , -CH 3 , -CN, -I). The H 2 uptakes and isosteric heat of adsorption were simulated at 77 K. The results indicate that all these substituents have favorable impact on the hydrogen storage capacity, and -CN is found to be the most promising substituent to improve H 2 uptake. These results may be helpful for the design of MOFs with higher hydrogen storage capacity. Graphical abstract Atomistic structures of MOFs. (a) The structures of MOF-808-X. (b) Model of organic linker. Atom color scheme: C, gray; H, white; O, red; X, palegreen (X = -OH, -NO 2 , -CH 3 , -CN, -I).

  4. Yellow filters can improve magnocellular function: motion sensitivity, convergence, accommodation, and reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, N J; Fowler, S; Stein, J F

    2005-04-01

    The magnocellular system plays an important role in visual motion processing, controlling vergence eye movements, and in reading. Yellow filters may boost magnocellular activity by eliminating inhibitory blue input to this pathway. It was found that wearing yellow filters increased motion sensitivity, convergence, and accommodation in many children with reading difficulties, both immediately and after three months using the filters. Motion sensitivity was not increased using control neutral density filters. Moreover, reading-impaired children showed significant gains in reading ability after three months wearing the filters compared with those who had used a placebo. It was concluded that yellow filters can improve magnocellular function permanently. Hence, they should be considered as an alternative to corrective lenses, prisms, or exercises for treating poor convergence and accommodation, and also as an aid for children with reading problems.

  5. Towards the improvement of spin-isospin properties in nuclear energy density functionals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roca-Maza, X.; Colò, G.; Liang, H. Z.; Sagawa, H.; Meng, J.; Ring, P.; Zhao, P. W.

    2016-01-01

    We address the problem of improving existing nuclear Energy Density Functionals (EDFs) in the spin-isospin channel. For that, we propose two different ways. The first one is to carefully take into account in the fitting protocol some of the key ground state properties for an accurate description of the most studied spin-isospin resonances: the Gamow-Teller Resonance (GTR) [1]. The second consists in providing a strategy to build local covariant EDF keeping the main features from their non-local counterparts [2]. The RHF model based on a Lagrangian where heavy mesons carry the nuclear effective interaction have been shown to be successful in the description of spin-isospin resonances [3]. (paper)

  6. Randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral social skills training for schizophrenia: improvement in functioning and experiential negative symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granholm, Eric; Holden, Jason; Link, Peter C; McQuaid, John R

    2014-12-01

    Identifying treatments to improve functioning and reduce negative symptoms in consumers with schizophrenia is of high public health significance. In this randomized clinical trial, participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N = 149) were randomly assigned to cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) or an active goal-focused supportive contact (GFSC) control condition. CBSST combined cognitive behavior therapy with social skills training and problem-solving training to improve functioning and negative symptoms. GFSC was weekly supportive group therapy focused on setting and achieving functioning goals. Blind raters assessed functioning (primary outcome: Independent Living Skills Survey [ILSS]), CBSST skill knowledge, positive and negative symptoms, depression, and defeatist performance attitudes. In mixed-effects regression models in intent-to-treat analyses, CBSST skill knowledge, functioning, amotivation/asociality negative symptoms, and defeatist performance attitudes improved significantly more in CBSST relative to GFSC. In both treatment groups, comparable improvements were also found for positive symptoms and a performance-based measure of social competence. The results suggest CBSST is an effective treatment to improve functioning and experiential negative symptoms in consumers with schizophrenia, and both CBSST and supportive group therapy actively focused on setting and achieving functioning goals can improve social competence and reduce positive symptoms.

  7. Low Molecular Weight Heparin Improves Endothelial Function in Pregnant Women at High Risk of Preeclampsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Kelsey; Baczyk, Dora; Potts, Audrey; Hladunewich, Michelle; Parker, John D; Kingdom, John C P

    2017-01-01

    Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) has been investigated for the prevention of severe preeclampsia, although the mechanisms of action are unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the cardiovascular effects of LMWH in pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia. Pregnant women at high risk of preeclampsia (n=25) and low-risk pregnant controls (n=20) at 22 to 26 weeks' gestation underwent baseline cardiovascular assessments. High-risk women were then randomized to LMWH or saline placebo (30 mg IV bolus and 1 mg/kg subcutaneous dose). Cardiovascular function was assessed 1 and 3 hours post randomization. The in vitro endothelial effects of patient serum and exogenous LMWH on human umbilical venous endothelial cells were determined. High-risk women demonstrated a reduced cardiac output, high resistance hemodynamic profile with impaired radial artery flow-mediated dilation compared with controls. LMWH increased flow-mediated dilation in high-risk women 3 hours after randomization compared with baseline and increased plasma levels of placental growth factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, and myeloperoxidase. Serum from high-risk women impaired endothelial cell angiogenesis and increased PlGF-1 and PlGF-2 transcription compared with serum from low-risk controls. Coexposure of high-risk serum with LMWH improved the in vitro angiogenic response such that it was equivalent to that of low-risk serum and promoted placental growth factor secretion. LMWH improves maternal endothelial function in pregnant women at high risk of developing preeclampsia, possibly mediated through increased placental growth factor bioavailability. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  8. Inhibition of protein kinase Cbeta does not improve endothelial function in type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckman, Joshua A; Goldfine, Allison B; Goldin, Alison; Prsic, Adnan; Kim, Sora; Creager, Mark A

    2010-08-01

    Antagonism of protein kinase Cbeta (PKCbeta) restores endothelial function in experimental models of diabetes and prevents vascular dysfunction in response to hyperglycemia in healthy humans. We tested the hypothesis that PKCbeta antagonism would improve vascular function in subjects with type 2 diabetes compared with healthy control subjects. The effect of PKCbeta was evaluated in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded crossover trial. The study was performed in the outpatient setting of a university medical center. Thirteen subjects with type 2 diabetes without evidence of cardiovascular disease and 15 healthy control subjects were recruited via newspaper advertisement. Subjects underwent a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial of the selective PKCbeta antagonist ruboxistaurin mesylate. Subjects received each treatment for 14 d. Endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent vasodilation of forearm resistance vessels was measured with mercury-in-silastic, strain-gauge plethysmography during intraarterial administration of methacholine chloride and verapamil, respectively. Markers of inflammation, fibrinolysis, endothelial damage, and oxidative stress were measured after each treatment. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation of forearm resistance vessels was attenuated in diabetic subjects when compared with healthy subjects (P=0.001). Endothelium-independent vasodilation did not differ between groups (P value not significant). Ruboxistaurin did not significantly change endothelium-dependent or endothelium-independent vasodilation or blood-based markers of inflammation, fibrinolysis, endothelial damage, and oxidative stress in either diabetic or healthy subjects. Endothelial dysfunction of forearm resistance vessels was not improved by 2 wk of selective PKCbeta inhibition in patients with diabetes. These results suggest that PKCbeta does not contribute significantly to vascular dysfunction in otherwise healthy patients with type 2

  9. Propionyl-L-carnitine improves endothelial function, microcirculation and pain management in critical limb ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Marchi, S; Zecchetto, S; Rigoni, A; Prior, M; Fondrieschi, L; Scuro, A; Rulfo, F; Arosio, E

    2012-10-01

    Chronic critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a severe condition of hypo-perfusion of lower limbs, which is associated with inflammation and a pro-coagulative state. It is a disease at high risk of amputation and cardiovascular death. Propionyl-L-carnitine (PLC) is efficacious in improving pain free walking distance in peripheral arterial disease with claudication; it also exerts favorable effects on the arterial wall and on endothelial function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of PLC on microcirculation, endothelial function and pain relief in patients affected by CLI not suitable for surgical intervention. We enrolled 48 patients with CLI. Patients were randomized into two groups: the first group was treated with PLC, the second was treated with saline solution. All of them underwent the following tests: laser Doppler flowmetry at the forefoot at rest and after ischemia, trans cutaneous oxygen partial pressure and carbon dioxide partial pressure at the forefoot at rest and after ischemia, endothelium dependent dilation of the brachial artery. All tests were repeated after treatments. Pain was assessed by visual analog pain scale. Endothelium dependent dilation increased after PLC (9.5 ± 3.2 vs 4.9 ± 1.4 %; p < 0.05). Post-ischemic peak flow with laser-Doppler flow increased after PLC. TcPO2 increased, while TcPCO2 decreased after PLC; CO2 production decreased after PLC. VAS showed a significant reduction in pain perception after active treatment. In CLI patients, PLC can improve microcirculation (post ischemic hyperemia, TcPO2 and TcPCO2 production). PLC also enhances endothelium dependent dilation and reduces analgesic consumption and pain perception.

  10. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and increases plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engler, Mary B; Engler, Marguerite M; Chen, Chung Y; Malloy, Mary J; Browne, Amanda; Chiu, Elisa Y; Kwak, Ho-Kyung; Milbury, Paul; Paul, Steven M; Blumberg, Jeffrey; Mietus-Snyder, Michele L

    2004-06-01

    Dark chocolate derived from the plant (Theobroma cacao) is a rich source of flavonoids. Cardioprotective effects including antioxidant properties, inhibition of platelet activity, and activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase have been ascribed to the cocoa flavonoids. To investigate the effects of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate on endothelial function, measures of oxidative stress, blood lipids, and blood pressure in healthy adult subjects. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design conducted over a 2 week period in 21 healthy adult subjects. Subjects were randomly assigned to daily intake of high-flavonoid (213 mg procyanidins, 46 mg epicatechin) or low-flavonoid dark chocolate bars (46 g, 1.6 oz). High-flavonoid chocolate consumption improved endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery (mean change = 1.3 +/- 0.7%) as compared to low-flavonoid chocolate consumption (mean change = -0.96 +/- 0.5%) (p = 0.024). No significant differences were noted in the resistance to LDL oxidation, total antioxidant capacity, 8-isoprostanes, blood pressure, lipid parameters, body weight or body mass index (BMI) between the two groups. Plasma epicatechin concentrations were markedly increased at 2 weeks in the high-flavonoid group (204.4 +/- 18.5 nmol/L, p < or = 0.001) but not in the low-flavonoid group (17.5 +/- 9 nmol/L, p = 0.99). Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and is associated with an increase in plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults. No changes in oxidative stress measures, lipid profiles, blood pressure, body weight or BMI were seen.

  11. 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.

  12. NAD+ repletion improves muscle function in muscular dystrophy and counters global PARylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Dongryeol; Zhang, Hongbo; Ropelle, Eduardo R; Sorrentino, Vincenzo; Mázala, Davi A G; Mouchiroud, Laurent; Marshall, Philip L; Campbell, Matthew D; Ali, Amir Safi; Knowels, Gary M; Bellemin, Stéphanie; Iyer, Shama R; Wang, Xu; Gariani, Karim; Sauve, Anthony A; Cantó, Carles; Conley, Kevin E; Walter, Ludivine; Lovering, Richard M; Chin, Eva R; Jasmin, Bernard J; Marcinek, David J; Menzies, Keir J; Auwerx, Johan

    2016-10-19

    Neuromuscular diseases are often caused by inherited mutations that lead to progressive skeletal muscle weakness and degeneration. In diverse populations of normal healthy mice, we observed correlations between the abundance of mRNA transcripts related to mitochondrial biogenesis, the dystrophin-sarcoglycan complex, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD + ) synthesis, consistent with a potential role for the essential cofactor NAD + in protecting muscle from metabolic and structural degeneration. Furthermore, the skeletal muscle transcriptomes of patients with Duchene's muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other muscle diseases were enriched for various poly[adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP)-ribose] polymerases (PARPs) and for nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), enzymes that are major consumers of NAD + and are involved in pleiotropic events, including inflammation. In the mdx mouse model of DMD, we observed significant reductions in muscle NAD + levels, concurrent increases in PARP activity, and reduced expression of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), the rate-limiting enzyme for NAD + biosynthesis. Replenishing NAD + stores with dietary nicotinamide riboside supplementation improved muscle function and heart pathology in mdx and mdx/Utr -/- mice and reversed pathology in Caenorhabditis elegans models of DMD. The effects of NAD + repletion in mdx mice relied on the improvement in mitochondrial function and structural protein expression (α-dystrobrevin and δ-sarcoglycan) and on the reductions in general poly(ADP)-ribosylation, inflammation, and fibrosis. In combination, these studies suggest that the replenishment of NAD + may benefit patients with muscular dystrophies or other neuromuscular degenerative conditions characterized by the PARP/NNMT gene expression signatures. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Abadir

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Hexane extracts of Polygonum multiflorum improve tissue and functional outcome following focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soo Vin; Choi, Kyung Ha; Choi, Young Whan; Hong, Jin Woo; Baek, Jin Ung; Choi, Byung Tae; Shin, Hwa Kyoung

    2014-04-01

    Polygonum multiflorum is a traditional Korean medicine that has been utilized widely in East Asian countries as a longevity agent. Clinical studies have demonstrated that Polygonum multiflorum improves hypercholesterolemia, coronary heart disease, neurosis and other diseases commonly associated with aging. However, scientific evidence defining the protective effects and mechanisms of Polygonum multiflorum against ischemic stroke is incomplete. In the present study, we investigated the cerebrovascular protective effects of Polygonum multiflorum against ischemic brain injury using an in vivo photothrombotic mouse model. To examine the underlying mechanism of action, we utilized an in vitro human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMEC) culture system. Hexane extracts (HEPM), ethyl acetate extracts (EAEPM) and methanol extracts (MEPM) of Polygonum multiflorum (100 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally 30 min prior to ischemic insult. Focal cerebral ischemia was induced in C57BL/6J mice and endothelial nitric oxide synthase knockout (eNOS KO) mice by photothrombotic cortical occlusion. We evaluated the infarct volume, as well as neurological and motor function, 24 h after ischemic brain injury. Following ischemic insult, HEPM induced a significant reduction in infarct volume and subsequent neurological deficits, compared with EAEPM and MEPM. HEPM significantly decreased infarct size and improved neurological and motor function, which was not observed in eNOS KO mice, suggesting that this cerebroprotective effect is primarily an eNOS-dependent mechanism. In vitro, HEPM effectively promoted NO production, however these effects were inhibited by the NOS inhibitor, L-NAME and the PI3K/Akt inhibitor, LY-294002. Furthermore, HEPM treatment resulted in increased phosphorylation-dependent activation of Akt and eNOS in HBMEC, suggesting that HEPM increased NO production via phosphorylation-dependent activation of Akt and eNOS. In conclusion, HEPM prevents cerebral

  15. Cognitive function in multiple sclerosis improves with telerehabilitation: Results from a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh E Charvet

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment affects more than half of all individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS. We hypothesized that training at home with an adaptive online cognitive training program would have greater cognitive benefit than ordinary computer games in cognitively-impaired adults with MS. This was a double-blind, randomized, active-placebo-controlled trial. Participants with MS were recruited through Stony Brook Medicine and randomly assigned to either the adaptive cognitive remediation (ACR program or active control of ordinary computer games for 60 hours over 12 weeks. Training was remotely-supervised and delivered through a study-provided laptop computer. A computer generated, blocked stratification table prepared by statistician provided the randomization schedule and condition was assigned by a study technician. The primary outcome, administered by study psychometrician, was measured by change in a neuropsychological composite measure from baseline to study end. An intent-to-treat analysis was employed and missing primary outcome values were imputed via Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. Participants in the ACR (n = 74 vs. active control (n = 61 training program had significantly greater improvement in the primary outcome of cognitive functioning (mean change in composite z score±SD: 0·25±0·45 vs. 0·09±0·37, p = 0·03, estimated difference = 0·16 with 95% CI: 0·02-0·30, despite greater training time in the active control condition (mean±SD:56·9 ± 34·6 vs. 37·7 ±23 ·8 hours played, p = 0·006. This study provides Class I evidence that adaptive, computer-based cognitive remediation accessed from home can improve cognitive functioning in MS. This telerehabilitation approach allowed for rapid recruitment and high compliance, and can be readily applied to other neurological conditions associated with cognitive dysfunction.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02141386.

  16. Whole-body vibration improves neuromuscular parameters and functional capacity in osteopenic postmenopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutra, Milena C; de Oliveira, Mônica L; Marin, Rosangela V; Kleine, Hellen C R; Silva, Orivaldo L; Lazaretti-Castro, Marise

    2016-08-01

    In this longitudinal, paired-control study, we developed special vibration platforms to evaluate the effects of low-intensity vibration on neuromuscular function and functional capacity in osteopenic postmenopausal women. Women in the platform group (PG; n = 62) stood still and barefoot on the platform for 20 minutes, 5 times a week for 12 months. Each platform vibrated with a frequency of 60 Hz, intensity of 0.6g, and amplitude of less than 1 mm. Women in the control group (CG; n = 60) were followed up and instructed not to modify their physical activity during the study. Every 3 months all volunteers were invited to a visit to check for any change in their lifestyle. Assessments were performed at baseline and at 12 months, and included isometric muscle strength in the hip flexors and back extensors, right handgrip strength, dynamic upper limb strength (arm curl test), upper trunk flexibility (reach test [RT]), mobility (timed up and go test), and static balance (unipedal stance test). Statistical analyses were performed using the intention-to-treat strategy. Both groups were similar for all variables at baseline. At the end of intervention, the PG was significantly better than CG in all parameters but in the RT. When compared with baseline, after 12 months of vibration the PG presented statistically significant improvements in isometric and dynamic muscle strength in the hip flexors (+36.7%), back extensors (+36.5%), handgrip strength (+4.4%), arm curl test (+22.8%), RT (+9.9%), unipedal stance test (+6.8%), and timed up and go test (-9.2%), whereas the CG showed no significant differences during the same period of time. As such, there were no side effects related to the study procedures during the 12 months of intervention. Low-intensity vibration improved balance, motility, and muscle strength in the upper and lower limbs in postmenopausal women.

  17. 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.

  18. Assimilation of Ocean-Color Plankton Functional Types to Improve Marine Ecosystem Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciavatta, S.; Brewin, R. J. W.; Skákala, J.; Polimene, L.; de Mora, L.; Artioli, Y.; Allen, J. I.

    2018-02-01

    We assimilated phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) derived from ocean color into a marine ecosystem model, to improve the simulation of biogeochemical indicators and emerging properties in a shelf sea. Error-characterized chlorophyll concentrations of four PFTs (diatoms, dinoflagellates, nanoplankton, and picoplankton), as well as total chlorophyll for comparison, were assimilated into a physical-biogeochemical model of the North East Atlantic, applying a localized Ensemble Kalman filter. The reanalysis simulations spanned the years 1998-2003. The skill of the reference and reanalysis simulations in estimating ocean color and in situ biogeochemical data were compared by using robust statistics. The reanalysis outperformed both the reference and the assimilation of total chlorophyll in estimating the ocean-color PFTs (except nanoplankton), as well as the not-assimilated total chlorophyll, leading the model to simulate better the plankton community structure. Crucially, the reanalysis improved the estimates of not-assimilated in situ data of PFTs, as well as of phosphate and pCO2, impacting the simulation of the air-sea carbon flux. However, the reanalysis increased further the model overestimation of nitrate, in spite of increases in plankton nitrate uptake. The method proposed here is easily adaptable for use with other ecosystem models that simulate PFTs, for, e.g., reanalysis of carbon fluxes in the global ocean and for operational forecasts of biogeochemical indicators in shelf-sea ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. © 2013 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  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.

  1. Improving functional properties of pea protein isolate for microencapsulation of flaxseed oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajaj, Poonam R; Bhunia, Kanishka; Kleiner, Leslie; Joyner Melito, Helen S; Smith, Denise; Ganjyal, Girish; Sablani, Shyam S

    2017-03-01

    Unhydrolysed pea protein (UN) forms very viscous emulsions when used at higher concentrations. To overcome this, UN was hydrolysed using enzymes alcalase, flavourzyme, neutrase, alcalase-flavourzyme, and neutrase-flavourzyme at 50 °C for 0 min, 30 min, 60 min, and 120 min to form hydrolysed proteins A, F, N, AF, and NF, respectively. All hydrolysed proteins had lower apparent viscosity and higher solubility than UN. Foaming capacity of A was the highest, followed by NF, N, and AF. Hydrolysed proteins N60, A60, NF60, and AF60 were prepared by hydrolysing UN for 60 min and used further for microencapsulation. At 20% oil loading (on a total solid basis), the encapsulated powder N60 had the highest microencapsulation efficiency (ME = 56.2). A decrease in ME occurred as oil loading increased to 40%. To improve the ME of N60, >90%, UN and maltodextrin were added. Flowability and particle size distribution of microencapsulated powders with >90% microencapsulation efficiency and morphology of all powders were investigated. This study identified a new way to improve pea protein functionality in emulsions, as well as a new application of hydrolysed pea protein as wall material for microencapsulation.

  2. Marketing Concept in the Function of Croatian Seaport Business Operation Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinko Jurčević

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The application of the scope of marketing concept in modemmarket conditions of business operation is obligatory. Therole of marketing, as a business philosophy, is in the end unavoidablefor the improvement of business operation. It is impossibleto do business in market conditions and not to applybasic marketing rules. Therefore, the solution for the improvementof operation of Croatian seaports should be soughtthrough the systematic application of the scopes of marketingconcept. Marketing mix should be applied to the system of businessoperation of Croatian seaports, with a breakdown of allunderlying marketing functions based on the results of a systematicmarket research, and through monitoring not only ofthe current status but also of market trends and forecasts, listeningto customer demands and trends in this particularbranch of industry. In addition to the improvement of the qualityof transport services, through the analysis of the price policyand by strengthening the logistics of port operation, particularattention should be focused towards the systematic applicationof all promotion mix elements aiming at strengthening the identityand the image of Croatian ports. In the end, such businessand marketing-like thinking should result in economic developmentand business prosperity not only of ports but of maritimetransport as well; in other words, by the prosperity of theentire transport activity, as a prerequisite for the economic developmentof the Republic of Croatia.

  3. Improved Fast Centralized Retransmission Scheme for High-Layer Functional Split in 5G Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Sen; Hou, Meng; Fu, Yu; Bian, Honglian; Gao, Cheng

    2018-01-01

    In order to satisfy the varied 5G critical requirements and the virtualization of the RAN hardware, a two-level architecture for 5G RAN has been studied in 3GPP 5G SI stage. The performance of the PDCP-RLC split option and intra-RLC split option, two mainly concerned options for high layer functional split, exist an ongoing debate. This paper firstly gives an overview of CU-DU split study work in 3GPP. By the comparison of implementation complexity, the standardization impact and system performance, our evaluation result shows the PDCP-RLC split Option outperforms the intra-RLC split option. Aiming to how to reduce the retransmission delay during the intra-CU inter-DU handover, the mainly drawback of PDCP-RLC split option, this paper proposes an improved fast centralized retransmission solution with a low implementation complexity. Finally, system level simulations show that the PDCP-RLC split option with the proposed scheme can significantly improve the UE’s experience.

  4. From genetics to functional genomics: Improvement in drought signaling and tolerance in wheat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hikmet eBudak

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Drought being a yield limiting factor has become a major threat to international food security. It is a complex trait and drought tolerance response is carried out by various genes, transcription factors (TFs, microRNAs (miRNAs, hormones, proteins, co-factors, ions and metabolites. This complexity has limited the development of wheat cultivars for drought tolerance by classical breeding. However, attempts have been made to fill the lost genetic diversity by crossing wheat with wild wheat relatives. In recent years, several molecular markers including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and quantitative trait loci (QTLs associated with genes for drought signaling pathways have been reported. Screening of large wheat collections by marker assisted selection (MAS and transformation of wheat with different genes/TFs has improved drought signaling pathways and tolerance. Several miRNAs also provide drought tolerance to wheat by regulating various TFs/genes. Emergence of OMICS techniques including transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and ionomics has helped to identify and characterize the genes, proteins, metabolites and ions involved in drought signaling pathways. Together, all these efforts helped in understanding the complex drought tolerance mechanism. Here, we have reviewed the advances in wide hybridization, MAS, QTL mapping, miRNAs, transgenic technique, genome editing system and above mentioned functional genomics tools for identification and utility of signaling molecules for improvement in wheat drought tolerance

  5. MetaPathways v2.5: quantitative functional, taxonomic and usability improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konwar, Kishori M; Hanson, Niels W; Bhatia, Maya P; Kim, Dongjae; Wu, Shang-Ju; Hahn, Aria S; Morgan-Lang, Connor; Cheung, Hiu Kan; Hallam, Steven J

    2015-10-15

    Next-generation sequencing is producing vast amounts of sequence information from natural and engineered ecosystems. Although this data deluge has an enormous potential to transform our lives, knowledge creation and translation need software applications that scale with increasing data processing and analysis requirements. Here, we present improvements to MetaPathways, an annotation and analysis pipeline for environmental sequence information that expedites this transformation. We specifically address pathway prediction hazards through integration of a weighted taxonomic distance and enable quantit