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Bryn Mawr, PA, United States

Duncan-Lewis C.A.,University of Central Florida | Lukman R.L.,Florida Biomed | Banks R.K.,University of Central Florida
Comparative Medicine

Intranasal application of zinc gluconate has commonly been used to treat the common cold. The safety of this treatment, however, has come into question recently. In addition to a United States recall of a homeopathic product that contains zinc gluconate, abundant literature reports cytotoxic effects of zinc on the olfactory epithelium. Additional research suggests that divalent cations (such as zinc) can block ion channels that facilitate the transduction of odors into electrical signals on the olfactory epithelium. The purpose of the current study was 2-fold: to confirm whether zinc gluconate causes anosmia and to reveal whether any other divalent cationic compounds produce a similar effect. Groups of mice underwent a buried food-pellet test to gauge olfactory function and then were nasally irrigated with 1 of 3 divalent cationic compounds. When tested after treatment, mice irrigated with zinc gluconate and copper gluconate experienced a marked increase in food-finding time, indicating that they had lost their ability to smell a hidden food source. Control mice irrigated with saline had a significantly lower increase in times. These results confirm that zinc gluconate can cause anosmia and reveal that multiple divalent cations can negatively affect olfaction. Copyright 2011 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Source

Haran F.J.,Florida Biomed
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

OBJECTIVE:: To establish the reliable change parameters for the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) using a healthy normative sample of active duty service members (SMs) and apply the parameters to sample of recently deployed SMs. METHODS:: Postdeployment neurocognitive performance was compared in 1893 US Marines with high rates of combat exposure during deployment. Of the sample, 289 SMs had data for 2 predeployment assessments and were used as a normative subsample and 502 SMs had data for predeployment and postdeployment assessments and were used as a deployed subsample. On the basis of self-report, the deployed subsample were further classified as concussed (n = 238) or as nonconcussed controls (n = 264). Reliable change parameters were estimated from the normative sample and applied data for both deployed groups. Postdeployment performance was quantified using a general linear model (2 group × 2 time) multivariate analysis of variance with repeated measures. RESULTS:: Both deployed groups demonstrated a pattern of meaningful decreases in performance over time. CONCLUSIONS:: Information from this effort, specifically the reliable change parameters and the base rates of reliable decline, can be used to assist with the identification of postdeployment cognitive issues. © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Alibiglou L.,Franklin University | Videnovic A.,Neurological Clinical Research Institute | Vaillancourt D.E.,Florida Biomed
Movement Disorders

Background: Muscle activity during rapid eye movement sleep is markedly increased in people with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and people with Parkinson's disease (PD) who have freezing of gait. This study examined whether individuals with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder who do not have a diagnosis of PD show abnormalities in gait initiation that resemble the impairments observed in PD and whether there is a relationship between these deficits and the level of rapid eye movement sleep without atonia. Methods: Gait initiation and polysomnography studies were conducted in 4 groups of 10 participants: rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, PD with and without freezing of gait, and controls. Results: Significant reductions were seen in the posterior shift of the center of pressure during the propulsive phase of gait initiation in the groups with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and PD with freezing of gait when compared with controls and PD nonfreezers. These reductions negatively correlated with the amount of rapid eye movement sleep without atonia. The duration of the initial dorsiflexor muscle burst during gait initiation was significantly reduced in both PD groups and the rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder cohort. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that people with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, prior to a diagnosis of a degenerative neurologic disorder, show alterations in the coupling of posture and gait similar to those seen in PD. The correlation between increased rapid eye movement sleep without atonia and deficits in forward propulsion during the push-off phase of gait initiation suggests that abnormities in the regulation of muscle tone during rapid eye movement sleep may be related to the pathogenesis of freezing of gait. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. Source

Dai X.,Florida International University | Huang Y.C.,Florida Biomed
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

For tissue engineering applications, the preparation of biodegradable and biocompatible scaffolds is the most desirable but challenging task.  Among the various fabrication methods, electrospinning is the most attractive one due to its simplicity and versatility. Additionally, electrospun nanofibers mimic the size of natural extracellular matrix ensuring additional support for cell survival and growth. This study showed the viability of the fabrication of long fibers spanning a larger deposit area for a novel biodegradable and biocompatible polymer named poly(glycerol-dodecanoate) (PGD)(1) by using a newly designed collector for electrospinning. PGD exhibits unique elastic properties with similar mechanical properties to nerve tissues, thus it is suitable for neural tissue engineering applications. The synthesis and fabrication set-up for making fibrous scaffolding materials was simple, highly reproducible, and inexpensive. In biocompatibility testing, cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells could adhere to and grow on the electrospun PGD fibers. In summary, this protocol provided a versatile fabrication method for making PGD electrospun fibers to support the growth of mouse embryonic stem cell derived neural lineage cells. Source

Mohr D.C.,Northwestern University | Schueller S.M.,Northwestern University | Montague E.,Northwestern University | Burns M.N.,Northwestern University | Rashidi P.,Florida Biomed
Journal of Medical Internet Research

A growing number of investigators have commented on the lack of models to inform the design of behavioral intervention technologies (BITs). BITs, which include a subset of mHealth and eHealth interventions, employ a broad range of technologies, such as mobile phones, the Web, and sensors, to support users in changing behaviors and cognitions related to health, mental health, and wellness. We propose a model that conceptually defines BITs, from the clinical aim to the technological delivery framework. The BIT model defines both the conceptual and technological architecture of a BIT. Conceptually, a BIT model should answer the questions why, what, how (conceptual and technical), and when. While BITs generally have a larger treatment goal, such goals generally consist of smaller intervention aims (the why) such as promotion or reduction of specific behaviors, and behavior change strategies (the conceptual how), such as education, goal setting, and monitoring. Behavior change strategies are instantiated with specific intervention components or elements (the what). The characteristics of intervention elements may be further defined or modified (the technical how) to meet the needs, capabilities, and preferences of a user. Finally, many BITs require specification of a workflow that defines when an intervention component will be delivered. The BIT model includes a technological framework (BIT-Tech) that can integrate and implement the intervention elements, characteristics, and workflow to deliver the entire BIT to users over time. This implementation may be either predefined or include adaptive systems that can tailor the intervention based on data from the user and the user's environment. The BIT model provides a step towards formalizing the translation of developer aims into intervention components, larger treatments, and methods of delivery in a manner that supports research and communication between investigators on how to design, develop, and deploy BITs. Source

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