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PubMed | University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, United Methodist University, University of Houston, Rice University and Houston Methodist Research Institute Houston
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in neuroscience | Year: 2016

This study demonstrates the feasibility of detecting motor intent from brain activity of chronic stroke patients using an asynchronous electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain machine interface (BMI). Intent was inferred from movement related cortical potentials (MRCPs) measured over an optimized set of EEG electrodes. Successful intent detection triggered the motion of an upper-limb exoskeleton (MAHI Exo-II), to guide movement and to encourage active user participation by providing instantaneous sensory feedback. Several BMI design features were optimized to increase system performance in the presence of single-trial variability of MRCPs in the injured brain: (1) an adaptive time window was used for extracting features during BMI calibration; (2) training data from two consecutive days were pooled for BMI calibration to increase robustness to handle the day-to-day variations typical of EEG, and (3) BMI predictions were gated by residual electromyography (EMG) activity from the impaired arm, to reduce the number of false positives. This patient-specific BMI calibration approach can accommodate a broad spectrum of stroke patients with diverse motor capabilities. Following BMI optimization on day 3, testing of the closed-loop BMI-MAHI exoskeleton, on 4th and 5th days of the study, showed consistent BMI performance with overall mean true positive rate (TPR) = 62.7 21.4% on day 4 and 67.1 14.6% on day 5. The overall false positive rate (FPR) across subjects was 27.74 37.46% on day 4 and 27.5 35.64% on day 5; however for two subjects who had residual motor function and could benefit from the EMG-gated BMI, the mean FPR was quite low (< 10%). On average, motor intent was detected -367 328 ms before movement onset during closed-loop operation. These findings provide evidence that closed-loop EEG-based BMI for stroke patients can be designed and optimized to perform well across multiple days without system recalibration.

Jin S.,Sun Yat Sen University | Tian S.,Sun Yat Sen University | Chen Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Zhang C.,Sun Yat Sen University | And 4 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2016

Autophagy, mediated by a number of autophagy-related (ATG) proteins, plays an important role in the bulk degradation of cellular constituents. Beclin-1 (also known as Atg6 in yeast) is a core protein essential for autophagic initiation and other biological processes. The activity of Beclin-1 is tightly regulated by multiple post-translational modifications, including ubiquitination, yet the molecular mechanism underpinning its reversible deubiquitination remains poorly defined. Here, we identified ubiquitin-specific protease 19 (USP19) as a positive regulator of autophagy, but a negative regulator of type I interferon (IFN) signaling. USP19 stabilizes Beclin-1 by removing the K11-linked ubiquitin chains of Beclin-1 at lysine 437. Moreover, we found that USP19 negatively regulates type I IFN signaling pathway, by blocking RIG-I-MAVS interaction in a Beclin-1-dependent manner. Depletion of either USP19 or Beclin-1 inhibits autophagic flux and promotes type I IFN signaling as well as cellular antiviral immunity. Our findings reveal novel dual functions of the USP19-Beclin-1 axis by balancing autophagy and the production of type I IFNs. © 2016 EMBO.

PubMed | Houston Methodist Research Institute Houston, University of Houston, Rice University, Regulon Inc. Alimos 17455 and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of cancer research | Year: 2016

Chemoradiation is the strongest anti-tumor therapy but in resistant unresectable cancers it often lacks safety and efficacy. We compared our recently developed cell-level combination approach, quadrapeutics, to chemoradiation therapy to establish pre-clinical data for its biodistribution, safety and efficacy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), as a clinically challenging aggressive and resistant cancer. In vitro and in vivo models of four carcinomas were treated with standard chemoradiation and quadrapeutics using identical drug and radiation doses. We applied liposomal cisplatin or doxorubicin, colloidal gold, near-infrared laser pulses and radiation, all at low safe doses. The final evaluation used a xenograft model of HNSCC. Quadrapeutics enhanced standard chemoradiation in vitro by reducing head and neck cancer cell proliferation by 1000-fold, inhibiting tumor growth in vivo by 34-fold and improving animal survival by 5-fold, and reducing the side effects to a negligible level. In quadrapeutics, we observed an inversion of the drug efficacy of two standard drugs: doxorubicin, a low efficacy drug for the cancers studied, was two times more efficient than cisplatin, the first choice drug in clinic for HNSCC. The radical therapeutic gain of quadrapeutics resulted from the intracellular synergy of the four components employed which we administered in a specific sequence, while the reduction in the toxicity was due to the low doses of all four components. The biodistribution, safety and efficacy data for quadrapeutics in HNSCC ensure its high translational potential and justify the possibility of clinical trials.

PubMed | Houston Methodist Research Institute Houston and University of Washington
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience | Year: 2016

With an increased prevalence and understanding of central nervous system (CNS) injuries and neurological disorders, nucleic acid therapies are gaining promise as a way to regenerate lost neurons or halt disease progression. While more viral vectors have been used clinically as tools for gene delivery, non-viral vectors are gaining interest due to lower safety concerns and the ability to deliver all types of nucleic acids. Nevertheless, there are still a number of barriers to nucleic acid delivery. In this focused review, we explore the

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