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Gaillimh, Ireland
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McGee H.M.,Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland | Murphy A.W.,NUI
BMC Family Practice | Year: 2010

Background: Sexual problems are common among people with coronary heart disease and can adversely affect patients' quality of life. GPs are ideally placed to deal with these problems. Research suggests that GPs are reluctant to address sexual problems but little is known about what currently takes place in practice. The aim of this study was to examine GPs' self-reported behaviour and attitudes to discussing sexual problems with people with coronary heart disease. Method: Design: A cross-sectional survey which administered 230 postal questionnaires to a nationally representative, stratified random sample of GPs in the Republic of Ireland. GPs were asked about current practice, knowledge, awareness and confidence in dealing with sexual problems, barriers to addressing sexual problems, and about improving services in this area. Results: Responses were available for 61 GPs (27% response rate). Seventy percent of GPs reported that they rarely or never discussed sexual problems with coronary patients. While all GPs believed addressing sexual problems was important, many GPs reported lacking awareness, knowledge and confidence in addressing sexual problems. The main barriers were lack of time, feeling the patient wasn't ready and lack of training in the area. GPs wanted more training and guidelines for practice. Conclusions: There is currently no standardised protocol for GPs for dealing with sexual problems among coronary patients. Awareness of these issues appears to be low among GPs. Services could be improved by developing practice guidelines for brief, effective actions or assessments, providing training in the area and improving information resources and support services for referral. © 2010 Byrne et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Murphy A.W.,NUI | McGee H.M.,Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing | Year: 2011

Background: While a healthy sexual life is regarded as an important aspect of quality of life, sexual counselling from healthcare providers for cardiac patients has received little attention in the literature. Aim: To document current practice and assess the needs of cardiac rehabilitation service providers in Ireland with regard to sexual assessment and management for patients. Methods: Cardiac rehabilitation staff in all relevant centres in Ireland responded to a postal questionnaire. Sexual health management was assessed by a series of questions on current practice, staff attitudes, beliefs and perceived barriers to discussing sexual problems. Results: Staff (N= 60; 61% response rate) reported a lack of assessment and counselling protocols for addressing sexual health problems, with little or no onward referral system available. Results also suggest staff believe that patients do not expect them to ask about their sexual concerns. Barriers reported included an overall lack of confidence (45%), knowledge (58%) and training (85%). Conclusion: Development of guidelines, assessment protocols and training for cardiac rehabilitation staff are essential in the area of sexual health problems in order to improve the quality of services for patients with coronary heart disease. © 2010 European Society of Cardiology.


Simpson J.,NUI | Ryan C.,NUI | Curley A.,NUI | Mulcaire J.,NUI | Kelly J.P.,NUI
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Behavioural pharmacology relies on animal models which are primarily validated using the male laboratory rat. Many researchers solely employ male animals in studies; this is primarily due to concerns about the impact of variations in the female estrous cycle on behavioural responses. The objective of the present study therefore was to examine whether sex has any effect in some commonly employed behavioural pharmacology tests. Male and female Sprague Dawley rats were examined in the following behavioural pharmacology tests: diazepam (DZP) effects on anxiolytic behaviour in the elevated plus maze (EPM); desipramine (DMI) effects on immobility time in the forced swim test (FST); amphetamine (AMP) and apomorphine (APO) effects on locomotor activity in the homecage monitoring apparatus (HCMA). Baseline investigations revealed that females were more active than males in all three tests. DZP increased open arm time and entries for males but not for females. Similarly, significant reduction in immobility time with DMI was found for males in the FST, with no effect observed in females. There was a significant effect of AMP dose on distance moved for both sexes; the peak locomotor stimulating effects were seen following 1-2mgkg -1 AMP doses for males, while 0.5mgkg -1 produced the greatest effect in females. APO impaired locomotor activity in both sexes. These results demonstrate that male and female rats respond differently to psychotropic drugs. The absence of female responses to the effects of DZP and DMI in the EPM and FST respectively was due to the high baseline activity levels seen with females; thus behavioural tests must be designed to account for sex differences in baseline behaviours to allow for unambiguous extrapolation of the results. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Simpson J.,NUI | Bree D.,NUI | Kelly J.P.,NUI
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Employing environmental enrichment (EE) provides continual sources of dynamic interaction for animals. Though an established discipline in behavioural science, the consequences of EE on behavioural pharmacological tests have not been extensively examined. The purpose of this study was to examine the consequences of EE (or isolation housing) on a range of behavioural pharmacological tests and brain monoamine and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the rat. Male rats were randomly assigned to IC (isolation), SC (standard group-housed) or EE conditions. IC and SC animals were housed singly or in groups of four in standard cages, whilst the EE group were housed in groups of four in larger cages enriched with a variety of wooden, cardboard and plastic objects. After 5. weeks of housing, its impact on the effects of diazepam (DZP) in the elevated plus maze (EPM); desipramine (DMI) in the forced swim test (FST) and amphetamine (AMP) effects on homecage activity were assessed. Post-mortem monoamine and BDNF levels were analysed using HPLC and ELISA. EE rats displayed reduced activity in the OFT, however no other differences were found in baseline behaviours. DMI reduced immobility time in the FST, but only for rats housed in IC, while AMP effects were somewhat greater for socially-housed animals than those in IC. There were no housing effects on monoamine or BDNF levels in discreet brain regions. The results suggest that post-weaning enrichment had no significant effect on baseline behaviours or monoamine and BDNF levels, thus it is suitable to implement as a commonplace husbandry practice, however, caution must be taken when investigating responsiveness to psychotropic drugs. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Hogan M.J.,NUI | Staff R.T.,Royal Infirmary | Bunting B.P.,University of Ulster | Murray A.D.,University of Aberdeen | And 3 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2011

Introduction: Frontal lobe atrophy is implicated in patterns of age-related cognitive decline. However, other brain areas, including the cerebellum, support the work of the frontal lobes and are also sensitive to the effects of ageing. A relationship between cerebellar brain volume and cognitive function in older adults is reported, but no study has separated variance associated with cerebellar gray matter volume and cerebellar white matter volume; and no study has examined whether or not brain volume in the cerebellum is related to cognitive function in older adults after statistical control for frontal lobe volume of gray and white matter. Method: We used voxel based morphometry (VBM) and structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse relations between general cognitive ability (G) and volume of GM and WM in frontal areas and cerebellum in a sample of 228 older adults (121 males and 107 females). Results: Results indicate that GM volume in the cerebellum predicts G, even when total intracranial volume (TICV) and GM gray and WM volumes in frontal lobes are statistically controlled. However, results differ for males and females, with males showing a stronger relationship between brain volume in the cerebellum and G. Conclusions: Results are discussed in light of neurological models of cognitive ageing and the significance of the cerebellum in models of cognitive functioning. © 2010 Elsevier Srl.


Fitzgerald C.,Teagasc | Gallagher E.,Teagasc | O'Connor P.,Teagasc | Prieto J.,University of London | And 3 more authors.
Peptides | Year: 2013

The vascular inflammatory role of platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) is thought to be due to the formation of lysophosphatidyl choline and oxidized non-esterified fatty acids. This enzyme is considered a promising therapeutic target for the prevention of atherosclerosis and there is a need to expand the available chemical templates of PAF-AH inhibitors. This study demonstrated how natural PAF-AH inhibitory peptides were isolated and characterized from the red macroalga Palmaria palmata. The dried powdered alga was hydrolyzed using the food grade enzyme papain, and the resultant peptide containing fraction generated using RP-HPLC. Several oligopeptides were identified as potential PAF-AH inhibitors following bio-guided fractionation, and the amino acid sequences of these oligopeptides were confirmed by Q-TOF-MS and microwave-assisted solid phase de novo synthesis. The most promising PAF-AH inhibitory peptide had the amino acid sequence NIGK and a PAF-AH IC50 value of 2.32 mM. This peptide may constitute a valid drug template for PAF-AH inhibitors. Furthermore the P. palmata hydrolysate was nontoxic when assayed using the Zebrafish toxicity model at a concentration of 1 mg/ml. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Connor P.O.,Center for Innovation and Structural Change | Keogh I.J.,NUI
Irish Medical Journal | Year: 2011

Research shows that human error, as opposed to mechanical failure, is the major causal factor of industrial and transportation accidents. The same is true in healthcare. This paper briefly discusses five human error reduction methods that have been adapted from high reliability organisations, such as aviation, for use in the healthcare industry. However, before the widespread adoption of these methods, an a evidence based a approach should be taken to ensure that they have been adequately tailored to meet the needs of Irish healthcare workers.


Srivastava N.,Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture CISH | Gupta V.K.,NUI | Gupta V.K.,University of Rajasthan | Pati R.,Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture CISH | Gaur R.K.,University of Rajasthan
Biotechnology | Year: 2011

Genetically modified transgenic crops also referred to as a Genetically Modified (GM) crops are produced by when the genetic material of an organism (either DNA or RNA) is altered by use of recombinant DNA technology and the modification can be replicated and/or transferred to other cells or organisms. The recently understood recombinant DNA technology has potential, via genetic engineering, to incorporate a specific gene which controls a particular trait, without co-transfer of undesirable genes from donor species as occurs in conventional breeding. In recent year, the globally cultivated area of transgenics crops has increased more than 81 million hectares. Most GM crops grown today have been developed to resist certain insect pests. There are GM plants being developed today to produce specific vitamins, resist plant viruses and even produce products for medicinal uses. © 2011 Asian Network for Scientific Information.


Colleran J.J.,NUI | Breslin C.B.,NUI
Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2012

Poly (3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene)/sulphated β-cyclodextrin (PEDOT/S-β-CD) films, deposited onto gold working electrodes, were investigated for ascorbic acid (AA) and catecholamine detection using cyclic voltammetry, hydrodynamic voltammetry and amperometry. The thin PEDOT/S-β-CD films were fabricated via three electropolymerisation cyclic voltammetry cycles, on gold working macroelectrodes. A limit of detection (LoD) of 1.3 × 10 -7 M was determined at PEDOT/S-β-CD modified gold electrodes, via cyclic voltammetry, for dopamine (DA) in the presence of 1 × 10 -3 M of AA in human urine samples. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


McCarthy O.J.,NUI | McGarry J.P.,NUI | Leen S.B.,NUI
Wear | Year: 2013

This paper is concerned with the development of a micro-mechanical methodology for prediction of fretting fatigue crack nucleation life and short crack propagation. The methodology employs critical accumulated plastic slip as a fatigue indicator parameter for microstructure-sensitive crack nucleation. Crystal plasticity unit-cell models are employed for calibration of constitutive and crack nucleation parameters and a crystal plasticity frictional contact model of the fretting test rig is developed to predict the micro-scale surface fretting damage, crack nucleation and estimated micro-crack propagation. The methodology is validated against fretting fatigue tests using a fretting bridge arrangement for 316L stainless steel. eneral agreemen between the FE predicted and experimental fretting fatigue lives. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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