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1.  Mercury in bats from the northeastern United States 
This study examines mercury exposure in bats across the northeast U.S. from 2005 to 2009. We collected 1,481 fur and 681 blood samples from 8 states and analyzed them for total Hg. A subset (n = 20) are also analyzed for methylmercury (MeHg). Ten species of bats from the northeast U.S. are represented in this study of which two are protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA 1973) and two other species are pending review. There are four objectives in this paper: (1) to examine correlates to differences in fur–Hg levels among all of the sampling sites, including age, sex, species, and presence of a Hg point source; (2) define the relationship between blood and fur–Hg levels and the factors that influence that relationship including age, sex, species, reproductive status, and energetic condition; (3) determine the relationships between total Hg and MeHg in five common eastern bat species; and (4) assess the distribution of Hg across bat populations in the northeast. We found total blood and fur mercury was eight times higher in bats captured near point sources compared to nonpoint sources. Blood–Hg and fur–Hg were well correlated with females on average accumulating two times more Hg in fur than males. On average fur MeHg accounted for 86 % (range 71–95 %) of the total Hg in bat fur. Considering that females had high Hg concentrations, beyond that of established levels of concern, suggests there could be negative implications for bat populations from high Hg exposure since Hg is readily transferred to pups via breast milk. Bats provide an integral part of the ecosystem and their protection is considered to be of high priority. More research is needed to determine if Hg is a stressor that is negatively impacting bat populations.
doi:10.1007/s10646-013-1150-1
PMCID: PMC3884133  PMID: 24271419
Mercury; Hg; Methylmercury; MeHg; Bats; Northeast United States
2.  Sertraline May Improve Language Developmental Trajectory in Young Children with Fragile X Syndrome: A Retrospective Chart Review 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:104317.
Young children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) often experience anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity related to sensory hyperarousal. However, there are no medication recommendations with documented efficacy for children under 5 years old of age with FXS. We examined data through a chart review for 45 children with FXS, 12–50 months old, using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) for baseline and longitudinal assessments. All children had clinical level of anxiety, language delays based on MSEL scores, and similar early learning composite (ELC) scores at their first visit to our clinic. Incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was similar in both groups. There were 11 children who were treated with sertraline, and these patients were retrospectively compared to 34 children who were not treated with sertraline by chart review. The baseline assessments were done at ages ranging from 18 to 44 months (mean 26.9, SD 7.99) and from 12 to 50 months (mean 29.94, SD 8.64) for treated and not treated groups, respectively. Mean rate of improvement in both expressive and receptive language development was significantly higher in the group who was treated with sertraline (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0071, resp.). This data supports the need for a controlled trial of sertraline treatment in young children with FXS.
doi:10.1155/2012/104317
PMCID: PMC3420618  PMID: 22934167
3.  Aging in fragile X syndrome 
Many studies have focused on the behavior and cognitive problems in young patients with fragile X syndrome (FXS), but there are no studies about the problems in aging for those with FXS. The discovery of the fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a neurodegenerative disorder related to elevated FMR1-mRNA, in elderly men and some women with the premutation, intensified the need for aging studies in FXS. Approximately 40% of males with FXS have repeat size mosaicism and as a result, some of these individuals also have elevated levels of FMR1-mRNA which theoretically puts them at risk for FXTAS. Here, we have surveyed all of the aging patients with FXS that we have followed over the years to clarify the medical complications of aging seen in those with FXS. Data was collected from 62 individuals with the FXS full mutation (44 males; 18 females) who were at least 40 years old at their most recent clinical examination. We found that the five most frequent medical problems in these patients were neurological problems (38.7%), gastrointestinal problems (30.6%), obesity (28.8%), hypertension (24.2%) and heart problems (24.2%). Movement disorders were significantly different between males and females (38.6% vs.10.2%, p = 0.029). We did not find any differences in medical problems between those with a full mutation and those with mosaicism. Identification of medical problems associated with aging in FXS is important to establish appropriate recommendations for medical screening and treatment considerations.
doi:10.1007/s11689-010-9047-2
PMCID: PMC2882562  PMID: 20585378
Aging; Fragile X syndrome; Medical problems; Movement disorder
4.  Aging in fragile X syndrome 
Many studies have focused on the behavior and cognitive problems in young patients with fragile X syndrome (FXS), but there are no studies about the problems in aging for those with FXS. The discovery of the fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a neurodegenerative disorder related to elevated FMR1-mRNA, in elderly men and some women with the premutation, intensified the need for aging studies in FXS. Approximately 40% of males with FXS have repeat size mosaicism and as a result, some of these individuals also have elevated levels of FMR1-mRNA which theoretically puts them at risk for FXTAS. Here, we have surveyed all of the aging patients with FXS that we have followed over the years to clarify the medical complications of aging seen in those with FXS. Data was collected from 62 individuals with the FXS full mutation (44 males; 18 females) who were at least 40 years old at their most recent clinical examination. We found that the five most frequent medical problems in these patients were neurological problems (38.7%), gastrointestinal problems (30.6%), obesity (28.8%), hypertension (24.2%) and heart problems (24.2%). Movement disorders were significantly different between males and females (38.6% vs.10.2%, p = 0.029). We did not find any differences in medical problems between those with a full mutation and those with mosaicism. Identification of medical problems associated with aging in FXS is important to establish appropriate recommendations for medical screening and treatment considerations.
doi:10.1007/s11689-010-9047-2
PMCID: PMC2882562  PMID: 20585378
Aging; Fragile X syndrome; Medical problems; Movement disorder

Results 1-4 (4)