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1.  Bacterial Isolates Associated With Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Among Female Patients Attending Some Hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria 
Pelvic inflammatory disease refers to any infection in the female lower reproductive tract that spreads to the upper reproductive tract. The disease comprises a spectrum of inflammatory disorders of the upper female genital tract, including any combination of endometritis, salpingitis, tubo-ovarian abscess and pelvic peritonitis. PID is not a notifiable disease in most countries, so accurate statistics are not available. This situation is not in any way different here in Nigeria and more so in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where this research was conducted, there had never been any published report so far on PID. It therefore became pertinent that such studies be carried out to evaluate the bacterial organisms which may be associated with the disease in this part of Nigeria so that health care providers could take a better look at this affliction in women.
Materials and Methods
Endocervical swabs totalling 100 were aseptically collected from patients with confirmed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), attending some hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria for detection of bacterial pathogens based on cultural and biochemical characterisation tests. Antibiogram was also conducted on the identified bacterial isolates.
Out of the 100 samples analysed, 43% yielded pure cultures of bacterial isolates, 2% yielded mixed cultures while no bacterial growths were recorded from the remaining 55% samples. Organisms encountered were Staphylococcus aureus (16%), Escherichia coli (10%), Streptococcus faecalis (8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (4%), Streptococcus pyogenes (3%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (3%), Proteus rettgeri (2%) and Proteus mirabilis (1%). The highest percentage occurrence of pathogenic isolates was observed in polygamous married patients (90%). The age group most affected falls within the mean age 30.5 years (68%) while the least affected group falls within the mean age 40.5 years (5%). There was a significant difference in the acquisition of PID in relation to marital status (P < 0.05). However there was no significant difference in the acquisition of the disease with respect to age (P > 0.05). Antibiogram patterns of pathogenic isolates revealed varied resistance to most of the antibiotics employed. Cefotaxime (a new generation cephalosporin antibiotic) was established in this study as the best antimicrobial agent for treatment of PID due to Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria isolated from the women examined.
In conclusion, Pelvic inflammatory disease is a major health problem in developed or developing countries of the world. PID is not a notifiable disease, as accurate statistics on disease prevalence are rarely available. There is therefore no doubt thousands of young women have salpingitis every year and their sheer number makes it an important health problem. PID hence can be said to be a very serious complication of sexually transmitted disease which should be critically and promptly handled by healthcare providers. The right type sample should be aseptically collected and be appropriately handled for laboratory investigation. Treatment of PID should be initiated as soon as the presumptive diagnosis has been made. Immediate administration of antibiotics has been effective in the long-term sequelae associated with PID, especially new generation antibiotics, such as cefotaxime as recorded in this study.
PMCID: PMC3957208  PMID: 24653811
Bacterial isolates; Pelvic inflammatory disease; Female patients
2.  Can pediatric bipolar-I disorder be diagnosed in the context of posttraumatic stress disorder? A familial risk analysis 
Psychiatry research  2013;208(3):215-224.
Despite ongoing concerns that traumatized children with severe symptoms of emotional dysregulation may be inappropriately receiving a diagnosis of pediatric bipolar-I (BP-I) disorder, this issue has not been adequately examined in the literature. Because both pediatric BP-I disorder and PTSD are familial disorders, if children with both BP-I and PTSD were to be truly affected with BP-I disorder, their relatives would be at high risk for BP-I disorder. To this end, we compared patterns of familial aggregation of BP-I disorder in BP-I children with and without PTSD with age and sex matched controls. Participants were 236 youth with BP-I disorder and 136 controls of both sexes along with their siblings. Participants completed a large battery of measures designed to assess psychiatric disorders, psychosocial, educational, and cognitive parameters. Familial risk analysis revealed that relatives of BP-I probands with and without PTSD had similarly elevated rates of BP-I disorder that significantly differed from those of relatives of controls. Pediatric BP-I disorder is similarly highly familial in probands with and without PTSD indicating that their co-occurrence is not due to diagnostic error.
PMCID: PMC3728676  PMID: 23790757
comorbidity; clinical correlates; family risk analysis
3.  7T MR spectroscopic imaging in the localization of surgical epilepsy 
Epilepsia  2013;54(9):1668-1678.
With the success that surgical approaches can provide for localization-related epilepsy, accurate seizure localization remains important. Although magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy has had success in earlier studies in medial temporal lobe epilepsy, there have been fewer studies evaluating its use in a broader range of localization-related epilepsy. With improvements in signal-to-noise with ultra-high field MR, we report on the use of high resolution 7T MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) in 25 surgically treated patients studied over a 3.5-year period.
Patients were included in this analysis if the region of MRSI study included the surgical resection region. Concordance between region of MRSI abnormalities and of surgical resection was classified into three groups (complete, partial, or no agreement) and outcome was dichotomized by International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) I–III and IV–VI groups. MRSI was performed with repetition time/echo time 1.5 s/40 msec in two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) encoding for robust detection of singlets N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), and choline with abnormalities in NAA/Cr determined with correction for tissue content of gray matter.
Key Findings
The concordance between MRSI-determined abnormality and surgical resection region was significantly related to outcome: Outcome was better if the resected tissue was metabolically abnormal. All 14 patients with complete resection of the region with the most severe metabolic abnormality had good outcome, including five requiring intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) analysis, whereas only 3/11 without complete resection of the most severe metabolic abnormality had good outcome (p < 0.001).
This is consistent with the seizure-onset zone being characterized by metabolic dysfunction and suggests that high resolution MRSI can help define these regions for the purposes of outcome prediction.
PMCID: PMC3938332  PMID: 23895497
Localization-related epilepsy; Spectroscopic imaging; Seizure localization; Outcomes
4.  Metabolic networks in epilepsy by MR spectroscopic imaging 
Acta neurologica Scandinavica  2012;126(6):411-420.
The concept of an epileptic network has long been suggested from both animal and human studies of epilepsy. Based on the common observation that the MR spectroscopic imaging measure of NAA/Cr is sensitive to neuronal function and injury, we use this parameter to assess for the presence of a metabolic network in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) patients.
Materials and methods
A multivariate factor analysis is performed with controls and MTLE patients, using NAA/Cr measures from 12 loci: the bilateral hippocampi, thalami, basal ganglia, and insula. The factor analysis determines which and to what extent these loci are metabolically covarying.
We extract two independent factors that explain the data’s variability in control and MTLE patients. In controls, these factors characterize a ‘thalamic’ and ‘dominant subcortical’ function. The MTLE patients also exhibit a ‘thalamic’ factor, in addition to a second factor involving the ipsilateral insula and bilateral basal ganglia.
These data suggest that MTLE patients demonstrate a metabolic network that involves the thalami, also seen in controls. The MTLE patients also display a second set of metabolically covarying regions that may be a manifestation of the epileptic network that characterizes limbic seizure propagation.
PMCID: PMC3600585  PMID: 22574807
epilepsy; neuroimaging; seizures
5.  Regional Variation in Human Supraspinatus Tendon Proteoglycans: Decorin, Biglycan, and Aggrecan 
Connective tissue research  2012;53(5):343-348.
While tendons typically undergo primarily tensile loading, the human supraspinatus tendon (SST) experiences substantial amounts of tension, compression, and shear in vivo. As a result, the functional roles of the extracellular matrix components, in particular the proteoglycans (PGs), are likely complex and important. The goal of this study was to determine the PG content in specific regions of the SST that exhibit differing mechanical function. The concentration of aggrecan, biglycan, and decorin were determined in six regions of the human SST using immunochemical techniques. We hypothesized that: aggrecan concentrations would be highest in areas where the tendon likely experiences compression; biglycan levels would be highest in regions likely subjected to injury and/or active remodeling such as the anterior regions; decorin concentrations would be highest in regions of greatest tensile stiffness. Our results generally supported these hypotheses and demonstrated that aggrecan and biglycan share regional variability, with increased concentration in the anterior and posterior regions and smaller concentration in the medial regions. Decorin, however, was in high concentration throughout all regions. The data presented in this study represent the first regional measurements of PG in the SST. Together with our previous regional measurements of mechanical properties, these data can be used to evaluate SST structure-function relationships. With knowledge of the differences in specific PG content, their spatial variations in the SST, and their relationships to tendon mechanics, we can begin to associate defects in PG content with specific pathology, which may provide guidance for new therapeutic interventions.
PMCID: PMC3437000  PMID: 22329809
ELISA; extracellular matrix; shoulder; biomechanics
6.  Impaired consciousness in temporal lobe seizures: role of cortical slow activity 
Brain  2010;133(12):3764-3777.
Impaired consciousness requires altered cortical function. This can occur either directly from disorders that impair widespread bilateral regions of the cortex or indirectly through effects on subcortical arousal systems. It has therefore long been puzzling why focal temporal lobe seizures so often impair consciousness. Early work suggested that altered consciousness may occur with bilateral or dominant temporal lobe seizure involvement. However, other bilateral temporal lobe disorders do not impair consciousness. More recent work supports a ‘network inhibition hypothesis’ in which temporal lobe seizures disrupt brainstem–diencephalic arousal systems, leading indirectly to depressed cortical function and impaired consciousness. Indeed, prior studies show subcortical involvement in temporal lobe seizures and bilateral frontoparietal slow wave activity on intracranial electroencephalography. However, the relationships between frontoparietal slow waves and impaired consciousness and between cortical slowing and fast seizure activity have not been directly investigated. We analysed intracranial electroencephalography recordings during 63 partial seizures in 26 patients with surgically confirmed mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Behavioural responsiveness was determined based on blinded review of video during seizures and classified as impaired (complex-partial seizures) or unimpaired (simple-partial seizures). We observed significantly increased delta-range 1–2 Hz slow wave activity in the bilateral frontal and parietal neocortices during complex-partial compared with simple-partial seizures. In addition, we confirmed prior work suggesting that propagation of unilateral mesial temporal fast seizure activity to the bilateral temporal lobes was significantly greater in complex-partial than in simple-partial seizures. Interestingly, we found that the signal power of frontoparietal slow wave activity was significantly correlated with the temporal lobe fast seizure activity in each hemisphere. Finally, we observed that complex-partial seizures were somewhat more common with onset in the language-dominant temporal lobe. These findings provide direct evidence for cortical dysfunction in the form of bilateral frontoparietal slow waves associated with impaired consciousness in temporal lobe seizures. We hypothesize that bilateral temporal lobe seizures may exert a powerful inhibitory effect on subcortical arousal systems. Further investigations will be needed to fully determine the role of cortical-subcortical networks in ictal neocortical dysfunction and may reveal treatments to prevent this important negative consequence of temporal lobe epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC2995886  PMID: 21081551
cortex; EEG; seizures; temporal lobe epilepsy; consciousness
Archives of dermatology  2011;147(5):624-626.
PMCID: PMC3164768  PMID: 21576589
8.  Neural substrates of impaired sensorimotor timing in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 
Biological psychiatry  2010;68(4):359-367.
Timing abilities are critical to the successful management of everyday activities and personal safety, and timing abnormalities have been argued to be fundamental to impulsiveness, a core symptom of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Despite substantial evidence of timing deficits in ADHD youth, only two studies have explicitly examined timing in ADHD adults, and only at the supra-second time-scale. Also, the neural substrates of these deficits are largely unknown for both youth and adults with ADHD. The present study examined sub-second sensorimotor timing and its neural substrates in ADHD adults.
Using fMRI, we examined paced and unpaced finger tapping in a sample of 20 unmedicated adults with ADHD and 19 controls comparable on age, sex and estimated-IQ. The blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast response was used to estimate task-related neural activity.
Behavioral data showed no between-group differences in mean tapping rates but greater within-subject variability in tap-to-tap intervals for ADHD adults relative to controls. Importantly, ADHD adults had greater clock rather than motor variability, consistent with a central timing locus for the atypical movements. The imaging results demonstrated that, relative to controls, ADHD adults showed less activity in a number of regions associated with sensorimotor timing, including prefrontal and precentral gyri, basal ganglia, cerebellum, inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyri and insula.
Our findings show that sub-second timing abnormalities in ADHD youth persist into adulthood and suggest that abnormalities in the temporal structure of behavior observed in ADHD adults result from atypical function of cortico-cerebellar and cortico-striatal timing systems.
PMCID: PMC2917236  PMID: 20619827
ADHD; fMRI; timing; cerebellum; frontal cortex; basal ganglia
9.  Visual Memory in Post-Anterior Right Temporal Lobectomy Patients and Adult Normative Data for the Brown Location Test (BLT) 
Epilepsy & behavior : E&B  2010;17(2):215-220.
Several large and meta-analytic studies have failed to support a consistent relationship between visual or “nonverbal” memory deficits and right mesial temporal lobe changes. However, the Brown Location Test (BLT) is a recently developed dot location learning and memory test that uses a nonsymmetrical array and provides control over many of the confounding variables (e.g., verbal influence and drawing requirements) inherent in other measures of visual memory. In the present investigation, we evaluated the clinical utility of the BLT in patients who had undergone left or right anterior mesial temporal lobectomies. We also provide adult normative data of 298 healthy adults in order to provide standardized scores. Results revealed significantly worse performance on the BLT in the right as compared to left lobectomy group and the healthy adult normative sample. The present findings support a role for the right anterior-mesial temporal lobe in dot location learning and memory.
PMCID: PMC2825669  PMID: 20056493
spatial; visuospatial; lateralization; memory; location; epilepsy
10.  Intracranial EEG power and metabolism in human epilepsy 
Epilepsy research  2009;87(1):18-24.
EEG power and high frequency activity in the seizure onset zone has been increasingly considered for its relationship with seizures in animal and human studies of epilepsy. We examine the relationship between quantitative EEG measures and metabolic imaging in epilepsy patients undergoing intracranial EEG (icEEG) analysis for seizure localization. Patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and neocortical epilepsy (NE) were studied. Metabolic imaging was performed with MR spectroscopic imaging using N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and creatine (Cr). All data were acquired from the mesial temporal lobe such that a direct comparison of the same anatomical regions between the two groups could be performed. While no difference was seen in the total power recorded from the mesial temporal lobe, the MTLE group had significantly greater power in the high frequency bands. There was a significant positive exponential relationship between total icEEG power with NAA/Cr in MTLE, R= +0.84 p<0.001, which was not seen in NE. There was also a significant negative relationship between fractional gamma power with NAA/Cr in MTLE R= −0.66 p<0.02, also not seen in NE. These data argue that within the seizure onset zone, the tight correlation between total power and NAA/Cr suggests that total electrical output is powered by available mitochondrial function. These data are also consistent with the hypothesis that high frequency activity is an abnormal manifestation of tissue injury.
PMCID: PMC2783857  PMID: 19699059
intracranial EEG; gamma power; N-acetyl aspartate; human
11.  John Spencer Jones 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7602):1063.
PMCID: PMC1871764
12.  Effects of Working Memory Load on Oscillatory Power in Human Intracranial EEG 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2007;18(8):1843-1855.
Studies of working memory load effects on human EEG power have indicated divergent effects in different frequency bands. Although gamma power typically increases with load, the load dependency of the lower frequency theta and alpha bands is uncertain. We obtained intracranial electroencephalography measurements from 1453 electrode sites in 14 epilepsy patients performing a Sternberg task, in order to characterize the anatomical distribution of load-related changes across the frequency spectrum. Gamma power increases occurred throughout the brain, but were most common in the occipital lobe. In the theta and alpha bands, both increases and decreases were observed, but with different anatomical distributions. Increases in theta and alpha power were most prevalent in frontal midline cortex. Decreases were most commonly observed in occipital cortex, colocalized with increases in the gamma range, but were also detected in lateral frontal and parietal regions. Spatial overlap with group functional magnetic resonance imaging results was minimal except in the precentral gyrus. These findings suggest that power in any given frequency band is not a unitary phenomenon; rather, reactivity in the same frequency band varies in different brain regions, and may relate to the engagement or inhibition of a given area in a cognitive task.
PMCID: PMC2474453  PMID: 18056698
alpha; BOLD; ECoG; fMRI; gamma; Sternberg; theta
13.  Gene Expression in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is Consistent with Increased Release of Glutamate by Astrocytes 
Molecular Medicine  2007;13(1-2):1-13.
Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) often have a shrunken hippocampus that is known to be the location in which seizures originate. The role of the sclerotic hippocampus in the causation and maintenance of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has remained incompletely understood despite extensive neuropathological investigations of this substrate. To gain new insights and develop new testable hypotheses on the role of sclerosis in the pathophysiology of TLE, the differential gene expression profile was studied. To this end, DNA microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression profiles in sclerotic and non-sclerotic hippocampi surgically removed from TLE patients. Sclerotic hippocampi had transcriptional signatures that were different from non-sclerotic hippocampi. The differentially expressed gene set in sclerotic hippocampi revealed changes in several molecular signaling pathways, which included the increased expression of genes associated with astrocyte structure (glial fibrillary acidic protein, ezrin-moesin-radixin, palladin), calcium regulation (S100 calcium binding protein beta, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4) and blood-brain barrier function (Aquaaporin 4, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 2, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 3, Plectin 1, intermediate filament binding protein 55kDa) and inflammatory responses. Immunohistochemical localization studies show that there is altered distribution of the gene-associated proteins in astrocytes from sclerotic foci compared with non-sclerotic foci. It is hypothesized that the astrocytes in sclerotic tissue have activated molecular pathways that could lead to enhanced release of glutamate by these cells. Such glutamate release may excite surrounding neurons and elicit seizure activity.
PMCID: PMC1869627  PMID: 17515952
14.  Using the FORTH Language to Develop an ICU Data Acquisition System 
This paper describes a powerful programming tool that should be considered as an alternative to the more conventional programming languages now in use for developing medical computer systems. Forth provides instantaneous response to user commands, rapid program execution and tremendous programming versatility. An operating system and a language in one carefully designed unit, Forth is well suited for developing data acquisition systems and for interfacing computers to other instruments. We present some of the general features of Forth and describe its use in implementing a data collection system for a Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU).
PMCID: PMC2203949
15.  A microfluidic reciprocating intracochlear drug delivery system with reservoir and active dose control 
Lab on a chip  2014;14(4):710-721.
Reciprocating microfluidic drug delivery, as compared to steady or pulsed infusion, has unique features which may be advantageous in many therapeutic applications. We have previously described a device, designed for wearable use in small animal models, which periodically infuses then withdraws a sub-microliter volume of drug solution to and from the endogenous fluid of the inner ear. This delivery approach results in zero net volume of liquid transfer while enabling mass transport of compounds to the cochlea by means of diffusion and mixing. We report here on an advanced wearable delivery system aimed at further miniaturization and complex dose protocols. Enhancements to the system include the incorporation of a planar micropump to generate reciprocating flow and a novel drug reservoir which maintains zero net volume delivery and permits programmable modulation of the drug concentration in the infused bolus. The reciprocating pump is fabricated from laminated polymer films and employs a miniature electromagnetic actuator to meet the size and weight requirements of a head-mounted in vivo guinea pig testing system. The reservoir comprises a long microchannel in series with a micropump, connected in parallel with the reciprocating flow network. We characterized in vitro the response and repeatability of the planar pump and compared the results with a lumped element simulation. We also characterized the performance of the reservoir, including repeatability of dosing and range of dose modulation. Acute in vivo experiments were performed in which the reciprocating pump was used to deliver a test compound to the cochlea of anesthetized guinea pigs to evaluate short-term safety and efficacy of the system. These advances are key steps toward realization of an implantable device for long-term therapeutic applications in humans.
PMCID: PMC3902088  PMID: 24302432
16.  Discovery of Desketoraloxifene Analogues as Inhibitors of Mammalian, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and NAPE Phospholipase D Enzymes 
ACS chemical biology  2014;10(2):421-432.
Phospholipase D (PLD) hydrolyses cellular lipids to produce the important lipid second messenger phosphatidic acid. A PLD enzyme expressed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PldA) has been shown to be important in bacterial infection, and NAPE-PLD has emerged as being key in the synthesis of endocannabinoids. In order to better understand the biology and therapeutic potential of these less explored PLD enzymes, small molecule tools are required. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have been previously shown to inhibit mammalian PLD (PLD1 and PLD2). By targeted screening of a library of SERM analogues, additional parallel synthesis, and evaluation in multiple PLD assays, we discovered a novel desketoraloxifene-based scaffold that inhibited not only the two mammalian PLDs but also structurally divergent PldA and NAPE-PLD. This finding represents an important first step toward the development of small molecules possessing universal inhibition of divergent PLD enzymes to advance the field.
PMCID: PMC4336625  PMID: 25384256
17.  International Myeloma Working Group Consensus Statement for the Management, Treatment, and Supportive Care of Patients With Myeloma Not Eligible for Standard Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2014;32(6):587-600.
To provide an update on recent advances in the management of patients with multiple myeloma who are not eligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation.
A comprehensive review of the literature on diagnostic criteria is provided, and treatment options and management of adverse events are summarized.
Patients with symptomatic disease and organ damage (ie, hypercalcemia, renal failure, anemia, or bone lesions) require immediate treatment. The International Staging System and chromosomal abnormalities identify high- and standard-risk patients. Proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, corticosteroids, and alkylating agents are the most active agents. The presence of concomitant diseases, frailty, or disability should be assessed and, if present, treated with reduced-dose approaches. Bone disease, renal damage, hematologic toxicities, infections, thromboembolism, and peripheral neuropathy are the most frequent disabling events requiring prompt and active supportive care.
These recommendations will help clinicians ensure the most appropriate care for patients with myeloma in everyday clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3918540  PMID: 24419113
18.  The Basic Biology of Redoxosomes in Cytokine-Mediated Signal Transduction and Implications for Disease-Specific Therapies 
Biochemistry  2014;53(10):1551-1564.
Redox reactions have been established as major biological players in many cellular signaling pathways. Here we review mechanisms of redox signaling with an emphasis on redox-active signaling endosomes. Signals are transduced by relatively few reactive oxygen species (ROS), through very specific redox modifications of numerous proteins and enzymes. Although ROS signals are typically associated with cellular injury, these signaling pathways are also critical for maintaining cellular health at homeostasis. An important component of ROS signaling pertains to localization and tightly regulated signal transduction events within discrete microenvironments of the cell. One major aspect of this specificity is ROS compartmentalization within membrane-enclosed organelles such as redoxosomes (redox-active endosomes) and the nuclear envelope. Among the cellular proteins that produce superoxide are the NADPH oxidases (NOXes), transmembrane proteins that are implicated in many types of redox signaling. NOXes produce superoxide on only one side of a lipid bilayer; as such, their orientation dictates the compartmentalization of ROS and the local control of signaling events limited by ROS diffusion and/or movement through channels associated with the signaling membrane. NOX-dependent ROS signaling pathways can also be self-regulating, with molecular redox sensors that limit the local production of ROS required for effective signaling. ROS regulation of the Rac-GTPase, a required co-activator of many NOXes, is an example of this type of sensor. A deeper understanding of redox signaling pathways and the mechanisms that control their specificity will provide unique therapeutic opportunities for aging, cancer, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3985689  PMID: 24555469
19.  The Surgical Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation 
PMCID: PMC4332830  PMID: 19782848
Atrial fibrillation; Maze procedure; Cardiac ablation; Arrhythmia surgery; Pulmonary vein isolation
20.  Sequence Learning is Preserved in Individuals with Cerebellar Degeneration when the Movements are Directly Cued 
Journal of cognitive neuroscience  2009;21(7):1302-1310.
Cerebellar pathology is associated with impairments on a range of motor learning tasks including sequence learning. However, various lines of evidence are at odds with the idea that the cerebellum plays a central role in the associative processes underlying sequence learning. Behavioral studies indicate that sequence learning, at least with short periods of practice, involves the establishment of effector-independent, abstract spatial associations, a form of representation not associated with cerebellar function. Moreover, neuroimaging studies have failed to identify learning-related changes within the cerebellum. We hypothesize that the cerebellar contribution to sequence learning may be indirect, related to the maintenance of stimulus–response associations in working memory, rather than through processes directly involved in the formation of sequential predictions. Consistent with this hypothesis, individuals with cerebellar pathology were impaired in learning movement sequences when the task involved a demanding stimulus–response translation. When this translation process was eliminated by having the stimuli directly indicate the response location, the cerebellar ataxia group demonstrated normal sequence learning. This dissociation provides an important constraint on the functional domain of the cerebellum in motor learning.
PMCID: PMC4330994  PMID: 18752399
21.  Photocatalytic Nanolithography of Self-Assembled Monolayers and Proteins 
ACS Nano  2013;7(9):7610-7618.
Self-assembled monolayers of alkylthiolates on gold and alkylsilanes on silicon dioxide have been patterned photocatalytically on sub-100 nm length-scales using both apertured near-field and apertureless methods. Apertured lithography was carried out by means of an argon ion laser (364 nm) coupled to cantilever-type near-field probes with a thin film of titania deposited over the aperture. Apertureless lithography was carried out with a helium–cadmium laser (325 nm) to excite titanium-coated, contact-mode atomic force microscope (AFM) probes. This latter approach is readily implementable on any commercial AFM system. Photodegradation occurred in both cases through the localized photocatalytic degradation of the monolayer. For alkanethiols, degradation of one thiol exposed the bare substrate, enabling refunctionalization of the bare gold by a second, contrasting thiol. For alkylsilanes, degradation of the adsorbate molecule provided a facile means for protein patterning. Lines were written in a protein-resistant film formed by the adsorption of oligo(ethylene glycol)-functionalized trichlorosilanes on glass, leading to the formation of sub-100 nm adhesive, aldehyde-functionalized regions. These were derivatized with aminobutylnitrilotriacetic acid, and complexed with Ni2+, enabling the binding of histidine-labeled green fluorescent protein, which yielded bright fluorescence from 70-nm-wide lines that could be imaged clearly in a confocal microscope.
PMCID: PMC4327559  PMID: 23971891
nanofabrication; photocatalytic patterning; near-field lithography; local probe lithography; protein patterning; GFP; monolayers
22.  Compact genome of the Antarctic midge is likely an adaptation to an extreme environment 
Nature communications  2014;5:4611.
The midge, Belgica antarctica, is the only insect endemic to Antarctica, and thus it offers a powerful model for probing responses to extreme temperatures, freeze tolerance, dehydration, osmotic stress, ultraviolet radiation, and other forms of environmental stress. Here we present the first genome assembly of an extremophile, the first dipteran in the family Chironomidae, and the first Antarctic eukaryote to be sequenced. At 99 megabases, B. antarctica has the smallest insect genome sequenced thus far. Though it has a similar number of genes as other Diptera, the midge genome has very low repeat density and a reduction in intron length. Environmental extremes appear to constrain genome architecture, not gene content. The few transposable elements present are mainly ancient, inactive retroelements. An abundance of genes associated with development, regulation of metabolism, and responses to external stimuli may reflect adaptations for surviving in this harsh environment.
PMCID: PMC4164542  PMID: 25118180
23.  Metagenomics Reveals Planktonic Bacterial Community Shifts across a Natural CO2 Gradient in the Mediterranean Sea 
Genome Announcements  2015;3(1):e01543-14.
Bacterial communities at a CO2 vent (pH 6.7) were compared with those at control (pH 8.0) and transition sites (pH 7.6) using 16S rRNA metagenomics. Firmicutes and unclassified bacteria dominated across all sites, Proteobacteria, especially Gammaproteobacteria, declined, and Epsilonproteobacteria increased in the vent with an increase in Bacteroidetes at both the vent and transition sites.
PMCID: PMC4333660  PMID: 25676760
24.  Insights and advances in chronic urticaria: a Canadian perspective 
In the past few years there have been significant advances which have changed the face of chronic urticaria. In this review, we aim to update physicians about clinically relevant advances in the classification, diagnosis and management of chronic urticaria that have occurred in recent years. These include clarification of the terminology used to describe and classify urticaria. We also detail the development and validation of instruments to assess urticaria and understand the impairment on quality-of-life and the morbidity caused by this disease. Additionally, the approach to management of chronic urticaria now focuses on evidence-based use of non-impairing, non-sedating H1-antihistamines given initially in standard doses and if this is not effective, in up to 4-fold doses. For urticaria refractory to H1-antihistamines, omalizumab treatment has emerged as an effective, safe option.
PMCID: PMC4336710
Chronic urticaria; Diagnosis; Classification; Management; Immunology; Antihistamines; Up-dosing; Omalizumab
25.  The design and evaluation of a shaped filter collection device to sample and store defined volume dried blood spots from finger pricks 
Malaria Journal  2015;14:45.
Dried blood spots are a common medium for collecting patient blood prior to testing for malaria by molecular methods. A new shaped filter device for the quick and simple collection of a designated volume of patient blood has been designed and tested against conventional blood spots for accuracy and precision.
Shaped filter devices were laser cut from Whatman GB003 paper to absorb a 20 μl blood volume. These devices were used to sample Plasmodium falciparum infected blood and the volume absorbed was measured volumetrically. Conventional blood spots were made by pipetting 20 μl of the same blood onto Whatman 3MM paper. DNA was extracted from both types of dried blood spot using Qiagen DNA blood mini or Chelex extraction for real-time PCR analysis, and PURE extraction for malaria LAMP testing.
The shaped filter devices collected a mean volume of 21.1 μl of blood, with a coefficient of variance of 8.1%. When used for DNA extraction by Chelex and Qiagen methodologies the mean number of international standard units of P. falciparum DNA recovered per μl of the eluate was 53.1 (95% CI: 49.4 to 56.7) and 32.7 (95% CI: 28.8 to 36.6), respectively for the shaped filter device, and 54.6 (95% CI: 52.1 to 57.1) and 12.0 (95% CI: 9.9 to 14.1), respectively for the 3MM blood spots. Qiagen extraction of 200 μl of whole infected blood yielded 853.6 international standard units of P. falciparum DNA per μl of eluate.
A shaped filter device provides a simple way to quickly sample and store a defined volume of blood without the need for any additional measuring devices. Resultant dried blood spots may be employed for DNA extraction using a variety of technologies for nucleic acid amplification without the need for repeated cleaning of scissors or punches to prevent cross contamination of samples and results are comparable to traditional DBS.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12936-015-0558-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4327959  PMID: 25652763
Dried blood spot; Malaria; Sampling; Shaped filter paper; DNA extraction; PCR; LAMP

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