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1.  Methamphetamine toxicity and its implications during HIV-1 infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2011;17(5):401-415.
Over the past two decades methamphetamine (MA) abuse has seen a dramatic increase. The abuse of MA is particularly high in groups that are at higher risk for HIV-1 infection, especially men who have sex with men (MSM). This review is focused on MA toxicity in the CNS as well as in the periphery. In the CNS, MA toxicity is comprised of numerous effects, including, but not limited to, oxidative stress produced by dysregulation of the dopaminergic system, hyperthermia, apoptosis, and neuroinflammation. Multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that these effects exacerbate the neurodegenerative damage caused by CNS infection of HIV perhaps because both MA and HIV target the frontostriatal regions of the brain. MA has also been demonstrated to increase viral load in the CNS of SIV-infected macaques. Using transgenic animal models, as well as cultured cells, the HIV proteins Tat and gp120 have been demonstrated to have neurotoxic properties that are aggravated by MA. In addition, MA has been shown to exhibit detrimental effects on the blood–brain barrier (BBB) that have the potential to increase the probability of CNS infection by HIV. Although the effects of MA in the periphery have not been as extensively studied as have the effects on the CNS, recent reports demonstrate the potential effects of MA on HIV infection in the periphery including increased expression of HIV co-receptors and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.1007/s13365-011-0043-4
PMCID: PMC4118146  PMID: 21786077
Methamphetamine toxicity; HIV-1 infection; MSM; CNS
2.  Immediate hypothermia reduces cardiac troponin I following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in newborn pigs 
Pediatric research  2011;70(4):352-356.
Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a clinically defined neurological condition following lack of oxygen and often associated with cardiac dysfunction in term infants. Therapeutic hypothermia after birth is neuroprotective in infants with HIE. However, it is not known whether hypothermia (HT) is also cardioprotective. Four newborn pigs were used in the pilot study and a further 18 newborn pigs (randomly assigned to 72h-normothermia (NT) or 24h-HT followed by 48h-NT) were subjected to global HIE insults. Serum cTnI was measured prior to and post the HIE insult. Blood pressure, inotropic support, blood gases and heart rate (HR) were recorded throughout. Cardiac pathology was assessed from histological sections. Cooling reduced serum cTnI levels significantly in HT pigs by 6h (NT, 1.36±0.67; HT 0.34±0.23 ng/ml, p=0.0009). After rewarming, from 24 to 30h post insult, HR and cTnI increased in the HT group; from HR[24h]=117±22 to HR[30h]=218±32 beats/minute (p=0.0002) and from cTnI[24h]=0.23±0.12 to cTnI[30h]=0.65±0.53ng/ml, (p=0.05). There were fewer ischemic lesions on cardiac examination (37%) in the HT group compared to the NT group (70%). Hypothermia (24h) pigs did not have the post-insult cTnI increase seen in NT treated pigs. There was a trend that HT improved cardiac pathology in this 3-day survival model.
doi:10.1203/PDR.0b013e31822941ee
PMCID: PMC3173864  PMID: 21691250
3.  Cognitive Control in Majority Search: A Computational Modeling Approach 
Despite the importance of cognitive control in many cognitive tasks involving uncertainty, the computational mechanisms of cognitive control in response to uncertainty remain unclear. In this study, we develop biologically realistic neural network models to investigate the instantiation of cognitive control in a majority function task, where one determines the category to which the majority of items in a group belong. Two models are constructed, both of which include the same set of modules representing task-relevant brain functions and share the same model structure. However, with a critical change of a model parameter setting, the two models implement two different underlying algorithms: one for grouping search (where a subgroup of items are sampled and re-sampled until a congruent sample is found) and the other for self-terminating search (where the items are scanned and counted one-by-one until the majority is decided). The two algorithms hold distinct implications for the involvement of cognitive control. The modeling results show that while both models are able to perform the task, the grouping search model fit the human data better than the self-terminating search model. An examination of the dynamics underlying model performance reveals how cognitive control might be instantiated in the brain for computing the majority function.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2011.00016
PMCID: PMC3037790  PMID: 21369357
cognitive control; uncertainty; majority function; algorithms; computational modeling; neural networks

Results 1-3 (3)