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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 220466 matches for " Allison C. Sylvetsky "
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Action-oriented obesity counseling attains weight stabilization and improves liver enzymes among overweight and obese children and adolescents  [PDF]
Allison C. Sylvetsky, Jean A. Welsh, Stephanie M. Walsh, Miriam B. Vos
Open Journal of Pediatrics (OJPed) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojped.2012.23037
Abstract: Introduction: Pediatricians are encouraged to promote behavior modification to reduce childhood obesity and its co-morbidities, yet the effectiveness of office counseling is unclear. We aimed to evaluate if a low-intensity intervention (action-oriented counseling) in a clinic setting results in weight stabilization, and if the effect is modified by a diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We hypothesized that patients with NAFLD would be more motivated to adhere to the lifestyle goals set in clinic, due to the diagnosis of an obesity-related condition; and, would therefore achieve greater weight reduction compared to similarly overweight and obese patients without a diagnosis of NAFLD. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on 73 (35 male, 38 female) overweight and obese patients (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) attending a pediatric GI clinic between January 2006 and October 2011. Analysis was conducted to determine if lifestyle goals discussed with the patient at each clinic visit were associated with improved BMI, BMI z-score, and liver enzymes. Treatment outcomes among NAFLD patients and similarly obese patients without NAFLD were compared using t-tests and chi-square tests. Results: Of the children evaluated, 74.0% achieved a reduction or stabilization in BMI z-score after 3 months of follow-up. Among NAFLD patients, liver enzymes improved in 72% of those who were able to stabilize or reduce their BMI and among 43% of those who gained weight. Treatment outcome did not significantly differ based on having a diagnosis of NAFLD, although there was a trend towards greater improvements. Conclusion: Our study suggests that action oriented counseling including goal-setting in a low intensity, clinic based approach is effective in improving patient BMI, in the presence or absence of an obesity-related co-morbidity, such as NAFLD. Further, we demonstrated that lifestyle modification led to improvement of liver enzymes in NAFLD patients and may result in other clinically relevant improvements. Longer studies will be needed to determine if the improvements are sustained.
Youth Understanding of Healthy Eating and Obesity: A Focus Group Study
Allison C. Sylvetsky,Monique Hennink,Dawn Comeau,Jean A. Welsh,Trisha Hardy,Linda Matzigkeit,Deanne W. Swan,Stephanie M. Walsh,Miriam B. Vos
Journal of Obesity , 2013, DOI: 10.1155/2013/670295
Abstract: Introduction. Given the high prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States, we aimed to investigate youth's understanding of obesity and to investigate gaps between their nutritional knowledge, dietary habits, and perceived susceptibility to obesity and its co-morbidities. Methods. A marketing firm contracted by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta facilitated a series of focus group discussions (FGD) to test potential concepts and sample ads for the development of an obesity awareness campaign. Data were collected in August and September of 2010 with both overweight and healthy weight 4th-5th grade and 7th-8th grade students. We conducted a secondary analysis of the qualitative FGD transcripts using inductive thematic coding to identify key themes related to youth reports of family eating habits (including food preparation, meal frequency, and eating environment), perceived facilitators and barriers of healthy diet, and knowledge about obesity and its complications. Results. Across focus group discussions, mixed attitudes about healthy eating, low perceived risk of being or becoming obese, and limited knowledge about the health consequences of obesity may contribute to the rising prevalence of obesity among youth in Georgia. Most youth were aware that obesity was a problem; yet most overweight youth felt that their weight was healthy and attributed overweight to genetics or slow metabolism. Conclusions. Our analysis suggests that urban youth in Georgia commonly recognize obesity as a problem, but there is less understanding of the link to lifestyle choices or the connection to future morbidities, suggesting a need for education to connect lifestyle behaviors to development of obesity. 1. Introduction The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States has risen dramatically over the last three decades [1] and is the highest in the Southeastern region of the country [2]. Overweight youth are at risk of being obese during adulthood [3] and are likely to experience obesity-related chronic illness [4]. The increase in obesity and its comorbidities among youth is multifactorial in cause, including increased access to foods high in fats, added sugars and calories [5], increased eating outside the home [6], larger portion sizes [7], and a sedentary lifestyle [8]. The diversity of these contributors to childhood obesity has made it difficult to design simple, achievable, public health solutions. Studies have been conducted to identify strategies to combat obesity among youth; yet much remains to be understood. A recent qualitative study found that
The health effects of menthol cigarettes as compared to non-menthol cigarettes
Hoffman Allison C
Tobacco Induced Diseases , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-9-s1-s7
Abstract: Since the 1920s, menthol has been added to cigarettes and used as a characterizing flavor. The health effects of cigarette smoking are well documented, however the health effects of menthol cigarettes as compared to non-menthol cigarettes is less well studied. This review discusses menthol’s effects on 1) biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure, 2) toxicity and cellular effects, 3) lung function and respiration, 4) pulmonary and/or vascular function, 5) allergic reactions and inflammation, and 6) tobacco-related diseases. It is concluded that menthol is a biologically active compound that has effects by itself and in conjunction with nicotine, however much of the data on the other areas of interest are inconclusive and firm conclusions cannot be drawn.
Introduction: Mentholated cigarettes and public health
Hoffman Allison C
Tobacco Induced Diseases , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-9-s1-i1
Blastomyces dermatitidis: Stability studies on different yeast lysate antigens  [PDF]
Tiffany R. Allison, Joshua C. Wright, Gene M. Scalarone
Open Journal of Immunology (OJI) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/oji.2013.33014

In Trial 1, 19 lots of Blastomyces dermatitidis (T-58; Tennessee dog isolate) were assayed to determine the stability of the reagents following storage. The reactivity of the antigens, produced from 1989 to 2012 and stored at 4°C, was determined by comparing antibody detection (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ELISA) in 12 serum specimens from immunized rabbits. All of the 19 reagents produced during this 23-year period exhibited a high degree of stability and were able to detect antibody in the sera. Mean absorbance values ranged from 0.798 (1989) to 0.827 (2012) and a mean value for all 19 antigens of 0.728. In a related evaluation, Trial 2, B. dermatitidis lysate antigens prepared from 8 isolates (dog, human, soil) at two different time periods were assayed as above to determine reactivity. The time of storage between the first and second reagents varied from 4 to 17 years. The results indicated that all 16 of the lysate antigens detected antibody in the 15 rabbit serum specimens with mean absorbance values ranging from 0.346 to 0.682, but variations in reactivity were observed depending on the lysate and the serum specimen assayed. This comparative study provided evidence that the antigenic reagents do exhibit some lot-to-lot variation in reactivity, but they did not lose any appreciable potency during prolonged storage.

What Happens after the Puerperium? Analysis of “Late” Postpartum Readmissions in California  [PDF]
Brett C. Young, Erin Madden, Allison S. Bryant
Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OJOG) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2015.53016

Objective: Admissions to acute care hospitals represent a significant portion of healthcare utilization. Little is known regarding hospitalization in the first postpartum year beyond the traditional 6 weeks of the puerperium. We sought to investigate whether there are identifiable risk factors for hospital readmission during this time period. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective population-based study using all California birth records between 1999 and 2003. These records were linked with hospital discharge data for all admissions to California hospitals in the first 365 days after delivery. For women with a first birth during the study period, we assessed the likelihood of readmission to an acute care hospital between 42 and 365 days post-delivery. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine risk factors for these “late postpartum” admissions. Results: Of 951,570 maternal birth admissions during the time period, 15,727 (1.7%) women were admitted in the late postpartum period. Women with an early postpartum readmission, antepartum admission, extremes of maternal age, black race, diabetes, hypertension, early preterm delivery and cesarean delivery had higher rates of late postpartum readmission. Of women with an antepartum admission for gestational diabetes or pre-existing diabetes, 6.6% and 18.5% of these women experienced a late postpartum admission for a diabetes-related diagnosis. Conclusion: Hospital readmission rates in the first year postpartum, remote from delivery, are significant. Women are at a higher risk of requiring hospital admission in the first year postpartum with select demographics and pregnancy-related diagnoses.

Menthol cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence
Hoffman Allison C,Simmons Dee
Tobacco Induced Diseases , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-9-s1-s5
Abstract: Since tobacco use is driven by dependence on nicotine, the primary addictive substance in tobacco, much research has focused on nicotine dependence. Less well understood, however, is the role that menthol plays in nicotine dependence. This review seeks to examine what role, if any, menthol plays in nicotine addiction in adults and youth. Based on research examining several indicators of heaviness of nicotine addiction, including time to first cigarette upon waking, night waking to smoke, as well as some other indications of dependence, it is suggested that menthol cigarette smokers are more heavily dependent on nicotine. Although other indicators of nicotine dependence, including number of cigarettes per day and the Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence, failed to consistently differentiate menthol and non-menthol smokers, these indicators are thought to be less robust than time to first cigarette. Therefore, though limited, the existing literature suggests that menthol smokers may be more dependence on nicotine.
Menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation behavior
Hoffman Allison C,Miceli Donna
Tobacco Induced Diseases , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1617-9625-9-s1-s6
Abstract: Although much is known about smoking cessation behavior, the vast majority of research has not assessed menthol as an independent factor. The objective of this review is to assess the effects, if any, that use of menthol cigarettes has on smoking cessation success in adults and youth. A total of 20 articles are included in this review. Although some studies have found that menthol smokers have less success in quitting smoking, others fail to find significant differences between menthol and non-menthol smokers. Some clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of various cessation treatments have suggested that menthol smokers have poorer outcomes, however two secondary data analysis studies (which used the same original dataset) failed to find any difference in success rate associated with particular treatments. Although there is some suggestion that smoking menthol cigarettes is associated with worse cessation outcomes, differences are not always found. However, if there was a difference, it was always in the direction of worse outcomes for menthol smokers. Given that Black/African American smokers prefer menthol cigarettes more than White smokers, possible interactions with race/ethnicity are discussed.
Role of RELAP/SCDAPSIM in Nuclear Safety
C. M. Allison,J. K. Hohorst
Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations , 2010, DOI: 10.1155/2010/425658
Abstract: The RELAP/SCDAPSIM code, designed to predict the behaviour of reactor systems during normal and accident conditions, is being developed as part of the international SCDAP Development and Training Program (SDTP). SDTP consists of nearly 60 organizations in 28 countries supporting the development of technology, software, and training materials for the nuclear industry. The program members and licensed software users include universities, research organizations, regulatory organizations, vendors, and utilities located in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Innovative Systems Software (ISS) is the administrator for the program. RELAP/SCDAPSIM is used by program members and licensed users to support a variety of activities. The paper provides a brief review of some of the more important activities including the analysis of research reactors and Nuclear Power Plants, design and analysis of experiments, and training. 1. Introduction The RELAP/SCDAPSIM code, designed to predict the behaviour of reactor systems during normal and accident conditions, is being developed as part of the international SCDAP Development and Training Program (SDTP) [1, 2]. Three main versions of RELAP/SCDAPSIM, as described in Section 2, are currently used by program members and licensed users to support a variety of activities. RELAP/SCDAPSIM/MOD3.2, and MOD3.4 are production versions of the code and are used by licensed users and program members for critical applications such as research reactor and nuclear power plant applications. The most advanced production version, MOD3.4, is also used for general user training and for the design and analysis of severe accident related experiments such as those performed in the Phebus and Quench facilities. In turn, these experiments are used to improve the detailed fuel behaviour and other severe accident-related models in MOD3.4 and MOD4.0. MOD4.0 is currently available only to program members and is used primarily to develop advanced modelling options and to support graduate research programs and training. 2. RELAP/SCDAPSIM RELAP/SCDAPSIM uses the publicly available RELAP/MOD3.3 [3] and SCDAP/RELAP5/MOD3.2 [4] models developed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in combination with proprietary (a) advanced programming and numerical methods, (b) user options, and (c) models developed by ISS and other members of the SDTP. These enhancements allow the code to run faster and more reliably than the original US NRC codes. RELAP/SCDAPSIM/MOD3.2 was the first production version released under SDTP sponsorship. It was designed to
Social Context–Induced Song Variation Affects Female Behavior and Gene Expression
Sarah C. Woolley,Allison J. Doupe
PLOS Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060062
Abstract: Social cues modulate the performance of communicative behaviors in a range of species, including humans, and such changes can make the communication signal more salient. In songbirds, males use song to attract females, and song organization can differ depending on the audience to which a male sings. For example, male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) change their songs in subtle ways when singing to a female (directed song) compared with when they sing in isolation (undirected song), and some of these changes depend on altered neural activity from a specialized forebrain-basal ganglia circuit, the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP). In particular, variable activity in the AFP during undirected song is thought to actively enable syllable variability, whereas the lower and less-variable AFP firing during directed singing is associated with more stereotyped song. Consequently, directed song has been suggested to reflect a “performance” state, and undirected song a form of vocal motor “exploration.” However, this hypothesis predicts that directed–undirected song differences, despite their subtlety, should matter to female zebra finches, which is a question that has not been investigated. We tested female preferences for this natural variation in song in a behavioral approach assay, and we found that both mated and socially naive females could discriminate between directed and undirected song—and strongly preferred directed song. These preferences, which appeared to reflect attention especially to aspects of song variability controlled by the AFP, were enhanced by experience, as they were strongest for mated females responding to their mate's directed songs. We then measured neural activity using expression of the immediate early gene product ZENK, and found that social context and song familiarity differentially modulated the number of ZENK-expressing cells in telencephalic auditory areas. Specifically, the number of ZENK-expressing cells in the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) was most affected by whether a song was directed or undirected, whereas the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM) was most affected by whether a song was familiar or unfamiliar. Together these data demonstrate that females detect and prefer the features of directed song and suggest that high-level auditory areas including the CMM are involved in this social perception.
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