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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 227248 matches for " Valerie L. Alexander "
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Effectiveness of Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Tools in Reducing Depression and Anxiety: A Mixed Method Study  [PDF]
Valerie L. Alexander, B. Charles Tatum
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2014.515178
Abstract: Depression and anxiety continue to be among the most common mental disorders. This study looked at three tracks of participants diagnosed with a mood disorder. The three tracks were Cognitive Therapy (CT), Mindfulness Training (MT), and Treatment As Usual (TAU). All participants had been trained in CT and then randomly separated into three groups. These three tracks were assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months in terms of their stated level of depression (measured on the Beck Depression Inventory) and anxiety (measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory). This study was a follow-up to two previous studies (Alexander et al., 2012; Alexander & Tatum, 2013). In the current study, the participants reported the tools and skills they used to manage their mood and anxiety and then the effectiveness of these tools/skills was examined. Two tools were identified by three independent coders as the most frequently used by the participants. Both of these tools related to thought management (“thought records” and “thought distortions”). The two tools were combined into a single category (“thought tools”) and the frequency of their use was examined in relation to reductions in depression and anxiety. The results showed that a high use of these tools was connected to a significant reduction in reported depression. There was also a reduction in reported anxiety, but this effect was not statistically significant. Other tools that were reported (e.g., mood tracking, relaxation) showed no significant effects on depression and anxiety. Future research will now focus not on reported tool use, but rather on manipulating the incidence of tool use and determine the direct causal path between using a thought tool and reductions in negative moods.
Domestic Asbestos Exposure: A Review of Epidemiologic and Exposure Data
Emily Goswami,Valerie Craven,David L. Dahlstrom,Dominik Alexander,Fionna Mowat
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10115629
Abstract: Inhalation of asbestos resulting from living with and handling the clothing of workers directly exposed to asbestos has been established as a possible contributor to disease. This review evaluates epidemiologic studies of asbestos-related disease or conditions (mesothelioma, lung cancer, and pleural and interstitial abnormalities) among domestically exposed individuals and exposure studies that provide either direct exposure measurements or surrogate measures of asbestos exposure. A meta-analysis of studies providing relative risk estimates (n = 12) of mesothelioma was performed, resulting in a summary relative risk estimate (SRRE) of 5.02 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.48–10.13). This SRRE pertains to persons domestically exposed via workers involved in occupations with a traditionally high risk of disease from exposure to asbestos ( i.e., asbestos product manufacturing workers, insulators, shipyard workers, and asbestos miners). The epidemiologic studies also show an elevated risk of interstitial, but more likely pleural, abnormalities (n = 6), though only half accounted for confounding exposures. The studies are limited with regard to lung cancer (n = 2). Several exposure-related studies describe results from airborne samples collected within the home (n = 3), during laundering of contaminated clothing (n = 1) or in controlled exposure simulations (n = 5) of domestic exposures, the latter of which were generally associated with low-level chrysotile-exposed workers. Lung burden studies (n = 6) were also evaluated as a surrogate of exposure. In general, available results for domestic exposures are lower than the workers’ exposures. Recent simulations of low-level chrysotile-exposed workers indicate asbestos levels commensurate with background concentrations in those exposed domestically.
Patterns of primary care and mortality among patients with schizophrenia or diabetes: a cluster analysis approach to the retrospective study of healthcare utilization
Laurel A Copeland, John E Zeber, Chen-Pin Wang, Michael L Parchman, Valerie A Lawrence, Marcia Valenstein, Alexander L Miller
BMC Health Services Research , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-9-127
Abstract: The Veterans Healthcare Administration (VA) is the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. Administrative extracts of the VA's all-electronic medical records were studied. Patients over age 50 and diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2002 were age-matched 1:4 to diabetes patients. All patients were followed through 2005. Cluster analysis explored trajectories of primary care use. Proportional hazards regression modelled the impact of these primary care utilization trajectories on survival, controlling for demographic and clinical covariates.Patients comprised three diagnostic groups: diabetes only (n = 188,332), schizophrenia only (n = 40,109), and schizophrenia with diabetes (Scz-DM, n = 13,025). Cluster analysis revealed four distinct trajectories of primary care use: consistent over time, increasing over time, high and decreasing, low and decreasing. Patients with schizophrenia only were likely to have low-decreasing use (73% schizophrenia-only vs 54% Scz-DM vs 52% diabetes). Increasing use was least common among schizophrenia patients (4% vs 8% Scz-DM vs 7% diabetes) and was associated with improved survival. Low-decreasing primary care, compared to consistent use, was associated with shorter survival controlling for demographics and case-mix. The observational study was limited by reliance on administrative data.Regular primary care and high levels of primary care were associated with better survival for patients with chronic illness, whether psychiatric or medical. For schizophrenia patients, with or without comorbid diabetes, primary care offers a survival benefit, suggesting that innovations in treatment retention targeting at-risk groups can offer significant promise of improving outcomes.Excess mortality has been documented among patients with schizophrenia, [1] and indeed schizophrenia has been estimated in community-based studies to be associated with up to 25 years' shorter lifespan. [2] Mortality rates for all causes, natural causes, and
Cochleates Derived from Vibrio cholerae O1 Proteoliposomes: The Impact of Structure Transformation on Mucosal Immunisation
Reinaldo Acevedo,Oliver Pérez,Caridad Zayas,José L. Pérez,Adriana Callicó,Bárbara Cedré,Luis García,David Mckee,Alexander B. Mullen,Valerie A. Ferro
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046461
Abstract: Cochleates are phospholipid-calcium precipitates derived from the interaction of anionic lipid vesicles with divalent cations. Proteoliposomes from bacteria may also be used as a source of negatively charged components, to induce calcium-cochleate formation. In this study, proteoliposomes from V. cholerae O1 (PLc) (sized 160.7±1.6 nm) were transformed into larger (16.3±4.6 μm) cochleate-like structures (named Adjuvant Finlay Cochleate 2, AFCo2) and evaluated by electron microscopy (EM). Measurements from transmission EM (TEM) showed the structures had a similar size to that previously reported using light microscopy, while observations from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated that the structures were multilayered and of cochleate-like formation. The edges of the AFCo2 structures appeared to have spaces that allowed penetration of negative stain or Ovalbumin labeled with Texas Red (OVA-TR) observed by epi-fluorescence microscopy. In addition, freeze fracture electron microscopy confirmed that the AFCo2 structures consisted of multiple overlapping layers, which corresponds to previous descriptions of cochleates. TEM also showed that small vesicles co-existed with the larger cochleate structures, and in vitro treatment with a calcium chelator caused the AFCo2 to unfold and reassemble into small proteoliposome-like structures. Using OVA as a model antigen, we demonstrated the potential loading capacity of a heterologous antigen and in vivo studies showed that with simple admixing and administration via intragastric and intranasal routes AFCo2 provided enhanced adjuvant properties compared with PLc.
Novel Autism Subtype-Dependent Genetic Variants Are Revealed by Quantitative Trait and Subphenotype Association Analyses of Published GWAS Data
Valerie W. Hu,Anjene Addington,Alexander Hyman
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019067
Abstract: The heterogeneity of symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has presented a significant challenge to genetic analyses. Even when associations with genetic variants have been identified, it has been difficult to associate them with a specific trait or characteristic of autism. Here, we report that quantitative trait analyses of ASD symptoms combined with case-control association analyses using distinct ASD subphenotypes identified on the basis of symptomatic profiles result in the identification of highly significant associations with 18 novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The symptom categories included deficits in language usage, non-verbal communication, social development, and play skills, as well as insistence on sameness or ritualistic behaviors. Ten of the trait-associated SNPs, or quantitative trait loci (QTL), were associated with more than one subtype, providing partial replication of the identified QTL. Notably, none of the novel SNPs is located within an exonic region, suggesting that these hereditary components of ASDs are more likely related to gene regulatory processes (or gene expression) than to structural or functional changes in gene products. Seven of the QTL reside within intergenic chromosomal regions associated with rare copy number variants that have been previously reported in autistic samples. Pathway analyses of the genes associated with the QTL identified in this study implicate neurological functions and disorders associated with autism pathophysiology. This study underscores the advantage of incorporating both quantitative traits as well as subphenotypes into large-scale genome-wide analyses of complex disorders.
Choosing the right cell line for breast cancer research
Deborah L Holliday, Valerie Speirs
Breast Cancer Research , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/bcr2889
Abstract: The first human cell line was established in a Baltimore laboratory over 50 years ago by George Gey [1]. This cell line was HeLa - named after Henrietta Lacks, the lady from whom the cell line was derived, who had cervical carcinoma. Gey's vision paved the way for cell culture as we know it today, allowing its widespread development into an important experimental tool in cancer research. One of the major benefits of using cultured cell lines in cancer research is that they offer an infinite supply of a relatively homogeneous cell population that is capable of self-replication in standard cell culture medium.The first breast cancer cell line to be established was BT-20 in 1958 [2]. It was another 20 years, however, before establishing breast cancer cell lines became more widespread, including the MD Anderson series [3] and what still remains the most commonly used breast cancer cell line in the world, MCF-7 established in 1973 at the Michigan Cancer Foundation [4]. The popularity of MCF-7 is largely due to its exquisite hormone sensitivity through expression of oestrogen receptor (ER), making it an ideal model to study hormone response [5].Despite these early accomplishments, relatively few breast cancer cell lines have been established in the more recent past, mainly because of difficulties in culturing homogeneous populations without significant stromal contamination and, at least in the United Kingdom, partly due to rigorous ethical regulations surrounding obtaining human tissue for research [6]. Successes include the SUM series of 10 cell lines derived from either breast primary tumours, pleural effusions or various metastatic sites in individual patients [7]. These cell lines are now widely available through commercial cell banks.Long before the advent of modern molecular profiling techniques, histopathologists recognised that breast cancer was heterogeneous through morphological observations. Classification was based on the following measures: histological type
91st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research
Valerie Speirs, Karen L Schmeichel
Breast Cancer Research , 2000, DOI: 10.1186/bcr71
Abstract: A number of scientists were honoured at the meeting for their outstanding contributions to cancer research. Charles Sherr (St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA) was awarded the Pezcoller International Cancer Research Award for his work on the mechanisms of cell growth control and neoplastic transformation. The Bruce F Cain Memorial Award was given to Axel Ullrich (Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany) who has successfully translated his pioneering work on tyrosine kinase receptors, such as HER2/neu, into actual treatment strategies. Edison T Liu (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA) was also recognized for his work in establishing a correlation between HER2/neu overexpression and those breast cancers that have an unfavourable prognosis and high probability of responding to doxorubicin therapy. Finally, the prestigious GHA Clowes Memorial Award was presented to Elizabeth Blackburn (University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA) for her pioneering work in the discovery of telomerase and its potential role in cancer.Herein we outline a few of the many provocative studies discussed at the meeting. Although some of the topics discussed below are specific to the breast, others addressing global mechanisms of tumour progression are also considered because they may be appropriate paradigms for understanding and treating breast cancer in the future.The role of steroids and their receptors in breast cancer progression was the focus of a number of presentations.In an informative and entertaining plenary session talk, Malcolm Pike (USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA) discussed the concept of breast cancer prevention through hormonal manipulation (eg early full-term pregnancy or use of the oral contraceptive pill). This theme was followed up in a subsequent mini-symposium in which a number of animal studies that examined the timing of oestrogen exposure in breast cancer risk were presented. Ana Caba
Phyto-oestrogens and breast cancer chemoprevention
Jane L Limer, Valerie Speirs
Breast Cancer Research , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/bcr781
Abstract: The current mortality rate for premenopausal breast cancer is approximately fourfold higher in the Western World than in Far East Asian nations [1]. Migrants from Asia to the USA typically acquire a breast cancer risk associated with their host nation by the second generation, suggesting a direct influence of environmental rather than genetic factors [2,3]. The reduced prevalence of breast cancer in Far East Asian nations directly correlates with the consumption of a staple diet that is abundant in soy [4]. Asian populations consume an approximate mean daily soy intake of 10–50 g, declining to just 1–3 g in the USA. The recent adoption of a more westernized diet correlates with an increased breast cancer incidence in urban areas of Japan, Singapore and China [5]. Soy-containing foods are an abundant source of phyto-oestrogens, and research suggests that these compounds may exhibit chemoprotectant activity against a number of human cancers, including colon carcinoma and hormone-dependent cancers of the breast and prostate [6]. This report focuses on the putative chemopreventive role of phyto-oestrogens in breast cancer, providing a comprehensive review of the published literature to date.Phyto-oestrogens may be classified into a number of principal groups [2,7-9]: the isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, biochanin A), the lignans (enterolactone, enterodiol), the coumestans (coumestrol) and the stilbenes (resveratrol). As illustrated in Fig. 1, all are polyphenols sharing structural similarity with the principal mammalian estrogen 17β-oestradiol. Shared features include the presence of a pair of hydroxyl groups and a phenolic ring, which is required for binding to the oestrogen receptor (ER) subtypes α and β. The position of the hydroxyl groups appears to be important in determining ER binding ability and transcriptional activation, with maximal potency achieved at positions four, six and seven [10-12]. The isoflavones are naturally found in soybeans and soy-based food p
On Diffusive Confining a Galvanic Crystallization out of Molten Salts  [PDF]
Alexander L. Shimkevich
Journal of Crystallization Process and Technology (JCPT) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jcpt.2012.24021
Abstract: The electron-energy band structure of electric Double Layer (DL) between a molten salt and metal electrode (an anode or cathode) is studied for the electrodepositing crystallization process when the width of DL metal part is less than the one in the molten salt. It is shown that just the molten-salt part of the double layer confines a rate of electrodepositing process. The reason of this is a neutralization of depositing ions into the molten-salt near the electrode and hence their diffusively confined motion in a density gradient field. It is important to minimize the electrodepositing potential for effective component crystallization out of the molten salt and its exchange process including selective extracting of salt components by their crystallization on electrodes of galvanic circuit. It is shown that this can be carried out by means of fine and controllable variation of reduction-oxidation (RedOx) potential of the non-stoichiometric salts. A possible application of a potentiometer for monitoring and managing the salt composition is considered. For this, one uses precise methods of electric-motion-force and coulometer titration by solid electrolyte(for example, M+–β ”–Al2O3) of the basic salt metal (M) as a reduction agent in the molten-salt solution.
Declining incidence of malaria imported into the UK from West Africa
Ron H Behrens, Bernadette Carroll, Valerie Smith, Neal Alexander
Malaria Journal , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-7-235
Abstract: Using passenger numbers and malaria surveillance reports, the data revealed a 2.3-fold increase in travel to West Africa with a five-fold increase in travelers visiting friends and relatives (VFR). Malaria incidence fell through the study period, the greatest decline noted in VFR with a fall from 196 cases/1,000 person-years to 52 cases/1,000 person-years, 9.8% per year p < 0.0001. The risk for travellers from the UK visiting for other reasons declined 2.7 fold, at an annual decrease of 7.0%, with the incidence in West African visitors to the UK falling by 2.3 fold, a rate of 7.9% annually.The reduction in incidence among all three groups of travellers may be explained by several factors; changing chemoprophylaxis usage and/or increased travel in urban areas where malaria risk has declined over the past decade, or widespread reduction in malaria transmission in West Africa.With the reduction in malaria incidence seen in both visitors to and from West Africa, the most rational explanation for these findings is a fall in malaria transmission in West Africa, which may require a change in chemoprophylaxis policy for UK travelers over the next 5–10 years.Malaria remains a threat to travellers visiting endemic regions. Since 1987, approximately 39,000 cases of malaria have been reported to the UK reference laboratory [1]. A number of risk factors for acquiring malaria during travel have been identified, of which destination is the most important. West Africa accounts for approximately two thirds of all cases reported in the UK, with travellers to Nigeria and Ghana making up half of all imported Plasmodium falciparum infections [2,1]. The reason for travel is another significant contributory factor and three quarters of all reported cases occur in travellers who have been visiting friends and relatives (VFR)[3,1,4] in West Africa. Failure to take or comply with the correct chemoprophylactic regimens is associated with higher rates of malaria. Unsurprisingly, only 42% of ma
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