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Microglial activation in the amygdala following traumatic brain injury

Description

Neuroinflammation is an important secondary injury response occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anxiety-like disorders are commonly exacerbated after TBI and are mediated through the amygdala; however, the amygdala remains understudied despite its important contribution in processing emotional and stressful

Neuroinflammation is an important secondary injury response occurring after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Anxiety-like disorders are commonly exacerbated after TBI and are mediated through the amygdala; however, the amygdala remains understudied despite its important contribution in processing emotional and stressful stimuli. Therefore, we wanted to study neuroinflammation after experimental TBI using midline fluid percussion in rodent models. We assessed microglia morphology over time post-injury in two circuit related nuclei of the amygdala, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and central amygdala of the nucleus (CeA), using skeletal analysis. We also looked at silver staining and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) to evaluate the role of neuropathology and astrocytosis to evaluate for neuroinflammation in the amygdala. We hypothesized that experimental diffuse TBI leads to microglial activation in the BLA-CeA circuitry over time post-injury due to changes in microglial morphology and increased astrocytosis in the absence of neuropathology. Microglial cell count was found to decrease in the BLA at 1 DPI before returning to sham levels by 28 DPI. No change was found in the CeA. Microglial ramification (process length/cell and endpoints/cell) was found to decrease at 1DPI compared to sham in the CeA, but not in the BLA. Silver staining and GFAP immunoreactivity did not find any evidence of neurodegeneration or activated astrocytes in the respectively. Together, these data indicate that diffuse TBI does not necessarily lead to the same microglial response in the amygdala nuclei, although an alternative mechanism for a neuroinflammatory response in the CeA likely contributes to the widespread neuronal and circuit dysfunction that occurs after TBI.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Programs to Address Veteran Homelessness in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

There is a need within the Phoenix Metropolitan area to solve the complex issue of
veteran homelessness. According to the Veterans Affairs, over 500,000 veterans live
in Arizona, which comprises about 2.5% of the nation’s veteran’s population as of
September

There is a need within the Phoenix Metropolitan area to solve the complex issue of
veteran homelessness. According to the Veterans Affairs, over 500,000 veterans live
in Arizona, which comprises about 2.5% of the nation’s veteran’s population as of
September 30, 2017. Many veterans have neither the skills nor resources necessary
to integrate back into society after their tour of duty thus leading them into
homelessness.

The goal of this thesis is to research organizations in the Phoenix Metropolitan area
that help to prevent veteran homelessness and/or assist homeless veterans in
obtaining stable housing. Programs and services provided by various organizations
are discussed, along with an analysis which reveals insufficient money, labor, and
space to fully address veteran homelessness, as well as a trend where most
organizations are trying to solve this issue on their own. Recommendations are
provided which include identifying synergies between entities to create greater impact
through partnerships, so society can improve the veteran homelessness situation and
help those who bravely served our country find stability in their personal lives.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Service-Related Conditions and Decision-Making in Military Veterans

Description

An increasing number of veterans are transitioning from military service to college. Critical to academic success is the process of decision-making, which previous research has found to be influenced by a variety of factors including anxiety and working memory (WM).

An increasing number of veterans are transitioning from military service to college. Critical to academic success is the process of decision-making, which previous research has found to be influenced by a variety of factors including anxiety and working memory (WM). Many service-related conditions often influence anxiety and WM, and given the high prevalence of these conditions among veterans, the present study aimed to analyze the effects of working memory and anxiety on decision-making behavior in U.S. Military Veterans. Participants completed a large test battery including tasks assessing WM skills (Symmetry Span Task), anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory), and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task). The study results indicated that WM and anxiety both play roles in decision-making performance in young military veterans. High anxiety is related to increased avoidance of adverse outcomes in decision-making for U.S. Military Veterans, while lower working memory span is associated with greater risk-taking behavior. This study provides both functional and clinical implications into areas of possible intervention that need to be assessed in military veterans, as well as modifications to these assessments that need to be made in order to appropriately measure decision-making behavior. Future work will be done in order to more effectively analyze the adverse impacts of service-related conditions and the ways in which intervention can be implemented in order to minimize these effects.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Self-Reported Cognitive Symptoms in Military Veteran College Students

Description

An increasing number of military veterans are enrolling in college, primarily due to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans who served on active duty since September 11, 2001. With rigorous training, active combat situations, and exposure

An increasing number of military veterans are enrolling in college, primarily due to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans who served on active duty since September 11, 2001. With rigorous training, active combat situations, and exposure to unexpected situations, the veteran population is at a higher risk for traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression. All of these conditions are associated with cognitive consequences, including attention deficits, working memory problems, and episodic memory impairments. Some conditions, particularly mild TBI, are not diagnosed or treated until long after the injury when the person realizes they have cognitive difficulties. Even mild cognitive problems can hinder learning in an academic setting, but there is little data on the frequency and severity of cognitive deficits in veteran college students. The current study examines self-reported cognitive symptoms in veteran students compared to civilian students and how those symptoms relate to service-related conditions. A better understanding of the pattern of self-reported symptoms will help researchers and clinicians determine the veterans who are at higher risk for cognitive and academic difficulties.

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Date Created
2016-05

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A Case Study: Speech recognition ability in noise for a U.S. military veteran with traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Description

The increase of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases in recent war history has increased the urgency of research regarding how veterans are affected by TBIs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of TBI on speech recognition

The increase of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases in recent war history has increased the urgency of research regarding how veterans are affected by TBIs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of TBI on speech recognition in noise. The AzBio Sentence Test was completed for signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) from -10 dB to +15 dB for a control group of ten participants and one US military veteran with history of service-connected TBI. All participants had normal hearing sensitivity defined as thresholds of 20 dB or better at frequencies from 250-8000 Hz in addition to having tympanograms within normal limits. Comparison of the data collected on the control group versus the veteran suggested that the veteran performed worse than the majority of the control group on the AzBio Sentence Test. Further research with more participants would be beneficial to our understanding of how veterans with TBI perform on speech recognition tests in the presence of background noise.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

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Combat to Classroom: Communication Barriers Veteran-Students Face Returning to College

Description

As the United States' military presences in Afghanistan and Iraq are being minimized, an increasing number of veterans are transitioning from the military to pursue higher education opportunities. Due to the military's organizational characteristics, socialization procedures, and performance requirements, this

As the United States' military presences in Afghanistan and Iraq are being minimized, an increasing number of veterans are transitioning from the military to pursue higher education opportunities. Due to the military's organizational characteristics, socialization procedures, and performance requirements, this population of students likely faces unique barriers to success in traditional models of higher education. The increase of this unique population necessitates research to evaluate their educationally related social and relational needs so that institutions of higher education will be better able to assist in achieving their academic goals. The student-teacher relationship is a key predictor in students' academic success (Yoon, J. S., 2002). Using survey research, this project examines veteran students' perceptions of their relationships with instructors, characteristics of the organization, communication apprehension with professors and peers, and perceived self-esteem. With the assistance of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center at Arizona State University, approximately 3800 veteran students, in both undergraduate and graduate programs, were invited to participate in the research. The study identified significant relationships between a veteran-student's length of time since separating from military service, their feelings of success as a student, self-esteem, and apprehension of communication with professors. There was also a significant relationships on length of military service, self-esteem, and apprehension of communication with professors.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

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Continuous Enzymatic Detection of Traumatic Brain Injury

Description

My main goal for my thesis is in conjunction with the research I started in the summer of 2010 regarding the creation of a TBI continuous-time sensor. Such goals include: characterizing the proteins in sensing targets while immobilized, while free in solution, and while in free solution in the blood.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011-12

Conversations with American Veterans: Reflecting on Military Service Through Oral History

Description

Through oral history and interviewing Veterans, I explored what military service looks like, and how diverse different service member's experiences are. I conducted comprehensive interviews with four Veterans: three Marines and an Army Medic. Each interview covered basic questions centered

Through oral history and interviewing Veterans, I explored what military service looks like, and how diverse different service member's experiences are. I conducted comprehensive interviews with four Veterans: three Marines and an Army Medic. Each interview covered basic questions centered on enlistment, service/deployment, and the transition back into civilian life. After the interviews, I wrote interview summaries to provide a written account of the Veteran's experience. I also created a video compilation of the four veterans and their responses to certain questions. The objective of my project was to make the Veterans' experiences accessible to people without a military background.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

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Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of PTSD in U.S. Service Members

Description

The following is a review of the literature on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) as a potential treatment for US service members with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). EAP is a relatively new and undeclared psychotherapeutic technique that presents limitless opportunities for

The following is a review of the literature on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) as a potential treatment for US service members with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). EAP is a relatively new and undeclared psychotherapeutic technique that presents limitless opportunities for holistic growth in patients who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who have not achieved an improvement in their quality of life as a result of other conventional treatments. Due to its heterogenous nature, PTSD directly dismantles the brain’s reward circuitry pathway, altering the individual’s capacity for emotional resolution. For US veterans suffering from PTSD who have not received palpable improvements through traditional talk therapies, EAP is a treatment for emotional vulnerability and communal reintegration when used in conjunction with techniques of attachment theory and cognitive-behavioral theory. Previous studies show an uptick in interpersonal trust and an alleviation of maladaptive defensive mechanisms set in place by the individual to protect the psyche. Research is indicative of an alleviation in overall symptomatology with an emphasis in the rehearsal of therapeutic strategies within interpersonal relationships to rehabilitate social engagement and cognition. Due to the lack of foundational acceptance of EAP thus far as a treatment for PTSD, it is challenging to ascertain a marginalized understanding of the holistic effects of EAP on PTSD as a stand alone psychotherapeutic treatment.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

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An Examination of Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Among Veterans with and without Alcohol Use Disorder

Description

Chronic pain is devastating and highly prevalent among Veterans in the United States (Johnson, Levesque, Broderick, Bailey & Kerns, 2017). While there are various treatment options for chronic pain, opioids remain high in popularity. Although opioids are fast-acting and effective,

Chronic pain is devastating and highly prevalent among Veterans in the United States (Johnson, Levesque, Broderick, Bailey & Kerns, 2017). While there are various treatment options for chronic pain, opioids remain high in popularity. Although opioids are fast-acting and effective, potential consequences range from unpleasant side effects to dependence and fatal overdose (Baldini, Korff & Lin, 2012; Park et al., 2015; Kaur, 2007). The effects of opioid treatment can be further complicated by a history of alcohol abuse. Past alcohol abuse is a risk factor for opioid misuse (McCabe et al., 2008). One alternative to opioid medication is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP). CBT-CP has shown small to moderate effects on chronic pain after the end of treatment (Naylor, Keefe, Brigidi, Naud & Helzer, 2008). The current study examined the effect of CBT-CP on opioid prescriptions, as well as the role of past alcohol abuse in CBT-CP efficacy, through an archival data analysis of Veterans Affairs patient charts. In order to determine the effect of CBT-CP on opioid prescriptions, an opioid change score was calculated from treatment start date to twelve months post-treatment. An analysis of 106 patient charts demonstrated no statistically significant difference in opioid prescriptions between Veterans who were referred and attended treatment (n = 24) and those who were referred but did not attend (n = 82). Veterans from both groups showed a reduction in prescribed opioids during a 12-month period. Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference between Veterans with versus without a history of alcohol abuse in terms of the change in opioid prescriptions over a 12-month period (both groups showed reductions). This research suggests that opioid prescriptions may decrease over time among Veterans referred for CBT-CP, even among those who do not participate in the groups. More work is needed to understand the relationship between opioid prescriptions and actual opioid use over time among Veterans who do and do not choose to participate in CBT-CP. Continuing to address poly-substance use in chronic pain patients also is critical to ensure that Veterans suffering from chronic pain receive appropriate intervention.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05