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Chronic Variable Stress Effects on Anxiety and Expression of Organic Cation Transporter 3

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Monoamine neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) are powerful modulators of mood and cognitive function in health and disease. We have been investigating the modulation of monoamine clearance in select

Monoamine neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) are powerful modulators of mood and cognitive function in health and disease. We have been investigating the modulation of monoamine clearance in select brain regions via organic cation transporters (OCTs), a family of nonselective monoamine transporters. OCTs are thought to complement the actions of selective monoamine transporters in the brain by helping to clear monoamines from the extracellular space; thus, assisting to terminate the monoamine signal. Of particular interest, stress hormones (corticosterone; CORT) inhibit OCT3-mediated transport of monoamine, to putatively lead to prolonged monoamine signaling. It has been demonstrated that stress levels of CORT block OCT3 transport in the rat hypothalamus, an effect that likely underlies the rapid, stress-induced increase in local monoamines. We examined the effect of chronic variable stress (CVS) on the development of mood disorders and OCT3 expression in limbic and hypothalamic regions of the rat brain. Animals subjected to CVS (14-days with random stressor exposure two times/day) showed reduced body weight gain, indicating that CVS was perceived as stressful. However, behavioral tests of anxiety and depressive-like behaviors in rats showed no group differences. Although there were no behavioral effects of stress, molecular analysis revealed that there were stress-related changes in OCT3 protein expression. In situ hybridization data confirmed that OCT3 mRNA is expressed in the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus. Analysis of Western blot data by two-way ANOVA revealed a significant treatment effect on OCT3 protein levels, with a significant decrease in OCT3 protein in the amygdala and hippocampus in CVS rats, compared to controls. These data suggest an important role for CORT sensitive OCT3 in the reduction of monoamine clearance during stress.

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  • 2016-05

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Yoga as an Effective Intervention for Adolescent Depression: A Systematic Review

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a yoga intervention for adolescents suffering from depression. Secondary results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a yoga intervention for adolescents suffering from depression. Secondary results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention for increasing self-esteem and decreasing anxiety were also explored.

Methods: Using PubMed, Medline, and CINAHL the search terms adolescents, depression, and yoga were searched for related articles. Articles were then excluded or included based on certain criteria. Focus was placed on articles written within the last 10 years as well as studies done on children within 10-19 years of age. Final articles underwent extraction for relevant information and comparisons were drawn between the studies.

Results: Final exclusion lead to a total of 5 suitable studies. Studies varied in styles of yoga performed and measurement scales used to assess depression. Populations of adolescents varied significantly as well. The majority of these studies showed significant improvement in depression symptoms when measuring from pre to post intervention. Similar improvements were also noted in anxiety symptoms and low self-esteem.

Conclusion: Data gathered indicated that yoga serves a suitable intervention for decreasing depression symptoms in adolescents. Additionally, there seems to be promising results regarding the viability of yoga as an intervention for decreasing symptoms of anxiety and increasing self-esteem. Despite, current promising results, there is need for more research to affirm the findings found in these articles to determine the long term effects of yoga interventions.

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  • 2018-05

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Sophia's Stuffed Friends

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Sophia’s Stuffed Friends is a book written for children of divorce, aged five to eight years. The story deals with anxiety, depression, and misappropriated guilt in the form of character

Sophia’s Stuffed Friends is a book written for children of divorce, aged five to eight years. The story deals with anxiety, depression, and misappropriated guilt in the form of character traits in Sophia’s stuffed animals. The story takes place in a dream world after the stuffed animals are thrown into the washer of the new family house. The washer acts as a portal to the dream world. The lessons of the story are learned through flashbacks to Sophia’s life when she personally experienced anxiety, depression, and guilt. Each character learns coping mechanisms and strategies to overcome those feelings.
Squeakie is a positive influence on the way the other characters perceive themselves. The shadow turns each character’s self-doubt and negative feelings into fuel, which he stores in a paintbrush. When he takes the fuel from the character, it fades their body color. Phan has anxiety and uses the 4-7-8 breathing technique to overcome her panic attacks. Her range of color is blue to light blue. Ovid feels guilty and exercises to take his mind off his guilty thoughts. Ovid is either red or light pink. Amelia is depressed and reframes her way of thinking to overcome her inability to fly. Visually she is green or light green. The shadow is later revealed as a misguided character who was just looking to escape the dream world and find friends.
The story is resolved by the stuffed animals joining forces with the perceived antagonist, the shadow, to operate a plane. They each use their strength of color to fuel the plane, which takes them back to the real world. When Sophia’s mom pulls the stuffed animals out of the washer, the shadow comes with them. The shadow, now a cat with rainbow patches, is instantly loved by Sophia. The story ends with the stuffed animals drying on the porch bench while Sophia plays with the shadow in the new backyard.

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  • 2019-12

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Does Chronically Administered Intermittent Restraint Stress (IRS) have Long-Lasting Effects on Fear Extinction and Depressive-Like Behavior?

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The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends

The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends and a post- stress rest period ensues for 6 weeks. Young adult, male Sprague Dawley rats underwent restraint stress using wire mesh (6hr/daily) for five days with two days off before restraint resumed for three weeks for a total of 23 restraint days. The groups consisted of control (CON) with no restraint other than food and water restriction yoked to the restrained groups, stress immediate (STR-IMM), which were restrained then fear conditioned soon after the end of the IRS paradigm, and stress given a rest for 6 weeks before fear conditioning commenced (STR-R6). Rats were fear conditioned by pairing a 20 second tone with a footshock, then given extinction training for two days (15 tone only on each day). On the first day of extinction, all groups discriminated well on the first trial, but then as trials progressed, STR-R6 discriminated between tone and context less than did CON. On the second day of extinction, STR- IMM froze more to context in the earlier trials than compared to STR-R6 and CON. As trials progressed STR-IMM and STR-R6 froze more to context than compared to CON. Together, CON discriminated between tone and context better than did STR-IMM and STR-R6. Sucrose preference, novelty suppressed feeding, and elevated plus maze was performed after fear extinction was completed. No statistical differences were observed among groups for sucrose preference or novelty suppressed feeding. For the elevated plus maze, STR-IMM entered the open arms and the sum of both open and closed arms fewer than did STR- R6 and CON. We interpret the findings to suggest that the stress groups displayed increased hypervigilance and anxiety with STR-R6 exhibiting a unique phenotype than that of STR-IMM and CON.

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  • 2018-05

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Unpredictable, intermittent, chronic stress may increase dendritic complexity of short shaft hippocampal neurons

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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects over 300 million people worldwide, with the hippocampus showing decreased volume and activity in patients with MDD. The current study investigated whether a novel preclinical

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects over 300 million people worldwide, with the hippocampus showing decreased volume and activity in patients with MDD. The current study investigated whether a novel preclinical model of depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), would decrease hippocampal neuronal dendritic complexity. Adult Sprague Dawley rats (24 male, 24 female) were equally divided into 4 groups: control males (CON-M), UIR males (UIR-M), control females (CON-F) and UIR females (UIR-F). UIR groups received restraint and shaking on an orbital shaker on a randomized schedule for 30 or 60 minutes/day for two to six days in a row for 26 days (21 total UIR days) before behavioral testing commenced. UIR continued and was interspersed between behavioral test days. At the end of behavioral testing, brains were processed. The behavior is published and not part of my honor’s thesis; my contribution involved quantifying and analyzing neurons in the hippocampus. Several neuronal types are found in the CA3 subregion of the hippocampus and I focused on short shaft (SS) neurons, which show different sensitivities to stress than the more common long shaft (LS) variety. Brains sections were mounted to slides and Golgi stained. SS neurons were drawn using a microscope with camera lucida attachment and quantified using the number of bifurcations and dendritic intersections as metrics for dendritic complexity in the apical and basal areas separately. The hypothesis that SS neurons in the CA3 region of the hippocampus would exhibit apical dendritic simplification in both sexes after UIR was not supported by our findings. In contrast, following UIR, SS apical dendrites were more complex in both sexes compared to controls. Although unexpected, we believe that the UIR paradigm was an effective stressor, robust enough to illicit neuronal adaptations. It appears that the time from the end of UIR to when the brain tissue was collected, or the post-stress recovery period, and/or repeated behavioral testing may have played a role in the observed increased neuronal complexity. Future studies are needed to parse out these potential effects.

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  • 2020-12

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Modifications of the urinary metabolome in college students after 4-weeks of daily vinegar ingestion that resulted in reductions in depression scores

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Depression is a worldwide public health problem that affects millions of people every year. Due to recent reports that depressed individuals have an altered gut microbiome composition, there is speculation

Depression is a worldwide public health problem that affects millions of people every year. Due to recent reports that depressed individuals have an altered gut microbiome composition, there is speculation that treatments that influence microorganisms in the gut could potentially lead to alleviation of depressive symptoms. Apple cider vinegar has been studied extensively for its health-promoting properties and benefits. Apple cider vinegar’s main ingredient is the short chain fatty acid, acetic acid. Short chain fatty acids have been shown to improve mood state and depressive symptoms, as well as amplify the effect of prebiotics in restoring the gut microbiome. This experimental design study examined the effects of ingesting 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (1 g acetic acid) twice daily with a meal on the levels of urinary metabolites in 14 college students compared to a control group of 11 college students that took one vinegar supplement tablet (0.015 g of acetic acid) daily for 28 days. All participants were healthy, normal to underactive (< 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week), and free of chronic or acute illnesses. Urinary metabolite analysis revealed a significant production of enzymes involved in the hexosamine pathway in the liquid vinegar group compared to baseline levels. However, anticipation of an alteration in tryptophan metabolites, a possible consequence of altered metabolism of gut microflora, was not observed. These data suggest that apple cider vinegar might be a potential treatment for depression through the production of hexosamine pathway enzymes.

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  • 2021-05

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Access to Healthcare Among Those Experiencing Homelessness: A Depression Screening Project

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Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health.

Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health. Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder in the US linked to increased risk of mortality. Literature suggests depression screening can identify high-risk individuals with using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9).

The objective of this project is to determine if screening identifies depression in the homeless and how it impacts healthcare access. Setting is a local organization in Phoenix offering shelter to homeless individuals. An evidence-based project was implemented over two months in 2019 using convenience sampling. Intervention included depression screening using the PHQ-9, referring to primary care and tracking appointment times. IRB approval obtained from Arizona State University, privacy discussed, and consent obtained prior to data collection. Participants were assigned a random number to protect privacy.

A chart audit tool was used to obtain sociodemographics and insurance status. Descriptive statistics used and analyzed using Intellectus. Sample size was (n = 18), age (M = 35) most were White-non-Hispanic, 44% had a high school diploma and 78% were insured. Mean score was 7.72, three were previously diagnosed and not referred. Three were referred with a turnaround appointment time of one, two and seven days respectively. No significant correlation found between age and depression severity. A significant correlation found between previous diagnosis and depression severity. Attention to PHQ-9 varied among providers and not always addressed. Future projects should focus on improving collaboration between this facility and providers, increasing screening and ensuring adequate follow up and treatment.

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  • 2020-05-04