Matching Items (69)

133700-Thumbnail Image.png

Elderly People and Individuals with Disabilities: An Analysis of the Civil Right to Mobility

Description

Abstract Older adults and people with disabilities are two unique populations, though they intersect in their need for mobility options that are often not met by traditional transportation services. There is consensus that the government should provide assistance for older

Abstract Older adults and people with disabilities are two unique populations, though they intersect in their need for mobility options that are often not met by traditional transportation services. There is consensus that the government should provide assistance for older adults and people with disabilities to achieve and maintain independence. However, the challenge lies in addressing the many forms of mobility inequity. Population projections for the twenty-first century have sparked interest in the rights of these two populations. As the population of the United States of America ages, supporting the mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities will become imperative to maintaining their quality of life. One existing federal grant, Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (49 U.S.C. 5310) provides formula funding for services that provide transportation options to older adults and people with disabilities. While the 5310 program provides crucial funding to non-profits and government agencies to support mobility options for older adults and people with disabilities, it does not address the full scope of mobility issues faced by these two communities. This thesis project provides a thorough analysis of this grant from the federal legislation it is founded on, to the local administration of this grant as applied by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). Finally, this thesis looks at emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize mobility, along with sobering historical context of the barriers faced older adults and people with disabilities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133705-Thumbnail Image.png

Emergence of New Technology and Statistical Analysis to Explore Aging Patterns in Latent Fingerprint Analysis

Description

Abstract Latent fingerprints are a critical component of the evidence that is captured and analyzed from crime scenes and presented for convictions in court. Although fingerprint science has been used for many years in forensics, it is not without many

Abstract Latent fingerprints are a critical component of the evidence that is captured and analyzed from crime scenes and presented for convictions in court. Although fingerprint science has been used for many years in forensics, it is not without many criticisms and critiques from those that believe it is too subjective. Researchers from many disciplines have tried to refute this claim by completing experiments that would eventually lead to a fingerprint aging technique as well as providing statistical models and mathematical support. In this literature review, the research that has been widely published and talked about in this field was reviewed and analyzed to determine what aspects of the experiments are benefitting the study of degradation. By carefully combing through the methods and results of each study, it can be determined where future focuses should be and what disciplines need to be exploited for knowledge. Lastly, an important aspect of the experiments in recent years have depended on the collaboration with statistics so this evidence was examined to identify what models are realistic in determining error rates and likelihood ratios to support latent fingerprint evidence in court. After a thorough review, it is seen that although large strides have been taken to study the degradation of fingerprints, the day where fingerprints will be able to be definitively aged may be ways away. The current experiments have provided methods such as three-dimensional and visual parameters that could potentially find the solution, but also uncovered methods such as immunolabeling and chemical composition that face major challenges. From the statistically point of view, researchers are very close in developing equations that exploit the likelihood ratios of similarity and even calculate the various possible error rates. The evidence found in this review shows that science is one step closer to the age determination of fingerprints.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133796-Thumbnail Image.png

Discovering why less is more: A comparative evaluation of protein expression in the central nervous system, and how it relates to cognition, following treatment with different doses of 17beta-estradiol

Description

Hormone therapy (HT) containing 17beta-estradiol (E2) can greatly reduce physiological symptoms associated with declines in ovarian hormones that are seen with menopause. HT containing E2 has also been shown to play a beneficial role in cognitive function. There is discrepancy,

Hormone therapy (HT) containing 17beta-estradiol (E2) can greatly reduce physiological symptoms associated with declines in ovarian hormones that are seen with menopause. HT containing E2 has also been shown to play a beneficial role in cognitive function. There is discrepancy, however, surrounding which dose of E2 is the most optimal for cognition. A previous rodent behavioral study in our laboratory evaluated the effects of different doses of E2 on spatial memory performance, and results indicated that rats treated with a low E2 dose (0.3 g E2) made fewer working memory incorrect (WMI) errors, indicating enhanced spatial memory performance, compared to vehicle (0.1ml sesame oil)- and high E2 (3.0 g E2)- treated groups. This finding warranted the present investigation with the overarching aim to evaluate underlying neuromolecular mechanisms that may be modulating these cognitive effects. Both the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1-R) and extracellular regulated kinase (Erk) 2 have been observed to mediate E2-induced memory enhancements. We used the Western Blot to measure IGF1-R and activated Erk1/2 expression in brain regions involved in learning and memory, including the dorsal hippocampus, ventral CA1/CA2 hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and perirhinal cortex. Results demonstrated a linear relationship between IGF1-R expression and administered E2 dose in the perirhinal cortex, whereby IGF1-R expression increased as the dose of E2 increased. Additionally, in the perirhinal cortex, IGF1-R expression tended to increase as activated Erk1 increased for all treatment groups. Further, number of WMI errors tended to decrease as IGF1-R expression and activated Erk1 expression in the perirhinal cortex tended to increase in the low E2 treatment group. Collectively, these findings suggest a downstream-dependent relationship between IGF1-R and activated Erk1 in the perirhinal cortex that may be contributing to the enhancements in spatial memory performance observed in animals in the low E2 treatment group. These findings are a crucial piece in the greater understanding of what underlying molecular mechanisms may be modulating a cognitively beneficial dose of E2, and further contribute to the search for a HT that would be beneficial for cognition in menopausal women.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

132702-Thumbnail Image.png

Delays in reticulospinal system are correlated with deficits in motor learning in older adults.

Description

Motor skill acquisition, the process by which individuals practice and consolidate movement to become faster, more accurate and efficient, declines with age. Initial skill acquisition is dominated by cortical structures; however as learning proceeds, literature from rodents and songbirds suggests

Motor skill acquisition, the process by which individuals practice and consolidate movement to become faster, more accurate and efficient, declines with age. Initial skill acquisition is dominated by cortical structures; however as learning proceeds, literature from rodents and songbirds suggests that there is a transition away from cortical execution. Recent evidence indicates that the reticulospinal system plays an important role in integration and retention of learned motor skills. The brainstem has known age-rated deficits including cell shrinkage & death. Given the role of the reticulospinal system in skill acquisition and older adult’s poor capacity to learn, it begs the question: are delays in the reticulospinal system associated with older adult’s poor capacity to learn?
Our objective was to evaluate if delays in the reticulospinal system (measured via the startle reflex) are correlated to impairment of motor learning in older adults. We found that individuals with fast startle responses resembling those of younger adults show the most learning and retention of that learning while individuals with delayed startle responses show the least. Moreover, linear regression analysis indicated that startle onset latency exists within a continuum of learning outcomes suggesting that startle onset latency may be a sensitive measure to predict learning deficits in older adults. As there exists no method to determine an individual’s relative learning capacity, these results open the possibility of startle, which is an easy and inexpensive behavioral measure, being used to predict learning deficits in older adults to facilitate better dosing during rehabilitation therapy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

131942-Thumbnail Image.png

Deficits in Spatial Working Memory Depend on Age in a Novel Rat Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Description

There are currently no disease-modifying treatments to halt or attenuate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Transgenic rodent models have provided researchers the ability to recapitulate particular pathological and symptomological events in disease progression. Complete reproduction of all features of

There are currently no disease-modifying treatments to halt or attenuate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Transgenic rodent models have provided researchers the ability to recapitulate particular pathological and symptomological events in disease progression. Complete reproduction of all features of AD in a rodent model has not been achieved, potentially lending to the inconclusive treatment results at the clinical level. Recently, the TgF344-AD transgenic rat model has started to be evaluated; however, it has not been well characterized in terms of its cognition, which is fundamental to understanding the trajectory of aging relative to pathology and learning and memory changes. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to identify cognitive outcomes at 6, 9, and 12 months of age in the TgF344-AD rat model. Sixty female transgenic (Tg) and wildtype (WT) rats were tested on the water radial arm maze, Morris water maze, and visible platform task to evaluate cognition. Results from the asymptotic phase of the water radial arm maze showed that the 6 mo-Tg animals had marginally impaired working memory compared to 6 mo-WT rats, and 12 mo-Tg rats had significantly impaired working memory compared to 12 mo-WT rats. The 9 mo-Tg animals did not demonstrate a significant difference in working memory errors compared to the 9 mo-WT animals. This pattern of impairment, wherein Tg animals made more working memory errors compared to WT animals at the 6 and 12 month time points, but not at the 9 month time point, may be indicative of an inflammatory response that proves helpful at incipient stages of disease progression but eventually leads to further cognitive impairment. These results provide insight into the potential earliest time point that prodromal cognitive symptoms of AD exist, and how they progress with aging. Brain tissue was collected at sacrifice for future analyses of pathology, which will be used to glean insight into the temporal progression of pathological and cognitive outcomes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

131944-Thumbnail Image.png

Social Cognition in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Sex Differences and Aging Correlates

Description

Background: In the United States, approximately 50,000 teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) age into adulthood every year (Shattuck et al., 2012). A hallmark symptom of ASD includes pronounced difficulties in social interactions and verbal and nonverbal communication (Lai, Lombardo,

Background: In the United States, approximately 50,000 teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) age into adulthood every year (Shattuck et al., 2012). A hallmark symptom of ASD includes pronounced difficulties in social interactions and verbal and nonverbal communication (Lai, Lombardo, & Baron-Cohen, 2014). These social cognition difficulties consist of difficulties interpreting social cues, employing appropriate adaptive behavioral responses in various social contexts, as well as the ability to interpret emotions and mental states of others, known as theory of mind (TOM; Premack & Woodruff, 1978). In neurotypical (NT) adults, women perform better on social cognition tasks and difficulties become more prevalent with age, however little is known how sex differences and aging may impact social cognition in adults with ASD (Carstensen, Fung, & Charles 2003).

Objective: This research intended to characterize the influence of sex and age on social cognition in adults with ASD using an adult sample. We hypothesized Reading the Mind in the Eyes (RME) scores would be lower in adults with ASD, with a stronger relationship between decreasing performance aging effects compared to NTs. Additionally, we hypothesized deficits would be more severe in in males with ASD compared to females with ASD.

Methods: The RME task was administered to 181 adults to quantify ToM abilities. The participants consisted of 100 adults with ASD (69 males, 32 females; age range: 18-71, mean=39.45±1.613) and matched 81 NT adults (47 males, 34 females; age range: 18-70, mean=41.51±1.883). Multiple regression analyses examined interactions between diagnosis and age, diagnosis and sex, and diagnosis by age by sex. Exploratory within group analyses assessed 1) sex differences using ANCOVA, and 2) associations with age using Pearson correlation in SPSS.

Results: We found that NT adults performed better on the RME task than adults with ASD. Worse performance on the RME task correlated with greater age for the NT, but not ASD. Additionally, no influence of sex on RME scores was identified.

Discussion: These results are consistent with other studies indicate social cognition deficits in adults with ASD compared to NT adults. Additionally, we replicated findings that suggest ToM performance declines with age in NT adults. Fewer social relationships, smaller social networks, and reduced social engagement have been associated with aging in both NTs and individuals with ASD (Pratt & Norris, 1994). However, our cross-sectional sample suggests ToM abilities may not decline with age in adults with ASD as hypothesized. Longitudinal studies are needed to corroborate these findings. Further developments in this line of research may inform novel interventions tailored toward the growing population of adults with ASD. Ultimately, our research aims to improve quality of life across the lifespan for an already vulnerable population.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

131874-Thumbnail Image.png

Free-water analysis of the hippocampal complex in aging adults with autism spectrum disorder

Description

Background: The hippocampus is a critical brain structure for memory formation and other aspects of cognition. The hippocampus and the white matter tracts connecting it to other parts of the brain are known to lose volume and integrity with aging.

Background: The hippocampus is a critical brain structure for memory formation and other aspects of cognition. The hippocampus and the white matter tracts connecting it to other parts of the brain are known to lose volume and integrity with aging. For populations with prior compromised hippocampal integrity, such as those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is less well known how the hippocampus and its connections will respond to aging. In children with ASD, there may be an initial period of enlarged hippocampi, after which there is a trajectory of faster decline in volume compared to neurotypicals (NT). We have previously identified reduced hippocampal volumes and fornix white matter integrity in middle-age and older adults with ASD compared to matched NT adults. However, freewater (FW) may be a more sensitive structural integrity measure of the hippocampal complex. FW is present in the brain as cerebrospinal fluid but also accumulates within the extracellular spaces indicative of reduced gray matter density and increased axon degeneration. FW shows promise as a more sensitive biomarker for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. This study evaluated age-related hippocampal complex FW differences in adults with and without ASD across the adult lifespan. We hypothesized that adults with ASD would demonstrate a larger age association with increasing FW in the hippocampus and fornix, compared to NT adults, and that FW would be a more sensitive brain measure than traditional fractional anisotropy (FA).

Methods: The study consisted of 79 participants with ASD (59 male, 20 female; ages 18-70, mean=40.27 [±17] years) and 77 NT participants (46 male, 31 female; ages 18-71, mean=40.33 [±16] years). Hippocampal and fornix FW and FA values were generated from diffusion tensor images obtained along 32 directions using a b-value of 2500 s/mm2 in the axial direction with 3 mm slice resolution. These images were then processed for eddy current, distortion, b-vec and motion correction, skull stripped, and non-linear registered using Advanced Normalization Tools (ANTs) to the subject’s T1 image. FW and FA maps were calculated using custom written MatLab code and standard atlases containing the hippocampus and fornix were applied.

Results: The right hippocampus showed a significant diagnosis by age interaction (p=0.018), such that the increase in FW with age was greater for adults with ASD. The left hippocampus diagnosis by age interaction approached significance (p=0.055). Similarly, the right fornix showed a significant diagnosis by age interaction (p=0.044), with increases in FW with age as greater for adults with ASD, and the left fornix diagnosis by age interaction approached significance (p=0.053). FA values showed no significant diagnosis by age interactions.

Conclusion: In the hippocampus and fornix, the association between increasing FW and increasing age was more pronounced for adults with ASD than matched NT adults. This may mean that as adults with ASD age, these regions will degenerate faster than their NT peers, which could have implications for accelerated age-related memory decline. However, a notable limitation is the cross-sectional nature of the study. Our ongoing longitudinal study will inform a more definitive picture of brain aging with ASD.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

131928-Thumbnail Image.png

The Impact of a Starting Acoustic Stimulus and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Reaction Times in Unimpaired Adults

Description

Motor skill acquisition, the process by which individuals practice and consolidate
movement to become faster, more accurate and efficient, declines with age. Initial skill acquisition is dominated by cortical structures; however as learning proceeds, literature from
rodents and songbirds suggests

Motor skill acquisition, the process by which individuals practice and consolidate
movement to become faster, more accurate and efficient, declines with age. Initial skill acquisition is dominated by cortical structures; however as learning proceeds, literature from
rodents and songbirds suggests that there is a transition away from cortical execution. Recent
evidence indicates that the reticulospinal system plays an important role in integration and
retention of learned motor skills. The brainstem has known age-rated deficits including cell
shrinkage & death. Given the role of the reticulospinal system in skill acquisition and older
adult’s poor capacity to learn, it begs the question: are delays in the reticulospinal system
associated with older adult’s poor capacity to learn?
Our objective was to evaluate if delays in the reticulospinal system (measured via the
startle reflex) and corticospinal system (measured via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are correlated to impairment of motor learning in older adults. We found that individuals with fast startle responses resembling those of younger adults show the most improvement and retention while individuals with delayed startle responses show the least. We also found that there was no relationship between MEP latencies and improvement and retention. Moreover, linear regression analysis indicated that startle onset latency exists within a continuum of learning outcomes suggesting that startle onset latency may be a sensitive measure to predict learning deficits in older adults. As there exists no method to determine an individual’s relative learning capacity, these results open the possibility of startle, which is an easy and inexpensive behavioral measure and can be used to determine learning deficits in older adults to facilitate better dosing during rehabilitation therapy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

Mechanisms of Sarcopenia

Description

Sarcopenia, a disease defined by age-related muscle loss and function, impacts each and every one of us as we age. Medical research over the past 40 years has identified dozens of factors that contribute to Sarcopenia, including, hormonal changes, deficiencies

Sarcopenia, a disease defined by age-related muscle loss and function, impacts each and every one of us as we age. Medical research over the past 40 years has identified dozens of factors that contribute to Sarcopenia, including, hormonal changes, deficiencies in nutrition, denervation, changes in physical activity and diseases. Developing effective therapeutic treatments for Sarcopenia is dependent on identifying the mechanisms by which these factors affect muscle loss and understanding the interrelationship of these mechanisms. I conducted my research by compiling and analyzing several previous studies on many different mechanisms that contribute to Sarcopenia. Of these mechanisms, I determined the most significant mechanisms and mapped them out on a visual presentation. In addition to the contributing factors listed above, I found that dysregulated cell signaling, mitochondrial abnormalities, impaired autophagy/protein regulation, altered nitric oxide production, and systemic inflammation all contribute to Sarcopenia. Their impact on skeletal muscle is manifested by reduced satellite function, reduced regenerative capacity, loss of muscle mass, accumulation of damaged products, and fibrosis. My research clearly demonstrated that there was not a one-to-one correlation between factors and specific pathological characteristics of Sarcopenia. Instead, factors funneled into a discrete number of cellular processes, including cell proliferation, protein synthesis, and autophagy and apoptosis. Based on my findings, the overall cause of Sarcopenia appears to be a loss of balance between these pathways. The results of my thesis indicate that Sarcopenia is a multifactorial disorder, and therefore, effective therapy should consist of those that prevent necrosis associated with autophagy and apoptosis.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

134520-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effects of Multimedia Learning on Task Performance Among the Aging Population

Description

As one of the first attempts to research multimedia platforms for older adults when learning an online photo-editing software, this study examined whether an audio only, a text only, or a combination of an audio and text tutorial would be

As one of the first attempts to research multimedia platforms for older adults when learning an online photo-editing software, this study examined whether an audio only, a text only, or a combination of an audio and text tutorial would be the most effective teaching method. Elderly adults aged 65 and older (N-45) were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions. They first went through a training phase that utilized their assigned condition to teach five tasks within the photo-editing program, and they were then tested on how well they learned these tasks as well as a transfer task. It was predicted that the multimedia condition would increase learning efficiency, produce more successes in the transfer task, and decrease cognitive load compared to the two unimodal conditions. The multimedia condition (text and audio) had no significant effect on transfer task successes or decreases in cognitive load compared to the unimodal conditions (text only and audio only). The multimedia condition, however, did produce significantly less errors on Tasks 2, 4, and 5 than the unimodal conditions. This suggests that redundancy principles may play an important role when designing learning platforms for elderly users, and that age needs to be considered as an additional factor during the technological design process.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05