Matching Items (27)

133599-Thumbnail Image.png

A Mechanistic Model of Art Therapy

Description

The goal of my study is to test the overarching hypothesis that art therapy is effective because it targets emotional dysregulation that often accompanies significant health stressors. By reducing the salience of illness-related stressors, art therapy may improve overall mood

The goal of my study is to test the overarching hypothesis that art therapy is effective because it targets emotional dysregulation that often accompanies significant health stressors. By reducing the salience of illness-related stressors, art therapy may improve overall mood and recovery, particularly in patients with cancer. After consulting the primary literature and review papers to develop psychological and neural mechanisms at work in art therapy, I created a hypothetical experimental procedure to test these hypotheses to explain why art therapy is helpful to patients with chronic illness. Studies found that art therapy stimulates activity of multiple brain regions involved in memory retrieval and the arousal of emotions. I hypothesize that patients with chronic illness have a reduced capacity for emotion regulation, or difficulty recognizing, expressing or altering illness-related emotions (Gross & Barrett, 2011). Further I hypothesize that art therapy improves mood and therapeutic outcomes by acting on the emotion-processing regions of the limbic system, and thereby facilitating the healthy expression of emotion, emotional processing, and reappraisal. More mechanistically, I propose art therapy reduces the perception or salience of stressors by reducing amygdala activity leading to decreased activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The art therapy literature and my hypothesis about its mechanisms of action became the basis of my proposed study. To assess the effectiveness of art therapy in alleviating symptoms of chronic disease, I am specifically targeting patients with cancer who exhibit a lack of emotional regulation. Saliva is collected 3 times a week on the day of intervention: morning after waking, afternoon, and evening. Stress levels are tested using one-hour art therapy sessions over the course of 3 months. The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) assesses an individual's perceived stress and feelings in past and present situations, for the control and intervention group. To measure improvement in overall mood, 10 one-hour art sessions are performed on patients over 10 weeks. A one-hour discussion analyzing the participants' artwork follows each art session. The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) assesses overall mood for the intervention and control groups. I created rationale and predictions based on the intended results of each experiment.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

133439-Thumbnail Image.png

Ambassador Handbook

Description

Arizona State University and Banner Thunderbird Hospital have partnered to provide pre-med students with an internship at a local emergency department. Students entering into this program will have access to each patient's vital signs, medical imaging, lab tests, and medications.

Arizona State University and Banner Thunderbird Hospital have partnered to provide pre-med students with an internship at a local emergency department. Students entering into this program will have access to each patient's vital signs, medical imaging, lab tests, and medications. This access presents students with an opportunity to learn about a variety of tools used in the assessment and treatment of emergency room patients. In order to enhance the amount of knowledge students take away from the program, I created a handbook summarizing a variety of diagnostic tests and medications. The first section of the handbook (assessment) is spilt up into the three following categories: vital signs, medical imaging, and lab tests. The second section (treatment) consists of one category, medications. Each section was written with emphasis on basic physiology, and is intended to provide pre-med students with a foundation for building further medical knowledge. Although this handbook was tailored to the information students are most likely to encounter working in Banner Thunderbird Hospital's emergency department, it is still appropriate for any student interested in learning about emergency medicine.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

134448-Thumbnail Image.png

Early Life Stress: An Increased Risk of Schizophrenia through Activation of the Complement Component Pathway

Description

Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with poorly understood genetic and environmental factors. An allelic variant of complement component 4 (C4), a protein first identified in innate immune response is strongly associated with schizophrenia. In the brain, activity

Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with poorly understood genetic and environmental factors. An allelic variant of complement component 4 (C4), a protein first identified in innate immune response is strongly associated with schizophrenia. In the brain, activity of C4 leads to dendritic pruning, a process that may be causal in disease progression. Environmental factors, such as early life exposure to significant stressors also associate with increased risk of schizophrenia in later life. My hypothesis is that these factors do not act independently, but rather in tandem to influence disease etiology.
This hypothesis is supported by previous studies demonstrating that stress-induced elevation of glucocorticoids increases the transcription of C4. I propose that activated glucocorticoid receptors directly increase C4 protein expression as a transcription factor activator. Additionally, I propose that activated glucocorticoid receptors inhibit the expression of the transcription factor nuclear factor-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), thereby leading to decreased expression of the C4 inhibitor CUB and Sushi multiple domains 1 (CSMD1).
Glucocorticoid receptors and C4 are richly expressed in the hippocampus, a region critical in memory consolidation, spatial, and declarative memory. I propose that stress-induced upregulation of C4 activity in the hippocampus promotes excessive synaptic pruning, contributing to specific deficits and hippocampal shrinkage seen in schizophrenia. Stress exposure during fetal development and adolescence likely acts through the proposed mechanisms to increase hippocampal C4 activity and subsequent schizophrenia risk. These mechanisms may reveal novel interactions between environmental and genetic risk factors in the etiology of schizophrenia through complement activation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

134494-Thumbnail Image.png

Government Subsidization, Public Assistance, and the Socioeconomics of Type-Two Diabetes

Description

Type-two diabetes represents a pathological state of insulin resistance due to systemic, complex interactions between numerous identified and linked metabolic genes. According to current medical literature, the genetic predisposition to type-two diabetes, coupled with environmental risk-factors, such as poverty and

Type-two diabetes represents a pathological state of insulin resistance due to systemic, complex interactions between numerous identified and linked metabolic genes. According to current medical literature, the genetic predisposition to type-two diabetes, coupled with environmental risk-factors, such as poverty and poor dietary habits, further exacerbate the risk of developing the disease. My research investigated the hypothesis that government poverty programs are associated with the surge in type-two diabetes among people of low socioeconomic status. My research suggests that government subsidies for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Women Infants and Children, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, National School Lunch Program, and corn production influence individual dietary choices that lead to consumption of excessive amounts of refined sugars and fats and a surge in the prevalence of obesity, known risk-factors for developing type-two diabetes. These policies and programs may directly or indirectly promote and incentivize diets with excessive refined sugars and fats. As such, current programs paradoxically contradict current medical literature and direct individual choices that have increased the known risk-factors for developing type-two diabetes. Future efforts should reassess poverty and agricultural subsidy programs in relation to medical recommendations for diabetes prevention. The enormous societal and economic burden associated with type-two diabetes calls for further research to assess the efficacy of current public policy and the allocation of government funds.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-05

135225-Thumbnail Image.png

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

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

136978-Thumbnail Image.png

Developmental Changes in Vascular Density of the Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus Following Prenatal Exposure to Dexamethasone

Description

The goal of the studies described in this thesis was to determine the changes in vascular density in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus following prenatal exposure to the synthetic glucocorticoid hormone, dexamethasone (DEX). DEX is a synthetic glucocorticoid

The goal of the studies described in this thesis was to determine the changes in vascular density in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus following prenatal exposure to the synthetic glucocorticoid hormone, dexamethasone (DEX). DEX is a synthetic glucocorticoid used clinically in women at risk for preterm delivery or in preterm infants to promote proper pulmonary development in high-risk neonates. Prenatal exposure to glucocorticoids such as DEX may change the development of important brain regulatory centers such as the PVN, resulting in increased risk for diseases in adulthood.
Previous studies have demonstrated that the hypothalamus regulates neuroendocrine and autonomic function and behavior. Within the hypothalamus, the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is an integratory node that contains neurons associated with the control of neuroendocrine and autonomic responses. The PVN also has one of the highest density of blood vessels within the brain. Alterations of normal PVN angiogenesis by dexamethasone could potentially result in long-term modifications of brain and endocrine functions.
Timed-pregnant Sprague Dawley female rats received DEX on gestational days 18-21 and the resulting progeny were sacrificed at Postnatal Day (PND) 0, 4, 14, and 21. A tomato lectin, Lycopersicon Esculentum labeled with DyLight594 was used to stain blood vessels in the PVN and scanning confocal microscopy was used to analyze the experimental brains for PVN blood vessel density
Analysis of data using a 3-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with age, sex and treatment as main factors, showed a significant age effect in vascular density. Analysis of female data by 2-way ANOVA demonstrated a significant effect of age, but no treatment or interaction effects. Post-hoc analysis shows significant differences at PND 2, 4, 14, and 21 compared to PND0. A Student‘s t-test of a planned comparison on PND2 showed a significant reduction by DEX treatment (p < 0.05). Analysis of data from females, using 2-way ANOVA demonstrated a significant effect of age, but no treatment or interaction effects. Post-hoc analysis shows significant differences at PND 2, 4, 14, and 21 compared to PND0. A planned comparison at PND 2 using Student’s t-test indicated a significant reduction by dex treatment.
The results of these studies demonstrate that there is significant postnatal angiogenic programming and that the vascular density of the PVN is altered by prenatal dexamethasone administration at PND2. The time-course shows developmental fluctuations in vessel density that may prove to be physiologically significant for normal brain function and developmental programming of brain and behavior.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

136985-Thumbnail Image.png

Dosage effects of highly selective D2 antagonist SV293 on drug-seeking behavior and locomotor activity

Description

Within the field of psychopharmacology, there has been difficultly with studying the functional effects of dopamine at the D2 receptor apart from other dopamine receptors due to the lack of drugs that are selective for the D2 receptor. The purpose

Within the field of psychopharmacology, there has been difficultly with studying the functional effects of dopamine at the D2 receptor apart from other dopamine receptors due to the lack of drugs that are selective for the D2 receptor. The purpose of this study was to observe the motivational and locomotor effects of using three varying doses (1.0, 3.0, and 5.6 mg/kg) of a new, highly selective D2 antagonist, SV293. These doses were tested across five different conditions that explore the effects of controls, SV293 by itself, and in combination with cocaine. These tests are designed to separately assess the effects of the antagonist between drug-seeking behaviors and locomotor activity. The cue tests showed that SV293 reduced drug-seeking and increased response latency at the high dose, suggesting a decrease in motivational effects of cocaine-related cues. SV293 alone also reduced drug-seeking and increased response latency at the high dose, suggesting a decrease in motivation for cocaine. Cocaine in combination with SV293 did not produce any significant effects on drug-seeking behavior, suggesting that SV293 did not alter the motivational effects of cocaine itself. Spontaneous locomotor activity tests with SV293 alone showed no reduction in locomotor activity; however, the addition of cocaine showed a significant decrease in locomotor activity at the high dose of SV293. Overall, the 5.6 mg/kg dose of SV293 decreases drug-seeking behavior elicited by cocaine-related cues and environmental stimuli, as well as cocaine-induced locomotor activity. This selective D2 antagonism could ultimately help elucidate the mechanisms of other dopamine receptors with particular emphasis on their involvement with drug addiction. Key words: cocaine, SV293, D2, antagonists, dopamine

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

135343-Thumbnail Image.png

The Proteomic Profile of Chronic Stress and Recovery in the Hippocampus

Description

The stress response facilitates our ability to deal effectively with threatening situations, but exposure to severe or chronic stressors can lead to undesirable neural, physiological, and behavioral outcomes. Chronic stress is associated with structural changes in the rat hippocampus, with

The stress response facilitates our ability to deal effectively with threatening situations, but exposure to severe or chronic stressors can lead to undesirable neural, physiological, and behavioral outcomes. Chronic stress is associated with structural changes in the rat hippocampus, with corresponding deficits in learning and memory. Recent studies have uncovered an inherent neuroplasticity that allows the hippocampus to recover from these stress-induced neural changes. Underlying mechanisms likely involve several different cellular and molecular pathways. In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of these pathways, we investigated differences in protein expression throughout the timeline of chronic stress and recovery. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to chronic restraint stress for 6hr/d/10d or 6hr/d/21d, stress for 6hr/d/21d followed by a recovery period of no stress for 10 or 21 days, or a control group. The proteome from the hippocampus of these rats was sequenced using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and analyzed. We hypothesized that chronic stress alters interneuronal signaling in the hippocampus by enhancing or attenuating the expression of proteins responsible for synaptic plasticity (functional) and neuronal structure (morphology). So far we have found that structural proteins, such as alpha-internexin, homer protein homolog 3, neurofilament light, and vimentin were significantly altered by chronic stress and recovery. In contrast, proteins necessary for or associated with myelination such as 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, myelin-associated glycoprotein, myelin basic protein S, and myelin proteolipid protein were significantly downregulated by chronic stress. Collectively, these results will provide a resource for further investigations into the mechanisms of the brain's recovery from chronic stress.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05

135346-Thumbnail Image.png

Adult Cytogenesis and Reproductive Regulation in the American Bullfrog

Description

The purpose of the present study was to investigate seasonal changes in cell proliferation in the brains of adult American bullfrog. Our main question was whether there are seasonal differences in the proliferation and/or differentiation of newborn brain cells into

The purpose of the present study was to investigate seasonal changes in cell proliferation in the brains of adult American bullfrog. Our main question was whether there are seasonal differences in the proliferation and/or differentiation of newborn brain cells into arginine vasotocin- (AVT) or gonadotropin releasing hormone- (GnRH) producing neurons that might regulate bullfrog reproduction. . Bullfrogs in four distinct seasonal groups received injections of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a thymidine analog that is taken up by dividing cells, and then euthanized six weeks later. Using doubleimmunofluorescence procedures to visualize BrdU and AVT or GnRH, we found no evidence for newborn AVT- or GnRH-ergic cells, but observed newborn cells in close proximity to AVT and GnRH cells. My project was a follow-up study to explore seasonal changes in adult cytogenesis related to AVT and GnRH terminal fields. GnRH fiber density fluctuated seasonally in the rostral pre-optic area (RPOA) and lateral septum (LS), and newborn cell numbers changed seasonally in the amygdala (AM) and RPOA. Seasonal differences in plasma testosterone concentrations were negatively related to GnRH fiber density in the LS. These results reinforce the seasonality of reproductive signaling and adult cytogenesis and support a role for seasonal steroid-peptide hormone interactions in modulating GnRH levels. Our results suggest a relationship between seasonal adult cytogenesis and reproduction, and set the stage for further research into the nature of this relationship.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013-05

136109-Thumbnail Image.png

Bridge Program Literature Review and Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory Analysis of the Arizona State University's Summer BioBridge Program

Description

Students across the United States lack the necessary skills to be successful college students in Science, Technology and Math (STEM) majors and as a result post-secondary institutions are developing summer bridge programs to aid in their transition. As they develo

Students across the United States lack the necessary skills to be successful college students in Science, Technology and Math (STEM) majors and as a result post-secondary institutions are developing summer bridge programs to aid in their transition. As they develop these programs, effective theory and approach are critical to developing successful programs. Though there are a multitude of theories on successful student development, a focus on self-efficacy is critical. Summer Bridge programs across the country as well as the Bio Bridge summer program at Arizona State University were studied alone and through the lens of Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory as mentioned in Albert Bandura's "Perceived Self-Efficacy in Cognitive Development and Functioning." Cognitive Self-Efficacy Theory provides a framework for self-efficacy development in academic settings. An analysis of fifteen bridge programs found that a large majority focused on developing academic capabilities and often overlooked development of community and social efficacy. An even larger number failed to focus on personal psychology in managing self-debilitating thought patterns based on published goals. Further, Arizona State University's Bio Bridge program could not be considered successful at developing cognitive self-efficacy or increasing retention as data was inconclusive. However, Bio Bridge was tremendously successful at developing social efficacy and community among participants and faculty. Further research and better evaluative techniques need to be developed to understand the program's effectiveness in cognitive self-efficacy development and retention.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05