• Mathematical modeling of the human dental arch and its usefulness in longitudinal analysis of treatment effects

      Weddle, Larry; Department of Oral Biology (Augusta University, 1999-11)
      In the practice of orthodontics, the shape of the dental arches is important in the planning and implementation of treatment. Many mathematical functions have been proposed for the characterization of arch form including catenary, p~lynomials, beta, conic sections, and cubic splines. The purpose of this study was to use linear and nonlinear least squares estimation to fit polynomial, catenary-like and beta-like curves to a longitudinal dataset and evaluate both the curve fits and the longitudinal information obtained. A longitudinal dataset was obtained from a private orthodontist. Dental casts of the upper and lower arches were made at three time points for each of 20 subjects: before treatment, immediately following treatment, and following a post-retention follow-up period of at least two years. Each cast and a calibration strip was scanned into a separate image computer file. Image analysis software was used to mark the (x,y) coordinates of buccal landmarks on each tooth from first molar to first molar. The (x, y) coordinates from each cast were collected into a central database for analysis. It was desired to use least squares for curve fitting due to its wide availability and well known properties. In order to use least squares, the casts were required to have consistent x-axis and y-axis orientation. This was done by orienting the x-axis parallel to the line connecting the centroids of the posterior teeth on the right and left sides of each cast. Eight functions were used in the curves fitting. The linear least squares method was used to fit polynomials of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th order. The nonlinear least squares method was used to fit a generalized 5-parameter beta function and generalized inverse catenary functions with 3, 4, and 5 parameters. Each of the eight functions was fit to each of the 120 dental casts in the study. Curve fits were examined for each function and each subject, arch, and time point. The 4th and 5th order polynomials, the generalized beta, and the 4-parameter and 5-parameter generalized inverse catenary functions fit well. For the 4th and 5th order polynomials, the R2 values ranged from xxx to xxx with acceptable visual fits. For the nonlinear models, the model sum of squares approximated the total sum of squares and the curves yielded good visual fits to the data points. Longitudinal analysis was done using Euclidean distance as the metric in the parameter space of each model. In order to assess the parameter metric in terms of physical measurements, the Euclidean distances in the parameter spaces were correlated with intercanine width, intermolar width, and molar-incisor distance. Consistent correlations were not identified though the curve fits were excellent. A comparison of arch form change between upper and lower arches was also done. Since the upper arches changed more, checking the ability of the parameter metrics of the various models to detect the change was of interest. and 3rd order polynomials, All of the models except 2nd and molar-incisor distance measures were capable of detecting the difference in change between the upper and lower arches (ANOVA p-values ~ 0.05). In summary, this study shows a successful method of orienting the casts for curve fitting by least squares. The models with at least 4 parameters generally fit well across the range of dental casts studied with the 5- parameter models slightly superior. The longitudinal analysis indicates that traditional linear measurements such as intercanine width may not adequately measure the multidimensional aspects of arch form change. The parameter space metrics were able to discriminate between upper and lower arch form changes.
    • Enablers and barriers to the availability of services for HIV-infected persons /

      Walters, Metta L.; School of Nursing (Augusta University, 1990-12)
    • In vitro effects on fibroblast attachment following demineralization by citric acid compared to doxycycline HC1

      Jankowski, Eric P.; Department of Oral Biology & Pharmacology (Augusta University, 1993-05)

      Kodeboyina, Sai Karthik; Department of Physiology (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Aqueous humor (AH) is a fluid in the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye that contains proteins associated with vision disorders including glaucoma. We performed comprehensive characterization of AH proteins and evaluated their association with optic nerve and visual field changes in glaucoma patients. AH reference database was developed to include proteomic and clinical information from cataract and glaucoma patients. Aqueous humor samples from 251 cataract and glaucoma patients were analyzed using Liquid-Chromatography Mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was evaluated with the SPECTRALIS Tracking Laser Tomography. Optic nerve head imaging was performed using Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT). Visual fields were analyzed with the Humphrey Visual Field analyzer. Statistical analyses were performed to discover the relationship between AH proteins and demographic characteristics, RNFL, optic nerve, and visual field parameters. AH reference database and website was developed using standard software tools including Visual Studio, ASP.NET, SQL, C#, and HTML. A total of 1774 unique proteins were identified in 251 AH samples of which 233 proteins were expressed in at least half of samples. Five protein families were discovered including apolipoproteins, complements, immunoglobulins, serine protease inhibitors (SERPINS) and insulin like growth factors (IGF). A total of 38 proteins significantly correlated with at least one RNFL thickness measure including average, inferior and superior thicknesses. Similarly, 62 proteins significantly associated with at least one HRT parameter such as cup shape measure, cup-disc area ratio and rim area. A total of 11, 9, 7, and 6 proteins were significantly correlated with pattern standard deviation, visual field index, mean deviation, and glaucoma hemifield test respectively. Strongly associated proteins include APOD, APOH, C4A, C4B, C7, IKHV3-9, IGKV2-28, SERPINA1, SERPINF1, IGFBP6, and IGFBP7. They are involved in immune responses, signaling, binding, and metabolic functions. These findings provide targets for future studies investigating molecular mechanisms and new therapies for glaucoma. Moreover, the database would serve as a resource for researchers pursuing AH proteomic and glaucoma studies.
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      test, test; test (Augusta University, 2021-05)
    • Do Faculty Members Have A Mindset For Teaching?

      Manning, Kailea; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      The goal of this study was to test a model that predicted that instructor goal orientation would mediate the relationship between teaching mindset and seeking feedback about teaching in a higher education context. We also aimed to explore whether teaching mindset is associated with teaching adaptations in response to COVID-19. One hundred three full-time faculty members completed measures of general mindset, teaching mindset, teaching goal orientation, and feedback-seeking. Participants generally reported high levels of growth teaching mindset (M = 5.00, SD = .73), growth general mindset (M = 4.47, SD = 1.03) and Mastery goal orientation (M = 4.75, SD = .72). Teaching mindset and feedback-seeking were significantly correlated with goal orientation. Feedback seeking and teaching mindset were not significantly correlated, suggesting teaching mindset is not a good predictor of feedback-seeking, and the model was not supported. Faculty members did report relatively high levels of Mastery goal orientation, which is associated with more often seeking feedback about teaching. These results provide important information for professional development. Those who are Mastery goal-oriented aim to learn and master a skill and thus are more likely to seek feedback because it provides them with information on how to improve and be successful. It may be beneficial for professional development programs to focus on altering an individual’s goal orientation toward being Mastery oriented to improve instructor performance.
    • Autonomic Reactivity to Threatening Images as a Function of Relevance

      Recinos, Manderley; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Anxiety is among the most prevalent psychological conditions affecting 31% of adults in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). Thus, it is important to identify the factors that contribute to anxiety and perhaps the development of anxiety disorders. One important factor that must be considered is how relevant a potential or real threat is to an individual. The theory of threat-relevance proposes that fear stimuli considered relevant to the individual will capture the individual’s attention and/or activate a fear response (De Oca & Black, 2013; Fox et al., 2007). On the other hand, biological theories propose that evolutionary stimuli preferentially activate the fear system due to their threat to human survival (Ohman & Mineka, 2001; Seligman, 1970) . Such disparate positions in the literature strongly suggest a need for more research in the area of threat relevance that examines biological, cultural, and social variables. The purpose of this study is to clarify and extend our understanding of the role relevance plays in triggering anxiety. Participants viewed evolutionarily based (i.e., snakes, spiders) and culturally based threatening images (i.e., guns, knives) while autonomic arousal (electrodermal activity and heart rate) was measured. Participants rated the relevance, valence, and arousal of each image, and completed a self-report measure of anxiety. We found that EDA amplitudes were higher for evolutionary threats than cultural threats, but only when cultural images were viewed first. However, heart rate was similar for both threat types regardless of the order. Cultural threats were found to be more arousing and less pleasant than evolutionary threats. Relevance was not correlated to EDA or HR responses; however, relevance was correlated with the valence and arousal ratings of each image. Relevance was also not correlated to participants’ self-reported trait anxiety. These results indicate that further research is necessary to understand how threat relevance impacts threat responses.

      Lopez, Nicole Hope; Biomedical Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder caused by the βS-globin mutation leading to hemoglobin polymerization, vaso-occlusion, chronic hemolysis and progressive organ damage. SCD affects ~100,000 people of African descent in the United States and millions worldwide. An effective therapy for SCD is fetal hemoglobin (HbF) induction by pharmacologic agents such as Hydroxyurea (HU), the only drug with FDA-approval that works via this mechanism. The goal of our study was to determine whether Salubrinal (SAL), a selective protein phosphatase 1 inhibitor, induces HbF expression by the activation of p-eIF2α (phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α) and ATF4 (activating transcription factor 4). ChIP analysis in K562 cells showed ATF4 binding in the locus control region along with the predicted ATF4 binding sites in the y-globin promoter and HBB locus. Sickle erythroid progenitors treated with SAL 9, 18 and 24 µM increased F-cells from 5.2%, 7.7% and 9% (p<0.05) respectively compared to untreated cells and decreased oxidative stress. Western blot analysis showed SAL 24 µM induce HbF by 1.5-fold and mediated dose-dependent increases of p-eIF2α and ATF4 up to 11.1%. In preparation for preclinical studies, pharmacokinetic studies showed plasma concentration of SAL (5mg/kg) peaked 6 hours post IP injection. Subsequent treatments of SCD mice (n=10 per group) were conducted with SAL (3 and 5mg/kg), HU (100mg/kg) and water control (vehicle), 5 days a week for 4 weeks. Flow cytometry showed SAL produced a significant 2.3-fold increase in F-cells compared to a 2.6-fold increase by HU on week 4 (p<0.05); SAL did not produce significant changes in peripheral blood counts. Our findings, supports HbF induction and decrease sickle cell formation by SAL in vivo and the potential this agent might be developed as a novel treatment option for SCD.
    • Understanding Unilateral Scapular Dyskinesis in Asymptomatic Individuals Established by the Scapular Dyskinesis Test

      Ramiscal, Lawrence; Advanced Studies Innovation (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Background: Scapular dyskinesis (SDK) is a controversial phenomenon that is thought to be an impaired movement with altered scapular muscle activity requiring intervention. Clinicians of all levels identify SDK via the Yes/No method of the Scapular Dyskinesis Test (Y/N SDT). Purpose & Methods: To date, the YN/SDT has neither been established as reliable nor valid against the electromyography (EMG) when used in healthy individuals. Also, researchers have not examined scapular muscle activity in asymptomatic individuals with SDK. Experiment 1 determined the reliability of the Y/N SDT in individuals with asymptomatic SDK between student and expert physical therapists via an intra- and inter-rater reliability design. Experiment 2 determined the construct validity of the Y/N SDT in symmetrical and asymmetrical asymptomatic individuals using EMG as the reference standard utilizing known-groups validity design. Experiment 3 characterized the scapular muscle activities of asymptomatic unilateral SDK established by the Y/N SDT through repeated measures design. Results: Experiment 1: The Y/N SDT was reliable when used by either students or experts. Students' reliability averaged 20 percentage points less than experts. Experiment 2: The overall accuracy in identifying shoulder asymmetries in asymptomatic individuals against the EMG reference was poor. Sensitivity and specificity were 56% and 36%, respectively; positive and negative predictive values were 68% and 25%; positive and negative likelihood ratios were 0.87 and 1.22. Experiment 3: There was no difference in EMG activities between subjects based on the Y/N SDT. Overall, high muscle variability was observed during the experiments. Conclusion: The Y/N SDT did not appear to have clinical value, therefore, may not be useful in screening SDK in healthy individuals. Hand-dominance may be considered for shoulder rehab wherein the dominant shoulder might respond with endurance exercises while nondominant may benefit from strength training with priority to the serratus anterior muscle. It appears that scapular muscles are likely not synergists as the study failed to find temporal relationships among the muscle activities. Overall, SDK may not be a movement impairment. It may simply be a normal variability that may be ignored or could possibly be a helpful adaptation to achieve shoulder function that should be encouraged. In light of the results of the study, traditional biomechanical theories in understanding SDK did not appear helpful. Exploration of other models like motor control theories in understanding unfamiliar human movements may be considered.
    • The Effect of Diethylstilbestrol on Follicular Development in the Immature Rate Ovary

      Chakravorty, Aruna; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 1991-05)
    • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Social Cognitive Theory-Based Interventions on Glycemic Control in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

      Smith, Yvonne; College of Nursing (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Background: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has severe consequences for those who fail to engage in self-management activities. Insulin resistance characterizes T2DM, and often, treatment regimens are complex, requiring sustained concentration and an ability to act. Controlled glucose enhances quality and length of life, yet over 47% of T2DM experience sub-optimal glycemic control. Self-management interventions are primarily behavioral and have subjective outcomes, e.g., self-efficacy. And, commonly objective biomarkers are measured as evidence of glycemic control (i.e., glycosylated hemoglobin, HgBA1c). Identifying the mechanism of action that creates long-term glycemic control using behavioral interventions with objective measures complicates the problem for researchers, clinicians, and those living with the disease. A theory is a systematic way to identify and demonstrate connections between concepts and outcomes. The lack of a theoretical foundation creates confounding variables through the absence of trial guidance, implementation, and intervention fidelity. Theory-based behavioral interventions have been shown to improve glycemic control effectively. However, no specific theory has been identified as effective. Objective: This dissertation aims to determine the effectiveness of social cognitive theory-based interventions for adults with T2DM to enhance glycemic control. The two-and-a-half-year literature review, Chapter Two, manuscript one, identified social cognitive theory-based (SCT) as the theory most used to enhance glycemic control in adults with T2DM. And SCT trials were seen to have a greater impact on glycemic control and exhibit higher quality compared to other theories by addressing all three domains needed for behavioral change (e.g., cognitive, affective, psychomotor). Method: Chapter Three, manuscript two, outlines the methodology for determining SCT effectiveness by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis. The goals of this dissertation were met with multiple stages of research incorporating the results of the comprehensive and extensive literature reviews. The systematic review and meta-analysis, Chapter Four; manuscript three, were compliant with scientific standards of quality set by the National Institute of Health, the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Results: The results are presented in Chapter Four and show SCT-based interventions are effective to improve HgBA1c compared to usual care (d=0.31, 95% CI=0.19, 0.43, p< 0.000). In a moderator analysis (e.g., self-efficacy, problem-solving, social support, knowledge) and a subgroup analysis of moderators based on timeframe (e.g., short-term being < 89 days, long-term > 90 days) results show there was no significant effect on SCT interventions. Results indicate each component is not more effective than another; all SCT may be needed to enhance glycemic control in adults with T2DM. Conclusions: The rigorous scrutiny of the literature over four and a half years show SCT-based interventions are most frequently used and effective to improve glycemic control in adults living with T2DM. Moderators of SCT were not statistically significant but are clinically relevant. The results of this dissertation align with the tenants of SCT that behavior change occurs through cognitive pathways. All SCT components are needed to enhance glycemic control as each one carries a different weight. Each component is clinically important to help adults living with T2DM over the psychological barriers that accompany the disease. Therefore, a staged and reinforced approach is recommended to implement knowledge and social support of participants in the early stages of an intervention or clinical practice. As patients gain knowledge and realize how much knowledge is missing, self-efficacy may need to be reinforced. Self-efficacy may be enhanced by patients setting and meeting short-term goals during knowledge enhancement. Ongoing education and support may help patients build long-term problem-solving skills. PROSPERO ID: CRD42020147105
    • Molecular aspects of amino acid transport in the human placenta

      Torress-Zamorano, Viviana; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 1997)
    • Neuronal death in lewy body disease

      Tompkins, Margaret Marie; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 1997)
      In Parkinson's disease and other Lewy body-associated disorders, neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) undergo degeneration, but the mechanism of cell death has not been previously described. The substantia nigra of normal and Alzheimer's disease cases were compared with substantia nigra from patients with Lewy bodyassociated disorders (Parkinson's disease, concomitant Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease, and diffuse Lewy body disease) using in situ end-labeling to detect fragmented DNA. In situ end-labeled neurons demonstrated changes resembling apoptosis: nuclear condensation, chromatin fragmentation and formation of apoptotic-like bodies. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed nuclear condensation and formation of apoptotic-like bodies. Apoptotic-like changes were seen in the substantia nigra of both normal and disea·sed cases; concomitant Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease and diffuse Lewy body disease cases had significantly higher amounts of apoptotic-like changes than normal controls or Alzheimer patients. Parkinson's disease cases were not significantly different from controls, probably due to high variation among cases of Parkinson's disease. Control and Alzheimer's disease patients had the same percentage of apoptotic-Iike changes. Lewy bodies (LBs) are abnormal inclusions found in the SNpc neurons of patients with Lewy body-associated disorders. It is not known what role LBs play in the disease process. We sought to discover whether apoptotic-like changes were more common in SNpc neurons with or without somal· LBs. In SNpc tissue from cases with Lewy body-associated disorders, .cells were double-labeled to colocalize apoptotic-like changes and LBs with in 'Situ .endlabeling and anti-ubiquitin antibody. Nigral neurons with LBs showed the same amount of apoptotic-like changes as nigral neurons without LBs. The majority of SNpc neurons undergoing apoptotic-like cell death did not appear to contain somal LBs. These results support the theory that the presence of a somal LB does not predispose a neuron to undergo apoptoticlike cell death.
    • Androgen regulation of the expression of OCTN2, a high affinity carnitine transporter, in the epididymis and other tissues

      Timm, Russell S.; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2001)
      OCTNZ is a transport protein and a member of a superfamily of organic cation transporters and has been shown to transport a variety of substrates, including camitine. The transport of the substrate is unique among this family of transport proteins as it is sodium-dependant, and it has been shown that this transporter is a physiologically relevant camitine transporter, as naturally occurring mutations in the gene encoding this transporter result in the clinical manifestation of the syndrome known as primary camitine deficiency. With the acceptance of OCTNZ's physiological role in camitine homeostasis, further scientific inquiries need to be made to definitively show that OCTN2 is a molecular mechanism that underlies many of the observations made in the field of camitine research in past century. Multiple investigators have reported the effect and relationship between androgen levels and carnitine transport, but until the discovery of OCTN2 and its role in camitine homeostasis, the effect of androgens on the molecular mechanism responsible for these observations could not be proven. The results of the research described here should provide conclusive evidence that androgen levels regulate levels of OCTNZ expr!lSsion in both tissues of the male rat and in a human cell line, through either a direct or indirect mechanism, and that the effect on the regulation of expression is consistent with transport data :from previous researchers.