Dimethyl Sulfoxide Damages Mitochondrial Integrity and Membrane Potential in Cultured Astrocytes
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a polar organic solvent that is used to dissolve neuroprotective or neurotoxic agents in neuroscience research. However, DMSO itself also has pharmacological and pathological effects on the nervous system. Astrocytes play a central role in maintaining brain homeostasis, but the effect and mechanism of DMSO on astrocytes has not been studied. The present study showed that exposure of astrocyte cultures to 1% DMSO for 24 h did not significantly affect cell survival, but decreased cell viability and glial glutamate transporter expression, and caused mitochondrial swelling, membrane potential impairment and reactive oxygen species production, and subsequent cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation. DMSO at concentrations of 5% significantly inhibited cell variability and promoted apoptosis of astrocytes, accompanied with more severe mitochondrial damage. The article was published in the September 2014 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

Health Literacy and Asthma Management among African-American Adults: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
African-Americans share a disproportionate burden of asthma and low health literacy and have higher asthma morbidity and mortality. Factors that link the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes are unclear. This study aimed to use patients’ experiences of managing asthma to better understand the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes. The article was published in the September 2014 issue of the Journal of Asthma.

The Influence of Gender, Age and Treatment Time on Brain Oxidative Stress and Memory Impairment Induced by D-galactose in Mice
Chronic exposure to d-galactose (d-gal) serves as a model for age-related oxidative damage and cognitive dysfunction. However, methods used, including the dose and treatment time of d-gal as well as the gender, age and strain of animals used, vary greatly among published articles. In this study, we investigate the effect of gender, age and treatment time on brain oxidative stress and spatial memory deficits induced by D-gal in mice, respectively. The article was published in the June 2014 issue of the journal Neuroscience Letters.

Community Health Workers: Implementing a System in Kentucky
The use of Community Health Workers is drawing recognition and national support. The opportunities and barriers of implementing a Community Health Worker system in Kentucky are identified and a plan of action is developed. The poster was presented at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s 9th Annual Spring Conference, March 27, 2014, in Lexington, KY.

Automated Reminders to Promote Radon Testing in a Lung Cancer Case Control Study
One of the four pilot projects of the Lung Cancer Initiative sponsored by the Department of Defense measures radon levels in the participants’ homes. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The case-control study has a targeted accrual of 1800 with a case-control ration of 1:4. The long-term radon kits remain in the home for 90 days and the participants are asked to mail the test kit to the company for analysis. In order to maximize the test kit return rate, reminder calls to the participants occurred 90 days after the home visit.

Chronic Leg Pain in a Division II Field Hockey Player: A Case Report
Exertional compartment syndromes in athletes represent a diagnostic and management challenge for clinicians. The clinical presentation of exertional compartment syndrome is similar to other more common musculoskeletal disorders. A lack of special tests or unique diagnostic identifiers for use in decision making by out-patient clinicians complicates early recognition of this disorder and may delay optimal management. The purpose of this case report is to retrospectively explore the clinical presentation and the decision-making during the course of care of a field hockey athlete eventually determined to have exertional compartment syndrome. The article was published in the February 2014 issue of The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.

Heterozygous Knockout of the Bmi-1 Gene Causes an Early Onset of Phenotypes Associated With Brain Aging
Previous studies reported that the polycomb group gene Bmi-1 is downregulated in the aging brain. The aim of this study was to investigate whether decreased Bmi-1 expression accelerates brain aging by analyzing the brain phenotype of adult Bmi-1 heterozygous knockout mice. The article was published in the February 2014 issue of the journal Age.

Cervical Cancer Screening: Exploring Appalachian Patients’ Barriers to Follow-Up Care
This article describes a community-based Patient Navigation (PN) project conducted to identify potential barriers to seeking follow-up cervical cancer care in southeastern Kentucky. Patient navigators (PNs) were placed in cervical cancer programs within county public health departments where they interviewed patients about their perceived barriers to seeking follow-up care after receiving a positive Pap test result. Participants identified various potential barriers at three levels: the individual/personal level, the health care system level and the community/environmental level. The article was published in the February 2014 issue of the journal Social Work in Health Care.

Effectiveness of an Intervention for Adherence to Follow-up Recommendations for Abnormal Pap Tests in Appalachian Kentucky
In collaboration with rural county health departments (CHDs), we developed a patient navigation intervention to increase adherence to follow-up recommendations for women with abnormal Pap tests. The article was published in the January 2014 issue of the journal Health Behavior and Policy Review.