Research

Mayo Clinic study shows sleep apnea may be tied to increased Alzheimer’s biomarker in brain
March 4, 2019
ROCHESTER, Minn. — People who stop breathing during sleep may have higher accumulations of the toxic protein tau, a biological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, (Read more...)
Insights from Living with Autism
December 22, 2017
Recognize common early signs of autism and learn why the prevalence of ASD diagnoses have increased significantly in recent years. Delve into various treatment models for ASD ranging from functional behavioral therapy to daily life therapy.


3 CEUs.

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Parkinson’s Disease: Cognitive and Motor Aspect Affecting Swallowing
November 22, 2017
Learn about the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Explore how Parkinson’s Disease affects cognitive and swallow functions. Discover current treatment options that rapidly improve expiratory pressure in patients and learn to utilize the patient’s current level of functioning to maximize output.


3 CEUs.

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Advances in the Treatment of Acute Ischemic Stroke
November 22, 2017
Review what is a stroke and the two different types of stroke. Become familiar with the various medical treatment options available to patients within the first few hours of having a stroke. Recognize which patients meet the AHA/ASA guidelines for the different treatment types.


3 CEUs.

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Discernible Markers for ASD
October 22, 2017
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that presents itself with an array of diverse characteristics. Learn about the two core features all children with autism share and how advances in robotics and technology can improve social interactions and learning objectives.


3 CEUs.

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Occasion setting.
Occasion setting refers to the ability of 1 stimulus, an occasion setter, to modulate the efficacy of the association between another, conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) or reinforcer. Occasion setters and simple CSs are readily distinguished. For example, occasion setters are relatively immune to extinction and counterconditioning, and their combination and transfer functions differ substantially from those of simple CSs. Similarly, the acquisition of occasion setting is favored when stimuli are separated by longer intervals, by empty trace intervals, and are of different modalities, whereas the opposite conditions typically favor the acquisition of simple associat...
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Involvement of lactate transport in two object recognition tasks that require either the hippocampus or striatum.
Growing evidence indicates that hippocampal lactate, released from astrocytes, is an important regulator of learning and memory processing. This study evaluated the selective involvement of hippocampal and striatal lactate in two object recognition tasks. The tasks tested recognition memory after a change in location of two target objects (double object location; dOL) or after replacement of familiar targets with two new objects set in the original locations (double object replacement; dOR). Rats received three study sessions across which exploration times decreased. The recognition index was the change in exploration time of both objects on a test trial from the exploration times on the fin...
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Conditioned partner preference in male and female rats for a somatosensory cue.
Male and female rats form a conditioned preference to copulate and/or mate with conspecifics bearing an odor that was paired with either the postejaculatory reward state in males, or paced sexual contact in females, making the odor act as a discrete partner-related cue. Here, we asked whether a somatosensory cue, a rodent jacket, could act as a discrete cue to establish a conditioned partner choice (CPC). In the first study, sexually naïve Long-Evans males and females underwent 14 copulatory conditioning trials for 30 min with their opposite sex partner in unilevel pacing chambers. On the final test, each experimental male or female was placed into an open field with two sexually receptive ...
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Naloxone disrupts the development of a conditioned ejaculatory preference based on a somatosensory cue in male rats.
Male rats develop a conditioned ejaculatory preference (CEP) toward females bearing an odor or somatosensory cue (rodent jacket) when those stimuli are paired with the postejaculatory reward state. As with a copulatory conditioned place preference, CEP for an odor depends on endogenous opioid transmission after ejaculation. The nonselective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (NAL) disrupts CEP for an odor cue on female rats when injected systemically to males prior to each conditioning trial. Here, we evaluated whether NAL would disrupt the development of a CEP for the somatosensory cue. Long–Evans males were assigned randomly to two groups and underwent 14 copulatory conditioning trials ...
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Amygdala and prefrontal cortex activity varies with individual differences in the emotional response to psychosocial stress.
Stress elicits a variety of psychophysiological responses that show large interindividual variability. Determining the neural mechanisms that mediate individual differences in the emotional response to stress would provide new insight that would have important implications for understanding stress-related disorders. Therefore, the present study examined individual differences in the relationship between brain activity and the emotional response to stress. In the largest stress study to date, 239 participants completed the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST) while heart rate, skin conductance response (SCR), cortisol, self-reported stress, and blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional MR...
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Reduction of BDNF results in GABAergic neuroplasticity dysfunction and contributes to late-life anxiety disorder.
The GABAergic neuroplasticity dysfunction (GND) has been proposed as a distinct pathology for late-life anxiety disorder (LLAD). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a critical signaling molecule that regulates the GABAergic neuroplasticity. This research was designed to explore our hypothesis that the reduction of BDNF along with aging could induce GND, which might contribute to LLAD, and application of exogenous BDNF might reverse LLAD by restoring the GABAergic neuroplasticity. We focused on the hippocampus because it is the neural core of mood regulation and can be affected by aging. Compared to young mice, BDNF messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels and those core neuroplasticit...
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Upregulation of hippocampal extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)–2 induces antidepressant-like behavior in the rat forced swim test.
The hippocampus mediates responses to affect-related behavior in preclinical models of pharmacological antidepressant efficacy, such as the forced swim test. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate escape-directed behavior in this preclinical model of despair are not well understood. Here, using viral-mediated gene transfer, we assessed how overexpression of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)–2 within the dorsal hippocampus influenced behavioral reactivity to inescapable swimming stress in adult male Sprague–Dawley rats. When compared to controls, rats overexpressing hippocampal ERK-2 displayed increases in the time to initially adopt a posture of immobility, alo...
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Pair-housing rats does not protect from behavioral consequences of an acute traumatic experience.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely debilitating disease with a broad array of associated symptoms, making the disorder difficult to diagnose and treat. In humans, patients seem to benefit from group therapy or other means of promoting social behavior. To test these effects on our rodent model of PTSD, adult, male rats were housed in either single or pair conditions prior to and during an acute stressor to induce PTSD-like behaviors in these rats. Subsequently, rats were assessed for PTSD-like symptoms to determine the effect of social housing on stress-induced phenotypes. Posttrauma phenotypes, including enhanced fear conditioning and anxiety-related behavior, persisted reg...
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Photoperiod regulates hypothalamic miR-155 gene expression in female, but not male, Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).
In many species, seasonal changes in photoperiod regulate several behaviors and physiological systems, including reproduction, energy balance, and immune function. MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate numerous physiological processes and developmental transitions through translational repression and mRNA degradation. Their role in seasonal transitions has been vastly understudied, with only a few reports in animals. Furthermore, no study has assessed whether there are sex differences in seasonal regulation of miRs. miR-155 is a primary candidate for seasonal regulation because it influences immune responses, energetics, and reproductive function. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that photoperiod...
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The effects of clavulanic acid and amoxicillin on cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking.
Research using the cocaine self-administration and reinstatement animal model of relapse finds that the beta-lactam antibiotic, ceftriaxone, attenuates cocaine-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking and upregulates two proteins that regulate glutamate release and reuptake (xCT and GLT-1, respectively) in the nucleus accumbens core (NAc). We tested three compounds with beta-lactam rings for their ability to attenuate cue-primed reinstatement and increase GLT-1 and xCT expression in the NAc and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Rats self-administered intravenous cocaine for 1 hr/day for 7 days then 6 hrs/day for 10 days. Cue-primed reinstatement tests began after 8–9 days of extinction training. Rat...
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Local geometric properties do not support reorientation in hippocampus-engaged homing pigeons.
It is generally accepted that the geometry of an environment is a reliable source of information for spatial navigation used by most vertebrate species. However, there is a continuing debate on which geometrical properties of space are the ones that matter for reorientation. In this study, pigeons were trained to find a food reward hidden in 2 opposite corners in a rectangular arena. The animals were then tested in a kite-shaped environment similar to Pearce, Good, Jones, and McGregor (2004). We found that pigeons, unlike rats, were not able to identify the correct corner in the kite arena even though elements clearly preserved the correct long wall-short wall geometric configuration and the...
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