LabBook October 3, 2014

On Oct. 2, 2014, the UChicago Medicine kicked off breast cancer awareness month by honoring a group of our breast cancer survivors, patients and their special guests. The dinner -- Fearless: Living to Tell Our Stories -- highlighted the bravery and strength of nearly 30 women who have partnered with our healthcare professionals to beat breast cancer. Pictured here are Martha Womack, surgeon David Song, MD, and his patient, Marshell Wallace.

On Oct. 2, 2014, the UChicago Medicine kicked off breast cancer awareness month by honoring a group of our breast cancer survivors, patients and their special guests. The dinner — Fearless: Living to Tell Our Stories — highlighted the bravery and strength of nearly 30 women who have partnered with our healthcare professionals to beat breast cancer. Pictured here are Martha Womack, surgeon David Song, MD, and his patient, Marshell Wallace.

This week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians:

Reducing Anxiety in the Pediatric Emergency Department: A Comparative Trial: including Benjamin Heilbrunn — The Journal of Emergency Medicine

From the abstract: “Anxiety among patients in a pediatric emergency department (PED) can be significant, but often goes unaddressed. Our aim was to determine whether exposure to Child Life (CL) or hospital clowning (HC) can reduce anxiety in children presenting to a PED … CL services can reduce state anxiety for patients presenting to a PED with heightened anxiety at baseline. This reduction occurred immediately after CL intervention, but was not observed in patients exposed to HC or during physician examination.”

Individual differences in cognitive ability at age 20 predict pulmonary function 35 years later: including Kristen Jacobson — Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

From the abstract: “Poor pulmonary function is associated with mortality and age-related diseases, and can affect cognitive performance. However, extant longitudinal studies indicate that early cognitive ability also affects later pulmonary function … In this study, we examined whether early adult cognitive ability predicted five different indices of pulmonary function in mid-life … Early adult cognitive ability is a predictor of multiple indices of aging-related pulmonary function 35 years later, including lung volume, airflow and ventilator capacity. Cognitive deficits associated with impaired aging-related lung function may, thus, be partly pre-existing. However, results also highlight that early life risk factors may be differentially related to different metrics of later-life pulmonary health.”

Memory Maintenance in Synapses with Calcium-Based Plasticity in the Presence of Background Activity: including David Higgins and Nicolas Brunel — PLOS Computational Biology

From the abstract: “Most models of learning and memory assume that memories are maintained in neuronal circuits by persistent synaptic modifications induced by specific patterns of pre- and postsynaptic activity. For this scenario to be viable, synaptic modifications must survive the ubiquitous ongoing activity present in neural circuits in vivo. In this paper, we investigate the time scales of memory maintenance in a calcium-based synaptic plasticity model that has been shown recently to be able to fit different experimental data-sets from hippocampal and neocortical preparations.”

About Matt Wood (491 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer for the University of Chicago Medicine and editor of the Science Life blog.
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