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Additional evidence for a dual-strategy model of reasoning: Probabilistic reasoning is more invariant than reasoning about logical validity. - Memory & cognition
One of the major debates concerning the nature of inferential reasoning is between counterexample-based strategies such as mental model theory and the statistical strategies underlying probabilistic models. The dual-strategy model proposed by Verschueren, Schaeken, and d'Ydewalle (2005a, 2005b) suggests that people might have access to both kinds of strategies. One of the postulates of this approach is that statistical strategies correspond to low-cost, intuitive modes of evaluation, whereas counterexample strategies are higher-cost and more variable in use. We examined this hypothesis by using a deductive-updating paradigm. The results of Study 1 showed that individual differences in strategy use predict different levels of deductive updating on inferences about logical validity. Study 2 demonstrated no such variation when explicitly probabilistic inferences were examined. Study 3 showed that presenting updating problems with probabilistic inferences modified performance on subsequent problems using logical validity, whereas the opposite was not true. These results provide clear evidence that the processes used to make probabilistic inferences are less subject to variation than those used to make inferences of logical validity.
A comparison of phenotypic traits related to trypanotolerance in five west african cattle breeds highlights the value of shorthorn taurine breeds. - PloS one
Animal African Trypanosomosis particularly affects cattle and dramatically impairs livestock development in sub-Saharan Africa. African Zebu (AFZ) or European taurine breeds usually die of the disease in the absence of treatment, whereas West African taurine breeds (AFT), considered trypanotolerant, are able to control the pathogenic effects of trypanosomosis. Up to now, only one AFT breed, the longhorn N'Dama (NDA), has been largely studied and is considered as the reference trypanotolerant breed. Shorthorn taurine trypanotolerance has never been properly assessed and compared to NDA and AFZ breeds.This study compared the trypanotolerant/susceptible phenotype of five West African local breeds that differ in their demographic history. Thirty-six individuals belonging to the longhorn taurine NDA breed, two shorthorn taurine Lagune (LAG) and BaoulÃ© (BAO) breeds, the Zebu Fulani (ZFU) and the Borgou (BOR), an admixed breed between AFT and AFZ, were infected by Trypanosoma congolense IL1180. All the cattle were genetically characterized using dense SNP markers, and parameters linked to parasitaemia, anaemia and leukocytes were analysed using synthetic variables and mixed models. We showed that LAG, followed by NDA and BAO, displayed the best control of anaemia. ZFU showed the greatest anaemia and the BOR breed had an intermediate value, as expected from its admixed origin. Large differences in leukocyte counts were also observed, with higher leukocytosis for AFT. Nevertheless, no differences in parasitaemia were found, except a tendency to take longer to display detectable parasites in ZFU.We demonstrated that LAG and BAO are as trypanotolerant as NDA. This study highlights the value of shorthorn taurine breeds, which display strong local adaptation to trypanosomosis. Thanks to further analyses based on comparisons of the genome or transcriptome of the breeds, these results open up the way for better knowledge of host-pathogen interactions and, furthermore, for identifying key biological pathways.
Design and evaluation of a unique SYBR Green real-time RT-PCR assay for quantification of five major cytokines in cattle, sheep and goats. - BMC veterinary research
Today, when more than 60% of animal diseases are zoonotic, understanding their origin and development and identifying protective immune responses in ruminants are major challenges. Robust, efficient and cost-effective tools are preconditions to solve these challenges. Cytokines play a key role in the main mechanisms by which the immune system is balanced in response to infectious pathogens. The cytokine balance has thus become the focus of research to characterize immune response in ruminants. Currently, SYBR Green reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is the most widely method used to investigate cytokine gene expression in ruminants, but the conditions in which the many assays are carried out vary considerably and need to be properly evaluated. Accordingly, the quantification of gene expression by RT-qPCR requires normalization by multiple reference genes. The objective of the present study was thus to develop an RT-qPCR assay to simultaneously quantify the expression of several cytokines and reference genes in three ruminant species. In this paper, we detail each stage of the experimental protocol, check validation parameters and report assay performances, following MIQE guidelines.Ten novel primer sets were designed to quantify five cytokine genes (IL-4, IL-10, IL-12B, IFN-Î³ and TNF-Î±) and five reference genes (ACTB, GAPDH, H3F3A, PPIA and YWHAZ) in cattle, sheep, and goats. All the primer sets were designed to span exon-exon boundaries and use the same hybridization temperature. Each stage of the RT-qPCR method was detailed; their specificity and efficiency checked, proved and are reported here, demonstrating the reproducibility of our method, which is capable of detecting low levels of cytokine mRNA up to one copy whatever the species. Finally, we checked the stability of candidate reference gene expression, performed absolute quantification of cytokine and reference gene mRNA in whole blood samples and relative expression of cytokine mRNA in stimulated PBMC samples.We have developed a novel RT-qPCR assay for the simultaneous relative quantification of five major cytokines in cattle, sheep and goats, and their accurate normalization by five reference genes. This accurate and easily reproducible tool can be used to investigate ruminant immune responses and is widely accessible to the veterinary research community.
Deductive updating is not Bayesian. - Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
One of the major debates concerning the nature of inferential reasoning is between counterexample-based theories such as mental model theory and probabilistic theories. This study looks at conclusion updating after the addition of statistical information to examine the hypothesis that deductive reasoning cannot be explained by probabilistic inferences. In Study 1, participants were given an initial "If P then Q rule" for a phenomenon on a recently discovered planet, told that "Q was true," and asked to make a judgment of either deductive validity or probabilistic likelihood of the putative conclusion that "P is true." They were then told the results of 1,000 observations. In the low-probability problem, 950 times P was false and Q was true, whereas 50 times P was true and Q was true. In the high-probability problem, these proportions were inverted. On the low-probability problem, probabilistic ratings and judgments of logical validity decreased. However, on the high-probability problem, probabilistic ratings remained high whereas judgments of logical validity significantly decreased. Confidence ratings were consistent with this different pattern for probabilistic and for deductive inferences. Study 2 replicated this result with another form of inference, "If P then Q. P is false." These results show that deductive updating is not explicable by Bayesian updating.(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Virtual screening on an Î±-helix to Î²-strand switchable region of the FGFR2 extracellular domain revealed positive and negative modulators. - Proteins
The secondary structure of some protein segments may vary between Î±-helix and Î²-strand. To predict these switchable segments, we have developed an algorithm, Switch-P, based solely on the protein sequence. This algorithm was used on the extracellular parts of FGF receptors. For FGFR2, it predicted that Î²4 and Î²5 strands of the third Ig-like domain were highly switchable. These two strands possess a high number of somatic mutations associated with cancer. Analysis of PDB structures of FGF receptors confirmed the switchability prediction for Î²5. We thus evaluated if compound-driven Î±-helix/Î²-strand switching of Î²5 could modulate FGFR2 signaling. We performed the virtual screening of a library containing 1.4 million of chemical compounds with two models of the third Ig-like domain of FGFR2 showing different secondary structures for Î²5, and we selected 32 compounds. Experimental testing using proliferation assays with FGF7-stimulated SNU-16 cells and a FGFR2-dependent Erk1/2 phosphorylation assay with FGFR2-transfected L6 cells, revealed activators and inhibitors of FGFR2. Our method for the identification of switchable proteinic regions, associated with our virtual screening approach, provides an opportunity to discover new generation of drugs with under-explored mechanism of action.Â© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The role of basal ganglia in language production: evidence from Parkinson's disease. - Journal of Parkinson's disease
According to the dominant view in the literature, basal ganglia do not play a direct role in language but are involved in cognitive control required by linguistic and non-linguistic processing. In Parkinson's disease, basal ganglia impairment leads to motor symptoms and language deficits; those affecting the production of verbs have been frequently explored. According to a controversial theory, basal ganglia play a specific role in the conjugation of regular verbs as compared to irregular verbs. We report the results of 15 patients with Parkinson's disease in experimental conjugation tasks. They performed below healthy controls but their performance did not differ for regular and irregular verbs. These results confirm that basal ganglia are involved in language processing but do not play a specific role in verb production.
[Are non-literal language comprehension deficits related to a theory of mind deficit in Parkinson's disease?]. - GÃ©riatrie et psychologie neuropsychiatrie du vieillissement
Theory of mind (TOM), i.e. the capacity to attribute mental states to oneself and others, would be impaired in Parkinson's disease (PD). Nonliteral language (NLL) comprehension would also be impaired in this disease. The goal of this study was to verify the presence of an association between the TOM and NLL comprehension deficits. We assessed 15 individuals in the early stages of PD and 17 healthy controls (HC), comparable on gender, age and education. Each subject completed a TOM evaluation task and a NLL task (i.e. metaphor comprehension). They also completed executive functioning (mental flexibility, inhibition and working memory) evaluation tasks. Our results showed that patients with PD had significant difficulties in the TOM and NLL comprehension tasks compared to HC participants. A significant relationship was found between TOM and NLL comprehension results. Moreover, NLL scores were associated with a task evaluating mental flexibility. Thus, PD might cause both TOM and NLL comprehension deficit even in the early stages of the disease. Our results showed that there would be a close relationship between TOM and NLL in people with PD.
Examining a negative halo effect to anabolic steroids users through perceived achievement goals, sportspersonship orientations, and aggressive tendencies. - Scandinavian journal of psychology
We investigated the social image of anabolic steroids (AS) users grounding our analysis on the achievement goal theory of Nicholls. Our main goal was to explore how an athlete's acceptance of AS use would impact on the way that athlete will be perceived by others. Non-AS-using participants reacted to one of two scenarios portraying a male athlete either accepting or refusing to engage in drug use behavior. The results suggested that the acceptance of anabolic steroids yielded an unfavorable social image--perceivers inferred a predominant ego orientation to characterize the AS-user's motivation as well as weaker sportspersonship and a stronger proclivity for reactive aggression than instrumental aggression. Moreover, the analyses did not yield significant gender or interaction effects. Finally, those findings are commented in view of methodological shortcomings and of the perspectives that they may offer for future research concerning the motivational aspects of the social perceptions of drug use in sport.Â© 2013 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology Â© 2013 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.
Health and aging in elderly farmers: the AMI cohort. - BMC public health
The health of the agricultural population has been previously explored, particularly in relation to the farming exposures and among professionally active individuals. However, few studies specifically focused on health and aging among elders retired from agriculture. Yet, this population faces the long-term effects of occupational exposures and multiple difficulties related to living and aging in rural area (limited access to shops, services, and practitioners). However, these difficulties may be counter-balanced by advantages related to healthier lifestyle, richer social support and better living environment. The general aim of the AMI cohort was to study health and aging in elderly farmers living in rural area through a multidisciplinary approach, with a main focus on dementia.The study initially included 1 002 participants, randomly selected from the Farmer Health Insurance rolls. Selection criteria were: being 65 years and older; living in rural area in Gironde (South-Western France); being retired from agriculture after at least 20 years of activity and being affiliated to the Health Insurance under own name. The study started in 2007, with two follow-up visits over 5 years. Baseline visits were conducted at home by a neuropsychologist then by a geriatrician for all cases suspected of dementia, Parkinson's disease and depression (to confirm the diagnosis), and by a nurse for others. A large panel of data were collected through standardised questionnaires: complete neuropsychological assessment, material and social living environment, psychological transition to retirement, lifestyle (smoking, alcohol and diet), medications, disability in daily living, sensory impairments and some clinical measures (blood pressure, depression symptomatology, anxiety, visual test, anthropometry...). A blood sampling was performed with biological measurements and constitution of a biological bank, including DNA. Brain MRI were also performed on 316 of the participants. Finally, the three-year data on health-related reimbursements were extracted from the Health System database (medications, medical and paramedical consultations, biological examinations and medical devices), and the registered Long-Term Diseases (30 chronic diseases 100% covered by the Insurance System).AMI is the first French longitudinal study on health and aging set up in a population of elderly farmers living in rural area through a multidisciplinary approach.
APOL1 expression is induced by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection but is not associated with differential susceptibility to sleeping sickness. - Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases
Most African trypanosome species are sensitive to trypanolytic factors (TLFs) present in human serum. Trypanosome lysis was demonstrated to be associated with apolipoprotein L-I (APOL1). Trypanosoma brucei (T. b.) gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, the two human infective trypanosome species, have both developed distinct resistance mechanisms to APOL1 mediated lysis. Whereas T. b. rhodesiense resistance is linked with the expression of the serum resistance associated (SRA) protein that interacts with APOL1 inside the parasite lysosome, inhibiting its lytic action; T. b. gambiense resistance is rather controlled by a reduced expression of the parasite HpHb receptor, limiting APOL1 absorption by trypanosomes. Based on this last observation we hypothesised that variation in the host APOL1 environment could significantly alter T. b. gambiense growth and thus resistance/susceptibility to sleeping sickness. To test this hypothesis, we have measured blood APOL1 relative expression in HAT patients, uninfected endemic controls and serologically positive subjects (SERO TL(+)) that are suspected to control infection to parasitological levels that are undetectable by the available test used in the field. All RNA samples were obtained from medical surveys led in the HAT mangrove foci of Coastal Guinea. Results indicate that APOL1 expression is a complex trait dependant on a variety of factors that need to be taken into account in the analysis. Nevertheless, multivariate analysis showed that APOL1 expression levels were significantly higher in both HAT and SERO TL(+) subject as compared to endemic controls (p=0.006). This result suggests that APOL1 expression is likely induced by T. b. gambiense, but is not related to resistance/susceptibility in its human host.Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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