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Virtual practicums within an MPH program: a career development case study. - Health promotion practice
This article focuses on an innovative "virtual" practicum arrangement and provides insight for public health professionals seeking a meaningful practicum experience. The traditional practicum model where a student physically reports to work at the field site with a near full-time commitment has become increasingly challenging and often limiting in terms of field site choices and experiences available to a student depending on the location of a school and the student's area of interest. This is particularly true with students who are enrolled in a distance learning program. The experience obtained from a practicum is more important than ever before as rapid changes occur in health service delivery models as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Career development through a practicum can be vitally important to a mid-career student seeking to remain relevant and in demand within a changing job market. To fulfill these needs, while still obtaining the benefits of a practicum, a virtual practicum arrangement could provide a solution. This case study provides practical tips based on the successful experience of a recent MPH graduate.Â© 2014 Society for Public Health Education.
Low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. - Personality & social psychology bulletin
The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants' endorsement of conservative terms. In Study 4, participants considering political terms in a cursory manner endorsed conservative terms more than those asked to cogitate; an indicator of effortful thought (recognition memory) partially mediated the relationship between processing effort and conservatism. Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.
Aging-induced Seizure-related Changes to the Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Pathway in Forebrain Specific BDNF Overexpressing Mice. - Aging and disease
Aging confers an increased risk for developing seizure activity, especially within brain regions that mediate learning and synaptic plasticity. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family that has an important role in regulating growth and development of the nervous system. BDNF is upregulated after pharmacological seizure induction and this upregulation contributes to enhanced excitability of the hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pathway, which is accompanied by neuropeptide Y (NPY) upregulation. Mice overexpressing a BDNF transgene in forebrain neurons provide an avenue for understanding the role of neurotrophic support in the aged hippocampus. In this study BDNF transgenic (TG) mice were utilized to determine whether increased BDNF expression through genetic manipulation resulted in age-related changes in hippocampal excitability and NPY expression. Spontaneous behavioral seizures were observed in TG mice, but not WT mice, past 5 months of age and the severity of behavioral seizures increased with age. Electrophysiological investigation of hippocampal CA3 activity indicated that slices from aged TG mice (86%), but not age-matched WT mice, or young TG mice, showed epileptiform activity in response to either repeated paired pulse or high frequency (tetanic) stimulation. Electrophysiological results were supported by the observation of robust ectopic NPY immunoreactivity in hippocampal mossy fibers of most aged TG mice (57%), which was absent in age-matched WT mice and young TG mice. The results from this study indicate that forebrain restricted BDNF overexpression produces age-related changes in hyperexcitability and NPY immunoreactivity in mossy fiber-CA3 pathway. Together, these data suggest that the capability for BDNF to promote epileptogenesis is maintained, and may be enhanced, in the aging hippocampus.
Autopsy: Traditional Jewish laws and customs "Halacha". - The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology
Judaism has many traditions, customs, rules, and laws, which relate to the proper and ethical disposition of a decedent when a Medical Examiner/ Coroner is involved. In almost all United States jurisdictions, statutes mandate the need to determine the cause and manner of death (Coroners' Act PA Pl. 323, num. 130, section 1237). This article is a review of some religious writings, legal precedents, and forensic authorities, which may help to assist the Medical Examiner/Coroner when confronted with a Jewish decedent. There can be flexibility as to the extent that such forensic studies can and should be performed. The final consent and interpretation of the rules, laws, traditions, and customs will rest with the courts and local rabbinic authority.
Spontaneous epileptiform activity in rat neocortex after controlled cortical impact injury. - Journal of neurotrauma
A hallmark of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the development of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). However, the mechanisms underlying PTE remain poorly understood. In this study, we used a controlled cortical impact (CCI) model in rats to examine post-traumatic changes in neocortical excitability. Neocortical slices were prepared from rats at 7-9 days (week 1) and 14-16 days (week 2) after CCI injury. By week 2, we observed a substantial gray matter lesion with a cavity that extended to the hippocampal structure. Fluoro-Jade B staining of slices revealed active neuronal degeneration during weeks 1 and 2. Intracellular and extracellular recordings obtained from layer V revealed evoked and spontaneous epileptiform discharges in neocortices of CCI-injured rats. At week 1, intracellular recordings from pyramidal cells revealed evoked epileptiform firing that was synchronized with population events recorded extracellularly, suggestive of increased excitability. This activity was characterized by bursts of action potentials that were followed by recurrent, repetitive after-discharges. At week 2, both spontaneous and evoked epileptiform firing were recorded in slices from injured rats. The evoked discharges resembled those observed at week 1, but with longer burst durations. Spontaneous activity included prolonged, ictal-like discharges lasting up to 8-10 sec, and briefer interictal-like burst events (<1 sec). These results indicate that during the first 2 weeks following severe CCI injury, there is a progressive development of neocortical hyperexcitability that ultimately leads to spontaneous epileptiform firing, suggesting a rapid epileptogenic process.
The production of linguistic prosody in subjects with aphasia. - Clinical linguistics & phonetics
This study investigated the production of linguistic prosody in subjects with left hemisphere damage (LHD). Three experiments involving the production of lexical stress in nouns vs verbs, compound nouns vs tag constructions, and echo questions vs statements were conducted. Acoustic measurements (fundamental frequency (F(0)), duration and amplitude) of the prosodic structures were examined and naive listeners were asked to identify the meanings of the utterances. The results of the acoustic measurements indicated that LHD subjects did not produce prosodic structures that were comparable to control subjects to convey different linguistic meanings in all three experiments. Naive listeners had greater difficulty identifying the intended meanings of the utterances produced by the LHD subjects than control subjects in all three experiments. The results suggest that the left hemisphere plays a role in the production of linguistic prosody.
Effect of two sports drinks on urinary lithogenicity. - Urological research
The effect of commercial oral rehydration solutions ("sports drinks") relative to water on risk of nephrolithiasis has not been studied previously. We studied the effect of two sports drinks, Performance (Shaklee Corp., Pleasanton, CA, USA) and Gatorade (Gatorade, Chicago, IL, USA) on urinary chemistry and measures of lithogenicity in non-stone formers. Performance has a pH of 4.3, and contains 21 mmol/L of sodium, 5.3 mmol/L of potassium, 0.8 mmol/L of calcium, and 19.5 mmol/L of citrate. Gatorade pH ranges from 2.9 to 3.2, and contains 20 mmol/L of sodium, 3.2 mmol/L of potassium, negligible calcium, and 13.9 mmol/L of citrate. Subjects drank 946 ml (32 oz) of tap water daily for 3 days, and recorded diet history. This was followed by a second 3-day experimental period during which subjects drank 946 ml (32 oz) of sports drink daily, duplicating diets from part 1. In each 3-day period, urine was collected for 24 h during days 2 and 3. Urine chemical analysis was performed, and supersaturations of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate and uric acid were calculated. Nine subjects completed the study using Performance, ten used Gatorade. Urine volumes and creatinine excretions were not different during the control and experimental periods. Performance increased mean citrate excretion by 170 mg/day (95% CI 57-284 mg/day; P = 0.01) and increased urine pH by 0.31 (95% CI 0.03-0.59; P = 0.03). Gatorade did not significantly change urinary citrate excretion or pH. Neither drink caused significant differences in the excretion of sodium and calcium or any supersaturation value. Ingestion of Performance, but not Gatorade, led to an increase in mean urinary citrate excretion and pH as compared to water. The increase in citrate is likely to be a clinically significant effect. pH is an important determinant of alkali load in beverages containing organic anions. Performance, with more citrate and a higher pH than Gatorade, could represent a superior alternative to water for reducing urinary lithogenicity. Most sports drinks with significant carbohydrate content however may contain too many calories, and fructose, to be preferred beverages for stone prevention.
Modest thyroid hormone insufficiency during development induces a cellular malformation in the corpus callosum: a model of cortical dysplasia. - Endocrinology
There is a growing body of evidence that subtle decreases in maternal thyroid hormone during gestation can impact fetal brain development. The present study examined the impact of graded levels of thyroid hormone insufficiency on brain development in rodents. Maternal thyroid hormone insufficiency was induced by exposing timed-pregnant dams to propylthiouracil (PTU) at doses of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 10 ppm in the drinking water from gestational d 6 through weaning on postnatal d 30. An examination of Nissl-stained sections of the brains from developmentally hypothyroid offspring killed on postnatal d 23 revealed the presence of a heretofore unreported bilateral cellular malformation, a heterotopia, positioned within the white matter of the corpus callosum of both hemispheres. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to determine that this heterotopia primarily consists of neurons born between gestational d 17-19 and exhibits a dose-dependent increase in size with decreases in thyroid hormone levels. Importantly, this structural abnormality is evident at modest levels of maternal thyroid hormone insufficiency ( approximately 45% reductions in T(4) with no change in T(3)), persists in adult offspring despite a return to normal hormonal status, and is dramatically reduced in size with prenatal thyroid hormone replacement. Developmental exposure to methimazole, another goitrogen, also induced formation of this heterotopia. Whereas the long-term consequence of this cortical malformation on brain function remains to be determined, the presence of the heterotopia underscores the critical role thyroid hormone plays in brain development during the prenatal period and provides a new model in which to study mechanisms of cortical development and cortical dysplasia.
Ectopic granule cells of the rat dentate gyrus. - Developmental neuroscience
Granule cells of the mammalian dentate gyrus normally form a discrete layer, and virtually all granule cells migrate to this location. Exceptional granule cells that are positioned incorrectly, in 'ectopic' locations, are rare. Although the characteristics of such ectopic granule cells appear similar in many respects to granule cells located in the granule cell layer, their rare occurrence has limited a full evaluation of their structure and function. More information about ectopic granule cells has been obtained by studying those that develop after experimental manipulations that increase their number. For example, after severe seizures, the number of ectopic granule cells located in the hilus increases dramatically. These experimentally-induced ectopic granule cells may not be equivalent to normal ectopic granule cells necessarily, but the vastly increased numbers have allowed much more information to be obtained. Remarkably, the granule cells that are positioned ectopically develop intrinsic properties and an axonal projection that are similar to granule cells that are located normally, i.e., in the granule cell layer. However, dendritic structure and synaptic structure/function appear to differ. These studies have provided new insight into a rare type of granule cell in the dentate gyrus, and the plastic characteristics of dentate granule cells that appear to depend on the location of the cell body.
Radiofrequency catheter ablation and nerve growth factor concentration in humans. - Heart rhythm : the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society
In animal models, expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) is increased after necrotic myocardial injury. Whether radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation increases NGF expression in humans is unclear.The purpose of this study was to determine NGF concentrations in the aorta, coronary sinus, and peripheral veins before and after RF ablation in patients.We sampled blood from aorta and either great cardiac vein (group 1, N = 18) or proximal (group 2, N = 20) coronary sinus before and after RF ablation. In group 3 (N = 21), peripheral venous blood was sampled before and after RF ablation and then up to postoperative day 7. In group 4 (N = 10), we sampled peripheral venous blood during diagnostic electrophysiologic study. The NGF concentration was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Transcardiac NGF concentration was the difference in NGF concentrations between coronary sinus and aorta.There was no change in transcardiac NGF concentrations in groups 1 and 2. In group 3, the NGF level did not change significantly from before the procedure (17.10 +/- 15.80 ng/mL) to immediately after the procedure (14.46 +/- 10.36 ng/mL). However, NGF levels increased significantly to 31.24 +/- 19.82 ng/mL (N = 21, P <.0001) on postoperative day 1, 26.23 +/- 16.89 ng/mL (N = 20, P <.001) on postoperative day 2, and 22.01 +/- 11.35 ng/mL (N = 16, P = .003) on postoperative day 3. NGF concentrations did not change significantly in group 4.RF ablation did not result in a detectable increase of transcardiac NGF concentration immediately after the procedure. However, the systemic NGF concentration increased significantly on postoperative days 1 to 3, suggesting that RF ablation resulted in increased NGF expression.
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