Dr. Ashley  Blacktree  Dds image

Dr. Ashley Blacktree Dds

890 Summit Crossing Pl
Gastonia NC 28054
704 626-6182
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 9165
NPI: 1922240969
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Prevalence of Lead Hazards and Soil Arsenic in U.S. Housing. - Journal of environmental health
The American Healthy Homes Survey, June 2005-March 2006, measured levels of lead and arsenic in homes nationwide. Based on a three-stage cluster sample of 1,131 housing units, key statistically weighted estimates of the prevalence of lead-based paint (LBP) and LBP hazards associated with paint, dust, and soil, and arsenic in dust and soil, were as follows: 37.1 million homes (35%) had some LBP; 23.2 million (22%) had one or more LBP hazards; 93% of the homes with LBP were built before 1978. The highest prevalence of LBP and LBP hazards was in the Northeast and Midwest. Over three million homes with children under six years of age had LBP hazards, including 1.1 million low-income households (< $30,000/yr.). Less than 5% of homes had detectable levels of arsenic in dust (≥ 5 μg/ft2). Arsenic in soil (for homes with yard soil) averaged 6.6 parts per million (ppm). Many homes had soil arsenic levels of 20 ppm or greater, including 16% of homes with wooden structures in the yard and 8% of homes without such structures.
Microparticle derived proteins as potential biomarkers for cerebral vasospasm post subarachnoid hemorrhage. A preliminary study. - Clinical neurology and neurosurgery
Cerebral vasospasm (CV) and associated secondary brain injury are major contributors to death and disability after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Microparticles (MP) are small vesicular micro-molecules released by red and white blood cells, platelets and endothelial cells that can change rapidly and specifically depending on the type of cellular insult. They may serve as useful tools to target a specific pool of proteins associated with the development of CV post aSAH. In these studies, our goal was to use targeted MP-derived protein isolation to find reliable biomarkers indicating increased risk for the development of CV. We hypothesize that there are specific early changes in MP-derived protein expression in CV patients. These proteins may be useful as biomarkers for CV and may help us to further understand the mechanism for the development of CV. Patients Adult male and female patients with angiographically confirmed aSAH and an external ventricular drain (EVD) placed for medical or surgical needs were included in this study. Patients were closely monitored for CV development. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected daily until EVD was removed.Microparticles were isolated using serial ultra centrifugation. Differential protein expression in CSF microparticles was analyzed by a mass spectroscopy based system using isotopically-tagged peptides to profile proteins and determine their relative concentrations in individual patient samples. These proteins were correlated with the patient's clinical data and used to identify candidates for biomarkers predictive of CV.Over 140 proteins were isolated from CSF microparticles. Proteomic and molecular pathways analysis revealed marked differential expression of proteins in patients with CV. We identified specific candidate proteins that could potentially serve as early biomarkers for CV. ApoE, ApoD, synaptic nuclear envelope protein 1, clusterin, α-1-acid glycoprotein, plasma protease C1 inhibitor, and prostaglandin H2 D isomerase were downregulated in patients who developed CV post aSAH. Haptoglobin, fibrinogen α and γ chain, synaptic nuclear envelope protein 2, and hemoglobin subunits α and β were upregulated. Some of these proteins are associated with immune and metabolic processes and some have been specifically associated with cerebrovascular disease states.This is the first preliminary demonstration that there is differential protein expression in CSF microparticles from CV patients. Alone or in combination, these and other proteins may be useful as reliable biomarkers to guide in stratifying patients into categories of risk to develop CV post aSAH. These results will deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of cerebral vasospasm and potentially facilitate the development of safer and more effective therapies therapies for cerebral vasospasm.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Impact of the Increased Use of Preoperative Imaging and Laparoscopy on Appendicectomy Outcomes. - The Indian journal of surgery
The diagnosis of appendicitis is based on clinical picture. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse variation of outcomes and impact of increasing use of radiological investigations and laparoscopy over a 5-year period. A retrospective audit of appendicectomies over the last 5 years (01 January 2007-31 December 2011) was conducted. The negative appendicectomy rate (NAR), perforation rate and complication rate were used as outcome endpoints. A statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the difference in outcomes with surgical approach and use of radiology. One thousand fifty-five appendicectomies were performed in this period. The NAR was 22.65 % (21 % for open and 28 % for laparoscopic) and perforation rate was 14 %. There was no statistically significant difference in NAR with the use of ultrasound (P 0.3814) but there was a significant reduction in NAR with the use of computed tomography (CT) (P <0.0001). Intra-abdominal abscess (2.3 %) and wound infection (1.4 %) were the common complications with the former being higher with laparoscopy and the latter with open appendicectomy. Over 5 years, there were no significant changes in appendicectomy outcomes. The impact of diagnostic imaging on NAR varies with age, gender and the use of CT. CT can significantly reduce the negative appendicectomy rate in equivocal presentations. Complication rates vary with surgical approach.
The Athlome Project Consortium: A Concerted Effort to Discover Genomic and other "OMIC" Markers of Athletic Performance. - Physiological genomics
Despite numerous attempts to discover genetic variants associated with elite athletic performance, injury predisposition and elite/world-class athletic status, there has been limited progress to date. Past reliance on candidate gene studies predominantly focusing on genotyping a limited number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or the insertion/deletion variants in small, often heterogeneous cohorts have not generated the kind of results that could offer solid opportunities to bridge the gap between basic research in exercise sciences and deliverables in biomedicine. A retrospective view of genetic association studies with complex disease traits indicates that transition to hypothesis-free genome-wide approaches will be more fruitful. In studies of complex disease, it is well recognized that the magnitude of genetic associations is often smaller than initially anticipated and, as such, large sample sizes are required to identify them robustly. Thus, alternative approaches involving large-scale, collaborative efforts, within which high-resolution genome-wide data is generated and interrogated using advanced bioinformatics approaches, are likely necessary for meaningful progress to be made. Accordingly, a symposium was held on the Greek island of Santorini from 14-17th May 2015 to review the main findings in exercise genetics and genomics and to explore promising trends and possibilities. The symposium offered a forum for the development of a position stand. Among the participants, many were involved in ongoing collaborative studies. A consensus emerged among participants that it would be advantageous to bring together all current studies and those recently launched into one new large collaborative initiative, which was subsequently named the Athlome Project Consortium.Copyright © 2015, Physiological Genomics.
DJ-1 mutation decreases astroglial release of inflammatory mediators. - Neurotoxicology
Mutations in DJ-1, reactive gliosis and concomitant inflammatory processes are implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). To study the physiological consequences of DJ-1 mutation in the context of neuroinflammatory insult, primary cortical astrocytes were isolated from DJ-1 knockout mice. Astrocytes were exposed to 1μg/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 24h following 2h pre-exposure to inhibitors of MEK (U0126), JNK (JNK inhibitor II) or p38 (SB203580). Real-time PCR was used to assess the LPS-induced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), inducible nitric oxide synthetase (NOS2), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). LPS-induced expression of COX2 decreased similarly in DJ-1(+/+) and DJ-1(-/-) astrocytes in response to inhibition of p38, but was unaffected by inhibition of MEK or JNK. No significant alterations in NOS2 expression were observed in any inhibitor-treated cells. The inhibitors did not affect expression of TNFα; however, DJ-1(-/-) astrocytes had consistently lower expression compared to DJ-1(+/+) counterparts. Secretion of TNFα and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) into the culture medium was significantly decreased in DJ-1(-/-) astrocytes, and inhibition of p38 decreased this secretion in both genotypes. In conclusion, DJ-1(-/-) astrocytes may provide decreased neuroprotection to surrounding neurons due to alterations in pro-inflammatory mediator expression.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Estimated prevalence of antenatal depression in the US population. - Archives of women's mental health
The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of minor and major depression among pregnant women in the USA. Also, we compare prevalence of depression among pregnant and non-pregnant women while controlling for relevant covariates. A population-representative sample of pregnant women (n = 3010) surveyed for the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System was compared to a sample of women who were not pregnant (n = 68,620). Binary logistic regression was used to determine prevalence ratios of depression for pregnant and non-pregnant women while controlling for the effects of age, race, annual income, employment status, educational level, marital status, general health, and availability of emotional support. Depression was measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8). The prevalence of major depression was no greater among pregnant women (6.1 %) compared to non-pregnant women (7 %; adjusted prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.1, 95 % confidence interval (CI) .8 and 1.5). The prevalence of minor depression was greater among pregnant women (16.6 %) compared to non-pregnant women (11.4 %; adjusted PR = 1.5, 95 % CI 1.2 and 1.9). Prevalence ratios are adjusted for the effects of covariates noted above. Prevalence of major depression is not associated with pregnancy, but minor depression is more likely among women who are pregnant.
Landscape genetics and population structure in Valley Oak (Quercus lobata Née). - American journal of botany
Although long-distance pollen movement is common in wind-pollinated trees, barriers to gene flow may occur in species that have discontinuous ranges or are confined to certain habitat types. We investigated the genetic structure of Quercus lobata Née populations throughout much of their range in California. We assessed the connectivity of populations and determined if barriers to gene flow occurred, and if so, if they corresponded to landscape features.We collected leaf samples from 270 trees from 12 stands of Quercus lobata and genotyped these trees using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Genetic structure and clustering was evaluated using genetic distance methods, Bayesian clustering approaches, and network analysis of spatial genetic structure.The southernmost population of Quercus lobata sampled from the Santa Monica area comprised a separate genetic cluster from the rest of the species, suggesting that Transverse Ranges such as the San Gabriel Mountains limit gene flow. Population differentiation among the other sites was small but significant. Network analysis reflected higher connectivity among populations along the Central Coast range, with few connections spanning the dry, low Central Valley.While long distance pollen movement has been shown to be common in oaks, on larger spatial scales, topographic features such as mountain ranges and the large, flat Central Valley of California limit gene flow. Such landscape features explain gene flow patterns much better than geographic distance alone.© 2015 Botanical Society of America.
Systems Genomics Identifies a Key Role for Hypocretin/Orexin Receptor-2 in Human Heart Failure. - Journal of the American College of Cardiology
The genetic determinants of heart failure (HF) and response to medical therapy remain unknown. We hypothesized that identifying genetic variants of HF that associate with response to medical therapy would elucidate the genetic basis of cardiac function.This study sought to identify genetic variations associated with response to HF therapy.This study compared extremes of response to medical therapy in 866 HF patients using a genome-wide approach that informed the systems-based design of a customized single nucleotide variant array. The effect of genotype on gene expression was measured using allele-specific luciferase reporter assays. Candidate gene transcription-deficient mice underwent echocardiography and treadmill exercise. The ability of the target gene agonist to rescue mice from chemically-induced HF was assessed with echocardiography.Of 866 HF patients, 136 had an ejection fraction improvement of 20% attributed to resynchronization (n = 83), revascularization (n = 7), tachycardia resolution (n = 2), alcohol cessation (n = 1), or medications (n = 43). Those with the minor allele for rs7767652, upstream of hypocretin (orexin) receptor-2 (HCRTR2), were less likely to have improved left ventricular function (odds ratio: 0.40 per minor allele; p = 3.29 × 10(-5)). In a replication cohort of 798 patients, those with a minor allele for rs7767652 had a lower prevalence of ejection fraction >35% (odds ratio: 0.769 per minor allele; p = 0.021). In an HF model, HCRTR2-deficient mice exhibited poorer cardiac function, worse treadmill exercise capacity, and greater myocardial scarring. Orexin, an HCRTR2 agonist, rescued function in this HF mouse model.A systems approach identified a novel genetic contribution to human HF and a promising therapeutic agent efficacious in an HF model.Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Method for simultaneous localization and parameter estimation in particle tracking experiments. - Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
We present a numerical method for the simultaneous localization and parameter estimation of a fluorescent particle undergoing a discrete-time continuous-state Markov process. In particular, implementation of the method proposed in this work yields an approximation to the posterior density of the particle positions over time in addition to maximum likelihood estimates of fixed, unknown parameters. The method employs sequential Monte Carlo methods and can take into account complex, potentially nonlinear noise models, including shot noise and camera-specific readout noise, as well as a wide variety of motion models and observation models, including those representing recent engineered point spread functions. We demonstrate the technique by applying it to four scenarios, including a particle undergoing free, confined, and tethered diffusions.
Pregnant women's navigation of information on everyday household chemicals: phthalates as a case study. - BMC pregnancy and childbirth
Current developments in science and the media have now placed pregnant women in a precarious situation as they are charged with the responsibility to navigate through information sources to make the best decisions for her pregnancy. Yet little is known regarding how pregnant women want to receive and use health information in general, let alone information regarding the uncertain risks to pregnancy in everyday household products such as phthalates found in cosmetics and canned food liners. Using phthalates as an example, this study investigated how pregnant women obtain, evaluate, and act on information regarding their pregnancy.Pregnant women were recruited using pamphlets and posters distributed in prenatal clinics, prenatal fairs and physician offices in Southwestern Ontario Canada. Research participants were engaged in 20 to 40 min semi-structured interviews regarding their use of information sources in pregnancy, particularly regarding phthalates in cosmetics and canned food liners. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using constructivist grounded theory techniques supported by NVivo 9™ software.Theoretical sufficiency was reached after 23 pregnant women were interviewed and their transcripts analyzed. Three overlapping themes resulted from the co-constructed analysis: I-Strength of Information Sources; II-Value Modifiers; and III-Deciding to Control Exposure. The research participants reported receiving information from a wide range of sources that they perceived varying in strength or believability. They then described the strategies employed to increase the validity of the message in order to avoid risk exposure. Pregnant women preferred a strong source of information such as physician, government but frequently used weak sources such as the internet or the opinions of friends. A model was developed from the relationship between themes that describes how pregnant women navigate the multiple sources of information available to them.Our study provides insight into how pregnant women receive, appraise, and act on information regarding everyday household chemicals. Clinicians and their professional organizations should produce specific educational materials to assist women in understanding exposure to everyday products in pregnancy.

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