• Active isolated stretching : an investigation of the mechanical mechanisms

      Longo, Alison.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) technique proposes that by contracting a muscle (agonist) the opposite muscle (antagonist) will relax through reciprocal inhibition and lengthen without increasing muscle tension (Mattes, 2000). The clinical effectiveness of AIS has been reported but its mechanism of action has not been investigated at the tissue level. Proposed mechanisms for increased range of motion (ROM) include mechanical or neural changes, or an increased stretch tolerance. The purpose of the study was to investigate changes in mechanical properties, i.e. stiffness, of skeletal muscle in response to acute and long-term AIS stretching for the hamstring muscle group. Recreationally active university-aged students (female n=8, male n=2) classified as having tight hamstrings, by a knee extension test, volunteered for the study. All stretch procedures were performed on the right leg, with the left leg serving as a control. Each subject was assessed twice: at an initial session and after completing a 6-week AIS hamstring stretch training program. For both test sessions active knee extension (ROM) to a position of "light irritation", passive resisted torque and stiffness were determined before and after completion of the AIS technique (2x10 reps). Data were collected using a Biodex System 3 Pro (Biodex Medical Systems, NY, USA) isokinetic dynamometer. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to monitor vastus lateralis (VL) and hamstring muscle activity during the stretching movements. Between test sessions, 2x10 reps of the AIS bent knee hamstring stretch were performed daily for 6-weeks.

      Kish, Kimberly; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-03-07)
      The study objective was to compare the response of bone markers to an exercise session consisting of high mechanical loading (144 jumps) between boys (n=12, 10.2 ± 0.4 years) and men (n=18, 22.5 ± 0.7 years). Blood samples were collected at pre-, 5, 60 minutes post-, and 24 hours post-exercise) to measure bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), amino-terminal cross-linking telopeptide (NTx), osteoprotegrin (OPG) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kb ligand (RANKL). Boys had higher BAP levels at all time points, with an increase 24 hours post-exercise. No such increase was observed in men. Likewise, NTx levels were higher in boys, with a greater increase over time than in men. OPG and RANKL levels were similar in boys and men at all times. In summary, even one session of exercise stimulates bone turnover, as reflected in the increase in both BAP and NTx, in boys (but not men) within 24 hours.
    • The acute effects of differential dietary fatty acids on PDHa activity in human skeletal muscle at the onset of exercise

      Bradley, Nicolette Shannon.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-06-29)
      Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is an important regulator of carbohydrate oxidation during exercise and its activity can be down-regulated by an increase in dietary fat. The purpose of this study was to determine the acute metabolic effects of differential dietary fatty acids on the activation of PDH in its active form (PDHa) at rest and at the onset of moderate-intensity exercise. University-aged male subjects (n=7) underwent 2 fat loading trials spaced at least 2 weeks apart. Subjects consumed saturated (SFA) or polyunsaturated (PUFA) fat over the course of 5 hours. Following this, participants cycled at 65% VO2 max for 15 min. Muscle biopsies were taken prior to and following fat loading and at 1 min exercise. Plasma free fatty acids increased from 0.15 ± 0.07 to 0.54 ± 0.19 mM over 5 hours with SFA and from 0.1 1 ± 0.04 to 0.35 ±0.13 mM with PUFA. PDHa activity was unchanged following fat loading, but increased at the onset of exercise in the SFA trial, from 1 .4 ± 0.4 to 2.2 ± 0.4 /xmol/min/kg wet wt. This effect was negated in the PUFA trial (1 .2 ± 0.3 to 1 .3 ± 0.3 pimol/min/kg wet wt.). PDH kinase (PDK) was unchanged in both trials, suggesting that the attenuation of PDHa activity with PUFA was a result of changes in the concentrations of intramitochondrial effectors, more specifically intramitochondrial NADH or Ca^*. Our findings suggest that attenuated PDHa activity participates in the preferential oxidation of PUFA during moderateintensity exercise.
    • The acute effects of systemic cytokines on peripheral nerve function in humans

      Allison, David; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-10-24)
      Cytokines have been shown to cause a reduction in nerve conduction when examined using animal models. Such effects, if shown in humans, could result in detrimental effects to physical function during periods heightened systemic cytokine concentrations. The study investigated the acute effects of cytokines on nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and functional measures. Measures were taken under both basal and elevated cytokine concentrations to determine any corresponding changes to NCV. A significant positive correlation was found between the cytokine IL-6 and NCV at 2 hours post-exercise (r=0.606, p=0.048). A significant negative correlation was found between IL-1ra and NCV at 24 hours post-exercise (r=-0.652, p=0.021). A significant positive correlation was also found between IL-1ra and endurance at 1 hour post-exercise (r=0.643, p=0.033). As such, it would seem that IL-6 may potentially act to enhance nerve function while other cytokines such as IL-1ra may have negative effects and reduce NCV.
    • Acute endocrine responses to plyometrics versus resistance exercise in children

      Giannopoulou, Angeliki; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study was to examine the acute hormonal responses to a bout of resistance versus plyometric exercise in young male athletes. Specifically, changes in salivary cortisol, testosterone and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio from pre- to post-exercise between the two different exercise protocols were examined. Twenty-six peri-pubertal active boys participated in this cross-over study, completing two exercise sessions. During each session, participants first completed a 30 min control period, which did not include any exercise, and then was randomly assigned to perform a 45 min of either a resistance exercise or a plyometric exercise protocol. All participants crossed over to perform the other exercise protocol during their second exercise session, a week later. Four saliva samples during each protocol were taken at: baseline, pre-exercise, 5 min post-exercise and 30 min post-exercise. Significant increases in testosterone values were reported 5 min post-exercise following the resistance protocol, but not the plyometric protocol. Both exercise protocols resulted in significant cortisol decreases overtime, as well as significant testosterone-to-cortisol ratio increases. The post-exercise increases in salivary testosterone and testosterone-to-cortisol ratio followed the typical exercise induced anabolic response seen in adults. However, the post-exercise decrease in salivary cortisol was different than the typical adult response indicating an insufficient stimulus for this age group maybe due to their stage of the biological development. Thus, in the adolescent boys, exercise appears to change the anabolic to catabolic balance in favor of anabolism.
    • Adaptations of skeletal muscle pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase in response to food-restriction in mitochondrial subpopulations

      MacPherson, Laura Lynn.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2007-06-09)
      University, 2006 Dr. Sandra J. Peters Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) catalyses the decarboxylation of pyruvate, to form acetyl-CoA. PDH activity is down-regulated by intrinsic PDH kinases (predominantly PDK2 and PDK4 isoforms), but the understanding of the PDK isoform distribution and adaptation to nutritional stresses has been restricted to mixed mitochondrial populations, and not delineated between subsarcolemmal (SS) and intermyofibrillar (IMF) subpopulations. SS and IMF mitochondria exhibit distinct morphological and biochemical properties; however the functional differences are not well understood. This study investigated the effect of fed (FED) versus 48 h total foodrestriction (FR) on rat red gastrocnemius muscle PDK2 and 4 isoform content in SS and IMF mitochondria. PDK4 content was ~3-5 fold higher in SS mitochondria compared to IMF (p=0.001), and increased with FR -3-4- fold in both subpopulations (p<0.001). PDK2 was -2.5-4 fold higher in SS mitochondria compared to IMF (p=0.001), but PDK2 was unaltered with FR. Citrate synthase activity (|imol/min/mg mitochondrial protein) was not different between either subpopulation. As well there were no significant differences between mitochondrial subpopulations in PDH complex components in both fed and FR states. These results demonstrate that there is a markedly higher content of both PDK isofonns in SS compared to IMF mitochondria. Although PDK2 does not increase in either subpopulation in response to FR, PDK4 increases to a similar extent in both SS and IMF after 48 h food-restriction.
    • An adaptive 4-week robotic training program of the upper limb for persons with multiple sclerosis

      Mannella, Kailynn; Applied Health Sciences Program
      It is suggested that repetitive movements can initiate motor recovery and improve motor learning in populations with neurological impairments and this process can be optimized with robotic devices. The repetitive, reproducible and high dose motor movements that can be delivered by robotics have shown positive results in functional outcomes in stroke patients. However, there is little research on robotic neurorehabilitation for persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), more specifically there is lack of literature with focus on the upper extremity. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to use a robotic device to implement an adaptive training program of the forearm and wrist for PwMS. This approach is unique, as it incorporates real time learning from the robotic device to alter the level of assistance/resistance to the individual. This methodology is novel and could prove to be an effective way to properly individualize the therapy process with correct dosage and prescription. 7 individuals with varying levels of MS, placed their most affected limb (forearm) on a robotic device (Wristbot), grasped the handle, and using real-time visual feedback, traced a Lissajous curve allowing the wrist to move in flexion/extension, radial/ulnar directions. Robotic training occurred 3 times per week for 4 consecutive weeks and included 40 minutes of work. Robotic software was adaptive and updated every 3 laps to evaluate the average kinematic performance which modified the robotic assistance/resistance. Outcome measures were taken pre and post intervention. Improvements in performance were quantified by average tracking and figural error, which was significantly reduced from pre – post intervention. Isometric wrist strength and grip force endurance also significantly improved from pre to post intervention. However, maximum grip force, joint position matching, 9-hole peg test, and patient-rated wrist evaluation did not show any significant improvements. To our knowledge, this study was the first adaptive and individualized robotic rehabilitation program providing two opposing forces to the hand/wrist for PwMS. Results of this 4-week training intervention, provide a proof-of-concept that motor control and muscular strength can be improved by this rehabilitation modality. This work acts as a stepping-stone into future investigations of robotic rehabilitation for an MS population.
    • Anaerobic performance in ice hockey : the effect of skate blade radius of hollow

      Winchester, Andrew.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of skate blade radius of hollow (ROH) on anaerobic performance, specifically during the acceleration and stopping phases of an on-ice skating test. Fifteen, male Junior B hockey players (mean age 19 y ± 1.46) were recruited to participate. On-icc testing required each participant to complete an on-ice anaerobic performance test [Reed Repeat Skate (RRS)) on three separate days. During each on-ice test, the participant's skate blades were sharpened to one of three, randomly assigned, ROH values (0.63 cm, 1.27 cm, 1.90 cm). Performance times were recorded during each RRS and used to calculate anaerobic variables [anaerobic power (W), anaerobic capacity (W), and fatigue index (s, %)). Each RRS was video recorded for the purpose of motion analysis. Video footage was imported into Peak Motus™ to measure kinematic variables of the acceleration and stopping phases. The specific variables calculated from the acceleration phase were: average velocity over 6 m (m/s), average stride length (m), and mean stride rate (strides/s). The specific variables calculated from the stopping phase were: velocity at initiation of stopping (rn/s), stopping distance (m), stopping time (s). A repeated measures ANOV A was used to assess differences in mean performance and kinematic variables across the three selected hollows. Further analysis was conducted to assess differences in trial by trial performance and kinematic variables for all hollows. The primary findings of the study suggested that skate blade ROH can have a significant effect on kinematic variables, namely stride length and stride rate during the acceleration phase and stopping distance and stopping time during the stopping phase of an on-ice anaerobic performance test. During the acceleration phase, no significant difdifferences were found in SR and SL across the three selected hollows. Mean SR on the 1.27 cm hollow was significantly slower than both the 0.63 cm and 1.90 cm hollows and SL was significantly longer when skating on the 1.27 cm hollow in comparison to the 1.90 cm hollow. During the stopping phase, stopping distance on the 0.63 cm hollow (4.12 m ± 0.14) was significantly shorter than both the 1.27 cm hollow (4.43 m ± 0.08) (p < 0.05) and the 1.90 cm ho])ow (4.35 m ± 0.12) (p < 0.05). Mean ST was also significantly shorter when stopping on the 0.63 cm hollow then both the 1.27 cm and 1.90 cm hollows. Trial by trial results clearly illustrated the affect of fatigue on kinematic variables; AV, SR, IV decreased from trial 1 to 6. There was no significant effect on anaerobic performance variables during the RRS. Altering the skate blade ROH has a significant and practical affect on accelerating and stopping performance will be discussed in this paper.
    • An analysis of students' travel motivations and images of China as a tourist destination

      Chen, Xu.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-07-14)
      Despite China's rapid growth in inbound tourism, the nature of its Canadian tourist market has been insufficiently studied. In response to this need, the objectives of this study are to identify China's destination image in Canadian students' minds, their possible internal motivations for visiting China as well as examining demographic influences on people's destination image formation. The study reviews image formation process and travel motivation categorisation, discusses their relationship, and implements Baloglu and McCleary's (1999) perceptual and affective image formation model and "push and pull factors" theory as its framework. A self-administered survey was applied to 424 undergraduate students in a Canadian university in early 2004. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to identify perceived images and travel motivation. Summated means were calculated to illustrate the affective attitudes. A series of f-test and ANOVA tests were employed to examine the influence of demographics. An open-ended question format was adopted to analyse other images, motivations and visitation barriers that students may have. Findings demonstrate that cultural and natural attractions are the predominant image which the Canadian students have of China'; some stereotypes and negative images still influence the students' perception; travel service quality is largely unknown; increasing knowledge and seeking excitement and fun are the significant motivators in the likelihood of the Canadian students choosing to visit China; and personal interests may be a factor that significantly influences an individual's destination image and travel motivation. Raising awareness and increasing familiarity through promotion are suggested as methods to create a positive destination image of China.
    • APP Processing: A Biochemical Competition Influenced by Exercise-Induced Signalling Mediators

      Marko, Daniel; Applied Health Sciences Program
      In our aging society neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are becoming more prevalent. One specific neuropathological hallmark of this disease is excessive accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, which can aggregate to form the plaques commonly associated with this disease. These plaques are often observed well before symptoms of AD develop. Therefore, it is important to find ways to regulate the pathways involved in the production of these peptides. Evidence indicates that exercise has the capacity to reduce Aβ peptide production in the brain. Exercise promotes the release of many different signalling mediators from various tissues and organs in the body. These exercise-induced signalling mediators could be the driving force behind some of the beneficial effects seen in the brain with exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine if post-exercise serum and the factors it contains can alter neuronal APP processing. Human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells were differentiated with retinoic acid for 5 days and treated with 10% pre- or post-exercise serum for 30 minutes. Cells were collected for analysis of acute (30 minutes; n=6) or adaptive (24 hours post-treatment; n=6) responses. There were no statistical differences in ADAM10 and BACE1 mRNA or protein expression with post-exercise serum treatment at either time point. However, there was an increase in the ratio of sAPPα to sAPPβ protein content (p=0.05) after 30 minutes of post-exercise serum treatment. Additionally, 30 minutes of post-exercise serum treatment increased ADAM10 (p=0.01) and BACE1 (p=0.02) activity. These novel findings suggest that post-exercise serum modulates important enzymes involved in APP processing, potentially pushing the cascade towards the non-amyloidogenic arm.
    • Arterial Stiffness In Children With And Without Developmental Coordination Disorder

      Philips, Nicole; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-09-04)
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with potential developmental coordination disorder (p-DCD) demonstrate increased arterial stiffness and thickness compared to age and school matched controls (mean age 14.7 yrs). We also assessed whether these measures differed by sex. Compliance, distensibility, and intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured at the common carotid artery for 28 children with p-DCD and 47 controls. ECG-R-wave-toe pulse wave velocity (PWV) was also measured for 29 children with p-DCD and 45 controls. We found that compared to controls males with p-DCD had significantly higher PWV (3.8±0.2 vs. 4.1±0.3, p=0.001) and lower distensibility (0.82± 0.19 vs. 0.70± 0.17, p=0.034) while females showed no significant differences (p=0.523 and p=0.123 respectively). As a result, it is apparent that sex differences exist with respect to arterial health within this population and that children with p-DCD may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease later in life.
    • Assessing the Effect of Functional Electrical Stimulation Training with the Xcite on Hand and Arm Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

      Miller, Myan; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study was to assess the effects functional electrical stimulation (FES) training of the hand and arm in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). This is a case series of four individuals with MS with varying hand and arm dysfunction, and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores ranging from 3.0-7.0. Two participants completed 1-hour FES sessions, 3 times per week for 8 weeks and two participants completed 10 weeks. Every session the following four hand and arm exercises were performed on the non-dominant limb: feeding, forward reach and grasp, opposition and lumbrical pinch on the Xcite iFES Clinical Station (Restorative Therapies, Baltimore, MD). Pre and post-testing was divided into two days. The first day included the Sollerman’s hand function test, the Functional Independence Measure (FIM; self-care only), the Capabilities of Upper Extremity (CUE) instrument and the Grasp and Release Test (GRT). The second testing day participants performed grip strength testing (palmar and tip pinch) and two tasks on a haptic wrist device; a tracking task and a proprioception task to assess the effects of the FES training protocol. Pre-testing was completed within 24-72 hours prior to the first FES session and post-testing was within 72 hours of the final FES session. Three of the four participants showed marked improvements in palmar and tip pinch grip strength. Participants did not show meaningful improvement in the Sollerman’s hand function test. The grasp and release test provided mixed results, two participants improved, two were inconsistent across the 6 items. When assessing the functional questionnaires, virtually no change was seen on the FIM and the CUE. Regarding the haptic wrist device testing, some improvement was seen in the tracking and proprioception task but most was not meaningful improvement in the trained limb. Anecdotally, most of the participants reported experiencing improved function in day to day life. The results of this study suggest that thrice-weekly FES of the hand and arm with the Xcite clinical station for 8-10 weeks may elicit functional improvements in individuals with MS. However, more research is required to better understand optimal training parameters and limitations of this therapy.
    • Assessment of the effects of rosemary extract on mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation

      Yousef, Michael; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The prevalence of allergic inflammatory disorders is increasing at an alarming rate, with 40-50% of school-aged children suffering today. Mast cells are immune sentinels and a driving force in both normal and pathological contexts of inflammation. Crosslinking of FcεRI by allergen-bound IgE antibodies leads to mast cell degranulation resulting in an early phase response, and the release of newly synthesized pro-inflammatory mediators, contributing to a late phase response. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K-Akt), and nuclear factor-κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathways have been established to be driving mechanisms behind mast cell-induced inflammation. Rosemary extract (RE) is rich in polyphenols and has been shown to inhibit the MAPK, PI3K-Akt, and NF-κB pathways in other cellular contexts in vitro and in in vivo. However, the effect of RE on mast cell activation has not been explored. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate RE in modulating mast cell activation and FcεRI signaling via these pathways toward understanding the mechanism of action and functional outcomes. Mast cells were sensitized with anti-TNP IgE and were stimulated with the cognate allergen (TNP-BSA) under stem cell factor (SCF) potentiation and treated with 0 – 25 µg/ml RE. Samples were then collected for western blot analysis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), β-hexosaminidase assay, and NFкB transcription factor activity assay. Western blot analysis demonstrated that RE treatment at both 5 and 25 µg/ml inhibited phosphorylation of p38-MAPK, and treatment with 25 µg/ml inhibited JNK. qPCR analysis showed that RE treatment at 25 µg/mL resulted in decreased gene expression of IL6, TNF, IL13, CCL1, and CCL3. It also reduced Rcan1, and NFкBIA mRNA levels. ELISA analysis further supported the qPCR data showing decreases in pro-inflammatory IL-6, TNF, IL-13, CCL1, and CCL3. The β-hexosaminidase assay demonstrated that RE treatment inhibited mast cell degranulation dose-dependently to a maximum (down to 15% of control) at 25 µg/mL RE. Finally, RE reduced NFкB activity. This work suggests that RE is capable of modulating mast cell functional outcomes, and warrants further investigation for use as a potential therapeutic.
    • The association between blood pressure and vascular characteristics in children

      Phillips, Aaron; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Hypertension is thought to exist in up to five percent of children. A select number of studies have investigated the role elevated blood pressure plays in pediatric atherosclerotic progression. However these studies contain significant methodological flaws and fail to recognize important confounding factors. Therefore, the influence of elevated blood pressure on arterial health in children remains to be clearly understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between blood pressure (BP) and arterial thickness and stiffuess in children. Common carotid artery (CCA) intima-media thickness (IMT) and distensibility (Dist), as well as systemic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured in 21 elevated blood pressure (EBP; BP ~ 95th percentile) and 83 normal blood pressure (NBP; BP < 90th percentile) children 11-14 years of age. Both EBP and NBP groups demonstrated BP within the normal clinical range, but EBP showed significantly elevated BP as compared to the NBP group. Independent t-tests failed to show significant differences between the EBP and NBP groups for CCA IMT (0.43 ± 0.05 mm and 0.42 ± 0.06 mm, respectively) and Dist (0.0058 ± 0.0024 mmHg-1 and 0.0064 ± 0.0019 mmHil respectively). In contrast, a significantly elevated PWV (p<O.OOl) was found in the EBP group (423 ± 35 cmls) compared to the NBP group (389 ± 24 cmls). This finding remained constant following an analysis of covariance controlling for the effects of maturation, age, sex and obesity. This study shows for the first time that children with elevated BP do not have significantly altered central arterial structure and function as measured through CCA Dist and IMT, but do possess significantly altered systemic arterial stiffuess as measured through PWV. This may be the result of sympathetic predominance and its significant influence on the peripheral vasculature. More studies are needed to clearly illustrate the temporal sequence of pediatric atherosclerotic progression in response to elevated BP.
    • The association between body composition and arterial stiffness in peri-pubescent children

      Banach, Alayna M.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-06-29)
      The objective of this study was to examine the association between body composition and arterial stiffuess in peri-pubescent boys and girls. Differences in arterial distensibility were measured in 68 children (45 normal weight, 12 overweight, and 11 obese) between the ages of9 to 12 years. Weight classification was based on age and gender-specific body mass index cut-offs, while pubertal maturation was self-reported using Tanner staging. Distensibility was determined using two-dimensional, B-Mode echo Doppler ultrasound to measure changes at the right common carotid artery (CCA) diameter changes, while carotid pulse pressure (cPP) was measured at the left CCA by applanation tonometry. One-way ANOV A analysis revealed significant differences (p<0.001) in all anthropometric measures between the normal weight and overweight children, as well as the normal weight and obese children. Body stature was only higher in obese children compared to normal weight children (p<0.01). No significant differences were found between groups regarding age or Tanner stage. Common carotid artery distensibility showed a significant difference (p<0.01) between normal weight children (0.008 ± 0.002 mmHg-1 ) compared to obese children (0.005 ± 0.002 mmHg-1 ), with a borderline significant difference between the normal and overweight subjects (p=0.06). There was no significant effect for gender between males and females across all independent variables. The strongest determinants of distensibility in children were cPP (r= -0.52, p<O.OOI), change in diastolic diameter (r= 0.50, p<O.OOI), and sum of 4 skinfold thickness (r= -0.40, p<O.OOI). Regression analysis revealed that cPP alone explained 27% of the variance in distensibility in children. In addition, cPP, diameter difference, systolic and diastolic diameter, as well as waist-to-hip ratio explained 94% of the variance among peri-pubescent children. This study greatly underscores the need for weight management for long-term prevention of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese children.
    • Association Between Concussion Understanding and Stakeholder Knowledge Translation in Collegiate Sports

      Giguere, Debbie; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an association between concussion understanding and stakeholder knowledge translation in collegiate sports following the mandate of Rowan’s Law in July 2019. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine concussion knowledge translation within a sport network using social network analysis. A cross-sectional design was used to evaluate 76 collegiate athletes (54 females, 21 males, 1 not identified), aged 20.55 years (SD=3.4) who completed a survey on sport demographics, concussion knowledge and stakeholders who provided concussion information during the sport season. Athlete concussion knowledge scores and reported stakeholders were examined. An average of 3 key stakeholders provided concussion information to 82% of the varsity athletes in our study. Athletes reported that a coach or athletic trainer most often provided concussion knowledge. Overall, athlete concussion knowledge scores were the same for athletes who sought concussion knowledge from stakeholders and those who did not. Over 95% of athletes in the study did not access the Rowan’s Law website for mandated concussion education. These findings suggest that Rowan’s Law is hugely neglected resulting in stakeholder knowledge translation having minimal influence on an athletes’ understanding of concussions. Future recommendations include verified review of mandated concussion education resources and testing of concussion knowledge for all persons associated with sport in Ontario. Due to the large number of athletes seeking concussion knowledge in their varsity athlete network, accurate sport specific resources should be provided to support stakeholders who are in direct contact with athletes.  

      Zheng, Lin; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Abstract Objective: To estimate the impact of family eating behaviours on children’s academic performance as well as the role of children’s nutrition intake. Methods: A total of 2,113 students from grade six in the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) were recruited. Academic performance was assessed through students’ Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) grades, extracurricular activity, leadership and overall academic performance; and family eating behaviours (FEBs) were assessed from both general and specific aspects. Results: The less optimal general eating behaviours of child, mother and overall family were statistically significantly associated with child’s more extracurricular activity rather than child’s EQAO grades. The less optimal child’s specific eating behaviours were associated with child’s stronger leadership, more extracurricular activity and better overall academic performance; the less optimal mother’s specific eating behaviours were associated with child’s poorer EQAO grades on math and overall but stronger leadership and more extracurricular activity; and the less optimal father’s specific eating behaviours were associated with child’s less extracurricular activity and worse overall academic performance. In addition, “frequently” eating breakfast with parents was associated with child’s higher EQAO grades on math, reading, writing, and overall; “sometimes” eating lunch with parents was associated with child’s better EQAO math grade; and “frequently” eating snacks with parents was associated with child’s better EQAO reading grade but poorer writing and overall grades. Moreover, children’s intake of junk foods affected the relationship between overall family general eating behaviours and child’s extracurricular activity; children’s intake of junk foods also affected the relationship between the child’s specific eating behaviours and child’s extracurricular activity and overall academic performance; and children’s intake of macronutrients, healthy foods or junk foods affected the relationship between the mother’s specific eating behaviours and child’s EQAO math grade. Conclusions: These findings suggest that FEBs have an impact on children’s academic performance with children’s nutrition intake acting as an intermediary, thus, the importance of family meals and children’s nutrition intake should be emphasized publicly, and family-based interventions should be designed to educate family members as to promote students’ educational success.
    • The association between maternity insurance, residence status and selected perinatal outcomes among Chinese women

      Zhang, Jing (Lexie); Applied Health Sciences Program
      Objective: To investigate the impact of maternity insurance and maternal residence on birth outcomes in a Chinese population. Methods: Secondary data was analyzed from a perinatal cohort study conducted in the Beichen District of the city of Tianjin, China. A total of 2364 pregnant women participated in this study at approximately 12-week gestation upon registration for receiving prenatal care services. After accounting for missing information for relevant variables, a total of 2309 women with single birth were included in this analysis. Results: A total of 1190 (51.5%) women reported having maternity insurance, and 629 (27.2%) were rural residents. The abnormal birth outcomes were small for gestational age (SGA, n=217 (9.4%)), large for gestational age (LGA, n=248 (10.7%)), birth defect (n=48 (2.1%)) including congenital heart defect (n=32 (1.4%)). In urban areas, having maternal insurance increased the odds of SGA infants (1.32, 95%CI (0.85, 2.04), NS), but decreased the odds of LGA infants (0.92, 95%CI (0.62, 1.36), NS); also decreased the odds of birth defect (0.93, 95%CI (0.37, 2.33), NS), and congenital heart defect (0.65, 95%CI (0.21, 1.99), NS) after adjustment for covariates. In contrast to urban areas, having maternal insurance in rural areas reduced the odds of SGA infants (0.60, 95%CI (0.13, 2.73), NS); but increased the odds of LGA infants (2.16, 95%CI (0.92, 5.04), NS), birth defects (2.48, 95% CI (0.70, 8.80), NS), and congenital heart defect (2.18, 95%CI (0.48, 10.00), NS) after adjustment for the same covariates. Similar results were obtained from Bootstrap methods except that the odds ratio of LGA infants in rural areas for maternal insurance was significant (95%CI (1.13, 4.37)); urban residence was significantly related with lower odds of birth defect (95%CI (0.23, 0.89)) and congenital heart defect (95%CI (0.19, 0.91)). Conclusions: whether having maternal insurance did have an impact on perinatal outcomes, but the impact of maternal insurance on the perinatal outcomes showed differently between women with urban residence and women with rural residence status. However, it is not clear what are the reason causing the observed differences. Thus, more studies are needed.
    • The Association between Serum Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125) and Risk of Lung Cancer in Females: Assessing the Possibilities for Early Detection

      Przepiorkowski, Joanna (Asia); Applied Health Sciences Program
      Background: Few studies have closely examined the relationship between CA 125 and lung cancer. This study is expected to provide more understanding about CA 125 and its role as a potential predictor for lung cancer risk. Objectives: To evaluate: i) the association between CA 125 and lung cancer; ii) if the associations differ by potential effect modifier (smoking status); and iii) if the association between CA 125 and lung cancer differs by lung cancer stage (early vs. advanced). Methods: The present research was conducted using secondary data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) randomized controlled trial (RCT). The associations between explanatory variables and lung cancer were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Each multivariable logistic regression model was adjusted for age, education, current body mass index (BMI), family history of lung cancer, personal history of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), average number of cigarettes smoked per day and number of years smoked. Results: The study demonstrated that CA 125 is significantly and independently associated with lung cancer and that CA 125 is associated with early-stage lung cancer. It was found that an elevated CA 125 level was associated with a higher risk of lung cancer in individuals who smoked. Although the study demonstrated promising results, CA 125 did not have a large effect on the study’s lung cancer risk prediction models. Conclusion: CA 125 is not a strong enough predictor to be used as an indicator in lung cancer screening alone, however it may be useful in a panel of complimentary biomarkers. Future research is needed to explore whether a panel of complimentary biomarkers including CA 125 can improve lung cancer risk prediction.
    • The Association between Tobacco Control Policies and Marijuana Use among Ontario Undergraduate Students

      Macintosh, James; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2013-05-15)
      Background: Research indicates a steady increase in marijuana use and that it is concurrent with tobacco. There is speculation this concurrency reaches beyond use, to where policies aimed at reducing one may result in the reduction of the other. Purpose: To investigate the association between tobacco control policies and marijuana use among young adult undergraduates. Methods: A stratified sample of Ontario universities resulted in a sample of 4,966 participants. Results: Campuses with a moderately strong policy was found to be significantly associated with decreased marijuana use compared to campuses with a weak tobacco control policy. (OR=0.52, 95% CI: 0.36-0.76). Conclusions: The findings show tobacco control strategies are related to decreased odds of marijuana use among Ontario undergraduates. These findings are important to both policy makers and researchers interested in health strategies pertaining to marijuana and tobacco use and/or how health policies aimed at reducing one risk behaviour can affect another.