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There is no existing research that consistently reports an intensive care unit is more stressful to the nurse than a regular unit. There is, however, research that shows the negative effect occupational stress can have on the quality of care a patient receives. The purpose of this study was to analyze the nurse's perceptions of these two factors and to compare data between two units of one hospital in the southeastern United States. Questionnaires analyzing occupational stress (Cohen, et al., 2002) and perceived quality of care (Stafford, et al., 1978) were completed by participants who were registered nurses working on the Neurological Intensive Care and Step-down units. Thirty-one questionnaires were collected from both floors (n=31, 36% response rate). The reliability (Cronbach's alpha) of both scales was very high with the occupational stress questionnaire score and the quality of care questionnaire score of .92 and .94 respectively. No difference was found in stress level or perceived quality of care between the units. There was, however, a significant negative correlation found between stress and perceived quality of care (r = -.61, p < .01). Implications for practice include the importance of reducing stress in order to increase quality of care.

WRITING TO LEARN: IN SEARCH OF SELF. M. Peggy Hays, College of Nursing, Univ. of Ala., Huntsville, AL 35899.

In a master's level nursing administration clinical preceptorship, writing to learn becomes a journey in search of self-discovery for the students. Writing is unfamiliar to many students. The writing process is incorporated into self-evaluation tools of discovery and intention statements, clinical learning logs, and feedback strategies that foster students' self-esteem. The purpose of feedback as a strategy is explored in depth. Chacon's (2003) preliminary findings on the use of Parallel Charts for third-year medical students support the premise that writing to learn fosters self-assessment, self-evaluation, and thereby greater effectiveness in interacting with patients in the health care environment. Future strategies include (1) Incorporating a Buzan (1974) diagram as the initial action in students' organizing interrelationships; (2) Involving students in creating evaluation criteria for the clinical learning log; and (3) Videotaping students' presenting their clinical learning logs at scheduled intervals. The videotapes, used to guide and track student's journeys, will be examined as a strategy for behavioral change. Teaching via the writing to learn process will enable students and instructors to assess themselves without outside observers.

APPLICATION OF THE CORRELATION COEFFICIENT IN A METHOD COMPARISON STUDY. Brent B. Barnes, Tryan Atkins, Virginia C. Hughes, Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Dept. of Biology, Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL, 36124.

A method comparison study was performed by two students enrolled in the Clinical Hematology III course at Auburn University Montgomery. This study utilized two hematology analyzers, the Cell-DYN 1600 (Abbott Laboratories) and Serono 9018 (Serono Diagnostics). Whole blood was collected from fellow medical technology students on a weekly basis by venipuncture and placed into 5-mL vacutainer tubes containing the anticoagulant ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA). A total of 20 samples were collected and analyzed for hemoglobin determination using cyanmethemoglobin methodology. The correlation coefficient, r, was calculated and results were consistent with positive correlation between the two hematology analyzers. The correlation coefficient is a useful parameter for method comparison studies involving hemoglobin determination. Studies like this one should be incorporated into clinical laboratory science/ Medical Technology courses to help better prepare students for instrument method comparison in clinical laboratory management.

ASSESSING SOCIAL SUPPORT AND THE RISK FOR POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION. Rebecca L. Adams, School of Nursing, Univ. of Ala at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294

Previous studies have suggested that social support may be a significant factor in postpartum adjustment. These studies have not examined the relationship between social support and the risk for postpartum depression using instruments specifically designed for the postpartum period. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between social support and the risk for postpartum Depression using the Postpartum Support Questionnaire (PSQ) (Logsdon, 1994) and the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS) (Beck & Gable, 2002). The PSQ allows for the assessment of a mother's desired or valued support and her perceived or actual support. The primary hypothesis was that the discrepancy between a mother's desired support and her actual support (support discrepancy score) will be significantly correlated to the mother's risk for postpartum depression. Postpartum women were requested to complete the PSQ and PDSS. Preliminary findings (n=12) indicate a significant relationship between the support discrepancy score and the risk score for postpartum depression (r = -.75; p < .01). The greater the negative discrepancy between a mother's desired or valued support and her perceived or actual support, the greater her risk for postpartum depression. The implications of this finding for nursing practice are explored.

PREVALENCE OF SARCOPENIA AND EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ON MUSCLE WASTING IN HIV+ INDIVIDUALS TAKING HAART: A SECONDARY ANALYSIS. Adam B. Lansdon (Barbara Smith) University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-1210.

HIV has emerged as one of the most feared and "socially tabooed" illnesses of the human race with over 40 million cases diagnosed. Since the discovery of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) it has been possible to partially prevent the spread of HIV and potentially cure it. HIV is associated with side effects including sarcopenia or muscle wasting. Exercise has been shown to increase muscle mass. The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis of data examining how effective an aerobic/resistive exercise program was in managing muscle wasting in an HIV+ population who are on HAART. The relative skeletal muscle index (RSMI) was computed before and after completion of a 12-week program.

Twenty-nine subjects participated with a mean age of 43. Caucasian and African-American ethnicities were represented. When a formula for estimating RSMI was applied, 2 of the participants were found to be sarcopenic. At the end of the exercise program, the RSMI improved (p<.05). From these results, one can conclude that an exercise program, when followed adequately, can indeed improve RSMI. This provides relief for the HIV+ population who are taking HAART. This study was supported in part by a grant from BTGC Pharmaceuticals.

STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE: FURTHER INSIGHTS INTO THE EVOLUTION OF PENICILLIN RESISTANCE. Dorothy B. Payne, D. E. Briles and S. K. Hollingshead, Univ. of Ala. at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294.

Streptococcus pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States associated with bacterial pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media. S. pneumoniae can also be carried asymptomatically, although the genetic relationship to clones causing disease has not been established. Most strains of highly penicillin resistant isolates are part of clonal groups of very successful pneumococci. Because pneumococcal strains are modified rapidly by horizontal gene exchange during transformation, the detection of strains ancestral to particular clonal lineages is difficult. However, this can be addressed in the case of a well-studied clonal lineage, Clonal Complex 14 (CC14), which contains a number of recognized worldwide penicillin-resistant clones. The clone of interest, Spai[n.sup.6B]-2,sequence type (ST) 19, is one of several drug-resistant clones appearing over the past twenty years and it is often seen in Alabama and elsewhere in the US since the 1990s but older isolates have not previously been examined. Our hypothesis is that rapid spread of penicillin resistance occurring around 1990 coincided with the appearance of strains bearing both altered muropeptide structure and penicillin-resistant penicillin binding proteins. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) will be performed to identify strains that fall into CC14 and that pre-date development of resistance. Multi locus sequence typing (MLST) will be performed on the identified strains to determine (ST).

ELDERS' IMPRESSIONS OF ETHICOLEGAL ISSUES IN HEALTHCARE: A QUALITATIVE STUDY. Gabriella H. Cooper and Ellen B. Buckner, University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-1210

Ethicolegal issues in healthcare play a leading role in the satisfaction and comfort patients relate to hospital care. Ensuring that patients perceive their care in a positive light not only helps the hospital, but also aids geriatric patients by decreasing anxiety that may inhibit their healing. Ethicolegal issues are those topics that involve both ethical and legal principles, such as autonomy and informed consent. The issues addressed herein include advance directives, basic human needs, healthcare decision-making, and general nursing care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perspectives of elders regarding geriatric care. Seniors ages 65 and older were interviewed with the Seniors' Perspectives Regarding Elder Care Issues (SPRECI) questionnaire to obtain qualitative responses. Eight open-ended questions developed by the investigator comprised the SPRECI. This questionnaire was reviewed for content validity by a CNS with cardiovascular and administrative experience, a faculty member with experience in geriatric nursing, a faculty member with experience in ethicolegal issues, and another with experience in research methods. Nine elders have been interviewed to date. Findings show that most elders commend hospital care as effectively provided to geriatric patients however these responses may reflect socially acceptable answers. To counter this tendency, future interviews are planned for community settings. This study was supported in part by a grant from the UAB Center for Aging.


A mother's natural desire to touch her infant may be subject to interference when the infant is high-risk and in a NICU with intimidating life support or medical technology present. The purpose of this project was to describe mothers' thoughts and perceptions about touching their preterm infants in the NICU. The sample consisted of ten mothers who had preterm infants with gestational ages of 27-32 weeks (mean of 30 weeks). Subjects participated in individual interviews with the researcher to describe their thoughts on touching their preterm infant in the NICU. Data from this qualitative study will be used to develop interventions to facilitate the positive benefits of touching for mothers with infants in the NICU. The variables were measured using content analysis of transcribed semi-structured interviews given to the study participants. Analyses of the ten transcripts in this project revealed primary themes: confidence in quality of care infants receive in NICU, fear of handling a small, high-risk infant, learning to parent, love through touch, and increased maternal-infant bonding with touch. These findings suggest that mothers of preterm infants would appreciate suggestions and guidance from nurses regarding ways in which they should touch and handle their infants.

"OUCH CAN YOU HEAR ME?" THE NURSES' EXPERIENCE WITH POSTOPERATIVE NEONATAL PAIN. Jennifer Hill, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Al 35294-1210.

Neonatal pain is challenging to assess, since signs that indicate neonatal pain are subtle. Some literature about neonatal pain still suggests that the newborn cannot sense pain. The majority of neonatal intensive care units (NICU) implement some type of pain scale by which they rate neonatal postoperative pain, but usefulness varies among practitioners. The clinical question in this research study asked what do the nurses' think is the most prevalent and most important sign of neonatal pain postoperatively. Also, the study evaluated the usefulness of the CRIES scale on postoperative neonates. Participants (n=30) were RN's with 6 months experience that worked at an NICU in a children's hospital. Questionnaires were developed by the investigator and reviewed for content validity by a CNS with postoperative experience, nurse faculty with research experience, and a neonatal nurse practitioner. Results showed that changes in vital signs were both the most prevalent and the most important sign of pain listed. Other signs included facial grimace, agitation, postural changes and crying. The CRIES scale was not preferred when assessing postoperative neonates who were preterm or using ventilator-assisted breathing. All participants agreed that the neonate could feel pain, thus dispelling the myth that newborns cannot experience pain.
 Patricia D. Lucas and Susan Carroll (Ellen Buckner),
 University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama
 at Birmingham, AL, 35294-1210

 Breast self-examination (BSE) has important health
 implications for the Hispanic population. Breast cancer
 survival rates are much lower in Hispanic women due to
 advanced progression of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
 Previous studies found a correlation between the level of
 acculturation and the knowledge of and adherence to BSE. The
 purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and
 adherence of BSE in relation to the Hispanic woman's level of
 acculturation. Participants included thirty-eight Hispanic
 women from five rural health care settings in a southeastern
 state. Three questionnaires were used in this study, a
 demographics questionnaire, Cuellar's Acculturation Rating
 scale (Cuellar, et al., 1999), and a modified Knowledge and
 Adherence to BSE questionnaire (Coe, et al., 1994). There was
 no correlation (r=0.11) or statistically significant
 relationship between acculturation and knowledge and adherence
 to BSE. Future research on this topic should use a larger,
 more diverse sample of participants.

GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START: AN ASTHMA EDUCATION INTERVENTION FOR SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN. Stephanie Brooke Rhodes, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways affecting 8.6 million children, primarily those of school age. Asthma accounts for 20% of all school absences and may decrease school performance. Teaching asthmatic children about their disease can lead to a reduction in the negative asthma outcomes. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of an intervention to increase knowledge in asthmatic children about their illness, decrease absences from school due to illness, and increase school performance. The intervention for the study consisted of two educational sessions at the beginning of the school year with content from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Website including information on taking medications, using peak flow meters, carrying a rescue inhaler, avoiding triggers and seeking assistance when needed. A tip sheet was sent home to parents. Participants were children with diagnosed asthma in 4th-5th grades from one school. Findings revealed an increase in post-test scores when compared to pre-test scores in both the control and experimental group, but showed no significant decrease in absences or increase in grades. The control group will become a second experimental group in the spring. Absences and grades are in progress for the second experimental group.


James A. Johnson, Ph.D., Gerald R. Ledlow, Ph.D., and Mark A. Cwiek, J.D. School of Health Sciences, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859.

The threat of bioterrorism remains constant and the fear of its potential impact does not escape any person today. Most large cities have made plans for dealing with the potential threat, yet many smaller cities and towns have not. The authors have developed a community scorecard that serves to assist in this process. It can be utilized regardless of population size or geographic locale. The assessment helps community leaders and decision makers ascertain medical and civic capacity in the event of a terrorist action. The human resource staffing, supply lines, materials needed and coordination are all addressed along with a tool to help predict the likelihood of a given community becoming a target.

A CASE STUDY: DIABETES OR NOT? Melinda W. Lawson, College of Nursing, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899

Type 2 diabetes in children has become an epidemic in our country due to poor diets and lack of exercise. Diagnostic criteria for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are well defined. A dilemma occurs when a child is symptomatic of diabetes and only partially meets the diagnostic criteria. A case study of a 12-year-old girl will be presented to illustrate ho2 difficult it can be to decide, diabetes or not?

THE RESULTS OF A FOURTEEN-YEAR SCOLIOISIS SCREENING PROJECT IN ALABAMA. Tom E. Denton, Dept. of Biology, Auburn University at Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36117

Since its inception in 1984, over two million adolescents in Alabama's public schools have been screened for scoliosis and other spinal related disorders. The screening covered 128 public school systems within 67 counties. For the year 2002, approximately 12 per 1,000 adolescents were positive for scoliosis. This occurrence is at the lower range of values reported nationally and internationally. Some counties reported a higher number of cases than others for any given screening year, but percentages averaged out to be similar when past years were included. The occurrence of scoliosis in adolescent females was almost 3 times that of adolescent males. There were fewer cases of adolescent females with scoliosis in grade 5 than in grades 6 through 9. Males numbered about the same for all grades but were much fewer in number. The number of other spinal disorders, mainly kyphosis and lordosis, numbered approximately 1 per 1,400. Here, the frequencies of cases were about the same for both males and females. There was not a significant difference between the numbers of children having scoliosis who lived in metropolitan areas of Alabama when compared with those living in rural areas.

The Expression of CD44 in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): An Immunohistochemistry Study. Dr. Zu-Xi Yu, Dept. of Pathology, National Institutes of Health Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Bethesda, MD 20814, Brian Gibbs, Dr. Gustavo Pacheco, Dr. Joel Moss, and Michael Spencer

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare progressive lung disease of unknown etiology that occurs exclusively in women during their reproductive and menopause years. This disorder has characterized by the proliferation of LAM cells (an abnormal smooth muscle cells, specifically stained with HMB 45antibody) that invades the tissue of the lungs, in particular pulmonary interstitium and lymph vessels. Over time, LAM cells grow into the walls of airways and form small nodules and thin wall cysts that cause several symptoms. Since LAM is considered as a slow grown cancer and LAM cells are specifically proliferated in the lung and abdominal lymphoid tissues. CD44 and its isoforms has been detected in a variety of cell types including macrophages, monocytes, epithelial cells, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, and erythrocytes. CD44 may play a role in the tumor cells that progress successfully through growth and metastasis as well as cell migration. Among the isoforms of CD44, particularly CD44 variant 3 and variant 6 have been assumed that they maybe expressed only in cell differentiation rather than tumor progression. To explore the expression of CD44 and its isoforms in LAM, indirect immunostaining methods were performed on 5 LAM biopsies. CD44 and its variants were detected in the LAM cells. This study demonstrated that CD44 and its isoforms were expressed in LAM. CD44 and its isoforms in LAM were located on epitheloid cells, some vascular smooth muscle cells, alveolar wall, and all LAM cell nodules. This indicates that CD44 and CD44v3, particularly CD44v6 may play an important role in the proliferation and migration of LAM cells.
 Evamaria Elsa Neumaier, USDA Experiment Station, Oxford,
 MS 38655 and Norman J. Doorenbos, Department of
 Pharmacal Sciences, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn
 University, Auburn, AL 36849.
 Papaver bracteatum Lindley was investigated by us in
 the Economic Plant gardens and laboratories of the
 Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Mississippi..
 Seed was obtained by one of us (NJD) from Iran. We
 confirmed that plants of this species are good sources
 of thebaine but, unlike the opium poppy, do not contain
 morphine or codeine. This species may be used as a
 source of codeine, however, because of its ease of
 chemical preparation from thebaine.
 Details of propagation and the results of
 chemotaxonomic studies of this species will be shared in
 an illustrated presentation which will include
 photographs of its beautiful flowers.

DRUG-INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY. Ty Blackwell, 3rd Year Medical Student, UASOM-Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Robert E. Pieroni, Dept. of Internal Medicine, UASOM-Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

An elderly male with numerous medical problems had been stabilized on multiple medications, including a statin for hypercholesterolemia and amiodarone for atrial fibrillation. Routine measurement of liver function tests revealed Hepatotoxicity, which resolved after systematic drug withdrawal. All medications except amiodarone were gradually re-introduced. We shall discuss potential hepatotoxic effects of amiodarone and statins, and their interactions. The need for constant chemical monitoring of patients on multiple medications will be underscored, as will the risk factors for adverse drug reactions in general.


Cholesterol accumulation in the arteries is a causative agent in cardiovascular disease but one that is amenable to change. Nurses can contribute their knowledge and skill to assist persons in cardiac rehabilitation with modifying their lifestyle for better cardiovascular health. The beneficial effects of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation may rely on the implementation of care based on nursing practice and theory. The purpose of this study was to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a multidisciplinary nurse run cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinic by conducting a descriptive, case analysis study including cost-effectiveness of the program. Data were collected from clinical personnel through surveys using investigator-designed instruments followed by an interview with the clinic's manager. Questions included content on clinical background, utilizing nursing theory, and cost-effectiveness strategies. Two nurse educators reviewed questions for content validity with expertise in cardiovascular care and research methods. Findings were that the clinic's manager in collaboration with an academic cardiovascular center grant founded the nurse-run clinic. The clinic's mission is to meet the core components of cardiac rehabilitation identified by the American Heart Association. It is well received by physicians but needs increased utilization through referral. The clinic's value is in its structural format with multidisciplinary team involvement.

A NEW LOOK AT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME AND A PROPOSED TREATMENT PLAN. Carol A. Leitner, J.A. Dias and Keith L. Roberts, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and episodic illness characterized by altered bowel habits and associated abdominal pain. Considered a functional disease caused by abnormal motility of the gut and abnormal pain perception, traditional treatments aimed at relieving the symptoms of altered bowel habits with bulk forming additives, antidiarrheal medicines, and laxatives have been largely unsuccessful. This study proposes an individualized treatment plan based on the known physiology of gut motility, recognized neurotransmitters of pain perception, and associated psychiatric profiles of constipation-and diarrhea-predominant IBS patients.

In our clinical practice, patients with constipation-predominant IBS display a psychiatric profile consistent with anterior cingulate gyrus hyperactivity (overfocus and cognitive inflexibility). Anterior cingulate gyrus overactivity causes water retention and decreased gut motility leading to constipation, but is ameliorated by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In contrast, patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS display a psychiatric profile consistent with overactivity of the limbic system of the brain (excessive worry and depression) including the hypothalamus where initiation of the autonomic nervous system takes place. Tricyclic antidepressants suppress the firing of autonomic nervous impulses from the hypothalamus, lessening diarrhea and promoting GI tract stability. Pain from the GI tract is mediated through the autonomic nervous system which contains GABA receptors (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain). For this reason GABA-mimic drugs such as Gabapentin can mute pain perception in IBS patients. Finally, some IBS patients demonstrate increased immune response through mast cell proliferation in the small bowel which can be suppressed by appropriate anti-inflammatory agents.

ASTHMA RESOLUTION AFTER DISCONTINUING HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY. Robert E. Pieroni, Dept. of Internal Medicine, UASOM-Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Dorothy Pieroni, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406.

A 62 year old female developed asthmatic symptoms during her menopause for which hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) had been prescribed several decades previously. She required daily inhalations of beta-agonists and steroids, and occasional rescue medications during asthma exacerbations. Two years ago, she discontinued HRT because of fear of complications, and coincidentally stopped asthma medication because of thrush. Surprisingly, her asthma became completely asymptomatic and has remained so to date. Her pulmonary function tests have also normalized. Her case will be discussed in light of the recent Nurses' Health Study suggesting an association between HRT and asthma.

PARENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF OTITIS MEDIA: A SURVEY OF PARENTS IN A RURAL ALABAMA COMMUNITY. Jennie H. Stryker (Marion Broome), University of Alabama School of Nursing, Birmingham, AL, 35294-1210

Otitis media (OM) is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases in preschool children (CDC, 1990). This study examined parents understanding about OM, its' causative factors, and effective treatments. This project was a part of a larger study on literacy in rural Alabama. This study utilized a design in which 24 parents of children 6 months to 6 years who consented to participate completed the Knowledge of Ear Infection questionnaire (Curry, 2002). Seventeen of the participants were part of an Alabama literacy project and 7 were university students. The questionnaire consisted of 37 questions that were completed by most parents in 15 minutes. Knowledge scores of parents ranged from 62% to 92% on these questions. Depending on the risk factors, 56% to 72% could correctly identify 6 of the risk factors. Viruses were reported by 95% of parents as one of the causes of OM, yet 87% reported that children get better quicker with antibiotics. Although these parents were moderately knowledgeable about OM, its causes and treatment, nurses should continue to correct erroneous beliefs about underlying cause of OM and the influences of antibiotics.
 Warboys, College of Nursing, Univ. of Ala., Huntsville, AL

 In the undergraduate level of nursing science, students
 must learn content material in preparation for applying the
 knowledge in patient care activities when they enter the nursing
 profession. Knowledge sources must be highly interconnected, and
 the students must be able to transfer the knowledge and skills
 beyond the initial learning situation. Students enter the
 nursing program with their individual patterns of study, whereby
 they learn and memorize material to achieve course grades. In
 nursing courses, it is imperative that the students adapt an
 effective pattern of study to learn and apply the information
 that underpins the practice of nursing. This study asked the
 question, "Do orientation activities lead students to make
 effective choices for success?" Cognitive flexibility theory is
 applied to explain the nature of learning in complex domains.
 Choice theory posits that we choose what we do and how we do it.
 An orientation event for application study preparation was
 offered to new undergraduate level nursing students. This study
 examines the students' choices and compares the choices to their
 academic outcomes. A future study will examine relationships
 between learning styles and choices for study.
 POLYPODIUM POLYPODIOIDES 1. Watt, Norman J. Doorenbos,
 Department of Pharmacal Sciences, Harrison School of
 Pharmacy, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849 and Raghunandan
 Kumar Sharma, Indiana Department of Public Health,
 Indiannapolis, IN.
 Polypodium polypodioides L. Watt (resurrection fern) is
 used as a medicinal plant in Cuba, Brazil, Peru and other
 Latin American Countries. It is native to the Southeastern
 United States.
 This investigation was directed toward learning more about
 the chemistry and pharmacology of this native fern. Certain
 purified fractions of extracts were demonstrated to possess
 antimicrobial, hypotensive and/or antiarrythmic properties.
 The triterpenes 21-epifern-9-ene, serratene, neohopene,
 diploptene, clycloeucalenol, cycloeucalenone, cycloartanol
 acetate, cycloartanol benzoate and cycloaudenol benzoate and
 active fractions were isolated and characterized.
 These results will be reported and future studies on this
 species will be recommended.

MACROAMYLASEMIA. Robert E. Pieroni, Dept. of Internal Medicine, UASOM-Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. A. V. Mijummdar, Partlow Developmental Center, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404.

A young institutionalized male who was receiving valproic acid for mood control was noted, on several determinations, to have notably elevated serum amylase levels. This enzyme is frequently elevated in acute pancreatitis; however, the patient was not symptomatic for this disorder. After discontinuing valproic acid, hyperamylasemia persisted.. We suspected and were able to show that the patient had "macroamylasemia"--an uncommon but, fortunately, completely benign condition. We shall review in detail aspects of this interesting entity, and discuss the effect of various medications, including valproic acid, on pancreatic function.

Molecular Chaperone Involved in the Cellular Trafficking on Renin in the Human Kidney. Marvin Jackson and Dr. Lee Aggison, Dept. of Natural Science, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.

We seek to understand the issue of low plasma renin activity and to understand and characterize the molecular chaperones involved in the packaging and secretion of renin. African-American hypertension is characterized by a low activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), low plasma renin activity (PRA), and salt sensitivity. The low RAAS activity may be attributable to low PRA. The rate-limiting component of the RAAS is renin. To determine which molecular chaperones are involved in renin folding, modification, and packaging, the yeast two-hybrid system has been employed. We are currently cloning our bait protein and pre-screening our yeast two-hybrid system

EPIDURAL ABSCESS: CASE REPORT AND LIBERATURE REVIEW. Ty Blackwell, 3rd Year Medical Student, UASOM--Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Robert E. Pieroni, Dept. of Internal Medicine, UASOM-Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

Because spontaneous epidural abscess is an uncommon disorder, diagnosis can be delayed, leading to disastrous sequellae--irreversible paralysis or death. The final outcome is closely related to the degree of neurological impairment prior to receiving appropriate antibiotic, and other medical and surgical therapy. We will describe the case of a young diabetic male complaining of fever and low back pain. His workup, treatment and outcome will be described, as will the general features of epidural abscess including predisposing factors, clinical manifestations and treatment. The need for prompt diagnosis will be underscored.

SURVEY OF BETA-CAROTENES IN NATIVE ZIMBABWEAN FRUIT Andrew Patterson, Kaarina Lokko, Raginee Edwards, and Racquel Stephenson, Oakwood College, Huntsville, AL 35896, N. Basopo, National Univ. of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and Ephraim Gwebu, Dept. of Chem. and Physics, Elizabeth City State Univ., Elizabeth City, NC 27909

HIV/AIDS is a disease that has posed a significant health problem in Zimbabwe. The problem of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe is compounded with the problem of poor nutrition. Studies show that Vitamin A is a major micronutrient deficient in people living with the disease. Under the sponsorship of the Minority International Research Training Program of the National Institutes of Health, we spent 10 weeks at the Zimbabwe's National University of Science and Technology, Department of Biology and Biochemistry in the research lab of Dr. E. Mwenji and John Read. The purpose of our study was to determine levels of beta-carotenes (Vitamin A precursors) in Zimbabwe's traditional dietary fruits (wild or domestic) for possible recommendation for use by people suffering with HIV/AIDS. The indigenous fruits, umkkomo (baobab), ubhuzu, umnyiyi, umviyo, pawpaw, and ijodo (native melon), were passed through the steps of disintegration, saponification, extraction, column chromatography and finally measured spectrophotometrically for beta-carotene content. The tomato was used as a control because it is known to have a significant supply of Vitamin A. The results of this experiment displayed that the ijodo and the pawpaw had high levels of beta-carotenes, while the baobab, ubhuzu, umnyi, and umviyo, had lower levels of beta-carotenes, relative to the tomato. Therefore the ijodo and the pawpaw would be good sources of Vitamin A for those with HIV/AIDS. Supported by NIH/Fogarty Center, Grant # T37 TW00077--(Pauline Jolly, UAB)
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Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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