Honors Theses: Medicine Session

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Thursday, April 21st
9:00 AM

Exploring Factors that Influence Preference for Pharmacological and Psychological Treatments of Anxiety Disorders

Heston Arnold, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Anxiety disorders are the most commonly occurring psychological disorders in the United States. To remedy anxiety disorders, pharmacological and psychological treatments are commonly utilized. Previous literature has shown that people suffering from anxiety disorders generally prefer psychological treatment when compared to pharmacological treatment. The present study further examined treatment preference by examining demographic variables, including rural/urban background, anxiety sensitivity, anxiety severity, and knowledge of treatment in relation to treatment preference. The study utilized the Murray State University Psychology Department SONA system to distribute a survey to students in general psychology courses. The survey included questions concerning participant demographics, the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale-21, the General Anxiety Disorder-7 scale, and the Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 scale. In addition, the survey asked for the participant’s treatment preference before information about treatment was administered, as well as the participant’s treatment preference after information about treatment was administered. Obtained findings will be explored in terms of initial treatment preference, predictors of treatment preference, changes in treatment preference after information is administered, and predictors of preference change. Implications for future patient preference research and evidence based practice will be discussed.

H-K-ATPase (Hydrogen-Potassium transport) mediates hormonal effects on morphological changes in benign prostatic hypertrophy

Renn Lovett, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Background: The prostate, the key secondary male reproductive organ, serves an important function of alkalizing seminal fluid and protecting genetic information in the acidity of the vaginal tract. As males age, the most common urologic condition manifests as an enlargement of the prostate known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between hormonal regulation and the morphological changes in BPH. Furthermore, we examine whether such hormonal regulation is mediated by HKA.

Methods: The experiments were designed to test the effects of the primary male androgen, testosterone propionate (TP), as well as the female hormone, estradiol (E2). Sprague-Dawley outbred rats were divided into three groups; control group, TP group, and TP-E2 group. Both the TP and the E2 were diluted in vegetable oil and covered to eliminate light exposure. Subcutaneous injections of TP at 3 mg/mL were administered to induce BPH in rats. After 6 weeks of TP-induced BPH, we divided these rats into two groups. In one group of BPH rats, we injected 60 µg of E2, and in another group of BPH rats, we injected 120 µg of E2 subcutaneously. The rats were sacrificed under anesthesia, and the prostate specimens were dissected. The rat’s body weight and the prostate tissue weight were measured as the organ quotient. The total prostate specimens were divided into two groups, one tissue group was fixed and embedded in paraffin using histopathological methods to examine the effects on morphological changes in BPH. The other tissue group was examined by Western blot for analysis of HKA by using anti-HKA alpha antibody.

Results: The data indicate significant hypertrophy of the luminal cells in rats with 3 mg TP (11/15/14) compared to the control (524.542 ± 4.637 vs. 350.583 ± 1.996, P-value < 0.005). Furthermore, the experimental group with 3 mg TP (11/13/14) and 60 µg E2 (1/13/15) showed inhibitory effects compared to TP-induced BPH (385.571 ± 7.265 vs. 524.542 ± 4.637, P-value < 0.005). Lastly, the experimental group with 3 mg TP (11/13/14) and 120 µg E2 (1/13/15) showed significant inhibitory effect compared to TP-induced BPH (465.857 ± 8.259 vs. 524.542 ± 4.637, P-value < 0.005). However, the inhibitory effects of the 60 µg E2 group were more significant than the inhibitory effects of the 120 µg E2 group (385.571 ± 7.265 vs. 465.857 ± 8.259, P-value < 0.005), suggesting the importance of maintaining a proper E2:TP ratio. Western blot analysis shows up-regulation of specific bands for HKA alpha subunit at ~97 kDa for TP-induced BPH and down-regulation of HKA in the TP+E2 treatment groups.

Conclusions: Our results show that TP induced benign prostate hypertrophy. Furthermore, E2 is shown to inhibit BPH; however, the effect of E2 inhibition on BPH requires the optimal ratio between E2 and TP. If such a ratio is not reached, then BPH inhibition will not occur by E2. Both the induction and inhibition of hypertrophic cells suggests that the prostate is under hormonal regulation. The proper E2:TP ratio plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of BPH. Such knowledge of E2:TP ratio in humans may help to prevent or cure BPH in the future.

Vaccination Demographics: Do the Reasons Support the Results?

Morgan B. Bethel, Murray State University

Barkley Room, Curris Center

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Previous vaccination demographic studies have concluded that lower income and minority demographics' primary factor influencing their decision to not vaccinate their children is the effort and difficulty required to return for multiple subsequent vaccinations. Conversely, white upper-class cite health concerns as their primary factor. Supporting this, are studies showing that minority demographics tend to be under vaccinated as opposed to unvaccinated. Furthermore, vaccination exemption difficulty has been inversely associated with the number of exemptions. If effort and difficulty are the primary cause, one would expect lower income and minority groups to respond more dramatically than other groups to differences in exemption difficulty. This study examines the difference in vaccination levels of minority and low-income demographics in “easy” exemption states and “difficult” exemption states versus that of other demographic groups.