Publications by authors named "Caroline M Abe"

2 Publications

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Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the Dallas County Jail: Implications for Screening, Prevention, and Linkage to Care.

Public Health Rep 2019 Nov/Dec;134(6):626-633. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Objectives: Screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in jail provides an opportunity to educate and offer care to a high-risk population. We aimed to (1) estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in jail; (2) describe the demographic characteristics, risk factors, and pre-incarceration health insurance status associated with HCV infection; and (3) examine the implementation of HCV screening in jail.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of an opt-out HCV screening program with HCV RNA confirmation and patient education at the Dallas County Jail from April 1 through November 2, 2017. We extracted data on test results, demographic characteristics, and release destination from electronic medical records. A nurse navigator recorded data on patient self-reported risk factors and pre-incarceration health insurance status.

Results: Of 4089 incarcerated persons screened, 708 (17.3%) had a positive HCV antibody result. Of these, 641 (90.5%) had an HCV RNA test ordered; 576 (89.9%) had RNA tests completed, of whom 413 (71.7%) had a positive HCV RNA result. Of these 413, 352 (85.2%) received patient education. Half of HCV RNA-positive incarcerated persons (n = 207, 50.1%) were born outside the birth cohort (1945-1965). Among those with HCV infection, commonly reported risk factors were injection drug use (168 of 352; 47.8%) and tattoos (82 of 352; 23.4%). Most incarcerated persons with HCV infection (284 of 350; 81.1%) did not have health insurance. HCV antibody prevalence was higher among incarcerated persons released to prison (232 of 961; 24.1%) than to outside agencies (38 of 403; 9.4%) or the community (178 of 1026; 17.4%).

Conclusions: Screening for HCV with RNA confirmation in jail provides an opportunity for disease education, transmission prevention, and navigation to HCV treatment. Future efforts should examine post-incarceration linkage to care.
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February 2020

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Delivered with Motor Training Enhances Recovery of Function after Traumatic Brain Injury.

J Neurotrauma 2016 05 5;33(9):871-9. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

1 The, School of Behavioral Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas , Richardson, Texas.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the largest health problems in the United States, and affects nearly 2 million people every year. The effects of TBI, including weakness and loss of coordination, can be debilitating and last years after the initial injury. Recovery of motor function is often incomplete. We have developed a method using electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve paired with forelimb use by which we have demonstrated enhanced recovery from ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Here we have tested the hypothesis that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with physical rehabilitation could enhance functional recovery after TBI. We trained rats to pull on a handle to receive a food reward. Following training, they received a controlled-cortical impact (CCI) in the forelimb area of motor cortex opposite the trained forelimb, and were then randomized into two treatment groups. One group of animals received VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy, whereas another group received rehabilitative therapy without VNS. Following CCI, volitional forelimb strength and task success rate in all animals were significantly reduced. VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy over a period of 5 weeks significantly increased recovery of both forelimb strength and success rate on the isometric pull task compared with rehabilitative training without VNS. No significant improvement was observed in the Rehab group. Our findings indicate that VNS paired with rehabilitative therapy enhances functional motor recovery after TBI.
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May 2016