Publications by authors named "Laura Ma"

5 Publications

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Cognitive improvements in a rat model with polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA through α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Nutr Neurosci 2020 Aug 25:1-10. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Facultad de Medicina y Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana, Mexico.

The α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) is a recognized target for the treatment of dementia associated with aging and certain developmental disorders. This study evaluates memory improvement in a rat model by the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA mediated by α7-nAChR, as well as identifying the minimum dose of EPA/DHA required to generate an effect in the improvement of cognition through α7-nAChR in rats. The modified Y-maze and object recognition behavioral tests were performed in scopolamine-induced amnesic rats, in order to study the effects of long-term supplementation (10, 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg) of the two polyunsaturated fatty acids in improving cognitive impairment. Cognitive enhancement by EPA and DHA is mediated through α7-nAChRs, as evidenced by memory recovery after treatment with a selective α7-nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine (MLA). Tacrine, a centrally active acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and PNU282987, an α7-nAChR agonist, are employed as reference standards. Our data demonstrate that 15 mg/kg EPA and DHA can affect cholinergic neurotransmission positively through memory and cognition and, thus, can exert a beneficial action on learning and memory deficits.
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August 2020

The nurse coordinator role: fulfillment of the nursing profession's compact with society.

Isr J Health Policy Res 2019 01 4;8(1). Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.

The implementation of a new role in healthcare teams frequently emanates from emerging or changing needs in the care delivery system or expressed needs of clinicians, patients or caregivers. In this commentary on the experience of the nurse coordinator role in Israel we suggest based on similar experiences in the United States, that effective implementation is accomplished when the functions of the role are well delineated with respect to other members of the team and informed by the needs of patients, their caregivers and clinicians. The outcomes expected from those performing the role should be established and measured over time.
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January 2019

Optimizing Tobacco Cessation Resource Awareness Among Patients and Providers.

J Oncol Pract 2016 Jan 1;12(1):e77-82. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Purpose: Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis, many patients continue to use tobacco during treatment, negatively affecting their outcomes. We hypothesized that limited tobacco cessation (TC) discussion among patients and providers was partially the result of providers' lack of awareness of current TC resources available.

Methods: We surveyed the head and neck oncology providers (HNOPs) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to evaluate their awareness of existing TC resources within the community and performed a 6-month medical record review of active tobacco users (ATUs) to evaluate the frequency of documented TC discussions in clinic. We educated the HNOPs about available TC resources, developed a TC resource teaching sheet, placed a provider alert page in examination rooms as a reminder of TC discussions, and built a TC discussion template to ease documentation. Four weeks postintervention, we resurveyed providers and again performed medical record reviews of ATUs.

Results: Preintervention, 13% of HNOPs were aware of TC resources available, and TC discussion documentation was 28%. Postintervention, 100% of HNOPs became aware of the TC resources available, and documentations increased to 56% at 5 months. Identification of ATUs increased from six to 13 per month to 17 to 33 per month post intervention. Eighty-eight percent of HNOPs felt the intervention prompted TC discussions in clinic with their ATUs.

Conclusion: The limited number of TC discussions among patients and providers was at least partially the result of unawareness of TC resources available within the community. Educating HNOPs and alerting them to ATUs at their clinic visits successfully prompted TC discussions in clinic.
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January 2016

Ensuring head and neck oncology patients receive recommended pretreatment dental evaluations.

J Oncol Pract 2015 Mar 27;11(2):151-4. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Brigham and Women's Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Center for Clinical Excellence, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA; and Center for Oncology Care at Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY.

Purpose: Head and neck (H&N) cancer therapy can have a detrimental effect on oral health by increasing the risk of dry mouth, dental caries, dental infection, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. Pretreatment dental evaluations are recommended for patients with H&N cancer before radiation therapy to minimize the risk of acute and long-term adverse effects. In an earlier effort to educate patients and community dentists about the importance of pretreatment dental evaluations, we created a dental instructional guide (DIG) that outlines the necessary components of the preradiation dental evaluation. Yet our program did not have a system for documenting which patients received the DIG. The aim of this project was to create a reliable system to ensure that patients are given the DIG before radiation therapy and that such patients are readily identifiable, allowing us to confirm that their dental evaluations are complete before starting treatment.

Methods: We implemented a tracking template within the H&N oncology program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that documents the date, patient, and clinician who gave the DIG. We used the Model for Improvement methodology and performed plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles to test and monitor the results of the template implementation.

Results: We showed a significant improvement in the rate of DIG documentation from a baseline of 0% (range, 0% to 0%) to a mean of 53% (range, 0% to 100%) over 3 months (P < .01).

Conclusion: This intervention was the first step in creating a sustainable system for ensuring timely preradiation dental evaluation, thereby decreasing the risk of dental complications from H&N cancer therapy.
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March 2015

Bochdalek hernia and repetitive pancreatitis in a 33 year old woman.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2014 23;5(10):743-5. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Hospital General Regional no. 17, General Surgery Department, Avenida Politécnico sn, Manzana 1, Lote 1, Región 509, 77530 Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Electronic address:

Introduction: Bochdalek hernia presentation in adulthood is rare. The presentation in newborns is the most common, manifesting with data from respiratory failure secondary to pulmonary hypoplasia, requiring urgent surgical intervention with high morbidity and mortality.

Presentation Of Case: We present the case of a 33 year old woman admitted in the emergency room with severe abdominal pain in the left upper quadrant and disnea. After physical examination and laboratory test we diagnose mild acute pancreatitis. The patient haven't colelitiasis by ulstrasound or any risk factor for pancreatitis. Initially she received medical treatment and was discharged after one week. After four weeks she presented the same symptoms in two different occasions, with severe and mild pancreatitis respectively. A computed tomography report a left posterolateral diafragmatic hernia. In spite of the rare association of pancreatitis and Bochdalek hernia, we realized it as the etiology until the second event and planned his surgery. We made a posterolateral torachotomy and diafragmatic plasty with a politetrafluoroetileno mesh and after a 6 months follow up she has coursed asymptomatic.

Discussion: The high rate of complications in this type of hernia requires us to perform surgical treatment as the hernia is detected. In this case it is prudent medical treatment prior to surgical correction despite this being the origin of the pancreatitis, because the systemic inflammatory response added by the surgical act could result in a higher rate of complications if not performed at the appropriate time. There is no precise rule to determine the type of approach of choice in this type of hernia which thoracotomy or laparotomy may be used.

Conclusion: Bochdalek hernia is a rare find in adults who require treatment immediately after diagnosis because of the high risk of complications. When presented with data from pancreatitis is recommended to complete the medical treatment of pancreatitis before surgery to obtain the best results, unless it exist another abdominal complication.
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October 2014