Publications by authors named "Savannah R Cheek"

2 Publications

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Detecting functional connectivity disruptions in a translational pediatric traumatic brain injury porcine model using resting-state and task-based fMRI.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 11;11(1):12406. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia, 500 D.W. Brooks Drive Rm 119, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has significant potential to evaluate changes in brain network activity after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and enable early prognosis of potential functional (e.g., motor, cognitive, behavior) deficits. In this study, resting-state and task-based fMRI (rs- and tb-fMRI) were utilized to examine network changes in a pediatric porcine TBI model that has increased predictive potential in the development of novel therapies. rs- and tb-fMRI were performed one day post-TBI in piglets. Activation maps were generated using group independent component analysis (ICA) and sparse dictionary learning (sDL). Activation maps were compared to pig reference functional connectivity atlases and evaluated using Pearson spatial correlation coefficients and mean ratios. Nonparametric permutation analyses were used to determine significantly different activation areas between the TBI and healthy control groups. Significantly lower Pearson values and mean ratios were observed in the visual, executive control, and sensorimotor networks for TBI piglets compared to controls. Significant differences were also observed within several specific individual anatomical structures within each network. In conclusion, both rs- and tb-fMRI demonstrate the ability to detect functional connectivity disruptions in a translational TBI piglet model, and these disruptions can be traced to specific affected anatomical structures.
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June 2021

An Adolescent Porcine Model of Voluntary Alcohol Consumption Exhibits Binge Drinking and Motor Deficits in a Two Bottle Choice Test.

Alcohol Alcohol 2021 Apr;56(3):266-274

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, 425 River Road, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.

Aims: Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance leading to significant economic and medical burdens. Pigs are an attractive model for studying alcohol abuse disorder due to the comparable alcohol metabolism and consumption behavior, which are in stark contrast to rodent models. This study investigates the usage of a porcine model for voluntary binge drinking (BD) and a detailed analysis of gait changes due to motor function deficits during alcohol intoxication.

Methods: Adolescent pigs were trained to drink increasing concentration (0-8%) of alcohol mixed in a 0.2% saccharin solution for 1 h in a two bottle choice test for 2 weeks. The training period was followed by a 3-week alcohol testing period, where animals were given free access to 8% alcohol in 0.2% saccharin solution and 0.2% saccharin water solution. Blood alcohol levels were tested and gait analysis was performed pre-alcohol consumption, last day of training, and Day 5 of each testing period.

Results: Pigs voluntarily consumed alcohol to intoxication at all timepoints with blood alcohol concentration (BAL) ≥80 mg/dl. Spatiotemporal gait parameters including velocity, cadence, cycle time, swing time, stance time, step time, and stride length were perturbed as a result of intoxication. The stratification of the gait data based on BAL revealed that the gait parameters were affected in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusion: This novel adolescent BD porcine model with inherent anatomical and physiological similarities to humans display similar consumption and intoxication behavior that is likely to yield results that are translatable to human patients.
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April 2021