Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science, University of California Irvine, Biological Sciences (2012)

All Publications

  • Quality of Life in Pediatric Moyamoya Disease. Pediatric neurology Ball, A. J., Steinberg, G. K., Elbers, J. 2016; 63: 60-65


    Moyamoya disease (MMD) is a progressive intracranial arteriopathy with high risk of stroke. Its impact on quality of life is unstudied. We surveyed children with moyamoya disease and compared their quality of life to chronically ill children and children with stroke to better understand the impact of this diagnosis.Children with moyamoya disease aged seven to 17 years from Stanford's Moyamoya Clinic between June 2014 and March 2015 were included. Children with syndromic neurodevelopmental diagnoses were excluded. Patients were surveyed using the Pediatric Quality of Life 4.0, in addition to the Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure or Recovery Recurrence Questionnaire. Mean scores were compared to normative data sets. Linear regression models compared total quality of life scores in patients with and without stroke, after adjusting for confounders.This cross-sectional study included 30 children with moyamoya disease; ten were male, and the median age was 13.5 years (range, 7 to 17 years). Twenty children (67%) had a stroke, and 14 of these had good neurological outcome (70%). Mean parent-proxy Pediatric Quality of Life scores were lower in all domains compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05), and all scores were comparable to chronically ill children and children with non-moyamoya disease stroke. There was no significant difference in total quality of life between patients with and without stroke.Even in the absence of stroke, children with moyamoya disease have lower quality of life than healthy controls and a similar quality of life to chronically ill children and those with non-moyamoya disease stroke. Children with moyamoya disease would benefit from mental health support beyond what a mild physical presentation may indicate.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2016.06.012

    View details for PubMedID 27473648

  • Running Wheel Exercise Ameliorates Methamphetamine-Induced Damage to Dopamine and Serotonin Terminals SYNAPSE O'Dell, S. J., Galvez, B. A., Ball, A. J., Marshall, J. F. 2012; 66 (1): 71-80


    Repeated administration of methamphetamine (mAMPH) to rodents in a single-day "binge" produces long-lasting damage to dopaminergic and serotonergic terminals. Because previous research has demonstrated that physical activity can ameliorate nigrostriatal injury, this study investigated whether voluntary exercise in rats can alter the monoaminergic damage resulting from a neurotoxic mAMPH binge. Adult male rats were allowed constant access to running wheels or kept in nonwheel cages for three weeks, then given a binge dosing regimen of mAMPH or saline. The rats were returned to their original environments for three additional weeks post-mAMPH. [(125) I]RTI-55 binding and autoradiography was used to quantify dopamine transporters (DAT), and radioimmunocytochemistry was used to quantify striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Binge mAMPH treatment significantly reduced striatal DAT and TH in a regionally specific pattern; with greatest effects in ventral caudate-putamen (CP) and relative sparing of the nucleus accumbens septi (NAc). The effects of mAMPH on striatal DAT and TH were ameliorated in the running, compared to the sedentary, animals. Also, mAMPH was found to reduce [(125) I]RTI-55 binding to serotonin transporters (SERT) in frontoparietal cortex, and this too was significantly attenuated by exercise. Additional correlational analyses showed that the post-mAMPH running of individual animals predicted the amelioration of striatal DAT and TH as well as frontoparietal SERT. Overall, voluntary exercise significantly diminished mAMPH-induced forebrain monoaminergic damage. The significant correlations between post-mAMPH exercise and markers of monoaminergic terminal integrity provide novel evidence that voluntary exercise may exert beneficial effects on behavior in recovering mAMPH addicts.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/syn.20989

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297943100008

    View details for PubMedID 21953518