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Articles by C Blair
Total Records ( 2 ) for C Blair
  L Mazzone , S Yu , C Blair , B. C Gunter , Z Wang , R Marsh and B. S. Peterson

The authors sought to study activity in neural circuits that subserve the inhibition of a semi-involuntary motor behavior, eye blinking, in children and adults with Tourette syndrome and in healthy comparison subjects.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to scan 120 participants (51 with Tourette syndrome and 69 comparison subjects) as they either blinked normally or successfully inhibited eye blinking. The authors compared the blood-oxygen-level dependent signal during these two conditions across the Tou­rette and comparison groups.


Results: Relative to comparison subjects, patients with Tourette syndrome activated more strongly the frontal cortex and striatum during eye blink inhibition. Activation increased more with age in the dorsolateral and inferolateral prefrontal cortex and caudate nucleus in the Tourette group relative to comparison subjects. In addition, the Tourette group more strongly activated the middle frontal gyrus, dorsal anterior cingulate, and temporal cortices. The severity of tic symptoms in the Tourette group correlated inversely with activation in the putamen and inferolateral prefrontal cortex.


Conclusions: Frontostriatal activity is increased in persons with Tourette syndrome during the inhibition of eye blinks. Activation of frontostriatal circuits in this population may help to maintain regulatory control over semi-involuntary behaviors, whether these are tics or eye blinks.

  C Blair , J Walls , N. W Davies and G. A. Jacobson

To determine if non-elite athletes undertaking short duration running exercise adjacent to a busy roadway experience increased blood levels of common pollutant volatile organic compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX)).

Design and setting

The study was observational in design. Participants (nine males/one female non-elite athletes) ran for 20 min, near a busy roadway along a 100 m defined course at their own pace. Blood levels of BTEX were determined both pre- and post-exercise by SPME-GC-MS. Environmental BTEX levels were determined by passive adsorption samplers.


Subjects completed a mean (range) distance of 4.4 (3.4 to 5.2) km over 20 min (4.5 (3.8 to 5.9) min/km pace), with a mean (SD) exercise intensity of 93 (2.3)% HRmax, and mean (SD) ventilation significantly elevated compared with resting levels (86.2 (2.3) vs 8.7 (0.9) l/min; p<0.001). The mean (SD) environmental levels (time weighted average) were determined as 53.1 (4.2), 428 (83), and 80.0 (3.7) µg/m3 for toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, respectively, while benzene was below the detectable limit due to the short exposure period. Significant increases in blood BTEX levels were observed in runners between pre- and postexercise for toluene (mean increase of 1.4 ng/ml; p=0.002), ethylbenzene (0.7 ng/ml; p=0.0003), m/p-xylene (2.0 ng/ml; p=0.004) and o-xylene (1.1 ng/ml; p=0.002), but no change was observed for benzene.


Blood BTEX levels are increased during high-intensity exercise such as running undertaken in areas with BTEX pollution, even with a short duration of exercise. This may have health implications for runners who regularly exercise near roadways.

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