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Chemosensory loss in COVID-19

Xu, Winnie; Sunavala-Dossabhoy, Gulshan; Spielman, Andrew I
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus quickly spread globally, infecting over half a billion individuals, and killing over 6 million*. One of the more unusual symptoms was patients' complaints of sudden loss of smell and/or taste, a symptom that has become more apparent as the virus mutated into different variants. Anosmia and ageusia, the loss of smell and taste, respectively, seem to be transient for some individuals, but for others persists even after recovery from the infection. Causes for COVID-19-associated chemosensory loss have undergone several hypotheses. These include non-functional or destroyed olfactory neurons and gustatory receptors or of their supporting cells, disruption of the signaling protein Neuropilin-1, and disruption in the interaction with semaphorins, key molecules in the gustatory and olfactory axon guidance. The current paper will review these hypotheses and chart out potential therapeutic avenues.
PMID: 35790059
ISSN: 1601-0825
CID: 5280812

Reprogramming cultured human fungiform (HBO) taste cells into neuron-like cells through in vitro induction

Elkaddi, Nadia; Malik, Bilal; Spielman, Andrew I; Ozdener, Mehmet Hakan
Human taste cells are a heterogeneous population of specialized epithelial cells that are constantly generated from progenitor taste cells. Type I and type III taste cells express some neural markers, and studies have reported that direct innervation by neurons is not required for taste cell development. To our knowledge, no previous study has demonstrated that taste cells can differentiate into neuron-like cells or any other non-taste cell type. Here, for the first time, we describe a simple in vitro method that uses a serum-free neural induction medium to differentiate cultured physiologically functional primary human taste (HBO) cells into neuron-like cells in 2-3 wk with high efficiency. We verified neural attributes of these HBO-derived neuron-like with immunocytochemistry, single-cell calcium imaging, and DiI staining and examined cell morphology using transmission electron microscopy. Induced neuron-like cells demonstrated neuron-specific proteins, dendritic and axonal morphology, and networking behaviors. This technique will open new avenues for translational medicine, autologous cell therapy, regenerative medicine, therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, and drug screening.
PMID: 36307636
ISSN: 1543-706x
CID: 5365822

Restructuring of Dental Educationin a Post-COVID-19 Era

Sunavala-Dossabhoy, Gulshan; Spielman, Andrew I
PMID: 32731297
ISSN: 1601-0825
CID: 4542892

Teaching History of Dentistry in Dental Curricula A survey of 393 dental schools in 100 countries [Historical Article]

Spielman, Andrew
Teaching history of dentistry and/or medicine in dental schools is not a priority today. A half a century ago it was part of a significant number of dental school curricula. As advances in science occurred and more demand on the curriculum were made, history of medicine and dentistry (HMD) was largely cast aside. In a recent survey of 393 dental programs in 100 countries on five continents, only 18.8% have a stand-alone course in HMD. Nearly half of the programs though have at least 1-2 hours of curriculum time devoted to HMD. When we consider a subset of the above survey, only 5% of dental schools in the US and Canada have a stand-alone course. The exclusion of HMD from current dental curricula is shortsighted. Teaching only current and state-of-the art aspects of dentistry is like showing a still image from the end of a movie without watching the rest.
PMID: 35468051
ISSN: 1089-6287
CID: 5217822

Pandemics and education: A historical review

Spielman, Andrew I; Sunavala-Dossabhoy, Gulshan
Major pandemics have tremendous effects on society. They precipitated the early decline of the Western Roman Empire and helped spread Christianity. There are countless such examples of infectious diseases altering the course of history. The impact of epidemics on education however is less well documented. This present historical account of the past 800 years looks specifically at how some aspects of education were shaped from the early medieval epidemics such as leprosy and the Black Plague to the Spanish Flu and COVID-19. Leprosy changed religious education, and the Black Plague may have contributed to the rise of medical schools, hospitals, public health education, and led to the implementation of lazarettos and the quarantine. The smallpox epidemic helped usher in public health education for immunization, while the 1918 Spanish Flu precipitated the rise of education by correspondence, and recently COVID-19 has catapulted remote digital learning to the forefront of higher education.
PMID: 33876429
ISSN: 1930-7837
CID: 4875782

Sophorolipid Reduces Bitter Taste in Humans In Vivo and In Vitro

Ozdener, Mehmet Hakan; Spielman, Andrew, I; Wise, Paul M.
ISSN: 1097-3958
CID: 4892432


Kamel, Dina; Tareen, Manal; Vafamansouri, Ramtin; Spielman, Andrew I
Quackery in medicine is as old as medicine itself. In times of crisis desperate patients often believe extraordinary claims. In the annals of pain killer quack medicine, elixirs, nostrums and liniments hold a special position. The College of Dentistry at NYU received a collection of 234 bottles of nostrums and liniments dating from approximately 1850 through 1940. In this paper, the FOURTH in a series of articles featuring "Elixirs of the Past" we bring to light four more samples claiming to have magnetic properties: Dr. J.R. Miller's Magnetic Balm, Havens' Electromagnetic Liniment, Headman's Magnetic Liniments, and Magnetic Cream. It goes without saying that none of these had any magnetic properties. In 1906, Congress enacted The Pure Food and Drug Act to prohibit exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims in the marketing and labeling of household products and to control the use of potentially harmful ingredients. The modern-day use of internet advertisements to make unsupported claims is in some ways even more brazen than the advertisements from a century ago.
PMID: 35238743
ISSN: 1089-6287
CID: 5221032

Snake Oil and Indian Liniment

Jaafar, Mike; Vafamansouri, Ramtin; Tareen, Manal; Kamel, Dina; Ayroso, Vaughn C; Tareen, Fareed; Spielman, Andrew I
Quackery in medicine is as old as medicine itself. In times of crisis, desperate patients often believe extraordinary claims. In the annals of pain-killer quack medicine, snake oil, elixirs, nostrums and Indian liniments hold a special position. NYU College of Dentistry (NYUCD) has a collection of 234 bottles of such medicines dating from the mid-1800s through 1940. This paper is the fifth in a series of articles featuring "Elixirs of the Past" in which we bring to light six more samples with claims to traditional Chinese or American Indian medicine using snake oil: Virex Compound, Rattlesnake Bill's Oil, Electric Indian Liniment, The King of All Indian Oils, Millerhaus Antiseptic Oil and Celebrated Indian Lotion. The six examples are just a few quack medications linked to fraud, overdose, addiction or death. In 1906, Congress enacted The Pure Food and Drug Act and reinforced it with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, to stop unsubstantiated medicinal claims and control the use of addictive and dangerous substances. The modern-day use of social media to advertise quack medicine is in some ways even more brazen than selling patent medicine a century ago.
PMID: 35238745
ISSN: 1089-6287
CID: 5221042

Zika virus infection in chemosensory cells

Ozdener, Mehmet Hakan; Donadoni, Martina; Cicalese, Stephanie; Spielman, Andrew I; Garcia-Blanco, Alvaro; Gordon, Jennifer; Sariyer, Ilker Kudret
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus. ZIKV infection is a significant health concern, with increasing numbers of reports of microcephaly cases in fetuses and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in adults. Interestingly, chemosensory disturbances are also reported as one of the manifestations of GBS. ZIKV infects several human tissues and cell types in vitro and in vivo. However, there is no study demonstrating ZIKV infection and replication in chemosensory cells, including olfactory and taste cells. Taste papilla and olfactory cells are chemosensory receptor cells with unique histological, molecular, and physiological characteristics. Here we examined ZIKV infection (PRVABC59) in cultured human olfactory epithelial cells (hOECs) and fungiform taste papilla (HBO) cells in vitro, as well as in vivo mouse taste and olfactory epithelial and olfactory bulb tissues. Interestingly, while HBO cells showed resistance to ZIKV replication, hOECs were highly susceptible for ZIKV infection and replication. Further, we demonstrated the presence of ZIKV particles and expression of viral proteins in olfactory epithelium, as well as in olfactory bulb, but not in taste papillae, of immunocompromised mice (ifnar/-) infected with the PRVABC59 strain of ZIKV. These observations suggest that chemosensory cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium and olfactory bulb may be important tissues for ZIKV replication and dissemination.
PMID: 32144727
ISSN: 1538-2443
CID: 4340352

The Teaching of Personalized Dentistry in North American Dental Schools: Changes from 2014 to 2017

Zheng, Linda Y; Rifkin, Barry R; Spielman, Andrew I; London, Lucille; London, Steven D
The aim of this study was to assess the development of personalized dentistry in the curricula of North American dental schools from 2014 to 2017. In 2014, a web-based survey on personalized medicine/dentistry (PM/PD) was distributed to academic deans of all U.S. (n=65) and Canadian (n=10) dental schools with graduating classes. The results (n=42; 56% response rate) showed that few schools had plans for implementation of PM/PD at the time, even though the majority of respondents reported feeling that PM/PD should be taught in the curriculum and will impact clinical practice in the future. A three-year follow-up survey in 2017, sent to the same 75 schools, was designed to reassess the teaching/practice of PM/PD in dental schools in both didactic and clinical curricula. In the results of the 2017 survey (n=30; 40% response rate), the majority of respondents reported feeling that PM/PD should be taught in dental curricula. However, while most respondents indicated their schools did not teach PM/PD as a portion of their didactic curricula, they reported that specific pertinent PM/PD topics were taught as part of other courses in their curricula. The 2017 survey also evaluated the use of seven genetics-based and eight non-genetics-based PM/PD diagnostics in the schools' clinical curricula. Overall, non-genetics-based diagnostics were used more often than genetics-based diagnostics, and the use of genetics-based diagnostics was more prevalent in postgraduate than predoctoral clinics. Personalized dentistry will inevitably be part of the dental professional's future and should be reflected in basic science research, clinical settings, and dental school curricula in both predoctoral and postgraduate programs.
PMID: 31182624
ISSN: 1930-7837
CID: 3929672