Latest articles in this journal
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56040146
Background and objectives: There are studies showing that exercise counseled by health professionals can improve physical fitness. However, less is known about the effects of exercise counseling on quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate health-related quality of life of older adults who received or did not receive physical exercise counseling by sport and exercise professionals or physicians. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that investigated quality of life of older adults who did or did not receive exercise counseling from health professionals. Older adults who were physically active took part in this study: 45 participants performed exercise advised by sport and exercise professionals (SEPCG), 19 participants performed exercise advised by physicians (PCG), and 26 participants performed exercise without counseling (NCG). Participants answered the SF-36 to estimate quality of life. Results: Analysis revealed that responses on all SF-36 subscales were higher in those participants who received counseling by sport and exercise professionals (Functioning capacity, β = −26.283, p < 0.001 and β = −26.482, p < 0.001, Role limitations due to physical problems, β = −43.372, p < 0.001 and β = −45.177, p < 0.001, Pain, β = −17.634, p < 0.001 and β = −16.015, p < 0.001, General health perceptions, β = −38.008, p < 0.001 and β = −32.529, p < 0.001, Vitality, β = −18.573, p < 0.001 and β = −16.406, p = 0.001, Social functioning, β = −37.963, p < 0.001 and β = −29.224, p < 0.001, Role limitations due to emotional problems, β = −52.246, p < 0.001 and β = −40.173, p < 0.001, Mental health, β = −17.381, p < 0.001 and β = −12.121, p < 0.001, PCG and NCG respectively). Conclusions: The results showed that those older adults who were counseled by sport and exercise professionals presented better quality of life, possibly because these professionals counseled exercise based on current guidelines for exercise prescription.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56040147
Background and Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate the clinical sonographic evaluation of postmenopausal bleeding (PMB) followed by diagnostic and/or therapeutic hysteroscopy and guided biopsy in Jordanian hospitals. Materials and Methods: A retrospective multi-centric study was performed in hospitals in Al-Karak and Amman from 2014–2016. The study recruited 189 cases to evaluate the aetiology of postmenopausal bleeding. Atrophic endometrium was observed as a major cause of postmenopausal bleeding according to histopathology. The cases were also distributed according to parity in which nulliparous patients were observed. Results: Hysteroscopy was observed to be effective for the diagnosis of postmenopausal bleeding. Conclusion: There is a need to assess more approaches for the diagnosis of postmenopausal bleeding among women.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56040145
Background and objectives: The present study is the first known in Latin America to enroll a substantial number of Kawasaki disease (KD) patients with an extended follow-up. This study aimed to: (1) to expose the difficulties and delays in the diagnosis of KD in a developing country, (2) to describe and correlate the clinical features of this disorder with the children's age at the time of disease onset, (3) to correlate the frequent lack of early diagnosis with a delayed application of appropriate treatment, and (4) to describe the outcome and eventual recurrences of KD in our region. Materials and Methods: Three hundred and one participants (183 males and 118 females) included in the study were diagnosed and, subsequently, clinically followed for ten years (January 2007 to December 2016) at the Pediatric Rheumatology Walk-in Clinic of the Children's Hospital of Brasilia. Results: Episodes ranged from four months to two years. This rate of recurrence was well-above that disclosed by previous reports. Delay in diagnosis, in all age groups, caused an undesirable delay between the disease onset, the final diagnosis, and the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). KD recurred in 25 (8.3%) of the children during the first three years of follow-up. In seven patients, KD recurred twice, with an interval between episodes ranging from four months to two years. Conclusions: This rate of recurrence was well-above that disclosed by previous reports. In Latin America, aside from a handful of physicians and researchers, KD is being ignored. There is a pressing need to educate primary health care physicians and bring awareness to the fact that KD is not an exotic condition that affects only the Asian populations but a disorder that already exists among us and that frequently results in severe consequences.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56040148
Background and objectives: The study aimed to investigate the effect of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMMSCs) on implant-bone osseointegration in type I diabetic New Zealand rabbits. Materials and methods: BMMSCs harvested from healthy rabbits were processed and validated for purity and osteocyte differentiability. Mandibular incisors of diabetic and control rabbits were carefully extracted, and the sockets were plugged with collagen sponges. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) containing osteoinductive BMMSCs, and plain PRP were injected into the collagen sponge of the right and left sockets respectively. Dental implants of 2.6 mm diameter and 10 mm length were inserted into the collagen sponge of both sockets. All the animals were sacrificed six weeks post surgery to evaluate an early stage of osseointegration; the mandibles scanned by X-ray microcomputed tomography (μCT) and subjected to 3D analysis. The μCT parameters of the right implant were paired against that of the left side of each animal and analyzed by paired T-test. Results: The preclinical evaluation of the viability and osteocyte differentiation of the BMMSCs were consistent between both the donor samples. The osseointegration of dental implants with stem cell therapy (BMMSCs + PRP + collagen) in normal and diabetic rabbits was significantly higher than that of implants with adjunctive PRP + collagen only (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Stem Cell therapy with osteoinductive BMMSCs and PRP can offer a novel approach to enhance the osseointegration of dental implants in uncontrolled diabetic patients.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030144
Background and Objectives: Ficus benghalensis (FB) is a commonly found tree in Pakistan and its various parts have folkloric importance in managing neurological ailments. In the present study, methanolic extract of its bark has been tested on an experimental animal model to evaluate memory-enhancing, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities to validate the claimed therapeutic potential. Materials and Methods: Methanolic extract of freshly isolated bark was prepared and subjected to preliminary phytochemical studies and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis for the presence of phytocomponents. To evaluate its effect on spatial learning, passive-avoidance test–step through (PAT-ST), Y-maze and Morris water maze (MWM) tests were carried out. Open-field (OFT) and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests were employed to explore the anti-anxiety potential of FB while a forced swimming test (FST) was utilized to assess its anti-depressant prospective. FB doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg with positive and negative controls given to Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Results: phytochemical studies showed the presence of various phytoconstituents including alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenes, phenolics and anthraquinones. The presence of synephrine, aspargine, glucose, fructose and fatty acids was revealed by GC–MS analysis. FB administration led to significant improved memory retention when evaluated through passive avoidance (p < 0.05), Y-maze (p < 0.05) and Morris water maze (p < 0.05) tests in a scopolamine model of amnesic rats. When tested by open field and elevated plus maze tests, FB demonstrated anxiety-resolving characteristics (p < 0.05) as animals dared to stay in open areas more than a control group. Mobility time was increased and immobility time was reduced (p < 0.05–0.01) in rats treated with FB, unveiling the anti-depressant importance of F. benghalensis. Conclusion: methanolic extract of F. benghalensis bark furnished scientific proof behind folkloric claims of the memory improving, anxiety-reducing and depression-resolving characteristics of the plant. These activities might be possible due to interaction of its phytoconstituents with serotonergic, glutamatergic, cholinergic and GABAergic systems in the brain.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030141
The objective of this article is to discuss the inherent bias involved with artificial intelligence-based decision support systems for healthcare. In this article, the authors describe some relevant work published in this area. A proposed overview of solutions is also presented. The authors believe that the information presented in this article will enhance the readers’ understanding of this inherent bias and add to the discussion on this topic. Finally, the authors discuss an overview of the need to implement transdisciplinary solutions that can be used to mitigate this bias.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030143
Background and Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the association between the cerebral autoregulation (CA) index, the pressure reactivity index (PRx), the patient’s clinical outcome, and the quality of arterial blood pressure (ABP(t)) and intracranial blood pressure (ICP(t)) signals by comparing two filtering methods to derive the PRx. Materials and Methods: Data from 60 traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients were collected. Moving averaging and FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filtering were performed on the ABP(t) and ICP(t) signals, and the PRx was estimated from both filtered datasets. Sensitivity, specificity, and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves with the area under the curves (AUCs) were determined using patient outcomes as a reference. The outcome chosen for comparison among the two filtering methods were mortality and survival. Results: The FIR filtering approach, compared with clinical outcome, had a sensitivity of 70%, a specificity of 81%, and a level of significance p = 0.001 with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.78. The moving average filtering method compared with the clinical outcome had a sensitivity of 58%, a specificity of 72%, and a level of significance p = 0.054, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.66. Conclusions: The FIR (optimal) filtering approach was found to be more sensitive for discriminating between two clinical outcomes, namely intact (survival) and impaired (death) cerebral autoregulation for TBI treatment decision making.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030142
Background and objectives: Although laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is effective for obesity management, postoperative vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is of major concern. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the levels of B12 and its related functional biomarkers, namely, total homocysteine (tHcy), methylmalonic acid (MMA), folate, methylcitric acid (MCA), and hemoglobin (Hb), in one-year postoperative LSG patients and matched controls. Materials and Methods: Plasma B12, tHcy, MMA, folate, and MCA were measured in matched controls (n = 66) and patients (n = 71) using validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry techniques and protocols in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Results: The median B12 concentration in patients (177 pmol/L) was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than in the controls (334.7 pmol/L). The tHcy and MMA levels were significantly increased (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively) and folate levels were significantly decreased (p = 0.001) in the LSG patients compared to the controls. Interestingly, no significant difference in MCA levels were observed between the two groups. The levels of tHcy and MMA were concomitantly increased with the decreased folate levels in postoperative LSG patients when compared with the controls. The Hb levels were significantly lower in males and females in the patient group compared with those in the control group, respectively (p = 0.005 and p = 0.043). Conclusions: This is the first report of serum levels of B12 and its functional biomarkers in postoperative LSG patients among a local population from the UAE. Our findings revealed significant alterations of the B12 biomarkers, total B12, MMA, and tHcy in one-year postoperative LSG patients.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030138
Alarmins are endogenous mediators released by cells following insults or cell death to alert the host’s innate immune system of a situation of danger or harm. Many of these, such as high-mobility group box-1 and 2 (HMGB1, HMGB2) and S100 (calgranulin proteins), act through RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products), whereas the IL-1 and IL-33 cytokines bind the IL-1 receptors type I and II, and the cellular receptor ST2, respectively. The alarmin family and their signal pathways share many similarities of cellular and tissue localization, functions, and involvement in various physiological processes and inflammatory diseases including osteoporosis. The aim of the review was to evaluate the role of alarmins in osteoporosis. A bibliographic search of the published scientific literature regarding the role of alarmins in osteoporosis was organized independently by two researchers in the following scientific databases: Pubmed, Scopus, and Web of Science. The keywords used were combined as follows: “alarmins and osteoporosis”, “RAGE and osteoporosis”, “HMGB1 and osteoporosis”, “IL-1 and osteoporosis”, “IL 33 and osteopororsis”, “S100s protein and osteoporosis”. The information was summarized and organized in the present review. We highlight the emerging roles of alarmins in various bone remodeling processes involved in the onset and development of osteoporosis, as well as their potential role as biomarkers of osteoporosis severity and progression. Findings of the research suggest a potential use of alarmins as pharmacological targets in future therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing bone loss and fragility fractures induced by aging and inflammatory diseases.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56030139
Background and objectives: To compare the medium- to long-term mechanical behavior of overdentures with two different retention systems: overdentures with Locator® axial retention, and vertical insertion overdentures with bar retention, used to rehabilitate edentulous maxillar. Material and Methods: This prospective study assessed patients presenting complete maxillary edentulism, rehabilitated by means of implant-supported overdentures (n = 20), 10 with Locator® axial retention (ODA group) and 10 with overdentures on bars (ODB group). Patients also completed a questionnaire to determine their satisfaction with treatment. Results: The mean follow-up time in both groups was 11.4 years, with follow-up times in both groups ranging from 5 to 14 years. The ODA group suffered mechanical complications such as retention loss, need for nylon retention insert changes, resin fracture, and need for relining. In the ODB group, prosthetic dental wear, screw loosening, and complete prosthetic failure were more common. A total of 19 implants failed (23.8%); of these, 11 were in the ODA group (failure rate = 27.5%) and eight in the ODB group (failure rate = 20%). The patient satisfaction questionnaire obtained a mean score of 7.9 out of 10 in the ODA group, and 9.75 in the ODB group. Conclusions: in rehabilitations of edentulous maxillar by means of implant-supported overdentures, both the systems assessed were shown to be effective in the medium to long term. Patients expressed a high level of satisfaction with the treatments received.