Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Editorial

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Editorial
COVID-19 Pandemic and Telephone Triage before Attending Medical Office: Problem or Opportunity?
Medicina 2020, 56(5), 250; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56050250 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 37
Abstract
During the COVID-19 emergency, the medical operating protocols have been largely modified for reducing any type of contamination risk, for working in a safe way and for making the patient feel in a safe environment. Telemedicine, smart phones and apps could represent important [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 emergency, the medical operating protocols have been largely modified for reducing any type of contamination risk, for working in a safe way and for making the patient feel in a safe environment. Telemedicine, smart phones and apps could represent important devices for the community, in order to prevent virus trasmission and to perform quick diagnosis and management at medical offices. This manuscript could be useful for clinicians with regard to the current state of the effectiveness of the telephone triage in this COVID-19 epidemic period. Therefore, it could be an important starting point for future perspectives about telemedicine and virtual patient management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health: Economic and Psychological–Behavioral Implications)
Editorial
Oral Health: The First Step to Well-Being
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55100676 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 31
Abstract
Scientific research in the medical field shows this constantly: health starts from the mouth. Having good oral health nowadays is not only aimed at tooth health, but as amply demonstrated in the literature, it is a starting point for the general health and [...] Read more.
Scientific research in the medical field shows this constantly: health starts from the mouth. Having good oral health nowadays is not only aimed at tooth health, but as amply demonstrated in the literature, it is a starting point for the general health and well-being of our body. Retracing the latest scientific findings that demonstrate an interpolation between oral health, oral diseases, and systemic complications, literature support was brought to this manuscript. Oral health, as demonstrated, has potentially multi-organ systemic implications, and as the results of the recent literature demonstrate, these implications range from an insulin resistance, due to a periodontal disease, up to far more complex multi-organ systemic complications involving the cardiovascular system or even neurodegenerative pathology. Therefore, being able to improve oral health could have great systemic implications for the organism, for the prevention of pathologies, and therefore for society and for the quality of life in individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health: Economic and Psychological–Behavioral Implications)
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Non-COVID Diseases during the Pandemic: Where Have All Other Emergencies Gone?
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 512; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56100512 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Background and objectives: the emergency department (ED) is frequently identified by patients as a possible solution for all healthcare problems, leading to a high rate of misuse of the ED, possibly causing overcrowding. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in China; it [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: the emergency department (ED) is frequently identified by patients as a possible solution for all healthcare problems, leading to a high rate of misuse of the ED, possibly causing overcrowding. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in China; it then spread throughout Italy, with the first cases confirmed in Lombardy, Italy, in February 2020. This has totally changed the type of patients referred to EDs. The aim of this study was to analyze the reduction of ED admissions at a Second level urban teaching (Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: in this retrospective observational cross-sectional study, we reviewed and compared clinical records of all the patients consecutively admitted to our ED over a 40-day period (21 February –31 March) in the last three years (2018–2019–2020). Mean age, sex, triage urgency level, day/night admission, main presentation symptom, and final diagnosis, according to different medical specialties, hospitalization, and discharge rate, were analyzed. Results: we analyzed 16,281 patient clinical records. The overall reduction in ED admissions in 2020 was 37.6% compared to 2019. In 2020, we observed an increase in triage urgency levels for ED admissions (the main presentation symptom was a fever). We noticed a significant drop in admissions for cardio-thoracic, gastroenterological, urological, otolaryngologic/ophthalmologic, and traumatological diseases. Acute neurological conditions registered only a slight, but significant, reduction. Oncology admissions were stable. Admissions for infectious diseases were 30% in 2020, compared to 5% and 6% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2020, the hospitalization rate increased to 42.9% compared to 27.7%, and 26.4% in previous years. Conclusions: the drastic reduction of ED admissions during the pandemic may be associated with fear of the virus, suggesting that patients with serious illnesses did not go to the emergency room. Moreover, there was possible misuse of the ED in the previous year. In particular, worrisome data emerged regarding a drop in cardiology and neurology admissions. Those patients postponed medical attention, possibly with fatal consequences, just for fear of exposure to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Article
Equal Opportunities for Stroke Survivors’ Rehabilitation: A Study on the Validity of the Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale Translated and Adapted into Romanian
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56080409 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and objectives: The Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UEFMA) is one of the most recommended and used methods of clinical evaluation not only for post-stroke motor function disability conditions but also for physiotherapy goal-setting. Up to the present, an official Romanian version has [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UEFMA) is one of the most recommended and used methods of clinical evaluation not only for post-stroke motor function disability conditions but also for physiotherapy goal-setting. Up to the present, an official Romanian version has not been officially available. This study aims to carry out a translation, adaptation, and validation of UEFMA in Romanian, thus giving both patients and medical practitioners the equal opportunity of benefiting from its proficiency. Material and methods: The English version of the motor component of UEFMA was back and forth translated in the assent of best practice translation guidelines. The research was performed on a group of 64 post-stroke in-patients regarding psychometric properties for content validation and an exploratory and confirmatory factorial analysis was performed using the Bayesian model. To assess internal consistency and test–retest reliability, we used the Cronbach Alpha index and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). We used Pearson correlation with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) to determine concurrent validation. Standardized response mean (SRM) was applied to determine the responsiveness of the instrument used. Results: After performing the exploratory factor analysis, a single factor was extracted, with an Eigenvalue of 19.363, which explained 64.543% of the variation. The model was confirmed by Bayesian exploration, with Root Mean Square Residual (RMR) 0.051, Goodness-of-fit Index (GFI) 0.980, Normed-Fit Index (NFI) 0.978 and Relative Fit Index (RFI) 0.977. The Cronbach Alpha value was 0.981, the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) index for average measures was 0.992, the Pearson correlation with FIM 0.789, and MRS −0.787, while the SRM was 1.117. Conclusions: The Romanian version of the UEFMA scale is a reliable, responsive and valid tool which can be used as a standardized assessment in post-stroke patients across Romania. Full article
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Communication
UHPLC-HRMS and GC-MS Screening of a Selection of Synthetic Cannabinoids and Metabolites in Urine of Consumers
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56080408 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The use of synthetic cannabinoids has increased around the world. As a result, the implementation of accurate analysis in human biological matrices is relevant and fundamental. Two different analytical technologies, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) and high-sensitivity gas [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The use of synthetic cannabinoids has increased around the world. As a result, the implementation of accurate analysis in human biological matrices is relevant and fundamental. Two different analytical technologies, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) and high-sensitivity gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used for the determination of three synthetic cannabinoids JWH-122, JWH 210, UR-144 and their metabolites in urine of consumers. Materials and Methods: Sample preparation included an initial hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase and liquid-liquid extraction. The UHPLC-HRMS method included a Kinetex 2.6 u Biphenyl 100A (100 × 2.1 mm, 2.6 μm) (Phenomenex, Italy) column with a gradient mobile phase consisting of mobile phase A (ammonium formate 2mM in water, 0.1% formic acid) and mobile phase B (ammonium formate 2mM in methanol/acetonitrile 50:50 (v/v), 0.1% formic acid) and a full-scan data-dependent MS2 (ddMS2) mode was used (mass range 100–1000 m/z). The GC-MS method employed an ultra-Inert Intuvo GC column (HP-5MS UI, 30 m × 250 µm i.d, film thickness 0.25 µm; Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, USA) and electron-impact (EI) mass spectra were recorded in total ion monitoring mode (scan range 40–550 m/z). Results: Both methods have been successfully used for screening of parent synthetic cannabinoids and their metabolites in urine samples of consumers. Conclusions: The screening method applied JWH-122, JWH-210, UR-144 and their metabolites in urine of consumers can be applied to other compounds of the JWH family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Article
Association between Breakfast Skipping and the Metabolic Syndrome: The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 396; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56080396 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Recently, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korea has increased rapidly. Current knowledge reflects the importance of dietary control in relation to the metabolic syndrome. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of skipping breakfast on the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Recently, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korea has increased rapidly. Current knowledge reflects the importance of dietary control in relation to the metabolic syndrome. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of skipping breakfast on the metabolic syndrome. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017 for the second year. A total of 3864 adults aged 20 to 64 were included in the study. We stratified the study population into three groups, based on breakfast patterns: the regular group, irregular group, and skipping group. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the association between skipping breakfast and the presence of metabolic syndrome. Results: We noted an increase in the proportion of metabolic syndrome cases as follows: skipping group (3.3%), irregular group (5.4%), and regular group (8.5%) (p < 0.001). The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of metabolic syndrome in the skipping and irregular groups compared with the regular group were 0.68 (95% CI; 0.35 to 1.35) and 0.81 (95% CI; 0.51 to 1.28), respectively. In the 40–65-year-old age group, which had a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of metabolic syndrome in the skipping group compared with regular group were 0.78 (95%CI, 0.39 to 1.62). Conclusions: There was no significant correlation between skipping breakfast and risk factors of metabolic syndrome (after adjusting for risk factors), but a tendency of skipping breakfast to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome was observed. A rationale for these results is proposed through the association between skipping breakfast and intermittent fasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology)
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Communication
Who Consult an Adult Psychiatric Emergency Department? Pertinence of Admissions and Opportunities for Telepsychiatry
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56060295 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We aimed: (1) to provide a descriptive picture of the socio-demographic and diagnostic characteristics of the visits among adults at the psychiatric ED; (2) to estimate the clinical pertinence of these visits. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of diagnostic/socio-demographic characteristics and clinical trajectories of patients admitted for a psychiatric condition at the adult psychiatric ED of the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, during a 6-week timespan. Results: In our sample (n = 763 total admissions for psychiatric conditions; n = 702 for inclusion of patients having received a medical evaluation), depression/anxiety, suicidal behavior (SB), psychotic episode, and substance use disorder (SUD), in descending order, were the most common diagnoses for referral. Patients belonged to younger age groups (≤65 years), had a familial status other than married/in couple, and did not present an unfavorable socio-demographic profile. Concerning the pertinence for a psychiatric ED, primary diagnosis of depression/anxiety is the only variable significantly associated with different grade of degree. By the examination of the patients’ trajectory from admission to discharge, the clinical pertinence for a psychiatric ED admission existed for cases assigned to the Echelle Suisse du Tri (EST®) scale degree 1 (corresponding to most urgent and severe conditions), particularly for diagnoses of depression/anxiety associated with SB, SB as primary or comorbid diagnosis, and psychotic and manic/hypomanic episode. However, diagnoses of depression/anxiety without urgent and severe features (degrees 2, 3, 4) constituted the most frequent mode of presentation. Conclusions: Ambulatory and community-integrated settings could be more appropriate for the majority of patients admitted to adult psychiatric EDs. Moreover, the implementation of telepsychiatry strategies represents a very promising opportunity to offer these patients care continuity, reduce costs and filter the demand for psychiatric ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatry)
Article
Acute Effects of a Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Product on Pulmonary Function
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56060292 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the acute effects of IQOS on pulmonary function in non-smokers and current smokers. Materials and Methods: Fifty male healthy non-smokers and current smokers with no known co-morbidity underwent an exhaled CO measurement, oximetry (SaO2%), pulmonary function tests (flows, volumes and diffusion capacity), and a measurement of respiratory resistances with an impulse oscillometry system (IOS) before and immediately after IQOS use. Results: In the whole group of 50 participants, SaO2%, forced expiratory flow at 25% and 50% of vital capacity (FEF 25%, FEF 50%, respectively), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide/VA (KCO) decreased significantly after IQOS use, whereas exhaled CO and airway resistance (R5 Hz, R10 Hz, r15 Hz, R20 Hz, R25 Hz, R35 Hz) increased. When the groups of smokers and non-smokers were compared, in both groups (all males, 25 smokers and 25 non-smokers), exhaled CO increased and SaO2% decreased after IQOS use (p < 0.001). In the group of non-smokers, PEF (pre 8.22 ± 2.06 vs. post 7.5 ± 2.16, p = 0.001) and FEF 25% (pre 7.6 ± 1.89 vs. 7.14 ± 2.06, p = 0.009) decreased significantly; respiratory resistances R20 Hz (pre 0.34 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.36 ± 0.09, p = 0.09) and R25 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.38 ± 0.09, p = 0.08) increased almost significantly. In smokers, PEF (pre 7.69 ± 2.26 vs. post 7.12 ± 2.03, p = 0.007) and expiratory reserve volume (ERV) (pre 1.57 ± 0.76 vs. post1.23 ± 0.48, p = 0.03) decreased and R35 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.11 vs. post 0.39 ± 0.11, p = 0.047) increased. The differences in the changes after the use of IQOS did not differ between groups. Conclusions: IQOS had an impact on exhaled CO, SaO2%, and airways function immediately after use. Even though these changes were rather small to be considered of major clinical importance, they should raise concerns regarding the long-term safety of this product. Further research is needed for the short- and long-term effects of IQOS, especially in patients with respiratory disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
Article
Submuscular and Pre-pectoral ADM Assisted Immediate Breast Reconstruction: A Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 256; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56060256 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Background and objectives: Breast cancer treatment has deeply changed in the last fifty years. Acellular dermal matrices (ADMs) were introduced for breast reconstruction, with encouraging results, but with conflicting reports too. The present paper aims to summarize the current data on breast [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Breast cancer treatment has deeply changed in the last fifty years. Acellular dermal matrices (ADMs) were introduced for breast reconstruction, with encouraging results, but with conflicting reports too. The present paper aims to summarize the current data on breast reconstruction using acellular dermal matrices. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the literature regarding the use of ADM-assisted implant-based breast reconstruction. Results: The main techniques were analyzed and described. Conclusions: Several authors have recently reported positive results. Nevertheless, an increased complications’ rate has been reported by other authors. Higher cost compared to not-ADM-assisted breast reconstruction is another concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Breast Reconstruction: Review from Evidence)
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Article
Role of a Brief Intensive Observation Area with a Dedicated Team of Doctors in the Management of Acute Heart Failure Patients: A Retrospective Observational Study
Medicina 2020, 56(5), 251; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56050251 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Background and objectives: Acute heart failure (AHF) is one of the main causes of hospitalization in Western countries. Usually, patients cannot be admitted directly to the wards (access block) and stay in the emergency room. Holding units are clinical decision units, or [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Acute heart failure (AHF) is one of the main causes of hospitalization in Western countries. Usually, patients cannot be admitted directly to the wards (access block) and stay in the emergency room. Holding units are clinical decision units, or observation units, within the ED that are able to alleviate access block and to contribute to a reduction in hospitalization. Observation units have also been shown to play a role in specific clinical conditions, like the acute exacerbation of heart failure. This study aimed to analyze the impact of a brief intensive observation (OBI) area on the management of acute heart failure (AHF) patients. The OBI is a holding unit dedicated to the stabilization of unstable patients with a team of dedicated physicians. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective and single-centered observational study with retrospective collection of the data of all patients who presented to our emergency department with AHF during 2017. We evaluated and compared two cohorts of patients, those treated in the OBI and those who were not, in terms of the reduction in color codes at discharge, mortality rate within the emergency room (ER), hospitalization rate, rate of transfer to less intensive facilities, and readmission rate at 7, 14, and 30 days after discharge. Results: We enrolled 920 patients from 1st January to 31st December. Of these, 61% were transferred to the OBI for stabilization. No statistically significant difference between the OBI and non-OBI populations in terms of age and gender was observed. OBI patients had worse clinical conditions on arrival. The patients treated in the OBI had longer process times, which would be expected, to allow patient stabilization. The stabilization rate in the OBI was higher, since presumably OBI admission protected patients from “worse condition” at discharge. Conclusions: Data from our study show that a dedicated area of the ER, such as the OBI, has progressively allowed a change in the treatment path of the patient, where the aim is no longer to admit the patient for processing but to treat the patient first and then, if necessary, admit or refer. This has resulted in very good feedback on patient stabilization and has resulted in a better management of beds, reduced admission rates, and reduced use of high intensity care beds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Translational Medicine)
Article
Trauma Coagulopathy and Its Outcomes
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 205; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56040205 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Trauma coagulopathy begins at the moment of trauma. This study investigated whether coagulopathy upon arrival in the emergency room (ER) is correlated with increased hemotransfusion requirement, more hemodynamic instability, more severe anatomical damage, a greater need for hospitalization, and hospitalization [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Trauma coagulopathy begins at the moment of trauma. This study investigated whether coagulopathy upon arrival in the emergency room (ER) is correlated with increased hemotransfusion requirement, more hemodynamic instability, more severe anatomical damage, a greater need for hospitalization, and hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU). We also analyzed whether trauma coagulopathy is correlated with unfavorable indices, such as acidemia, lactate increase, and base excess (BE) increase. Material and Methods: We conducted a prospective, monocentric, observational study of all patients (n = 503) referred to the Department of Emergency and Acceptance, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, for major trauma from 1 January 2018 to 30 January 2019. Results: Of the 503 patients, 204 had trauma coagulopathy (group 1), whereas 299 patients (group 2) did not. Group 1 had a higher hemotransfusion rate than group 2. In group 1, 15% of patients showed hemodynamic instability compared with only 8% of group 2. The shock index (SI) distribution was worse in group 1 than in group 2. Group 1 was more often hypotensive, tachycardic, and with low oxygen saturation, and had a more severe injury severity score than group 2. In addition, 47% of group 1 had three or more body districts involved compared with 23% of group 2. The hospitalization rate was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (76% vs. 58%). The length of hospitalization was >10 days for 45% of group 1 compared with 28% of group 2. The hospitalization rate in the ICU was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (22% vs. 14.8%). The average duration of ICU hospitalization was longer in group 1 than in group 2 (12.5 vs. 9.78 days). Mortality was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (3.92% vs. 0.98%). Group 1 more often had acidemia and high lactates than group 2. Group 1 also more often had BE <−6. Conclusions: Trauma coagulopathy patients, upon arrival in the ER, have greater hemotransfusion (p = 0.016) requirements and need hospitalization (p = 0.032) more frequently than patients without trauma coagulopathy. Trauma coagulopathy seems to be more present in patients with a higher injury severity score (ISS) (p = 0.000) and a greater number of anatomical districts involved (p = 0.000). Head trauma (p = 0.000) and abdominal trauma (p = 0.057) seem related to the development of trauma coagulopathy. Males seem more exposed than females in developing trauma coagulopathy (p = 0.018). Upon arrival in the ER, the presence of tachycardia or alteration of SI and its derivatives can allow early detection of patients with trauma coagulopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Article
Does Function Determine the Structure? Changes in Flexor Hallucis Longus Muscle and the Associated Performance Related to Dance Modality: A Cross-Sectional Study
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040186 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Flexor hallucis longus pathology is one of the most common conditions of the ankle and foot in dancers, due to the high demand of dance movements performed in an extreme plantar flexion and dorsiflexion range of motion. The objectives [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Flexor hallucis longus pathology is one of the most common conditions of the ankle and foot in dancers, due to the high demand of dance movements performed in an extreme plantar flexion and dorsiflexion range of motion. The objectives of this study were to determine the bilateral differences between the thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle in dancers, to establish possible differences between dance modalities, and to analyze whether there is a correlation between ultrasonographic parameters or performance variables and the dance modality. Material and Methods: A sample of 50 (29 classical and 21 contemporary) full-time pre-professional female dancers were included in the study. The thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle were evaluated for both limbs using ultrasound imaging. The range of movement of the first metatarsophalangeal joint was measured using functional extension with maximal ankle plantarflexion, balance was measured in a unilateral stance with the heel raised, endurance was evaluated through a modified heel rise fatigue test, and a counter movement jump to assess the vertical jump performance was measured bilaterally. Results: There were no significant differences recorded between the dominant and non-dominant limbs for each variable, within both groups. Contemporary dancers showed a greater thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle than classical dancers. However, classical dancers showed an increase of balance, endurance, range of movement of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and counter movement jump with respect to contemporary dancers. Conclusion: Bilateral symmetry was identified in all variables for both groups. The size and performance of the flexor hallucis longus muscle may be influenced by the specific nature of dance modality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound in Sports Medicine: Current Concepts and Advances)
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Article
The Influence of Socio-Demographic Factors, Lifestyle and Psychiatric Indicators on Adherence to Treatment of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Cross-Sectional Study
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56040178 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints accompanied by the progressive deformation and destruction of cartilage and joint bones. This study aims to gain insight into the outcomes related to adherence [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints accompanied by the progressive deformation and destruction of cartilage and joint bones. This study aims to gain insight into the outcomes related to adherence in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Predicting the medication adherence in RA patients is a key point to improve the treatment outcome. Materials and Methods: A number of 119 Romanian patients with RA were included and divided into two groups: first group included 79 patients treated with conventional therapy and second group included 40 patients treated with biologic therapy. A CQR-9 (compliance questionnaire rheumatology with nine items) and PDSQ (psychiatric diagnostic screening questionnaire) were performed to assess correlations between medication adherence, patient sociodemographic variables, 11 psychiatric scales (major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, agoraphobia, social phobia, drug abuse/dependence, generalized anxiety disorder, somatization disorder, hypochondriasis) and lifestyle (bulimia, alcohol intake). Results: Whilst modelling factors associated with adherence, it was found that women and patients with higher education are more adherent. From the psychiatric indicators, only major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder were found to be positively correlated with therapeutic adherence. None of the assessed lifestyle factors influenced the adherence of RA patients. Conclusion: The knowledge of factors that impact on treatment adherence can be useful for clinicians to guide patient-centred care. Full article
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Article
Prevalence of Adverse Reactions to Glutenand People Going on a Gluten-Free Diet:A Survey Study Conducted in Brazil
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56040163 - 04 Apr 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Background: The prevalence of gluten-related disorders (GRD) and adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) remains unknown in Brazilian population and there is no published information on the scientific literature about the proportion of Brazilians that were diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder. Thus, the [...] Read more.
Background: The prevalence of gluten-related disorders (GRD) and adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) remains unknown in Brazilian population and there is no published information on the scientific literature about the proportion of Brazilians that were diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder. Thus, the aim of this work was to estimate the prevalence of GRDs and adherence to a GFD by self-report in adult Brazilian population. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted in two Brazilian cities. Results: The response rate was 93.2% (1630/1749). The self-reported prevalence rates were (95% CI): adverse reactions to gluten 10.06% (8.64–11.62); gluten sensitivity 2.33% (1.65–3.18); physician-diagnosed celiac disease 0.3% (0.09–0.71); non-celiac gluten sensitivity 1.71% (1.14–2.47); wheat allergy 0.79% (0.42–1.36); adherence to gluten-free diet 7.48% (6.25–8.87); gluten avoiders 15.21% (13.5–17.05). Among those who were following a GFD (n = 122), 65.6% (n = 80) of them reported that they did not develop symptoms after wheat/gluten ingestion and 50% (n = 61) were following the diet without medical/dietitian advice. The main motivation for following a GFD in the self-reported and non-self-reported gluten sensitivity groups were the symptoms triggered after wheat/gluten ingestion (86.8%) and weight control (57.1%), respectively. Conclusions: Implementation of programs to increase awareness about GRDs among healthcare professionals and giving scientifically sound information to the general population about the risks and benefits for following a GFD are desirable actions in Brazil. The results also add to the growing body of evidence for highlighting the under-diagnosis of GRD and the trend for following a GFD in Latin America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celiac Disease and Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity)
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Article
Evaluation of the Direct Economic Cost per Eradication Treatment Regimen against Helicobacter pylori Infection in Greece: Do National Health Policy-Makers Need to Care?
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030133 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) management has undoubtedly resulted in a notable economic burden on healthcare systems globally, including Greece. Its cost has never been estimated so far, especially during the recent 10-year unprecedented financial crisis. Direct medical and procedural costs for one [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) management has undoubtedly resulted in a notable economic burden on healthcare systems globally, including Greece. Its cost has never been estimated so far, especially during the recent 10-year unprecedented financial crisis. Direct medical and procedural costs for one attempt “outpatient” Hp eradication treatment were estimated as the following: (I) first-line regimens: 10 and 14 days standard triple, 10 and 14 days sequential, 10 and 14 days concomitant non-bismuth quadruple, 14 days hybrid, (II) second-line salvage regimens: 10 and 14 days levofloxacin-containing triple regimens. Treatment costs using prototypes and/or generic drugs were calculated. Drug prices were collected and confirmed from two official online medical databases including all medicines approved by the Greek National Organization for Medicines. Regimens based on generics were more affordable than prototypes and those including pantoprazole yielded the lowest prices (mean: 27.84 €). Paradoxically, 10-day concomitant and 14-day hybrid regimens (currently providing good (90–94%) first-line eradication rates in Greece) cost the same (mean: 34.76 €). The expenditures for Hp eradication treatment regimens were estimated thoroughly for the first time in Greece. These data should be taken into account by Public Health policymakers both in Greece and the European Union, aiming for a better and less expensive therapeutic approach. Full article
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Article
Impact of Elderly Masticatory Performance on Nutritional Status: An Observational Study
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030130 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Masticatory limitations on the dietary habits of edentulous subjects restrict their access to adequate nutrition, exposing them to a greater risk of protein energy malnutrition. The aim of this study is to verify the existence of an association between Masticatory [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Masticatory limitations on the dietary habits of edentulous subjects restrict their access to adequate nutrition, exposing them to a greater risk of protein energy malnutrition. The aim of this study is to verify the existence of an association between Masticatory Performance (MP) and nutritional changes in the elderly. Materials and Methods: 76 participants were enrolled. MP testing was performed using the two-color chewing gum mixing test. The system used reveals the extent to which the two differently colored chewing gums mix, and allows discrimination between different MPs. The assessment of the participants’ nutritional statuses was carried out through a food interview. Anthropometric parameters were collected, and bioimpedance analysis was performed. Results: Mean MP was 0.448 ± 0.188. No statistically significant differences were detected between male and female subjects (p > 0.05). According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), obese patients had a lower MP than overweight and normal weight subjects (0.408 ± 0.225, 0.453 ± 0.169 and 0.486 ± 0.181, respectively). MP values were lower both in male and female subjects with a waist circumference above the threshold than those below it (0.455 ± 0.205 vs. 0.476 ± 0.110, respectively, in males and 0.447 ± 0.171 vs. 0.501 ± 0.138, respectively, in females). No relationship was noticed between MP and bioimpedance parameters (p > 0.05). Conclusions: A statistically significant relation was observed between MP and the number of missing teeth. A reduced MP could worsen nutritional parameters. A reduced MP did not seem to negatively affect bioimpedance parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
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Article
Acute Coronary Syndromes in Chronic Kidney Disease: Clinical and Therapeutic Characteristics
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030118 - 08 Mar 2020
Cited by 15
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and established prognostic values of the biomarkers and echocardiography. Materials and Methods: 273 patients admitted to the cardiology department of the Clinical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and established prognostic values of the biomarkers and echocardiography. Materials and Methods: 273 patients admitted to the cardiology department of the Clinical County Emergency Hospital of Oradea, Romania, with ACS diagnosis were studied. Two study groups were formed according to the presence of CKD (137 patients with ACS + CKD and 136 with ACS without CKD). Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) threshold was used to assess the stages of CKD. Results: Data regarding the medical history, laboratory findings, biomarkers, echocardiography, and coronary angiography were analysed for both groups. ACS parameters were represented by ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which revealed a greater incidence in subjects without CKD (43.88%); non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), characteristic for the CKD group (28.47%, with statistically significance p = 0.04); unstable angina and myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA). Diabetes mellitus, chronic heart failure, previous stroke, and chronic coronary syndrome were more prevalent in the ACS + CKD group (56.93%, p < 0.01; 41.61%, p < 0.01; 18.25%, p < 0.01; 45.26%, p < 0.01). N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was statistically higher (p < 0.01) in patients with CKD; Killip class 3 was evidenced more frequently in the same group (p < 0.01). Single-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) was statistically more frequent in the ACS without CKD group (29.41%, p < 0.01) and three-vessel CAD or left main coronary artery disease (LMCA) were found more often in the ACS + CKD group (27.01%, 14.6%). Conclusions: Extension of the CAD in CKD subjects revealed an increased prevalence of the proximal CAD, and the involvement of various coronary arteries is characteristic in these patients. Biomarkers and echocardiographic elements can outline the evolution and outcomes of ACS in CKD patients. Full article
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Article
Epidemiology of Lyme Disease in a Highly Endemic European Zone
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030115 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Background and objective: Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis (LB), is a tick-borne infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia. The risk of infection depends on the geographical area, ecological factors, and human behavior. Clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis have a [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis (LB), is a tick-borne infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia. The risk of infection depends on the geographical area, ecological factors, and human behavior. Clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis have a wide range, but the most frequent clinical symptom, which is also a diagnostic symptom, is a skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). The disease is very common worldwide. In Lithuania, the disease frequency is 99.9 cases per 100,000 population (Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS, Lithuania, 2017). The main aim of this study was to obtain the baseline characteristics of the disease regarding the infected Lithuanian population. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS about all Lyme disease (A69.2) diagnosed patients over a three-year period (from 2014 to 2016) in Lithuania. Results: In 2014–2016, 7424 (crude incidence rate 85.4) cases with LB were diagnosed in Lithuania. Most of them (4633 (62.4%)) were identified in women. Older people were more likely to suffer from LB. Urban residents were 2.6 times more often affected that those living in villages. Tick bites were primarily observed in high season months, from May to September (90%), with the highest peak in July. There was a higher number of observed tick bites (p = 0.003) in the urban residents. Erythema migrans occurred in 75.6% LB cases, while other symptoms did not exceed a quarter of all LB cases. There were 7353 (99.6%) cases where LB was confirmed via clinical symptoms and/or laboratory tests. Also, 1720 (23.2%) patients were tested for LB immunoglobulins. Conclusions: This study found a high incidence of Lyme disease in Lithuania. We elucidated the baseline characteristics regarding the infected Lithuanian population which may ease medical clinicians’ work on new Lyme diagnoses. Full article
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Article
Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment Demodex Densities in Patients under Immunosuppressive Treatments
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030107 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Demodex species are common obligatory parasites and normally present in low number in human beings. Immunosuppression was suggested to be associated with increased density of Demodex mites. Systemic glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and azathioprine are commonly used immunosuppressive agents. We [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Demodex species are common obligatory parasites and normally present in low number in human beings. Immunosuppression was suggested to be associated with increased density of Demodex mites. Systemic glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and azathioprine are commonly used immunosuppressive agents. We aim to determine the pre- and post-treatment Demodex densities in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy and compare with those of healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: Demodex density was investigated at the beginning, first, and third months of the immunosuppressive therapy in 45 patients who received methotrexate, cyclosporine, systemic steroid, or azathioprine treatments and in 45 healthy subjects at the same time as the patients. Five standardized skin surface biopsies were taken from cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin of the patients and control group. The presence of five or more parasites in 1 cm2 area was considered as positive. Results: Demodex test was negative at the beginning of the treatment in all patients. Demodex test was positive in one patient in the first and third months of treatment and in three patients only in the third month of treatment. In the control group, Demodex test was determined as positive in just one healthy individual at the beginning, first and third months of the study. When the patient and control groups were evaluated in terms of Demodex number, there was a statistically significant difference in Demodex density in patients treated with immunosuppressive treatment in the first and third months when compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Immunosuppressive treatment might increase the number of Demodex mites and demodicidosis should be kept in mind in patients on immunosuppressive treatment. Full article
Article
Impact of Changes in Serum Calcium Levels on In-Hospital Mortality
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030106 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background and objectives: Calcium concentration is strictly regulated at both the cellular and systemic level, and changes in serum calcium levels can alter various physiological functions in various organs. This study aimed to assess the association between changes in calcium levels during hospitalization [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Calcium concentration is strictly regulated at both the cellular and systemic level, and changes in serum calcium levels can alter various physiological functions in various organs. This study aimed to assess the association between changes in calcium levels during hospitalization and mortality. Materials and Methods: We searched our patient database to identify all adult patients admitted to our hospital from January 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2013. Patients with ≥2 serum calcium measurements during the hospitalization were included. The serum calcium changes during the hospitalization, defined as the absolute difference between the maximum and the minimum calcium levels, were categorized into five groups: 0–0.4, 0.5–0.9, 1.0–1.4, 1.5–1.9, and ≥2.0 mg/dL. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the independent association between calcium changes and in-hospital mortality, using the change in calcium category of 0–0.4 mg/dL as the reference group. Results: Of 9868 patients included in analysis, 540 (5.4%) died during hospitalization. The in-hospital mortality progressively increased with higher calcium changes, from 3.4% in the group of 0–0.4 mg/dL to 14.5% in the group of ≥2.0 mg/dL (p < 0.001). When adjusted for age, sex, race, principal diagnosis, comorbidity, kidney function, acute kidney injury, number of measurements of serum calcium, and hospital length of stay, the serum calcium changes of 1.0–1.4, 1.5–1.9, and ≥2.0 mg/dL were significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality with odds ratio (OR) of 1.55 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–2.10), 1.90 (95% CI 1.32–2.74), and 3.23 (95% CI 2.39–4.38), respectively. The association remained statistically significant when further adjusted for either the lowest or highest serum calcium. Conclusion: Larger serum calcium changes in hospitalized patients were progressively associated with increased in-hospital mortality. Full article
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Article
Impact of ANCA-Associated Vasculitis on Outcomes of Hospitalizations for Goodpasture’s Syndrome in the United States: Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2003–2014
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030103 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background and objectives: Goodpasture’s syndrome (GS) is a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease. Although the coexistence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) with Goodpasture’s syndrome has been recognized, the impacts of ANCA vasculitis on mortality and resource utilization among patients with GS are unclear. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Goodpasture’s syndrome (GS) is a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease. Although the coexistence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) with Goodpasture’s syndrome has been recognized, the impacts of ANCA vasculitis on mortality and resource utilization among patients with GS are unclear. Materials and Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to identify hospitalized patients with a principal diagnosis of GS from 2003 to 2014 in the database. The predictor of interest was the presence of ANCA-associated vasculitis. We tested the differences concerning in-hospital treatment and outcomes between GS patients with and without ANCA-associated vasculitis using logistic regression analysis with adjustment for other clinical characteristics. Results: A total of 964 patients were primarily admitted to hospital for GS. Of these, 84 (8.7%) had a concurrent diagnosis of ANCA-associated vasculitis. Hemoptysis was more prevalent in GS patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. During hospitalization, GS patients with ANCA-associated required non-significantly more mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation support, but non-significantly less renal replacement therapy and plasmapheresis than those with GS alone. There was no significant difference in in-hospital outcomes, including organ failure and mortality, between GS patients with and without ANCA-associated vasculitis. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated no significant differences between resource utilization and in-hospital mortality among hospitalized patients with coexistence of ANCA vasculitis and GS, compared to those with GS alone. Full article
Article
Inhibition of Virus-Induced Cytokine Production from Airway Epithelial Cells by the Late Addition of Budesonide
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 98; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030098 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and objectives: Viral infection is the main cause of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation and accumulate inflammatory cells to airway tissue. We have reported poly I:C, a mimic product of the virus and ligand of toll-like receptor 3 [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Viral infection is the main cause of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation and accumulate inflammatory cells to airway tissue. We have reported poly I:C, a mimic product of the virus and ligand of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), induced inflammatory chemokines from airway epithelial cells and found prior incubation with corticosteroids diminishes the effect of TLR3 activation. In clinical practice, mild asthma is recommended as-needed budesonide (BUD) when symptoms occur following a viral infection, etc. However, many questions still surround BUD’s usefulness if taken after a virus has already infected airway tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of BUD on inflammatory cytokines induced by viral infection. Materials and Methods: Normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells were stimulated with poly I:C or infected with human rhinovirus-16 (HRV16) and BUD was added after the initial stimulation. Expression of both thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and CCL26/eotaxin-3 was quantified by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Knockdown study was performed. Results: Pre-or post-incubation with BUD inhibited both poly I:C- and HRV16-induced mRNAs and proteins of both thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and CCL26 with significance. Knockdown of the glucocorticoid receptor diminished these effects of BUD. Under the same conditions of BUD’s experiment, post-incubation with neither fluticasone propionate nor dexamethasone suppressed expression of both TSLP and CCL26, which induced by poly I:C. Conclusion: Post-addition of BUD inhibited the virus-induced TSLP and CCL26 from the airway epithelial cells. These results suggest that inhalation of BUD after viral infection has beneficial effects on asthma. Conclusion: Late addition of BUD may benefit among patient with viral infection and type 2 allergic airway disease such as asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Translational Medicine)
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Article
Could the Age Difference of a Single Calendar Year between Patients Undergoing IVF at 34, 35 or at 36 Years Old Affect the IVF Outcome? A Retrospective Data Analysis
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 92; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020092 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Clinicians are called to overcome age-related challenges in decision making during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible impact of a single calendar year difference among patients aged 34, 35 and 36 [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Clinicians are called to overcome age-related challenges in decision making during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible impact of a single calendar year difference among patients aged 34, 35 and 36 on IVF outcomes. Materials and Methods: Medical records between 2008 and 2019 were analyzed retrospectively. The study group consisted of women diagnosed with tubal factor infertility. Sample size was divided in three categories at 34, 35 and 36 years of age. Embryo transfer including two blastocysts was performed for every patient. Comparisons were performed regarding hormonal profile, response to stimulation, quality of transferred embryos, positive hCG test and clinical pregnancy rate. Results: A total of 706 women were eligible to participate. Two-hundred and forty-eight women were 34, 226 were 35 while the remaining 232 were 36 years old. Regarding the hormonal profile, the number of accumulated oocytes and the quality of embryos transferred, no statistically significant difference was documented between the three age groups. Women aged 34 and 35 years old indicated a significantly increased positive hCG rate in comparison to women aged 36 years old (p-value = 0.009, p-value = 0.023, respectively). Women aged 34 and 35 years old presented with a higher clinical pregnancy rate in comparison to those aged 36 years old (p-value = 0.04, p-value = 0.05, respectively). Conclusion: A calendar year difference between patients undergoing IVF treatment at 34 or 35 years of age does not appear to exert any influence regarding outcome. When treatment involves patients above the age of 35, then a single calendar year may exert considerable impact on IVF outcome. This observation indicates that age 35 may serve as a valid cut-off point regarding IVF outcome. Full article
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Article
Gastrointestinal Symptoms of and Psychosocial Changes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Nursing-Led Cross-Sectional Study of Patients in Clinical Remission
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56010045 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical level, but also at the psychological, social, and emotional levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of gastrointestinal symptoms on psychosocial changes in IBD patients in remission through nursing-led Patient-Reported Outcomes. Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 109 IBD patients in clinical and endoscopic remission. Specialist nurses invited patients to complete questionnaires on gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life through the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Results: We found that the gastrointestinal symptoms that the patients reported had a significant impact on the analyzed aspects of health. More specifically, belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating were associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), fatigue (p < 0.001), and sleep disturbances (p < 0.001). Moreover, these symptoms also significantly affected patients’ social dimension in terms of satisfaction with participation in social roles (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, and p < 0.001 for belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating, respectively) and physical functions (p < 0.001). The results were virtually the same in a multivariable analysis adjusted by age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and disease duration. Conclusions: Even during remission, gastrointestinal symptoms are the main factors that influence quality of life in IBD patients. This exploratory study highlights the need to adopt validated questionnaires in clinical practice, and demonstrates that PROMIS is a valid, objective, and standardized instrument that can help nursing staff to better define the consequences of the disease in a patient’s daily life. Full article
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Article
Mobbing and Violence at Work as Hidden Stressors and Work Ability among Emergency Medical Doctors in Serbia
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56010031 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing and violence at work, as well as their influence on work ability of emergency medical doctors. Materials and Methods: The survey is conducted in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in Niš in the period between December 2017 and January 2018. Using standardized questionnaires on psychosocial conditions in work environment (COPSOQ II) and work ability index (WAI) this study encompasses 79 doctors. For estimation of the examined factors’ influence on WAI linear regression analysis was used. Results: EMS doctors were exposed to abuse in 30.4% of the cases. The decline in WAI is significantly related with exposure to violence by patients (β = 0.727), exposure to physical violence (β = 0.896), exposure to abuse several times (β = 0.691) and exposure to ill-treatment by patients (β = 0.750). Conclusion: The results indicate that in the examined doctors mobbing and workplace violence are very much present and have a negative impact on their work, and therefore on the quality of health care. Full article
Article
Could the Combination of Two Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoids Counteract Neuroinflammation? Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Associated with Cannabigerol
Medicina 2019, 55(11), 747; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55110747 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 23
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Neuroinflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we investigate the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties of two non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD). Materials and Methods: The motoneuron-like cell line [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Neuroinflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we investigate the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties of two non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD). Materials and Methods: The motoneuron-like cell line NSC-34 differentiated by serum deprivation and with the additional treatment of all-trans retinoic acid (RA) is a valid model to investigate molecular events linked to neurodegeneration in ALS. Results: Pre-treatment with CBG (at 2.5 and 5 µM doses) alone and in combination with CBD (at 2.5 and 5 µM doses) was able to reduce neuroinflammation induced by a culture medium of LPS-stimulated macrophages. In particular, the pre-treatment with CBD at a 5 µM dose decreased TNF-α levels and increased IL10 and IL-37 expression. CBG–CBD association at a 5 µM dose also reduced NF-kB nuclear factor activation with low degradation of the inhibitor of kappaB alpha (IkBα). CBG and CBD co-administered at a 5 µM dose decreased iNOS expression and increased Nrf2 levels. Furthermore, the pre-treatment with the association of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids downregulated Bax protein expression and upregulated Bcl-2 expression. Our data show the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects PPARγ-mediated. Conclusions: Our results provide preliminary support on the potential therapeutic application of a CBG–CBD combination for further preclinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Article
Screen Use During Meals Among Young Children: Exploration of Associated Variables
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55100688 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which address the prevalence and predictors of young children’s exposure to screen during mealtimes. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the prevalence and the associated factors of screen use during meals in early childhood. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted in Lithuania. Data of 847 children aged 2 to 5 years old (51.5% boys) were analyzed in this study. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/1½-5) and reported their children’s daily screen time, exposure to background TV, screen use during child’s meals, child and parental height and weight, and sociodemographic data. Results: More than half of children were exposed to screen during meals: 33.7% occasionally, several times per week or per month, and 22%—daily or during every meal. Overall daily screen time, background TV, consumption of junk food, child age, and emotional and behavioral problems were related to mealtime screen use (all associations significant at p < 0.01). Longer daily screen time (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.00–1.01), more background TV (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.10–1.45), and elder child age (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.03) were significant predictors of occasional use of screen during meals. Also, longer daily screen time (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99), background TV (OR 0.78; 95% CI 0.66–0.91) together with no siblings’ status of a child (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.25–0.69) increased the probability that children were fed in front of screens daily. Conclusions: This study confirmed the unfavorable associations among screen use during meals, daily screen time and junk food consumption in early childhood. In addition, first-time parents should get particular health providers’ attention as they are more likely to use screens during child’s mealtime. Full article
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Article
Biomarker Potential of Plasma MicroRNA-150-5p in Prostate Cancer
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090564 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Over decades, prostate cancer (PCa) has become one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in men. Extensive evidence exists that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are key players in PCa and a new class of non-invasive cancer biomarkers. Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Over decades, prostate cancer (PCa) has become one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in men. Extensive evidence exists that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are key players in PCa and a new class of non-invasive cancer biomarkers. Materials and Methods: We performed miRNA profiling in plasma and tissues of PCa patients and attempted the validation of candidate individual miRs as biomarkers. Results: The comparison of tissue and plasma profiling results revealed five commonly dysregulated miRs, namely, miR-130a-3p, miR-145-5p, miR-148a-3p, miR-150-5p, and miR-365a-3p, of which only three show concordant changes—miR-130a-3p and miR-150-5p were downregulated and miR-148a-3p was upregulated in both tissue and plasma samples, respectively. MiR-150-5p was validated as significantly downregulated in both plasma and tissue cancer samples, with a fold change of −2.697 (p < 0.001), and −1.693 (p = 0.035), respectively. ROC analysis showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.817 (95% CI: 0.680–0.995) for plasma samples and 0.809 (95% CI: 0.616–1.001) for tissue samples. Conclusions: We provide data indicating that miR-150-5p plasma variations in PCa patients are associated with concordant changes in prostate cancer tissues; however, given the heterogeneous nature of previous findings of miR-150-5p expression in PCa cells, additional future studies of a larger sample size are warranted in order to confirm the biomarker potential and role of miRNA-150-5p in PCa biology. Full article
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Article
Antiviral Activity of Exopolysaccharides Produced by Lactic Acid Bacteria of the Genera Pediococcus, Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus against Human Adenovirus Type 5
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 519; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090519 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Background and objectives: The use of antagonistic probiotic microorganisms and their byproducts represents a promising approach for the treatment of viral diseases. In the current work, the effect of exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by lactic acid bacteria from different genera on the structural [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The use of antagonistic probiotic microorganisms and their byproducts represents a promising approach for the treatment of viral diseases. In the current work, the effect of exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by lactic acid bacteria from different genera on the structural and functional characteristics of cells and the development of adenoviral infection in vitro was studied. Materials and Methods: Cytotoxicity of six EPSs of lactic acid bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc and Pediococcus was determined by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay. The influence of the EPSs on the infectivity of human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-5) and on the cell cycle under a condition of adenovirus infection was studied using plaque reduction assay and flow cytometric analysis, respectively. Results: It was shown that exopolysaccharides were non-toxic to Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells (MDBK) as they reduced their viability by 3–17%. A change in the distribution of the cell cycle phases in the non-infected cell population treated with EPSs was observed. The analysis demonstrated an increase in the number of cells in the S phase by 47% when using EPSs 15a and a decrease in the number of cells in the G1 phase by 20–27% when treated with the EPSs 15a, 33a, and 19s. The use of EPSs did not led to the normalization of the life cycle of HAdV-5 infected cells to the level of non-infected cells. The EPSs showed low virucidal activity and reduced the HAdV-5 infectivity to 85%. Among the studied exopolysaccharides, anti-adenovirus activity was found for EPS 26a that is produced by Lactobacillus spp. strain. The treatment of cells with the EPS following virus adsorption completely (100%) suppressed the formation and release of HAdV-5 infectious. Conclusions: EPS 26a possessed distinct anti-HAdV-5 activity and the obtained data demonstrate the potential of using exopolysaccharides as anti-adenoviral agents. Full article
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Article
Self-Prescribed Dietary Restrictions are Common in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients and Are Associated with Low Bone Mineralization
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 507; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080507 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
Background and objectives: Despite the serious concerns of patients about the role of food in triggering or ameliorating their intestinal disease, there are few studies dealing with patients’ beliefs and practices regarding diet in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Despite the serious concerns of patients about the role of food in triggering or ameliorating their intestinal disease, there are few studies dealing with patients’ beliefs and practices regarding diet in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to investigate how the disease affected the dietary habits of patients with IBD, and to assess if patients’ food restrictions were responsible for low bone mineralization. Materials and Methods: For this study, 90 consecutive patients referred for IBD were interviewed regarding their dietary habits. Demographic features and clinical characteristics potentially associated with the dietary habits were collected. A validated and self-administered survey questionnaire dealing with dietary habits and patients’ beliefs and perceptions regarding food was analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed in order to identify risk factors for dietary restrictions among participants and to evaluate the relationship between dietary restrictions and low bone mineral density (BMD). Results: Among the 63 (70%) patients who claimed a self-prescribed dietary restriction, 84% avoided dairy products. Significant risk factors (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI)) for the dietary restrictions were a younger age (p = 0.02), a higher level of education (p = 0.007), and a higher visceral sensitivity index (p = 0.009). Most (80%) of the patients displayed an inadequate calcium intake, and an abnormal result at dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan accounting for low BMD was reported in 46 (51%) of them. Dietary restrictions (p = 0.03), and in particular avoiding dairy products (p = 0.001), were significant risk factors for a low BMD, along with female gender (p = 0.001), smoking (p = 0.04), and steroid abuse (p = 0.03). Almost all (86%) patients changed their diet after IBD diagnosis, as 8% believed that foods could have been a trigger for IBD and 37% that a proper diet was more important than drugs in controlling disease. Although 61% of the patients claimed to have received nutritional advice, 78% of the participants showed interest in receiving more. Conclusions: Dietary habits of IBD patients should be investigated by healthcare professionals as part of the routine visit. Clinicians are invited to provide nutritional recommendations to these patients in order to avoid unnecessary self-prescribed dietary restrictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diet and Treatment)
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Article
High Physical Activity Level May Reduce Menopausal Symptoms
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 466; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080466 - 11 Aug 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Menopause is a normal physiological change occurring at a woman’s mid-life. During this time, women experience vasomotor, physical and physiological problems, which reduce their quality of life. Many women are searching for different, alternative methods to reduce the severity of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Menopause is a normal physiological change occurring at a woman’s mid-life. During this time, women experience vasomotor, physical and physiological problems, which reduce their quality of life. Many women are searching for different, alternative methods to reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. Physical activity (PA) is one of the recommended methods to reduce menopausal symptoms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between specific domains (physical activity during leisure time, at work, during transportation and household activities) and the menopausal symptoms. Materials and Methods: We included 305 women aged 40–65 in the study. All participants were divided into three groups according to menopausal status. The research tools used were the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to assess physical activity level in four domains and the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. The data analysis was performed by Chi-square test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Tuckey test. Results: Menopausal stage was significantly associated with the total MRS score (p < 0.001) and specifically the urogenital and somato–vegetative subscores (p < 0.001). Physical activity was significantly associated (p < 0.001) with leisure time (according to IPAQ domains). Most postmenopausal women had high PA level (59.66%). Significantly less women with high PA levels had severe urogenital symptoms: 10.82% of participant with a low PA level, 11.15% with a moderate PA level and 4.26% with a high PA level (p = 0.046). Conclusions: Physical activity during leisure time is associated to menopausal symptoms in Polish women. Women with high and moderate PA levels have less severe menopausal symptoms compared to inactive women. Middle-aged women with low PA levels at work suffer from more severe somato–vegetative symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Article
TRP Channels Expression Profile in Human End-Stage Heart Failure
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 380; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070380 - 16 Jul 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing [...] Read more.
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing myocardium. Methods and results: Left-ventricular tissue samples were isolated from explanted hearts of NYHA III-IV patients undergoing heart transplants (n = 43). Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to assess the mRNA levels of TRPC, TRPM and TRPV channels. Analysis of functional, clinical and biochemical data was used to confirm an end-stage heart failure diagnosis. Compared to myocardium samples from healthy donor hearts (n = 5), we detected a distinct increase in the expression of TRPC1, TRPC5, TRPM4 and TRPM7, and decreased expression of TRPC4 and TRPV2. These changes were not dependent on gender, clinical or biochemical parameters, nor functional parameters of the heart. We detected, however, a significant correlation of TRPC1 and MEF2c expression. Conclusions: The end-stage heart failure displays distinct expressional changes of TRP channels. Our findings provide a systematic description of TRP channel expression in human heart failure. The results highlight the complex interplay between TRP channels and the need for deeper analysis of early stages of hypertrophy and heart failure development. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Analysis, Ephedra Procera C. A. Mey. Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles, Their Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Potentials
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070369 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 22
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The current study focuses on an eco-friendly and cost-effective method of Ephedra procera C. A. Mey. mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles as potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant agents. Materials and Methods: Plant aqueous extracts were screened for Total Phenolic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The current study focuses on an eco-friendly and cost-effective method of Ephedra procera C. A. Mey. mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles as potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant agents. Materials and Methods: Plant aqueous extracts were screened for Total Phenolic (TPC), Total Flavonoid contents (TFC), Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging potentials. Total reducing power estimated by potassium ferricyanide colorimetric assay. The biosynthesized E. procera nanoparticles (EpNPs) were characterized by UV-spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction and Scanning electron microscopy. EpNPs were evaluated for their antimicrobial, bio-compatibility and cytotoxic potentials. Results: Initial phytocheimcal analysis of plant aqueous extract revealed TFC of 20.7 ± 0.21 µg/mg extract and TPC of 117.01 ± 0.78 µg/mg extract. TAC, DPPH free radical scavenging and reducing power were 73.8 ± 0.32 µg/mg extract, 71.8 ± 0.73% and 105.4 ± 0.65 µg/mg extract respectively. The synthesized EpNPs were observed to possess high cytotoxicity against HepG2 cancer cell lines with IC50 (61.3 µg/mL) as compared aqueous extract with IC50 of (247 µg/mL). EpNPs were found to be biocompatible and have less effect on human erythrocytes. EpNPs exhibited significant antioxidant potentials and exhibited considerable activity against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis with Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MICs) of 11.12 μg/mL and 11.33 μg/mL respectively. Fungal species Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus were found susceptible to EpNPs. Conclusions: Results of the current study revealed that EpNPs exhibited considerable antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic potentials. Aqueous extract possesses significant anti-radical properties and thus can be useful in free radicals induced degenerative disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosciences in the Field of Health-Care)
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Article
Qualitative Assessment of Vaccine Hesitancy in Romania
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060282 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
Background and objectives: Health systems all over the world are confronted with an alarming rise of cases in which individuals hesitate, delay, and even refuse vaccination, despite availability of quality vaccine services. In order to mitigate and combat this phenomenon, which are now [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Health systems all over the world are confronted with an alarming rise of cases in which individuals hesitate, delay, and even refuse vaccination, despite availability of quality vaccine services. In order to mitigate and combat this phenomenon, which are now defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as vaccine hesitancy (VH), we must first understand the factors that lead to its occurrence in an era characterized by wide access to safe and effective vaccines. To achieve this, we conducted field testing of the Vaccine Hesitancy Scale (VHS), as it was developed by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group (SAGE WG), in Cluj-Napoca city, Cluj County, Romania. The scale is designed to quantify VH prevalence in a population, establish which vaccines generate the highest percentage of hesitancy, and allow a qualitative assessment of the individual’s reasons for hesitance. Materials and Methods: We conducted an observational cross-sectional survey, which was comprised of descriptive, analytical, and qualitative elements regarding VH. The necessary sample size was 452 individuals. The VHS and Matrix of Determinants (recommended by SAGE WG) for reasons people gave to justify their hesitance, was interpreted by qualitative thematic analysis (QTA) to ensure the validity and reliability in detecting hesitancy across various cultural settings and permit global comparisons. Results: We found a VH of 30.3% and 11.7% of parents reported refusing to vaccinate their child. Among the VH responders, the varicella vaccine generated 35% hesitancy, measles vaccine 27.7%, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 24.1%, and mumps vaccine 23.4%, respectively. The QTA values for percent agreement ranged from 91% to 100%. Cohen’s Kappa values ranged from 0.45 to 0.95. Contextual influences identified for VH were “media,” “leaders and lobbies,” and “perception of the pharmaceutical industry.” Individual and group influences for VH were “beliefs,” “knowledge,” and “risk/benefits (perceived).” Vaccine and vaccination specific issues for VH were “risk/benefit (rational)” and “health care practitioners (trustworthiness, competence).” Conclusions: One-third of the investigated population had expressed VH, and a further one-third of these had refused a vaccine for their child. Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and HPV vaccines generated the most hesitation. Negative information from the media was the most frequently evoked reason for VH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promoting Vaccine Acceptance)
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Article
Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System (SNEDDS) for Improved Oral Bioavailability of Chlorpromazine: In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050210 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Lipid-based self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) have resurged the eminence of nanoemulsions by modest adjustments and offer many valuable opportunities in drug delivery. Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic agent with poor aqueous solubility—with extensive first-pass metabolism—can be a suitable candidate for the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Lipid-based self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) have resurged the eminence of nanoemulsions by modest adjustments and offer many valuable opportunities in drug delivery. Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic agent with poor aqueous solubility—with extensive first-pass metabolism—can be a suitable candidate for the development of SNEDDS. The current study was designed to develop triglyceride-based SNEDDS of chlorpromazine to achieve improved solubility, stability, and oral bioavailability. Materials and Methods: Fifteen SNEDDS formulations of each short, medium, and long chain, triglycerides were synthesized and characterized to achieve optimized formulation. The optimized formulation was characterized for several in vitro and in vivo parameters. Results: Particle size, zeta potential, and drug loading of the optimized SNEDDS (LCT14) were found to be 178 ± 16, −21.4, and 85.5%, respectively. Long chain triglyceride (LCT14) showed a 1.5-fold increased elimination half-life (p < 0.01), up to 6-fold increased oral bioavailability, and 1.7-fold decreased plasma clearance rate (p < 0.01) compared to a drug suspension. Conclusion: The findings suggest that SNEDDS based on long-chain triglycerides (LCT14) formulations seem to be a promising alternative for improving the oral bioavailability of chlorpromazine. Full article
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Article
Impact of Maternal Diet on Human Milk Composition Among Lactating Women in Latvia
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55050173 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background and objectives: Many studies indicate that the maternal diet is an important factor affecting human milk composition. Human milk composition among lactating women in Latvia, as well as the maternal diet during lactation, has not been sufficiently studied. The aim of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Many studies indicate that the maternal diet is an important factor affecting human milk composition. Human milk composition among lactating women in Latvia, as well as the maternal diet during lactation, has not been sufficiently studied. The aim of this research was to assess dietary habits and macronutrient intake among lactating women in Latvia and to examine the effect of diet on human milk composition. Materials and Methods: Research was conducted between November 2016 and December 2017. Mature human milk samples (n = 61) along with a 72h food diary, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and a questionnaire about maternal and infant characteristics were obtained from voluntary women who were recruited via an invitation published in a social media member group for nursing mothers. Fat content in human milk was determined by LVS ISO 2446:2008, protein content was determined by LVS EN ISO 8968-1:2014, lactose was determined by ISO 22662:2007, and the fatty acid profile was analyzed using gas chromatography. Dietary data were evaluated using the Finnish food composition database Fineli, release 19 (3 March 2018). Results: Median values for fat, protein, and lactose in mature human milk were 4.40%, 1.08%, and 6.52%, respectively. Predominant fatty acids in human milk were oleic acid (C18:1 n9c), palmitic acid (C16:0), and linoleic acid (C18:2 n6c) at 34.60%, 24.00%, and 11.00% of total fatty acids, respectively. The trans elaidic acid (C18:1 n9t) level was <0.10% in all human milk samples. Significant, positive associations (p < 0.05) were found between maternal dietary intake of linoleic, α-linolenic, docosahexaenoic, total cis-monounsaturated, total cis-polyunsaturated, and total n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, the ratio of n-6/n-3, and the level of these fatty acids in human milk. Total energy and carbohydrate intake among participants were lower, but total fat, saturated fat, and sugar intake were higher than recommended. Protein, linoleic acid, and α-linolenic acid intake were adequate, but docosahexaenoic acid intake was noticeably lower than recommended. Women should be supported with information regarding their nutritional needs during lactation and the possible impact of diet on human milk composition. Conclusion: Macronutrient (fat, protein, and lactose) content in human milk is not affected by maternal diet. Conversely, the human milk fatty acid profile is affected by the immediate diet consumed by the mother. Habitual dietary habits can also impact the fatty acid profile of human milk. Full article
Article
Optimal Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) Cut-Offs: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Czech Population
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 158; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55050158 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The key pathogenetic mechanism of glucose metabolism disorders, insulin resistance (IR), can be assessed using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). However, its application in clinical practice is limited due to the absence of cut-offs. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The key pathogenetic mechanism of glucose metabolism disorders, insulin resistance (IR), can be assessed using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). However, its application in clinical practice is limited due to the absence of cut-offs. In this study, we aimed to define the cut-offs for the Czech population. Methods: After undergoing anthropometric and biochemical studies, the sample of 3539 individuals was divided into either nondiabetics, including both subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n = 1947) and prediabetics (n = 1459), or diabetics (n = 133). The optimal HOMA-IR cut-offs between subgroups were determined to maximize the sum of the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or prediabetes. The predictive accuracy was illustrated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Logistic regression was performed to assess the association between a target variable (presence/absence of T2DM) depending on the HOMA-IR score as well as on the age and sex. Results: The HOMA-IR cut-off between nondiabetics and diabetics for both sexes together was 3.63, with a sensitivity of 0.56 and a specificity of 0.86. The area under the ROC curve was 0.73 for T2DM diagnosing in both sexes. The HOMA-IR cut-off between the NGT subjects and prediabetics was 1.82, with a sensitivity of 0.60 and a specificity of 0.66. Logistic regression showed that increased HOMA-IR is a risk factor for the presence of T2DM (odds ratio (OR) 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.28, p < 0.0001). The predictive ability of HOMA-IR in diagnosing T2DM is statistically significantly lower in females (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.44–0.98). The results are valid for middle-aged European adults. Conclusions: The results suggest the existence of HOMA-IR cut-offs signaling established IR. Introduction of the instrument into common clinical practice, together with the known cut-offs, may contribute to preventing T2DM. Full article
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Article
Effects of Quercetin-Loaded Nanoparticles on MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55040114 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 30
Abstract
Background and objectives: Previous studies have shown anti-tumor activity of quercetin (QT). However, the low bioavailability of QT has restricted its use. This study aimed to assess the toxic effect of QT encapsulated in solid lipid nanoparticles (QT-SLNs) on the growth of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Previous studies have shown anti-tumor activity of quercetin (QT). However, the low bioavailability of QT has restricted its use. This study aimed to assess the toxic effect of QT encapsulated in solid lipid nanoparticles (QT-SLNs) on the growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Materials and Methods: MCF-7 and MCF-10A (non-tumorigenic cell line) cell lines treated with 25 µmol/mL of QT or QT-SLNs for 48 h. Cell viability, colony formation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis were evaluated to determine the toxic effects of the QT-SLNs. Results: The QT-SLNs with appropriate characteristics (particle size of 85.5 nm, a zeta potential of −22.5 and encapsulation efficiency of 97.6%) were prepared. The QT-SLNs showed sustained QT release until 48 h. Cytotoxicity assessments indicated that QT-SLNs inhibited MCF-7 cells growth with a low IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) value, compared to the free QT. QT-SLNs induced a significant decrease in the viability and proliferation of MCF-7 cells, compared to the free QT. QT-SLN significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and MDA contents and significantly decreased antioxidant enzyme activity in the MCF-7 cells. Following QT-SLNs treatment, the expression of the Bcl-2 protein significantly decreased, whereas Bx expression showed a significant increase in comparison with free QT-treated cells. Furthermore, The QT-SLNs significantly increased apoptotic and necrotic indexes in MCF-7 cells. Viability, proliferation, oxidative stress and apoptosis of MCF-10A cells were not affected by QT or QT-SLNs. Conclusions: According to the results of this study, SLN significantly enhanced the toxic effect of QT against human breast cancer cells. Full article
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Article
Nonenzymatic Serum Antioxidant Capacity in IBD and Its Association with the Severity of Bowel Inflammation and Corticosteroids Treatment
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 88; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55040088 - 02 Apr 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Background and objectives: Oxidative stress signalling plays a monumental role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Reduction of oxidative stress might control inflammation, block tissue damage, and reverse natural history of IBD. We assessed the serum concentrations of free thiols (FT) and uric [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Oxidative stress signalling plays a monumental role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Reduction of oxidative stress might control inflammation, block tissue damage, and reverse natural history of IBD. We assessed the serum concentrations of free thiols (FT) and uric acid (SUA), together constituting a large part of nonenzymatic serum antioxidant capacity, as well as total antioxidant status (TAS) with reference to IBD phenotype, activity, co-occurrence of anemia, and treatment with azathioprine (AZA) and corticosteroids (CS). Additionally, we appraised the potential of uric acid, thiol stress, and TAS as mucosal healing (MH) markers in ulcerative colitis. Materials and methods: SUA, FT, and TAS were measured colorimetrically using, respectively, uricase, Ellman’s and 2,2′-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) methods. Results: The study group consisted of 175 individuals: 57 controls, 71 ulcerative colitis (UC), and 47 Crohn’s disease (CD) patients. When compared to controls, SUA levels were significantly lower in patients with CD, and FT and TAS levels were significantly lower in patients with CD and UC. In UC patients, SUA, FT, and TAS inversely correlated with the severity of bowel inflammation. As MH markers, SUA displayed better overall accuracy and higher specificity than FT. In active CD, FT, and SUA were significantly lower in patients with anemia. FT was significantly lower in patients treated with corticosteroids. Conclusions: IBD patients, regardless the disease phenotype, have systemic thiol stress, depleted total antioxidant capacity, and reduced concentrations of uric acid, reflecting, to various degrees, clinical and local disease activity as well as presence of anaemia, the most common extraintestinal manifestation of IBD. Evaluation of systemic total antioxidant status may be useful in noninvasive assessment of mucosal healing. Our findings on thiol stress provide an additional aspect on adverse effects of corticosteroids therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diet and Treatment)
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Article
Gastroprotective Effect of Zingerone on Ethanol-Induced Gastric Ulcers in Rats
Medicina 2019, 55(3), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55030064 - 11 Mar 2019
Cited by 21
Abstract
Background and objectives: Zingerone is an ingredient of ginger (Zingiber officinale) with different pharmacological activities. Several studies have investigated the effect of zingerone on various gastrointestinal diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. This study is aimed to evaluate the effect [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Zingerone is an ingredient of ginger (Zingiber officinale) with different pharmacological activities. Several studies have investigated the effect of zingerone on various gastrointestinal diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. This study is aimed to evaluate the effect of zingerone on ethanol-induced gastric ulcers in rats. Materials and Methods: Gastric ulcers were induced by ethanol (96%, 5 mL/kg, po) in male wistar rats and zingerone (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) was administrated orally. Normal saline and ranitidine were used as negative and positive control, respectively. In this study, the number and length of ulcers, and malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitric oxide (NO) levels in stomach tissues were determined. Results: The findings showed that the mean number and length of gastric ulcers were significantly lower in zingerone-received groups than ethanol group (P < 0.05). The level of malondialdehyde was decreased in the stomach of zingerone groups (P < 0.05) compared to the ethanol group. In addition, zingerone treatment prevented the decrease of nitric oxide level by ethanol in the stomach tissue. Conclusions: The present study showed that zingerone has a protective effect on the ethanol-induced gastric ulcer, which may be due to its free radical scavenging activity. Full article
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Article
Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia due to Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii: Risk Factors and Mortality Relation with Resistance Profiles, and Independent Predictors of In-Hospital Mortality
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55020049 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 25
Abstract
Background and objectives: High mortality and healthcare costs area associated with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) due to Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii). The data concerning the link between multidrug-resistance of A. baumannii strains and outcomes remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to identify the [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: High mortality and healthcare costs area associated with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) due to Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii). The data concerning the link between multidrug-resistance of A. baumannii strains and outcomes remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to identify the relation of risk factors for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and mortality with the drug resistance profiles of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) and independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Methods: A retrospective ongoing cohort study of 60 patients that were treated for VAP due to drug-resistant A. baumannii in medical-surgical intensive care units (ICU) over a two-year period was conducted. Results: The proportions of multidrug-resistant (MDR), extensively drug-resistant (XDR), and potentially pandrug-resistant (pPDR) A. baumannii were 13.3%, 68.3%, and 18.3%, respectively. The SAPS II scores on ICU admission were 42.6, 48.7, and 49 (p = 0.048); hospital length of stay (LOS) prior to ICU was 0, one, and two days (p = 0.036), prior to mechanical ventilation (MV)—0, 0, and three days (p = 0.013), and carbapenem use prior to VAP—50%, 29.3%, and 18.2% (p = 0.036), respectively. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 63.3%. In MDR, XDR, and pPDR A. baumannii VAP groups, it was 62.5%, 61.3%, and 72.7% (p = 0.772), respectively. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that female gender (95% OR 5.26; CI: 1.21–22.83), SOFA score on ICU admission (95% OR 1.28; CI: 1.06–1.53), and RBC transfusion (95% OR 5.98; CI: 1.41–25.27) were all independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: The VAP risk factors: higher SAPS II score, increased hospital LOS prior to ICU, and MV were related to the higher resistance profile of A. baumannii. Carbapenem use was found to be associated with the risk of MDR A. baumannii VAP. Mortality due to drug-resistant A. baumannii VAP was high, but it was not associated with the A. baumannii resistance profile. Female gender, SOFA score, and RBC transfusion were found to be independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Full article
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Article
Identification of Prognostic Biomarker Signatures and Candidate Drugs in Colorectal Cancer: Insights from Systems Biology Analysis
Medicina 2019, 55(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55010020 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 30
Abstract
Background and objectives: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the world, but early diagnosis ameliorates the survival of CRC. This report aimed to identify molecular biomarker signatures in CRC. Materials and Methods: We analyzed [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the world, but early diagnosis ameliorates the survival of CRC. This report aimed to identify molecular biomarker signatures in CRC. Materials and Methods: We analyzed two microarray datasets (GSE35279 and GSE21815) from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) to identify mutual differentially expressed genes (DEGs). We integrated DEGs with protein–protein interaction and transcriptional/post-transcriptional regulatory networks to identify reporter signaling and regulatory molecules; utilized functional overrepresentation and pathway enrichment analyses to elucidate their roles in biological processes and molecular pathways; performed survival analyses to evaluate their prognostic performance; and applied drug repositioning analyses through Connectivity Map (CMap) and geneXpharma tools to hypothesize possible drug candidates targeting reporter molecules. Results: A total of 727 upregulated and 99 downregulated DEGs were detected. The PI3K/Akt signaling, Wnt signaling, extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction, and cell cycle were identified as significantly enriched pathways. Ten hub proteins (ADNP, CCND1, CD44, CDK4, CEBPB, CENPA, CENPH, CENPN, MYC, and RFC2), 10 transcription factors (ETS1, ESR1, GATA1, GATA2, GATA3, AR, YBX1, FOXP3, E2F4, and PRDM14) and two microRNAs (miRNAs) (miR-193b-3p and miR-615-3p) were detected as reporter molecules. The survival analyses through Kaplan–Meier curves indicated remarkable performance of reporter molecules in the estimation of survival probability in CRC patients. In addition, several drug candidates including anti-neoplastic and immunomodulating agents were repositioned. Conclusions: This study presents biomarker signatures at protein and RNA levels with prognostic capability in CRC. We think that the molecular signatures and candidate drugs presented in this study might be useful in future studies indenting the development of accurate diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarker screens and efficient therapeutic strategies in CRC. Full article
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Review

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Review
Sudden Cardiac Death in Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Users: A Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(11), 587; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56110587 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
Background and objectives: Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) are a group of synthetic molecules derived from testosterone and its related precursors. AASs are widely used illicitly by adolescents and athletes, especially by bodybuilders, both for aesthetic uses and as performance enhancers to increase muscle growth [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) are a group of synthetic molecules derived from testosterone and its related precursors. AASs are widely used illicitly by adolescents and athletes, especially by bodybuilders, both for aesthetic uses and as performance enhancers to increase muscle growth and lean body mass. When used illicitly they can damage health and cause disorders affecting several functions. Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the most common medical cause of death in athletes. SCD in athletes has also been associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs. This review aimed to focus on deaths related to AAS abuse to investigate the cardiac pathophysiological mechanism that underlies this type of death, which still needs to be fully investigated. Materials and Methods: This review was conducted using PubMed Central and Google Scholar databases, until 21 July 2020, using the following key terms: “((Sudden cardiac death) OR (Sudden death)) AND ((androgenic anabolic steroid) OR (androgenic anabolic steroids) OR (anabolic-androgenic steroids) OR (anabolic-androgenic steroid))”. Thirteen articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, for a total of 33 reported cases. Results: Of the 33 cases, 31 (93.9%) were males while only 2 (61%) were females. Mean age was 29.79 and, among sportsmen, the most represented sports activity was bodybuilding. In all cases there was a history of AAS abuse or a physical phenotype suggesting AAS use; the total usage period was unspecified in most cases. In 24 cases the results of the toxicological analysis were reported. The most detected AASs were nandrolone, testosterone, and stanozolol. The most frequently reported macroscopic alterations were cardiomegaly and left ventricular hypertrophy, while the histological alterations were foci of fibrosis and necrosis of the myocardial tissue. Conclusions: Four principal mechanisms responsible for SCD have been proposed in AAS abusers: the atherogenic model, the thrombosis model, the model of vasospasm induced by the release of nitric oxide, and the direct myocardial injury model. Hypertrophy, fibrosis, and necrosis represent a substrate for arrhythmias, especially when combined with exercise. Indeed, AAS use has been shown to change physiological cardiac remodeling of athletes to pathophysiological cardiac hypertrophy with an increased risk of life-threatening arrhythmias. Full article
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Review
Effects of Equine-Assisted Therapies or Horse-Riding Simulators on Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2020, 56(9), 444; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56090444 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and objectives: Chronic pain is a complex global public health problem that affects the health status, quality of life, activities of daily living, and different work-related variables. Riding a horse may lead to some benefits in chronic pain patients through the improvement [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Chronic pain is a complex global public health problem that affects the health status, quality of life, activities of daily living, and different work-related variables. Riding a horse may lead to some benefits in chronic pain patients through the improvement of postural control and other biopsychosocial processes. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effects of horse riding (with real or simulated horses) on chronic pain. Materials and methods: A systematic literature search was carried out in accordance with PRISMA guidelines in Web of Science (WOS) and PubMed (Medline) electronic databases. Eleven articles (seven randomized controlled trials) were selected to be included in the review. Due to some risk of bias concerns, two meta-analyses (using postintervention or change-from-baseline measures) were conducted utilizing Review Manager Software (RevMan 5.3). Results: Horse-riding simulators significantly reduced the pain levels of patients with low back pain (p = 0.03, with a SMD of −1.14 and a 95% CI from −2.16 to −0.11) using change-from-baseline measures. However, the p-value in the meta-analysis with the postintervention measures was 0.06. Regarding interventions with real horses, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis due to the low number of studies. Conclusion: Horse riding could be a useful exercise to reduce pain, but more studies are needed to make evidence-based recommendations and to compare the effects of horse-riding with real and simulated horses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Chronic Diseases)
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Review
Probiotics: Versatile Bioactive Components in Promoting Human Health
Medicina 2020, 56(9), 433; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56090433 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 27
Abstract
The positive impact of probiotic strains on human health has become more evident than ever before. Often delivered through food, dietary products, supplements, and drugs, different legislations for safety and efficacy issues have been prepared. Furthermore, regulatory agencies have addressed various approaches toward [...] Read more.
The positive impact of probiotic strains on human health has become more evident than ever before. Often delivered through food, dietary products, supplements, and drugs, different legislations for safety and efficacy issues have been prepared. Furthermore, regulatory agencies have addressed various approaches toward these products, whether they authorize claims mentioning a disease’s diagnosis, prevention, or treatment. Due to the diversity of bacteria and yeast strains, strict approaches have been designed to assess for side effects and post-market surveillance. One of the most essential delivery systems of probiotics is within food, due to the great beneficial health effects of this system compared to pharmaceutical products and also due to the increasing importance of food and nutrition. Modern lifestyle or various diseases lead to an imbalance of the intestinal flora. Nonetheless, as the amount of probiotic use needs accurate calculations, different factors should also be taken into consideration. One of the novelties of this review is the presentation of the beneficial effects of the administration of probiotics as a potential adjuvant therapy in COVID-19. Thus, this paper provides an integrative overview of different aspects of probiotics, from human health care applications to safety, quality, and control. Full article
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Review
Is Antioxidant Therapy a Useful Complementary Measure for Covid-19 Treatment? An Algorithm for Its Application
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 386; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56080386 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the corona virus disease-19 which is accompanied by severe pneumonia, pulmonary alveolar collapses and which stops oxygen exchange. Viral transmissibility and pathogenesis depend on recognition by a receptor in the host, protease cleavage of the [...] Read more.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the corona virus disease-19 which is accompanied by severe pneumonia, pulmonary alveolar collapses and which stops oxygen exchange. Viral transmissibility and pathogenesis depend on recognition by a receptor in the host, protease cleavage of the host membrane and fusion. SARS-CoV-2 binds to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor. Here, we discuss the general characteristics of the virus, its mechanism of action and the way in which the mechanism correlates with the comorbidities that increase the death rate. We also discuss the currently proposed therapeutic measures and propose the use of antioxidant drugs to help patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2. Oxidizing agents come from phagocytic leukocytes such as neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages and eosinophils that invade tissue. Free radicals promote cytotoxicity thus injuring cells. They also trigger the mechanism of inflammation by mediating the activation of NFkB and inducing the transcription of cytokine production genes. Release of cytokines enhances the inflammatory response. Oxidative stress is elevated during critical illnesses and contributes to organ failure. In corona virus disease-19 there is an intense inflammatory response known as a cytokine storm that could be mediated by oxidative stress. Although antioxidant therapy has not been tested in corona virus disease-19, the consequences of antioxidant therapy in sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury are known. It improves oxygenation rates, glutathione levels and strengthens the immune response. It reduces mechanical ventilation time, the length of stay in the intensive care unit, multiple organ dysfunctions and the length of stay in the hospital and mortality rates in acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome and could thus help patients with corona virus disease-19. Full article
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Review
Oral Administration of Cannabis and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Preparations: A Systematic Review
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 309; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56060309 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Background and objective: Changes in cannabis legalization regimes in several countries have influenced the diversification of cannabis use. There is an ever-increasing number of cannabis forms available, which are gaining popularity for both recreational and therapeutic use. From a therapeutic perspective, oral [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Changes in cannabis legalization regimes in several countries have influenced the diversification of cannabis use. There is an ever-increasing number of cannabis forms available, which are gaining popularity for both recreational and therapeutic use. From a therapeutic perspective, oral cannabis containing Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising route of administration but there is still little information about its pharmacokinetics (PK) effects in humans. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide a general overview of the available PK data on cannabis and THC after oral administration. Materials and Methods: A search of the published literature was conducted using the PubMed database to collect available articles describing the PK data of THC after oral administration in humans. Results: The literature search yielded 363 results, 26 of which met our inclusion criteria. The PK of oral THC has been studied using capsules (including oil content), tablets, baked goods (brownies and cookies), and oil and tea (decoctions). Capsules and tablets, which mainly correspond to pharmaceutical forms, were found to be the oral formulations most commonly studied. Overall, the results reflect the high variability in the THC absorption of oral formulations, with delayed peak plasma concentrations compared to other routes of administration. Conclusions: Oral THC has a highly variable PK profile that differs between formulations, with seemingly higher variability in baked goods and oil forms. Overall, there is limited information available in this field. Therefore, further investigations are required to unravel the unpredictability of oral THC administration to increase the effectiveness and safety of oral formulations in medicinal use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Review
Kidney Transplant in Fabry Disease: A Revision of the Literature
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56060284 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Fabry disease is classified as a rare X-linked disease caused by a complete or partial defect of enzyme alpha-galactosidase, due to GLA gene mutations. This disorder leads to intracellular globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) deposition associated with increased Gb3 plasma levels. Most of the symptoms of [...] Read more.
Fabry disease is classified as a rare X-linked disease caused by a complete or partial defect of enzyme alpha-galactosidase, due to GLA gene mutations. This disorder leads to intracellular globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) deposition associated with increased Gb3 plasma levels. Most of the symptoms of the disease, involving kidneys, heart and nervous system, result from this progressive Gb3 deposition. The incidence is estimated in 1/50,000 to 1/117,000 in males. Fabry nephropathy begins with microalbuminuria and/or proteinuria, which, in the classic form, appear from childhood. Thus, a progressive decline of renal function can start at a young age, and evolve to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or renal transplantation. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), available since 2001 for Fabry disease, has been increasingly introduced into the clinical practice, with overall positive short-term and long-term effects in terms of ventricular hypertrophy and renal function. Kidney transplantation represents a relevant therapeutic option for Fabry nephropathy management, for patients reaching end-stage renal disease, but little is known about long-term outcomes, overall patient survival or the possible role of ERT after transplant. The purpose of this review is to analyze the literature on every aspect related to kidney transplantation in patients with Fabry nephropathy: from the analysis of transplant outcomes, to the likelihood of disease recurrence, up to the effects of ERT and its possible interference with immunosuppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation)
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Review
Relationship between Vitamin Deficiencies and Co-Occurring Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Medicina 2020, 56(5), 245; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56050245 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Recently, connections have been made between feeding and eating problems and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and between autism pathophysiology and diet issues. These could explain some of the mechanisms which have not yet been discovered or are not sufficiently characterized. Moreover, there is [...] Read more.
Recently, connections have been made between feeding and eating problems and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and between autism pathophysiology and diet issues. These could explain some of the mechanisms which have not yet been discovered or are not sufficiently characterized. Moreover, there is an increased awareness for micronutrients in ASD due to the presence of gastrointestinal (GI) problems that can be related to feeding issues. For example, levels of vitamins B1, B6, B12, A and D are often reported to be low in ASD children. Thus, in the present mini review we focused on describing the impact of some vitamins deficiencies and their relevance in ASD patients. Full article
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Review
Herbal Preparations of Medical Cannabis: A Vademecum for Prescribing Doctors
Medicina 2020, 56(5), 237; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56050237 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 21
Abstract
Cannabis has been used for centuries for therapeutic purposes. In the last century, the plant was demonized due to its high abuse liability and supposedly insufficient health benefits. However, recent decriminalization policies and new scientific evidence have increased the interest in cannabis therapeutic [...] Read more.
Cannabis has been used for centuries for therapeutic purposes. In the last century, the plant was demonized due to its high abuse liability and supposedly insufficient health benefits. However, recent decriminalization policies and new scientific evidence have increased the interest in cannabis therapeutic potential of cannabis and paved the way for the release of marketing authorizations for cannabis-based products. Although several synthetic and standardized products are currently available on the market, patients’ preferences lean towards herbal preparations, because they are easy to handle and self-administer. A literature search was conducted on multidisciplinary research databases and international agencies or institutional websites. Despite the growing popularity of medical cannabis, little data is available on the chemical composition and preparation methods of medical cannabis extracts. The authors hereby report the most common cannabis preparations, presenting their medical indications, routes of administration and recommended dosages. A practical and helpful guide for prescribing doctors is provided, including suggested posology, titration strategies and cannabinoid amounts in herbal preparations obtained from different sources of medical cannabis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
Review
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Neurological Deficiencies: Is There A Relationship? The Possible Relevance of the Oxidative Stress Status
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56040175 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders, exhibiting complex and controversial pathological features. Both oxidative stress and inflammation-related reactive oxygen species production may be involved in IBS pathological development. Thus, we focused on several aspects regarding [...] Read more.
Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders, exhibiting complex and controversial pathological features. Both oxidative stress and inflammation-related reactive oxygen species production may be involved in IBS pathological development. Thus, we focused on several aspects regarding the causes of oxidative stress occurrence in IBS. Additionally, in the molecular context of oxidative changes, we tried to discuss these possible neurological implications in IBS. Methods: The literature search included the main available databases (e.g., ScienceDirect, Pubmed/Medline, Embase, and Google Scholar). Articles in the English language were taken into consideration. Our screening was conducted based on several words such as “irritable bowel syndrome”, “gut brain axis”, “oxidative stress”, “neuroendocrine”, and combinations. Results: While no consistent evidence suggests clear pathway mechanisms, it seems that the inflammatory response may also be relevant in IBS. The mild implication of oxidative stress in IBS has been described through clinical studies and some animal models, revealing changes in the main markers such as antioxidant status and peroxidation markers. Moreover, it seems that the neurological structures involved in the brain-gut axis may be affected in IBS rather than the local gut tissue and functionality. Due to a gut-brain axis bidirectional communication error, a correlation between neurological impairment, emotional over-responsiveness, mild inflammatory patterns, and oxidative stress can be suggested. Conclusions: Therefore, there is a possible correlation between neurological impairment, emotional over-responsiveness, mild inflammatory patterns, and oxidative stress that are not followed by tissue destruction in IBS patients. Moreover, it is not yet clear whether oxidative stress, inflammation, or neurological impairments are key determinants or in which way these three interact in IBS pathology. However, the conditions in which oxidative imbalances occur may be an interesting research lead in order to find possible explanations for IBS development. Full article
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Review
Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip: A Review of Etiopathogenesis, Risk Factors, and Genetic Aspects
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56040153 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
As one of the most frequent skeletal anomalies, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is characterized by a considerable range of pathology, from minor laxity of ligaments in the hip joint to complete luxation. Multifactorial etiology, of which the candidate genes have been [...] Read more.
As one of the most frequent skeletal anomalies, developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is characterized by a considerable range of pathology, from minor laxity of ligaments in the hip joint to complete luxation. Multifactorial etiology, of which the candidate genes have been studied the most, poses a challenge in understanding this disorder. Candidate gene association studies (CGASs) along with genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and genome-wide linkage analyses (GWLAs) have found numerous genes and loci with susceptible DDH association. Studies put major importance on candidate genes associated with the formation of connective tissue (COL1A1), osteogenesis (PAPPA2, GDF5), chondrogenesis (UQCC1, ASPN) and cell growth, proliferation and differentiation (TGFB1). Recent studies show that epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation affect gene expression and therefore could play an important role in DDH pathogenesis. This paper reviews all existing risk factors affecting DDH incidence, along with candidate genes associated with genetic or epigenetic etiology of DDH in various studies. Full article
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Review
Inherent Bias in Artificial Intelligence-Based Decision Support Systems for Healthcare
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030141 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Research in Healthcare)
Review
Alarmins in Osteoporosis, RAGE, IL-1, and IL-33 Pathways: A Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 138; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030138 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Review
Traumatic Brain Injury and Stem Cells: An Overview of Clinical Trials, the Current Treatments and Future Therapeutic Approaches
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56030137 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury represents physical damage to the brain tissue that induces transitory or permanent neurological disabilities. The traumatic injury activates an important inflammatory response, followed by a cascade of events that lead to neuronal loss and further brain damage. Maintaining proper ventilation, [...] Read more.
Traumatic brain injury represents physical damage to the brain tissue that induces transitory or permanent neurological disabilities. The traumatic injury activates an important inflammatory response, followed by a cascade of events that lead to neuronal loss and further brain damage. Maintaining proper ventilation, a normal level of oxygenation, and adequate blood pressure are the main therapeutic strategies performed after injury. Surgery is often necessary for patients with more serious injuries. However, to date, there are no therapies that completely resolve the brain damage suffered following the trauma. Stem cells, due to their capacity to differentiate into neuronal cells and through releasing neurotrophic factors, seem to be a valid strategy to use in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of clinical trials, aimed to evaluate the use of stem cell-based therapy in traumatic brain injury. These studies aim to assess the safety and efficacy of stem cells in this disease. The results available so far are few; therefore, future studies need in order to evaluate the safety and efficacy of stem cell transplantation in traumatic brain injury. Full article
Review
MiRNA-Based Inspired Approach in Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020094 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Prostate cancer is one of the most encountered cancer diseases in men worldwide and in consequence it requires the improvement of therapeutic strategies. For the clinical diagnosis, the standard approach is represented by solid biopsy. From a surgical point of view, this technique [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer is one of the most encountered cancer diseases in men worldwide and in consequence it requires the improvement of therapeutic strategies. For the clinical diagnosis, the standard approach is represented by solid biopsy. From a surgical point of view, this technique represents an invasive procedure that may imply several postoperative complications. To overcome these impediments, many trends are focusing on developing liquid biopsy assays and on implementing them in clinical practice. Liquid samples (blood, urine) are rich in analytes, especially in transcriptomic information provided by genetic markers. Additionally, molecular characterization regarding microRNAs content reveals outstanding prospects in understanding cancer progression mechanisms. Moreover, these analytes have great potential for prostate cancer early detection, more accurate prostate cancer staging and also for decision making respecting therapy schemes. However, there are still questionable topics and more research is needed to standardize liquid biopsy-based techniques. Full article
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Review
The Role of Blood Biomarkers for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 87; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020087 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The annual global incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is over 10 million. An estimated 29% of TBI patients with negative computed tomography (CT−) have positive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI+) findings. Judicious use of serum biomarkers with MRI may [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The annual global incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is over 10 million. An estimated 29% of TBI patients with negative computed tomography (CT−) have positive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI+) findings. Judicious use of serum biomarkers with MRI may aid in diagnosis of CT-occult TBI. The current manuscript aimed to evaluate the diagnostic, therapeutic and risk-stratification utility of known biomarkers and intracranial MRI pathology. Materials and Methods: The PubMed database was queried with keywords (plasma OR serum) AND (biomarker OR marker OR protein) AND (brain injury/trauma OR head injury/trauma OR concussion) AND (magnetic resonance imaging/MRI) (title/abstract) in English. Seventeen articles on TBI biomarkers and MRI were included: S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B; N = 6), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; N = 3), GFAP/ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1; N = 2), Tau (N = 2), neurofilament-light (NF-L; N = 2), alpha-synuclein (N = 1), and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor peptide (AMPAR; N = 1). Results: Acute GFAP distinguished CT−/MRI+ from CT−/MRI− (AUC = 0.777, 0.852 at 9–16 h). GFAP discriminated CT−/diffuse axonal injury (DAI+) from controls (AUC = 0.903). Tau correlated directly with number of head strikes and inversely with white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), and a cutoff > 1.5 pg/mL discriminated between DAI+ and DAI− (sensitivity = 74%/specificity = 69%). NF-L had 100% discrimination of DAI in severe TBI and correlated with FA. Low alpha-synuclein was associated with poorer functional connectivity. AMPAR cutoff > 0.4 ng/mL had a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 92% for concussion and was associated with minor MRI findings. Low/undetectable S100B had a high negative predictive value for CT/MRI pathology. UCH-L1 showed no notable correlations with MRI. Conclusions: An acute circulating biomarker capable of discriminating intracranial MRI abnormalities is critical to establishing diagnosis for CT-occult TBI and can triage patients who may benefit from outpatient MRI, surveillance and/or follow up with TBI specialists. GFAP has shown diagnostic potential for MRI findings such as DAI and awaits further validation. Tau shows promise in detecting DAI and disrupted functional connectivity. Candidate biomarkers should be evaluated within the context of analytical performance of the assays used, as well as the post-injury timeframe for blood collection relative to MRI abnormalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traumatic Brain Injury: Current Efforts in Research and Clinical Care)
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Nutritional Status and the Influence of the Vegan Diet on the Gut Microbiota and Human Health
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 88; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020088 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
The human gut microbiota is considered a well-known complex ecosystem composed of distinct microbial populations, playing a significant role in most aspects of human health and wellness. Several factors such as infant transitions, dietary habits, age, consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, use of [...] Read more.
The human gut microbiota is considered a well-known complex ecosystem composed of distinct microbial populations, playing a significant role in most aspects of human health and wellness. Several factors such as infant transitions, dietary habits, age, consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, use of antibiotics, intestinal comorbidities, and even metabolic diseases may continously alter microbiota diversity and function. The study of vegan diet–microbiota interactions is a rapidly evolving field, since plenty of research has been focused on the potential effects of plant-based dietary patterns on the human gut microbiota. It has been reported that well-planned vegan diets and their associated components affect both the bacterial composition and metabolic pathways of gut microbiota. Certain benefits associated with medical disorders but also limitations (including nutritional deficiencies) have been documented. Although the vegan diet may be inadequate in calorific value, it is rich in dietary fiber, polyphenols, and antioxidant vitamins. The aim of the present study was to provide an update of the existing knowledge on nutritional status of vegan diets and the influence of their food components on the human gut microbiota and health. Full article
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Review
Antibacterial Properties of Nanoparticles in Dental Restorative Materials. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020055 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Nanotechnology has become a significant area of research focused mainly on increasing the antibacterial and mechanical properties of dental materials. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine and quantitatively analyze the current evidence for the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Nanotechnology has become a significant area of research focused mainly on increasing the antibacterial and mechanical properties of dental materials. The aim of the present systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine and quantitatively analyze the current evidence for the addition of different nanoparticles into dental restorative materials, to determine whether their incorporation increases the antibacterial/antimicrobial properties of the materials. Materials and Methods: A literature search was performed in the Pubmed, Scopus, and Embase databases, up to December 2018, following PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis) guidelines for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Results: A total of 624 papers were identified in the initial search. After screening the texts and applying inclusion criteria, only 11 of these were selected for quantitative analysis. The incorporation of nanoparticles led to a significant increase (p-value < 0.01) in the antibacterial capacity of all the dental materials synthesized in comparison with control materials. Conclusions: The incorporation of nanoparticles into dental restorative materials was a favorable option; the antibacterial activity of nanoparticle-modified dental materials was significantly higher compared with the original unmodified materials, TiO2 nanoparticles providing the greatest benefits. However, the high heterogeneity among the articles reviewed points to the need for further research and the application of standardized research protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
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Review
Dental Implants in Patients with Oral Lichen Planus: A Systematic Review
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56020053 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To integrate the available published data on patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) rehabilitated with dental implants, as well as to review the recommendations for OLP patients receiving implants. Materials and Methods: An electronic search was undertaken in [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To integrate the available published data on patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) rehabilitated with dental implants, as well as to review the recommendations for OLP patients receiving implants. Materials and Methods: An electronic search was undertaken in February 2019 using five databases. Publications reporting cases of patients with OLP and rehabilitated with implant-supported oral prosthesis were included. Results: Twenty-two publications were included (230 patients, 615 implants). The overall implant failure rate was 13.9% (85/610). In patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) the failure rate was 90.6% (29/32), but none of these implants lost osseointegration; instead, the implants were removed together with the tumor. One study presented a very high implant failure rate, 76.4% (42/55), in patients with “active lichen planus”, with all implants failing between 7–16 weeks after implant placement, and its conflicting and incongruent results are discussed in detail. There was a statistically significant difference between the failure rates in implants installed in different jaws (maxilla/mandible) and when implants of different surfaces were used (turned/moderately rough), but not between patients with reticular or erosive OLP types, or between male and female patients. If OSCC patients and the cases of the latter study are not considered, then the failure rate becomes very low (2.7%, 14/523). The time between implant placement and failure was 25.4 ± 32.6 months (range 1–112). The mean ± SD follow-up was 58.9 ± 26.7 months (1–180). Conclusions: When the results of the one study with a very high failure rate and of the cases that developed OSCC are not considered, the dental implant failure rate in OLP patients was 2.7% after a follow-up of approximately five years. Recommendations are given when treating OLP patients with dental implants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome between Molecular Approach and Clinical Expertise—Searching for Gap Fillers in the Oxidative Stress Way of Thinking
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56010038 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 10
Abstract
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains to date an intriguing functional gastrointestinal disorder. Recent studies described a multitude of exogenous factors that work together in IBS, gradually impairing intestinal lining cellular metabolism, including oxidative status balance, with or without a genetic background. Although the [...] Read more.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains to date an intriguing functional gastrointestinal disorder. Recent studies described a multitude of exogenous factors that work together in IBS, gradually impairing intestinal lining cellular metabolism, including oxidative status balance, with or without a genetic background. Although the current biomarkers support the differentiation between IBS subtypes and other functional gastrointestinal disorder, they are mostly non-specific, referring to clinical, biochemical, and inflammatory imbalances. Since IBS could be also the result of deficient signaling pathways involving both gastrointestinal secretion and neuro-vegetative stimulation, IBS makes no exception from the oxidative hypothesis in the pathological mechanisms. Regarding the oxidative stress implication in IBS, the previous research efforts showed controversial results, with some animal models and patient studies reporting clear oxidative imbalance both on systemic and local levels, but still with no concrete evidence to point to a direct correlation between oxidative stress and IBS. Additionally, it seems that a major role could be also attributed to gut microbiota and their ability to shape our bodies and behaviors. Moreover, the genetic features study in IBS patients showed that several genetic similarities point to a possible correlation of IBS with affective spectrum disorders. Thus, we focus here the discussion on the assumption that IBS could in fact be more likely a stress-related disorder rather than a gastrointestinal one. Full article
Review
Challenges and Opportunities in Preclinical Research of Synthetic Cannabinoids for Pain Therapy
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56010024 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Cannabis has been used in pain management since 2900 BC. In the 20th century, synthetic cannabinoids began to emerge, thus opening the way for improved efficacy. The search for new forms of synthetic cannabinoids continues and, as such, the aim of this review [...] Read more.
Cannabis has been used in pain management since 2900 BC. In the 20th century, synthetic cannabinoids began to emerge, thus opening the way for improved efficacy. The search for new forms of synthetic cannabinoids continues and, as such, the aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive tool for the research and development of this promising class of drugs. Methods for the in vitro assessment of cytotoxic, mutagenic or developmental effects are presented, followed by the main in vivo pain models used in cannabis research and the results yielded by different types of administration (systemic versus intrathecal versus inhalation). Animal models designed for assessing side-effects and long-term uses are also discussed. In the second part of this review, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of synthetic cannabinoid biodistribution, together with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometric identification of synthetic cannabinoids in biological fluids from rodents to humans are presented. Last, but not least, different strategies for improving the solubility and physicochemical stability of synthetic cannabinoids and their potential impact on pain management are discussed. In conclusion, synthetic cannabinoids are one of the most promising classes of drugs in pain medicine, and preclinical research should focus on identifying new and improved alternatives for a better clinical and preclinical outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
Review
Current Pharmacological Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Narrative Review
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina56010025 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 16
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes mellitus. Although it is usually characterized by progressive sensory loss, some patients may develop chronic pain. Assessment of DSPN is not difficult, but the biggest [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes mellitus. Although it is usually characterized by progressive sensory loss, some patients may develop chronic pain. Assessment of DSPN is not difficult, but the biggest challenge is making the correct diagnosis and choosing the right treatment. The treatment of DSPN has three primary objectives: glycemic control, pathogenic mechanisms, and pain management. The aim of this brief narrative review is to summarize the current pharmacological treatment of painful DSPN. It also summarizes knowledge on pathogenesis-oriented therapy, which is generally overlooked in many publications and guidelines. Materials and Methods: The present review reports the relevant information available on DSPN treatment. The search was performed on PubMed, Cochrane, Semantic Scholar, Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases, including among others the terms “distal symmetrical polyneuropathy”, “neuropathic pain treatment”, “diabetic neuropathy”, “diabetes complications”, ”glycaemic control”, “antidepressants”, “opioids”, and “anticonvulsants”. Results: First-line drugs include antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants) and pregabalin. Second- and third-line drugs include opioids and topical analgesics. While potentially effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain, opioids are not considered to be the first choice because of adverse reactions and addiction concerns. Conclusions: DSPN is a common complication in patients with diabetes, and severely affects the quality of life of these patients. Although multiple therapies are available, the guidelines and recommendations regarding the treatment of diabetic neuropathy have failed to offer a unitary consensus, which often hinders the therapeutic options in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain Management)
Review
Towards a Transversal Definition of Psychological Resilience: A Literature Review
Medicina 2019, 55(11), 745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55110745 - 16 Nov 2019
Cited by 23
Abstract
Background and objectives: This paper addresses psychological resilience, a multidisciplinary theoretical construct with important practical implications for health sciences. Although many definitions have been proposed in several contexts, an essential understanding of the concept is still lacking up to now. This negatively [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: This paper addresses psychological resilience, a multidisciplinary theoretical construct with important practical implications for health sciences. Although many definitions have been proposed in several contexts, an essential understanding of the concept is still lacking up to now. This negatively affects comparisons among research results and makes objective measurement difficult. The aim of this review is to identify shared elements in defining the construct of resilience across the literature examined in order to move toward a conceptual unification of the term. Materials and methods: A literature review was performed using the electronic databases ‘PubMed’ and ‘PsycINFO’. Scientific studies written in English between 2002 and May 2019 were included according to the following key terms: ‘Psychological’, ‘resilience’, and ‘definition’. Results: The review identifies five macro-categories that summarize what has been reported in the recent literature concerning the resilience phenomenon. They serve as a preliminary and necessary step toward a conceptual clarification of the construct. Conclusions: We propose a definition of psychological resilience as the ability to maintain the persistence of one’s orientation towards existential purposes. It constitutes a transversal attitude that can be understood as the ability to overcome the difficulties experienced in the different areas of one’s life with perseverance, as well as good awareness of oneself and one’s own internal coherence by activating a personal growth project. The conceptual clarification proposed will contribute to improving the accuracy of research on this topic by suggesting future paths of investigation aimed at deeply exploring the issues surrounding the promotion of resilience resources. Full article
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Review
Current Therapeutic Strategies in Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Medicina 2019, 55(11), 714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55110714 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are the fastest growing chronic complication of diabetes mellitus, with more than 400 million people diagnosed globally, and the condition is responsible for lower extremity amputation in 85% of people affected, leading to high-cost hospital care and increased mortality [...] Read more.
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are the fastest growing chronic complication of diabetes mellitus, with more than 400 million people diagnosed globally, and the condition is responsible for lower extremity amputation in 85% of people affected, leading to high-cost hospital care and increased mortality risk. Neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease trigger deformities or trauma, and aggravating factors such as infection and edema are the etiological factors for the development of DFUs. DFUs require identifying the etiology and assessing the co-morbidities to provide the correct therapeutic approach, essential to reducing lower-extremity amputation risk. This review focuses on the current treatment strategies for DFUs with a special emphasis on tissue engineering techniques and regenerative medicine that collectively target all components of chronic wound pathology. Full article
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Review
Predictive and Prognostic Factors in HCC Patients Treated with Sorafenib
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 707; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55100707 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 29
Abstract
Sorafenib is an oral kinase inhibitor that enhances survival in patients affected by advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to the results of two registrative trials, this drug represents a gold quality standard in the first line treatment of advanced HCC. Recently, lenvatinib showed [...] Read more.
Sorafenib is an oral kinase inhibitor that enhances survival in patients affected by advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to the results of two registrative trials, this drug represents a gold quality standard in the first line treatment of advanced HCC. Recently, lenvatinib showed similar results in terms of survival in a non-inferiority randomized trial study considering the same subset of patients. Unlike other targeted therapies, predictive and prognostic markers in HCC patients treated with sorafenib are lacking. Their identification could help clinicians in the daily management of these patients, mostly in light of the new therapeutic options available in the first. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Review
Emerging Role of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 698; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55100698 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 28
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary liver cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A total of 70–80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with a dismal prognosis. Sorafenib had been the standard care for almost a [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary liver cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A total of 70–80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with a dismal prognosis. Sorafenib had been the standard care for almost a decade until 2018 when the Food and Drug Administration approved an alternative first-line agent namely lenvatinib. Cabozantinib, regorafenib, and ramucirumab also displayed promising results in second line settings. FOLFOX4, however, results in an alternative first-line treatment for the Chinese clinical oncology guidelines. Moreover, nivolumab and pembrolizumab, two therapeutics against the Programmed death (PD)-ligand 1 (PD-L1)/PD1 axis have been recently approved for subsequent-line therapy. However, similar to other solid tumors, the response rate of single agent targeting PD-L1/PD1 axis is low. Therefore, a lot of combinatory approaches are under investigation, including the combination of different immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), the addition of ICIs after resection or during loco-regional therapy, ICIs in addition to kinase inhibitors, anti-angiogenic therapeutics, and others. This review focuses on the use of ICIs for the hepatocellular carcinoma with a careful assessment of new ICIs-based combinatory approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Review
Cognition, Mood and Sleep in Menopausal Transition: The Role of Menopause Hormone Therapy
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55100668 - 01 Oct 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
During the menopausal transition, which begins four to six years before cessation of menses, middle-aged women experience a progressive change in ovarian activity and a physiologic deterioration of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis function associated with fluctuating hormone levels. During this transition, women can suffer symptoms [...] Read more.
During the menopausal transition, which begins four to six years before cessation of menses, middle-aged women experience a progressive change in ovarian activity and a physiologic deterioration of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis function associated with fluctuating hormone levels. During this transition, women can suffer symptoms related to menopause (such as hot flushes, sleep disturbance, mood changes, memory complaints and vaginal dryness). Neurological symptoms such as sleep disturbance, “brain fog” and mood changes are a major complaint of women transitioning menopause, with a significant impact on their quality of life, productivity and physical health. In this paper, we consider the associations between menopausal stage and/or hormone levels and sleep problems, mood and reduced cognitive performance. The role of estrogen and menopause hormone therapy (MHT) in cognitive function, sleep and mood are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hormone Replacement Therapy: Benefits and Risks)
Review
The Controversial History of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 602; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090602 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 26
Abstract
The history of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) started in the 1960s, with very high popularity in the 1990s. The first clinical trials on HRT and chronic postmenopausal conditions were started in the USA in the late 1990s. After the announcement of the first [...] Read more.
The history of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) started in the 1960s, with very high popularity in the 1990s. The first clinical trials on HRT and chronic postmenopausal conditions were started in the USA in the late 1990s. After the announcement of the first results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002, which showed that HRT had more detrimental than beneficial effects, HRT use dropped. The negative results of the study received wide publicity, creating panic among some users and new guidance for doctors on prescribing HRT. The clear message from the media was that HRT had more risks than benefits for all women. In the following years, a reanalysis of the WHI trial was performed, and new studies showed that the use of HRT in younger women or in early postmenopausal women had a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, reducing coronary disease and all-cause mortality. Notwithstanding this, the public opinion on HRT has not changed yet, leading to important negative consequences for women’s health and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hormone Replacement Therapy: Benefits and Risks)
Review
Influence of Burnout on Patient Safety: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 553; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090553 - 30 Aug 2019
Cited by 33
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Several factors can compromise patient safety, such as ineffective teamwork, failed organizational processes, and the physical and psychological overload of health professionals. Studies about associations between burn out and patient safety have shown different outcomes. Objective: To analyze the relationship [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Several factors can compromise patient safety, such as ineffective teamwork, failed organizational processes, and the physical and psychological overload of health professionals. Studies about associations between burn out and patient safety have shown different outcomes. Objective: To analyze the relationship between burnout and patient safety. Materials and Methods: A systematic review with a meta-analysis performed using PubMed and Web of Science databases during January 2018. Two searches were conducted with the following descriptors: (i) patient safety AND burnout professional safety AND organizational culture, and (ii) patient safety AND burnout professional safety AND safety management. Results: Twenty-one studies were analyzed, most of them demonstrating an association between the existence of burnout and the worsening of patient safety. High levels of burnout is more common among physicians and nurses, and it is associated with external factors such as: high workload, long journeys, and ineffective interpersonal relationships. Good patient safety practices are influenced by organized workflows that generate autonomy for health professionals. Through meta-analysis, we found a relationship between the development of burnout and patient safety actions with a probability of superiority of 66.4%. Conclusion: There is a relationship between high levels of burnout and worsening patient safety. Full article
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Review
From Pre-Diabetes to Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatments and Translational Research
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 546; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090546 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 37
Abstract
Diabetes, a silent killer, is one of the most widely prevalent conditions of the present time. According to the 2017 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics, the global prevalence of diabetes among the age group of 20–79 years is 8.8%. In addition, 1 in [...] Read more.
Diabetes, a silent killer, is one of the most widely prevalent conditions of the present time. According to the 2017 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics, the global prevalence of diabetes among the age group of 20–79 years is 8.8%. In addition, 1 in every 2 persons is unaware of the condition. This unawareness and ignorance lead to further complications. Pre-diabetes is the preceding condition of diabetes, and in most of the cases, this ultimately leads to the development of diabetes. Diabetes can be classified into three types, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and gestational diabetes. The diagnosis of both pre-diabetes and diabetes is based on glucose criteria; the common modalities used are fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). A glucometer is commonly used by diabetic patients to measure blood glucose levels with fast and rather accurate measurements. A few of the more advanced and minimally invasive modalities include the glucose-sensing patch, SwEatch, eyeglass biosensor, breath analysis, etc. Despite a considerable amount of data being collected and analyzed regarding diabetes, the actual molecular mechanism of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is still unknown. Both genetic and epigenetic factors are associated with T2DM. The complications of diabetes can predominantly be classified into two categories: microvascular and macrovascular. Retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy are grouped under microvascular complications, whereas stroke, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD) belong to macrovascular complications. Unfortunately, until now, no complete cure for diabetes has been found. However, the treatment of pre-diabetes has shown significant success in preventing the further progression of diabetes. To prevent pre-diabetes from developing into T2DM, lifestyle intervention has been found to be very promising. Various aspects of diabetes, including the aforementioned topics, have been reviewed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance)
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Review
A Nutraceutical Approach to Menopausal Complaints
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 544; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090544 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 32
Abstract
The menopausal transition, or perimenopause, is characterized by menstrual irregularities, vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbances, mood symptoms, and urogenital tract atrophy. These changes can also affect the quality of life and one’s self-esteem. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered the best option to achieve [...] Read more.
The menopausal transition, or perimenopause, is characterized by menstrual irregularities, vasomotor symptoms, sleep disturbances, mood symptoms, and urogenital tract atrophy. These changes can also affect the quality of life and one’s self-esteem. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered the best option to achieve therapeutic relief of different menopausal symptoms but is usually restricted to moderate or severe symptoms. Moreover, many women refuse HRT for a variety of reasons concerning the fear of cancer and other adverse effects. According to these considerations, new topics are emerging: Dissatisfaction with drug costs and conventional healthcare, desire for personalized medicines, and the public perception that “natural is good”. In this context, nonhormonal therapies are mostly evolving, and it is not unusual that women often request a “natural” approach for their symptoms. The aim of this study is to investigate nonhormonal therapies that have been identified to reduce the menopausal symptoms. Full article
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Review
Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 525; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090525 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 29
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder resulting from a traumatic event, is manifested through hyperarousal, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Despite several therapeutic approaches being available, both pharmacological and psychological, recently a growing interest has [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder resulting from a traumatic event, is manifested through hyperarousal, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Despite several therapeutic approaches being available, both pharmacological and psychological, recently a growing interest has developed in using cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids stems from their consideration as more efficient and better tolerated alternatives for the treatment of this condition. The present paper aims to evaluate the clinical and therapeutic potentials of medical cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids in treating PTSD patients. Methods: A systematic electronic search was performed, including all papers published up to May 2019, using the following keywords (((cannabis[Title/Abstract]) OR (synthetic cannabinoids [Title/Abstract])) AND ((PTSD[Title/Abstract]) OR (Posttraumatic stress disorder[Title/Abstract]))) for the topics ‘Cannabis’, ‘Synthetic Cannabinoids’, ‘PTSD’, and MESH terms, on the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science online databases. For data gathering purposes, PRISMA guidelines were followed. Results were organized into two groups, considering cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids as different therapeutic approaches for PTSD. Results: Present data show that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids, both acting on the endocannabinoids system, may have a potential therapeutic use for improving PTSD symptoms, e.g., reducing anxiety, modulating memory-related processes, and improving sleep. Conclusions: Even though the current literature suggests that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids may have a role in the treatment of PTSD, there is currently limited evidence regarding their safety and efficacy. Therefore, additional research is needed in order to better understand the effectiveness and therapeutic usage of these drug classes and monitor their safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Review
Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 526; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55090526 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 35
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumors worldwide. HCC is a complex process that is associated with several etiological factors, which in turn result in aberrant activation of different cellular and molecular pathways and the disruption of [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumors worldwide. HCC is a complex process that is associated with several etiological factors, which in turn result in aberrant activation of different cellular and molecular pathways and the disruption of balance between activation and inactivation of protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, respectively. Since HCC most often occurs in the setting of a diseased or cirrhotic liver and most of the patients are diagnosed at the late stage of disease, prognosis is generally poor. At present, limited treatment options with marginal clinical benefits are available. Systemic therapy, particularly in the form of conventional cytotoxic drugs, are generally ineffective. In recent years, molecular-targeted therapies have been clinically used to treat various cancers, including liver cancer. This approach inhibits the growth of tumor cells by interfering with molecules that are involved in carcinogenesis, which makes it more selective and specific than cytotoxic chemotherapy. Many clinical trials have been carried out while using molecular targeted drugs in advanced HCC with many more in progress. The clinical trials in HCC to date have evaluated a single-targeted therapy alone, or two or more targeted therapies in parallel. The aim of this review is to provide insight of various molecular mechanisms, leading to HCC development and progression, and also the range of experimental therapeutics for patients with advanced HCC. The review will summarize different clinical trials data the successes and failures of these treatments, as well as the most effective and approved drugs designed against HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Review
Component-Resolved Diagnosis in Food Allergies
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 498; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080498 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) in food allergies is an approach utilized to characterize the molecular components of each allergen involved in a specific IgE (sIgE)-mediated response. In the clinical practice, CRD can improve diagnostic accuracy and assist the physician in many aspects of the [...] Read more.
Component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) in food allergies is an approach utilized to characterize the molecular components of each allergen involved in a specific IgE (sIgE)-mediated response. In the clinical practice, CRD can improve diagnostic accuracy and assist the physician in many aspects of the allergy work-up. CRD allows for discriminatory co-sensitization versus cross-sensitization phenomena and can be useful to stratify the clinical risk associated with a specific sensitization pattern, in addition to the oral food challenge (OFC). Despite this, there are still some unmet needs, such as the risk of over-prescribing unnecessary elimination diets and adrenaline auto-injectors. Moreover, up until now, none of the identified sIgE cutoff have shown a specificity and sensitivity profile as accurate as the OFC, which is the gold standard in diagnosing food allergies. In light of this, the aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant concepts in the field of CRD in food allergy and to provide a practical approach useful in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Review
Malignant Pleural Effusion and Its Current Management: A Review
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 490; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080490 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 17
Abstract
Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is an exudative effusion with malignant cells. MPE is a common symptom and accompanying manifestation of metastatic disease. It affects up to 15% of all patients with cancer and is the most common in lung, breast cancer, lymphoma, gynecological [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is an exudative effusion with malignant cells. MPE is a common symptom and accompanying manifestation of metastatic disease. It affects up to 15% of all patients with cancer and is the most common in lung, breast cancer, lymphoma, gynecological malignancies and malignant mesothelioma. In the last year, many studies were performed focusing on the pathophysiological mechanisms of MPE. With the advancement in molecular techniques, the importance of tumor-host cell interactions is becoming more apparent. Additionally, the process of pathogenesis is greatly affected by activating mutations of EGFR, KRAS, PIK3CA, BRAF, MET, EML4/ALK and RET, which correlate with an increased incidence of MPE. Considering all these changes, the authors aim to present a literature review of the newest findings, review of the guidelines and pathophysiological novelties in this field. Review of the just recently, after seven years published, practice guidelines, as well as analysis of more than 70 articles from the Pubmed, Medline databases that were almost exclusively published in indexed journals in the last few years, have relevance and contribute to the better understanding of the presented topic. MPE still presents a severe medical condition in patients with advanced malignancy. Recent findings in the field of pathophysiological mechanisms of MPE emphasize the role of molecular factors and mutations in the dynamics of the disease and its prognosis. Treatment guidelines offer a patient-centric approach with the use of new scoring systems, an out of hospital approach and ultrasound. The current guidelines address multiple areas of interest bring novelties in the form of validated prediction tools and can, based on evidence, improve patient outcomes. However, the role of biomarkers in a clinical setting, possible new treatment modalities and certain specific situations still present a challenge for new research. Full article
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Review
The Meaning in Life in Suicidal Patients: The Presence and the Search for Constructs. A Systematic Review
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 465; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080465 - 11 Aug 2019
Cited by 21
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Research on suicidal behavior (SB) has frequently focused more on risk factors than protective factors. Since the historic works of Viktor E. Frankl, who inquired how some Nazi concentration camps prisoners maintained their will to live though confronted with pervasive [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Research on suicidal behavior (SB) has frequently focused more on risk factors than protective factors. Since the historic works of Viktor E. Frankl, who inquired how some Nazi concentration camps prisoners maintained their will to live though confronted with pervasive absurdity, Meaning in Life (MiL) has been interpreted as a potent resiliency factor. MiL then declined along a multitude of theoretical perspectives and was associated with various functioning domains of the individual. Surprising, few studies investigated the role of MiL on SB. We aimed to review and synthetize current literature on possible associations between MiL and SB, which included suicidal ideation (SI), suicidal attempts (SA), and completed suicide, focusing on two MiL constructs (the presence of MiL and search for MiL) from the Michael F. Steger’s recent conceptualization. Material and Methods: A systematic strategy following PRISMA guidelines was used to search for relevant articles in Pubmed/MEDLINE, Scopus, PsycINFO, and ScienceDirect (January 1980–February 2019) and yielded 172 articles, 37 of which met our inclusion criteria. Results: MiL emerged as a protective factor against SI, SA, and completed suicides, directly or through mediation/moderation models with other SB-related variables. When distinguishing the presence of MiL and the search for MiL, a consensual protective impact was described for the former. Data for the latter were less consistent but rather oriented towards a non-protective impact Conclusions: These findings could have clinical repercussions for SB prevention, in both suicide risk assessment refinement and psychotherapeutic interventions. Further research is needed to examine the dynamic interplay of the two constructs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventing Suicide in Patients with Mental Disorders)
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Review
Tendinopathy: Pathophysiology, Therapeutic Options, and Role of Nutraceutics. A Narrative Literature Review
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 447; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55080447 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 20
Abstract
Tendinopathies are very common in general population and a huge number of tendon-related procedures take place annually worldwide, with significant socio-economic repercussions. Numerous treatment options are commonly used for tendon disorders. Besides pharmacological and physical therapy, nutrition could represent an additional tool for [...] Read more.
Tendinopathies are very common in general population and a huge number of tendon-related procedures take place annually worldwide, with significant socio-economic repercussions. Numerous treatment options are commonly used for tendon disorders. Besides pharmacological and physical therapy, nutrition could represent an additional tool for preventing and treating this complex pathology that deserve a multidisciplinary approach. In recent years, nutraceutical products are growing up in popularity since these seem to favor the prevention and the healing processes of tendon injuries. This narrative literature review aims to summarize current understanding and the areas of ongoing research about the management of tendinopathies with the help of oral supplementation. Full article
Review
Wheat Allergy in Children: A Comprehensive Update
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070400 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential [...] Read more.
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential role of several external factors that can influence the risk to developing wheat allergy, but results are still inconclusive. It can be responsible for several clinical manifestations depending on the route of allergen exposure: food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA), occupational rhinitis or asthma (also known as baker’s asthma), and contact urticaria. The prognosis of IgE-mediated wheat allergy in children is generally favorable, with the majority of children becoming tolerant by school age. Patients who experienced an anaphylactic reaction prior to 3 years of age and patients with higher level of wheat- or ω-5 gliadin-specific IgE antibodies seem to be at higher risk of persistent wheat allergy. The current management of patients is dietary avoidance. Nowadays, oral immunotherapy has been proposed for wheat allergy with promising results, even if further studies are necessary to establish the best protocol in order to promote tolerance in wheat-allergic children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Review
Key Molecular Events in Cervical Cancer Development
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070384 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 28
Abstract
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main aetiology for the development of cervical cancer. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and the integration of the HPV genome into the host chromosome [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main aetiology for the development of cervical cancer. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and the integration of the HPV genome into the host chromosome of cervical epithelial cells are key early events in the neoplastic progression of cervical lesions. The viral oncoproteins, mainly E6 and E7, are responsible for the initial changes in epithelial cells. The viral proteins inactivate two main tumour suppressor proteins, p53, and retinoblastoma (pRb). Inactivation of these host proteins disrupts both the DNA repair mechanisms and apoptosis, leading to rapid cell proliferation. Multiple genes involved in DNA repair, cell proliferation, growth factor activity, angiogenesis, as well as mitogenesis genes become highly expressed in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. This genomic instability encourages HPV-infected cells to progress towards invasive carcinoma. The key molecular events involved in cervical carcinogenesis will be discussed in this review. Full article
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Review
Is Vitamin D Supplementation Useful for Weight Loss Programs? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 368; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070368 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The controversy about the impact of vitamin D supplementation on weight loss treatment was observed in several randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This meta-analysis investigates the effects of vitamin D supplementation (cholecalciferol or ergocalciferol) on weight loss through holistic measurements of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The controversy about the impact of vitamin D supplementation on weight loss treatment was observed in several randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This meta-analysis investigates the effects of vitamin D supplementation (cholecalciferol or ergocalciferol) on weight loss through holistic measurements of Body Mass Index (BMI), weight and waist circumference. Materials and Methods: Google Scholar, WOS, PubMed and Scopus were explored to collect relevant studies. The selected articles focused on vitamin D supplementation in overweight and obese individuals with different conditions. Eleven RCTs were included into this meta-analysis with a total of 947 subjects, with a mean of the follow-up from 1 to 12 months and different vitamin D interventions (from 25,000 to 600,000 IU/monthly of cholecalciferol). Results: The meta-analyzed mean differences for random effects showed that cholecalciferol supplementation deceases the BMI by −0.32 kg/m2 (CI95% −0.52, −0.12 kg/m2, p = 0.002) and the waist circumference by −1.42 cm (CI95% −2.41, −0.42 cm, p = 0.005), but does not statistically affect weight loss −0.43 kg (CI95% −1.05, +0.19 kg, p = 0.17). Conclusions: This meta-analysis lays the foundation for defining the potential clinical efficacy of vitamin D supplementation as a potential therapeutic option for weight loss programs, but further studies are needed to confirm the validity of these findings and delineate potential underlying mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Vitamin D in Obesity)
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Review
Non-Skeletal Activities of Vitamin D: From Physiology to Brain Pathology
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 341; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070341 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 30
Abstract
Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone regulating the expression of almost 900 genes, and it is involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism, immune response, and brain development. Low blood vitamin D levels have been reported in patients affected by various [...] Read more.
Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone regulating the expression of almost 900 genes, and it is involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism, immune response, and brain development. Low blood vitamin D levels have been reported in patients affected by various diseases. Despite a large amount of literature data, there is uncertainty surrounding the role of vitamin D as a serum biomarker in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Indeed, the lack of internationally recognized 25(OH)D3 reference measurement procedures and standard materials in the past led to unstandardized serum total 25(OH)D3 results among research and clinical care laboratories. Thus, most of the literature studies reported unstandardized data, which are of little use and make it difficult to draw conclusions of the role of vitamin D in AD and PD. This review summarizes the extra-skeletal actions of vitamin D, focusing its role in immunomodulation and brain function, and reports the issue of lacking standardized literature data concerning the usefulness of vitamin D as a biomarker in AD and PD. Full article
Review
Telepharmacy Services: Present Status and Future Perspectives: A Review
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 327; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55070327 - 01 Jul 2019
Cited by 25
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The term “telepharmacy” indicates a form of pharmaceutical care in which pharmacists and patients are not in the same place and can interact using information and communication technology (ICT) facilities. Telepharmacy has been adopted to provide pharmaceutical services to [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The term “telepharmacy” indicates a form of pharmaceutical care in which pharmacists and patients are not in the same place and can interact using information and communication technology (ICT) facilities. Telepharmacy has been adopted to provide pharmaceutical services to underserved areas and to address the problem of pharmacist shortage. This paper has reviewed the multi-faceted phenomenon of telepharmacy, summarizing different experiences in the area. Advantages and limitations of telepharmacy are discussed as well. Materials and Methods: A literature analysis was carried out on PubMed, using as entry term “telepharmacy” and including articles on the topic published between 2012 and 2018. Results: The studies reviewed were divided into three categories of pharmacy practice, namely (1) support to clinical services, (2) remote education and handling of “special pharmacies”, and (3) prescription and reconciliation of drug therapies. In general, different telepharmacy services were effective and accompanied by a satisfaction of their targets. Conclusions: Nowadays, the shortage of health personnel, and in particular pharmacists, is a challenging issue that the health systems have to face. The use of a new technology such as telepharmacy can represent a possible option to solve these problems. However, there are unsolved limitations (e.g., legal implications) that make greater diffusion of telepharmacy difficult. Stronger data on the effectiveness of this area of pharmacy care, together with a critical evaluation of its limits, can make actors involved aware about the potentialities of it and could contribute to a larger diffusion of telepharmacy services in the interest of communities and citizens. Full article
Review
Role of Vitamin D Status in Diabetic Patients with Renal Disease
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060273 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 16
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) poses a major public health problem worldwide, with ever-increasing incidence and prevalence in recent years. The Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) expects that the total number of people with type 1 and type 2 DM in the United States will [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) poses a major public health problem worldwide, with ever-increasing incidence and prevalence in recent years. The Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) expects that the total number of people with type 1 and type 2 DM in the United States will increase by 54%, from 19,629,000 to 54,913,000 people, between 2015 and 2030. Diabetic Nephropathy (DN) affects about one-third of patients with DM and currently ranks as the first cause of end-stage kidney disease in the Western world. The complexity of interactions of Vitamin D is directly related with progressive long-term changes implicated in the worsening of renal function. These changes result in a dysregulation of the vitamin D-dependent pathways. Various studies demonstrated a pivotal role of Vitamin D supplementation in regression of albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis, contrasting the increase of glomerular basement membrane thickening and podocyte effacement, with better renal and cardiovascular outcomes. The homeostasis and regulation of the nephron’s function are absolutely dependent from the cross-talk between endothelium and podocytes. Even if growing evidence proves that vitamin D may have antiproteinuric, anti-inflammatory and renoprotective effects in patients with DN, it is still worth investigating these aspects with both more in vitro studies and randomized controlled trials in larger patient series and with adequate follow-up to confirm the effects of long-term vitamin D analogue supplementation in DN and to evaluate the effectiveness of this therapy and the appropriate dosage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
Review
SGLT2 Inhibitors: Nephroprotective Efficacy and Side Effects
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 268; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060268 - 11 Jun 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
The burden of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has increased worldwide in the last two decades. Besides the growth of diabetic population, the main contributors to this phenomenon are the absence of novel nephroprotective drugs and the limited efficacy of those currently available, that [...] Read more.
The burden of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has increased worldwide in the last two decades. Besides the growth of diabetic population, the main contributors to this phenomenon are the absence of novel nephroprotective drugs and the limited efficacy of those currently available, that is, the inhibitors of renin-angiotensin system. Nephroprotection in DKD therefore remains a major unmet need. Three recent trials testing effectiveness of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2-i) have produced great expectations on this therapy by consistently evidencing positive effects on hyperglycemia control, and more importantly, on the cardiovascular outcome of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Notably, these trials also disclosed nephroprotective effects when renal outcomes (glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria) were analyzed as secondary endpoints. On the other hand, the use of SGLT2-i can be potentially associated with some adverse effects. However, the balance between positive and negative effects is in favor of the former. The recent results of Canagliflozin and Renal Endpoints in Diabetes with Established Nephropathy Clinical Evaluation Study and of other trials specifically testing these drugs in the population with chronic kidney disease, either diabetic or non-diabetic, do contribute to further improving our knowledge of these antihyperglycemic drugs. Here, we review the current state of the art of SGLT2-i by addressing all aspects of therapy, from the pathophysiological basis to clinical effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
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Review
Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis in Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: An Update
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 245; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060245 - 04 Jun 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with brain neurodegeneration. MS patients present heterogeneous clinical manifestations in which both genetic and environmental factors are involved. The diagnosis is very complex due to the high heterogeneity of [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with brain neurodegeneration. MS patients present heterogeneous clinical manifestations in which both genetic and environmental factors are involved. The diagnosis is very complex due to the high heterogeneity of the pathophysiology of the disease. The diagnostic criteria have been modified several times over the years. Basically, they include clinical symptoms, presence of typical lesions detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and laboratory findings. The analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) allows an evaluation of inflammatory processes circumscribed to the CNS and reflects changes in the immunological pattern due to the progression of the pathology, being fundamental in the diagnosis and monitoring of MS. The detection of the oligoclonal bands (OCBs) in both CSF and serum is recognized as the “gold standard” for laboratory diagnosis of MS, though presents analytical limitations. Indeed, current protocols for OCBs assay are time-consuming and require an operator-dependent interpretation. In recent years, the quantification of free light chain (FLC) in CSF has emerged to assist clinicians in the diagnosis of MS. This article reviews the current knowledge on CSF biomarkers used in the diagnosis of MS, in particular on the validated assays and on the alternative biomarkers of intrathecal synthesis. Full article
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Review
GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Kidney Protection
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 233; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060233 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 28
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is determined by specific pathological structural and functional alterations of the kidneys in patients with diabetes, and its clinical manifestations are albuminuria and decline of glomerular [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is determined by specific pathological structural and functional alterations of the kidneys in patients with diabetes, and its clinical manifestations are albuminuria and decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Apart from renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, no other drugs are currently available as therapy for diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are a new class of anti-hyperglycemic drugs which have been demonstrated to prevent the onset of macroalbuminuria and reduce the decline of GFR in diabetic patients. These drugs may exert their beneficial actions on the kidneys through blood glucose- and blood pressure (BP)-lowering effects, reduction of insulin levels and weight loss. Clinical benefits of GLP-1R agonists were acknowledged due to data from large randomized phase III clinical trials conducted to assess their cardiovascular(CV) safety. These drugs improved renal biomarkers in placebo-controlled clinical studies, with effects supposed to be independent of the actions on glycemic control. In this review, we will focus on the actions of GLP-1R agonists on glucose metabolism and kidney physiology, and evaluate direct and indirect mechanisms through which these drugs may confer renal protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
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Review
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: A Review
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 222; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060222 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Background and objectives: Grain food consumption is a trigger of gluten related disorders: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and wheat allergy. They demonstrate with non-specific symptoms: bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and flatulence. Aim: The aim of the review is to summarize data [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Grain food consumption is a trigger of gluten related disorders: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and wheat allergy. They demonstrate with non-specific symptoms: bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and flatulence. Aim: The aim of the review is to summarize data about pathogenesis, symptoms and criteria of NCGS, which can be helpful for physicians. Materials and Methods: The PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched in January 2019 with phrases: ’non-celiac gluten sensitivity’, non-celiac gluten sensitivity’, non-celiac wheat gluten sensitivity’, non-celiac wheat gluten sensitivity’, and gluten sensitivity’. More than 1000 results were found. A total of 67 clinical trials published between 1989 and 2019 was scanned. After skimming abstracts, 66 articles were chosen for this review; including 26 clinical trials. Results: In 2015, Salerno Experts’ Criteria of NCGS were published. The Salerno first step is assessing the clinical response to gluten free diet (GFD) and second is measuring the effect of reintroducing gluten after a period of treatment with GFD. Several clinical trials were based on the criteria. Conclusions: Symptoms of NCGS are similar to other gluten-related diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. With Salerno Experts’ Criteria of NCGS, it is possible to diagnose patients properly and give them advice about nutritional treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Celiac Disease)
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Review
Suicidality in Borderline Personality Disorder
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 223; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55060223 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 26
Abstract
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with suicidal behaviors and self-harm. Up to 10% of BPD patients will die by suicide. However, no research data support the effectiveness of suicide prevention in this disorder, and hospitalization has not been shown to be useful. [...] Read more.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with suicidal behaviors and self-harm. Up to 10% of BPD patients will die by suicide. However, no research data support the effectiveness of suicide prevention in this disorder, and hospitalization has not been shown to be useful. The most evidence-based treatment methods for BPD are specifically designed psychotherapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventing Suicide in Patients with Mental Disorders)
Review
Dietary and Pharmacological Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55050166 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the developed world. Simple hepatic steatosis is mild, but the coexistence of steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Proper dietary and pharmacological treatment is essential for [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the developed world. Simple hepatic steatosis is mild, but the coexistence of steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Proper dietary and pharmacological treatment is essential for preventing NAFLD progression. The first-line treatment should include dietary intervention and increased physical activity. The diet should be based on the food pyramid, with a choice of products with low glycemic index, complex carbohydrates in the form of low-processed cereal products, vegetables, and protein-rich products. Usage of insulin-sensitizing substances, pro- and prebiotics, and vitamins should also be considered. Such a therapeutic process is intended to support both liver disease and obesity-related pathologies, including insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and blood hypertension. In the pharmacological treatment of NAFLD, apart from pioglitazone, there are new classes of antidiabetic drugs that are of value, such as glucagon-like peptide 1 analogs and sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 antagonists, while several other compounds that target different pathogenic pathways are currently being tested in clinical trials. Liver biopsies should only be considered when there is a lack of decline in liver enzymes after 6 months of the abovementioned treatment. Dietary intervention is recommended in all patients with NAFLD, while pharmacological treatment is recommended especially for those with NASH and showing significant fibrosis in a biopsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
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Review
Impact of Different Types of Diet on Gut Microbiota Profiles and Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 84; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55040084 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 29
Abstract
Diet is frequently considered as a food regimen focused on weight loss, while it is actually the sum of food consumed by the organism. Western diets, modern lifestyle, sedentary behaviors, smoking habits, and drug consumption have led to a significant reduction of gut [...] Read more.
Diet is frequently considered as a food regimen focused on weight loss, while it is actually the sum of food consumed by the organism. Western diets, modern lifestyle, sedentary behaviors, smoking habits, and drug consumption have led to a significant reduction of gut microbial diversity, which is linked to many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The latter kill 40 million people each year, equivalent to more than 70% of all deaths globally. Among NCDs, tumors play a major role, being responsible for 29% of deaths from NCDs. A link between diet, microbiota, and cancer prevention and treatment has recently been unveiled, underlining the importance of a new food culture based on limiting dietary surplus and on preferring healthier foods. Here, we review the effects of some of the most popular “cancer-specific” diets on microbiota composition and their potential impact on cancer prevention and treatment. Full article
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Review
Targeted Therapies in Cholangiocarcinoma: Emerging Evidence from Clinical Trials
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55020042 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 33
Abstract
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a highly-aggressive malignancy arising from the biliary tree, characterized by a steady increase in incidence globally and a high mortality rate. Most CCAs are diagnosed in the advanced and metastatic phases of the disease, due to the paucity of signs [...] Read more.
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a highly-aggressive malignancy arising from the biliary tree, characterized by a steady increase in incidence globally and a high mortality rate. Most CCAs are diagnosed in the advanced and metastatic phases of the disease, due to the paucity of signs and symptoms in the early stages. This fact, along with the poor results of the local and systemic therapies currently employed, is responsible for the poor outcome of CCA patients and strongly supports the need for novel therapeutic agents and strategies. In recent years, the introduction of next-generation sequencing technologies has opened new horizons for a better understanding of the genetic pathophysiology of CCA and, consequently, for the identification and evaluation of new treatments tailored to the molecular features or alterations progressively elucidated. In this review article, we describe the potential targets under investigation and the current molecular therapies employed in biliary tract cancers. In addition, we summarize the main drugs against CCA under evaluation in ongoing trials and describe the preliminary data coming from these pioneering studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Review
Prevention and Treatment of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Induced Oral Mucositis
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina55020025 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Background and objectives: Oral mucositis is one of the main adverse events of cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It presents as erythema, atrophy or/and ulceration of oral mucosa. It occurs in almost all patients, who receive radiation therapy of the [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Oral mucositis is one of the main adverse events of cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It presents as erythema, atrophy or/and ulceration of oral mucosa. It occurs in almost all patients, who receive radiation therapy of the head and neck area and from 20% to 80% of patients who receive chemotherapy. There are few clinical trials in the literature proving any kind of treatment or prevention methods to be effective. Therefore, the aim of this study is to perform systematic review of literature and examine the most effective treatment and prevention methods for chemotherapy or/and radiotherapy induced oral mucositis. Materials and methods: Clinical human trials, published from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2017 in English, were included in this systematic review of literature. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) protocol was followed while planning, providing objectives, selecting studies and analyzing data for this systematic review. “MEDLINE” and “PubMed Central” databases were used to search eligible clinical trials. Clinical trials researching medication, oral hygiene, cryotherapy or laser therapy efficiency in treatment or/and prevention of oral mucositis were included in this systematic review. Results: Results of the studies used in this systematic review of literature showed that laser therapy, cryotherapy, professional oral hygiene, antimicrobial agents, Royal jelly, L. brevis lozenges, Zync supplementation and Benzydamine are the best treatment or/and prevention methods for oral mucositis. Conclusions: Palifermin, Chlorhexidine, Smecta, Actovegin, Kangfuxin, L. brevis lozenges, Royal jelly, Zync supplement, Benzydamine, cryotherapy, laser therapy and professional oral hygiene may be used in oral mucositis treatment and prevention. Full article
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