Abstract: Proanthocyanidins are oligomeric flavonoids found in plant sources, most notably in apples, cinnamon, grape skin and cocoa beans. They have been also found in substantial amounts in cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea and peanut skins. These compounds have been recently investigated for their health benefits. Proanthocyanidins have been demonstrated to have positive effects on various metabolic disorders such as inflammation, obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance. Another upcoming area of research that has gained widespread interest is microRNA (miRNA)-based anticancer therapies. MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNA segments, which plays a crucial role in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Currently, miRNA based anticancer therapies are being investigated either alone or in combination with current treatment methods. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and investigate the potential of naturally occurring proanthocyanidins in modulating miRNA expression. We will also assess the strategies and challenges of using this approach as potential cancer therapeutics.
Abstract: Background: Thyroid function test results of healthy pregnant women differ from those of healthy non-pregnant women. This study aimed to determine trimester-specific reference ranges for total tetraiodothyronin (T4), free T4, total triiodothyronin (T3) and thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) using electrochemiluminescence techniques from apparently healthy pregnant women in Basrah. Material and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted between January 2014 and June 2015. The total enrolled pregnant women were 893. Clinical examination, estimation of free T4, total T4, total T3, TSH, and anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) using electrochemiluminescence technique done for each. Results: Trimester specific normal range of TSH in μIU/mL was 0.04–3.77, 0.30–3.21 and 0.60–4.50 μIU/mL respectively, for each trimester. For FreeT4, the trimester specific reference range was 0.8–1.53, 0.7–1.20 and 0.7–1.20 ng/dL for each trimester, respectively. The reference range for total T4 for the first, second and third trimester was 7.31–15.00, 8.92–17.38, and 7.98–17.70 μg/dL, respectively. Furthermore, last trimester specific reference range for total T3 was 0.90–2.51, 1.99–2.87 and 1.20–2.70 ng/mL, respectively. Conclusion: Using this thyroid function study, we established for first time trimester-specific reference ranges for each thyroid function test and thyroid antibody status for the first time in Iraq. The reference ranges are different from all previous studies outside Iraq and the reference kit range from the method we used.
Abstract: This review describes specialized diagnostic investigations to assess ocular status in hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. Ocular assessment can aid in early detection for prompt multidisciplinary treatment, obstetric intervention and follow-up. The investigations accurately predict the possible causes of blindness in hypertensive diseases of pregnancy. The investigations include fluorescein angiography, ophthalmodynamometry, fluorophotometry, imaging modalities, OCT, ultrasonography, doppler velocimetry and blood chemistry analysis. The review includes a summary of imaging techniques and related recent developments to assess the neuro-ophthalmic aspects of the disease. The imaging modalities have been instrumental in understanding the complex neuropathophysiological mechanisms of eclamptic seizures. The importance of blood chemistry analysis in hypertensive diseases of pregnancy has been emphasized. The investigations have made a significant contribution in improving the standards of antenatal care and reducing maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality.
Abstract: Background: The most common types of non-malignant prostate diseases are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and chronic prostatitis (CP). The aim of this study was to find out whether thermobalancing therapy with a physiotherapeutic device is effective for BPH and CP. Methods: During a 2.5-year period, 124 men with BPH over the age of 55 were investigated. Clinical parameters were tested twice: via the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and via ultrasound measurement of prostate volume (PV) and uroflowmetry maximum flow rate (Qmax), before and after six months of therapy. In 45 men with CP under the age of 55, the dynamics of the National Institute of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) were studied. Results: The results of the investigated index tests in men with BPH confirmed a decrease in IPSS (p < 0.001), a reduction in PV (p < 0.001), an increase in Qmax (p < 0.001), and an improvement of quality of life (QoL) (p < 0.001). NIH-CPSI scores in men with CP indicated positive dynamics. Conclusions: The observed positive changes in IPSS, PV, and Qmax in men with BPH and the improvement in NIH-CPSI-QoL in patients with CP after using a physiotherapeutic device for six months as mono-therapy, support the view that thermobalancing therapy with the device can be recommended for these patients. Furthermore, the therapeutic device is free of side effects.
Abstract: In this study, we examine and analyze the experiences of women and their perceptions on handling and managing their breast cancer. Seven women from Peshawar, Pakistan who had breast cancer and have been cured, were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis of their life stories was performed using a computerized software Atlas.ti. In the coding process, 128 codes were initially developed. These codes were then grouped into 12 categories, which were then further refined into 8 theoretically grounded categories: awareness and education about breast cancer, cultural barriers, early detection, quality of care and treatment, support, side effects, courage and learned to face challenges. The early views of participant’s feelings about breast cancer are mostly similar to the general population in Pakistan. Before starting treatment, all participant were unaware of the treatment process and had fear in their mind. They were hesitant in starting their treatment and were worried. However, when they were cured, their attitudes toward breast cancer and even to their whole lives were changed. Comprehensive awareness programs in a culturally acceptable language and facilities for routine breast examinations should be easily accessible to all women in Pakistan in order to promote early detection. In order to eradicate cultural barriers, female staff who are trained to perform routine breast examinations, should be available in all facilities and treatment centers.
Abstract: Dengue is a viral disease caused by a flavivirus that is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. There is currently no specific treatment or commercial vaccine for its control and prevention; therefore, mosquito population control is the only alternative for preventing the occurrence of dengue. For this reason, entomological surveillance is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) to measure dengue risk in endemic areas; however, several works have shown that the current methodology (aedic indices) is not sufficient for predicting dengue. In this work, we modified indices proposed for epidemic periods. The raw value of the epidemiological wave could be useful for detecting risk in epidemic periods; however, risk can only be detected if analyses incorporate the maximum epidemiological wave. Risk classification was performed according to Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) methodology. The modified indices were analyzed using several hypothetical scenarios to evaluate their sensitivity. We found that modified indices could detect spatial and differential risks in epidemic and endemic years, which makes them a useful tool for the early detection of a dengue outbreak. In conclusion, the modified indices could predict risk at the spatio-temporal level in endemic years and could be incorporated in surveillance activities in endemic places.