Open AccessArticle
Association between Low Serum Bicarbonate Concentrations and Cardiovascular Disease in Patients in the End-Stage of Renal Disease
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 36; doi:10.3390/diseases4040036 -
Abstract
Background: Metabolic acidosis, a common condition particularly in the end-stage of renal disease patients, results in malnutrition, inflammation and oxidative stress. In this study, we focused on the association between low serum bicarbonate and cardiovascular disease in patients on intermittent dialysis. Methods: We
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Background: Metabolic acidosis, a common condition particularly in the end-stage of renal disease patients, results in malnutrition, inflammation and oxidative stress. In this study, we focused on the association between low serum bicarbonate and cardiovascular disease in patients on intermittent dialysis. Methods: We studied 52 on-line-pre-dilution hemodiafiltration (on-l HDF) patients, 32 males and 20 females, with a mean age of 58.01 ± 15.4 years old. Metabolic acidosis was determined by serum bicarbonate concentrations less than 22 mmol/L. Residual renal function (RRF) was defined by interdialytic urine volume. Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox regression models were performed to predict coronary artery disease (CAD), defined by ejection fraction <50%, or diastolic dysfunction congestive heart failure (CHF) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Results: Kaplan–Meier analyses showed that a lower or higher than 22 mmol/L serum bicarbonate metabolic acidosis status was significantly associated with both PVD and diastolic dysfunction (log-rank = 5.07, p = 0.02 and log-rank = 5.84, p = 0.01, respectively). A similar prevalence of serum bicarbonate on CAD or CHF by low ejection fraction was not shown. The RRF was associated with PVD event and serum bicarbonate less than 22 mmol/L (log-rank = 5.49, p = 0.01 and log-rank = 3.9, p = 0.04, respectively). Cox regression analysis revealed that serum bicarbonate and RRF were significant risk factors for PVD after adjustment for confounders. Furthermore, RRF adjusted for covariates was shown to be a significant risk factor for diastolic dysfunction. Conclusion: Low serum bicarbonate was associated with peripheral vascular disease and diastolic dysfunction in intermittent dialysis. The residual renal function may impact patients’ outcomes through its relationship with metabolic acidosis status, particularly for peripheral vascular disease manifestation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative Systems Biology Investigation of Fabry Disease
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 35; doi:10.3390/diseases4040035 -
Abstract
Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked recessive genetic disorder caused by a deficient activity of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (GLA) and is characterised by intra-lysosomal accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). We performed a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed publications including high-throughput omics technologies including
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Fabry disease (FD) is a rare X-linked recessive genetic disorder caused by a deficient activity of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (GLA) and is characterised by intra-lysosomal accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). We performed a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed publications including high-throughput omics technologies including naïve patients and those undergoing enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). This study describes FD on a systems level using a systems biology approach, in which molecular data sourced from multi-omics studies is extracted from the literature and integrated as a whole in order to reveal the biochemical processes and molecular pathways potentially affected by the dysregulation of differentially expressed molecules. In this way new insights are provided that describe the pathophysiology of this rare disease. Using gene ontology and pathway term clustering, FD displays the involvement of major biological processes such as the acute inflammatory response, regulation of wound healing, extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling, regulation of peptidase activity, and cellular response to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Differential expression of acute-phase response proteins in the groups of naïve (up-regulation of ORM1, ORM2, ITIH4, SERPINA3 and FGA) and ERT (down-regulation of FGA, ORM1 and ORM2) patients could be potential hallmarks for distinction of these two patient groups. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of the Nrf2/ARE Antioxidant System in Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 34; doi:10.3390/diseases4040034 -
Abstract
It is widely believed that consuming foods and beverages that have high concentrations of antioxidants can prevent cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancer. As a result, many articles have been published that give the total antioxidant capacities of foods in vitro. However,
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It is widely believed that consuming foods and beverages that have high concentrations of antioxidants can prevent cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancer. As a result, many articles have been published that give the total antioxidant capacities of foods in vitro. However, many antioxidants behave quite differently in vivo. Some of them, such as resveratrol (in red wine) and epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG (in green tea) can activate the nuclear erythroid-2 like factor-2 (Nrf2) transcription factor. It is a master regulator of endogenous cellular defense mechanisms. Nrf2 controls the expression of many antioxidant and detoxification genes, by binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) that are commonly found in the promoter region of antioxidant (and other) genes, and that control expression of those genes. The mechanisms by which Nrf2 relieves oxidative stress and limits cardiac injury as well as the progression to heart failure are described. Also, the ability of statins to induce Nrf2 in the heart, brain, lung, and liver is mentioned. However, there is a negative side of Nrf2. When over-activated, it can cause (not prevent) cardiovascular diseases and multi-drug resistance cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Genetic Substrate Reduction Therapy: A Promising Approach for Lysosomal Storage Disorders
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 33; doi:10.3390/diseases4040033 -
Abstract
Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of rare genetic disorders characterized by the accumulation of storage molecules in late endosomes/lysosomes. Most of them result from mutations in genes encoding for the catabolic enzymes that ensure intralysosomal digestion. Conventional therapeutic options include enzyme replacement
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Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of rare genetic disorders characterized by the accumulation of storage molecules in late endosomes/lysosomes. Most of them result from mutations in genes encoding for the catabolic enzymes that ensure intralysosomal digestion. Conventional therapeutic options include enzyme replacement therapy, an approach targeting the functional loss of the enzyme by injection of a recombinant one. Even though this is successful for some diseases, it is mostly effective for peripheral manifestations and has no impact on neuropathology. The development of alternative therapeutic approaches is, therefore, mandatory, and striking innovations including the clinical development of pharmacological chaperones and gene therapy are currently under evaluation. Most of them, however, have the same underlying rationale: an attempt to provide or enhance the activity of the missing enzyme to re-establish substrate metabolism to a level that is consistent with a lack of progression and/or return to health. Here, we will focus on the one approach which has a different underlying principle: substrate reduction therapy (SRT), whose uniqueness relies on the fact that it acts upstream of the enzymatic defect, decreasing storage by downregulating its biosynthetic pathway. Special attention will be given to the most recent advances in the field, introducing the concept of genetic SRT (gSRT), which is based on the use of RNA-degrading technologies (RNA interference and single stranded antisense oligonucleotides) to promote efficient substrate reduction by decreasing its synthesis rate. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nonsense Suppression as an Approach to Treat Lysosomal Storage Diseases
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 32; doi:10.3390/diseases4040032 -
Abstract
In-frame premature termination codons (PTCs) (also referred to as nonsense mutations) comprise ~10% of all disease-associated gene lesions. PTCs reduce gene expression in two ways. First, PTCs prematurely terminate translation of an mRNA, leading to the production of a truncated polypeptide that often
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In-frame premature termination codons (PTCs) (also referred to as nonsense mutations) comprise ~10% of all disease-associated gene lesions. PTCs reduce gene expression in two ways. First, PTCs prematurely terminate translation of an mRNA, leading to the production of a truncated polypeptide that often lacks normal function and/or is unstable. Second, PTCs trigger degradation of an mRNA by activating nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), a cellular pathway that recognizes and degrades mRNAs containing a PTC. Thus, translation termination and NMD are putative therapeutic targets for the development of treatments for genetic diseases caused by PTCs. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in the identification of compounds with the ability to suppress translation termination of PTCs (also referred to as readthrough). More recently, NMD inhibitors have also been explored as a way to enhance the efficiency of PTC suppression. Due to their relatively low threshold for correction, lysosomal storage diseases are a particularly relevant group of diseases to investigate the feasibility of nonsense suppression as a therapeutic approach. In this review, the current status of PTC suppression and NMD inhibition as potential treatments for lysosomal storage diseases will be discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Lysosomal Storage Disorders
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 31; doi:10.3390/diseases4040031 -
Abstract
Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) describe a heterogeneous group of rare inherited metabolic disorders that result from the absence or loss of function of lysosomal hydrolases or transporters, resulting in the progressive accumulation of undigested material in lysosomes. The accumulation of substances affects the
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Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) describe a heterogeneous group of rare inherited metabolic disorders that result from the absence or loss of function of lysosomal hydrolases or transporters, resulting in the progressive accumulation of undigested material in lysosomes. The accumulation of substances affects the function of lysosomes and other organelles, resulting in secondary alterations such as impairment of autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and apoptosis. LSDs frequently involve the central nervous system (CNS), where neuronal dysfunction or loss results in progressive neurodegeneration and premature death. Many LSDs exhibit signs of mitochondrial dysfunction, which include mitochondrial morphological changes, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), diminished ATP production and increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, reduced autophagic flux may lead to the persistence of dysfunctional mitochondria. Gaucher disease (GD), the LSD with the highest prevalence, is caused by mutations in the GBA1 gene that results in defective and insufficient activity of the enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase (GCase). Decreased catalytic activity and/or instability of GCase leads to accumulation of glucosylceramide (GlcCer) and glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in the lysosomes of macrophage cells and visceral organs. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported to occur in numerous cellular and mouse models of GD. The aim of this manuscript is to review the current knowledge and implications of mitochondrial dysfunction in LSDs. Full article
Open AccessReview
Honey and Cancer: Current Status and Future Directions
Diseases 2016, 4(4), 30; doi:10.3390/diseases4040030 -
Abstract
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and poses a challenge to treatment. With overwhelming evidence of the role played by diet and lifestyle in cancer risk and prevention, there is a growing interest into the search for chemopreventative or chemotherapeutic agents
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Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and poses a challenge to treatment. With overwhelming evidence of the role played by diet and lifestyle in cancer risk and prevention, there is a growing interest into the search for chemopreventative or chemotherapeutic agents derived from natural products. Honey is an important source of bioactive compounds derived from plants and recent years have seen an increased interest in its anticancer properties. This review examines the role of honey in targeting key hallmarks of carcinogenesis, including uncontrolled proliferation, apoptosis evasion, angiogenesis, growth factor signalling, invasion, and inflammation. The evidence for honey as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy is also presented. The review also highlights gaps in the current understanding and concludes that, before translation of evidence from cell culture and animal studies into the clinical setting, further studies are warranted to examine the effects of honey at a molecular level, as well as on cells in the tumour environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Prognostication and Treatment Monitoring in Niemann-Pick Disease Type C1
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 29; doi:10.3390/diseases4030029 -
Abstract
Niemann-Pick Disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by cholesterol sequestration within late endosomes and lysosomes, for which no reliable imaging marker exists for prognostication and management. Cerebellar volume deficits are found to correlate with disease severity and diffusion
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Niemann-Pick Disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by cholesterol sequestration within late endosomes and lysosomes, for which no reliable imaging marker exists for prognostication and management. Cerebellar volume deficits are found to correlate with disease severity and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the corpus callosum and brainstem, which has shown that microstructural disorganization is associated with NPC1 severity. This study investigates the utility of cerebellar DTI in clinical severity assessment. We hypothesize that cerebellar volume, fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) negatively correlate with NIH NPC neurological severity score (NNSS) and motor severity subscores. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was obtained for thirty-nine NPC1 subjects, ages 1–21.9 years (mean = 11.1, SD = 6.1). Using an atlas-based automated approach, the cerebellum of each patient was measured for FA, MD and volume. Additionally, each patient was given an NNSS. Decreased cerebellar FA and volume, and elevated MD correlate with higher NNSS. The cognition subscore and motor subscores for eye movement, ambulation, speech, swallowing, and fine motor skills were also statistically significant. Microstructural disorganization negatively correlated with motor severity in subjects. Additionally, Miglustat therapy correlated with lower severity scores across ranges of FA, MD and volume in all regions except the inferior peduncle, where a paradoxical effect was observed at high FA values. These findings suggest that DTI is a promising prognostication tool. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Food Antioxidants and Their Anti-Inflammatory Properties: A Potential Role in Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer Prevention
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 28; doi:10.3390/diseases4030028 -
Abstract
Mediterranean-style diets caused a significant decline in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in early landmark studies. The effect of a traditional Mediterranean diet on lipoprotein oxidation showed that there was a significant reduction in oxidative stress in the intervention group (Mediterranean diet + Virgin Olive
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Mediterranean-style diets caused a significant decline in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in early landmark studies. The effect of a traditional Mediterranean diet on lipoprotein oxidation showed that there was a significant reduction in oxidative stress in the intervention group (Mediterranean diet + Virgin Olive Oil) compared to the low-fat diet group. Conversely, the increase in oxidative stress causing inflammation is a unifying hypothesis for predisposing people to atherosclerosis, carcinogenesis, and osteoporosis. The impact of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents on cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the interventive mechanisms for the inhibition of proliferation, inflammation, invasion, metastasis, and activation of apoptosis were explored. Following the Great Oxygen Event some 2.3 billion years ago, organisms have needed antioxidants to survive. Natural products in food preservatives are preferable to synthetic compounds due to their lower volatility and stability and generally higher antioxidant potential. Free radicals, reactive oxygen species, antioxidants, pro-oxidants and inflammation are described with examples of free radical damage based on the hydroxyl, nitric oxide and superoxide radicals. Flavonoid antioxidants with 2- or 3-phenylchroman structures such as quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, apigenin, and luteolin, constituents of fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine, which may reduce coronary disease and cancer, are described. The protective effect of flavonoids on the DNA damage caused by hydroxyl radicals through chelation is an important mechanism, though the converse may be possible, e.g., quercetin. The antioxidant properties of carotenoids, which are dietary natural pigments, have been studied in relation to breast cancer risk and an inverse association was found with plasma concentrations: higher levels mean lower risk. The manipulation of primary and secondary human metabolomes derived especially from existing or transformed gut microbiota was explored as a possible alternative to single-agent dietary interventions for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sustained oxidative stress leading to inflammation and thence to possibly to cancer and cardiovascular disease is described for spices and herbs, using curcumin as an example of an intervention, based on activation of transcription factors which suggest that oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and cancer are closely linked. Full article
Open AccessReview
Distribution and Evolutionary History of the Mobile Genetic Element s2m in Coronaviruses
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 27; doi:10.3390/diseases4030027 -
Abstract
The mobile genetic element s2m has been described in several families of single-stranded RNA viruses. The function remains elusive, but an increasing number of s2m-containing sequences are being deposited in publicly available databases. Currently, more than 700 coronavirus sequences containing s2m can be
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The mobile genetic element s2m has been described in several families of single-stranded RNA viruses. The function remains elusive, but an increasing number of s2m-containing sequences are being deposited in publicly available databases. Currently, more than 700 coronavirus sequences containing s2m can be found in GenBank, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus genome. This is an updated review of the pattern of s2m in coronaviruses, the possible functional implications and the evolutionary history. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Human Coronaviruses: A Review of Virus–Host Interactions
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 26; doi:10.3390/diseases4030026 -
Abstract
Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) are known respiratory pathogens associated with a range of respiratory outcomes. In the past 14 years, the onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have thrust HCoVs into spotlight of the research
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Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) are known respiratory pathogens associated with a range of respiratory outcomes. In the past 14 years, the onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have thrust HCoVs into spotlight of the research community due to their high pathogenicity in humans. The study of HCoV-host interactions has contributed extensively to our understanding of HCoV pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss some of the recent findings of host cell factors that might be exploited by HCoVs to facilitate their own replication cycle. We also discuss various cellular processes, such as apoptosis, innate immunity, ER stress response, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway that may be modulated by HCoVs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Vitamins on Secondary Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Sera of Patients with Resectable NSCLC
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 25; doi:10.3390/diseases4030025 -
Abstract
Background: Singlet oxygen (1O2) oxidizes targets through the production of secondary reactive oxygen species (SOS). Cancers induce oxidative stress changing with progression, the resulting antioxidant status differing from one patient to the other. The aim of this study was
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Background: Singlet oxygen (1O2) oxidizes targets through the production of secondary reactive oxygen species (SOS). Cancers induce oxidative stress changing with progression, the resulting antioxidant status differing from one patient to the other. The aim of this study was to determine the oxidative status of patients with resectable Non-Small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and the potential influence of antioxidants, compared to sera from healthy donors. Materials and Methods: Serum samples from 10 women and 28 men, 19 adenocarcinomas (ADK), 15 patients N1 or M1 were submitted to a photoreaction producing 1O2. Then, samples were supplemented with vitamins (Vit C, Vit E), or glutathione (GSH). Results: Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and metastatic SCCs induced a lower SOS rate. While Vit C increased SOS in controls as in patients with metastases, Vit E or the combination of Vit E and C strongly reduced SOS. GSH alone lightly decreased SOS in controls but had no effect in patients either alone or combined with Vit C. Conclusion: In “early” lung cancers, SOS are comparable or lower than for healthy persons. The role of Vitamins varies with gender, cancer type, and metastases. This suggests that an eventual supplementation should be performed on a per-patient basis to evidence any effect. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Protective Effect of Antioxidants Consumption on Diabetes and Vascular Complications
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 24; doi:10.3390/diseases4030024 -
Abstract
Obesity and diabetes is generally accompanied by a chronic state of oxidative stress, disequilibrium in the redox balance, implicated in the development and progression of complications such as micro- and macro-angiopathies. Disorders in the inner layer of blood vessels, the endothelium, play an
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Obesity and diabetes is generally accompanied by a chronic state of oxidative stress, disequilibrium in the redox balance, implicated in the development and progression of complications such as micro- and macro-angiopathies. Disorders in the inner layer of blood vessels, the endothelium, play an early and critical role in the development of these complications. Blunted endothelium-dependent relaxation and/or contractions are quietly associated to oxidative stress. Thus, preserving endothelial function and oxidative stress seems to be an optimization strategy in the prevention of vascular complications associated with diabetes. Diet is a major lifestyle factor that can greatly influence the incidence and the progression of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications. The notion that foods not only provide basic nutrition but can also prevent diseases and ensure good health and longevity is now attained greater prominence. Some dietary and lifestyle modifications associated to antioxidative supply could be an effective prophylactic means to fight against oxidative stress in diabesity and complications. A significant benefit of phytochemicals (polyphenols in wine, grape, teas), vitamins (ascorbate, tocopherol), minerals (selenium, magnesium), and fruits and vegetables in foods is thought to be capable of scavenging free radicals, lowering the incidence of chronic diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of oxidative stress in diabetes and complications, highlight the endothelial dysfunction, and examine the impact of antioxidant foods, plants, fruits, and vegetables, currently used medication with antioxidant properties, in relation to the development and progression of diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Disorders of Sleep and Ventilatory Control in Prader-Willi Syndrome
Diseases 2016, 4(3), 23; doi:10.3390/diseases4030023 -
Abstract
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is an imprinted genetic disorder conferred by loss of paternal gene expression from chromosome 15q11.2-q13. Individuals with PWS have impairments in ventilatory control and are predisposed toward sleep disordered breathing due to a combination of characteristic craniofacial features, obesity, hypotonia,
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Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is an imprinted genetic disorder conferred by loss of paternal gene expression from chromosome 15q11.2-q13. Individuals with PWS have impairments in ventilatory control and are predisposed toward sleep disordered breathing due to a combination of characteristic craniofacial features, obesity, hypotonia, and hypothalamic dysfunction. Children with PWS progress from failure to thrive during infancy to hyperphagia and morbid obesity during later childhood and onward. Similarly, the phenotype of sleep disordered breathing in PWS patients also evolves over time from predominantly central sleep apnea in infants to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in older children. Behavioral difficulties are common and may make establishing effective therapy with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) more challenging when OSA persists after adenotonsillectomy. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is also common in patients with PWS and may continue after OSA is effectively treated. We describe here the characteristic ventilatory control deficits, sleep disordered breathing, and excessive daytime sleepiness seen in individuals with PWS. We review respiratory issues that may contribute to sudden death events in PWS patients during sleep and wakefulness. We also discuss therapeutic options for treating sleep disordered breathing including adenotonsillectomy, weight loss, and CPAP. Lastly, we discuss the benefits and safety considerations related to growth hormone therapy. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Role of Glucosinolate Hydrolysis Products from Brassica Vegetable Consumption in Inducing Antioxidant Activity and Reducing Cancer Incidence
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 22; doi:10.3390/diseases4020022 -
Abstract
The bioactivity of glucosinolates (GSs), and more specifically their hydrolysis products (GSHPs), has been well documented. These secondary metabolites evolved in the order Brassicales as plant defense compounds with proven ability to deter or impede the growth of several biotic challenges including insect
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The bioactivity of glucosinolates (GSs), and more specifically their hydrolysis products (GSHPs), has been well documented. These secondary metabolites evolved in the order Brassicales as plant defense compounds with proven ability to deter or impede the growth of several biotic challenges including insect infestation, fungal and bacterial infection, and competition from other plants. However, the bioactivity of GSHPs is not limited to activity that inhibits these kingdoms of life. Many of these compounds have been shown to have bioactivity in mammalian systems as well, with epidemiological links to cancer chemoprevention in humans supported by in vitro, in vivo, and small clinical studies. Although other chemopreventive mechanisms have been identified, the primary mechanism believed to be responsible for the observed chemoprevention from GSHPs is the induction of antioxidant enzymes, such as NAD(P)H quinone reductase (NQO1), heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC), and glutathione S transferases (GSTs), through the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway. Induction of this pathway is generally associated with aliphatic isothiocyanate GSHPs, although some indole-derived GSHPs have also been associated with induction of one or more of these enzymes. Full article
Open AccessReview
Targeting MicroRNA in Cancer Using Plant-Based Proanthocyanidins
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 21; doi:10.3390/diseases4020021 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Trimester-Specific Reference Intervals of Thyroid Function Testing in Pregnant Women from Basrah, Iraq Using Electrochemiluminescent Immunoassay
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 20; doi:10.3390/diseases4020020 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessReview
Specialized Diagnostic Investigations to Assess Ocular Status in Hypertensive Diseases of Pregnancy
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 19; doi:10.3390/diseases4020019 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Positive Response to Thermobalancing Therapy Enabled by Therapeutic Device in Men with Non-Malignant Prostate Diseases: BPH and Chronic Prostatitis
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 18; doi:10.3390/diseases4020018 -
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
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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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Women’s Views on Handling and Managing Their Breast Cancer in Pakistan: A Qualitative Study
Diseases 2016, 4(2), 17; doi:10.3390/diseases4020017 -
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
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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. Full article
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