Open AccessArticle
Qigong Exercise May Reduce Serum TNF-α Levels and Improve Sleep in People with Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 23; doi:10.3390/medicines4020023 -
Abstract
Background: Inflammatory cytokine levels are often elevated in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). People with PD often experience sleep disturbances that significantly impact quality of life. Past studies suggest inflammatory cytokines may be associated with various symptoms of PD. Benefits of Qigong, a
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Background: Inflammatory cytokine levels are often elevated in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). People with PD often experience sleep disturbances that significantly impact quality of life. Past studies suggest inflammatory cytokines may be associated with various symptoms of PD. Benefits of Qigong, a mind–body exercise, have been shown in different neurological conditions, but there is still a lack of clinical evidence in the PD population. Methods: Ten people with PD were recruited and randomly assigned into two groups receiving six weeks of Qigong (experimental group) or sham Qigong (control group) intervention. The levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in subjects’ serum and sleep quality were measured before and after the intervention. Results: After the intervention, the serum level of TNF-α in the experimental group was significantly decreased in all subjects, while the level in the control group showed a trend to increase. Qigong exercise significantly improved sleep quality at night. There was a strong correlation between changes in the level of TNF-α and sleep quality. Conclusion: Qigong exercise decreased TNF-α level in people with PD and helped improve sleep quality. TNF-α may have a potential to influence the sleep quality in people with PD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Thrombomodulin Gene Polymorphism (C1418T) Is Associated with Early Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery with a Conventional Cardiopulmonary Bypass during Hospitalization
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 22; doi:10.3390/medicines4020022 -
Abstract
Background: Thrombomodulin (TM) is a type of cell membrane-bound anticoagulant protein cofactor in the thrombin-mediated activation of protein C. Previous evidence has shown an association between TM polymorphisms and systemic inflammation. Conventional cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), beating-heart CPB, and off-pump techniques have been widely
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Background: Thrombomodulin (TM) is a type of cell membrane-bound anticoagulant protein cofactor in the thrombin-mediated activation of protein C. Previous evidence has shown an association between TM polymorphisms and systemic inflammation. Conventional cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), beating-heart CPB, and off-pump techniques have been widely used in cardiac surgery. However, these techniques may also cause systemic inflammatory responses in the patients. Whether TM polymorphisms are associated with systemic inflammation after cardiac surgery is still unclear. Methods: We analyzed the TM gene C1418T polymorphisms in 347 patients who underwent coronary artery bridge graft (CABG) surgery using allele-specific primers in a PCR assay. The clinical data during the hospital stay were collected and tested for correlations with the TM gene C1418T polymorphisms. Results: We separated the patients into two groups based on their TM C1418T genotype (CC genotype group and CT/TT genotype group). The days spent in an intensive care unit (ICU) and the incidence of fever in the ICU were significantly lower in the beating-heart CPB and off-pump groups than in the conventional CPB group. Additionally, the TM gene C1418T polymorphisms did not affect the early outcomes in patients in the beating-heart CPB and off-pump groups. Interestingly, in the conventional CPB group, patients with the CC genotype had a lower rate of fever, shorter duration of fever, and delay of ICU when compared with the CT/TT genotype. Conclusion: Surgeons may use a patient’s TM gene C1418T polymorphism to predict the strength of systemic inflammation and speculate on early outcomes during hospitalization before conventional CPB is performed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Current Usage of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Breast Cancer—A Narrative Approach to the Experiences of Women with Breast Cancer in Australia—A Pilot Study
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 20; doi:10.3390/medicines4020020 -
Abstract
Background: The use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by breast cancer patients is growing. Few studies have examined the complexity of breast cancer survivors’ attitudes, lived experiences, barriers, and perceptions in using TCM as part of their treatment journey. This article examines breast
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Background: The use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by breast cancer patients is growing. Few studies have examined the complexity of breast cancer survivors’ attitudes, lived experiences, barriers, and perceptions in using TCM as part of their treatment journey. This article examines breast cancer survivors’ experiences, perceptions of, and benefits (or not) in using TCM. Methods: Qualitative research, using semi-structured interviews, was the chosen methodology. Results: Participants used TCM as a form of self-help and as a complement, not an alternative, to standard care. Overall, 100% of the participants used acupuncture, 62% used Chinese herbal medicine, 23% used Qigong, and 23% used Chinese dietary therapy. Participants reported perceived outcomes and health benefits from TCM usage ranging from increased coping mechanisms, relieving stress and side-effects of standard treatment, the desire to be pro-active in the treatment journey, and to have a locus of control. Some cited the need to have “time-out” and the therapeutic relationship with the practitioner as being important. Conclusion: There is a clear need to understand breast cancer survivors’ needs for physical and psychological support as they aim to regain control over their life through their experience of illness. More studies are needed to measure and evaluate these outcomes and to help identify breast cancer survivors’ healthcare seeking behaviours, during and after the acute treatment stage that addresses their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. These results aim to inform future research design and evaluate and develop support services that are patient-centred and focus on whole health outcomes, shared decision-making, and quality of life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Essential Oils against Pathogens Responsible for Otitis Externa in Dogs and Cats
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 21; doi:10.3390/medicines4020021 -
Abstract
Background: Essential oils (EOs) are recommended by some veterinarians to treat otitis externa in pets, but data about their efficacy in scientific literature are very scant. Methods: Nine commercial EOs, from roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis L.), star anise (Illicium verum),
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Background: Essential oils (EOs) are recommended by some veterinarians to treat otitis externa in pets, but data about their efficacy in scientific literature are very scant. Methods: Nine commercial EOs, from roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis L.), star anise (Illicium verum), lavender (Lavandula hybrida), litsea (Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers.), basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), oregano (Origanum vulgare L. subsp. hirticum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), clary sage (Salvia sclarea L.), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) were tested against bacterial and fungal pathogens previously isolated from dogs and cats with otitis externa. In particular, the analyses were carried out against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus pseudointermedius, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Trichosporon sp., and Rhodotorula sp. Results:O. vulgare and S. sclarea showed superior antibacterial activity, even if not against all the strains. Trichosporon sp., C. albicans, and A. terreus were insensitive to most Eos, while other yeasts and molds showed different degrees of sensitivity. In particular, most fungi were inhibited by O. vulgare and R. officinalis. Conclusions: The obtained results suggest that some EOs could be included in treatment as an alternative therapeutic option in bacterial otitis complicated by fungi, in association with conventional drugs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nonspecific Feelings Expected and Experienced during or Immediately after Electroacupuncture: A Pilot Study in a Teaching Situation
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 19; doi:10.3390/medicines4020019 -
Abstract
Background: Some feelings elicited by acupuncture-type interventions are “nonspecific”, interpretable as resulting from the placebo effect, our own self-healing capacities—or, indeed, the flow of qi. Expectation is thought to contribute to these nonspecific effects. Here we describe the use of two innovative
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Background: Some feelings elicited by acupuncture-type interventions are “nonspecific”, interpretable as resulting from the placebo effect, our own self-healing capacities—or, indeed, the flow of qi. Expectation is thought to contribute to these nonspecific effects. Here we describe the use of two innovative 20-item questionnaires (EXPre20 and EXPost20) in a teaching situation. Methods: Respondents were acupuncture students or practitioners on electroacupuncture (EA) training courses (N = 68). EXPre20 and EXPost20 questionnaires were completed before and after receiving individualised treatment administered by colleagues. Respondents were also asked about their prior experience of EA or transcutaneous electroacupuncture stimulation (TEAS). Results: Respondents expected significantly more items to change than not to change, but significantly fewer were experienced as changing. Increases in given questionnaire items were both expected and experienced significantly more often than decreases. “Tingling”, “Relaxation”, and “Relief” or “Warmth” were most often expected to increase or were experienced as such, and “Pain” and “Tension” to decrease or experienced as decreasing. Expectations of change or no change were confirmed more often than not, particularly for “Tingling” and “Tension”. This was not the result of the personal respondent style. Cluster analysis suggested the existence of two primary feeling clusters, “Relaxation” and “Alertness”. Conclusions: Feelings experienced during or immediately after acupuncture-type interventions may depend both on prior experience and expectation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Dietary Isoflavones and Breast Cancer Risk
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 18; doi:10.3390/medicines4020018 -
Abstract
Breast cancer is the deadliest neoplasm in women globally, resulting in a significant health burden. In many cases, breast cancer becomes resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapies. It is believed that genetics is not the major cause of breast cancer. Other contributing
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Breast cancer is the deadliest neoplasm in women globally, resulting in a significant health burden. In many cases, breast cancer becomes resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapies. It is believed that genetics is not the major cause of breast cancer. Other contributing risk factors include age at first childbirth, age at menarche, age at menopause, use of oral contraceptives, race and ethnicity, and diet. Diet has been shown to influence breast cancer incidence, recurrence, and prognosis. Soy isoflavones have long been a staple in Asian diets, and there appears to be an increase, albeit modest, compared to Asian populations, in soy consumption among Americans. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens that have antiestrogenic as well as estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells in culture, in animal models, and in clinical trials. This study will investigate anticancer and tumor promoting properties of dietary isoflavones and evaluate their effects on breast cancer development. Furthermore, this work seeks to elucidate the putative molecular pathways by which these phytochemicals modulate breast cancer risk by synergizing or antagonizing the estrogen receptor (ER) and in ER-independent signaling mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Cytotoxic Activities of Ocimum forskolei and Teucrium yemense (Lamiaceae) Essential Oils
Medicines 2017, 4(2), 17; doi:10.3390/medicines4020017 -
Abstract
Background:Ocimum forskolei and Teucrium yemense (Lamiaceae) are used in traditional medicine in Yemen. Methods: The chemical composition, antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of the essential oils isolated from the leaves of Ocimum forskolei Benth. (EOOF) and two different populations of Teucrium yemense
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Background:Ocimum forskolei and Teucrium yemense (Lamiaceae) are used in traditional medicine in Yemen. Methods: The chemical composition, antimicrobial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of the essential oils isolated from the leaves of Ocimum forskolei Benth. (EOOF) and two different populations of Teucrium yemense Deflers., one collected from Dhamar province (EOTY-d), and another collected from Taiz (EOTY-t) were investigated. The antimicrobial activities of the oils were evaluated against several microorganisms with the disc diffusion test or the broth microdilution test. The essential oils were screened for in-vitro cytotoxic activity against human tumor cells. EOOF and EOTY-d were screened for free-radical-inhibitory activity using the DPPH radical scavenging assay. Results: Sixty-four compounds were identified in (EOOF) representing 100% of the oil content with endo-fenchol (31.1%), fenchone (12.2%), τ-cadinol (12.2%), and methyl (E)-cinnamate (5.1%) as the major compounds. In EOTY-d, 67 compounds were identified, which made up 91% of the total oil. The most abundant constituents were (E)-caryophyllene (11.2%), α-humulene (4.0.%), γ-selinene (5.5%), 7-epi-α-selinene (20.1%), and caryophyllene oxide (20.1%), while the major compounds in EOTY-t were α-pinene (6.6%), (E)-caryophyllene (19.1%) α-humulene (6.4%), δ-cadinene (6.5%), caryophyllene oxide (4.3%), α-cadinol (9.5%), and shyobunol (4.6%). The most sensitive microorganisms for EOOF were B. subtilis, S. aureus, and C. albicans with inhibition zones of 34, 16, and 24 mm and MIC values of, 4.3 mg/mL, 4.3 mg/mL, and 8.6 mg/mL, respectively. EOTY-t showed antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, B. cereus, A. niger, and B. cinerea with MIC values of 0.156, 0.156, 0.313 and 0.313 mg/mL, respectively. Neither essential oil showed remarkable radical inhibition (IC50 = 31.55 and 31.41 μL/mL). EOTY-d was active against HT-29 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines with IC50 = 43.7 μg/mL. Consistent with this, EOTY-t was active against both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast adenocarcinoma cells. Conclusions: The antimicrobial activity of Ocimum forskolei essential oil against B. subtilis and C. albicans is consistent with its traditional use in Yemeni traditional medicine to treat skin infections. Both O. forskolei and T. yemense show wide variations in their respective essential oil compositions; there remains a need to investigate both species botanically, genetically, and phytochemically more comprehensively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Population-Based Cohort Study on the Ability of Acupuncture to Reduce Post-Stroke Depression
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 16; doi:10.3390/medicines4010016 -
Abstract
Objective: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is common and has a negative impact on recovery. Although many stroke patients in Taiwan have used acupuncture as a supplementary treatment for reducing stroke comorbidities, little research has been done on the use of acupuncture to prevent PSD.
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Objective: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is common and has a negative impact on recovery. Although many stroke patients in Taiwan have used acupuncture as a supplementary treatment for reducing stroke comorbidities, little research has been done on the use of acupuncture to prevent PSD. Accordingly, our goal is to investigate whether using acupuncture after a stroke can reduce the risk of PSD. Method: This population-based cohort study examined medical claims data from a random sample of 1 million insured people registered in Taiwan. Newly diagnosed stroke patients in the period 2000–2005 were recruited in our study. All patients were followed through to the end of 2007 to determine whether they had developed symptoms of depression. A Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the relative risk of depression in patients after being diagnosed as having had a stroke, with a focus on the differences in those with and without acupuncture treatment. Results: A total of 8487 newly-diagnosed stroke patients were included in our study; of these, 1036 patients received acupuncture more than five times following their stroke, 1053 patients received acupuncture 1–5 times following their stroke and 6398 did not receive acupuncture. After we controlled for potential confounders (e.g., age, sex, insurance premium, residential area, type of stroke, length of hospital stay, stroke severity index, rehabilitation and major illness–related depression), we found that acupuncture after stroke significantly reduced the risk of depression, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.475 (95% CI, 0.389–0.580) in frequent acupuncture users and 0.718 (95% CI, 0.612–0.842) in infrequent acupuncture users, indicating that acupuncture may lower the risk of PSD by an estimated 52.5% in frequent users and 28.2% in infrequent users. Conclusions: After we controlled for potential confounders, it appears that using acupuncture after a stroke lowers the risk of depression. Additional strictly-designed randomized controlled trials are needed to better understand the specific mechanisms relating acupuncture to health outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ganoderma spp.: A Promising Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 15; doi:10.3390/medicines4010015 -
Abstract
For the past several decades, cancer patients in the U.S. have chosen the use of natural products as an alternative or complimentary medicine approach to treat or improve their quality of life via reduction or prevention of the side effects during or after
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For the past several decades, cancer patients in the U.S. have chosen the use of natural products as an alternative or complimentary medicine approach to treat or improve their quality of life via reduction or prevention of the side effects during or after cancer treatment. The genus Ganoderma includes about 80 species of mushrooms, of which several have been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine for their medicinal properties, including anticancer and immunoregulatory effects. Numerous bioactive compounds seem to be responsible for their healing effects. Among the approximately 400 compounds produced by Ganoderma spp., triterpenes, peptidoglycans and polysaccharides are the major physiologically-active constituents. Ganoderma anticancer effects are attributed to its efficacy in reducing cancer cell survival and growth, as well as by its chemosensitizing role. In vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted in various cancer cells and animal models; however, in this review, we focus on Ganoderma’s efficacy on breast cancers. Evidence shows that some species of Ganoderma have great potential as a natural therapeutic for breast cancer. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to investigate their potential in the clinical setting and to translate our basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for cancer patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels: Influence of Value Chain on Quality Criteria and Marker Compounds Ferulic Acid and Z-Ligustilide
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 14; doi:10.3390/medicines4010014 -
Abstract
Background:Dang gui (Apiaceae; Angelica sinensis radix) is among the most often used Chinese medicinal plants. However, hardly anything is known about its value chain and its influence on the main marker compounds of the drug. The aim of this study is to
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Background:Dang gui (Apiaceae; Angelica sinensis radix) is among the most often used Chinese medicinal plants. However, hardly anything is known about its value chain and its influence on the main marker compounds of the drug. The aim of this study is to investigate the value chain of dang gui in Gansu and Yunnan, and the analysis of the marker compounds ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide concentration in relation to quality criteria such as the production area and size of the roots. Methods: During six months of field research in China, semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders of the value chain were undertaken and plant material was collected. High-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) was used for semi-quantitative analysis of ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide. Results: Small-scale household cultivation prevails and in Gansu—in contrast to Yunnan—the cultivation of dang gui is often the main income source of farmers. Farmers and dealers use size and odor of the root as main quality criteria. For Chinese medicine doctors, Gansu as the production area is the main criterion. Higher amounts of ferulic acid in plant material from Yunnan compared to Gansu were found. Additionally, a negative relation of root length with both ferulic acid and Z-ligustilide as well as head diameter with ferulic acid were found. Conclusions: HPTLC is a valid method for semi-quantitative analysis of the marker compounds of dang gui. However, the two main marker compounds cannot explain why size and smell of the root or production area are seen as quality criteria. This hints at the inherent difficulty to correlate quality notions of medicinal plants with specific chemical compounds. With respect to this, more attention should be paid to quality in terms of cultivation and processing techniques. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Network—Annual Report 2015
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/medicines4010013 -
Abstract The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and education activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2015. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interaction of Plant Extracts with Central Nervous System Receptors
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/medicines4010012 -
Abstract
Background: Plant extracts have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various maladies including neurological diseases. Several central nervous system receptors have been demonstrated to interact with plant extracts and components affecting the pharmacology and thereby potentially playing a role in
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Background: Plant extracts have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various maladies including neurological diseases. Several central nervous system receptors have been demonstrated to interact with plant extracts and components affecting the pharmacology and thereby potentially playing a role in human disease and treatment. For instance, extracts from Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) targeted several CNS receptors. Similarly, extracts from Piper nigrum, Stephania cambodica, and Styphnolobium japonicum exerted inhibition of agonist-induced activity of the human neurokinin-1 receptor. Methods: Different methods have been established for receptor binding and functional assays based on radioactive and fluorescence-labeled ligands in cell lines and primary cell cultures. Behavioral studies of the effect of plant extracts have been conducted in rodents. Plant extracts have further been subjected to mood and cognition studies in humans. Results: Mechanisms of action at molecular and cellular levels have been elucidated for medicinal plants in support of standardization of herbal products and identification of active extract compounds. In several studies, plant extracts demonstrated affinity to a number of CNS receptors in parallel indicating the complexity of this interaction. In vivo studies showed modifications of CNS receptor affinity and behavioral responses in animal models after treatment with medicinal herbs. Certain plant extracts demonstrated neuroprotection and enhanced cognitive performance, respectively, when evaluated in humans. Noteworthy, the penetration of plant extracts and their protective effect on the blood-brain-barrier are discussed. Conclusion: The affinity of plant extracts and their isolated compounds for CNS receptors indicates an important role for medicinal plants in the treatment of neurological disorders. Moreover, studies in animal and human models have confirmed a scientific basis for the application of medicinal herbs. However, additional investigations related to plant extracts and their isolated compounds, as well as their application in animal models and the conducting of clinical trials, are required. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Network—Annual Report 2016
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/medicines4010011 -
Abstract The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and education activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2016. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vochysia rufa Stem Bark Extract Protects Endothelial Cells against High Glucose Damage
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 9; doi:10.3390/medicines4010009 -
Abstract
Background: Increased oxidative stress by persistent hyperglycemia is a widely accepted factor in vascular damage responsible for type 2 diabetes complications. The plant Vochysia rufa (Vr) has been used in folk medicine in Brazil for the treatment of diabetes. Thus; the protective effect
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Background: Increased oxidative stress by persistent hyperglycemia is a widely accepted factor in vascular damage responsible for type 2 diabetes complications. The plant Vochysia rufa (Vr) has been used in folk medicine in Brazil for the treatment of diabetes. Thus; the protective effect of a Vr stem bark extract against a challenge by a high glucose concentration on EA.hy926 (EA) endothelial cells is evaluated. Methods: Vegetal material is extracted with distilled water by maceration and evaporated until dryness under vacuum. Then; it is isolated by capillary electrophoresis–tandem mass spectrometry. Cell viability is evaluated on EA cells treated with 0.5–100 µg/mL of the Vr extract for 24 h. The extract is diluted at concentrations of 5, 10 and 25 µg/mL and maintained for 24 h along with 30 mM of glucose to evaluate its protective effect on reduced glutathione (GSH); glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and reductase (GR) and protein carbonyl groups. Results:V. rufa stem bark is composed mainly of sugars; such as inositol; galactose; glucose; mannose; sacarose; arabinose and ribose. Treatment with Vr up to 100 µg/mL for 24 h did not affect cell viability. Treatment of EA cells with 30 mM of glucose for 24 h significantly increased the cell damage. EA cells treated with 30 mM of glucose showed a decrease of GSH concentration and increased Radical Oxygen Species (ROS) and activity of antioxidant enzymes and protein carbonyl levels; compared to control. Co-treatment of EA with 30 mM glucose plus 1–10 μg/mL Vr significantly reduced cell damage while 5–25 μg/mL Vr evoked a significant protection against the glucose insult; recovering ROS; GSH; antioxidant enzymes and carbonyls to baseline levels. Conclusion:V. rufa extract protects endothelial cells against oxidative damage by modulating ROS; GSH concentration; antioxidant enzyme activity and protein carbonyl levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ShenLingLan Influences the Attachment and Migration of Ovarian Cancer Cells Potentially through the GSK3 Pathway
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 10; doi:10.3390/medicines4010010 -
Abstract
Background: Ovarian cancer presents a major clinical challenge in the UK. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) has been linked to cancer. This study tested the impact of ShenLingLan (SLDM) on ovarian cancer cell behaviour and its links to GSK-3. Methods: Fresh ovarian
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Background: Ovarian cancer presents a major clinical challenge in the UK. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) has been linked to cancer. This study tested the impact of ShenLingLan (SLDM) on ovarian cancer cell behaviour and its links to GSK-3. Methods: Fresh ovarian tumours (n = 52) were collected and processed. Histopathologcial and clinical information were collected and analysed against GSK-3 transcript levels using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Immortalised ovarian cancer cells’ protein alterations in response to SLDM were identified using a Kinexus™ protein kinase array. The effects of SLDM and a combination of SLDM and TWS119 on ovarian cancer cells ability to attach and migrate were evaluated using electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS). Results: Transcript expression of GSK-3β was significantly increased in ovarian tumours which were poorly differentiated, patients with recurrence and in patients who had died from ovarian cancer. Treating SKOV-3 ovarian cells with SLDM reduced GSK-3 expression and GSK-3α (Y279). Treatment with SLDM reduced ovarian cancer cells ability to attach and migrate, which was further reduced in the presence of TWS119. Conclusions: This study identified a potential mechanism by which SLDM may exert anti-metastatic effects. Further work is needed to investigate the in vivo effects SLDM has on ovarian tumours. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Aromatic Medicinal Plants of the Lamiaceae Family from Uzbekistan: Ethnopharmacology, Essential Oils Composition, and Biological Activities
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 8; doi:10.3390/medicines4010008 -
Abstract
Plants of the Lamiaceae family are important ornamental, medicinal, and aromatic plants, many of which produce essential oils that are used in traditional and modern medicine, and in the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industry. Various species of the genera Hyssopus, Leonurus,
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Plants of the Lamiaceae family are important ornamental, medicinal, and aromatic plants, many of which produce essential oils that are used in traditional and modern medicine, and in the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industry. Various species of the genera Hyssopus, Leonurus, Mentha, Nepeta, Origanum, Perovskia, Phlomis, Salvia, Scutellaria, and Ziziphora are widespread throughout the world, are the most popular plants in Uzbek traditional remedies, and are often used for the treatment of wounds, gastritis, infections, dermatitis, bronchitis, and inflammation. Extensive studies of the chemical components of these plants have led to the identification of many compounds, as well as essentials oils, with medicinal and other commercial values. The purpose of this review is to provide a critical overview of the literature surrounding the traditional uses, ethnopharmacology, biological activities, and essential oils composition of aromatic plants of the family Lamiaceae, from the Uzbek flora. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Successful Pregnancy after Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in a 43‐Year‐Old Woman with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Multiple Uterus Fibrosis: A Case Report
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 7; doi:10.3390/medicines4010007 -
Abstract
Objective: To highlight a natural approach to coexisting oligomenorrhea, subfertility, luteal phase insufficiency and multiple fibroids cohesively when in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has failed. Case Presentation: A 43‐year‐old woman with diminished ovarian reserve and multiple uterine fibroids had previously been advised to discontinue
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Objective: To highlight a natural approach to coexisting oligomenorrhea, subfertility, luteal phase insufficiency and multiple fibroids cohesively when in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has failed. Case Presentation: A 43‐year‐old woman with diminished ovarian reserve and multiple uterine fibroids had previously been advised to discontinue IVF treatment. According to Chinese Medicine diagnosis, herbal formulae were prescribed for improving age‐related ovarian insufficiency as well as to control the growth of fibroids. After 4 months of treatment, the patient’s menstrual cycle became regula r and plasma progesterone one week after ovulation increased from 10.9 nmol/L to 44.9 nmol/L. After 6 months, she achieved a natural conception, resulting in a live birth of a healthy infant at an estimated gestational age of 40 weeks. Conclusions: The successful treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine for this case highlights a natural therapy to manage infertility due to ovarian insufficiency and multiple fibroids after unsuccessful IVF outcome. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Announcing the 2017 Medicines Travel Award for PostDocs
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/medicines4010004 -
Abstract For the Medicines Travel Award 2017, we received in total 72 applications from all over the world, most of which were of a very high quality.[...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compounds from Terminalia mantaly L. (Combretaceae) Stem Bark Exhibit Potent Inhibition against Some Pathogenic Yeasts and Enzymes of Metabolic Significance
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/medicines4010006 -
Abstract
Background: Pathogenic yeasts resistance to current drugs emphasizes the need for new, safe, and cost-effective drugs. Also, new inhibitors are needed to control the effects of enzymes that are implicated in metabolic dysfunctions such as cancer, obesity, and epilepsy. Methods: The anti-yeast
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Background: Pathogenic yeasts resistance to current drugs emphasizes the need for new, safe, and cost-effective drugs. Also, new inhibitors are needed to control the effects of enzymes that are implicated in metabolic dysfunctions such as cancer, obesity, and epilepsy. Methods: The anti-yeast extract from Terminalia mantaly (Combretaceae) was fractionated and the structures of the isolated compounds established by means of spectroscopic analysis and comparison with literature data. Activity was assessed against Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis and C. krusei using the microdilution method, and against four enzymes of metabolic significance: glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, human erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase I and II, and glutathione S-transferase. Results: Seven compounds, 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid 4′-O-α-rhamnopyranoside; 3-O-methylellagic acid; arjungenin or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid; arjunglucoside or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid glucopyranoside; 2α,3α,24-trihydroxyolean-11,13(18)-dien-28-oïc acid; stigmasterol; and stigmasterol 3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside were isolated from the extract. Among those, 3,3′-di-O-methylellagic acid 4′-O-α-rhamnopyranoside, 3-O-methylellagic acid, and arjunglucoside showed anti-yeast activity comparable to that of reference fluconazole with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) below 32 µg/mL. Besides, Arjunglucoside potently inhibited the tested enzymes with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) below 4 µM and inhibitory constant (Ki) <3 µM. Conclusions: The results achieved indicate that further SAR studies will likely identify potent hit derivatives that should subsequently enter the drug development pipeline. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Add-On Complementary Medicine in Cancer Care: Evidence in Literature and Experiences of Integration
Medicines 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/medicines4010005 -
Abstract
Background: According to the literature an increasing number of cancer patients demand for complementary therapies during their disease. Research has demonstrated that some of these therapies are effective and safe as adjunctive treatments in specific symptoms of these patients. Methods: The
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Background: According to the literature an increasing number of cancer patients demand for complementary therapies during their disease. Research has demonstrated that some of these therapies are effective and safe as adjunctive treatments in specific symptoms of these patients. Methods: The aims of the paper are to review the main and recent papers of international literature on the effectiveness of complementary medicine (CM) therapies on side effects of anti-cancer protocols and improvement in the quality of life of oncological patients, and to describe the integration of evidence-based acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy treatments in Public Cancer Network of the region of Tuscany. Results: After the review of literature and the approval of a Regional Resolution, some CM will be introduced in Cancer Departments in Tuscany to additionally treat cancer-related symptoms and side effects of conventional cancer therapy: acupuncture for nausea and post-chemotherapy and post-surgery vomiting, pain, hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause, xerostomia; homeopathy for hot flashes of iatrogenic menopause and the side effects of radiotherapy; herbal medicine for cancer-related fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, mucositis, anxiety, and depression. Conclusions: The integration of evidence-based complementary treatments allows for an effective response to the demand coming from cancer patients and combines safety and equity of access in public health systems. Full article