Open AccessArticle
VEGF-B Levels in the Vitreous of Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Patients with Ocular Diseases and Its Correlation with Structural Parameters
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 17; doi:10.3390/medsci5030017 -
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is one of the enigmatic members of the VEGF family. The knowledge gap about VEGF-B expression and how its levels are altered in diabetic eyes were the focus of this investigation that was addressed by comparing and
[...] Read more.
Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is one of the enigmatic members of the VEGF family. The knowledge gap about VEGF-B expression and how its levels are altered in diabetic eyes were the focus of this investigation that was addressed by comparing and correlating vitreous VEGF-B between diabetic and non-diabetic patients. VEGF-B levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in vitreous samples (n = 33) from diabetic (n = 25) and non-diabetic (n = 8) patients. Results were compared between groups. Optical coherence tomography from diabetic patients was evaluated for central retinal thickness (CRT) and macular volume (MV). Mean vitreous VEGF-B concentration was higher in diabetic (18.82 ± 1.44 pg/mL ) vs. non-diabetic patients (17.90 ± 0.32 pg/mL) (p = 0.006), and in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (19.03 ± 1.52 pg/mL) vs. non-PDR (NPDR) patients (18.18 ±0.96 pg/mL) (p = 0.025). In diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients, correlation between VEGF-B and CRT (μm) was positive and moderate: rs = 0.441 (p ≤ 0.05) and the correlation between VEGF-B and MV (mm3) was positive and robust: rs = 0.716 (p ≤ 0.01). VEGF-B levels are overexpressed in vitreous of diabetic patients, and the levels are higher in developed stages of DR. Correlation results show that CRT and MV increase with increased levels of VEGF-B. Targeting VEGF-B inhibition may have therapeutic beneficial implications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Disparities in Brain Cancer in the United States: A Literature Review of Gliomas
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 16; doi:10.3390/medsci5030016 -
Abstract
In the human body, the central regulatory system of homeostasis is maintained by the brain. Its complexity is mesmerizing and many of its functions are largely uncharted. Unfortunately, its functionality is often impaired through neoplastic growths, like gliomas, which are devastating to patients
[...] Read more.
In the human body, the central regulatory system of homeostasis is maintained by the brain. Its complexity is mesmerizing and many of its functions are largely uncharted. Unfortunately, its functionality is often impaired through neoplastic growths, like gliomas, which are devastating to patients and their families. Annually, gliomas are the most common primary brain tumours affecting over 20,000 people in the United States. However, despite their status as the third most common cause of cancer related death for individuals between ages 20 and 39, the aetiology of gliomas remains unknown. This paper aims to review the latest information regarding the 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) 4th edition classifications of gliomas, their malignant effects, and disparities within these classifications, as well as identify areas for further research. These suggestions for future inquiry may contribute to a better understanding of the pathology of these cancers enabling improvement in prevention, screening, and treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Acute High-Intensity Interval Training on Hematological Parameters in Sedentary Subjects
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 15; doi:10.3390/medsci5030015 -
Abstract
The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on hematological parameters in sedentary men. Ten healthy, non-smoker, and sedentary men aged between 18 and 24 years participated in the study. All subjects performed four Wingate
[...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on hematological parameters in sedentary men. Ten healthy, non-smoker, and sedentary men aged between 18 and 24 years participated in the study. All subjects performed four Wingate tests with 4 min intervals between the tests. Blood samples were collected at pre-exercise, immediately after, 3 and 6 h after the fourth Wingate test. Hematological parameters were analyzed in these samples. The results showed that hematocrit percentage, hemoglobin values, red cell count, mean cell volume, platelet count, total white cell count, and counts of the white cell subgroups increased immediately after the acute HIIT and their values began to return to resting levels 3 h after exercise, and completely returned to resting levels 6 h after exercise. In conclusion, acute HIIT causes an inflammatory response in blood. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Repurposing Established Compounds to Target Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs)
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 14; doi:10.3390/medsci5020014 -
Abstract
The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current
[...] Read more.
The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current chemotherapeutic strategies only offer a modest improvement in overall survival. Accordingly, novel approaches are desperately needed. One hypothesis that could—at least in part—explain the desolate response of PDAC to chemotherapy is the so-called cancer stem cell (CSC) concept, which attributes specific traits, such as chemoresistance, metastatic potential and a distinct metabolism to a small cellular subpopulation of the whole tumor. At the same time, however, some of these attributes could make CSCs more permissive for novel therapeutic strategies with compounds that are already in clinical use. Most recently, several publications have tried to enlighten the field with the idea of repurposing established drugs for antineoplastic use. As such, recycling drugs could present an intriguing and fast-track method with new therapeutic paradigms in anti-cancer and anti-CSC treatments. Here, we aim to summarize important aspects and novel findings of this emerging field. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Bronchiectasis Toolbox—A Comprehensive Website for the Management of People with Bronchiectasis
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 13; doi:10.3390/medsci5020013 -
Abstract
While the health burden of bronchiectasis is increasing worldwide, medical and physiotherapy treatment strategies have progressed significantly over the past decade. For this reason, clinicians require readily accessible current evidence based information on the management of this condition. E-learning is a suitable educational
[...] Read more.
While the health burden of bronchiectasis is increasing worldwide, medical and physiotherapy treatment strategies have progressed significantly over the past decade. For this reason, clinicians require readily accessible current evidence based information on the management of this condition. E-learning is a suitable educational forum for the development and maintenance of professional skills, however a comprehensive, evidence based, multidisciplinary website for bronchiectasis was not available. The Bronchiectasis Toolbox at www.bronchiectasis.com.au was developed by a team of clinicians in Australia and New Zealand with extensive experience in bronchiectasis. The content of this website, based on national and international guidelines, is presented under the headings: ‘Bronchiectasis’, ‘Assessment’, ‘Physiotherapy’, ‘Indigenous’, ‘Paediatrics’, and ‘Resources’. Through a blend of multimedia resources, this website provides information to consolidate the knowledge and practical skills for health professionals caring for people with this condition. After launching in 2015 the website has received 64,549 hits from over 100 countries and the videos have been viewed 10,205 times in 89 countries. The Bronchiectasis Toolbox is a comprehensive multidisciplinary resource accessible to health professionals worldwide who manage people with bronchiectasis and is a unique solution to an educational need. Regular updates will ensure that the website continues to be relevant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Stroke Bacteriuria: A Longitudinal Study among Stroke Outpatients and Inpatients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 11; doi:10.3390/medsci5020011 -
Abstract
Infections of the urinary tract constitute an important post-stroke complication but in Africa, little is known about such infections in relation to stroke patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemiology of bacteriuria among stroke patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching
[...] Read more.
Infections of the urinary tract constitute an important post-stroke complication but in Africa, little is known about such infections in relation to stroke patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemiology of bacteriuria among stroke patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Ghana including the prevalence, incidence, risk factors and aetiological agents. This was a longitudinal study involving 55 outpatients and 16 inpatients of stroke from the physiotherapy clinic and stroke admission ward of KBTH respectively. Urine cultures for inpatient subjects were done each day until the patient was discharged. With outpatients, urine specimens were analysed every week or two for 6 months. Information on demographics and clinical history of the study participants were extracted from their clinical records. The results showed that the prevalence of bacteriuria among stroke outpatients and inpatients were 10.9% (6/55) and 18.8% (3/16) respectively (p = 0.411). Among both the outpatients and inpatients, there was one new case of bacteriuria each during the period of follow-up. Overall, 1/9 (11%) of the bacteriuria cases among the stroke patients was symptomatic. Severe stroke (OR = 17.7, p = 0.008) and pyuria (OR = 38.7, p = 0.002) were identified as predictors of bacteriuria. Escherichia coli was the most common organism implicated in bacteriuria and was susceptible to amikacin, but resistant to augmentin, ampicillin, cefuroxime, cotrimoxazole, meropenem, norfloxacin and tetracycline. Overall, bacteriuria is a common complication among both stroke inpatients and outpatients at KBTH, though it appears to be more common among the former. Stroke severity appears to be the main stroke-related determinant of bacteriuria among stroke patients. Bacteriuria among stroke patients is mainly asymptomatic and E. coli is the most important aetiological agent. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
The Effects of Dietary Nutrition Education on Weight and Health Biomarkers in Breast Cancer Survivors
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 12; doi:10.3390/medsci5020012 -
Abstract
Weight gain after breast cancer diagnosis portends a poorer prognosis, and the majority of sufferers appear to gain weight. Metabolic syndrome is a common co-condition with breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been used to reduce excess weight, metabolic syndrome, and to improve
[...] Read more.
Weight gain after breast cancer diagnosis portends a poorer prognosis, and the majority of sufferers appear to gain weight. Metabolic syndrome is a common co-condition with breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been used to reduce excess weight, metabolic syndrome, and to improve the inflammatory profile, and therefore may offer the breast cancer survivor specific benefits over and above the currently recommended nutrition guidelines to eat a low fat, healthy diet. The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to investigate whether a Mediterranean (MD) or low-fat diet (LF) reduce weight and general health in survivors of stage 1–3 breast cancer through a six-month, six-session education package to support dietary change. A control dietary arm received no intervention. Outcome measures for weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood lipids, blood glucose, dietary adherence, 3-day food diary, and PREDIMED questionnaire and quality of life were assessed. Both dietary intervention arms, on average, lost weight over the course of the intervention, with significant (p < 0.05) decreases seen in BMI and waist circumference measurements. The control arm gained weight and significantly (p < 0.05) increased BMI and waist circumference measurements overall (1.10 ± 3.03 kg, 0.40 ± 1.65 kg/m2, and 1.94 ± 2.94 cm respectively). Positive trends in blood biomarkers were observed for the intervention arms. Dietary adherence was sufficient. Nutritional education and group support appears to exert beneficial effects on health in breast cancer survivors, of lesser importance is the type of diet that forms the basis of the education. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cost and Distribution of Hysterectomy and Uterine Artery Embolization in the United States: Regional/Rural/Urban Disparities
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 10; doi:10.3390/medsci5020010 -
Abstract
Hysterectomy, the driving force for symptomatic uterine fibroids since 1895, has decreased over the years, but it is still the number one choice for many women. Since 1995, uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been proven by many researchers to be an effective treatment
[...] Read more.
Hysterectomy, the driving force for symptomatic uterine fibroids since 1895, has decreased over the years, but it is still the number one choice for many women. Since 1995, uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been proven by many researchers to be an effective treatment for uterine fibroids while allowing women to keep their uteri. The preponderance of data collection and research has focused on care quality in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, with little on location and viability related to care utilization, accessibility and physical availability. The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the cost of UAE and classical abdominal hysterectomy with regard to race/ethnicity, region, and location. Data from National Hospital Discharge for 2004 through 2008 were accessed and analyzed for uterine artery embolization and hysterectomy. Frequency analyses were performed to determine distribution of variables by race/ethnicity, location, region, insurance coverage, cost and procedure. Based on frequency distributions of cost and length of stay, outliers were trimmed and categorized. Crosstabs were used to determine cost distributions by region, place/location, procedure, race, and primary payer. For abdominal hysterectomy, 9.8% of the sample were performed in rural locations accross the country. However, for UAE, only seven procedures were performed nationally in the same period. Therefore, all inferential analyses and associations for UAE were assumed for urban locations only. The pattern differed from region to region, regarding the volume of care (numbers of cases by location) and care cost. Comparing hysterectomy and UAE, the patterns indicate generally higher costs for UAE with a mean cost difference of $4223.52. Of the hysterectomies performed for fibroids on Black women in the rural setting, 92.08% were in the south. Overall, data analyzed in this examination indicated a significant disparity between rural and urban residence in both data collection and number of procedures conducted. Further research should determine the background to cost and care location differentials between races and between rural and urban settings. Further, factors driving racial differences in the proportions of hysterectomies in the rural south should be identified to eliminate disparities. Data are needed on the prevalence of uterine fibroids in rural settings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Not a ‘Straitjacket Affair’: Anthropometrically Derived Obesity Index Correlates of Elevated Blood Pressure among University Undergraduates
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/medsci5020009 -
Abstract
Obesity is known to correlate with measures of blood pressure (BP). The nature of the correlations has, however, remained a subject of scientific enquiry, especially when BP phenotypes are disaggregated and obesity is determined by a variety of methods. This study examined the
[...] Read more.
Obesity is known to correlate with measures of blood pressure (BP). The nature of the correlations has, however, remained a subject of scientific enquiry, especially when BP phenotypes are disaggregated and obesity is determined by a variety of methods. This study examined the relationship between obesity and BP in young-adult Nigerians. A total of 1610 subjects (53.9% females) were recruited from five universities in the Igbo-speaking part of Nigeria. Relevant BP and anthropometric data were obtained following standard protocols. Appropriate statistical tools were used for data analyses. The results show that 42.2% (49.5% males, 36.1% females) and 13.3% (15.2% males, 11.6% females) of the population had point prehypertension and hypertension, respectively. By body mass index (BMI) standards, 20.6% (12.4% males, 27.5% females) of the population were overweight/obese. Despite the weak positive and significant correlations between BP and the measures of obesity in both males and females in the general population (r = +0.110 to +0.261; p < 0.05), the correlations were found to exist essentially in normotensives, taper in the prehypertensives, and disappear (or became negative) among hypertensives. When analysed along weight status lines, a discordant relationship was found between the sexes. Overall, the relationship between blood pressure and measures of obesity is not linear throughout the BP spectrum. Clearly the said relationship is not a ‘straitjacket affair’. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serum Creatine Kinase-MB Isoenzyme Activity among Subjects with Uncomplicated Essential Hypertension: Any Sex Differences
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 8; doi:10.3390/medsci5020008 -
Abstract
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major health challenge and more women than men are affected by the condition. Complications as a result of this condition often lead to disabilities and premature death. The objective of this study was to evaluate creatine kinase-MB
[...] Read more.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major health challenge and more women than men are affected by the condition. Complications as a result of this condition often lead to disabilities and premature death. The objective of this study was to evaluate creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) activity in uncomplicated hypertension and to know whether sex differences exist in the activity of the enzyme. Serum creatine kinase-MB isoenzyme activity, troponin I, and lipid profile were evaluated in 140 male and 100 female Nigerians with hypertension. The control group was comprised of 100 (50 males and 50 females) normotensive subjects. Measured parameters were assayed using Selectra Pros chemistry analyzer. The means were compared between males and females using Students’t-test. The mean CK-MB activity of the female hypertensive subjects was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the males. Similarly, the mean cardiac troponin I (cTnI) of the female hypertensive subjects was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the males. Conversely, the mean CK-MB activity of the female normotensive subjects was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than the male counterparts. There was no difference in the levels of cTnI between male and female normotensive subjects. Serum CK-MB activity was higher in female than male hypertensive subjects. In the light of these results, cardiac markers should be routinely done in the evaluation of hypertensive subjects and sex-specific consideration may be recognized in the management of these patients. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Exacerbations in COPD Patients with Bronchiectasis
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 7; doi:10.3390/medsci5020007 -
Abstract
There is evidence that coexisting bronchiectasis (BE) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) aggravates the course of the disease. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the frequency and severity of bacterial exacerbations in COPD patients with BE. The frequency and
[...] Read more.
There is evidence that coexisting bronchiectasis (BE) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) aggravates the course of the disease. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the frequency and severity of bacterial exacerbations in COPD patients with BE. The frequency and duration of bacterial exacerbations treated in a 12‐month period, as well as the duration of the exacerbation‐free interval, were evaluated in 54 patients with COPD (Group D) who were diagnosed and assessed according to official recommendations. In 27 patients, BE was diagnosed by high‐resolution computed tomography (HRCT), whereas an equal number of COPD patients who were confirmed negative for BE by HRCT, served as controls. We found a significantly higher mean number of exacerbations in a 12‐month period in COPD patients with BE (2.9 ± 0.5), as compared to their mean number in controls (2.5 ± 0.3) (p = 0.0008). The mean duration of exacerbation, i.e. the mean number of days elapsed before complete resolution of the symptoms or their return to the baseline severity, was significantly longer in COPD patients with BE as compared to their mean duration in controls (6.9 ± 1.8 vs. 5.7 ± 1.4; p = 0.0085). In addition, the mean exacerbation‐free interval expressed in days, in patients with COPD with BE, was significantly shorter than in COPD patients in whom BE were excluded (56.4 ± 17.1 vs. 67.2 ± 14.3; p = 0.0149). Overall, our findings indicate that coexisting BE in COPD patients may lead to more frequent exacerbations with a longer duration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of Pancreatic Endotherapy In Pancreatic Ascites And Pleural Effusion
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 6; doi:10.3390/medsci5020006 -
Abstract
Pancreatic ascites and effusion is a challenging complication to manage, hence our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of pancreatic endotherapy in pancreatic ascites and pleural effusion. Endotherapy included endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with a pancreatogram and pancreatic stent placement across the leak
[...] Read more.
Pancreatic ascites and effusion is a challenging complication to manage, hence our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of pancreatic endotherapy in pancreatic ascites and pleural effusion. Endotherapy included endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with a pancreatogram and pancreatic stent placement across the leak in patients with pancreatic ascites/effusion. A total of 53 patients were included after successful cannulation. The male:female ratio was 7.8:1. The pancreatogram revealed a leak from the pancreatic duct in 20/53 (37.73%) patients. The most common leak site was the pancreatic body in 10/53 (18.9%) patients followed by the tail in 6/53 (11.32%) patients and the genu in 4/53 (7.5%) patients. In 29/53 (54.7%) patients, stent was placed beyond the leak site. Sphincterotomy was done in 7/53 (13.2%) patients, and in five patients with an obscure leak site, stent was placed empirically. A total of 39/53 (73.6%) patients benefited in terms of achieving the complete resolution of ascites and pleural effusion. The factors which were significant for the success of pancreatic endotherapy in the multivariate analysis were the site of the pancreatic ductal leak (p value = 0.008) and the ability of the stent to cross the leak site (p value = 0.004). To sum up, bridging the pancreatic ductal leak by stent offers a high rate of success. Pancreatic endotherapy is less invasive and highly effective in managing pancreatic ascites/pleural effusion. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Prospective Randomized Trial of Postural Changes vs Passive Supine Lying during the Second Stage of Labor under Epidural Analgesia
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/medsci5010005 -
Abstract
There exist very few studies comparing different postures or postural changes during labor in parturients with epidural analgesia. Aim: To disclose whether the intervention of a multidisciplinary nursing team including a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor improves the obstetric outcome in
[...] Read more.
There exist very few studies comparing different postures or postural changes during labor in parturients with epidural analgesia. Aim: To disclose whether the intervention of a multidisciplinary nursing team including a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor improves the obstetric outcome in parturients with epidural analgesia. Design: Prospective randomized trial. Setting: University-affiliated hospital. Population: Women undergoing labor with epidural analgesia after a normal gestation. Methods: 150 women were randomized either to actively perform predefined postural changes during the passive phase of the second stage of labor under the guidance of the attending physiotherapist (study group), or to carry out the whole second stage of labor lying in the traditional supine position (control group). Results: There were significantly more eutocic deliveries (p = 0.005) and, conversely, significantly less instrumental deliveries (p < 0.05) and cesarean sections (p < 0.05) in the study group. The total duration of the second stage of labor was significantly shorter (p < 0.01) in the study group. This was at the expense of the passive phase of the second stage of labor (p < 0.01). Significantly less episiotomies were performed in the study group (31.2% vs 17.8%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The intervention of a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor significantly improved the obstetric outcome. Full article
Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Hasona, N.A. and Elasbali, A. Evaluation of Electrolytes Imbalance and Dyslipidemia in Diabetic Patients. Med. Sci. 2016, 4, 7
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/medsci5010004 -
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper [1]. In the discussion section, the sentence “Regarding the lipid profile, the present results revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol in
[...] Read more.
The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper [1]. In the discussion section, the sentence “Regarding the lipid profile, the present results revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol in all diabetics relative to all non-diabetic subjects”. This should be changed to “Regarding the lipid profile, the present results revealed a significant increase (p < 0.001) in the serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and a significant decrease in HDL-cholesterol in all diabetics relative to all non-diabetic subjects”.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Medical Sciences in 2016
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/medsci5010003 -
Abstract
The editors of Medical Sciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
HLA Typing and Celiac Disease in Moroccans
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/medsci5010002 -
Abstract
Genetic and environmental factors are responsible for differences in the prevalence of some diseases across countries. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele frequencies in North African populations show some differences in their distribution compared to Europeans, Mediterraneans, and sub-Saharans, and some specific alleles and
[...] Read more.
Genetic and environmental factors are responsible for differences in the prevalence of some diseases across countries. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele frequencies in North African populations show some differences in their distribution compared to Europeans, Mediterraneans, and sub-Saharans, and some specific alleles and haplotypes could be clinically relevant. Celiac disease (CD) has been fast increasing in prevalence in North Africa; but few immunogenetic data are available for this area, in which a high prevalence of the disease has been described. In this report, we assess and discuss results of HLA class II (HLA-DQA1/DQB1/DRB1) typing in Moroccan patients with CD and compare them with a control population from Morocco—genetically well characterized—and with other North African, Mediterranean, and European populations. The classical HLA-DQ associations were confirmed in Moroccans with CD. The high frequency of DQ2.5 homozygosity (45.2%) found in Moroccans with CD was noteworthy as compared with other populations (23%–32%). The genetic risk gradient for CD, identified by previous studies, has been confirmed in Moroccans with some differences, mainly concerning DQ8 genotypes. This study provides the immunogenetic framework of CD in Moroccans and confirms the need to learn more about associations with additional HLA and non-HLA genetic factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Evaluation of Gait between Children with Autism and Typically Developing Matched Controls
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 1; doi:10.3390/medsci5010001 -
Abstract
Anecdotal reports suggest children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ambulate differently than peers with typical development (TD). Little empirical evidence supports these reports. Children with ASD exhibit delayed motor skills, and it is important to determine whether or not motor movement deficits exist
[...] Read more.
Anecdotal reports suggest children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ambulate differently than peers with typical development (TD). Little empirical evidence supports these reports. Children with ASD exhibit delayed motor skills, and it is important to determine whether or not motor movement deficits exist during walking. The purpose of the study was to perform a comprehensive lower-extremity gait analysis between children (aged 5–12 years) with ASD and age- and gender-matched-samples with TD. Gait parameters were normalized to 101 data points and the gait cycle was divided into seven sub-phases. The Model Statistic procedure was used to test for statistical significance between matched-pairs throughout the entire gait cycle for each parameter. When collapsed across all participants, children with ASD exhibited large numbers of significant differences (p < 0.05) throughout the gait cycle in hip, knee, and ankle joint positions as well as vertical and anterior/posterior ground reaction forces. Children with ASD exhibited unique differences throughout the gait cycle, which supports current literature on the heterogeneity of the disorder. The present work supports recent findings that motor movement differences may be a core symptom of ASD. Thus, individuals may benefit from therapeutic movement interventions that follow precision medicine guidelines by accounting for individual characteristics, given the unique movement differences observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Iron Profile and Glycaemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(4), 22; doi:10.3390/medsci4040022 -
Abstract
Iron overload is increasingly being connected to insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients. Free iron causes the assembly of reactive oxygen species that invariably steer the body’s homeostasis towards oxidative stress-mediated diabetic complications. This study aims to assess the serum
[...] Read more.
Iron overload is increasingly being connected to insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients. Free iron causes the assembly of reactive oxygen species that invariably steer the body’s homeostasis towards oxidative stress-mediated diabetic complications. This study aims to assess the serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and percentage transferrin saturation (Tsat) of 150 subjects divided into three groups (I,II,III) of 50. Healthy individuals (controls) constituted Group I. Group II consisted of T2DM patients with optimal glycaemic control. T2DM patients with suboptimal glycaemic control formed group III. Mean serum free iron concentration was 105.34 ± 3.5, 107.33 ± 3.45, and 125.58 ± 3.45 μg/dL in Group I, Group II, and Group III, respectively. Mean serum TIBC concentration in Group I, Group II, and Group III was 311.39 ± 5.47, 309.63 ± 6.1, and 284.2 ± 3.18 μg/dL, respectively. Mean serum transferrin saturation (%) in Group I, Group II, and Group III was 34.17 ± 1.21, 35.02 ± 1.2, and 44.39 ± 1.07, respectively. The difference between TIBC, mean serum free iron concentration, and transferrin saturation between Group I and Group III (for all, p values <0.001), as well as between Group II and Group III (p values 0.0012, 0.0015, and <0.0001, respectively) was statistically significant. The fasting plasma glucose values of Groups II and III were significantly higher than those of Group I, (p < 0.0001). Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) values were also shown to increase from Group I to II and then III, and the increase was highly significant (all p values <0.0001). Thus, decreased glycaemic control and an increase in the glycation of haemoglobin was the key to elevation in serum iron values and alterations in other parameters. However, a significant correlation was absent between serum iron and HbA1c (r = 0.05) and transferrin saturation (r = 0.0496) in Group III. Full article
Open AccessReview
Why Oats Are Safe and Healthy for Celiac Disease Patients
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(4), 21; doi:10.3390/medsci4040021 -
Abstract
The water-insoluble storage proteins of cereals (prolamins) are called “gluten” in wheat, barley, and rye, and “avenins” in oat. Gluten can provoke celiac disease (CD) in genetically susceptible individuals (those with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 serotypes). Avenins are present at a
[...] Read more.
The water-insoluble storage proteins of cereals (prolamins) are called “gluten” in wheat, barley, and rye, and “avenins” in oat. Gluten can provoke celiac disease (CD) in genetically susceptible individuals (those with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 serotypes). Avenins are present at a lower concentration (10%–15% of total protein content) in oat as compared to gluten in wheat (80%–85%). The avenins in the genus Avena (cultivated oat as well as various wild species of which gene bank accessions were analyzed) are free of the known CD immunogenic epitopes from wheat, barley, and rye. T cells that recognize avenin-specific epitopes have been found very rarely in CD patients. CD patients that consume oats daily do not show significantly increased levels of intraepithelial lymphocyte (EIL) cells. The safety and the positive health effects of the long-term inclusion of oats in the gluten-free diet have been confirmed in long-term studies. Since 2009 (EC 41/2009) and 2013 (FDA) oat products may be sold as gluten-free in several countries provided a gluten contamination level below 20 ppm. Introduction of oats in the gluten-free diet of celiac patients is advised after the recovery of the intestine. Health effects of oat consumption are reflected in European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)- and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved health claims. Oats can form a healthy, nutritious, fiber-rich, and safe complement to the gluten-free diet. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluation of Multiple Diagnostic Indicators in Comparison to the Intestinal Biopsy as the Golden Standard in Diagnosing Celiac Disease in Children
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(4), 20; doi:10.3390/medsci4040020 -
Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic small intestinal enteropathy triggered by gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. The susceptibility is strongly associated with certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-genes, but efforts are being made in trying to find non-HLA genes that are predictive for the
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Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic small intestinal enteropathy triggered by gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. The susceptibility is strongly associated with certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-genes, but efforts are being made in trying to find non-HLA genes that are predictive for the disease. The criteria for diagnosing CD were previously based primarily on histologic evaluation of small intestinal biopsies, but nowadays are often based only on blood tests and symptoms. In this context, we elucidated the accuracy of three diagnostic indicators for CD, alone or in combination. Genetic analyses of HLA-type and nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) known to be associated with CD were performed in 177 children previously investigated for the suspicion of CD. CD was confirmed in 109 children, while 68 were considered non-celiacs. The antibodies and urinary nitrite/nitrate concentrations of all of them were measured. The combinations of all the variables used in the study would classify 93% of the study population in the correct diagnostic group. The single best predictors were antibodies (i.e., anti-endomysium immunoglobulin A (IgA) (EMA) and transglutaminase IgA (TGA)), followed by HLA-type and nitric oxide (NO)-metabolites. The nine SNPs used did not contribute to the right diagnoses. Although our control group consisted of children with mostly gastrointestinal symptoms, the presented methodology predicted a correct classification in more than 90% of the cases. Full article
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