Next Issue
Volume 7, May
Previous Issue
Volume 7, March

Table of Contents

Medicines, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 7 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) are capable of secretome release to injured [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study Assessing the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of a Herbal Medicine Containing Pycnogenol Combined with Papain and Aloe vera in the Prevention and Management of Pre-Diabetes
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040022 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Background: Herbal medicines present attractive options to patients with chronic diseases. Undertaking clinical studies with patients presenting with symptomless pre-T2D can lead to significant limitations. Methods: A 12-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted that investigated the safety and efficacy of an [...] Read more.
Background: Herbal medicines present attractive options to patients with chronic diseases. Undertaking clinical studies with patients presenting with symptomless pre-T2D can lead to significant limitations. Methods: A 12-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study was conducted that investigated the safety and efficacy of an herbal formulation administered orally for the treatment of pre-type 2 diabetes (pre-T2D). Results: A numerically greater proportion of subjects in the interventional arm had impaired fasting glucose (IFG) at week 12 compared to the control arm (71.0% vs. 69.0%, p = 0.75). Fewer participants had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) at 12 weeks in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (unadjusted 58.3% vs. 66.7%, p = 0.65; adjusting for baseline IGT, p = 0.266). In a subgroup analysis, subjects with a baseline fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level in the range of 6.1–6.9 mmol/L demonstrated a non-significant lower proportion of IFG at week 12 in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (60.0% vs. 41.7% p = 0.343). Total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels remained unchanged from baseline to week 12 in both treatment groups. Conclusions: This study suggests that a polyherbal medicine was not effective for reducing the metabolic markers associated with pre-T2D over a 12-week period. Therefore, larger studies with well-defined endpoints and of longer duration are warranted. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Limited Utility of Serology and Heterophile Test in the Early Diagnosis of Epstein–Barr Virus Mononucleosis in a Child after Renal Transplantation
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040021 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Background: Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in renal transplant (RT) recipients. The spectrum of illness ranges from infectious mononucleosis (IM) to post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). In association with clinical signs and symptoms, virus-specific serology and heterophile antibody [...] Read more.
Background: Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in renal transplant (RT) recipients. The spectrum of illness ranges from infectious mononucleosis (IM) to post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). In association with clinical signs and symptoms, virus-specific serology and heterophile antibody tests are widely used in confirming the diagnosis of IM in the general population. However, these tests may have a limited role in immunosuppressed RT recipients from seropositive donor, especially in children who were EBV-seronegative prior to the transplant. The aim of this study is to evaluate the utility of these tests in the early diagnosis of IM in this subset of patients. Methods: This is a case study with a review of literature. Results: Here, we present a 14-year-old male with hemophilia B who presented with fever, fatigue, sore throat, palatal petechial rash, exudative tonsillitis and cervical lymphadenopathy 3 months post-RT. He was EBV seronegative prior to RT and received a deceased donor kidney transplant from a seropositive donor. Induction was done with Thymoglobulin and maintenance immunosuppression consisted of tacrolimus and mycophenolate. Initial heterophile antibody test (monospot) was negative, but became positive at 5 months and remained positive at 9 months follow-up post-RT. EBV viral capsid antigens (VCA) IgM and IgG, early antigen (EA) and nuclear antigen (EBNA) were all negative at the time of presentation. VCA IgM and IgG both became positive at 5 months and peaked at 9 months follow-up, however the EA and EBNA remained negative. EBV viral load as measured by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was negative for the first 3 months post-RT but became positive at presentation, peaked at 6 months and started declining thereafter. Peripheral blood smear examination showed no absolute and atypical lymphocytosis. Cytomegalovirus PCR in the blood and throat culture for streptococcus were negative. There was no splenomegaly. He was managed conservatively with intravenous fluids, bed rest, antipyretics and reduction of immunosuppression. Conclusions: EBV serological markers have a limited role in the early diagnosis of EBV-IM following RT in prior seronegative children. Initial heterophile antibody test may also be negative, and hence a repeat test may be necessary. Once becoming positive, the VCA IgM may remain persistently elevated for prolonged duration. In addition to the suppressed cellular immunity secondary to immunosuppression, humoral response to viral infections is also delayed in transplant recipients, especially in the early transplant period. Hence, routine monitoring with PCR is superior to serology in diagnosing IM early and monitoring the EBV infection post-RT for timely evaluation and management. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Residential Aged Care Pharmacist: An Australian Pilot Trial Exploring the Impact on Quality Use of Medicines Indicators
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040020 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Background: This pilot study aimed to assess whether an on-site pharmacist could influence indicators of quality use of medicines in residential aged care. Methods: A pharmacist was embedded in a residential aged care home for six months. A similar control site received usual [...] Read more.
Background: This pilot study aimed to assess whether an on-site pharmacist could influence indicators of quality use of medicines in residential aged care. Methods: A pharmacist was embedded in a residential aged care home for six months. A similar control site received usual care. Polypharmacy, drug burden index, antipsychotic and benzodiazepine use, hospital admission rates and length of stay, and emergency department presentation rates were outcomes used to indicate medication use quality. Data were extracted from participating resident health records. Results: Fifty-eight residents at the study site and 39 residents at the control site were included in the analysis. There was a reduction in the proportion of residents at the study site who had at least one hospital admission at follow-up (28% to 12%, p < 0.01), but no significant difference in other outcomes. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that a residential care pharmacist may positively influence indicators of medication use quality in aged care; however, further research is needed to expand on these findings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Piperine Inhibits TGF-β Signaling Pathways and Disrupts EMT-Related Events in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040019 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Background: Piperine, an amide extracted from the Piper spices, exhibits strong anti-tumor properties. However, its effect on the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) process has never been investigated. Herein, we evaluate the toxic effect of piperine on lung adenocarcinoma (A549), breast adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231) and hepatocellular [...] Read more.
Background: Piperine, an amide extracted from the Piper spices, exhibits strong anti-tumor properties. However, its effect on the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) process has never been investigated. Herein, we evaluate the toxic effect of piperine on lung adenocarcinoma (A549), breast adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines, as well as its ability to inhibit EMT-related events induced by TGF-β1 treatment. Methods: The cell viability was investigated by MTT assay. Protein expression was evaluated by Western blot. Gene expression was monitored by real-time PCR. Zymography assay was employed to detect metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in conditioned media. Cell motility was assessed by the wound-healing and phagokinetic gold sol assays. Results: The results revealed that piperine was cytotoxic in concentrations over 100 µM, showing IC50 values for HepG2, MDA-MB-231 and A549 cell lines of 214, 238 and 198 µM, respectively. In order to investigate whether piperine would reverse the TGF-β1 induced-EMT, the A549 cell line was pretreated with sublethal concentrations of the natural amide followed by the addition of TGF-β1. Besides disrupting EMT-related events, piperine also inhibited both ERK 1/2 and SMAD 2 phosphorylation. Conclusions: These results suggest that piperine might be further used in therapeutic strategies for metastatic cancer and EMT-related disorders. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Methylxanthines Inhibit Primary Amine Oxidase and Monoamine Oxidase Activities of Human Adipose Tissue
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040018 - 02 Apr 2020
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Background: Methylxanthines including caffeine and theobromine are widely consumed compounds and were recently shown to interact with bovine copper-containing amine oxidase. To the best of our knowledge, no direct demonstration of any interplay between these phytochemicals and human primary amine oxidase (PrAO) has [...] Read more.
Background: Methylxanthines including caffeine and theobromine are widely consumed compounds and were recently shown to interact with bovine copper-containing amine oxidase. To the best of our knowledge, no direct demonstration of any interplay between these phytochemicals and human primary amine oxidase (PrAO) has been reported to date. We took advantage of the coexistence of PrAO and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activities in human subcutaneous adipose tissue (hScAT) to test the interaction between several methylxanthines and these enzymes, which are involved in many key pathophysiological processes. Methods: Benzylamine, methylamine, and tyramine were used as substrates for PrAO and MAO in homogenates of subcutaneous adipose depots obtained from overweight women undergoing plastic surgery. Methylxanthines were tested as substrates or inhibitors by fluorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide, an end-product of amine oxidation. Results: Semicarbazide-sensitive PrAO activity was inhibited by theobromine, caffeine, and isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) while theophylline, paraxanthine, and 7-methylxanthine had little effect. Theobromine inhibited PrAO activity by 54% at 2.5 mM. Overall, the relationship between methylxanthine structure and the degree of inhibition was similar to that seen with bovine PrAO, although higher concentrations (mM) were required for inhibition. Theobromine also inhibited oxidation of tyramine by MAO, at the limits of its solubility in a DMSO vehicle. At doses higher than 12 % v/v, DMSO impaired MAO activity. MAO was also inhibited by millimolar doses of IBMX, caffeine and by other methylxanthines to a lesser extent. Conclusions: This preclinical study extrapolates previous findings with bovine PrAO to human tissues. Given that PrAO is a potential target for anti-inflammatory drugs, it indicates that alongside phosphodiesterase inhibition and adenosine receptor antagonism, PrAO and MAO inhibition could contribute to the health benefits of methylxanthines, especially their anti-inflammatory effects. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessProtocol
Acupuncture for Relief of Gag Reflex in Patients Undergoing Transoesophageal Echocardiography—A Protocol for a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040017 - 31 Mar 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Background: Gagging during transesophageal echocardiography examination (TEE) can be distressing and even dangerous for patients. The needling of acupuncture point CV24 was described to be effective in reducing the gag reflex during TEE in patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Gagging during transesophageal echocardiography examination (TEE) can be distressing and even dangerous for patients. The needling of acupuncture point CV24 was described to be effective in reducing the gag reflex during TEE in patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. Methods: We describe a proposal for a prospective, randomized, patient, practitioner and assessor-blinded, single-center trial with two arms/groups; real acupuncture will be compared to placebo acupuncture. A total of 60 (30 per group) patients scheduled for elective TEE in order to exclude a cardiac embolic source, endocarditis or for valve failure evaluation will be recruited according to patients’ selection criteria and receive either indwelling fixed intradermal needles at acupoints CV24 and bilateral PC6 or placebo needles at the same areas. Patients, the practitioners who will perform the TEE procedure, and the assessor of the outcome measures will be unaware of the group’s (real or placebo) allocation. Results: The primary outcome is the intensity of gagging, measured using verbal rating scale (VRS-11) from 0 = no gagging to 10 = intolerable gagging. Secondary outcomes include the incidence of gagging, the use of rescue medication, patients’ satisfaction with relief of unwanted side effects during TEE procedure, success of patients’ blinding (patients’ opinion to group allocation), heart rate and oxygen saturation measured by pulse oxymetry. Conclusions: To study the effects of acupuncture against gagging during TEE, we test the needling of acupoints CV24 and PC6 bilaterally. A placebo acupuncture is used for the control group. Trial registration number: NCT NCT0382142. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Laser Medicine and Traditional Acupuncture Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS): Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells in the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Medicines 2020, 7(4), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7040016 - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Background: Dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in older patients. The macula accumulates drusen with loss of retinal pigment epithelial cells and photoreceptors. Abnormal subretinal neovascularization is absent. There is no effective drug therapy for [...] Read more.
Background: Dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in older patients. The macula accumulates drusen with loss of retinal pigment epithelial cells and photoreceptors. Abnormal subretinal neovascularization is absent. There is no effective drug therapy for dry AMD and a large proportion of patients progress to legal blindness from macular atrophy. The Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS) was conducted to assess the effect of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) on dry AMD and other retinal and optic nerve diseases. Methods: Thirty-two eyes were treated with BMSC per the protocols in SCOTS. Provision of BMSCs in Arm 1 was via retrobulbar (RB), sub-tenons (ST) and intravenous (IV); Arm 2 via intravitreal, RB, ST and IV; Arm 3 via subretinal and IV. Patient age averaged 78 years old and ranged from 69 to 90. Visual acuity preoperatively ranged from counting fingers to 20/50-2 with an average preoperative LogMAR of 1.125. Results: Following treatment, 20 of 32 (63%) of eyes experienced improvement in visual acuity averaging 27.6% on LogMAR and ranging from 2.5% to 44.6%. The mean improvement in LogMAR was 0.963 with a standard deviation (SD) of 0.42. The visual acuity remained stable in 34% of treated eyes. One eye continued to worsen as a consequence of disease progression. The results showed high statistical significance with p ≤ 0.001. The procedures were conducted safely, and no complications were observed. Conclusions: Treatment of dry AMD with BMSC using the protocols developed in the SCOTS clinical trial has shown statistically significant clinical benefit improving visual acuity and potentially delaying visual loss in the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Stem Cell Treatment)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop