Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews

A special issue of Diseases (ISSN 2079-9721).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 43728

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Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
Interests: nutrition; periodontal diseases/periodontitis; oxidative stress; nutrition; aging; mitochondrial function and diseases; berries (strawberry, blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, etc.); olive oil (dietary fats); honey; polyphenols; flavonoids; antioxidants; apoptosis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue welcomes high-quality papers regarding human diseases and conditions. We encourage the submission of comprehensive reviews, systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses that include the most recent research results and findings. We consider this Special Issue to be the best forum to disseminate important research findings and share innovative ideas in the field.

We hope this topic is of interest to you and we invite you to submit a tentative title and short abstract to our Editorial Office for evaluation before submission. Please note that selected papers are still subject to thorough peer review.

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Battino
Guest Editor

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diseases is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • gastrointestinal and urological diseases
  • endocrine diseases
  • nutritional diseases
  • infectious diseases
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • chronic diseases
  • hereditary diseases cancer
  • neuropsychiatric conditions and mental disorders
  • immunology
  • rare syndromes
  • pathology, therapy and pathogenesis of human diseases

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 933 KiB  
Article
Cutaneous Manifestations Associated with Diabetes Mellitus—A Retrospective Study
by Dan Vâță, Diana-Elena Stanciu, Doinița Temelie-Olinici, Elena Porumb-Andrese, Bogdan-Marian Tarcău, Vasile-Bogdan Grecu and Laura Gheucă-Solovăstru
Diseases 2023, 11(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11030106 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3297
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the world’s most important health problems, affecting more than half a billion of the world’s population today, with an ever-increasing prevalence. Among the most common manifestations of diabetes are skin manifestations, with 30–70% of patients experiencing skin [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the world’s most important health problems, affecting more than half a billion of the world’s population today, with an ever-increasing prevalence. Among the most common manifestations of diabetes are skin manifestations, with 30–70% of patients experiencing skin complications during the course of the disease. Conditions such as acanthosis nigricans, diabetic dermopathy, necrobiosis lipoidica, bacterial infections, fungal infections, skin xerosis, and metabolic prurigo are often associated with diabetes and often precede its diagnosis. We conducted a retrospective study on a group of 103 patients hospitalized between January 2018 and December 2022, in a clinic of a county hospital, using as criteria the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus complicated by cutaneous manifestations frequently associated with diabetes. The aim was to observe which are the most common manifestations and whether they correlate with data in the research literature. In the present study, manifestations such as diabetic foot (20% of patients), bacterial (35%) and fungal infections, and cutaneous xerosis (45%) were predominant. Often, the integumentary involvement may precede the diagnosis of the underlying disease. It is therefore very important to recognize, investigate and treat these manifestations as soon as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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Review

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24 pages, 1859 KiB  
Review
Collateral Damage in the Placenta during Viral Infection in Pregnancy: A Possible Mechanism for Vertical Transmission and an Adverse Pregnancy Outcome
by Victor Javier Cruz-Holguín, Luis Didier González-García, Manuel Adrián Velázquez-Cervantes, Haruki Arévalo-Romero, Luis Adrián De Jesús-González, Addy Cecilia Helguera-Repetto, Guadalupe León-Reyes, Ma. Isabel Salazar, Leticia Cedillo-Barrón and Moisés León-Juárez
Diseases 2024, 12(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases12030059 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 2070
Abstract
In mammals, the placenta is a connection between a mother and a new developing organism. This tissue has a protective function against some microorganisms, transports nutrients, and exchanges gases and excretory substances between the mother and the fetus. Placental tissue is mainly composed [...] Read more.
In mammals, the placenta is a connection between a mother and a new developing organism. This tissue has a protective function against some microorganisms, transports nutrients, and exchanges gases and excretory substances between the mother and the fetus. Placental tissue is mainly composed of chorionic villi functional units called trophoblasts (cytotrophoblasts, the syncytiotrophoblast, and extravillous trophoblasts). However, some viruses have developed mechanisms that help them invade the placenta, causing various conditions such as necrosis, poor perfusion, and membrane rupture which, in turn, can impact the development of the fetus and put the mother’s health at risk. In this study, we collected the most relevant information about viral infection during pregnancy which can affect both the mother and the fetus, leading to an increase in the probability of vertical transmission. Knowing these mechanisms could be relevant for new research in the maternal–fetal context and may provide options for new therapeutic targets and biomarkers in fetal prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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13 pages, 1178 KiB  
Review
Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Diabetics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Ganesh Bushi, Bijaya Kumar Padhi, Muhammed Shabil, Prakasini Satapathy, Sarvesh Rustagi, Keerti Bhusan Pradhan, Zahraa Haleem Al-qaim, Jagdish Khubchandani, Ranjit Sah, Sanjit Sah and Ayush Anand
Diseases 2023, 11(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11030103 - 7 Aug 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2768
Abstract
Background: There is significant pathogenic and epidemiological overlap between diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This systematic review aimed to ascertain the association between OSA and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a diabetic population. Methods: The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42023404126). On [...] Read more.
Background: There is significant pathogenic and epidemiological overlap between diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This systematic review aimed to ascertain the association between OSA and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a diabetic population. Methods: The study protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42023404126). On 15 July 2023, a comprehensive search of the literature was performed in PubMed, EBSCO, Scopus, ProQuest, and Web of Science, using keywords and synonyms of OSA, diabetes, and CVD, coupled with specific terms for different CVDs. Only observational studies that reported CVD events in diabetics (with and without OSA) were included. The quality of the studies included in the analysis was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Results: In the primary literature search, 8795 studies were identified, of which 9 met the inclusion criteria and included 17,796 participants. Eight studies were eligible for meta-analysis, and a pooled risk ratio (RR) of 1.29 (95% CI = 0.91–1.83) was found for developing CVD in diabetics with OSA at a 95% prediction interval of 0.30–5.60. The included studies showed significant heterogeneity with an I2 value of 91%. Conclusion: These findings show the possible association between OSA and diabetes and their impact on CVDs. Identifying and managing OSA in individuals with diabetes at an early phase could potentially reduce the risk of CVDs and its related complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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14 pages, 864 KiB  
Review
Mechanical Properties of Glioblastoma: Perspectives for YAP/TAZ Signaling Pathway and Beyond
by Bruno Pontes and Fabio A. Mendes
Diseases 2023, 11(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11020086 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2549
Abstract
Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis. Recent studies have suggested that mechanobiology, the study of how physical forces influence cellular behavior, plays an important role in glioblastoma progression. Several signaling pathways, molecules, and effectors, such as focal adhesions, [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis. Recent studies have suggested that mechanobiology, the study of how physical forces influence cellular behavior, plays an important role in glioblastoma progression. Several signaling pathways, molecules, and effectors, such as focal adhesions, stretch-activated ion channels, or membrane tension variations, have been studied in this regard. Also investigated are YAP/TAZ, downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, which is a key regulator of cell proliferation and differentiation. In glioblastoma, YAP/TAZ have been shown to promote tumor growth and invasion by regulating genes involved in cell adhesion, migration, and extracellular matrix remodeling. YAP/TAZ can be activated by mechanical cues such as cell stiffness, matrix rigidity, and cell shape changes, which are all altered in the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, YAP/TAZ have been shown to crosstalk with other signaling pathways, such as AKT, mTOR, and WNT, which are dysregulated in glioblastoma. Thus, understanding the role of mechanobiology and YAP/TAZ in glioblastoma progression could provide new insights into the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Targeting YAP/TAZ and mechanotransduction pathways in glioblastoma may offer a promising approach to treating this deadly disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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12 pages, 449 KiB  
Review
Use or Misuse of Albumin in Critical Ill Patients
by Fuat Hakan Saner, Bjoern-Ole Stueben, Dieter Peter Hoyer, Dieter Clemens Broering and Dmitri Bezinover
Diseases 2023, 11(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11020068 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 16318
Abstract
Since 1940 albumin has been used worldwide and is widely available commercially since this time. However, a meta-analysis in 1998 challenged the use of albumin and identified a trend toward higher mortality in critically ill patients who had received albumin. Since then, many [...] Read more.
Since 1940 albumin has been used worldwide and is widely available commercially since this time. However, a meta-analysis in 1998 challenged the use of albumin and identified a trend toward higher mortality in critically ill patients who had received albumin. Since then, many studies including multicenter randomized controlled trials have been carried out investigating the safety and efficacy of albumin treatment in different patient cohorts. In this context, patient cohorts that benefit from albumin were identified. However, particularly in non-liver patients, the use of albumin remains controversial. In our comprehensive review, we would like to highlight the most important studies in the recent 20 years and therefore offer an evidence-based outlook for the use of albumin for patients treated in the ICU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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12 pages, 622 KiB  
Review
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic Period on Patients with Head and Neck Carcinoma: A Systematic Review
by Maria Carolina Pinto Pereira, Juliana Campos Hasse Fernandes, Gustavo Vicentis Oliveira Fernandes, Felipe Nor, Tiago Marques and Patrícia Couto
Diseases 2023, 11(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11020061 - 10 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2041
Abstract
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all public life and the global economy. Since its discovery, the disease has spread rapidly, which led to an unprecedented public health crisis and the adoption of extreme measures to limit community and hospital spread. As [...] Read more.
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all public life and the global economy. Since its discovery, the disease has spread rapidly, which led to an unprecedented public health crisis and the adoption of extreme measures to limit community and hospital spread. As a result of a confluence of extraordinary circumstances caused by this pandemic, the doctrines of treatment for patients with head and neck carcinoma had to be reanalyzed, guaranteeing the well-being of both patients and health professionals as well as society itself. Objective: The aim of our systematic review was to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic period on head and neck cancer patients, the effects on the health care provided and on patient health. Materials and Methods: This systematic review was based on the PRISMA guidelines and PICO strategy, with the focus question, “How has the COVID-19 pandemic period conditioned the treatment of patients with head and neck carcinoma?” Thus, electronic research was carried out on six databases: LILACS, PubMed/MedLine, Web of Science, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, Scielo, and Scopus, aiming to answer the research question by considering the objective and defined criteria. The following information was extracted: author and year of the publication, patients’ age, gender, time until the first appointment, time from the first appointment to the surgery, the period in the hospital, time in intensive care, TNM, general stage of cancer, diagnostic procedures, oncological procedures, reconstructive surgery, and postoperative complications. Results: Initially, 837 articles were found. After removing duplicates, we obtained 471 studies. After screening by title and abstract, 67 articles were selected for full-text reading (k = 92) in order to assess their eligibility. Thus, nine articles were included (k = 1.0). All data and statistical results were obtained and contrasted. The included studies made it possible to reveal distinct impacts felt in different institutions of several countries, not allowing generalizable conclusions to be drawn. However, some of the variables analyzed are worrying, namely, the limitations that occurred in some types of oncological surgeries, as well as the increase in the number of patients admitted with higher TNM classifications and more debilitated general conditions. Conclusion: Within the limitation of this review, the results showed efforts made to prevent the pandemic from affecting the healthcare provided. There were no significant differences in days inside the intensive care unit, postoperative complications, and, in most cases, length of stay in the hospital. There were no differences in the number of patients admitted with a history of recurrence or neoadjuvant treatment. However, some variables raise concerns, such as the increase in patients with more advanced stage and TNM classification and a decrease in certain oncological procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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Other

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16 pages, 3552 KiB  
Systematic Review
Sociodemographic Disparities in Adults with Kidney Failure: A Meta-Analysis
by Ioannis Bellos, Smaragdi Marinaki, Evangelia Samoli, Ioannis N. Boletis and Vassiliki Benetou
Diseases 2024, 12(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases12010023 - 12 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1669
Abstract
This meta-analysis aims to assess current evidence regarding sociodemographic disparities among adults with kidney failure. Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and Google Scholar were systematically searched from inception to 20 February 2022. Overall, 165 cohort studies were included. Compared to White patients, [...] Read more.
This meta-analysis aims to assess current evidence regarding sociodemographic disparities among adults with kidney failure. Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and Google Scholar were systematically searched from inception to 20 February 2022. Overall, 165 cohort studies were included. Compared to White patients, dialysis survival was significantly better among Black (hazard ratio—HR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.61–0.75), Asian (HR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.61–0.72) and Hispanic patients (HR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.73–0.88). Black individuals were associated with lower rates of successful arteriovenous fistula use, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation, as well as with worse graft survival. Overall survival was significantly better in females after kidney transplantation compared to males (HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.84–0.90). Female sex was linked to higher rates of central venous catheter use and a lower probability of kidney transplantation. Indices of low SES were associated with higher mortality risk (HR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.14–1.31), reduced rates of dialysis with an arteriovenous fistula, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation, as well as higher graft failure risk. In conclusion, Black, Asian and Hispanic patients present better survival in dialysis, while Black, female and socially deprived patients demonstrate lower rates of successful arteriovenous fistula use and limited access to kidney transplantation. PROSPERO registration: CRD42022300839. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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14 pages, 909 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Respiratory Infections in Children under 6 Years Old: A Systematic Review
by Larisa Mihaela Marusca, Gowry Reddy, Mihaela Blaj, Reshmanth Prathipati, Ovidiu Rosca, Felix Bratosin, Iulia Bogdan, Razvan Mihai Horhat, Gabriela-Florentina Tapos, Daniela-Teodora Marti, Monica Susan, Raja Akshay Pingilati, Florin George Horhat and Mavrea Adelina
Diseases 2023, 11(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11030104 - 8 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
Childhood respiratory tract infections (RTIs) pose a significant health burden, especially in children under six years old. The main objective of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of RTI in this population while also [...] Read more.
Childhood respiratory tract infections (RTIs) pose a significant health burden, especially in children under six years old. The main objective of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of RTI in this population while also exploring potential effect modifiers such as age, baseline vitamin D status, and type of respiratory infection. A systematic review of the literature published up to February 2023 was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines, searching PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria, which investigated the association between vitamin D supplementation and respiratory infections in children between zero and five years old. The included studies were conducted between 2012 and 2021, encompassing a total of 2189 children from five randomized trials, two case-control studies, and one prospective cohort study. The relationship between vitamin D supplementation and the prevention of childhood RTI was not consistently observed across all included studies. Pooled results demonstrated varied effects of vitamin D supplementation on respiratory infection incidence, severity, and symptoms. Three studies reported statistically significant associations between low vitamin D levels and respiratory infections (OR = 4.90, OR = 6.97), while one study found that children who received vitamin D supplementation of 800 UI/day for 3 months during the cold season had fewer episodes of respiratory symptoms (RR = 0.55) and recovered more quickly from acute RTI. Lastly, according to one study, vitamin D intake < 80 IU/kg/day was significantly associated with the risk of acquiring pneumonia (OR 7.9) but not bronchiolitis. The remaining five studies found no statistically significant differences in infection rates or severity (p-value > 0.050). The available evidence on the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for preventing and treating respiratory infections in children under six years old is limited, with only a few favorable effects being reported. In some cases, a dose of 80 UI/kg/day was found to provide significant protection for acute respiratory infections, although in the major trials the only benefit was a quicker recovery and fewer respiratory symptoms, with no impact on incidence and severity of respiratory infections. Nevertheless, the study protocol, the supplementation dose, and duration of supplementation had significant variations between studies, leading to inconclusive findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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8 pages, 5765 KiB  
Case Report
A Review and Follow-Up of Uterine Smooth Muscle Tumours of Uncertain Malignant Potential (STUMP): A Case Series and Literature Review
by M. V. Lapresa-Alcalde, M. J. Ruiz-Navarro, M. Sancho de Salas and A. M. Cubo
Diseases 2023, 11(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11030099 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2479
Abstract
Objectives: to analyse the clinical–pathological characteristics, treatment, and evolution of uterine smooth muscle tumours with uncertain malignant potential (STUMP) diagnosed in the Salamanca University Hospital with the implementation of the 2014 WHO criteria. Materials and methods: a retrospective descriptive study of patients diagnosed [...] Read more.
Objectives: to analyse the clinical–pathological characteristics, treatment, and evolution of uterine smooth muscle tumours with uncertain malignant potential (STUMP) diagnosed in the Salamanca University Hospital with the implementation of the 2014 WHO criteria. Materials and methods: a retrospective descriptive study of patients diagnosed with STUMP from January 2015 to March 2023 at the Salamanca University Hospital. Demographic data, preoperative clinical data, treatment, complications, therapeutic results, anatomopathological findings and recurrence time were obtained. Results: a total of four patients were identified and included in the study. The mean age at diagnosis was 48 years (range 36–67). The surgical indications were abnormal uterine bleeding, compressive symptoms, and the growth of a pelvic mass suspected to be a degenerated myoma from the residual cervix after a subtotal hysterectomy 6 years earlier. In all cases, a laparotomic procedure was performed. A total hysterectomy, sub-total hysterectomy, and the excision of the cervix with STUMP localization were accomplished in two, one, and one patient, respectively. The mean diameter of the tumour pieces was 13 cm (range 8–17 cm), with a mean volume of 816 cc (range 234–1467 cc). The mean follow-up was 47 months, with no recurrence to date. Conclusions: STUMPs are a heterogeneous group of tumours with a difficult-to-predict clinical evolution. In most cases, their diagnosis is histological after performing surgery for suspected leiomyoma. Due to their low incidence, there are no specific guidelines for their treatment and control. However, considering their potential risk of recurrence and metastasis, it is advisable to maintain six-monthly controls for 5 years and then annual controls for 5 years more. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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12 pages, 953 KiB  
Commentary
The Application of Digital Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: An Overview on Nutrition Assessment
by Alessia Salinari, Michele Machì, Yasmany Armas Diaz, Danila Cianciosi, Zexiu Qi, Bei Yang, Maria Soledad Ferreiro Cotorruelo, Santos Gracia Villar, Luis Alonso Dzul Lopez, Maurizio Battino and Francesca Giampieri
Diseases 2023, 11(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases11030097 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7069
Abstract
In the last decade, artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-mediated technologies have undergone rapid evolution in healthcare and medicine, from apps to computer software able to analyze medical images, robotic surgery and advanced data storage system. The main aim of the present commentary is [...] Read more.
In the last decade, artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-mediated technologies have undergone rapid evolution in healthcare and medicine, from apps to computer software able to analyze medical images, robotic surgery and advanced data storage system. The main aim of the present commentary is to briefly describe the evolution of AI and its applications in healthcare, particularly in nutrition and clinical biochemistry. Indeed, AI is revealing itself to be an important tool in clinical nutrition by using telematic means to self-monitor various health metrics, including blood glucose levels, body weight, heart rate, fat percentage, blood pressure, activity tracking and calorie intake trackers. In particular, the application of the most common digital technologies used in the field of nutrition as well as the employment of AI in the management of diabetes and obesity, two of the most common nutrition-related pathologies worldwide, will be presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Diseases: Featured Reviews)
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