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Open access

Claudia-Mariana Handra, Eugenia Naghi and Marina Ruxandra Oțelea

Abstract

Context. Stress is a complex psychosocial phenomenon that significantly influences health. The individual differences in stress response depend on sensitivity to stressors, named “stress vulnerability”.

Objectives. The aims of the study were to determine the level of perceived vulnerability to stress and compare stress vulnerability among students from 2 universities in Bucharest: University of Medicine “Carol Davila” and National University of Political Studies and Public Administration.

Methods. An approximately equal number of students from the two selected universities completed the Romanian version of the Miller-Smith stress vulnerability questionnaire.

Results. A number of 86 (60 women and 26 men) students agreed to participate. Average age was 23.56 years with a standard deviation of 4.86 years. The high vulnerability group included 18 (38%) medical students and 27 (60%) political science and public administration students. The difference was statistically significant (chi2 test, p=0.02) between the two groups. The average health score for medical students (MS) was 15.97, with a median of 15, while for the political science and administration students (PSPAS) the average health score was 24.91, with a median of 26. The average psychosocial score for MS group was 20.41 and the median was 20. In the PSAPS group, the psychosocial score was 26.14 and the median 24. The difference was statistically significant for both health score (p<0.00001) and psychosocial score (p=0.0006).

Conclusions: Stress is a common problem among undergraduated students. In this study the vulnerability to stress was higher for students PSAPS group compared to the students from MS group.

Open access

Dorota Talarska, Michał Michalak and Patrycja Talarska

Summary

Background. Every chronic illness, including epilepsy, has a negative effect on both the quality of life of the sufferer as well as on their relationship with their surroundings.

Aims. To investigate the quality of life of children suffering from epilepsy and analyse how they assessed and scored their experiences compared to their parents.

Materials and methods. The study included 209 children with epilepsy and their parents. The research tool was a questionnaire for gathering demographic and clinical data as well as the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 Generic Core Scales (PedsQL 4.0) questionnaire in two versions, one for 8–12 year olds and one for 13–18 year olds and their parents.

Results. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the entire PedsQL 4.0 questionnaire was 0.91 and 0.93 for children with epilepsy and their parents respectively. Children rated their Total Scale Score higher (67.5 points) than their parents (62.5 points). Whilst analyzing children’s functioning in different areas it was observed that girls’ assessments were higher than boys’, except for Emotional Functioning. Both parents and children scored School Functioning the lowest. The greatest agreement of responses was observed in the domain of Physical Functioning, the smallest in the domain of Emotional Functioning.

Conclusions. Quality of life was rated higher by both age groups of children suffering from epilepsy than by their parents. A statistically significant difference was found when comparing the assessment scores of children and parents in light of the following variables; child age, gender, illness duration, seizure frequency and treatment effectiveness.

Open access

Iulia-Rahela Marcu, Ion Toma and Adrian Costin Bighea

Abstract

Quality of life studies in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) attest to the significant impact of the disease on day-to-day activities and social interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a physical exercise program on functional status and quality of life in patients with work-related knee osteoarthritis. The present study included 144 participants with knee osteoarthritis, 72% women, mean age (SD) 47.2 (11.1) years. The patients were randomly assigned in two lots based on the type of kinetic treatment: lot A-with knee OA and medication (72 patients) and lot B- with knee OA, medication and exercise program (72 patients). They followed for 12 days ambulatory exercise programs based on increasing knee flexion, muscular strength and endurance, improving balance, coordination, and respiratory exercises. The patients in the control group continued their daily living activities. The evaluation was made at the beginning of the study (T0), after 2 weeks (T1) and 8 weeks after the 12 days of exercise program (T2) and was based on the following parameters: knee mobility (knee flexion), muscular strength, pain assessment on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), functional status (Western Ontario &McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index - WOMAC) and quality of life evaluation using SF-36 Questionnaire (36-Item Short Form Survey). Out of 144 participants who completed the initial evaluation, 138 also completed the 2 weeks and the 8 weeks follow-up assessments: 70 patients from the control lot and 68 patients from the exercise lot. The benefits of the kinetic programs were shown by a significant improvement in knee mobility and muscular strength for knee extensors (quadriceps muscle) and knee flexor muscles. Testing the linear correlations between the SF-36 score and the VAS (r=0.71, p<0.05) and WOMAC (r=0.83, p<0.05) indicators demonstrates a highly positive relationship between the quality of life expression, the pain assessment score and the functional status score in patients with knee OA. The physical exercise program improves both functional status and quality of life in patients with work-related knee osteoarthritis by increasing the range of motion and muscular strength and by reducing pain.

Open access

Vladimir V. Kalinin, Daniya M. Nazmetdinova and Alexander V. Basamygin

Summary

Introduction. The current knowledge of significance of some neurobiological and clinical variables for the development of cognitive deterioration in patients with epilepsy remains sparse and controversial.

Aim. The current study has been carried out in order to elucidate the role of handedness in terms of influence on cognitive processing and intelligence in patients with epilepsy.

Material and methods. One hundred and thirty two patients (62 males, 70 females, aged 27.8 ± 8.9 years) with epilepsy participated in the study. Patients were divided into two groups. The first group included 112 patients that were characterized by intelligence and cognitive impairment while the second group (20 patients) had no mental deterioration and was regarded as controls. The two diagnostic categories accorded with ICD-10 criteria. The diagnosis of Dementia (F-02.8) was confirmed in 54 patients, while the diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (F-06.7) was confirmed in 58 patients.

Results. Our results show that the level of left-handers among patients with cognitive Impairment achieved 14.2%, whilst in the group without cognitive deterioration there were no left-handers, and this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.051). An analysis of possible influence of motor lateralization on degree of cognitive deterioration, revealed that left-handedness determines the higher degrees of intelligence deterioration compared with right-handedness (χ2 = 6.64; p < 0,05). These data were confirmed by use of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) tests, and all left-handed epilepsy patients achieved lower scores on MMSE, total WAIS, as well as verbal and nonverbal WAIS scores.

Conclusion. Our data confirm a role of some neurobiological variables, with emphasis on cerebral motor lateralization, in their influence upon intelligence level and cognitive deterioration in epilepsy. These data may be used for predictive purposes of intelligence assessment in patients with epilepsy.

Open access

Evangelina E. Ballini, Edward Helmes and Bruce K. Schefft

SUMMARY

Introduction. The traditional view of cognition in idiopathic or genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) is that “one size fits all” i.e. only very mild generalized impairment might be detected, if any. This paper describes four case studies of cognitive functioning in GGE patients with photosensitivity and reflexive seizures.

Aim. The aim was to discover whether each individual’s set of cognitive deficits varied in accordance with his/her other clinical phenomena such as photosensitivity and kinds of reflexive seizures.

Method. Neurological and cognitive performance was assessed by comprehensive evaluation of each patient based on interviews, neurologist’s EEG reports and neuropsychological tests. Assessment of cognitive domains included estimated pre-morbid I.Q. based on reading ability and demographic norms, current I.Q., attention factors, verbal memory, visual memory and executive functions.

Results. Clinical signs and investigative studies indicated that two cases typically began reflexive seizure episodes with facial myoclonia which evolved into tonic-clonic convulsions or generalized myoclonic seizures. These patients had widespread attention and working memory deficits, some severe, together with lowered intelligence scores. In contrast, two other cases (with no history of myoclonus) had generalized reflexive seizures originating in the occipital lobes, very mild localized visual dysfunction and high intelligence.

Conclusions. The systematic variation in extent and nature of cognitive dysfunction illustrated in these cases with reflexive seizures (preceded by myoclonia or visual phenomena) would be explained by a more recent conceptualization of GGE as encompassing regional differences in variable hyperexcitability located at cortical levels or functional neural networks.

Open access

Maryana Kondro, Nazarii Kobyliak, Oleksandr Virchenko, Tetyana Falalyeyeva, Tetyana Beregova and Petro Bodnar

Abstract

Considering the association between microflora and obesity, and the significantly higher prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obese people, the aim of our study was to investigate the preventive effect of multiprobiotics on the monosodium glutamate (MSG) induced NAFLD model, in rats. The work was carried out on 60 rats placed into three groups: the Control group, the MSG-group and the MSG-probiotic group. The MSG-group and the MSG-probiotic group were injected with 4 mg/g of MSG subcutaneously neonatally on the 2nd-10th days of life. The MSG-probiotic rats were also treated with 140 mg/kg of multiprobiotic “Symbiter” from the 4th week of life. In the 4-month-old rats, biochemical and morphological changes in liver were assessed, and steatosis was confirmed by the NAFLD activity score (NAS). Our results reveal that the multiprobiotic lowered total NAS, the degree of steatosis and the liver lobular inflammation caused by MSG. It also brought about decreased liver total lipids and triglycerids content, as well as decreased visceral adipose tissue mass. However, there was no difference in the liver serum biochemical indicators between all experimental groups. The obtained data does suggest the efficacy of probiotics in the prevention of NAFLD.

Open access

Robert Sitarz, Wojciech P Polkowski, Ryszard Maciejewski and G Johan A Offerhaus

Abstract

With regard to gastric cancer, an important disease and a public health problem, it is expected that understanding the molecular make up of carcinomas will provide us with more precise targets for therapy. Indeed advanced molecular technology has made it possible to classify according to genotype instead of phenotype. For advanced stomach cancer, however, surgery is still the only option for cure. Yet, also after surgery, more than 50% of the patients will die of peritoneal dissemination of their disease. This review looks at the molecular mechanism of peritoneal spread of stomach cancer in order to arrive at a risk profile that enables medical personnel to raise the index of suspicion for peritoneal carcinomatosis. The peritoneal cancer index (PCI) provides a scoring system to measure the extent of peritoneal spread during laparoscopic staging. A recently developed device called the ‘MacSpec pen’ maybe of use to confirm the presence of tumor when there is doubt about the diagnosis. Treatment of peritoneal dissemination consists of cytoreduction, combined with hyperthermic peritoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).

Open access

Anna Szczepańska-Szerej, Magdalena Wojtan and Beata Szajnoga

Abstract

It is estimated that nearly 20% of all cerebral infarctions in the total population are the result of a complication of atrial fibrillation (AF). While oral anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (AVKs) substantially reduces this risk, this requires regular monitoring of the international normalized ratio (INR) in order to achieve therapeutic levels (2,0-3,0). The aim of this study was to evaluate a group at high risk of cerebral infarction, among patients with AF undergoing long-term treatment with VKAs, taking into account the significance of therapeutic INR values. The analysed group consisted of 90 acute ischaemic stroke patients with paroxysmal or chronic “non-valvular” AF, receiving treatment with VKAs. As a result of the study, therapeutic INR values (≥ 2) were seen in thirty-five of these individuals (38,8%), while 55 (61,2%) showed non-therapeutic INR values. Moreover, there were no differences in demographics, vascular risk factors, biochemical and morphological blood parameters, mean CHA2DS2-VASc score and TOAST classification between either of the two groups. Furthermore, no additional factor that would increase their risk of cerebral infarction during the adequate treatment with VKAs was found. However, patients with non-therapeutic INR values had a statistically significantly higher frequency of concomitant moderate pathology of the bicuspid valve, p<0.05. Hence, a lack of proper control of INR can proved to be particularly dangerous for this subgroup of patients. Hence, this is a group with an elevated risk of cerebral infarction and therefore requires special oversight of VKA treatment or NOA treatment.

Open access

Aliya Aryzbekova, Konrad Tomasz Juszkiewicz, Donald Eduard Burgess, Andrzej Polski and Ewa Poleszak

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Open access

Ewelina Dziwota, Barbara Drapala, Magdalena Gaj, Nikodem Skoczen and Marcin Olajossy

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