MyMedR (Malaysian Medical Repository) is an open access collection of Malaysian health and biomedical research. The materials are imported from PubMed and MyJurnal. We gratefully acknowledge the permission to reuse the materials from the National Library of Medicine of the United States and the Malaysian Citation Centre. This project is funded by Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia. The project team members are: CL Teng, CJ Ng, EM Khoo, Mastura Ismail, Abrizah Abdullah, TK Chiew, Thanaletchumi Dharmalingam.

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  1. Nna VU, Bakar ABA, Ahmad A, Mohamed M
    Arch Physiol Biochem, 2020 Dec;126(5):377-388.
    PMID: 30513216 DOI: 10.1080/13813455.2018.1543329
    Context: Metformin's effect on glycaemic control is well documented, but its effect on diabetes-induced testicular impairment has been scarcely reported.Objective: To investigate the effects of metformin on testicular oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis, which largely contribute to fertility decline in diabetic state.Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups (n = 6/group) namely: normal control (NC), diabetic control (DC), and metformin (300 mg/kg b.w./d)-treated diabetic groups. Metformin was administrated for 4 weeks.Results: Decreased mRNA expressions and activities of antioxidant enzymes were seen in the testes of DC group. mRNA and protein expressions of pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic markers increased, while interleukin-10 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) decreased in the testes of DC group. Treatment with metformin up-regulated antioxidant enzymes, down-regulated inflammation, and apoptosis and increased PCNA immunoexpression in the testes.Conclusions: Metformin protects the testes from diabetes-induced impairment and may improve male reproductive health in diabetic state.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Antioxidants; Blood Glucose; Inflammation; Male; Metformin; RNA, Messenger; Testis; Up-Regulation; Interleukin-10; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Apoptosis; Oxidative Stress; Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen; Protective Agents; Rats; Reproductive Health
  2. Krishnankutty N, Idris M, Hamzah FM, Manan Y
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Aug;26(24):25046-25056.
    PMID: 31250391 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-05680-3
    Bauxite and iron ore mining is the major contributor to metal pollution in Tasik Chini, Malaysia. Deforestation of the protected zone of reserve forest exacerbates the problem. The current study is to understand the speciation of metals spatially in sediment to analyse the risk associated in terms of its mobility and bioavailability. The samples of sediment are collected from Sungai Jemberau, Laut Jemberau, and Laut Gumum of Tasik Chini. Four samplings were conducted for a year, by collecting the surface sediment. Sequential extraction method was followed for speciation of sediment and classified it into exchangeable, reducible, Fe-Mn oxides, organic and residual fractions. The results were also analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). The result reveals that Fe, Al, Mn, Zn, and Pb are the primary constituents of sediment contributing to about 98% of residual fraction. Co, Cd, Cr, As, and Ni are found in trace metal concentration and are identified to be mainly released from anthropogenic sources nearby. Although the individual proportion is less than major metals in exchangeable and carbonate fraction, they possess geochemically significant concentration above the permissible limit. More than 70-80% of all its total concentration proportion is hence found in mobile and bioavailable state. These possess toxic and have chronic effects to aquatic life and public health even in trace elemental concentration. Hence, these metals are the most toxic and bioavailable metals pausing risk for aquatic and public health. PCA analysis highlights that the enrichment of heavy metals in bioavailable fraction is mostly contributed from anthropogenic sources. The same results are emphasized by cluster analysis.
    MeSH terms: Malaysia; Mining; Trace Elements/analysis*; Geologic Sediments/analysis*; Metals, Heavy/analysis*
  3. Batool R, Sharif A, Islam T, Zaman K, Shoukry AM, Sharkawy MA, et al.
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2019 Aug;26(24):25341-25358.
    PMID: 31256396 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-019-05748-0
    It is well documented that carbon emissions can be reduced by replacing conventional energy resources with renewable energy resources; thereby, the role of green technology is essential as it protect natural environment. Given that, the United Nations' agenda of "green is clean" may be achievable by adoption of green technologies. The objective of the study is to examine the link between information and communication technology (ICT), economic growth, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the context of South Korean economy, by using a novel Morlet wavelet approach. The study applies continuous wavelet power spectrum, the wavelet coherency, and the partial and the multiple wavelet coherency to the year during 1973-2016. The outcomes reveal that the connections among the stated variables progress over frequency and time domain. From the frequency domain point of view, the current study discovers noteworthy wavelet coherence and robust lead and lag linkages. From the time-domain sight, the results display robust but not consistent associations among the considered variables. From an economic point sight, the wavelet method displays that ICT helps to reduce environmental degradation in a medium and long run in the South Korean economy. This emphasizes the significance of having organized strategies by the policymakers to cope up with 2 to 3 years of the occurrence of the huge environmental degradation in South Korea.
    MeSH terms: Carbon Dioxide/analysis; Conservation of Natural Resources*; Environment; Technology; Republic of Korea; Economic Development*; Renewable Energy/economics
  4. Piccini JP, Stromberg K, Jackson KP, Kowal RC, Duray GZ, El-Chami MF, et al.
    Europace, 2019 Nov 01;21(11):1686-1693.
    PMID: 31681964 DOI: 10.1093/europace/euz230
    AIMS: Patient selection is a key component of securing optimal patient outcomes with leadless pacing. We sought to describe and compare patient characteristics and outcomes of Micra patients with and without a primary pacing indication associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Micra IDE trial.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: The primary outcome (risk of cardiac failure, pacemaker syndrome, or syncope related to the Micra system or procedure) was compared between successfully implanted patients from the Micra IDE trial with a primary pacing indication associated with AF or history of AF (AF group) and those without (non-AF group). Among 720 patients successfully implanted with Micra, 228 (31.7%) were in the non-AF group. Reasons for selecting VVI pacing in non-AF patients included an expectation for infrequent pacing (66.2%) and advanced age (27.2%). More patients in the non-AF group had a condition that precluded the use of a transvenous pacemaker (9.6% vs. 4.7%, P = 0.013). Atrial fibrillation patients programmed to VVI received significantly more ventricular pacing compared to non-AF patients (median 67.8% vs. 12.6%; P 

    MeSH terms: Aged; Atrial Fibrillation/physiopathology; Atrial Fibrillation/therapy*; Cardiac Pacing, Artificial/methods*; Equipment Design; Female; Heart Ventricles/physiopathology*; Humans; Male; Pacemaker, Artificial*; Prospective Studies; Treatment Outcome; Patient Selection*
  5. Lai NM, Chang SMW, Ng SS, Tan SL, Chaiyakunapruk N, Stanaway F
    Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2019 11 25;2019(11).
    PMID: 31763689 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013243.pub2
    BACKGROUND: Dementia is a chronic condition which progressively affects memory and other cognitive functions, social behaviour, and ability to carry out daily activities. To date, no treatment is clearly effective in preventing progression of the disease, and most treatments are symptomatic, often aiming to improve people's psychological symptoms or behaviours which are challenging for carers. A range of new therapeutic strategies has been evaluated in research, and the use of trained animals in therapy sessions, termed animal-assisted therapy (AAT), is receiving increasing attention.

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of animal-assisted therapy for people with dementia.

    SEARCH METHODS: We searched ALOIS: the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group's Specialised Register on 5 September 2019. ALOIS contains records of clinical trials identified from monthly searches of major healthcare databases, trial registries, and grey literature sources. We also searched MEDLINE (OvidSP), Embase (OvidSP), PsycINFO (OvidSP), CINAHL (EBSCOhost), ISI Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the WHO's trial registry portal.

    SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cluster-randomised trials, and randomised cross-over trials that compared AAT versus no AAT, AAT using live animals versus alternatives such as robots or toys, or AAT versus any other active intervention.

    DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data using the standard methods of Cochrane Dementia. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility and risk of bias of the retrieved records. We expressed our results using mean difference (MD), standardised mean difference (SMD), and risk ratio (RR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) where appropriate.

    MAIN RESULTS: We included nine RCTs from 10 reports. All nine studies were conducted in Europe and the US. Six studies were parallel-group, individually randomised RCTs; one was a randomised cross-over trial; and two were cluster-RCTs that were possibly related where randomisation took place at the level of the day care and nursing home. We identified two ongoing trials from trial registries. There were three comparisons: AAT versus no AAT (standard care or various non-animal-related activities), AAT using live animals versus robotic animals, and AAT using live animals versus the use of a soft animal toy. The studies evaluated 305 participants with dementia. One study used horses and the remainder used dogs as the therapy animal. The duration of the intervention ranged from six weeks to six months, and the therapy sessions lasted between 10 and 90 minutes each, with a frequency ranging from one session every two weeks to two sessions per week. There was a wide variety of instruments used to measure the outcomes. All studies were at high risk of performance bias and unclear risk of selection bias. Our certainty about the results for all major outcomes was very low to moderate. Comparing AAT versus no AAT, participants who received AAT may be slightly less depressed after the intervention (MD -2.87, 95% CI -5.24 to -0.50; 2 studies, 83 participants; low-certainty evidence), but they did not appear to have improved quality of life (MD 0.45, 95% CI -1.28 to 2.18; 3 studies, 164 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). There were no clear differences in all other major outcomes, including social functioning (MD -0.40, 95% CI -3.41 to 2.61; 1 study, 58 participants; low-certainty evidence), problematic behaviour (SMD -0.34, 95% CI -0.98 to 0.30; 3 studies, 142 participants; very-low-certainty evidence), agitation (SMD -0.39, 95% CI -0.89 to 0.10; 3 studies, 143 participants; very-low-certainty evidence), activities of daily living (MD 4.65, 95% CI -16.05 to 25.35; 1 study, 37 participants; low-certainty evidence), and self-care ability (MD 2.20, 95% CI -1.23 to 5.63; 1 study, 58 participants; low-certainty evidence). There were no data on adverse events. Comparing AAT using live animals versus robotic animals, one study (68 participants) found mixed effects on social function, with longer duration of physical contact but shorter duration of talking in participants who received AAT using live animals versus robotic animals (median: 93 seconds with live versus 28 seconds with robotic for physical contact; 164 seconds with live versus 206 seconds with robotic for talk directed at a person; 263 seconds with live versus 307 seconds with robotic for talk in total). Another study showed no clear differences between groups in behaviour measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (MD -6.96, 95% CI -14.58 to 0.66; 78 participants; low-certainty evidence) or quality of life (MD -2.42, 95% CI -5.71 to 0.87; 78 participants; low-certainty evidence). There were no data on the other outcomes. Comparing AAT using live animals versus a soft toy cat, one study (64 participants) evaluated only social functioning, in the form of duration of contact and talking. The data were expressed as median and interquartile ranges. Duration of contact was slightly longer in participants in the AAT group and duration of talking slightly longer in those exposed to the toy cat. This was low-certainty evidence.

    AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found low-certainty evidence that AAT may slightly reduce depressive symptoms in people with dementia. We found no clear evidence that AAT affects other outcomes in this population, with our certainty in the evidence ranging from very-low to moderate depending on the outcome. We found no evidence on safety or effects on the animals. Therefore, clear conclusions cannot yet be drawn about the overall benefits and risks of AAT in people with dementia. Further well-conducted RCTs are needed to improve the certainty of the evidence. In view of the difficulty in achieving blinding of participants and personnel in such trials, future RCTs should work on blinding outcome assessors, document allocation methods clearly, and include major patient-important outcomes such as affect, emotional and social functioning, quality of life, adverse events, and outcomes for animals.

    MeSH terms: Activities of Daily Living; Animals; Cognition*; Dementia/therapy*; Depression/prevention & control; Depression/therapy; Dogs; Horses; Humans; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Animal Assisted Therapy*
  6. Schweiker M, Abdul-Zahra A, André M, Al-Atrash F, Al-Khatri H, Alprianti RR, et al.
    Sci Data, 2019 11 26;6(1):289.
    PMID: 31772199 DOI: 10.1038/s41597-019-0272-6
    Thermal discomfort is one of the main triggers for occupants' interactions with components of the built environment such as adjustments of thermostats and/or opening windows and strongly related to the energy use in buildings. Understanding causes for thermal (dis-)comfort is crucial for design and operation of any type of building. The assessment of human thermal perception through rating scales, for example in post-occupancy studies, has been applied for several decades; however, long-existing assumptions related to these rating scales had been questioned by several researchers. The aim of this study was to gain deeper knowledge on contextual influences on the interpretation of thermal perception scales and their verbal anchors by survey participants. A questionnaire was designed and consequently applied in 21 language versions. These surveys were conducted in 57 cities in 30 countries resulting in a dataset containing responses from 8225 participants. The database offers potential for further analysis in the areas of building design and operation, psycho-physical relationships between human perception and the built environment, and linguistic analyses.
    MeSH terms: Humans; Surveys and Questionnaires; Temperature; Thermosensing*
  7. Che Hamzah J, Daka Q, Azuara-Blanco A
    Eye (Lond), 2020 01;34(1):155-160.
    PMID: 31772381 DOI: 10.1038/s41433-019-0669-7
    Glaucoma services are overwhelmed and struggling to accommodate current demand. Reducing the need for hospital based services would improve our ability to see those most at risk of vision loss, which could both reduce demand and improve patient outcomes. Digital technologies that provide opportunities for home monitoring of glaucoma progression have potential to contribute to solve these challenges and, potentially, improve glaucoma care. This article will review the literatures of well-established technologies that support home monitoring for glaucoma, specifically home tonometry (with rebound tonometry) and perimetry with Moorfields Motion Displacement Test and Melbourne Rapid Field.
    MeSH terms: Glaucoma; Humans; Manometry; Vision Disorders; Tetrahymenina; Visual Field Tests
  8. Kadar M, Wan Yunus F, Tan E, Chai SC, Razaob Razab NA, Mohamat Kasim DH
    Aust Occup Ther J, 2020 02;67(1):3-12.
    PMID: 31799722 DOI: 10.1111/1440-1630.12626
    INTRODUCTION: Handwriting skills play a significant role in all stages of an individual's life. Writing interventions should be considered at a younger age to ensure proper development of writing skills. Hence, the aims of this study is to evaluate the current evidence of occupational therapy interventions in handwriting skills for 4-6 year old children.

    METHODS: Published literature was systematically searched according to PRISMA guidelines using specific key terms. Initial search identified 785 studies; however only seven met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for final review. Studies were methodologically appraised using the McMaster Critical Review Form-Quantitative Studies.

    RESULTS: The review found no randomised control trial study design pertaining to the reviewed area. However, it can be seen that occupational therapy interventions for writing skills in 4-6 year old children managed to increase the targeted skills. The results were similar across samples with or without disabilities. An effective integration of occupational therapy interventions into educational curriculum was found to save both time and cost.

    CONCLUSION: The long-term benefit from these interventions and the effects of these interventions on a broader spectrum of fine motor abilities need to be explored further with stronger research designs. However, the lack of studies adopting high level study designs, i.e., RCT designs means, results need to be approached with caution by occupational therapists when implementing handwriting skills intervention in practice.

    MeSH terms: Child; Child, Preschool; Handwriting*; Humans; Occupational Therapy/methods*
  9. Weihs F, Peh A, Dacres H
    Anal Chim Acta, 2020 Mar 15;1102:99-108.
    PMID: 32044001 DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2019.12.044
    Proteases are key signalling molecules for many physiological processes and their dysregulation is implicated in the progression of a range of diseases. Sensitive methods to measure protease activities in complex biological samples are critical for rapid disease diagnoses. The proteolytic activity of plasmin reflects the fibrinolysis state of blood and its deregulation can indicate pathologies such as bleeding events. While Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) is a powerful and sensitive method for the detection of protease activity, the commonly applied blue-shifted BRET2 system, consisting of the Renilla luciferase Rluc2 and the large-stokes shift fluorescent protein GFP2, suffers from light absorption and light scattering in human plasma samples. To address this challenge, we developed a red-shifted BRET-based plasmin sensor by substituting BRET2 with the BRET6 system. BRET6 is composed of the red-shifted RLuc8.6 luciferase linked to the red light emitting fluorescent protein TurboFP635. The BRET6 biosensor exhibited 3-fold less light absorption in plasma samples compared to the BRET2 sensor leading to an up to a 5-fold increase in sensitivity for plasmin detection in plasma. The limits of detection for plasmin were determined to be 11.90 nM in 7.5% (v/v) plasma with a 10 min assay which enables biologically relevant plasmin activities of thrombolytic therapies to be detected. While a colorigenic plasmin activity assay achieved a similar detection limit of 10.91 nM in 7.5% (v/v) human plasma, it required a 2 h incubation period. The BRET6 sensor described here is faster and more specific than the colorigenic assay as it did not respond to unspiked human plasma samples.
    MeSH terms: Blood Chemical Analysis/methods; Fibrinolysin/analysis*; Humans; Biosensing Techniques/methods; Luciferases, Renilla/chemistry; Green Fluorescent Proteins/chemistry; Limit of Detection; Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer Techniques/methods
  10. Palm HW, Morales-Ávila JR, Galván-Magaña F, Haseli M
    Syst Parasitol, 2020 04;97(2):133-142.
    PMID: 32065375 DOI: 10.1007/s11230-020-09904-w
    Two new tentaculariid species were found infecting carcharhiniform sharks from off the coasts of Malaysian Borneo and the southwestern coast of the Baja California Sur, Mexico. Both new species exhibit a homeoacanthous heteromorphous basal and a homeoacanthous homeomorphous metabasal armature. Since this hook arrangement is unique within the tentaculariids and the taxonomy in this group deeply depends on the tentacular armature, Reimeriella n. g. is erected to accommodate R. varioacantha n. sp. ex Carcharhinus sorrah (Müller & Henle) and R. mexicoensis n. sp. ex Sphyrna lewini (Griffith & Smith). Unlike R. mexicoensis n. sp., R. varioacantha n. sp. has a pars bothrialis not overlapping the pars bulbosa and the number of testes is higher. Reimeriella mexicoensis n. sp. possesses very large uncinate to falcate hooks in the basal armature, while in R. varioacantha n. sp. these hooks are almost the same in size as the remaining hooks in both the basal and metabasal armature. The latter species is the first tentaculariid species where the metabasal armature very closely resembles an eutetrarhynchid with a heteroacanthous typical homeomorphous metabasal armature and a high number of spiniform hooks per half spiral row (10-11 vs 6-7 in R. mexicoensis n. sp.) in the metabasal and apical armature. This pattern provides further morphological evidence for the close relationship of the Eutetrarhynchoidea and the Tentacularioidea. Reimeriella varioacantha n. sp. enriches the trypanorhynch fauna from off the coast of Malaysian Borneo while R. mexicoensis n. sp. is a novel record of a tentaculariid trypanorhynch from the Mexican Pacific.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Cestoda/anatomy & histology; Cestoda/classification*; Malaysia; Mexico; Sharks/parasitology*; Species Specificity
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