Our objective is to enable the blind to use smartphones with touchscreens to make calls and to send text messages (sms) with ease, speed, and accuracy. We believe that with our proposed platform, which enables the blind to locate the position of the keypads, new games and education, and safety applications will be increasingly developed for the blind. This innovative idea can also be implemented on tablets for the blind, allowing them to use information websites such as Wikipedia and newspaper portals.
Physical inactivity and reduced energy expenditure has led to increased obesity among office workers. This study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of a worksite health programme aimed at improving physical health among obese civil servants.
Neurofeedback (NFB) allows subjects to learn how to volitionally influence the neuronal activation in the brain by employing real-time neural activity as feedback. NFB has already been performed with electroencephalography (EEG) since the 1970s. Functional MRI (fMRI), offering a higher spatial resolution, has further increased the spatial specificity. In this paper, we briefly outline the general principles behind NFB, the implementation of fMRI-NFB studies, the feasibility of fMRI-NFB, and the application of NFB as a supplementary therapy tool.
This research aimed to compare the nutrient intake of children with cleft lip and palate (CLP) with that of normal children (without CLP) in the same age groups. The study was conducted at the School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia. A total of 139 children, of both sexes, from two to six years of age, either with CLP (40 children) or without CLP (99 children), were selected. The CLP and non-CLP children were grouped according to age, which is a key determinant of nutrient intake. Children in subgroup I were between the ages of 2 and 4 years, the group comprising 48 normal children of mean age 39.85 months (SD 7.1), and 20 CLP children of mean age 37.05 months (SD 5.9). Children in subgroup II were those over 4 years and up to 6 years old, and the group comprised 51 normal children, of mean age 64.16 months (SD 7.9), and 20 CLP children of mean age 56.75 months (SD 9.9). A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate nutrient intake in subgroups I and II, using a 24 hours diet recall method. The nutrient intake of CLP children was shown to have no significant differences from that of normal children. A comparison of intake per day with Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Malaysian children showed that the consumption of nutrients was inadequate in both the normal and CLP children, in both age sub-groups.
Awake craniotomy is a brain surgery performed on awake patients and is indicated for certain intracranial pathologies. These include procedures that require an awake patient for electrocorticographic mapping or precise electrophysiological recordings, resection of lesions located close to or in the motor and speech of the brain, or minor intracranial procedures that aim to avoid general anaesthesia for faster recovery and earlier discharge. This type of brain surgery is quite new and has only recently begun to be performed in a few neurosurgical centres in Malaysia. The success of the surgery requires exceptional teamwork from the neurosurgeon, neuroanaesthesiologist, and neurologist. The aim of this article is to briefly describe the history of awake craniotomy procedures at our institution.
Although open tibial fractures are common in Malaysia, the outcomes for these patients have not been evaluated in the literature. This retrospective study was conducted to examine the factors associated with infection and non-union in open tibial fractures managed at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan (HTAA), Kuantan, in 2009.
Post-traumatic parotid sialocoele is a subcutaneous extravasation of saliva from the parotid gland secondary to traumatic disruption of its duct or parenchyma. Currently, there is no consensus regarding the best therapy for parotid sialocoele, as it is resistant to conservative management. The present paper puts forward a relatively simple, safe and effective technique for the treatment of parotid sialocoele, specifically a peroral drainage technique. The results justify our recommendation to use this approach for the treatment of sialocoele.
BACKGROUND: Work-family conflict has received increasing attention in recent decades in the area of workplace stressors, which can affect employees' health. However, the dimensionality of the work-family conflict construct among the Malay-speaking population has not been clarified. In order to do so, it is crucial to use an instrument that is appropriate and valid for the Malay-speaking population. As such, the goal of this study was to validate and test the dimensionality of the Malay version of the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire.
METHODS: The present study conducted exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency, using Cronbach's alpha, of the work-family conflict construct among 332 working women in Malaysia.
RESULTS: The results supported the existence of four dimensions in the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire that distinguish between time based and strain-based work-family conflict and family-work conflict. The discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency of this construct are adequately supported.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study supported the existence of discriminant and convergent validity, as well as adequate reliability, for the construct. Thus, the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument among Malay-speaking working women.
KEYWORDS: factor analysis; professional-family relation; validity and reliability; working women
Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) accounts for approximately 10-20% of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). This figure is thought to be higher in the elderly population. With the increasing life expectancy of our population, we anticipate that the prevalence of CAA- related ICH will increase in tandem. Although CAA-related ICH and hypertension-related ICH are distinct entities based on histopathology and imaging, the clinical presentation of the two conditions is similar. The use of brain computed tomography (CT) scans remain the ICH imaging modality of choice in Malaysia due to its availability, cost, and sensitivity in detecting acute bleeds. On the other hand, the use of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequencing enables the clinician to determine the presence of chronic blood products in the brain, especially clinically silent microbleeds associated with CAA. However, the use of brain MRI scans in our country is limited and leads to a blurring of lines when differentiating between hypertension-related ICH and CAA-related ICH. How this misrepresentation affects the management of these conditions is unclear. In this study, we present two cases of ICH to illustrate this point and to serve as a springboard to question current practice and promote discussion.
Malignant chest wall tumour is rare. The presentation is usually aggressive that requires extensive resection to prevent recurrence. However, the extensive resection is to the expense of causing defect on the chest wall and hence, respiratory mechanics. Two cases of chest wall tumour are discussed including the surgical approach of radical tumour resection which was combined with placement of titanium mesh and Tranverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneus (TRAM) flap to cover the defect and preserve respiratory mechanical functions. The morbidity of using titanium mesh demonstrated in the case series were infection and injury to surrounding tissue due to its rigidity and large size which required its removal. However the formation of 'pseudopleura' made the thoracic cage return back as closed cavity even after the removal of the titanium mesh and allow normal respiratory functions.
BACKGROUND: Client characteristics provide useful information for designing programs that target individuals with risk factors for substance use and for determining client retention. Therefore, this study examined the profiles of clients attending a methadone clinic.
METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of clients of a methadone clinic was conducted through a survey to obtain a profile of methadone clients.
RESULTS: Of the 51 patients who responded (response rate: 66.2%), the mean (SD) age at which they started substance use was 19.8 (5.1) years. Friends were cited as the most regular source of drugs (82.4%), and heroin was the most commonly used drug (98%). Daily substance use was reported by 72.5% of the respondents; 23.5% admitted to having stolen money to purchase drugs; 92.2% tried quitting substance use on their own and 98% stated that the main reason for registering at the clinic was that they wanted to stop their drug dependence. Approximately 60% of clients were receiving methadone doses of less than 60 mg/day.
CONCLUSION: Heroin is still the most popular drug of abuse and most clients still receive methadone doses below the recommended level, despite evidence of poor patient retention rates associated with these low doses.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; methadone; patient appointments; profile; substance use
Study site: Methadone clinic, hospital, Malaysia.
BACKGROUND: Aspirin resistance has posed a major dilemma in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. There have been many factors that have been associated with aspirin resistance. Among these factors, the inflammatory processes of diabetes and glycaemic control have been significantly associated with aspirin resistance. Our study evaluated the prevalence of aspirin resistance and its associated factors.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, interventional study, which was implemented from October to November 2012 at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM). Sixty-nine patients with diabetes who were taking aspirin were enrolled. The glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured in these patients. The thromboelastography (TEG) level was measured using a TEG machine by a trained technician employing standard methods. The variables obtained were analysed for prevalence of aspirin resistance, HbA1c, CRP, and TEG level. The Chi-square test (and Fisher exact test where applicable) were used to evaluate the associations between aspirin resistance with glycaemic control (HbA1c) and inflammatory markers (CRP).
RESULTS: The prevalence of aspirin resistance was 17.4% (95%; CI 9.3, 28.4). Glycaemic control (HbA1c) and inflammatory markers (CRP) were not associated with aspirin resistance. Aspirin resistance was prevalent in our study population and was comparable to other studies. The mean HbA1c in the aspirin-resistant group was 8.9%, whereas the mean HbA1c in the aspirin-sensitive group was 8.6%.
CONCLUSION: There was no significant difference in HbA1c between the two groups. There was no significant association between CRP levels and aspirin resistance.
KEYWORDS: aspirin resistance; diabetes mellitus; thromboelastography
Optimisation of average glandular dose (AGD) for two-dimensional (2D) mammography is important, as imaging using ionizing radiation has the probability to induce cancer resulting from stochastic effects. This study aims to observe the effects of kVp, anode/filter material, and exposure mode on the dose and image quality of 2D mammography.
BACKGROUND: Studies from the West have demonstrated that ready-to-eat cereals (RTECs) are a common form of breakfast and more likely to be consumed by children. This study aimed to investigate the breakfast eating pattern and RTECs consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 382 schoolchildren, aged 10 and 11 years old, were recruited from seven randomly selected primary schools in Kuala Lumpur. Information on socio-demographics, breakfast eating patterns, and perceptions of RTECs and dietary intake (24-hour dietary recalls) were obtained.
RESULTS: Among the respondents, only 22% of them consumed breakfast on a regular basis. The most commonly eaten food by children at breakfast was bread (27.2%), followed by biscuits (22.2%) and RTECs (20.5%). The majority of them (93%) reported that they consumed RTECs sometimes during the week. Chocolate RTECs (34.1%), corn flake RTECs (30.3%), and RTECs coated with honey (25.1%) were the most popular RTECs chosen by children. Respondents who consumed RTECs showed a significantly higher intake in calories, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fibre (P < 0.05), compared to those who skipped breakfast and those who had breakfast foods other than RTECs.
CONCLUSION: The lower levels of breakfast consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur need serious attention. RTEC is a nutritious food which is well accepted by a majority of the schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur. Nutrition intervention should be conducted in the future to include a well-balanced breakfast with the utilisation of RTECs for schoolchildren.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; breakfast; calorie; cereals; children
Petrol is known to be hazardous to human health and is associated with various health effects, such as haematotoxicity and oxidative stress. Although Malaysia has adopted the European fuel quality standards in recent years in order to reduce petroleum pollutants and to improve air quality, gasoline with research octane number 95 (RON95), believed to contain benzene and other toxic substances, is still widely used all over the country. This study assessed the effect of RON95 gasoline on haemtological parameters of rats after 11 weeks of exposure.
The present study investigated the effects of Quercus infectoria (QI) gall extract on the proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin, and the morphology of a human fetal osteoblast cell line (hFOB 1.19).
The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences and the Orient Neuron Nexus have amalgated to publish a yearly special issue based on neuro- and brain sciences. This will hopefully improve the quality of peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of fundamental, applied, and clinical neuroscience and brain science from Asian countries. One focus of the Universiti Sains Malaysia is to strengthen neuroscience and brain science, especially in the field of neuroinformatics.
Student-to-student administration of local anesthesia (LA) has been widely used as the teaching modality to train preclinical dental students. However, studies assessing students' outlook towards their first injection were limited. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate students' perception and anxiety levels towards their first LA injection.
In the context of global increases in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, the objective of the present study is to investigate the factors affecting individuals' decisions to use health-promoting goods and services.
The recent death tolls and morbidities associated with two deadly viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs), i.e., Ebola and dengue, are simply shocking. By the end of August 2014, 65 672 people were afflicted with dengue fever (DF) in Malaysia, with 9505 from Kelantan, and there were 128 reported deaths. More astounding are the death tolls associated with Ebola: 3091 deaths from 6574 reported cases so far. It is not difficult to imagine the potential disaster if Ebola spreads beyond Africa. VHFs are characterised by an acute onset of fever, vascular disruption and a rapid progression to shock and death. The revised World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 classification (dengue with and without warning signs and severe dengue) is more clinically relevant and allows more streamlined admission. With good administrative support and public health and governmental efforts, the dengue epidemic in Malaysia is now more contained. However, there should be no laxity with the imminent lethal Ebola threat. Human-to-human transmission is an important mechanism for the spread of Ebola, and this calls for strict precautions regarding contact with any suspected cases. In contrast, the control and elimination of dengue would require successful control of the vectors and their breeding sites.