This study presents the first account of the racial differences in headache prevalence and characteristics in the Singapore population. A questionnaire was administered to 2096 individuals from a randomized sample of 1400 households to test the hypothesis that race was independently correlated with headache diagnosis and morbidity. The overall lifetime prevalence of headaches in the study population was 82.7%; this did not vary between racial groups. The modal age of headache onset in all races was in the second decade and was similar in all races. Multivariate analysis showed that headache morbidity was independent of age, sex, income level, marital status, shift duties, and educational level, and correlated only with race and a positive family history of severe headache. Non-Chinese were more likely to suffer from severe headaches than Chinese, were more likely to seek medical attention, and were more likely to require medical leave for their symptoms. Non-Chinese had more migrainous headaches than Chinese, although characteristics of headache both groups experienced that were unrelated to severity differed only in a few aspects. We conclude that racial factors account for differences in headache classification, perception of headache severity and health-seeking behavior.
PURPOSE: This study aimed to understand hypertensive patients' perceptions of and adherence to prescribed medication.
METHODS: A qualitative research study based on 23 purposely selected participants from a community health clinic in Malaysia. The participants underwent in-depth semi-structured interviews, and the data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis method.
RESULTS: The participants were presented with six types of perceptions of medication. The majority of the participants had negative perceptions of Western medicine (WM), self-adjusted their prescribed medication with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and concealed their self-adjusting habits from their doctors. Participants who thought positively of WM took their prescribed medication regularly. Most of the participants perceived the nature of WM as not being curative because of its side effects. Patients have the right to choose their preferred medication when they understand their illness.
CONCLUSION: Local health care systems should provide patients with alternative health services that suit their requests.
KEYWORDS: Adherence; Complementary and alternative medicine; Hypertension; Qualitative research
Study site: Klinik kesihatan, Selangor, Malaysia
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is the first line treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome and multifocal motor neuropathy, which are caused by anti-ganglioside antibody-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity. IVIG has many potential mechanisms of action, and sialylation of the IgG Fc portion reportedly has an anti-inflammatory effect in antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity models. We investigated the effects of different IVIG glycoforms on the inhibition of antibody-mediated complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Deglycosylated, degalactosylated, galactosylated and sialylated IgG were prepared from IVIG following treatment with glycosidases and glycosyltransferases. Sera from patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, Miller Fisher syndrome and multifocal motor neuropathy associated with anti-ganglioside antibodies were used. Inhibition of complement deposition subsequent to IgG or IgM autoantibody binding to ganglioside, GM1 or GQ1b was assessed on microtiter plates. Sialylated and galactosylated IVIGs more effectively inhibited C3 deposition than original IVIG or enzyme-treated IVIGs (agalactosylated and deglycosylated IVIGs). Therefore, sialylated and galactosylated IVIGs may be more effective than conventional IVIG in the treatment of complement-dependent autoimmune diseases.
Seven Malaysian medicinal plants were screened for their antiplasmodial activities in vitro. These plants were selected based on their traditional claims for treatment or to relieve fever. The plant extracts were obtained from Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM). The antiplasmodial activities were carried out using the pLDH assay to Plasmodium falciparum D10 strain (sensitive strain) while the cytotoxic activities were carried out towards Madin- Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells using MTT assay. The concentration of extracts used for both screening assays were from the highest concentration 64 microg/ml, two fold dilution to the lowest concentration 0.03 microg/ml. Goniothalamus macrophyllus (stem extract) showed more than 60% growth inhibition while Goniothalamus scortechinii root and stem extract showed a 90% and more than 80% growth inhibition at the last concentration tested, 0.03 microg/ml. The G. scortechini (leaves extract) showed an IC50 (50% growth inhibition) at 8.53 microg/ml, Ardisia crispa (leaves extract) demonstrated an IC50 at 5.90 +/- 0.14 microg/ml while Croton argyratus (leaves extract) showed a percentage inhibition of more than 60% at the tested concentration. Blumea balsamifera root and stem showed an IC50 at 26.25 +/- 2.47 microg/ml and 7.75 +/- 0.35 microg/ ml respectively. Agathis borneensis (leaves extract) demonstrated a 50% growth inhibition at 11.00 +/- 1.41 microg/ml. The study gives preliminary scientific evidence of these plant extracts in line with their traditional claims.