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  1. Lam CK, Sundaraj K, Sulaiman MN
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2013;49(1):1-8.
    PMID: 23652710
    The aim of this study was to review the capability of virtual reality simulators in the application of phacoemulsification cataract surgery training. Our review included the scientific publications on cataract surgery simulators that had been developed by different groups of researchers along with commercialized surgical training products, such as EYESI® and PhacoVision®. The review covers the simulation of the main cataract surgery procedures, i.e., corneal incision, capsulorrhexis, phacosculpting, and intraocular lens implantation in various virtual reality surgery simulators. Haptics realism and visual realism of the procedures are the main elements in imitating the actual surgical environment. The involvement of ophthalmology in research on virtual reality since the early 1990s has made a great impact on the development of surgical simulators. Most of the latest cataract surgery training systems are able to offer high fidelity in visual feedback and haptics feedback, but visual realism, such as the rotational movements of an eyeball with response to the force applied by surgical instruments, is still lacking in some of them. The assessment of the surgical tasks carried out on the simulators showed a significant difference in the performance before and after the training.
  2. Zuhdi AS, Yaakob ZH, Sadiq MA, Ismail MD, Undok AW, Ahmad WA
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2011;47(4):219-21.
    PMID: 21829054
    Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a rare, acute, nonischemic cardiomyopathy causing transient left ventricular dysfunction, which can mimic myocardial infarction on its presentation. While many cardiac manifestations have been associated with hyperthyroidism, we report a rare case where it has precipitated takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
  3. Lajis AFB
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2018 May 25;54(3).
    PMID: 30344266 DOI: 10.3390/medicina54030035
    For years, clinical studies involving human volunteers and several known pre-clinical in vivo models (i.e., mice, guinea pigs) have demonstrated their reliability in evaluating the effectiveness of a number of depigmenting agents. Although these models have great advantages, they also suffer from several drawbacks, especially involving ethical issues regarding experimentation. At present, a new depigmenting model using zebrafish has been proposed and demonstrated. The application of this model for screening and studying the depigmenting activity of many bioactive compounds has been given great attention in genetics, medicinal chemistry and even the cosmetic industry. Depigmenting studies using this model have been recognized as noteworthy approaches to investigating the antimelanogenic activity of bioactive compounds in vivo. This article details the current knowledge of zebrafish pigmentation and its reliability as a model for the screening and development of depigmenting agents. Several methods to quantify the antimelanogenic activity of bioactive compounds in this model, such as phenotype-based screening, melanin content, tyrosinase inhibitory activity, other related proteins and transcription genes, are reviewed. Depigmenting activity of several bioactive compounds which have been reported towards this model are compared in terms of their molecular structure and possible mode of actions. This includes patented materials with regard to the application of zebrafish as a depigmenting model, in order to give an insight of its intellectual value. At the end of this article, some limitations are highlighted and several recommendations are suggested for improvement of future studies.
  4. Aminuddin A, Salamt N, Ahmad Fuad AF, Chin KY, Ugusman A, Soelaiman IN, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2019 Sep 08;55(9).
    PMID: 31500378 DOI: 10.3390/medicina55090575
    Background and objectives: Obesity is associated with poor vascular function and may lead to future cardiovascular disease (CVD). Obesity is also related to increased inflammation and a low testosterone level. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between inflammation, testosterone level, and vascular function among subjects with an increased body mass index (BMI) and to determine whether both low testosterone and high inflammation have synergistic effects towards vascular dysfunction. Materials and Methods: A total of 303 men aged 40-80 years were recruited from Klang Valley, Malaysia. Their height, weight, blood pressure (BP), lipid, blood glucose level, total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured. The carotid femoral pulse wave velocity (PWVCF) and augmentation index (AI) were also recorded as markers of vascular function. Results: The mean age of all the subjects was 54.46 ± 9.77 years. Subjects were divided into a low/normal body mass index (BMI) group (BMI < 25 kg/m2; NG, n = 154) and high BMI group (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2; OG, n = 149). The mean BMI for NG was 22.20 ± 1.94 kg/m2 while for OG was 28.87 ± 3.24 kg/m2 (p < 0.01). The level of TT (OG = 21.13 ± 6.44 versus NG = 16.18 ± 6.16 nmol/L, p < 0.01) and FT (OG = 0.34 ± 0.12 versus NG = 0.39 ± 0.11 nmol/L, p < 0.01) were reduced while the level of CRP [OG = 1.05 (2.80) versus NG = 0.50 (1.50) mmol/L, p = 0.01] was increased in OG compared to NG. PWVCF (OG = 8.55 ± 1.34 versus NG = 8.52 ± 1.42 m/s, p = 0.02) and AI (OG = 16.91% ± 6.00% versus 15.88% ± 5.58%, p < 0.01) were significantly increased in OG after adjustment for other CVD risk factors. The subjects that had both a low FT and an increased CRP had higher AI when compared to those with a high CRP and high FT (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The increased BMI was associated with vascular dysfunction, mediated by a low testosterone level and increased inflammation. Furthermore, having both conditions concurrently lead to higher vascular dysfunction. Weight loss, testosterone supplementation, and the anti-inflammatory agent may be beneficial for men to prevent vascular dysfunction.
  5. Balasubramaniam SD, Balakrishnan V, Oon CE, Kaur G
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2019 Jul 17;55(7).
    PMID: 31319555 DOI: 10.3390/medicina55070384
    Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main aetiology for the development of cervical cancer. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and the integration of the HPV genome into the host chromosome of cervical epithelial cells are key early events in the neoplastic progression of cervical lesions. The viral oncoproteins, mainly E6 and E7, are responsible for the initial changes in epithelial cells. The viral proteins inactivate two main tumour suppressor proteins, p53, and retinoblastoma (pRb). Inactivation of these host proteins disrupts both the DNA repair mechanisms and apoptosis, leading to rapid cell proliferation. Multiple genes involved in DNA repair, cell proliferation, growth factor activity, angiogenesis, as well as mitogenesis genes become highly expressed in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. This genomic instability encourages HPV-infected cells to progress towards invasive carcinoma. The key molecular events involved in cervical carcinogenesis will be discussed in this review.
  6. Ng SL, Ong YS, Khaw KY, Teh SP, Tan CS, Ming LC, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Feb 23;57(2).
    PMID: 33672384 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57020189
    The global pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 is a known consequence of infection of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). It has affected nations worldwide with soaring number of cases daily. Symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are commonly presented in COVID-19 patients. This focused review aims to discuss these uncommon and atypical COVID-19 symptoms that may be presented which might affect neurological, cardiovascular, cutaneous and ocular systems and their possible mode of actions. Nonetheless, there are some cases of reported uncommon or atypical symptoms which may warrant healthcare professionals to be aware of, especially when in contact with patients. The knowledge and information concerning these symptoms might be able to provide additional cues for healthcare professional by subjecting patients to COVID-19 screening. Meanwhile, it might be able to further enhance the alertness and additional precautions being taken by healthcare personnel, which eventually lead to reduced risk of infections.
  7. Rehman IU, Chohan TA, Bukhsh A, Khan TM
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2019 Oct 17;55(10).
    PMID: 31627446 DOI: 10.3390/medicina55100699
    : Chronic kidney disease (CKD)-associated pruritus is a common and disturbing condition which has a negative impact on sleep quality, as well as overall health-related quality of life of patients receiving hemodialysis. To date, no systematic review has been undertaken, and there is a lack of concise evidence that statistically quantifies the impact of pruritus based on published data. A systematic search was done for original articles published in peer-reviewed English journals from database inception on 20 December, 2018, in the following databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid, CINHAL, ProQuest, and Scopus. A total of 9217 research articles were identified. After removal of duplicates and screening for titles and abstracts, 28 articles were selected. The prevalence of disturbed sleep was 4-94%, while the pooled proportion on random effect in the study was 40% (95% CI = 0.30 to 0.49); I2 = 99.8%. However, the prevalence of disturbed sleep quality and quantity due to pruritus was 9-76%, and the pooled proportion on random effect in the study was 50% (95% CI = 0.37 to 0.64); I2 = 99.8%. Patients undergoing hemodialysis who are affected by CKD-associated pruritus have a higher chance of experiencing sleep disturbances. The prevalence of disturbed sleep due to CKD-associated pruritus was found to be 9-76% in the included studies for patients receiving hemodialysis therapy.
  8. Dass SA, Tan KL, Selva Rajan R, Mokhtar NF, Mohd Adzmi ER, Wan Abdul Rahman WF, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Jan 12;57(1).
    PMID: 33445543 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57010062
    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive breast type of cancer with no expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2). It is a highly metastasized, heterogeneous disease that accounts for 10-15% of total breast cancer cases with a poor prognosis and high relapse rate within five years after treatment compared to non-TNBC cases. The diagnostic and subtyping of TNBC tumors are essential to determine the treatment alternatives and establish personalized, targeted medications for every TNBC individual. Currently, TNBC is diagnosed via a two-step procedure of imaging and immunohistochemistry (IHC), which are operator-dependent and potentially time-consuming. Therefore, there is a crucial need for the development of rapid and advanced technologies to enhance the diagnostic efficiency of TNBC. This review discusses the overview of breast cancer with emphasis on TNBC subtypes and the current diagnostic approaches of TNBC along with its challenges. Most importantly, we have presented several promising strategies that can be utilized as future TNBC diagnostic modalities and simultaneously enhance the efficacy of TNBC diagnostic.
  9. Kadravello A, Tan SB, Ho GF, Kaur R, Yip CH
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Jul 07;57(7).
    PMID: 34356974 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57070693
    Background and Objective: Despite the increasing treatment options for patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), unmet needs remain common, especially in low and middle-income countries where resources are limited and MBC patients face many challenges. They often join support groups to cope with their unmet needs. Currently, many MBC patients connect with each other via online support group in view of the constant availability of support and rapid information exchange. The objective of this study is to determine the unmet needs of women with MBC from an online support group. Material and Methods: Messages in an online support group of twenty-two MBC patients over a period of three years from August 2016 till August 2019 were thematically analyzed. Results: Three themes were generated, (1) unmet information needs (2) unmet financial needs (3) unmet support needs. Women needed information on side effects of treatment, new treatment options and availability of clinical trials. Although Malaysia has universal health care coverage, access to treatment remains a major challenge. When treatment was not available in the public hospitals, or waiting lists were too long, women were forced to seek treatment in private hospitals, incurring financial catastrophe. Insufficient private insurance and inadequate social security payments force many women to consider stopping treatment. Women felt that they were not getting support from their clinicians in the public sector, who were quick to stop active treatment and advise palliation. On the other hand, clinicians in the private sector advise expensive treatment beyond the financial capability of the patients. Women with families also face the challenge of managing their family and household in addition to coping with their illness. Conclusions: There is a need for healthcare professionals, policy makers, and civil society to better address the needs of MBC patients through patient-centered, multidisciplinary and multi-organizational collaboration.
  10. Loh HC, Neoh KK, Tang ASN, Chin CJ, Suppiah PD, Looi I, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 May 19;57(5).
    PMID: 34069433 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57050507
    Background and Objectives: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused significant disruption to established medical care systems globally. Thus, this study was aimed to compare the admission and outcome variables such as number of patient and its severity, acute recanalisation therapy given pre-post COVID-19 at a primary stroke centre located in Malaysia. Methods: This cross-sectional hospital-based study included adult ischaemic stroke patients. Variables of the study included the number of ischaemic stroke patients, the proportions of recanalisation therapies, stroke severity during admission based on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, functional outcome at discharge based on the modified Rankin Scale, and relevant workflow metrics. We compared the outcome between two six-month periods, namely the pre-COVID-19 period (March 2019 to September 2019) and the COVID-19 period (March 2020 to September 2020). Results: There were 131 and 156 patients, respectively, from the pre-COVID-19 period and the COVID-19 period. The median door-to-scan time and the median door-to-reperfusion time were both significantly shorter in the COVID-19 period (24.5 min versus 12.0 min, p = 0.047) and (93.5 min versus 60.0 min, p = 0.015), respectively. There were also significantly more patients who received intravenous thrombolysis (7.6% versus 17.3%, p = 0.015) and mechanical thrombectomy (0.8% versus 6.4%, p = 0.013) in the COVID-19 period, respectively. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic may not have caused disruptions of acute stroke care in our primary stroke centre. Our data indicated that the number of ischaemic stroke events remained stable, with a significant increase of recanalisation therapies and better in-hospital workflow metrics during the COVID-19 pandemic period. However, we would like to highlight that the burden of COVID-19 cases in the study area was very low. Therefore, the study may not have captured the true burden (and relevant delays in stroke patient management) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect of the pandemic crisis is ongoing and both pre-hospital and in-hospital care systems must continue to provide optimal, highly time-dependent stroke care services.
  11. Yunus MHM, Nordin A, Kamal H
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2020 Nov 16;56(11).
    PMID: 33207632 DOI: 10.3390/medicina56110614
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most well-known degenerative disease among the geriatric and is a main cause of significant disability in daily living. It has a multifactorial etiology and is characterized by pathological changes in the knee joint structure including cartilage erosion, synovial inflammation, and subchondral sclerosis with osteophyte formation. To date, no efficient treatment is capable of altering the pathological progression of OA, and current therapy is broadly divided into pharmacological and nonpharmacological measures prior to surgical intervention. In this review, the significant risk factors and mediators, such as cytokines, proteolytic enzymes, and nitric oxide, that trigger the loss of the normal homeostasis and structural changes in the articular cartilage during the progression of OA are described. As the understanding of the mechanisms underlying OA improves, treatments are being developed that target specific mediators thought to promote the cartilage destruction that results from imbalanced catabolic and anabolic activity in the joint.
  12. Samrot AV, Abubakar Mohamed A, Faradjeva E, Si Jie L, Hooi Sze C, Arif A, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Aug 18;57(8).
    PMID: 34441045 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57080839
    Biofilms comprising aggregates of microorganisms or multicellular communities have been a major issue as they cause resistance against antimicrobial agents and biofouling. To date, numerous biofilm-forming microorganisms have been identified, which have been shown to result in major effects including biofouling and biofilm-related infections. Quorum sensing (which describes the cell communication within biofilms) plays a vital role in the regulation of biofilm formation and its virulence. As such, elucidating the various mechanisms responsible for biofilm resistance (including quorum sensing) will assist in developing strategies to inhibit and control the formation of biofilms in nature. Employing biological control measures (such as the use of bioactive compounds) in targeting biofilms is of great interest since they naturally possess antimicrobial activity among other favorable attributes and can also possibly act as potent antibiofilm agents. As an effort to re-establish the current notion and understanding of biofilms, the present review discuss the stages involved in biofilm formation, the factors contributing to its development, the effects of biofilms in various industries, and the use of various bioactive compounds and their strategies in biofilm inhibition.
  13. Sermon A, Hofmann-Fliri L, Zderic I, Agarwal Y, Scherrer S, Weber A, et al.
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Aug 28;57(9).
    PMID: 34577822 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57090899
    Background and Objectives: Hip fractures constitute the most debilitating complication of osteoporosis with steadily increasing incidences in the aging population. Their intramedullary nailing can be challenging because of poor anchorage in the osteoporotic femoral head. Cement augmentation of Proximal Femoral Nail Antirotation (PFNA) blades demonstrated promising results by enhancing cut-out resistance in proximal femoral fractures. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of augmentation on the fixation strength of TFN-ADVANCEDTM Proximal Femoral Nailing System (TFNA) blades and screws within the femoral head and compare its effect when they are implanted in centre or anteroposterior off-centre position. Materials and Methods: Eight groups were formed out of 96 polyurethane low-density foam specimens simulating isolated femoral heads with poor bone quality. The specimens in each group were implanted with either non-augmented or cement-augmented TFNA blades or screws in centre or anteroposterior off-centre positions, 7 mm anterior or posterior. Mechanical testing was performed under progressively increasing cyclic loading until failure, in setup simulating an unstable pertrochanteric fracture with a lack of posteromedial support and load sharing at the fracture gap. Varus-valgus and head rotation angles were monitored. A varus collapse of 5° or 10° head rotation was defined as a clinically relevant failure. Results: Failure load (N) for specimens with augmented TFNA head elements (screw/blade centre: 3799 ± 326/3228 ± 478; screw/blade off-centre: 2680 ± 182/2591 ± 244) was significantly higher compared with respective non-augmented specimens (screw/blade centre: 1593 ± 120/1489 ± 41; screw/blade off-centre: 515 ± 73/1018 ± 48), p < 0.001. For both non-augmented and augmented specimens failure load in the centre position was significantly higher compared with the respective off-centre positions, regardless of the head element type, p < 0.001. Augmented off-centre TFNA head elements had significantly higher failure load compared with non-augmented centrally placed implants, p < 0.001. Conclusions: Cement augmentation clearly enhances the fixation stability of TFNA blades and screws. Non-augmented blades outperformed screws in the anteroposterior off-centre position. Positioning of TFNA blades in the femoral head is more forgiving than TFNA screws in terms of failure load.
  14. Kwan TY, Chowdhury EH
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Nov 16;57(11).
    PMID: 34833470 DOI: 10.3390/medicina57111252
    Background and Objectives: Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the world. Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) makes up 85% of all lung cancer cases and the majority of patients are diagnosed when the cancer is advanced. Over the years, many anticancer drugs have been designed and introduced into the market to treat patients with advanced NSCLC. This review aims to discuss the comparative therapeutic benefits of conventional chemotherapeutics and other drugs available for treating advanced NSCLC. Materials and Methods: A literature search for first-line treatment of advanced NSCLC was carried out on PubMed and Google Scholar. Objective response rate (ORR) and overall survival were chosen as target endpoints. Results: Monotherapy showed lower treatment endpoints compared to combination therapy. Different combinations of platinum-based doublets demonstrated similar efficacies in treating NSCLC. However, pemetrexed-platinum doublets showed significantly better treatment endpoint in patients with non-squamous NSCLC. Most studies showing the best complete response rate (CRR) utilized epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), while most studies producing the best overall survival included programmed death-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) inhibitors in their treatment regimens. Conclusions: The findings of this review indicate that targeted therapy using specific inhibitors is now the most promising first-line anticancer treatment available in the market. However, chemotherapy is still effective in treating advanced NSCLC and is viable as a first-line treatment.
  15. Selvaraj S, Naing NN, Wan-Arfah N, Karobari MI, Marya A, Prasadh S
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2022 Jan 02;58(1).
    PMID: 35056376 DOI: 10.3390/medicina58010068
    Background and objectives: The Indian population faces numerous challenges to attain better oral hygiene due to a lack of oral health literacy. For the past 10 years, the prevalence of dental-related conditions in India has become a considerable problem in every state of India. A health-education-based oral health promotion strategy will be an ideal choice for the Indian population instead of endorsing conventional oral health promotion. The use of unsuitable tools to measure may lead to misleading and vague findings that might result in a flawed plan for cessation programs and deceitful effectiveness. Therefore, the research aimed to develop and validate an instrument that can assess the oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior (KAB) of adults in India. Materials and Methods: This study was carried among adults in India, who live in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A questionnaire was fabricated and then validated using content, face, as well as construct. The knowledge domain was validated using item response theory analysis (IRT), whereas exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to validate the behavior domain and attitude. Results: Four principal sections, i.e., knowledge, attitude, demography and behavior, were used to fabricate a questionnaire following validation. Following analysis of item response theory on the knowledge domain, all analyzed items in the domain were within the ideal range of difficulty and discrimination. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was 0.65 for the attitude and 0.66 for the behavior domain. A Bartlett's test of sphericity was conducted and demonstrated that outcomes for both domains were highly significant (p < 0.001). The factor analysis resulted in three factors with a total of eight items in the attitude domain and three factors with a total of seven items in the behavior domain depicting satisfactory factor loading (>0.3). Across the three factors, i.e., knowledge, attitude and behavior, internal consistency reliability was tested using Cronbach's alpha, and the values obtained were 0.67, 0.87, 0.67, and 0.88, respectively. Conclusions: The findings of this study that assessed validity and reliability showed that the developed questionnaire had an acceptable psychometric property for measuring oral health KAB among adults in India.
  16. Meli AM, Ali A, Mhd Jalil AM, Mohd Yusof H, Tan MMC
    Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Dec 30;58(1).
    PMID: 35056365 DOI: 10.3390/medicina58010057
    Background and Objectives: Cognitive performance is essential for children, given this is a critical stage of brain growth and development. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to ascertain if physical activity or micronutrients impact cognitive performance in children. Materials and Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed and Scopus®) were searched for relevant articles published between 2012 and 2021. We emphasized randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effect of physical activity and micronutrients on cognitive performance. Data from eligible studies were gathered and evaluated using random-, fixed- or pooled-effects models with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results: Physical activity appeared to improve both Mathematics (d = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.56, 1.67) and attention (d = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.15, 1.14) performances. The micronutrient vitamin B12 had a positive effect on Mathematics (d = 2.39, 95% CI: 0.79, 3.98), English (d = 5.29, 95% CI: 2.76, 7.83), Geography (d = 5.29, 95% CI: 2.76, 7.83), Science (d = 3.39, 95% CI: 2.62, 4.16) and Arts (d = 3.32, 95% CI: 1.84, 4.79). Zinc was found to positively affect English (d = 3.78, 95% CI: 0.44, 7.13), Geography (d = 4.77, 95% CI: 0.56, 8.98) and Arts (d = 2.39, CI: 0.33, 4.45). Iron positively affected Mathematics (d = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.54, 2.06), English (d = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.44, 7.13), Geography (d = 4.77, 95% CI: 0.56, 8.98) and Arts (d = 2.39, 95% CI: 0.33, 4.45). Conclusions: A more comprehensive intervention with a specific dose/level of physical activity, an increased range of cognitive performance, and a well-designed study design that accounts for dietary intake and other health outcomes are required for future studies.
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