Advances in Medicine http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Study on the Association between Low Maternal Serum Magnesium Level and Preterm Labour Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:53:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amed/2014/704875/ Objectives. The study was aimed to assess the association between low maternal serum magnesium levels and preterm labour. Methods. It is a cross-sectional case-control study in which eligible participants were pregnant women admitted in labour within the labour ward complex of a Lagos tertiary hospital. Relevant data were extracted from the case records of these women and blood samples were obtained from all participants and serum magnesium levels measured. Results. The study showed that 36% of the study patients had varying degrees of hypomagnesaemia. The relative risk indicates that preterm labour is 1.83 times higher among the patients with low serum magnesium (less than 1.6 mg/dL). The mean difference in serum magnesium levels in both groups was statistically significant (). Conclusion. We can infer that low serum magnesium (hypomagnesaemia) is associated with preterm onset of labour. We can, also from this finding, formulate a proposition that would help in preventing preterm labour and birth with the use of prophylactic oral magnesium supplementation among patients with higher risk for development of preterm labour. Kehinde S. Okunade, Ayodeji A. Oluwole, and Maymunah A. Adegbesan-Omilabu Copyright © 2014 Kehinde S. Okunade et al. All rights reserved. Transplantation of Encapsulated Pancreatic Islets as a Treatment for Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Thu, 30 Jan 2014 10:56:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amed/2014/429710/ Encapsulation of pancreatic islets has been proposed and investigated for over three decades to improve islet transplantation outcomes and to eliminate the side effects of immunosuppressive medications. Of the numerous encapsulation systems developed in the past, microencapsulation have been studied most extensively so far. A wide variety of materials has been tested for microencapsulation in various animal models (including nonhuman primates or NHPs) and some materials were shown to induce immunoprotection to islet grafts without the need for chronic immunosuppression. Despite the initial success of microcapsules in NHP models, the combined use of islet transplantation (allograft) and microencapsulation has not yet been successful in clinical trials. This review consists of three sections: introduction to islet transplantation, transplantation of encapsulated pancreatic islets as a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), and present challenges and future perspectives. Meirigeng Qi Copyright © 2014 Meirigeng Qi. All rights reserved. Mesenchymal Conversion of Mesothelial Cells Is a Key Event in the Pathophysiology of the Peritoneum during Peritoneal Dialysis Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:32:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amed/2014/473134/ Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a therapeutic option for the treatment of end-stage renal disease and is based on the use of the peritoneum as a semipermeable membrane for the exchange of toxic solutes and water. Long-term exposure of the peritoneal membrane to hyperosmotic PD fluids causes inflammation, loss of the mesothelial cells monolayer, fibrosis, vasculopathy, and angiogenesis, which may lead to peritoneal functional decline. Peritonitis may further exacerbate the injury of the peritoneal membrane. In parallel with these peritoneal alterations, mesothelial cells undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), which has been associated with peritoneal deterioration. Factors contributing to the bioincompatibility of classical PD fluids include the high content of glucose/glucose degradation products (GDPs) and their acidic pH. New generation low-GDPs-neutral pH fluids have improved biocompatibility resulting in better preservation of the peritoneum. However, standard glucose-based fluids are still needed, as biocompatible solutions are expensive for many potential users. An alternative approach to preserve the peritoneal membrane, complementary to the efforts to improve fluid biocompatibility, is the use of pharmacological agents protecting the mesothelium. This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent advances that point to the EMT of mesothelial cells as a potential therapeutic target to preserve membrane function. Manuel López-Cabrera Copyright © 2014 Manuel López-Cabrera. All rights reserved. Developmental Immunotoxicity, Perinatal Programming, and Noncommunicable Diseases: Focus on Human Studies Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:39:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amed/2014/867805/ Developmental immunotoxicity (DIT) is a term given to encompass the environmentally induced disruption of normal immune development resulting in adverse outcomes. A myriad of chemical, physical, and psychological factors can all contribute to DIT. As a core component of the developmental origins of adult disease, DIT is interlinked with three important concepts surrounding health risks across a lifetime: (1) the Barker Hypothesis, which connects prenatal development to later-life diseases, (2) the hygiene hypothesis, which connects newborns and infants to risk of later-life diseases and, (3) fetal programming and epigenetic alterations, which may exert effects both in later life and across future generations. This review of DIT considers: (1) the history and context of DIT research, (2) the fundamental features of DIT, (3) the emerging role of DIT in risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and (4) the range of risk factors that have been investigated through human research. The emphasis on the human DIT-related literature is significant since most prior reviews of DIT have largely focused on animal research and considerations of specific categories of risk factors (e.g., heavy metals). Risk factors considered in this review include air pollution, aluminum, antibiotics, arsenic, bisphenol A, ethanol, lead (Pb), maternal smoking and environmental tobacco smoke, paracetamol (acetaminophen), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polyfluorinated compounds. Rodney R. Dietert Copyright © 2014 Rodney R. Dietert. All rights reserved.