International Scholarly Research Notices http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Efficacy of Levofloxacin Based Triple and High-Dose PPI-Amoxicillin Dual Eradication Therapy for Helicobacter pylori after Failures of First- and Second-Line Therapies Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:11:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/631501/ Objectives. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the eradication rate of Helicobacter pylori as the third-line triple therapy with rabeprazole (RPZ) + amoxicillin (AMPC) + levofloxacin (LVFX) and high-dose RPZ + AMPC. Methods. 51 patients who failed Japanese first-line (proton pump inhibitor (PPI) + AMPC + clarithromycin) and second-line (PPI + AMPC + metronidazole) eradication therapy were randomly assigned at a 1 : 1 ratio to one of the following third-line eradication groups: (1) RAL group: RPZ 10 mg (b.i.d.), AMPC 750 mg (b.i.d.), and LVFX 500 mg (o.d.) for 10 days; (2) RA group: RPZ 10 mg (q.i.d.) and AMPC 500 mg (q.i.d.) for 14 days. Patients who failed to respond to third-line eradication therapy received salvage therapy. Results. The rates of eradication success, based on intention to treat (ITT) analysis, were 45.8% in the RAL group and 40.7% in the RA group. The overall eradication rates were 73.9% in the RAL group and 64.0% in the RA group. There was no significant difference between the two groups. Conclusions. The third-line triple therapy with RPZ, AMPC, and LVFX was as effective as that with high-dose RPZ and AMPC. Kenichiro Okimoto, Makoto Arai, Keiko Saito, Shoko Minemura, Daisuke Maruoka, Tomoaki Matsumura, Tomoo Nakagawa, Tatsuro Katsuno, Chisato Ishii, Shota Murata, Masaharu Watanabe, Fumio Nomura, and Osamu Yokosuka Copyright © 2014 Kenichiro Okimoto et al. All rights reserved. Copper Oxide Nanomaterials Prepared by Solution Methods, Some Properties, and Potential Applications: A Brief Review Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:11:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/856592/ Cupric oxide (CuO), having a narrow bandgap of 1.2 eV and a variety of chemophysical properties, is recently attractive in many fields such as energy conversion, optoelectronic devices, and catalyst. Compared with bulk material, the advanced properties of CuO nanostructures have been demonstrated; however, the fact that these materials cannot yet be produced in large scale is an obstacle to realize the potential applications of this material. In this respect, chemical methods seem to be efficient synthesis processes which yield not only large quantities but also high quality and advanced material properties. In this paper, the effect of some general factors on the morphology and properties of CuO nanomaterials prepared by solution methods will be overviewed. In terms of advanced nanostructure synthesis, microwave method in which copper hydroxide nanostructures are produced in the precursor solution and sequentially transformed by microwave into CuO may be considered as a promising method to explore in the near future. This method produces not only large quantities of nanoproducts in a short reaction time of several minutes, but also high quality materials with advanced properties. A brief review on some unique properties and applications of CuO nanostructures will be also presented. Thi Ha Tran and Viet Tuyen Nguyen Copyright © 2014 Thi Ha Tran and Viet Tuyen Nguyen. All rights reserved. MHD Two-Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer between Two Inclined Parallel Plates in a Rotating System Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:11:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/256898/ Two-phase magnetohydrodynamic convective flow of electrically conducting fluid through an inclined channel is studied under the action of a constant transverse magnetic field in a rotating system. The fluids in the two phases are steady, incompressible, laminar, immiscible, and electrically conducting, having different densities, viscosities, and thermal and electrical conductivities. The transport properties of both the fluids are assumed constant. The bounding infinite inclined parallel plates are maintained at different constant temperatures, making an angle with the horizontal. Approximate solutions for velocity and temperature distributions are obtained by using a straightforward regular perturbation technique. An in-depth study has been done on the effects of rotation parameter, Hartmann number, inclination angle, the ratio of electrical conductivities, and viscosities of two fluids on the flow. It is observed that the effect of increasing rotation is to decrease the primary velocity. Further it is noticed that as the rotation increases, the secondary velocity increases for smaller rotation, while for larger rotation it decreases. It is also found that the temperature distribution decreases as the rotation increases. P. Sri Ramachandra Murty and G. Balaji Prakash Copyright © 2014 P. Sri Ramachandra Murty and G. Balaji Prakash. All rights reserved. The Association between Early Artificial Amniotomy and Chorioamnionitis in Nulliparous Induction of Labor Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:57:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/628452/ Objectives. To investigate whether early artificial amniotomy (AROM) <4 cm in nulliparous women admitted for induction of labor was associated with an increased rate of chorioamnionitis and cesarean section or a decreased time to vaginal delivery. Study Design. A retrospective cohort study was performed on nulliparous women with a term, singleton gestation and intact membranes who presented for induction of labor (January 2008 to December 2011). Chorioamnionitis was defined using ICD9 codes. Results. 1,567 women were enrolled; 25.4% underwent early AROM. Overall, the prevalence of chorioamnionitis was 12.4%, the rate of cesarean section was 32.2%, and the time from 4 cm cervical dilation to vaginal delivery was 413 min. Compared to women without AROM < 4 cm, early AROM did not affect overall chorioamnionitis rates (10.2 versus 13.2%, ) but was associated with an increased cesarean section rate (40.2 versus 29.5%, ). However, among those who delivered vaginally, AROM < 4 cm decreased the rate of chorioamnionitis (8.4 versus 14.6%, ), which persisted when controlling for potential confounders (OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.33–0.92), and decreased the time from 4 cm dilation to vaginal delivery (329 versus 472 min, ). Conclusions. Our findings do not suggest that early AROM is associated with an increased rate of clinical chorioamnionitis. Laura G. Cooney and Jamie A. Bastek Copyright © 2014 Laura G. Cooney and Jamie A. Bastek. All rights reserved. Analysis of Unweighted Amino Acids Network Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:21:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/350276/ The analysis of amino acids network is very important to studying the various physicochemical properties of amino acids. In this paper we consider the amino acid network based on mutation of the codons. To analyze the relative importance of the amino acids we have discussed different measures of centrality. The measure of centrality is a powerful tool of graph theory for ranking the vertices and analysis of biological network. We have also investigated the correlation coefficients between various measures of centrality. Also we have discussed clustering coefficient as well as average clustering coefficient of the network. Finally we have discussed the degree of distribution as well as skewness. Adil Akhtar and Tazid Ali Copyright © 2014 Adil Akhtar and Tazid Ali. All rights reserved. Optimal Duration of Daily Antituberculosis Therapy before Switching to DOTS Intermittent Therapy to Reduce Mortality in HIV Infected Patients: A Duration-Response Analysis Using Restricted Cubic Splines Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:10:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/704980/ Compared with thrice-weekly intermittent antituberculosis therapy (ATT), the use of daily ATT during the intensive phase has shown improved survival in HIV infected patients with tuberculosis. However, the optimal duration of daily ATT before initiating intermittent ATT is not well known. In this study, we analysed the mortality of HIV-related tuberculosis according to the duration of daily ATT before switching to thrice-weekly ATT in patients who completed at least two months of treatment in an HIV cohort study. Statistical analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazard models. To relax the linearity assumption in regression models and to allow for a flexible interpretation of the relationship between duration of daily ATT and mortality, continuous variables were modelled using restricted cubic splines. The study included 520 HIV infected patients with tuberculosis and 8,724.3 person-months of follow-up. The multivariable analysis showed that the mortality risk was inversely correlated with the duration of daily ATT before switching to intermittent therapy during the first 30 days of ATT but, after approximately 30 days of treatment, differences were not statistically significant. The results of this study suggest that daily ATT should be given for at least 30 days before switching to intermittent ATT in HIV infected patients with tuberculosis. Gerardo Alvarez-Uria, Raghavakalyan Pakam, Manoranjan Midde, and Praveen Kumar Naik Copyright © 2014 Gerardo Alvarez-Uria et al. All rights reserved. C-Reactive Protein: An In-Depth Look into Structure, Function, and Regulation Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:10:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/653045/ Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the adult population worldwide, with atherosclerosis being its key pathophysiologic component. Atherosclerosis possesses a fundamental chronic inflammatory aspect, and the involvement of numerous inflammatory molecules has been studied in this scenario, particularly C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a plasma protein with strong phylogenetic conservation and high resistance to proteolysis, predominantly synthesized in the liver in response to proinflammatory cytokines, especially IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF. CRP may intervene in atherosclerosis by directly activating the complement system and inducing apoptosis, vascular cell activation, monocyte recruitment, lipid accumulation, and thrombosis, among other actions. Moreover, CRP can dissociate in peripheral tissue—including atheromatous plaques—from its native pentameric form into a monomeric form, which may also be synthesized de novo in extrahepatic sites. Each form exhibits distinct affinities for ligands and receptors, and exerts different effects in the progression of atherosclerosis. In view of epidemiologic evidence associating high CRP levels with cardiovascular risk—reflecting the biologic impact it bears on atherosclerosis—measurement of serum levels of high-sensitivity CRP has been proposed as a tool for assessment of cardiovascular risk. Juan Salazar, María Sofía Martínez, Mervin Chávez-Castillo, Victoria Núñez, Roberto Añez, Yaquelin Torres, Alexandra Toledo, Maricarmen Chacín, Carlos Silva, Enrique Pacheco, Joselyn Rojas, and Valmore Bermúdez Copyright © 2014 Juan Salazar et al. All rights reserved. Chronic Pain after Inguinal Hernia Repair Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:22:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/839681/ Background. Chronic postherniorrhaphy groin pain is defined as pain lasting >6 months after surgery, which is one of the most important complications occurring after inguinal hernia repair, which occurs with greater frequency than previously thought. Material and Methods. Patients undergoing elective inguinal hernioplasty in Victoria Hospital from November 2011 to May 2013 were included in the study. A total of 227 patients met the inclusion criteria and were available for followup at end of six months. Detailed preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative details of cases were recorded according to proforma. The postoperative pain and pain at days two and seven and at end of six months were recorded on a VAS scale. Results. Chronic pain at six-month followup was present in 89 patients constituting 39.4% of all patients undergoing hernia repair. It was seen that 26.9% without preoperative pain developed chronic pain whereas 76.7% of patients with preoperative pain developed chronic pain. Preemptive analgesia failed to show statistical significance in development of chronic pain (). Nerve injury was present in 22 of cases; it was found that nerve injury significantly affected development of chronic pain (). On multivariate analysis, it was found that development of chronic pain following hernia surgery was dependent upon factors like preoperative pain, type of anesthesia, nerve injury, postoperative local infiltration, postoperative complication, and most importantly the early postoperative pain. Conclusions. In the present study, we found that chronic pain following inguinal hernia repair causes significant morbidity to patients and should not be ignored. Preemptive analgesia and operation under local anesthesia significantly affect pain. Intraoperative identification and preservation of all inguinal nerves are very important. Early diagnosis and management of chronic pain can remove suffering of the patient. Mallikarjuna Manangi, Santhosh Shivashankar, and Abhishek Vijayakumar Copyright © 2014 Mallikarjuna Manangi et al. All rights reserved. L-Asparaginase Activity of Fungal Endophytes from Tabernaemontana heyneana Wall. (Apocynaceae), Endemic to the Western Ghats (India) Sun, 14 Dec 2014 00:11:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/925131/ “Endophytes,” the microbes residing within the plant tissues, are important sources of secondary metabolites. Tabernaemontana heyneana Wall., a medicinal tree, endemic to the Western Ghats with rich ethnobotanical history and unique chemical diversity, was selected to study fungal endophytes and evaluate them for L-asparaginase activity. Healthy plant parts were selected for the isolation of endophytes following standard isolation protocols. A total of 727 isolates belonging to 20 taxa were obtained. The isolates comprised of bark (11%), twig (22%), leaf (43%), fruit (12.0%), and seeds (12%). Endophytes such as Colletotrichum, Curvularia, Fusarium, Phomopsis, Verticillium, and Volutella colonized T. heyneana plant parts. Fusarium sp., Phomopsis spp., isolate Thlf01, and Fusarium solani were the dominant genera of bark, twig, leaf, fruits, and seed samples, respectively. The endophytes were screened for their ability to utilize L-asparagine by plate assay method. Fusarium spp. exhibited a high level of activity among the nine endophytes tested positive for L-asparaginase activity. Studies underline the potentials of endophyte-derived fungal L-asparaginases as sources of chemotherapeutic agents. Chandramouli Manasa and Monnanda Somaiah Nalini Copyright © 2014 Chandramouli Manasa and Monnanda Somaiah Nalini. All rights reserved. The Fate of Patients Who Started Hemodialysis during Childhood or Adolescence: Results of an Interregional Moroccan Survey Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:11:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/389729/ Hemodialysis is the most used renal replacement therapy for children in Morocco. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of patients who started hemodialysis in childhood and study their characteristics and specificities of their care. For this we conducted a multicentric descriptive cross-sectional study of all chronic hemodialysis patients who started dialysis in pediatric age, in hemodialysis centers in four of the sixteen regions of Morocco. We collected 2066 patients undergoing dialysis in 39 hemodialysis centers; from these, only 72 patients (3.48%) started hemodialysis in childhood. The average age of patients was 20.64 ± 6.5 years with a sex ratio of 1.9. Duration of dialysis was 78.2 ± 56 months. The cause of end stage renal disease was urological abnormalities in 18% of cases and glomerulopathy in 12.5% of cases; however, it remains unknown in half of the patients. Over 18 years, 74% of patients are without profession, it is active in 13% of cases, and pursuing studies are only in 13% of cases. Patients under 5 years and those with a low weight are rarely taken care of in chronic hemodialysis with little individualization of prescription. Greater attention should be paid to renal transplantation that is desired by the majority of these patients (92%). F. Z. Souilmi, T. Sqalli Houssaini, G. EL Bardai, N. Kabbali, M. Arrayhani, and M. Hida Copyright © 2014 F. Z. Souilmi et al. All rights reserved. Next Generation Sequencing Analysis of Biofilms from Three Dogs with Postoperative Surgical Site Infection Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:04:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/282971/ The composition of biofilms in chronic wound infections of dogs is unclear. In the present study, histologically identified biofilms attached to sutures in chronically infected wounds of three dogs were examined by next generation sequencing of total DNA extracted from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue samples. The analysis identified an inhomogeneous bacterial composition in three tissues containing biofilms. Some of the identified bacterial families such as Staphylococci and Streptococci have been found before in biofilms associated with human and canine wounds but in this study were quantitatively in the minority. The majority of the reads classified as bacterial sequences had the highest identity with sequences belonging to the Porphyromonadaceae, Deinococcaceae, Methylococcaceae, Nocardiaceae, Alteromonadaceae, and Propionibacteriaceae and thus taxons of so far minor relevance in veterinary medicine. L. M. König, R. Klopfleisch, D. Höper, and A. D. Gruber Copyright © 2014 L. M. König et al. All rights reserved. Current Trends in Bioethanol Production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Substrate, Inhibitor Reduction, Growth Variables, Coculture, and Immobilization Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:13:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/532852/ Bioethanol is one of the most commonly used biofuels in transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gases. S. cerevisiae is the most employed yeast for ethanol production at industrial level though ethanol is produced by an array of other yeasts, bacteria, and fungi. This paper reviews the current and nonmolecular trends in ethanol production using S. cerevisiae. Ethanol has been produced from wide range of substrates such as molasses, starch based substrate, sweet sorghum cane extract, lignocellulose, and other wastes. The inhibitors in lignocellulosic hydrolysates can be reduced by repeated sequential fermentation, treatment with reducing agents and activated charcoal, overliming, anion exchanger, evaporation, enzymatic treatment with peroxidase and laccase, in situ detoxification by fermenting microbes, and different extraction methods. Coculturing S. cerevisiae with other yeasts or microbes is targeted to optimize ethanol production, shorten fermentation time, and reduce process cost. Immobilization of yeast cells has been considered as potential alternative for enhancing ethanol productivity, because immobilizing yeasts reduce risk of contamination, make the separation of cell mass from the bulk liquid easy, retain stability of cell activities, minimize production costs, enable biocatalyst recycling, reduce fermentation time, and protect the cells from inhibitors. The effects of growth variables of the yeast and supplementation of external nitrogen sources on ethanol optimization are also reviewed. Asmamaw Tesfaw and Fassil Assefa Copyright © 2014 Asmamaw Tesfaw and Fassil Assefa. All rights reserved. Self-Microemulsifying Drug Delivery Systems: An Attractive Strategy for Enhanced Therapeutic Profile Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:24:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/964051/ Ease of administration and painless approach made oral route the most preferred. Poor oral bioavailability is pronounced with the majority of recent active ingredients because of dissolution rate limited absorption. Failure to attain intended therapeutic effect of the poor water soluble drugs by this route led to development of novel drug delivery systems which will fulfill therapeutic needs with minimum dose. Although many formulation approaches like solid dispersions, complexation, pH modification, and cocrystals exist, lipid based delivery systems finding increased appliance with the apparent increase in absorption of drug. Among lipid based formulations, self-microemulsifying formulations (droplet size < 100 nm) are evident to improve the oral bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs primarily due to their efficiency in facilitating solubilization and in presenting the hydrophobic drug in solubilized form whereby dissolution process can be circumvented. Various components that are used to formulate these dosage forms like surfactants and lipids contribute to the overall improvement in oral bioavailability via promoting the lymphatic transport; thereby hepatic first pass metabolism can be surmounted. The present paper gives exhaustive information on the formulation design and characterization of SMEDDS along with the probable mechanisms by which the bioavailability can be improved with SMEDDS. Samatha Akula, Aravind Kumar Gurram, and Srinivas Reddy Devireddy Copyright © 2014 Samatha Akula et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro Intestinal Permeability Studies and Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Famotidine Microemulsion for Oral Delivery Sun, 07 Dec 2014 08:23:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/452051/ The absolute bioavailability of famotidine after oral administration is about 40–45% and absorbance only in the initial part of small intestine may be due to low intestinal permeability. Hence, an olive oil based microemulsion formulation with Tween-80 as surfactant and PEG-400 as cosurfactant was developed by using water titration method with the aim of enhancing the intestinal permeability as well as oral bioavailability. In vitro drug permeation in intestine after 8 h for all formulations varied from 30.42% to 78.39% and most of the formulations showed enhanced permeation compared to pure drug (48.92%). Famotidine microemulsion exhibited the higher absorption and achieved from the optimized famotidine formulation (456.20 ng·h/ml) was higher than the standard (126.80 ng·h/mL). It was found that  h obtained from the optimized famotidine test formulation (3023.5 ng·h/mL) was significantly higher than the standard famotidine (1663.3 ng·h/mL). F-1 demonstrated a longer (6 h) compared with standard drug (2 h) and sustained the release of drug over 24 h. The bioavailability of F-1 formulation was about 1.8-fold higher than that of standard drug. This enhanced bioavailability of famotidine loaded in microemulsion system might be due to increased intestinal permeability. Sajal Kumar Jha, Roopa Karki, Venkatesh Dinnekere Puttegowda, and D. Harinarayana Copyright © 2014 Sajal Kumar Jha et al. All rights reserved. Giardia duodenalis: Number and Fluorescence Reduction Caused by the Advanced Oxidation Process (H2O2/UV) Sun, 07 Dec 2014 00:10:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/525719/ This study evaluated the effect of peroxidation assisted by ultraviolet radiation (H2O2/UV), which is an advanced oxidation process (AOP), on Giardia duodenalis cysts. The cysts were inoculated in synthetic and surface water using a concentration of 12 g H2O2 L−1 and a UV dose ( nm) of 5,480 mJcm−2. The aqueous solutions were concentrated using membrane filtration, and the organisms were observed using a direct immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The AOP was effective in reducing the number of G. duodenalis cysts in synthetic and surface water and was most effective in reducing the fluorescence of the cyst walls that were present in the surface water. The AOP showed a higher deleterious potential for G. duodenalis cysts than either peroxidation (H2O2) or photolysis (UV) processes alone. José Roberto Guimarães, Regina Maura Bueno Franco, Regiane Aparecida Guadagnini, and Luciana Urbano dos Santos Copyright © 2014 José Roberto Guimarães et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Pharmacological Activity of Caralluma penicillata: Anti-Inflammatory Properties and Gastritis Protection against Indomethacin in Adult Guinea Pigs Thu, 04 Dec 2014 06:18:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/738493/ Caralluma is a plant that possessing a great therapeutic potential in folk medicine in Yemen, namely, Caralluma penicillata (C. penicillata) as antiulcer. The study aims to evaluate the anti-inflammatory properties and gastritis protection activity of C. penicillata against indomethacin in adult guinea pigs. The study was divided into four parts: firstly, the optimum dose of extract as anti-inflammatory effect was determined. Secondly, the acute anti-inflammatory effect of extract were estimated. Thirdly, the repeated doses of extract against chronic inflammation was estimated. The anti-inflammatory activity of extract was compared with indomethacin as a prototype of drug against inflammation. Fourthly, the gastritis protection properties of extract with/without indomethacin were performed. The results showed that a 400 mg/kg of 10% ethanol extract produced the maximum of anti-inflammatory effect. Also, the single dose of extract was equipotent for indomethacin (10 mg/kg), but shorter in duration with regard to acute anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, the repeated doses of extract against chronic inflammation were less potent than indomethacin with regard to ulcerogenic effect. On the other hand, extract-indomethacin combination reduced the gastritis effect of indomethacin based on ulcer index and histological study. Nabil Albaser, Najeeb Ghanem, Mohanad Shehab, Adnan Al-Adhal, and Mohammed Amood AL-Kamarany Copyright © 2014 Nabil Albaser et al. All rights reserved. Publication Bias in Meta-Analysis: Confidence Intervals for Rosenthal’s Fail-Safe Number Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:35:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/825383/ The purpose of the present paper is to assess the efficacy of confidence intervals for Rosenthal’s fail-safe number. Although Rosenthal’s estimator is highly used by researchers, its statistical properties are largely unexplored. First of all, we developed statistical theory which allowed us to produce confidence intervals for Rosenthal’s fail-safe number. This was produced by discerning whether the number of studies analysed in a meta-analysis is fixed or random. Each case produces different variance estimators. For a given number of studies and a given distribution, we provided five variance estimators. Confidence intervals are examined with a normal approximation and a nonparametric bootstrap. The accuracy of the different confidence interval estimates was then tested by methods of simulation under different distributional assumptions. The half normal distribution variance estimator has the best probability coverage. Finally, we provide a table of lower confidence intervals for Rosenthal’s estimator. Konstantinos C. Fragkos, Michail Tsagris, and Christos C. Frangos Copyright © 2014 Konstantinos C. Fragkos et al. All rights reserved. Meteorological Variables Associated with Stroke Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:30:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/597106/ To elucidate relationships between meteorological variables and incidence of stroke, we studied patients diagnosed with stroke after presenting to the emergency department (May 1, 2010–August 8, 2011). Patient demographics and medical data were reviewed retrospectively with regional meteorological data. Across 467 days, 134 stroke events were recorded on 114 days. On stroke days, maximum temperature (max ) and atmospheric pressure (AP) combined were a significant predictor of stroke (max odds ratio (OR) = 1.014, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.003–1.026, and ; AP: OR = 1.033, 95% CI = 0.997–1.071, and ). When the patient could identify the hour of the stroke, average temperature (avg ) was significantly higher than nonstroke hours (18.2°C versus 16.16°C, ). Daily fluctuations in AP and avg also had significant effects on stroke incidence (AP: OR = 0.629, 95% CI = 0.512–0.773, and ; avg OR = 1.1399, 95% CI = 1.218–606, and ). Patient age, stroke history, body mass index, ethnicity, and sex were further contributors to stroke risk. Temperature, atmospheric pressure, and certain physiological conditions likely play roles in weather-related stroke susceptibility. The mechanisms driving these associations are not fully understood. Romy Nocera, Philip Petrucelli, Johnathan Park, and Eric Stander Copyright © 2014 Romy Nocera et al. All rights reserved. Common Coupled Fixed Point Theorems for Two Hybrid Pairs of Mappings under Contraction Sun, 30 Nov 2014 00:10:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/608725/ We introduce the concept of (EA) property and occasional w-compatibility for hybrid pair and . We also introduce common (EA) property for two hybrid pairs and . We establish some common coupled …fixed point theorems for two hybrid pairs of mappings under - contraction on noncomplete metric spaces. An example is also given to validate our results. We improve, extend and generalize several known results. The results of this paper generalize the common …fixed point theorems for hybrid pairs of mappings and essentially contain …fixed point theorems for hybrid pair of mappings. Bhavana Deshpande and Amrish Handa Copyright © 2014 Bhavana Deshpande and Amrish Handa. All rights reserved. Metabolic Effects of Social Isolation in Adult C57BL/6 Mice Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:54:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/690950/ Obesity and metabolic dysfunction are risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and certain forms of cancers. Both animal studies and human population-based and clinical studies have suggested that chronic stress is a risk factor for metabolic disorders. A good social support system is known to exert positive effects on the mental and physical well-being of an individual. On the other hand, long-term deprivation of social contacts may represent a stressful condition that has negative effects on health. In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic social isolation on metabolic parameters in adult C57BL/6 mice. We found that individually housed mice had increased adipose mass compared to group-housed mice, despite comparable body weight. The mechanism for the expansion of white adipose tissue mass was depot-specific. Notably, food intake was reduced in the social isolated animals, which occurred around the light-dark phase transition periods. Similarly, reductions in heat generated and the respiratory exchange ratio were observed during the light-dark transitions. These phase-specific changes due to long-term social isolation have not been reported previously. Our study shows social isolation contributes to increased adiposity and altered metabolic functions. Meng Sun, Eugene Y. Choi, Daniel J. Magee, Colin W. Stets, Matthew J. During, and En-Ju D. Lin Copyright © 2014 Meng Sun et al. All rights reserved. Concentrated Hypoxia-Preconditioned Adipose Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Conditioned Medium Improves Wounds Healing in Full-Thickness Skin Defect Model Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:10:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/652713/ In recent years, the bioactive factors were utilized in exercise and athletic skin injuries. In this research, the concentrated conditioned medium of hypoxia-preconditioned adipose mesenchymal stem cells, which is rich in bioactive factor, is applied in full-thickness skin defect model to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy. Adipose mesenchymal stem cells were harvested from the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissues. The surface markers and the potential of differentiation were analyzed. The conditioned medium of hypoxia-preconditioned stem cells was collected and freeze-dried and then applied on the rat full-thickness skin defect model, and the healing time of each group was recorded. Haematoxylin and eosin staining of skin was assessed by microscope. The characteristics of adipose mesenchymal stem cells were similar to those of other mesenchymal stem cells. The concentration of protein in freeze-dried conditioned medium in 1 mL water was about 15 times higher than in the normal condition medium. In vivo, the concentrated hypoxia-preconditioned conditioned medium can reduce the wound size and accelerate the skin wound healing. The concentrated hypoxia-preconditioned adipose mesenchymal stem cell-conditioned medium has great effect on rat model of wound healing, and it would be an ideal agent for wound care in clinical application. Biao Sun, Shilei Guo, Fei Xu, Bin Wang, Xiujuan Liu, Yuanyuan Zhang, and Yan Xu Copyright © 2014 Biao Sun et al. All rights reserved. Polymorphisms in Glutathione S-Transferase M1, T1, and P1 in Patients with Chronic Periodontitis: A Pilot Study Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:46:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/135368/ Background. Although the direct cause of chronic periodontitis is bacterial infection, the progression of this disease depends on genetic and environmental factors, and smoking is a known risk factor in the development and severity of the disease. An individual’s susceptibility may be influenced by polymorphisms in the glutathione S-transferase genes. These genes encode enzymes that metabolize xenobiotic compounds. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 polymorphisms in Mexicans with chronic periodontitis. Methods. 60 Mexicans with chronic periodontitis (30 smokers and 30 nonsmokers) were studied. A peripheral blood sample was taken for subsequent DNA extraction. The genetic material was PCR-amplified followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism with the aim of identifying GST polymorphisms. Results. Polymorphisms in the GSTT1 and GSTP1 genes were not significantly different between the smokers and nonsmokers. However, there were significant differences between groups in polymorphisms in the GSTM1 gene. The patients with chronic periodontitis have a higher frequency of null and mutant polymorphisms in GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 compared with historical data from a healthy Mexican population. Conclusions. The presence of these polymorphisms may be a risk factor for the development of chronic periodontitis. Victor Raul Camargo Ortega, Leliette Deyanira Bravo López, Angel Visoso Salgado, Fernando Mejia Sanchez, and Julieta Castillo Cadena Copyright © 2014 Victor Raul Camargo Ortega et al. All rights reserved. Outcomes of Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy with a Posterior Approach to the Seminal Vesicle in 300 Patients Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:03:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/565737/ Background. The goal of this study was to analyze the perioperative outcomes of robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomies (RALPs) performed at our center. Methodology. We retrospectively reviewed 300 consecutive patients with clinically localized prostate cancer who underwent RALP with a posterior dissection approach to the seminal vesicle between May 2011 and November 2013. The mean patient age was years (range: 41–78 years), and the mean prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration, at diagnosis of prostate cancer, was  ng/mL (range: 2.20–55.31 ng/mL). Results. The median duration of robotic surgery was 160 min (mean:  min; range: 75–345 min). Median estimated blood loss, including that in urine, was 200 mL (mean:  mL; range: 4–3250 mL). Intraoperative and immediate postoperative complications occurred in 3.0% of patients; 4 patients required allogeneic blood transfusion. As a measure of patient continence, 82.4% did not use more than 1 absorbent pad in 24 h, at 6 months postoperatively. Conclusion. RALP with an initial posterior dissection to the seminal vesicle was a safe and efficient method for controlling prostate cancer, even in these initial cases. Takahiro Yasui, Keiichi Tozawa, Atsushi Okada, Satoshi Kurokawa, Hiroki Kubota, Kentaro Mizuno, Yukihiro Umemoto, Noriyasu Kawai, Shoichi Sasaki, Yutaro Hayashi, and Kenjiro Kohri Copyright © 2014 Takahiro Yasui et al. All rights reserved. Incidence of Radix Entomolaris in Mandibular First Molars in Palestinian Population: A Clinical Investigation Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:02:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/405601/ Purpose. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate clinically the percentage of permanent mandibular first molar teeth with three roots amongst Palestinian population. Patients and Methods. Three hundred twenty-two mandibular first molars from 185 females and 137 males scheduled for root canal treatment at the Dental Center of the Arab American University were examined over a 2-year period. The incidence of a third root revealed by periapical radiographs and the comparison of the occurrence between males and females and between the right and left sides of the mandible were recorded. Statistical Analysis. It was performed using the chi-square test with a significant level set at %. Results. Of the 322 treated mandibular first molars, twelve teeth were found to have a third root with an overall incidence being 3.73%. More teeth with a third root were treated on the right side of the mandible compared to the left side. Conclusion. The incidence of a third root in Palestinian population was within the range of previous reports from the Middle East but considerably lower than the percentage from the Far East. Raed Mukhaimer and Zafer Azizi Copyright © 2014 Raed Mukhaimer and Zafer Azizi. All rights reserved. Motor Activity in Aging: An Integrated Approach for Better Quality of Life Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:12:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/257248/ Old age is normally associated with stereotypical structural and physiological changes in the brain that are caused by deterioration in elementary cognitive, sensory, and sensorimotor functions as well as increased susceptibility to stress. These changes are connected with gait impairment and falls, especially among patients with common neurological diseases. Even in the absence of history of falling or when there is no physical injury after a fall, many older people develop a fear of falling that leads to restricted mobility, reduced activity, depression, social isolation, worsened metabolic disease, and increasing risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Although links between cognitive decline and age-associated brain changes have been clarified, relationships between gait disorders and psychophysiological alterations in aging are less well understood. This review focuses on two crucial elements of aged individuals with gait disorders: characteristic comorbidities in the elderly and the psychophysiological effects of physical exercise in the elderly with gait disorder. We propose an integrated approach to studying elderly subjects with gait disorder before starting a program of motor rehabilitation with wearable robotic devices, in order to investigate the effectiveness and safety of the ambulatory training. Lorenza Pratali, Francesca Mastorci, Nicola Vitiello, Annamaria Sironi, Amalia Gastaldelli, and Angelo Gemignani Copyright © 2014 Lorenza Pratali et al. All rights reserved. Approximate Solutions for Flow with a Stretching Boundary due to Partial Slip Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:45:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/747098/ The homotopy perturbation method (HPM) is coupled with versions of Laplace-Padé and Padé methods to provide an approximate solution to the nonlinear differential equation that describes the behaviour of a flow with a stretching flat boundary due to partial slip. Comparing results between approximate and numerical solutions, we concluded that our results are capable of providing an accurate solution and are extremely efficient. U. Filobello-Nino, H. Vazquez-Leal, A. Sarmiento-Reyes, B. Benhammouda, V. M. Jimenez-Fernandez, D. Pereyra-Diaz, A. Perez-Sesma, J. Cervantes-Perez, J. Huerta-Chua, J. Sanchez-Orea, and A. D. Contreras-Hernandez Copyright © 2014 U. Filobello-Nino et al. All rights reserved. Mathematical Analysis of Hall Effect on Transient Hartman Flow about a Rotating Horizontal Permeable Surface in a Porous Medium under Inclined Magnetic Field Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/765140/ This paper proposes the exact solution for unsteady flow of a viscous incompressible electrically conducting fluid past a impulsively started infinite horizontal surface which is rotating with an angular velocity embedded in a saturated porous medium under the influence of strong magnetic field with hall effect. Our study focuses on the change of direction of the external magnetic field on the flow system which leads to change in the flow behavior and skin frictional forces at the boundary. Systems of flow equations are solved using Laplace transform technique. The impacts of control parameters Hartman number, rotation of the system, hall effect, inclination of the magnetic field, and Darcy number on primary and secondary velocities are shown graphically, skin friction at horizontal boundary in tabular form. For validating our results, in the absence of permeability of the porous medium and inclination of the magnetic field the results are in good agreement with the published results. M. Suresh and A. Manglik Copyright © 2014 M. Suresh and A. Manglik. All rights reserved. Does a Dedicated Unit for the Treatment of Hip Fractures Improve Acute Outcomes? Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/385701/ The aim of this study is to establish whether management of patients in a unit dedicated to the treatment of hip fractures improves acute outcomes. We prospectively studied 300 patients with hip fractures in two separate groups. Patients in Group 1 were operated on in a mixed trauma unit and recovered in a traditional trauma ward. Patients in Group 2 were operated on in dedicated theatres and recovered in a unit which catered exclusively for hip fractures. The ages, ASA grades, and type of procedure performed in the two groups were comparable. The 30-day mortality rate in Group 2 was 9% as opposed to 12% in Group 1 (). The inpatient length of stay was significantly lower in Group 2 (18 days versus 25 days; ) and so was the time taken to operate (28 hours versus 34 hours; ). A greater percentage of patients in Group 2 were discharged home as opposed to a nursing home (75% versus 67%). This difference approached significance (). We conclude that prioritisation and prompt management of patients with hip fractures in a dedicated unit significantly improve time to surgery and significantly decrease length of stay. Al-achraf Khoriati, Wael Dandachli, Rupinderbir Deol, and Nicholas de Roeck Copyright © 2014 Al-achraf Khoriati et al. All rights reserved. Predictors of Salivary Fistulas in Patients Undergoing Salvage Total Laryngectomy Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:06:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/373825/ Background. Salivary fistula is a common complication after salvage total laryngectomy. Previous studies have not considered the number of layers of pharyngeal closure and have not classified fistulas according to severity. Our objective was to analyze our institutional experience with salvage total laryngectomy, categorize salivary fistulas based on severity, and study the effect of various pharyngeal closure techniques on fistula incidence. Methods. Retrospective analysis of 48 patients who underwent salvage total laryngectomy, comparing pharyngeal closure technique and use of a pectoralis major flap with regard to salivary fistula rate. Fistulas were categorized into major and minor fistulas based on whether operative intervention was required. Results. The major fistula rate was 18.8% (9/48) and the minor fistula rate was 29.2% (14/48). The overall (major plus minor) fistula rate was 47.9%. The overall fistula and major fistula rates decreased with increasing the number of closure layers and with use of a pectoralis major flap; however, these correlations did not reach statistical significance. Other than age, there were no clinicopathologic variables associated with salivary fistulas. Conclusion. For salvage total laryngectomies, increasing the number of closure layers or use of a pectoralis major flap may reduce the risk of salivary fistula. Shethal Bearelly and Steven J. Wang Copyright © 2014 Shethal Bearelly and Steven J. Wang. All rights reserved. Relationship between Personality Profiles and Suicide Attempt via Medicine Poisoning among Hospitalized Patients: A Case-Control Study Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:41:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/675480/ Objectives. Inflexible personality traits play an important role in the development of maladaptive behaviors among patients who attempt suicide. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between personality profiles and suicide attempt via medicine poisoning among the patients hospitalized in a public hospital. Materials and Methods. Fifty-nine patients who attempted suicide for the first time and hospitalized in the poisoning ward were selected as the experimental group. Sixty-three patients hospitalized in the other wards for a variety of reasons were selected as the adjusted control group. Millon Clinical Multiaxial Personality Inventory, 3rd version (MCMI-III) was used to assess the personality profiles. Results. The majority of the suicide attempters were low-level graduates (67.8% versus 47.1%, OR = 2.36). 79.7% of the suicide attempters were suffering from at least one maladaptive personality profile. The most common maladaptive personality profiles among the suicide attempters were depressive personality disorder (40.7%) and histrionic personality disorder (32.2%). Among the syndromes the most common ones were anxiety clinical syndrome (23.7%) and major depression (23.7%). Conclusion. Major depression clinical syndrome, histrionic personality disorder, anxiety clinical syndrome, and depressive personality disorder are among the predicators of first suicide attempts for the patients hospitalized in the public hospital due to the medicine poisoning. Ali Reza Shafiee-Kandjani, Shahrokh Amiri, Asghar Arfaie, Azadeh Ahmadi, and Mahmoud Farvareshi Copyright © 2014 Ali Reza Shafiee-Kandjani et al. All rights reserved.