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Old and Recent Advances in Life Cycle, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Malaria Including Perspectives in Ethiopia
Malaria, caused by apicomplexan parasite, is an old disease and continues to be a major public health threat in many countries. This article aims to present different aspects of malaria including causes, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment in an articulate and comprehensive manner. Six Plasmodium species are recognized as the etiology of human malaria, of which Plasmodium falciparum is popular in East and Southern Africa. Malaria is transmitted mainly through Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus, the two most effective malaria vectors in the world. Half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria infection. Globally, the morbidity and mortality rates of malaria have become decreased even though few reports in Ethiopia showed high prevalence of malaria. The malaria parasite has a complex life cycle that takes place both inside the mosquito and human beings. Generally, diagnosis of malaria is classified into clinical and parasitological diagnoses. Lack of clear understanding on the overall biology of Plasmodium has created a challenge in an effort to develop new drugs, vaccines, and preventive methods against malaria. However, three types of vaccines and a lot of novel compounds are under perclinical and clinical studies that are triggered by the occurrence of resistance among commonly used drugs and insecticides. Antiadhesion adjunctive therapies are also under investigation in the laboratory. In addition to previously known new targets for diagnostic tool, vaccine and drug discovery scientists from all corner of the world are in search of new targets and chemical entities.
EEG Analysis in Structural Focal Epilepsy Using the Methods of Nonlinear Dynamics (Lyapunov Exponents, Lempel–Ziv Complexity, and Multiscale Entropy)
This paper analyzes a case with the patient having focal structural epilepsy by processing electroencephalogram (EEG) fragments containing the “sharp wave” pattern of brain activity. EEG signals were recorded using 21 channels. Based on the fact that EEG signals are time series, an approach has been developed for their analysis using nonlinear dynamics tools: calculating the Lyapunov exponent’s spectrum, multiscale entropy, and Lempel–Ziv complexity. The calculation of the first Lyapunov exponent is carried out by three methods: Wolf, Rosenstein, and Sano–Sawada, to obtain reliable results. The seven Lyapunov exponent spectra are calculated by the Sano–Sawada method. For the observed patient, studies showed that with medical treatment, his condition did not improve, and as a result, it was recommended to switch from conservative treatment to surgical. The obtained results of the patient’s EEG study using the indicated nonlinear dynamics methods are in good agreement with the medical report and MRI data. The approach developed for the analysis of EEG signals by nonlinear dynamics methods can be applied for early detection of structural changes.
The Psychometric Properties of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) in Patients with Life-Threatening Illnesses
Background. Meaning in life is one of the psychological domains that is most severely affected in patients with life-threatening illnesses. The importance of meaning-making mandates the development of reliable tools to assess this construct. Steger’s Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) is one of the most valid and reliable instruments that determines the search for and presence of meaning in life. The present study was conducted to provide psychometric data on the MLQ in a sample of patients with life-threatening illnesses. Methods. The MLQ was completed by 301 patients (aged 20–80 years) diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses (cancer and multiple sclerosis) and referred to hospitals. Confirmatory factor analysis and Pearson’s correlation test were used to determine the construct validity of the questionnaire. Results. The confirmatory factor analysis supported the original two-factor model of the MLQ, comprised of the presence of meaning (five items) and search for meaning (five items). The responses to the MLQ did not differ by sociodemographic factors. Most importantly, contrary to previous findings, the correlation between the two subscales, i.e., search for meaning and presence of meaning, was significant and positive. Conclusion. The results showed that the MLQ is a valid and reliable measure for assessing meaning in life that can be applied in research on meaning in life among other patient populations.
Predictability of a New Orthodontic Extrusion Technique for Implant Site Development: A Retrospective Consecutive Case-Series Study
In clinical daily practice, there are situations in which implant sites have vertical and/or horizontal bone defects and often we must improve their morphology and dimensions before fixture insertion. It is crucial to carefully evaluate the surgical site as regards the characteristics of both hard and soft tissues. The orthodontic extrusion technique can be used for nonsurgical augmentation of the implant site as an alternative to traditional regenerative/reparative surgical therapies. The orthodontic extrusion is based on a biological mechanism that uses the portion of periodontal ligament, still present on the root before the tooth extraction, for the increase of hard and soft tissues. In the literature, there is no evidence of common guidelines for this technique but only tips based on personal experience and/or previous studies. The aim of this study was to investigate and to validate the reliability of a new orthodontic extrusion technique (MF Extrusion Technique, by Dr. Mauro Fadda) by means of a retrospective consecutive case-series study. After we have done a review of the literature, we evaluated the X-rays of twelve consecutively treated patients before the orthodontic extrusion (T0) and after the stabilization period (T1), in order to quantify, by two different measurements, area and linear, the bone gain obtained by the application of the new technique. All the patients examined showed a significant increase in bone areas with an average value of 31.575 mm2. The linear bone gain had an average value of 4.63 mm. Data collected were statistically analysed by the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The results obtained both from area and linear measurements at T0 and at T1 times showed that there was a statistically significant bone gain with .
Metal Content of Nutritional and Toxic Value in Different Types of Brazilian Propolis
Brazilian raw propolis samples (brown, green, red, and yellow) were investigated to evaluate the content of three elements of nutritional value (Cu, K, and Se) and three toxic metals (As, Cd, and Pb). The propolis samples (n = 19) were obtained from different regions of Brazil and analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry after microwave-assisted digestion. A descriptive analysis of the variables was carried out, and nonparametric tests (Kruskal–Wallis or Mann–Whitney) were performed to verify the differences in metal contents. The elemental concentrations of the Brazilian propolis were in the following ranges: As < 0.048–8.47 μg·g−1, Pb < 0.006–0.72 μg·g−1, Cu 0.57–11.60 μg·g−1, Se < 0.041–0.54 μg·g−1, and K 0.23–7.94 mg·g−1; Cd was below LOD (0.008 μg·g−1) in all samples, except one. Seven samples exceeded the limits defined for As or Pb by the Brazilian regulation.
Husband Support Rises Women’s Awareness of Preconception Care in Northern Ethiopia
Background. Preconception care (PCC) aims to improve pregnancy and health outcomes of mothers and their offspring. However, there is no adequate evidence of awareness on preconception care in Ethiopia. Therefore, the present study was performed to assess the level of awareness and associated factors of preconception care among currently delivered mothers. Method. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 561 mothers in Northern Ethiopia. Data were collected using a pretested, structured questionnaire. Odds ratio presented with 95% confidence interval, and a value <0.25 at bivariable and value <0.01 at multivariable logistic regression were used to declare statistical significance. Results. 39.0% of mothers were aware of preconception care. Awareness of preconception care was lower among mothers who did not have joint plan discussion with their partner (AOR = 0.15; 95% CI (0.08, 0.28)); did not have a history of adverse pregnancy outcome (AOR = 0.45; 95% CI (0.25, 0.83)), and did not receive husband support (AOR = 0.10; 95% CI (0.05, 0.19)). Conclusion. Women’s awareness of preconception care remains low. Joint plan discussion with the partner, previous history of adverse pregnancy outcome, and husband support were statistically significant predictors of awareness of preconception care. Thus, informing and sensitizing women and advocating husband support on preconception care are needed.