Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 525

Medical and Health Sciences

Exploring the Safety of Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter-2 Inhibitors at the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, UAE

Introduction: Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new class of oral anti-diabetic drugs with a unique mechanism of action. They are used to improve glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes by enhancing urinary glucose excretion. In the UAE, there has been certainly an increased use of these medications. As with any new medication, there are safety considerations related to their use in patients with type two diabetes. A retrospective study was conducted at the three main centres of the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre. Methodology: All patients in electronic database (Diamond) from October 2014 to October 2017 were included with a minimum of six months usage of sodium glucose co-transporter inhibitors that comprise canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin. There were 15 paired sample biochemical and clinical correlations. The analysis was done at the start of the study, three months and six months apart. SPSS version 24 was used for this study. Conclusion: This study of sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors used showed significant reductions in weight, glycated haemoglobin A1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressures. As the case with systematic reviews, there were similar changes in liver enzymes, raised total cholesterol, low density lipopoptein and high density lipoprotein. There was slight improvement in estimated glomerular filtration rate too. Our analysis also showed that they increased in the incidence of urinary tract symptoms and incidence of urinary tract infections.

Feature Extraction Technique for Prediction the Antigenic Variants of the Influenza Virus
In genetics, the impact of neighboring amino acids on a target site is referred as the nearest-neighbor effect or simply neighbor effect. In this paper, a new method called wavelet particle decomposition representing the one-dimensional neighbor effect using wavelet packet decomposition is proposed. The main idea lies in known dependence of wavelet packet sub-bands on location and order of neighboring samples. The method decomposes the value of a signal sample into small values called particles that represent a part of the neighbor effect information. The results have shown that the information obtained from the particle decomposition can be used to create better model variables or features. As an example, the approach has been applied to improve the correlation of test and reference sequence distance with titer in the hemagglutination inhibition assay.
Development of Affordable and Reliable Diagnostic Tools to Record Vital Parameters for Improving Health Care in Low Resources Settings

In most developing countries, although the vast majority of the people are living in the rural areas, the qualified medical doctors are not available there. Health care workers and paramedics, called village doctors, informal healthcare providers, are largely responsible for the rural medical care. Mishaps due to wrong diagnosis and inappropriate medication have been causing serious suffering that is preventable. While innovators have created many devices, the vast majority of these technologies do not find applications to address the needs and conditions in low-resource settings. The primary motive is to address the acute lack of affordable medical technologies for the poor people in low-resource settings. A low cost smart medical device that is portable, battery operated and can be used at any point of care has been developed to detect breathing rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) and arterial pulse rate to improve diagnosis and monitoring of patients and thus improve care and safety. This simple and easy to use smart medical device can be used, managed and maintained effectively and safely by any health worker with some training. In order to empower the health workers and village doctors, our device is being further developed to integrate with ICT tools like smart phones and connect to the medical experts wherever available, to manage the serious health problems.

MITOS-RCNN: Mitotic Figure Detection in Breast Cancer Histopathology Images Using Region Based Convolutional Neural Networks
Studies estimate that there will be 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,920 breast cancer induced deaths in the year of 2018 alone. Despite the pervasiveness of this affliction, the current process to obtain an accurate breast cancer prognosis is tedious and time consuming. It usually requires a trained pathologist to manually examine histopathological images and identify the features that characterize various cancer severity levels. We propose MITOS-RCNN: a region based convolutional neural network (RCNN) geared for small object detection to accurately grade one of the three factors that characterize tumor belligerence described by the Nottingham Grading System: mitotic count. Other computational approaches to mitotic figure counting and detection do not demonstrate ample recall or precision to be clinically viable. Our models outperformed all previous participants in the ICPR 2012 challenge, the AMIDA 2013 challenge and the MITOS-ATYPIA-14 challenge along with recently published works. Our model achieved an F- measure score of 0.955, a 6.11% improvement in accuracy from the most accurate of the previously proposed models.
Implicit Responses for Assessment of Autism Based on Natural Behaviors Obtained Inside Immersive Virtual Environment

The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.

Understanding Barriers to Sports Participation as a Means of Achieving Sustainable Development in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education
During these difficult economic times, nations are looking for ways to improve their finances, preserve the environment as well as the socio-political climate and educational institutions, which are needed to increase their economy and preserve their sustainable development. Sport is one of the ways through which sustainable development can be achieved. The purpose of this study was to examine and understanding barriers to participation in sport. A total of 1,025 students were purposively selected from five schools (School of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Languages, School of Education, School of Sciences and School of Vocational and Technical Education) in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED). A questionnaire, with a tested reliability coefficient of 0.71, was used for data collection. The collected data were subjected to the descriptive survey research design. The findings showed that sports facilities, funding and lecture schedules were significant barriers to sports participation. It was recommended that sports facilities be provided by the Lagos State government.
Grade and Maximum Tumor Dimension as Determinants of Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer (EEC)

Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.

Reverse Twin Block with Expansion Screw for Treatment of Skeletal Class III Malocclusion in Growing Patient: Case Report

Class III malocclusion shows both skeletal and dentoalveolar component. Sketal Class III malocclusion can have variants in different region, maxilla or mandibular. Skeletal Class III malocclusion during growth period is considered to treat to prevent its severity in adulthood. Orthopedics treatment of skeletal Class III malocclusion in growing patient can be treated by using reverse twin block with expansion screw to modify the growth pattern. The objective of this case report was to describe the functional correction of skeletal Class III maloclussion using reverse twin block with expansion screw in growing patient. A patient with concave profile came with a chief complaint of aesthetic problems. The cephalometric analysis showed that patient had skeletal Class III malocclusion (ANB -50, SNA 75º, Wits appraisal -3 mm) with anterior cross bite and deep bite (overjet -3 mm, overbite 6 mm). In this case report, the patient was treated with reverse twin block appliance with expansion screw. After three months of treatment, the skeletal problems have been corrected (ANB -1°), overjet, overbite and aesthetic were improved. Reverse twin block appliance with expansion screw can be used as orthopedics treatment for skeletal Class III malocclusion in growing patient and can improve the aesthetic with great satisfaction which was the main complaint in this patient.

Financial Burden of Family for the Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder characterized by social deficits, communicative difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. ASD is an emerging public health issue globally which is associated with huge financial burden to the family, community and the nation. The aim of this study was to assess the financial burden of family for the children with Autism spectrum Disorder. This cross-sectional study was carried out from July 2015 to June 2016 among 154 children with ASD to assess the financial burden of family. Data were collected by face-to-face interview with semi-structured questionnaire following systematic random sampling technique. Majority (73.4%) children were male and mean (±SD) age was 6.66 ± 2.97 years. Most (88.8%) of the children were from urban areas with average monthly family income Tk. 41785.71±23936.45. Average monthly direct cost of the children was Tk.17656.49 ± 9984.35, while indirect cost was Tk. 13462.90 ± 9713.54 and total treatment cost was Tk. 23076.62 ± 15341.09. Special education cost (Tk. 4871.00), cost of therapy (Tk. 4124.07) and travel cost (Tk. 3988.31) were the major types of direct cost, while loss of income (Tk.14570.18) was the chief indirect cost incurred by the families. The study found that majority (59.8%) of the children attended special schools were incurred Tk.20001-78700 as total treatment cost, which were statistically significant (p<0.001). Again, families with higher monthly family income incurred higher treatment cost (r=0.526, p<0.05). Difference between mean direct and indirect cost was found significant (t=4.190, df=61, p<0.001). According to the analysis of variance, mean difference of father’s educational status among direct cost (F=10.337, p<0.001) and total treatment cost (F=7.841, p<0.001), which were statistically significant. The study revealed that maximum children with ASD were under five years, three-fourth were male. According to monthly family income, maximum family were in middle class. The study recommends cost effective interventions and financial safety-net measures to reduce the financial burden of families for the children with ASD.

The Impact of Open Defecation on Fecal-Oral Infections: A Case Study in Burat and Ngaremara Wards of Isiolo County, Kenya

The practice of open defecation can be devastating for human health as well as the environment, and this practice persistence could be due to ingrained habits that individuals continue to engage in despite having a better alternative. Safe disposal of human excreta is essential for public health protection. This study sought to find if open defecation relates to fecal-oral infections in Burat and Ngaremara Wards in Isiolo County. This was achieved through conducting a cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 385 households that were used in the study. Data collection was done by use of questionnaires and observation checklists. The result show that 66% of the respondents disposed-off fecal matter in a safe manner, whereas 34% disposed-off fecal matter in unsafe manner through open defecation. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and intestinal worms among children under-5 years of age were 142 and 21, respectively. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and typhoid among children over-5 years of age were 20 and 20, respectively.

Absorbed Dose Estimation of 177Lu-DOTATOC in Adenocarcinoma Breast Cancer Bearing Mice
In this study, the absorbed dose of human organs after injection of 177Lu-DOTATOC was studied based on the biodistribution of the complex in adenocarcinoma breast cancer bearing mice. For this purpose, the biodistribution of the radiolabelled complex was studied and compartmental modeling was applied to calculate the absorbed dose with high precision. As expected, 177Lu-DOTATOC illustrated a notable specific uptake in tumor and pancreas, organs with high level of somatostatin receptor on their surface and the effectiveness of the radio-conjugate for targeting of the breast adenocarcinoma tumors was indicated. The elicited results of modeling were the exponential equations, and those are utilized for obtaining the cumulated activity data by taking their integral. The results also exemplified that non-target absorbed-doses such as the liver, spleen and pancreas were approximately 0.008, 0.004, and 0.039, respectively. While these values were so much lower than target (tumor) absorbed-dose, it seems due to this low toxicity, this complex is a good agent for therapy.
Evaluation of Systemic Immune-Inflammation Index in Obese Children

A growing list of cancers might be influenced by obesity. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for the occurrence and development of some cancers. Inflammation can lead to cancer. It is one of the characteristic features of cancer and plays a critical role in cancer development. C-reactive protein (CRP) is under evaluation related to the new and simple prognostic factors in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Obesity can predict and promote systemic inflammation in healthy adults. BMI is correlated with hs-CRP. In this study, SII index and CRP values were evaluated in children with normal BMI and those within the range of different obesity grades to detect the tendency towards cancer in pediatric obesity. A total of one hundred and ninety-four children; thirty-five children with normal BMI, twenty overweight (OW), forty-seven obese (OB) and ninety-two morbid obese (MO) participated in the study. Age- and sex-matched groups were constituted using BMI-for age percentiles. Informed consent was obtained. Ethical Committee approval was taken. Weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C and neck C of the children were measured. The complete blood count test was performed. C-reactive protein analysis was performed. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p≤0.05. SII index values were progressively increasing starting from normal weight (NW) to MO children. There is a statistically significant difference between NW and OB as well as MO children. No significant difference was observed between NW and OW children, however, a correlation was observed between NW and OW children. MO constitutes the only group, which exhibited a statistically significant correlation between SII index and CRP. Obesity-related bladder, kidney, cervical, liver, colorectal, endometrial cancers are still being investigated. Obesity, characterized as a chronic low-grade inflammation, is a crucial risk factor for colon cancer. Elevated childhood BMI values may be indicative of processes leading to cancer, initiated early in life. Prevention of childhood adiposity may decrease the cancer incidence in adults. To authors’ best knowledge, this study is the first to introduce SII index values during obesity of varying degrees of severity. It is suggested that this index seems to affect all stages of obesity with an increasing tendency and may point out the concomitant status of obesity and cancer starting from very early periods of life.

Reduction in Population Growth under Various Contraceptive Strategies in Uttar Pradesh, India

Contraceptive policies have been derived to achieve desired reductions in the growth rate and also, applied to the data of Uttar-Pradesh, India for illustration. Using the Lotka’s integral equation for the stable population, expressions for the proportion of contraceptive users at different ages have been obtained. At the age of 20 years, 42% of contraceptive users is imperative to reduce the present annual growth rate of 0.036 to 0.02, assuming that 40% of the contraceptive users discontinue at the age of 25 years and 30% again continue contraceptive use at age 30 years. Further, presuming that 75% of women start using contraceptives at the age of 23 years, and 50% of the remaining women start using contraceptives at the age of 28 years, while the rest of them start using it at the age of 32 years. If we set a minimum age of marriage as 20 years, a reduction of 0.019 in growth rate will be obtained. This study describes how the level of contraceptive use at different age groups of women reduces the growth rate in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The article also promotes delayed marriage in the region.

Distances over Incomplete Diabetes and Breast Cancer Data Based on Bhattacharyya Distance
Missing values in real-world datasets are a common problem. Many algorithms were developed to deal with this problem, most of them replace the missing values with a fixed value that was computed based on the observed values. In our work, we used a distance function based on Bhattacharyya distance to measure the distance between objects with missing values. Bhattacharyya distance, which measures the similarity of two probability distributions. The proposed distance distinguishes between known and unknown values. Where the distance between two known values is the Mahalanobis distance. When, on the other hand, one of them is missing the distance is computed based on the distribution of the known values, for the coordinate that contains the missing value. This method was integrated with Wikaya, a digital health company developing a platform that helps to improve prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. In order for Wikaya’s recommendation system to work distance between users need to be measured. Since there are missing values in the collected data, there is a need to develop a distance function distances between incomplete users profiles. To evaluate the accuracy of the proposed distance function in reflecting the actual similarity between different objects, when some of them contain missing values, we integrated it within the framework of k nearest neighbors (kNN) classifier, since its computation is based only on the similarity between objects. To validate this, we ran the algorithm over diabetes and breast cancer datasets, standard benchmark datasets from the UCI repository. Our experiments show that kNN classifier using our proposed distance function outperforms the kNN using other existing methods.
Ear Protectors and Their Action in Protecting Hearing System of Workers against Occupational Noise

For many years, the ear protectors have been used to preventing the audio and non-audio effects of received noise from occupation environments. Despite performing hearing protection programs, there are many people which still suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. This study was conducted with the aim of determination of human hearing system response to received noise and the effectiveness of ear protectors on preventing of noise-induced hearing loss. Sound pressure microphones were placed in a simulated ear canal. The severity of noise measured inside and outside of ear canal. The noise reduction values due to installing ear protectors were calculated in the octave band frequencies and LabVIEW programmer. The results of noise measurement inside and outside of ear canal showed a different in received sound levels by ear canal. The effectiveness of ear protectors has been considerably reduced for the low frequency limits. A change in resonance frequency also was observed after using ear protectors. The study indicated the ear canal structure may affect the received noise and it may lead a difference between the received sound from the measured sound by a sound level meter, and hearing system. It means the human hearing system may probably respond different from a sound level meter. Hearing protectors’ efficiency declines by increasing the noise levels, and thus, they are not suitable to protect workers against industrial noise particularly low frequency noise. Hearing protectors may be solely a reason to damaging of hearing system in a special frequency via changing of human hearing system acoustical structure. We need developing the subjective method of hearing protectors testing, because their evaluation is not designed based on industrial noise or in the field.

Improving Health Care and Patient Safety at the ICU by Using Innovative Medical Devices and ICT Tools: Examples from Bangladesh

Innovative medical technologies offer more effective medical care, with less risk to patient and healthcare personnel. Medical technology and devices when properly used provide better data, precise monitoring and less invasive treatments and can be more targeted and often less costly. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipped with patient monitoring, respiratory and cardiac support, pain management, emergency resuscitation and life support devices is particularly prone to medical errors for various reasons. Many people in the developing countries now wonder whether their visit to hospital might harm rather than help them. This is because; clinicians in the developing countries are required to maintain an increasing workload with limited resources and absence of well-functioning safety system. A team of experts from the medical, biomedical and clinical engineering in Sweden and Bangladesh have worked together to study the incidents, adverse events at the ICU in Bangladesh. The study included both public and private hospitals to provide a better understanding for physical structure, organization and practice in operating processes of care, and the occurrence of adverse outcomes the errors, risks and accidents related to medical devices at the ICU, and to develop a ICT based support system in order to reduce hazards and errors and thus improve the quality of performance, care and cost effectiveness at the ICU. Concrete recommendations and guidelines have been made for preparing appropriate ICT related tools and methods for improving the routine for use of medical devices, reporting and analyzing of the incidents at the ICU in order to reduce the number of undetected and unsolved incidents and thus improve the patient safety.

Hypothesis of a Holistic Treatment of Cancer: Crab Method
The main hindrance to total cure of cancer is a) the failure to control continued production of cancer cells, b) its sustenance and c) its metastasis. This review study has tried to address this issue of total cancer cure in a more innovative way. A 10-pronged “CRAB METHOD”, a novel holistic scientific approach of Cancer treatment has been hypothesized in this paper. Apart from available Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Oncosurgery, (which shall not be discussed here), seven other points of interference and treatment has been suggested, i.e. 1. Efficient stress management. 2. Dampening of ATF3 expression. 3. Selective inhibition of Platelet Activity. 4. Modulation of serotonin production, metabolism and 5HT receptor antagonism. 5. Auxin, its anti-proliferative potential and its modulation. 6. Melatonin supplementation because of its oncostatic properties. 7. HDAC Inhibitors especially valproic acid use due to its apoptotic role in many cancers. If all the above stated seven steps are thoroughly taken care of at the time of initial diagnosis of cancer along with the available treatment modalities of Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Oncosurgery, then perhaps, the morbidity and mortality rate of cancer may be greatly reduced.
FZP Design Considering Spherical Wave Incidence

Fresnel Zone Plates (FZPs) are widely used in many areas, such as optics, microwaves or acoustics. On the design of FZPs, plane wave incidence is typically considered, but that is not usually the case in ultrasounds, especially in applications where a piston emitter is placed at a certain distance from the lens. In these cases, having control of the focal distance is very important, and with the usual Fresnel equation a focal displacement from the theoretical distance is observed due to the plane wave supposition. In this work, a comparison between FZP with plane wave incidence design and FZP with point source design in the case of piston emitter is presented. Influence of the main parameters of the piston in the final focalization profile has been studied. Numerical models and experimental results are shown, and they prove that when spherical wave incidence is considered for the piston case, it is possible to have a fine control of the focal distance in comparison with the classical design method.

Cobalamin, Folate and Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Pediatric Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Obesity is known to be associated with many clinically important diseases including metabolic syndrome (MetS). Vitamin B12 plays essential roles in fat and protein metabolisms and its cooperation with vitamin B9 is well-known. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible contributions as well as associations of these micronutrients upon obesity and MetS during childhood. A total of 128 children admitted to Namik Kemal University, Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatrics Outpatient Clinics were included into the scope of this study. The mean age±SEM of 92 morbid obese (MO) children and 36 with MetS were 118.3±3.8 months and 129.5±6.4 months, respectively (p > 0.05). The study was approved by Namık Kemal University, Medical Faculty Ethics Committee. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. Demographic features and anthropometric measurements were recorded. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Components of MetS [waist circumference (WC), fasting blood glucose (FBG), triacylglycerol (TRG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Chol), systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP)] were determined. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin B9 was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Values for vitamin B12 < 148 pmol/L, 148-221 pmol/L, > 221 pmol/L were accepted as low, borderline and normal, respectively. Vitamin B9 levels ≤ 4 mcg/L defined deficiency state. Statistical evaluations were performed by SPSSx Version 16.0. p≤0.05 was accepted as statistical significance level. Statistically higher body mass index (BMI), WC, hip circumference (C) and neck C were calculated in MetS group compared to children with MO. No difference was noted for head C. All MetS components differed between the groups (SP, DP p < 0.001; WC, FBG, TRG p < 0.01; HDL-Chol p < 0.05). Significantly decreased vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 levels were detected (p < 0.05) in children with MetS. In both groups percentage of folate deficiency was 5.5%. No cases were below < 148 pmol/L. However, in MO group 14.3% and in MetS group 22.2% of the cases were of borderline status. In MO group B12 levels were negatively correlated with BMI, WC, hip C and head C, but not with neck C. WC, hip C, head C and neck C were all negatively correlated with HDL-Chol. None of these correlations were observed in the group of children with MetS. Strong positive correlation between FBG and insulin as well as strong negative correlation between TRG and HDL-Chol detected in MO children were lost in MetS group. Deficiency state end-products of both B9 and B12 may interfere with the expected profiles of MetS components. In this study, the alterations in MetS components affected vitamin B12 metabolism and also its associations with anthropometric body measurements. Further increases in vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 deficiency in MetS associated with the increased vitamin B12 as well as vitamin B9 deficiency metabolites may add to MetS parameters.
Evaluation of Vitamin D Levels in Obese and Morbid Obese Children
Obesity may lead to growing serious health problems throughout the world. Vitamin D appears to play a role in cardiovascular and metabolic health. Vitamin D deficiency may add to derangements in human metabolic systems, particularly those of children. Childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of chronic and sophisticated diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate associations as well as possible differences related to parameters affected by obesity and their relations with vitamin D status in obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO) children. This study included a total of 78 children. Of them, 41 and 37 were OB and MO, respectively. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Those between 95 and 99 percentiles were included into OB group. Anthropometric measurements were recorded. Basal metabolic rates (BMRs) were measured. Vitamin D status is determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol [25- hydroxyvitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high-performance liquid chromatography. Vitamin D status was evaluated as deficient, insufficient and sufficient. Values < 20.0 ng/ml, values between 20-30 ng/ml and values > 30.0 ng/ml were defined as vitamin D deficient, insufficient and sufficient, respectively. Optimal 25(OH)D level was defined as ≥ 30 ng/ml. SPSSx statistical package program was used for the evaluation of the data. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. Mean ages did not differ between the groups. Significantly increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (C) and neck C as well as significantly decreased fasting blood glucose (FBG) and vitamin D values were observed in MO group (p < 0.05). In OB group, 37.5% of the children were vitamin D deficient, and in MO group the corresponding value was 53.6%. No difference between the groups in terms of lipid profile, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and insulin values was noted. There was a severe statistical significance between FBG values of the groups (p < 0.001). Important correlations between BMI, waist C, hip C, neck C and both SBP as well as DBP were found in OB group. In MO group, correlations only with SBP were obtained. In a similar manner, in OB group, correlations were detected between SBP-BMR and DBP-BMR. However, in MO children, BMR correlated only with SBP. The associations of vitamin D with anthropometric indices as well as some lipid parameters were defined. In OB group BMI, waist C, hip C and triglycerides (TRG) were negatively correlated with vitamin D concentrations whereas none of them were detected in MO group. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the complications associated with childhood obesity. Loss of correlations between obesity indices-DBP, vitamin D-TRG, as well as relatively lower FBG values, observed in MO group point out that the emergence of MetS components starts during obesity state just before the transition to morbid obesity. Aside from its deficiency state, associations of vitamin D with anthropometric measurements, blood pressures and TRG should also be evaluated before the development of morbid obesity.
The Valuable Triad of Adipokine Indices to Differentiate Pediatric Obesity from Metabolic Syndrome: Chemerin, Progranulin, Vaspin
Obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolic syndrome (MetS). In this study, associations between adipokines and adipokine as well as obesity indices were evaluated. Plasma adipokine levels may exhibit variations according to body adipose tissue mass. Besides, upon consideration of obesity as an inflammatory disease, adipokines may play some roles in this process. The ratios of proinflammatory adipokines to adiponectin may act as highly sensitive indicators of body adipokine status. The aim of the study is to present some adipokine indices, which are thought to be helpful for the evaluation of childhood obesity and also to determine the best discriminators in the diagnosis of MetS. 80 prepubertal children (aged between 6-9.5 years) included in the study were divided into three groups; 30 children with normal weight (NW), 25 morbid obese (MO) children and 25 MO children with MetS. Physical examinations were performed. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. The study protocol was approved by Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University Medical Faculty. Anthropometric measurements, such as weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C, neck C were recorded. Values for body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment Index-II (D2 index) as well as waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Adiponectin, resistin, leptin, chemerin, vaspin, progranulin assays were performed by ELISA. Adipokine-to-adiponectin ratios were obtained. SPSS Version 20 was used for the evaluation of data. p values ≤ 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Values of BMI and D2 index, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios did not differ between MO and MetS groups (p ≥ 0.05). Except progranulin (p ≤ 0.01), similar patterns were observed for plasma levels of each adipokine. There was not any difference in vaspin as well as resistin levels between NW and MO groups. Significantly increased leptin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin and vaspin-to-adiponectin values were noted in MO in comparison with those of NW. The most valuable adipokine index was progranulin-to-adiponectin (p ≤ 0.01). This index was strongly correlated with vaspin-to-adiponectin ratio in all groups (p ≤ 0.05). There was no correlation between vaspin-to-adiponectin and chemerin-to--adiponectin in NW group. However, a correlation existed in MO group (r = 0.486; p ≤ 0.05). Much stronger correlation (r = 0.609; p ≤ 0.01) was observed in MetS group between these two adipokine indices. No correlations were detected between vaspin and progranulin as well as vaspin and chemerin levels. Correlation analyses showed a unique profile confined to MetS children. Adiponectin was found to be correlated with waist-to-hip (r = -0.435; p ≤ 0.05) as well as head-to-neck (r = 0.541; p ≤ 0.05) ratios only in MetS children. In this study, it has been investigated if adipokine indices have priority over adipokine levels. In conclusion, vaspin-to-adiponectin, progranulin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin along with waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios were the optimal combinations. Adiponectin, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck, vaspin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin ratios had appropriate discriminatory capability for MetS children.
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Neuropalliative Care in Patients with Progressive Neurological Disease in Czech Republic: Study Protocol

Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.

Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration

Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

A Literature Review on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity

The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.

Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.

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