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2.  Medicinal Plants and Their Inhibitory Activities against Pancreatic Lipase: A Review 
Obesity is recognized as a major life style disorder especially in developing countries and it is prevailing at an alarming speed in new world countries due to fast food intake, industrialization, and reduction of physical activity. Furthermore, it is associated with a vast number of chronic diseases and disabilities. To date, relatively effective drugs, from either natural or synthetic sources, are generally associated with serious side effects, often leading to cessation of clinical trials or even withdrawal from the market. In order to find new compounds which are more effective or with less adverse effects compared to orlistat, the drug that has been approved for obesity, new compounds isolated from natural products are being identified and screened for antiobesity effects, in particular, for their pancreatic lipase inhibitory effect. Pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity has been extensively used for the determination of potential efficacy of natural products as antiobesity agents. In attempts to identify natural products for overcoming obesity, more researches have been focused on the identification of newer pancreatic lipase inhibitors with less unpleasant adverse effects. In this review, we consider the potential role of plants that have been investigated for their pancreatic lipase inhibitory activity.
PMCID: PMC4657100  PMID: 26640503
3.  Fully automated segmentation of the cervical cord from T1-weighted MRI using PropSeg: Application to multiple sclerosis☆ 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2015;10:71-77.
Spinal cord (SC) atrophy, i.e. a reduction in the SC cross-sectional area (CSA) over time, can be measured by means of image segmentation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, segmentation methods have been limited by factors relating to reproducibility or sensitivity to change. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a fully automated SC segmentation method (PropSeg), and compare this to a semi-automated active surface (AS) method, in healthy controls (HC) and people with multiple sclerosis (MS). MRI data from 120 people were retrospectively analysed; 26 HC, 21 with clinically isolated syndrome, 26 relapsing remitting MS, 26 primary and 21 secondary progressive MS. MRI data from 40 people returning after one year were also analysed. CSA measurements were obtained within the cervical SC. Reproducibility of the measurements was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). A comparison between mean CSA changes obtained with the two methods over time was performed using multivariate structural equation regression models. Associations between CSA measures and clinical scores were investigated using linear regression models. Compared to the AS method, the reproducibility of CSA measurements obtained with PropSeg was high, both in patients and in HC, with ICC > 0.98 in all cases. There was no significant difference between PropSeg and AS in terms of detecting change over time. Furthermore, PropSeg provided measures that correlated with physical disability, similar to the AS method. PropSeg is a time-efficient and reliable segmentation method, which requires no manual intervention, and may facilitate large multi-centre neuroprotective trials in progressive MS.
•PropSeg is a fully automated segmentation method to measure cord atrophy in MS.•PropSeg offers comparable results to a widely used semi-automated method.•PropSeg is available for immediate clinical utility.
PMCID: PMC4678307  PMID: 26793433
Magnetic resonance imaging; Image segmentation; Cord cross-sectional area; Grey matter; White matter
5.  Adverse Health Effects and Unhealthy Behaviors among Medical Students Using Facebook 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:465161.
Little is known about the relationships between adverse health effects and unhealthy behaviors among medical students using Facebook. The aim of this study was to determine the associations between adverse health effects and unhealthy behaviors with Facebook use. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a private university in Malaysia among 316 medical students. A self-administered questionnaire was used. It included questions on sociodemographics, pattern of Facebook use, social relationship, unhealthy behaviors, and health effects. Mean age was 20.5 (±2.7) years. All students had a Facebook account. The average daily Facebook surfing hours were 2.5 (±1.7). Significant associations were found between average hours of Facebook surfing and the following factors: isolation from family members and community, refusing to answer calls, musculoskeletal pain, headache, and eye irritation (P < 0.005). The average hours spent on Facebook were significantly associated with holding urination and defecation while online, surfing Facebook until midnight, and postponing, forgetting, or skipping meals (P < 0.005). The average hours spent on Facebook were associated with adverse health effects and unhealthy behaviors among medical students, as well as social isolation from the family and community.
PMCID: PMC3888741  PMID: 24453859
6.  Prevalence and factors associated with neck, shoulder and low back pains among medical students in a Malaysian Medical College 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:244.
The main purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence, body distributions and factors associated with musculoskeletal pain (MSP) among medical students in a private Malaysian medical college.
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 232 medical students in a private medical college using an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was a modified Standardized Nordic Questionnaire focused on neck, shoulder and low back pain in the past week and the past year.
Two hundred and thirty two medical students responded to the questionnaire out of 642. Mean age was 20.7 ± 2.1 years. The majority were female (62.9%), Malay (80.6%) and in the preclinical years (72%). One hundred and six (45.7%) of all students had at least one site of MSP in the past week and 151 (65.1%) had at least one site of MSP in the past year. MSP in the past week was associated significantly with the academic year, (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.15-3.67, P = 0.015), history of trauma (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.2-5.3, P = 0.011), family history of MSP (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-3.9, P = 0.023) and Body Mass Index (BMI) (P = 0.028). MSP in the past year was significantly associated with computer use (P = 0.027), daily hours of computer use (median ± IQR (5.0 ±3.0), history of trauma (OR 7.5, 95% CI 2.24-2.56, P < 0.01) and family history of MSP (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.31-4.90, P = 0.006). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with MSP during the past week were a family history of MSP (p = 0.029) and BMI (p = 0.03). Factors associated with MSP during the past year were being in clinical years (p = 0.002, computer use (p = 0.038), and a history of trauma (p = 0.030).
MSP among medical students was relatively high, thus, further clinical assessment is needed in depth study of ergonomics. The study results indicate that medical school authorities should take measures to prevent MSP due to factors related to medical school. Students should make aware of importance of weight reduction to reduce MSP.
PMCID: PMC3733931  PMID: 23815853
Musculoskeletal pain; Medical students; Malaysia
7.  Factor Structure and Reliability of the Malay Version of the Perceived Stress Scale among Malaysian Medical Students 
The Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS-10) is a validated and reliable instrument to measure global levels of perceived stress. This study aims to assess the internal consistency, reliability, and factor structure of the Malay version of the PSS-10 for use among medical students.
The original English version of the PSS-10 was translated and back-translated into Malay language. The Malay version was distributed to 242 Bachelor of Medical Science students in a private university in Malaysia. Test–retest reliability was assessed in 70 students. An exploratory principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was performed. Reliability was tested using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
All 242 students participated in the initial questionnaire study (validity and factor structure), and 70 students participated in the test–retest reliability of the study. Exploratory factor analysis yielded 2 factors that accounted for 57.8% of the variance. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the 2 factors were 0.85 and 0.70, respectively. The reliability test showed an ICC of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.89).
The Malay version of the PSS-10 showed adequate psychometric properties. It is a useful instrument for measuring stress among medical students in Malaysia.
PMCID: PMC3684234  PMID: 23785249
Malaysia; medical; psychological; reliability and validity; stress; students
8.  Quantitative Assessment of Expression of Lactate Dehydrogenase and its Isoforms 3 and 4 may Serve as Useful Indicators of Progression of Gallbladder Cancer: A Pilot Study 
We have studied the expression of lactate dehydrogenase and its isoforms in gall bladder cancer, cholelithiasis and chronic cholecystitis. Quantitative and qualitative assays of lactate dehydrogenase and its various isoforms were carried out in the blood sera of patients and healthy controls along with parallel estimation of various liver function test enzymes. Statistical analysis was done using the software Graph Pad Prism. Significantly high expression of lactate dehydrogenase along with alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin (P ≤ 0.05) was observed in all the three clinical conditions as compared to controls. LDH showed an increasing trend from stage I to stage IV of GBC indicating a significant positive association with the disease progression. The levels of LDH 3 and 4 isoforms appeared significantly more elevated in GBC than cholelithiasis or chronic cholecystitis. We suggest that a careful estimation of total LDH and its isoforms 3 and 4 alone or along with alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin during different clinical stages, like chronic cholecystitis, cholelithiasis and GBC, may prove to be a potentially useful biomarker in the prognostic management of gall bladder diseases, specifically GBC.
PMCID: PMC3107415  PMID: 22468041
Gallbladder cancer; Lactate dehydrogenase; Cholelithiasis; Chronic cholecystitis
9.  Inheritance of coronary artery disease in men: an analysis of the role of the Y chromosome 
Lancet  2012;379(9819):915-922.
A sexual dimorphism exists in the incidence and prevalence of coronary artery disease—men are more commonly affected than are age-matched women. We explored the role of the Y chromosome in coronary artery disease in the context of this sexual inequity.
We genotyped 11 markers of the male-specific region of the Y chromosome in 3233 biologically unrelated British men from three cohorts: the British Heart Foundation Family Heart Study (BHF-FHS), West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), and Cardiogenics Study. On the basis of this information, each Y chromosome was tracked back into one of 13 ancient lineages defined as haplogroups. We then examined associations between common Y chromosome haplogroups and the risk of coronary artery disease in cross-sectional BHF-FHS and prospective WOSCOPS. Finally, we undertook functional analysis of Y chromosome effects on monocyte and macrophage transcriptome in British men from the Cardiogenics Study.
Of nine haplogroups identified, two (R1b1b2 and I) accounted for roughly 90% of the Y chromosome variants among British men. Carriers of haplogroup I had about a 50% higher age-adjusted risk of coronary artery disease than did men with other Y chromosome lineages in BHF-FHS (odds ratio 1·75, 95% CI 1·20–2·54, p=0·004), WOSCOPS (1·45, 1·08–1·95, p=0·012), and joint analysis of both populations (1·56, 1·24–1·97, p=0·0002). The association between haplogroup I and increased risk of coronary artery disease was independent of traditional cardiovascular and socioeconomic risk factors. Analysis of macrophage transcriptome in the Cardiogenics Study revealed that 19 molecular pathways showing strong differential expression between men with haplogroup I and other lineages of the Y chromosome were interconnected by common genes related to inflammation and immunity, and that some of them have a strong relevance to atherosclerosis.
The human Y chromosome is associated with risk of coronary artery disease in men of European ancestry, possibly through interactions of immunity and inflammation.
British Heart Foundation; UK National Institute for Health Research; LEW Carty Charitable Fund; National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; European Union 6th Framework Programme; Wellcome Trust.
PMCID: PMC3314981  PMID: 22325189
10.  Use of complementary and alternative medicine among asthmatic patients in primary care clinics in Malaysia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2011;6(3):115-119.
This study aimed to determine the knowledge about asthma and the prevalence, disclosure and evaluation of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among asthmatic patients.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 95 patients diagnosed with asthma in a primary healthcare centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using a self-administered questionnaire.
Ninety-five patients with a mean age of 47.06 years (±12.8) participated, the majority were female (66.7%), Malay (72.6%). The prevalence of ever-CAM use was 61.1%. The non-ever-CAM users’ mean age was 51±13.9 years while the ever-CAM users’ mean age was 44.5 ±11.5 years (P = 0.021). Sixty-three females (66.8%) used CAM compared to 14 males (43.8%) (P = 0.014). Thirty-six (62.1%) CAM users had not discussed use of CAM with their doctors. The main reason of non-disclosure was the doctor never asked (55.6%), and the main sources of information about CAM were family and relatives (46.6%). There was no significant difference between use of CAM and knowledge about asthma. The majority of asthmatic patients used rubs (39%), foods (16.9%) and herbs (16.9%). About 76% of asthmatic patients perceived CAM as good for their disease management. On linear multiple regression, Malay race (P = 0.026) and female gender (P = 0.006) were significant predictors of CAM use.
Use of CAM among asthmatic patients is relatively high, particularly among females. The majority of asthmatic patients valued the use of CAM. Non-disclosure was high in this study. Health education of asthmatic patients about CAM is highly recommended.
PMCID: PMC3131752  PMID: 21760841
Asthma; complementary and alternative medicine; disclosure; Malaysia
11.  Stress and Coping Strategies of Students in a Medical Faculty in Malaysia 
Stress may affect students’ health and their academic performance. Coping strategies are specific efforts that individuals employ to manage stress. This study aimed to assess the perception of stress among medical students and their coping strategies.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 376 medical and medical sciences undergraduates in Management and Science University in Malaysia. Stress was assessed by a global rating of stress. Sources of stress were assessed using a 17-item questionnaire. The validated Brief COPE inventory was used to assess coping strategies.
The majority of respondents were females (64.4%), aged 21 years or older (63.0%), and were Malays (68.9%). Forty-six percent felt stress. The most common stressor was worries of the future (71.0%), followed by financial difficulties (68.6%). Significant predictors of stress were smoking (OR = 2.9, 95% CI 1.3–6.8, P = 0.009), worries of the future (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.3–3.4, P = 0.005), self-blame (OR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.5, P = 0.001), lack of emotional support (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.7–0.9, P = 0.017), and lack of acceptance (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–0.9, P = 0.010). Students used active coping, religious coping reframing, planning, and acceptance to cope with stress.
Stressors reported by the students were mainly financial and academic issues. Students adopted active coping strategies rather than avoidance. Students should receive consultation on how to manage and cope with stress.
PMCID: PMC3216229  PMID: 22135602
coping skills; Malaysia; medical school; social support; stress; students
12.  Health sector reforms and human resources for health in Uganda and Bangladesh: mechanisms of effect 
Despite the expanding literature on how reforms may affect health workers and which reactions they may provoke, little research has been conducted on the mechanisms of effect through which health sector reforms either promote or discourage health worker performance. This paper seeks to trace these mechanisms and examines the contextual framework of reform objectives in Uganda and Bangladesh, and health workers' responses to the changes in their working environments by taking a 'realistic evaluation' approach.
The study findings were generated by triangulating both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis among policy technocrats, health managers and groups of health providers. Quantitative surveys were conducted with over 700 individual health workers in both Bangladesh and Uganda and supplemented with qualitative data obtained from focus group discussions and key interviews with professional cadres, health managers and key institutions involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of the reforms of interest.
The reforms in both countries affected the workforce through various mechanisms. In Bangladesh, the effects of the unification efforts resulted in a power struggle and general mistrust between the two former workforce tracts, family planning and health. However positive effects of the reforms were felt regarding the changes in payment schemes. Ugandan findings show how the workforce responded to a strong and rapidly implemented system of decentralisation where the power of new local authorities was influenced by resource constraints and nepotism in recruitment. On the other hand, closer ties to local authorities provided the opportunity to gain insight into the operational constraints originating from higher levels that health staff were dealing with.
Findings from the study suggest that a) reform planners should use the proposed dynamic responses model to help design reform objectives that encourage positive responses among health workers b) the role of context has been underestimated and it is necessary to address broader systemic problems before initiating reform processes, c) reform programs need to incorporate active implementation research systems to learn the contextual dynamics and responses as well as have inbuilt program capacity for corrective measures d) health workers are key stakeholders in any reform process and should participate at all stages and e) some effects of reforms on the health workforce operate indirectly through levels of satisfaction voiced by communities utilising the services.
PMCID: PMC1800303  PMID: 17270042

Résultats 1-12 (12)