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1.  Impact of tuberculosis treatment on health-related quality of life of pulmonary tuberculosis patients: a follow-up study 
At present, much of the attention within tuberculosis (TB) management is spent on microbiological cure, and its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is either undervalued or seldom considered. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of TB treatment on HRQoL of new smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients. Moreover, we also aimed to determine whether the selected socio-demographic and clinical variables were predictive of variability in the HRQoL scores over time.
This was a prospective follow-up of new smear positive PTB patients who were diagnosed at the chest clinic of Penang General Hospital between March 2010 and February 2011. All eligible patients (i.e., a new case of smear positive PTB, literate and aged 18 years or above) were asked to self-complete the SF-36v2 questionnaire at the start of their treatment, and then subsequently after the intensive phase and at the end of the treatment. A score on a health domain or component summary measure that was less than 47 norm-based scoring (NBS) point was considered indicative of impaired function within that health domain or dimension. Likewise, an individual having mental component summary (MCS) score ≤ 42 NBS point was considered to be at the risk of depression. Repeated measures ANOVA test was performed to examine how the summary scores varied over time, and to determine whether independent variables were predictive of variability in the physical component summary (PCS) and MCS scores over time.
A total of 216 patients completed the SF-36v2 questionnaire at the start of their treatment. Out of these, 177 and 153 completed the questionnaire at the second and third follow-ups, respectively. The mean PCS scores at the start of the treatment, after the intensive phase and at the end of treatment were 41.9 (SD 5.1), 45.8 (SD 4.8) and 46.0 (SD 6.9), respectively. Similarly, the mean MCS scores at the start of the treatment, after the intensive phase and at the end of the treatment were 39.9 (SD 7.3), 45.0 (SD 6.8) and 46.8 (SD 7.8), respectively. More than 23% of the patients were at the risk of depression at the end of their TB treatment. Patient’s age and being a smoker were predictive of differences in the PCS scores. Similarly, monthly income, being a smoker and TB-related symptoms at the start of the treatment were predictive of differences in the MCS scores.
Although HRQoL improved with the treatment, the scores on component summary measures showed compromised physical and mental health among study patients even at the end of their TB treatment.
PMCID: PMC3925792  PMID: 24528499
Health-related quality of life; Smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis; SF-36v2 health survey; Longitudinal study; Minimal clinically important difference; Malaysia
2.  Sonic hedgehog signalling pathway: a complex network 
Annals of Neurosciences  2014;21(1):28-31.
Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signalling cascade is one of the intricate signal transduction mechanisms that govern the precisely regulated developmental processes of multicellular organisms. Along with establishing the patterns of cellular differentiation to direct complex organ formation, it also has an important role in post-embryonic tissue regeneration and repair processes. Especially, Shh signalling is implicated in the induction of multifarious neuronal populations in central nervous system. There is compelling evidence of the involvement of Shh protein in the signalling network that regulates various morphogenetic processes such as the exquisite neural tube pattern formation. In the morphogenetic field, the activation of Shh signalling processes is intricately linked to the alterations at the molecular level in the structure of Shh protein that leads to its altered biophysical and biochemical reactivity. This brief article gives an overview of such complex cascade of events in Shh signalling and its transduction pathways.
PMCID: PMC4117150  PMID: 25206052
Sonic hedgehog; Holoprosencephaly; Notochord; Neural tube pattern; Autoproteolysis; Lipidation
3.  Microcalorimetric Method to Assess Phagocytosis: Macrophage-Nanoparticle Interactions 
The AAPS Journal  2010;13(1):20-29.
This study evaluated the use of isothermal microcalorimetry (ITMC) to detect macrophage–nanoparticle interactions. Four different nanoparticle (NP) formulations were prepared: uncoated poly(isobutyl cyanoacrylate) (PIBCA), polysorbate-80-coated PIBCA, gelatin, and mannosylated gelatin NPs. Changes in NP formulations were aimed to either enhance or decrease macrophage–NP interactions via phagocytosis. Alveolar macrophages were cultured on glass slabs and inserted in the ITMC instrument. Thermal activities of the macrophages alone and after titration of 100 μL of NP suspensions were compared. The relative interactive coefficients of macrophage–NP interactions were calculated using the heat exchange observed after NP titration. Control experiments were performed using cytochalasin B (Cyto B), a known phagocytosis inhibitor. The results of NP titration showed that the total thermal activity produced by macrophages changed according to the NP formulation. Mannosylated gelatin NPs were associated with the highest heat exchange, 75.4 ± 7.5 J, and thus the highest relative interactive coefficient, 9,269 ± 630 M-1. Polysorbate-80-coated NPs were associated with the lowest heat exchange, 15.2 ± 3.4 J, and the lowest interactive coefficient, 890 ± 120 M-1. Cyto B inhibited macrophage response to NPs, indicating a connection between the thermal activity recorded and NP phagocytosis. These results are in agreement with flow cytometry results. ITMC is a valuable tool to monitor the biological responses to nano-sized dosage forms such as NPs. Since the thermal activity of macrophage–NP interactions differed according to the type of NPs used, ITMC may provide a method to better understand phagocytosis and further the development of colloidal dosage forms.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-010-9240-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3032094  PMID: 21057907
flow cytometry; isothermal microcalorimetry; macrophages; nanoparticles; phagocytosis

Results 1-3 (3)