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1.  Antioxidant enzymes activities in obese Tunisian children 
Nutrition Journal  2013;12:18.
The oxidant stress, expected to increase in obese adults, has an important role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. It results when free radical formation is greatly increased or protective antioxidant mechanisms are compromised. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the antioxidant response to obesity-related stress in healthy children.
A hundred and six healthy children (54 obese and 52 controls), aged 6–12 years old, participated in this study. The collected data included anthropometric measures, blood pressure, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and enzymatic antioxidants (Superoxide dismutase: SOD, Catalase: CAT and Glutathione peroxidase: GPx).
The first step antioxidant response, estimated by the SOD activity, was significantly higher in obese children compared with normal-weight controls (p < 0.05). Mean activities of anti-radical GPx and CAT enzymes were not affected by the BMI increase. Although, total cholesterol levels were statistically higher in the obese group, there was no significant association with the SOD activity.
The obesity-related increase of the oxidant stress can be observed even in the childhood period. In addition to the complications of an increased BMI, obesity itself can be considered as an independent risk factor of free radical production resulting in an increased antioxidant response.
PMCID: PMC3568046  PMID: 23360568
Catalase; Glutathione peroxidase; Superoxide dismutase; Obesity; Oxidant stress; Children
2.  Brain magnetic resonance imaging findings in adult patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Increased frequency of white matter impairment and temporal lobe structures dysgenesis 
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an inherited recessive disorder of adrenal steroidogenesis. The enzymes most commonly affected are 21-hydroxylase. Past reports suggested brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities in CAH patients, affecting white matter signal, temporal lobe and amygdala structure and function.
In the present study, we aimed to investigate the frequency of white matter changes and temporal lobes structures dysgenesis in a population of patients having CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency.
Materials and Methods:
Neurological examination and brain MRI were performed in 26 patients.
Neurological examination revealed mental retardation in three patients, tremor in two patients, tendon reflexes asymmetry in one patient, and cerebellar syndrome in one patient. Eleven patients (42.3%) showed MRI abnormalities: Eight of them had white matter hyperintensities, one patient had moderate atrophy in the right temporal, and hippocampal dysgenesis was found in the remaining two patients.
Brain MRI abnormalities in CAH patients include white matter hyperintensities and temporal lobe structures dysgenesis. The mechanisms involved seem related to hormonal imbalances during brain development and exposure to excess exogenous glucocorticoids. Clinical implications of such lesions remain unclear. More extensive studies are required to define better the relationships between brain involvement and different CAH phenotypes and treatment regimens.
PMCID: PMC3659878  PMID: 23776864
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia; glucocorticoids; leukoencephalopathy; magnetic resonance imaging; temporal lobe
3.  Metabolic profile and cardiovascular risk factors in adult patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency 
In congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), long-term glucocorticoid treatment coupled with increased androgens may lead to undesirable metabolic effects. The aim of our report was to determine the prevalence of metabolic abnormalities and cardiovascular risk factors in a population of adult patients with CAH due to 21 hydroxylase deficiency.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-six patients (11 males and 15 females, mean age ± SD=27.4±8.2 years) were recruited. Anthropometry, body composition, metabolic parameters and cardiovascular risk factors were studied.
Obesity (overweight included) was noted in 16 patients (61.5%), with android distribution in all cases. Bioelectrical impedance showed increased body fat mass in 12 patients (46.1%). Lipid profile alterations and carbohydrate metabolism disorders were detected in seven (26.9%) and five (19.2%) patients respectively. Moderate hepatic cytolysis, associated with hepatic steatosis, was found in one patient. Seven patients (27%) had insulin resistance. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring showed abnormalities in six patients (23%). Increased carotid intima media thickness was found in 14 patients (53.8%).
Adult CAH patients tend to have altered metabolic parameters and a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Lifelong follow-up, lifestyle modifications, and attempts to adjust and reduce the glucocorticoid doses seem important.
PMCID: PMC3510964  PMID: 23226639
Cardiovascular risk; metabolic profile; body composition; congenital adrenal hyperplasia; 21-hydroxylase deficiency
4.  Primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin of Helicobacter pylori isolated from Tunisian patients with peptic ulcers and gastritis: a prospective multicentre study 
The frequency of primary resistance to antibiotics in H. pylori isolates is increasing worldwide. In Tunisia, there are limited data regarding the pattern of H. pylori antibiotic primary resistance.
To evaluate the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and to detect the mutations involved in clarithromycin resistance.
Materials and methods
273 strains isolated from adults and children were enrolled. The primary resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin was evaluated by means of E-test minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC). The real-time PCR using Scorpion primers was performed in all cases to assess clarithromycin primary resistance and point mutations involved.
No resistance to amoxicillin was detected. For adults, resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole was found respectively in 14.6% and 56.8%, and respectively in 18.8% and 25% in children. Overall, the rates of global primary resistance to clarithromycin and metronidazole in Tunisia were respectively determined in 15.4% and 51.3%.
By the use of Scorpion PCR, the A2143G was the most frequent point mutation observed (88.1%), followed by the A2142G (11.9%); the A2142C was not found and 18 of 42 patients (42.8%) were infected by both the resistant and the susceptible genotype.
The association of clarithromycin resistance with gender was not statistically significant, but metronidazole resistant strains were isolated more frequently in females (67.8%) than in males (32.2%) and the difference was significant. As for gastroduodenal diseases, the difference between strains isolated from patients with peptic ulceration and those with non peptic ulceration was not statistically significant. When about the distribution of resistant strains to clarithromycin and metronidazole between the three Tunisian cities (Tunis, Menzel Bourguiba and Mahdia), the difference was not statistically significant.
Local data regarding the primary resistance of H. pylori to clarithromycin, metronidazole and amoxicillin and the main genetic mutation involved in clarithromycin resistance in vivo (A2143G) are necessary to prove a clear need for a periodic evaluation of antibiotic consumption and new therapeutic strategies in Tunisia in order to avoid the emergence of resistant strains.
PMCID: PMC2928169  PMID: 20707901

Results 1-4 (4)