Porto, Portugal

Fernando Pessoa University

Porto, Portugal

Universidade Fernando Pessoa is a university located in Porto and Ponte de Lima, Portugal.It was founded in 1996, and it is named for Fernando Pessoa. Wikipedia.

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Sa M.J.,Centro Hospitalar Sao Joao | Sa M.J.,Fernando Pessoa University
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2013

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable disease, and despite current pharmacologic treatment being effective in reducing relapse rates and lesion burden, there is little evidence that these treatments work as effectively in preventing disability progression. In such cases, non-pharmacologic techniques such as exercise therapy with rehabilitation purposes may play an important role. This systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) aims at investigating the effects of exercise therapy in MS patients. The electronic database PubMed was searched for studies indexed between February 2004 and June 2012. Studies eligibility criteria included: clinical diagnosis of MS free of exacerbation; and intervention with exercise therapy, measured as activities of daily living (ADL). Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts of the references retrieved. The methodological quality of the RCTs was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale (PEDro scale). The PubMed search resulted in a total of 72 articles, 11 of which were included in this review. The analysis included 591 participants, of which 358 (60.6 %) were women. Patients had a mean age between 37.1 and 54.6 years. Duration of MS since diagnosis was reported in nine of the 11 studies and varied between 5.2 and 15.9 years. According to PEDro scale, nine of the 11 included studies were considered to be of high methodological quality, with scores ranging from 7 to 10. In eight of the 11 included studies, the effectiveness of exercise therapy was compared to standard care, in two it was compared to those on a waiting list, and in one, to control treatment. The results of this review suggest that exercise therapy may have a beneficial effect in patients with MS, and therefore may be recommended for the rehabilitation of these patients. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Doktorovova S.,Royal University | Doktorovova S.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Souto E.B.,IBB Institute for Biotechnology And Bioengineering | Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Silva A.M.,Royal University
European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics | Year: 2014

Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) were developed as alternative to other colloidal carriers. They were designed to overcome lipid nanoemulsions and liposomes in stability and ability to control the release of an encapsulated substance, and at the same time to be better tolerated than polymeric nanoparticles. Since the patenting of SLN discovery, large amount of data became available on the behaviour of these systems in vitro. SLN/NLC have many prerequisites to be a well tolerated carrier - the currently available data seem to confirm it, but there are also some contradictory results. In this review, we collected the available data from cytotoxicity, oxidative stress and hemocompatibility studies in vitro and analysed their outcomes. We also provide a summary of the available data in a form of reference table. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Souto E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University
Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology | Year: 2010

The main aim of pharmaceutical technology research is the design of successful formulations for effective therapy, taking into account several issues including therapeutic requirements and patient compliance. In this regard, several achievements have been reported with colloidal carriers, in particular with lipid nanoparticles, due to their unique physicochemical properties. For several years these carriers have been showing potential success for several administration routes, namely oral, dermal, parenteral, and, more recently, for pulmonary and brain targeting. The present chapter provides a review of the use of solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) to modify the release profile and the pharmacokinetic parameters of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) incorporated in these lipid matrices, aiming to modify the API bioavailability, either upwards or downwards depending on the therapeutic requirement. Definitions of the morphological characteristics, surface properties, and polymorphic structures will also be given, emphasizing their influence on the incorporation parameters of the API, such as yield of production, loading capacity, and encapsulation efficiency. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Nunes B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Nunes B.,University of Aveiro
Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2011

Cholinesterase (ChE) is one of the most employed biomarkers in environmental analysis. Among ChEs, potentially the most significant in environmental terms is acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzymatic form that terminates the nerve impulse. Because of its physiological role, AChE has long been considered a highly specific biomarker for organisms exposed to anticholinesterasic agents, primarily agrochemicals (organophosphate and carbamate pesticides). The effects of these pesticides depend upon their selective inhibition of AChE. Because large amounts of such pesticides are employed, it is plausible that they exert neurotoxic effects on some non-target species. Therefore, AChE is among the most valuable of diagnostic tools that can be used to verify exposure to such chemical agents. It is well known that assays are available for use in quantifying AChE in multiple tissues of several test organisms. Enzymes other than AChE (e.g., butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterases) have also been used as putative markers for detecting the environmental presence of contaminating compounds. Researchers must use a step-bystep approach to identify the most prominent cholinesterasic form present in a given species, so that this form can be distinguished from others that may interfere with its use. Such fundamental work must be completed prior to using ChEs for any monitoring to assess for anticholinesterasic effects. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Antunes E.B.,Fernando Pessoa University | Lunet N.,University of Porto
Gerodontology | Year: 2012

Objective: Ageing is associated with modifications in upper oesophageal sphincter function that may be deleterious to deglutition. The head lift exercise (Shaker exercise) is a head-raising work out aiming to improve the opening of this segment, and ultimately to reduce aspiration. We aimed to review critically the evidence on the effects of this structured intervention programme and to identify gaps to be filled by future research. Material and Methods: We identified published reports addressing the effect of this exercise in increasing the anteroposterior diameter and cross-sectional area of the deglutitive upper oesophageal sphincter opening or dysphagic symptoms. Results: Nine methodologically heterogeneous studies were included in the review, and the reported effects of the head lift exercise were an increase in the anterior excursion of the larynx and in the anteroposterior diameter of the upper oesophageal sphincter opening, and the elimination of dysphagic symptoms. Conclusion: Further studies including control groups and accounting for potential confounders are needed for a sound assessment of the effectiveness of this technique. The data on the functional results are, however, promising for dysphagia interventions. © 2012 The Gerodontology Society and John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Silva P.J.,Fernando Pessoa University
Journal of Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

Substituted pyrroles may be synthesized from selected 1,2-pyridazines through a reductive ring contraction involving the addition of four electrons and four protons. Our density functional theory computations of this reaction mechanism show that the first reduction event must be preceded by the uptake of one proton by 1,2-pyridazine and that the reaction proceeds through a 2e -/3H +-bearing intermediate. In the absence of electron-withdrawing groups able to resonate charge away from the ring, this intermediate lies too high in energy, making the reaction sequence thermodynamically inaccessible. After another two-electron reduction and the addition of two more protons, the original 1,2-pyridazine ring opens. Ring contraction and ammonia elimination then proceed with very small barriers, irrespective of the substituents present in the original 1,2-pyridazine. By establishing the need for electron-withdrawing resonant groups in the 3- and 6-positions to stabilize the critical intermediate in the initial stages of the reaction, this work suggests that the scope of the reductive ring contraction of 1,2-pyridazines may be expanded to pyridazines bearing COCH 3 groups, amides or aryls in these positions. We also explain the lack of reactivity of unsubstituted 1,2-pyridazine and analyze the feasibility of bypassing the high energy 2e -/3H +-intermediate through disproportionation of earlier 2e -/2H +-bearing intermediates. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Rocha A.,Fernando Pessoa University
International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics | Year: 2011

Information Systems and Technologies (IST) in healthcare have evolved gradually, and theories about IST adoption and maturity are sufficiently established in the literature of organizational management. This paper examines the evolution of IST in healthcare. The author introduces concepts associated with maturity models, addresses the generic maturity model for IST management, and presents the main maturity models, specifically focusing on the management of IST in healthcare. Widespread and detailed maturity models are not fully available, and the opportunity to develop new maturity models that focus on IST management in healthcare still exists. Copyright © 2011, IGI Global.

Rocha A.,Fernando Pessoa University
Online Information Review | Year: 2012

Purpose-This paper aims to propose a high-level structure for a global quality evaluation of a website. This structure is based on the characteristics, sub-characteristics and attributes of three main dimensions (content, service, and technical quality) that will substantiate the development of broad website quality evaluation, comparison and improvement methodologies, according to particular sectors of activity and evaluator's perspective. Design/methodology/ approach-Based on the literature and the author's experience a framework is proposed for a global quality evaluation of a website. Findings-Considering the results of some studies, as well as the systematisation of the knowledge available in several bibliographies, website quality can be grouped into three main dimensions: Content quality, service quality, and technical quality. There has not yet been an evaluation methodology that focuses on these three main website quality dimensions in a broad and transversal sense. Originality/value-The paper presents an innovative high-level structure for a global quality evaluation of a website, based on three dimensions not previously considered together. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Polonia J.,University of Porto | Martins L.,Fernando Pessoa University | Pinto F.,CHEDV | Nazare J.,Hospital Egas Moniz
Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2014

Objective: To determine prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension and the 24-h sodium excretion (24h-UNa) in the Portuguese adult population and to examine their changes from a similar study done in 2003. DESIGN AND SETTING: A population-based cross-sectional survey conducted in 2011-2012. Methods: A multistage-stratified (by age and sex) sampling method was used to select a representative sample of the 18-90-year-old population yielding 3720 participants (52.6% women, 97.1% Caucasians). Hypertension was defined as a SBP of at least 140mmHg or DBP of at least 90mmHg [average of 2-3 blood pressure (BP) measurements by trained observers with OMRON M6] or reported knowledge or treatment with antihypertensive drugs at the first visit (V1). A complete clinical information was obtained with a standard questionnaire. This procedure was repeated 10-15 days after visit 2 (V2) and 24-h urinary sample was collected for 24h-UNa, 24-h potassium excretion and creatinine excretion. Results: The overall prevalence of hypertension at V1 was 42.2% (44.4% in men, 40.2% in women) (42.1% in 2003) the age-specific prevalence of hypertension was 6.8, 46.9 and 74.9% in people below 35 years, 35-64 years and above 64 years. Comorbidities were 2.2-6.3 times more common in hypertensive patients vs. normotensive individuals. Overall, among the hypertensive patients, 76.6% were aware of the hypertension condition, 74.9% were treated and 42.5% were controlled (BP <140/90mmHg), that is, respectively, 1.7, 1.9 and 3.8 times higher vs. data in 2003, with lower values in men vs. women and younger vs. older people. Global mean BP was 127.4/74.6±17.7/10.5 vs. 134.7/80.4±21.2/14.1mmHg in 2003. From V1 to V2, control of hypertension increased on average by 14.8%. Multivariate analysis showed that age and BMI were independently associated with prevalence of hypertension. 24h-UNa (84% valid urinary samples) was 182.5±64.7mmol/day (10.7g salt/day) and 24-h potassium excretion 75.2±26.1mmol/day. 24h-UNa was higher in patients with hypertension than in normotensive individuals (185.4±64.8 vs. 177.8±64.5mmol/day; P<0.02) and correlated with SBP (r=0.05), age (r=0.08) and BMI (r=0.10) (P<0.01). Conclusion: Hypertension prevalence among Portuguese adults remained stable in the past decade, but proportions of awareness, treatment and control of hypertension improved significantly. Salt intake is still high being almost double the WHO recommendations. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams Wilkins.

Rebocho M.F.,Fernando Pessoa University
Aggression and Violent Behavior | Year: 2014

Research on sex offenders has consistently emphasized the role of personal factors, while neglecting to consider the role of environmental and situational factors. The environmental perspective is primarily interested in crime, of which the offender is only one element, and the analysis begins with the location of the crimes, aiming at sorting out patterns in where, when and how crimes occur. Over the past few years there has been an increase in research on rapists' modus operandi, geographic decision-making, and target selection. This article aims at providing a comprehensive review of the work that has been done in the field of rapists' target selection and hunting behavior, from an environmental standpoint. After a brief introduction and review of the theoretical models in environmental criminology, empirical studies are presented that investigate the geography of sex offending, offenders' hunting behavior and hunting process, geographic decision-making in target selection, and the influence of routine activities and offender type in target selection. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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