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Porto Alegre, Brazil

Schneider L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Oliveira D.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Strapasson A.C.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ferreira B.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Health Promotion and Education | Year: 2012

The ability to understand the features of the white blood cell is an important skill for medical undergraduates. The objective was to develop a game that would improve medical students' knowledge about the value and interpretation of the white blood cell. The game consists of 63 cards, including different clinical cases involving conditions that modify white blood cell count, related laboratory findings, and the respective diagnosis. The objective of the game was to match the three groups of cards, explaining their association. The evaluation tools included pretests and posttests, in addition to a structured questionnaire to identify the overall perception of the game. The game was applied to 90 undergraduate pre-clinical medical students of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The results of this study show that pretest and posttest mean scores were 8.6 (1.62) and 9.27 (1.30), with a statistically significant difference. Thirty-seven students (39.4%) did not know the answer to at least one question on the pretest, compared to seven students (7.4%) on the posttest ( p , 0.001). The overall response to the game was positive: 75 (83.3%) students answered that the game helped them understand the subject matter, whereas 89 (98.9%) students affirmed that the game encouraged clinical thinking. In conclusion, the presentation of this activelearning exercise was effective, successfully aiding the learning of this important medical topic. © 2012 Institute of Health Promotion and Education.

Brunetto De Farias C.,University Hospital Research Center | Brunetto De Farias C.,University of Porto | Heinen T.E.,University Hospital Research Center | Koehler-Santos P.,University Hospital Research Center | And 17 more authors.
Oncology | Year: 2010

Objective: Neurotrophin and neuropeptide pathways are emerging targets in cancer. Here we show that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, TrkB, are present in colorectal cancer and that BDNF levels are increased in tumors compared to nontumor tissue. In addition, we investigate the role of BDNF in influencing the response of colorectal cancer cells to inhibition of gastrin-releasing peptide receptors (GRPR). Methods: Fresh-frozen sporadic colorectal adenocarcinoma specimens and adjacent nonneoplastic tissue from 30 patients, as well as paraffin-embedded colorectal cancer samples from 21 patients, were used in this study. Cell proliferation and mRNA and protein levels were examined in HT-29 or SW620 cells treated with a GRPR antagonist, human recombinant BDNF (hrBDNF), a Trk antagonist K252a, or cetuximab. Results: Expression of BDNF and TrkB was detected in tumor samples and cell lines. BDNF levels were higher in tumor samples compared to nonneoplastic tissue. BDNF expression and secretion were increased by GRPR blockade in HT-29 cells through a mechanism dependent on epidermal growth factor receptors. Treatment with hrBDNF prevented the effect of GRPR blockade on cell proliferation, whereas a Trk inhibitor reduced proliferation. Conclusions: BDNF and TrkB are present in colorectal cancer and might contribute to resistance to GRPR antagonists. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Nisar M.K.,Jinnah Medical and Dental College | Jaleel A.,Ziauddin University | Afaq E.,Institute of Basic Health science | Aftab J.,Ziauddin University | And 2 more authors.
Medical Forum Monthly | Year: 2012

Objective: To determine plasma visfatin levels in patients with and without coronary artery disease and to correlate it with the coronary vessels blockage by using angiography. Study Design: Comparative Cross Sectional Study. Place and Duration of Study: This Study was conducted at the Department of Biochemistry, Ziauddin University and Jinnah Medical and Dental College, Karachi from June 2009 to November 2010. Materials and Methods: The study includes 80 subjects (mean age48.8±6.15; 40-55 years age range) who underwent coronary angiography for suspected coronary artery disease. Plasma visfatin levels were determined by using ELISA. Results: Out of these 80 study subjects, 30 (37.5%) had single vessel CAD, 12 (15%) had two vessels CAD, 24 (30%) had three vessels CAD and 14 (17.5%) had non significant disease. Serum Visfatin levels were higher in three vessel disease (5.82 ± 0.58) when compared with non significant (4.55 ± 1.10) single vessel disease (4.86±0.93) and two vessels disease (5.53± 0.79) respectively but these values were statistically nonsignificant in all four study groups. Conclusion: Serum Visfatin levels were high in all three study groups when compared with non significant disease group and positive correlation of serum visfatin with the extent of the coronary artery disease was observed.

De Oliveira Tatsch-Dias M.,Post Graduate Program in Medical science | De Oliveira Tatsch-Dias M.,Institute of Basic Health science | Levandovski R.M.,Laboratories of Chronobiology | Levandovski R.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 11 more authors.
NeuroImmunoModulation | Year: 2013

Objective: Activation of the immune-pineal axis induces a transient reduction in nocturnal melatonin in the plasma during the proinflammatory phase of an innate immune response to allow the proper migration of leukocytes to the lesion site. This transient reduction should be regulated by inflammatory mediators, which are responsible for the fine-tuning of the process. In the present study, we measured the pre-and postoperative serum concentrations of melatonin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and cortisol in women who underwent an elective hysterectomy and correlated the variation in melatonin with postoperative pain. Methods: We evaluated 12 women who had an abdominal hysterectomy. Blood was collected at 10.00 and 22.00 h 1 week and 1 day before the surgery, on the 1st and 2nd days after the surgery and at 22.00 h on the day of the surgery. Results: On the night after the surgery, there was no melatonin detected at 22.00 h. High TNF levels were accompanied by a lower nocturnal melatonin output, higher postoperative pain according to a visual analog scale and the request of higher doses of analgesics. In addition, low cortisol levels were accompanied by a lower nocturnal melatonin output. Conclusion: Our results confirm that the same antagonistic pattern between TNF and glucocorticoids observed in cultured pineal glands also occurs in humans. This integrative pattern suggests that the cross talk between the immune and endocrine system orchestrates longitudinal changes in pineal activity, reinforcing the hypothesis of an immune-pineal axis. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Stopiglia C.D.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Carissimi M.,City Hall of Caxias do Sul | Sorrentino J.M.,Institute of Basic Health science | Aquino V.R.,Microbiology Unit Section | And 3 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to develop and characterize antigens for the diagnosis of aspergillosis. Nine strains of Aspergillus species Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus niger were grown in Sabouraud and Smith broth to produce exoantigens. The antigens were tested by immunodiffusion against sera from patients with aspergillosis and other systemic mycoses. The protein fraction of the antigens was detected by SDS-PAGE; Western blot and representative bands were assessed by mass spectrometry coupled to a nano Acquity UltraPerformance LC and analyzed by the Mascot search engine. Concurrently, all sera were tested with Platelia Aspergillus EIA. The most reactive antigens to sera from patients infected by A. fumigatus were produced by A. fumigatus MG2 Sabouraud and pooled A. fumigatus Sabouraud samples, both with a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 100% and 97%, respectively. Aspergillus niger and A. flavus antigens were reactive against A. niger and A. flavus sera, each one with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. Two proteins, probably responsible for antigenic activity, β-glucosidase in A. fumigatus and a-amylase in A. niger were attained. The commercial kit had a specificity of 22%, sensitivity of 100%, positive predictive value of 48%, and negative predictive value of 100%. The antigens produced showed high sensitivity and specificity and can be exploited for diagnostics of aspergilloma.

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