Category Archives: Review

Pharmaceutical Serialization, a Global Effort to Combat Counterfeit Medicines

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0028

Objective: Pharmaceutical serialization is a process in the pharmaceutical industry that offers a secure solution to track and authenticate drugs in the distribution chain. The unique recognition number for every drug unit helps to identify and combat counterfeit products. This paper aims to highlight the advantages of serialization implementation as an innovative tool to combat globally the counterfeiting drugs phenomenon.
Methods: Worldwide a considerable effort was focused on enhancing medicines identification. Analytical methods, development of the new lab equipment, digital solutions, and blockchain technology are the new directions for the future. Also, legislation needs to be correlated at the international level between the pharmaceutical industry, distribution, and pharmacies.
Results: A good collaboration between responsible entities should be implemented to protect public health and to promote patients’ access to safe medicines. A directive implemented on European Union focused on fake drugs, Global Monitoring and Surveillance System launched by the World Health Organization, or the international campaign “Fight the Fakes” are remarkable examples.
Conclusions: An efficient joint effort between the pharmaceutical industry and law enforcement is required. Counterfeit medicines are a worldwide threat to public health and demand a unitary pharmaceutical serialization system to be implemented as an ideal solution.

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Effect of Caffeine on Pain Management

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0030

Caffeine is a widely consumed substance, as its main intake reasons are its memory and concentration enhancing properties. Beside these well-known effects, there has been put forward a hypothesis that caffeine consumption along with antinociceptive medication can potentiate the analgesic effect of this class of drugs. Our aim was to point out the importance of this particular potentiator effect by selecting and analyzing all papers on this topic written in English from the Medline database, published until the present moment. We observed that caffeine can represent a significant aid for certain patients in matters of pain management, by both reducing the pain killer doses and by increasing life quality.

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Controls in Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Based Techniques

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0025

From its discovery in the 1980s, Polymerase chain reaction was further developed and is nowadays used as the foundation for the various PCR-based techniques used in molecular diagnosis across different species, and numerous types of samples. Real-Time PCR enables the user to monitor the amplification of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or complementary DNA (cDNA) target during the PCR run, in real-time, and not at the end, as it is the case in conventional PCR. The most frequent types of applications include gene expression analysis, gene silencing, variant analysis, and fusion temperature analysis. Given its vast field of application, a key question remains, and it is related to the controls (negative controls, positive controls, internal exogenous and endogenous controls) and their purpose in a Real-Time PCR experiment. In this paper, we set out to find how and when to use them, and which type of controls are suitable for certain experiment types, since the use of appropriate controls during Real-Time PCR experiments will reduce the effects of variables aside from the independent variable within the sample, therefore yielding accurate results, be it in research or diagnostic purposes.

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An Update on the Genetic Aspects in Congenital Ventricular Septal Defect

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0012

Ventricular septal defects (VSDs) are the most common type of heart malformation and may occur like a part of a syndrome or as an isolated form. Clinical manifestations are related to the interventricular flow, which is determined by the size of the defect. Aiming at the identification of genetic causes is important in both syndromic and non-syndromic forms of VSD, to estimate the prognosis and choose the optimal management. Other reasons of the identification of genetic factors in the etiopathogenesis include the assessment of the neurodevelopmental delay risk, recurrence in the offspring, and association with extracardiac malformations. The diagnostic process has been improved, and currently, the use of the most suitable and accessible technique in the clinical practice represents a challenge. Additional advantages in genetic testing were brought by next-generation sequencing technique, various testing panels being available in many laboratories.

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Considerations on the Use of Organic Substances in Chemical Peels: A Systematic Review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0010

Chemical peel is a dermato-cosmetic procedure used to destroy and remove, in a controlled manner and under the supervision of the specialists, the degraded parts of the skin, in order to allow acceleration of the skin regeneration process. Based on their depth of skin penetration chemical peels are classified into superficial, medium and deep peels. The substances used in the chemical peels differ from each other depending on the effective action depth. Different peel agents with an appropriate peel depth should be selected based on the problem to be treated, considering also the nature of skin pathology. To achieve the best results other factors, such as skin type and characteristics, region to be treated, safety issues, healing time, and patient adherence, should also be considered. The present review focuses on the particularities of the substances used in various peel types, highlighting recent advances in chemical peel technology and explaining suggested application of certain substances in different peel types.

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Patient Positioning in Neurosurgery, Principles and Complications

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0007

Patient positioning is a crucial step in neurosurgical interventions This is the responsibility of both the neurosurgeon and the anesthesiologist.
Patient safety, surgeon’s comfort, choosing an optimal trajectory to the lesion, reducing brain tension by facilitating venous drainage, using gravitation to maintain the lesion exposed and dynamic retraction represent general rules for correct positioning. All bony prominences must be protected by silicone padding. The head can be positioned using a horseshoe headrest or three pin skull clamp, following the general principles: avoiding elevating the head above heart more than 30 degrees, avoiding turning the head to one side more than 30 degrees and maintaining 2 to 3 finger breaths between chin and sternum. Serious complications can occur if the patient is not properly positioned so this is why great care must be paid during this step of the surgical act.

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Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy in Diabetes Mellitus Patients – Are We Aware of the Consequences?

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2020-0003

Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy is the most frequent clinical form of autonomous diabetic neuropathy and appears secondary to cardiac autonomous fibre involvement, actively involved in cardiac rhythm impairment. Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients can present cardiac autonomic neuropathy early in the disease. Autonomous nerve function in DM patients should be assessed as early as the diagnosis is set in order to establish the optimal therapeutic strategy. The most frequent cardio-vagal test used is heart rate variability. An abnormal heart rate variability in the presence of orthostatic arterial hypotension indicates a severe cardiac autonomic neuropathy diagnosis. The development of cardiac autonomic neuropathy is subjected to glycaemic control, duration of the disease and associated risk factors. The glycaemic control is extremely important, especially early in the disease. Therefore, a poor glycaemic control carries unfavourable long-term effects, despite an ulterior optimal control, a phenomenon named “hyperglycaemic memory”. In type 2 diabetes mellitus patients, the association of cardiac autonomic neuropathy with intensive glycaemic control increases the mortality rate, due to the fact, that, secondary to autonomous impairment, the patients do not present the typical symptoms associated with hypoglycaemia. Stratifying the cardiac autonomic neuropathy aids the clinician in assessing the morbidity and mortality risk of diabetes mellitus patients, because it is an independent risk factor for mortality, associated with silent myocardial infarctions and the risk of sudden death.

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Spleen Derived Immune Cells in Acute Ischemic Brain Injury: A Short Review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0025

Spleen-derived immune cells are considered to play central role in the progression of ischemic brain damage contributing to both the local and systemic inflammatory response initiated by an ischemic insult in the brain tissue. Brain-spleen communication in acute ischemic brain injury has been studied especially in rodent models of stroke, which mimic the acute focal brain ischemia in humans. Rodent spleens decrease in size after experimentally induced stroke, due mainly by the release of spleen`s immune-cells into the circulation. Splenectomy prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion is protective to the ischemic brain resulting in decreased infarct volume and reduced neuroinflammation. Various therapeutic strategies in clinical use aiming to protect the neural tissue after stroke were found to involve the modulation of splenic activity, altogether indicating that the spleen might be a potential target for therapy in ischemic brain injury. Importantly, the most clinical studies demonstrated that the splenic response in stroke patients is similar to the changes seen in rodent models. Thus, despite the limitations to extrapolate the results of animal experiments to humans, rodent models of stroke represent an important tool for the study and understanding of brain-spleen communication in the pathogenesis of acute brain ischemia.

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Atrial Fibrillation – An Orchestra of Classic and Modern Risk Factors

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0020

Over the past years, prevention and control of risk factors has begun to play an important role in the management of patients prone to develop atrial fibrillation (AF). A considerable number of risk factors that contribute to the creation of a predisposing substrate for AF has been identified over the years. Although certain AF risk factors such as age, gender, genetic predisposition, or race are unmodifiable, controlling modifiable risk factors may represent an invaluable tool in the management of AF patients. In the recent decades, numerous studies have evaluated the mechanisms linking different risk factors to AF, but the exact degree of atrial remodeling induced by each factor remains unknown. Elucidating these mechanisms is essential for initiating personalized therapies in patients prone to develop AF. The present review aims to provide an overview of the most relevant modifiable risk factors involved in AF occurrence, with a focus on the mechanisms by which these factors lead to AF initiation and perpetuation.

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MicroRNAs as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets in Heart Failure

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0016

Heart failure still represents a real challenge both in everyday practice and research, due to the complex issues related to its pathogenesis and management. Humoral biomarkers have emerged in the last decades as useful tools in the diagnosis, risk stratification and guiding the treatment of heart failure. These molecules are related to different pathological and adaptive processes, like myocardial injury, neurohormonal activation and cardiac remodeling, their most widespread representatives being the natriuretic peptides (e.g. NT-proBNP). The role of altered gene expression and transcription as the basis of myocardial structural and functional changes in heart failure is largely recognized. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs which have a major role in post-transcriptional gene expression by interfering with messenger RNA molecules. Our short review summarizes the molecular biology of miRNAs and their possible role as biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure. Furthermore, the therapeutical perspectives conferred by these molecules are also presented.
Keywords: miRNA, biomarkers, heart failure

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