Category Archives: Review

Insulin resistance as risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic approach

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0033

Insulin resistance is a heterogenous condition with high prevalence in medical practice. As diabesity reaches epidemic levels worldwide, the role of insulin resistance is getting great importance. Contribution of risk factors like sedentary lifestyle, diets high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates leads to this state with significant consequences. Besides its role in diabetes, insulin resistance is also associated with other several endocrine diseases, having not only a role in their development, but also to their treatment approach, evolution and even prognosis. The present review summarizes the current literature on the clinical significance of insulin resistance, as well as the possible underlying mechanisms and treatment options in order to achieve a high quality of life of these categories of patients. Deepening the role of inflammatory cytokines involved in insulin resistance paves the way for future research findings in this continuously evolving field.

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Emotional disorders associated to multiple sclerosis and psychological interventions: a literature review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0042

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable neurologic disease affecting 2.8 million people worldwide. Individuals with MS experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, and pain that impact their general functioning and quality of life. The aim of this review is to highlight the importance of psychological interventions in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms associated with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Cognitive and behavioral techniques are also useful in relieving the specific symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However, few studies have captured the psychological processes involved in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which is why greater concern is recommended in future studies in order to develop better psychological interventions tailored for patients with multiple sclerosis.

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Apathy as Non-Motor Manifestation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0041

Although the term of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often used interchangeably with motor neuron disease, ALS is universally accepted as a multisystem disorder. Cognitive impairment is an acknowledged feature of ALS, affecting language, memory and behaviour, and apathy is considered to be the prevalent behavioural alteration in ALS. It can be divided in three subtypes: executive, emotional and initiation apathy. Out of the three subtypes, initiation apathy is common among patients with ALS. Even in patients that do not meet the criteria for ALS with frontotemporal dementia, low-key neuropsychiatric and cognitive changes can be observed. Apathy has also been found to be systematically associated with disruptions in medial frontal cortex and subcortical structures in several neuroimaging studies that confirm the pre-existing brain lesions in the early stages of this disease. Thus, there is a growing body of evidence that motor signs and symptoms are accompanied or even preceded by cognitive and behavioural alterations, and screening for non-motor signs and symptoms can be clinically relevant.

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Soy polysaccharides therapeutic and technological aspects

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0040

Soy polysaccharides represent a multipurpose class of chemicals that include both therapeutical and technological properties. Since they have been first time introduced in the pharmaceutical field, Soy polysaccharides were used in two different pharmaceutical formulations; sublingual tablets and in colon drug delivery. For the sublingual tablets, Soy polysaccharides under the brand name of Emcosoy© – were used as a superdisintegrant in concentrations between 4-8% showing comparable results with the artificial superdisintegrants (sodium starch glycolate, sodium croscarmellose, and polyvinylpyrrolidone). The second technological field where Soy polysaccharides were used is represented by colon drug delivery where it was used in combination with ethylcellulose showing a prolonged lag time compared to the results found in the literature. The medicinal effect of these polysaccharides consists of treating diarrhea. As it will be presented in the article, these chemical compounds tend to decrease the aqueous stool time in patients with diarrhea and to conduct to a softer stool in healthy patients. In conclusion, these polysaccharides present multiple purposes possessing a medicinal effect and also the possibility of being used as a double-faceted pharmaceutical excipient.

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The Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Approach in Clinical Practice – A Narrative Review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0037

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is an increasingly condition in medical practice. In the absence of an effective therapeutic management, it can lead to significant maternal and neonatal complications with adverse health effects. Reducing the risk of morbidity is the goal achived by screening of all pregnant women and active involvement of health care staff and early medical intervention in case of detection of GDM. The aim of this review is to present the nowadays strategy of GDM approach. The management challenge is to maintain blood glucose levels within the targets recommended by current guidelines, which are in relatively narrow ranges. Nutritional intervention and lifestyle changes are of primary importance. If necessary insulin therapy is initiated, insulin analogues are preferable due to lower risk of hypoglycemia. Oral antidiabetics are not recommended in pregnancy, even if they are used in certain circumstances.

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Current and novel pharmacological therapeutic approaches in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A brief review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0023

Objective: Although not highly prevalent among the general population, post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious psychiatric condition, associated with co-morbidities, mortality and high suicide rates. Currently, there are few approved pharmacological therapies, which count as second-line, augmented to psychotherapy. Studies from the literature emphasize the need for novel treatment options, due to high relapse rates and patients that do not achieve remission. This study provides an overview over the pharmacological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, from a neurobiological perspective.
Methods: A systematic research has been conducted through PubMed, PLOS one, Cochrane library and Google Scholar databases.
Results: The neurobiological mechanisms which underlies the symptomatology are not fully elucidated. In the present, some theories involved in the onset/ manifestation are formulated (serotonergic, noradrenergic, glutamatergic, GABA-ergic, endocannabinoid) and the current therapy aims to modulate these neurotransmissions. In light of the studies along the years, a line should be drawn between the drugs acting on reducing the anxiety only and those that exhibit dual effect i.e. reducing the anxiety and affecting the memory reconsolidation processes. Although labelled as recreational drugs rather than compounds with intended therapeutic effects, cannabidiol and 3,4-methylenedioximethamphetamine appear to be the most promising from the perspective of efficacy and benefit-risk ratio.
Conclusion: Preclinical studies come with acceptable results, yet clinical trials are controversial and heterogeneous, given the small population size. Given the seriousness of post-traumatic stress disorder, the attempts to find effective and safe treatment in a context that lacks appropriate therapeutic approaches should be encouraged.

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Efficacy of transversus abdominis plane block in pain control after general abdominal surgery – a short review of the literature

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0028

Objective: The aim of the study is the assessment of the analgesic efficacy of transversus abdominis plane block in patients undergoing general abdominal surgery.
Methods: Pubmed, Scopus, and Medline databases were searched for papers evaluating the effect of transversus abdominis plane block. The primary and secondary outcomes of the studies were analyzed.
Results: A total of 10 studies were analyzed, including 717 patients. Studies revealed that transversus abdominis plane block was associated with significantly reduced postoperative discomfort and reduced opioid consumption.
Conclusion: The present study shows the clear benefit brought by the transversus abdominis plane block as part of multimodal analgesia, with a significant reduction of pain and higher comfort scores.

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Three-dimensional technologies used for patient specific applications in orthopedics

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0020

Background: Three-dimensional (3D) technologies have numerous medical applications and have gained a lot of interest in medical world. After the advent of three-dimensional printing technology, and especially in last decade, orthopedic surgeons began to apply this innovative technology in almost all areas of orthopedic traumatic surgery.
Objective: The aim of this paper is to give an overview of 3D technologies current usage in orthopedic surgery for patient specific applications. Methods: Two major databases PubMed and Web of Science were explored for content description and applications of 3D technologies in orthopedic surgery. It was considered papers presenting controlled studies and series of cases that include descriptions of 3D technologies compatible with applications to human medical purposes.
Results: First it is presented the available three-dimensional technologies that can be used in orthopedic surgery as well as methods of integration in order to achieve the desired medical application for patient specific orthopedics. Technology starts with medical images acquisition, followed by design, numerical simulation, and printing. Then it is described the state of the art clinical applications of 3D technologies in orthopedics, by selecting the latest reported articles in medical literature. It is focused on preoperative visualization and planning, trauma, injuries, elective orthopedic surgery, guides and customized surgical instrumentation, implants, orthopedic fixators, orthoses and prostheses.
Conclusion: The new 3D digital technologies are revolutionizing orthopedic clinical practices. The vast potential of 3D technologies is increasingly used in clinical practice. These technologies provide useful tools for clinical environment: accurate preoperative planning for cases of complex trauma and elective cases, personalized surgical instruments and personalized implants. There is a need to further explore the vast potential of 3D technologies in many other areas of orthopedics and to accommodate healthcare professionals with these technologies, as well as to study their effectiveness compared to conventional methods.

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Advantages of lung ultrasound in triage, diagnosis and monitoring COVID-19 patients: review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0019

Over the last decades, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic period, lung ultrasound (LUS) gained interest due to multiple advantages: radiation-free, repeatable, cost-effective, portable devices with a bedside approach. These advantages can help clinicians in triage, in positive diagnostic, stratification of disease forms according to severity and prognosis, evaluation of mechanically ventilated patients from Intensive Care Units, as well as monitoring the progress of COVID-19 lesions, thus reducing the health care contamination. LUS should be performed by standard protocol examination. The characteristic lesions from COVID-19 pneumonia are the abolished lung sliding, presence of multiple and coalescent B-lines, disruption and thickening of pleural line with subpleural consolidations. LUS is a useful method for post-COVID-19 lesions evaluation, highlight the remaining fibrotic lesions in some patients with moderate or severe forms of pneumonia.

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The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for treating major depressive disorder comorbid with chronic disease

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2021-0005

Chronic disease can severely impact an individual’s quality of life, influencing both physical and mental health. Major depressive disorder is one of the most common diagnoses among patients with physical conditions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a prominent evidence-based psychological treatment for depression. The objective of the present review is to summarize current research on the efficacy of this intervention in medically ill patients with comorbid depression. First, the relation between chronic disease and depression will be briefly described. Following this introduction, studies examining the efficacy of cognitive and behavioral techniques for reducing depressive symptoms in patients with frequent chronic diseases will be outlined. Subsequently, the effects of the psychological treatment for different patient populations will be analyzed. Finally, a few recommendations for adapting the intervention protocols to various target groups of people with specific characteristics will be provided in order to improve the mental health of patients with chronic medical conditions.

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