ResearchPad - Complementary and alternative medicine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Thoracic spine manipulation for the management of mechanical neck pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6dc9ced5eed0c48452a202

Objective

To investigate the role of thoracic spine manipulation (TSM) on pain and disability in the management of mechanical neck pain (MNP).

Data sources

Electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, Pedro, Embase, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and clinicaltrials.gov were searched in January 2018.

Study selection

Eligible studies were completed RCTs, written in English, had at least 2 groups with one group receiving TSM, had at least one measure of pain or disability, and included patients with MNP of any duration. The search identified 1717 potential articles, with 14 studies meeting inclusion criteria.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods

Methodological quality was evaluated independently by two authors using the guidelines published by the Cochrane Collaboration. Pooled analyses were analyzed using a random-effects model with inverse variance methods to calculate mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals for pain (VAS 0-100mm, NPRS 0-10pts; 0 = no pain) and disability (NDI and NPQ 0–100%; 0 = no disability).

Results

Across the included studies, there was increased risk of bias for inadequate provider and participant blinding. The GRADE approach demonstrated an overall level of evidence ranging from very low to moderate. Meta-analysis that compared TSM to thoracic or cervical mobilization revealed a significant effect favoring the TSM group for pain (MD -13.63; 95% CI: -21.79, -5.46) and disability (MD -9.93; 95% CI: -14.38, -5.48). Meta-analysis that compared TSM to standard care revealed a significant effect favoring the TSM group for pain (MD -13.21; 95% CI: -21.87, -4.55) and disability (MD -11.36; 95% CI: -18.93, -3.78) at short-term follow-up, and a significant effect for disability (MD -4.75; 95% CI: -6.54, -2.95) at long-term follow-up. Meta-analysis that compared TSM to cervical spine manipulation revealed a non-significant effect (MD 3.43; 95% CI: -7.26, 14.11) for pain without a distinction between immediate and short-term follow-up.

Limitations

The greatest limitation in this systematic review was the heterogeneity among the studies making it difficult to assess the true clinical benefit, as well as the overall level of quality of evidence.

Conclusions

TSM has been shown to be more beneficial than thoracic mobilization, cervical mobilization, and standard care in the short-term, but no better than cervical manipulation or placebo thoracic spine manipulation to improve pain and disability.

Trial registration

PROSPERO CRD42017068287

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<![CDATA[Cardiopulmonary responses to maximal aerobic exercise in patients with cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6dca0ed5eed0c48452a718

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a debilitating chronic condition, which requires complex and expensive disease management. Exercise has now been recognised as a critical factor in improving health and quality of life in patients with CF. Hence, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is used to determine aerobic fitness of young patients as part of the clinical management of CF. However, at present there is a lack of conclusive evidence for one limiting system of aerobic fitness for CF patients at individual patient level. Here, we perform detailed data analysis that allows us to identify important systems-level factors that affect aerobic fitness. We use patients’ data and principal component analysis to confirm the dependence of CPET performance on variables associated with ventilation and metabolic rates of oxygen consumption. We find that the time at which participants cross the gas exchange threshold (GET) is well correlated with their overall performance. Furthermore, we propose a predictive modelling framework that captures the relationship between ventilatory dynamics, lung capacity and function and performance in CPET within a group of children and adolescents with CF. Specifically, we show that using Gaussian processes (GP) we can predict GET at the individual patient level with reasonable accuracy given the small sample size of the available group of patients. We conclude by presenting an example and future perspectives for improving and extending the proposed framework. The modelling and analysis have the potential to pave the way to designing personalised exercise programmes that are tailored to specific individual needs relative to patient’s treatment therapies.

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<![CDATA[Understanding the prevalence of bear part consumption in Cambodia: A comparison of specialised questioning techniques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c76fdedd5eed0c484e5b0d5

The trade in bear parts for medicine and for status is a conservation challenge throughout Asia. The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) are endemic to this region, and populations are estimated to have declined throughout their ranges due to widespread illegal killing of bears and trade in parts, combined with loss of habitat. Previous studies have indicated that legislation alone is insufficient to prevent illegal hunting and trade, indicating instead a need to address demand for bear parts and products. We conducted mixed-method surveys in Cambodia to understand the key motivators for individuals to consume bear parts, and to understand whether specialised questioning techniques are applicable in this context. Bear part use is illegal in Cambodia and may therefore be considered a sensitive behaviour, in that individuals may be reluctant to admit to it. To counteract possible biases, four specialised questioning techniques were used in this study: randomised response technique (RRT), unmatched count technique (UCT), nominative technique (NT), and false consensus bias (FCB). All four methods serve to shield a respondent’s admittance of a sensitive behaviour from the interviewer. The results presented here show that great variability exists in anonymous methods’ efficacy in certain contexts. However, the results overall indicate that individuals in Cambodia are under-reporting their consumption of bear parts when directly asked, and that the prevalence of bear part use in Cambodia may be as high as 15% of the population, representing a significant conservation challenge.

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<![CDATA[Long-term outcomes of an educational intervention to reduce antibiotic prescribing for childhood upper respiratory tract infections in rural China: Follow-up of a cluster-randomised controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c63396dd5eed0c484ae66e1

Background

Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing causes widespread serious health problems. To reduce prescribing of antibiotics in Chinese primary care to children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), we developed an intervention comprising clinical guidelines, monthly prescribing review meetings, doctor–patient communication skills training, and education materials for caregivers. We previously evaluated our intervention using an unblinded cluster-randomised controlled trial (cRCT) in 25 primary care facilities across two rural counties. When our trial ended at the 6-month follow-up period, we found that the intervention had reduced antibiotic prescribing for childhood URTIs by 29 percentage points (pp) (95% CI −42 to −16).

Methods and findings

In this long-term follow-up study, we collected our trial outcomes from the one county (14 facilities and 1:1 cluster randomisation ratio) that had electronic records available 12 months after the trial ended, at the 18-month follow-up period. Our primary outcome was the antibiotic prescription rate (APR)—the percentage of outpatient prescriptions containing any antibiotic(s) for children aged 2 to 14 years who had a primary diagnosis of a URTI and had no other illness requiring antibiotics. We also conducted 15 in-depth interviews to understand how interventions were sustained.

In intervention facilities, the APR was 84% (1,171 out of 1,400) at baseline, 37% (515 out of 1,380) at 6 months, and 54% (2,748 out of 5,084) at 18 months, and in control facilities, it was 76% (1,063 out of 1,400), 77% (1,084 out of 1,400), and 75% (2,772 out of 3,685), respectively. After adjusting for patient and prescribing doctor covariates, compared to the baseline intervention-control difference, the difference at 6 months represented a 6-month intervention-arm reduction in the APR of −49 pp (95% CI −63 to −35; P < 0.0001), and compared to the baseline difference, the difference at 18 months represented an 18-month intervention-arm reduction in the APR of −36 pp (95% CI −55 to −17; P < 0.0001). Compared to the 6-month intervention-control difference, the difference at 18 months represented no change in the APR: 13 pp (95% CI −7 to 33; P = 0.21). Factors reported to sustain reductions in antibiotic prescribing included doctors’ improved knowledge and communication skills and focused prescription review meetings, whereas lack of supervision and monitoring may be associated with relapse. Key limitations were not including all clusters from the trial and not collecting returned visits or sepsis cases.

Conclusions

Our intervention was associated with sustained and substantial reductions in antibiotic prescribing at the end of the intervention period and 12 months later. Our intervention may be adapted to similar resource-poor settings.

Trial registration

ISRCTN registry ISRCTN14340536.

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<![CDATA[The Italian Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) study: A cross sectional survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c79aff7d5eed0c4841e3b42

The prevalence of osteopathic practitioners, their professional profile and features of their clinical practice, particularly where statutory regulation does not yet exist, are still significantly underreported. The Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) project was developed as an European-based census dedicated to profiling the osteopathic profession across Europe. The present study aimed to describe the osteopathic practitioners and the profession in Italy. A voluntary, online based, closed-ended survey was distributed across Italy in the period between February and June 2017. An e-based campaign was set up to reach the Italian osteopathic professionals. Participants were asked to complete the forms by filling in the information regarding the demographics, working status and professional activities, education, consultation fees, patient complaints, treatment and management. The survey was completed by 4816 individuals. 196 people started the survey but did not finish, which corresponds to a 4% attrition rate. The majority of respondents were males (66.7%). The modal age group was 30–39 (40.0%). 73.8% of respondents had a previous academic degree, mainly in the fields of sports science (36.4%) and physiotherapy (25.3%). 25.6% declared not to have a previous academic degree. The majority of respondents declared to work alone (58.4%), while the remaining declared to work in association with other professionals. The osteopaths /citizens ratio was 8.0 osteopaths/100,000 citizens. The profile of osteopaths in Italy seems to be characterised by a self-employed young adult male working mostly as a sole practitioner, who has been trained as osteopath through a part-time curriculum and had a previous degree mostly in the fields of sports science or physiotherapy. These results provide important insights into the osteopathic profession in Italy. The varied professional educational backgrounds need to be considered with regard to the implementation of a professional licensing process and future pre-registration education in the country. The number of respondents is an estimate of the actual number of Italian osteopaths. Only the completion of the regulatory process and the creation of the mandatory official register will allow to know the number of Italy based osteopaths.

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<![CDATA[The burden of hypertension in the emergency department and linkage to care: A prospective cohort study in Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c644917d5eed0c484c2f5de

Objectives

Globally, hypertension affects one billion people and disproportionately burdens low-and middle-income countries. Despite the high disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa, optimal care models for diagnosing and treating hypertension have not been established. Emergency departments (EDs) are frequently the first biomedical healthcare contact for many people in the region. ED encounters may offer a unique opportunity for identifying high risk patients and linking them to care.

Methods

Between July 2017 and March 2018, we conducted a prospective cohort study among patients presenting to a tertiary care ED in northern Tanzania. We recruited adult patients with a triage blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mmHg in order to screen for hypertension. We explored knowledge, attitudes and practices for hypertension using a questionnaire, and assessed factors associated with successful follow-up. Hypertension was defined as a single blood pressure measurement ≥ 160/100 mmHg or a three-time average of ≥ 140/90 mmHg. Uncontrolled hypertension was defined as a three-time average measurement of ≥ 160/100 mmHg. Successful follow-up was defined as seeing an outpatient provider within one month of the ED visit.

Results

We enrolled 598 adults (mean age 59.6 years), of whom 539 (90.1%) completed the study. The majority (78.6%) of participants were aware of having hypertension. Many (223; 37.2%) had uncontrolled hypertension. Overall, only 236 (43.8%) of participants successfully followed-up within one month. Successful follow-up was associated with a greater understanding that hypertension requires lifelong treatment (RR 1.11; 95% CI 1.03,1.21) and inversely associated with greater anxiety about the future (RR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64,0.99).

Conclusion

In a northern Tanzanian tertiary care ED, the burden of hypertension is high, with few patients receiving optimal outpatient care follow-up. Multi-disciplinary strategies are needed to improve linkage to care for high-risk patients from ED settings.

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<![CDATA[Patients’ experiences on accessing health care services for management of hypertension in rural Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka: A qualitative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6448a1d5eed0c484c2ea5d

Hypertension is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and leading cause of premature death globally. In 2008, approximately 40% of adults were diagnosed with hypertension, with more than 1.5 billion people estimated to be affected globally by 2025. Hypertension disproportionally affects low- and middle-income countries, where the prevalence is higher and where the health systems are more fragile. This qualitative study explored patients’ experiences on the management and control of hypertension in rural Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. We conducted sixty semi-structured interviews, with 20 participants in each country. Hypertensive individuals were recruited based on age, gender and hypertensive status. Overall, patients’ reported symptoms across the three countries were quite similar, although perceptions of hypertension were mixed. The majority of patients reported low knowledge on how to prevent or treat hypertension. The main barriers to accessing health services, as reported by participants, were inadequate services and poor quality of existing facilities, shortage of medicine supplies, busyness of doctors due to high patient load, long travel distance to facilities, and long waiting times once facilities were reached. Patients also mentioned that cost was a barrier to accessing services and adhering to medication. Many patients, when asked for areas of improvement, reported on the importance of the provider-patient relationship and mentioned valuing doctors who spent time with them, provided advice, and could be trusted. However, most patients reported that, especially at primary health care level and in government hospitals, the experience with their doctor did not meet their expectations. Patients in the three countries reported desire for good quality local medical services, the need for access to doctors, medicine and diagnostics and decreased cost for medication and medical services. Patients also described welcoming health care outreach activities near their homes. Areas of improvement could focus on reorienting community health workers’ activities; involving family members in comprehensive counseling for medication adherence; providing appropriate training for health care staff to deliver effective information and services for controlling hypertension to patients; enhancing primary health care and specialist services; improving supplies of hypertensive medication in public facilities; taking into account patients’ cultural and social background when providing services; and facilitating access and treatment to those who are most vulnerable.

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<![CDATA[Exercise-induced hypoalgesia: A meta-analysis of exercise dosing for the treatment of chronic pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c3fa5fbd5eed0c484caac27

Objective

Increasing evidence purports exercise as a first-line therapeutic for the treatment of nearly all forms of chronic pain. However, knowledge of efficacious dosing respective to treatment modality and pain condition is virtually absent in the literature. The purpose of this analysis was to calculate the extent to which exercise treatment shows dose-dependent effects similar to what is seen with pharmacological treatments.

Methods

A recently published comprehensive review of exercise and physical activity for chronic pain in adults was identified in May 2017. This report reviewed different physical activity and exercise interventions and their effectiveness in reducing pain severity and found overall modest effects of exercise in the treatment of pain. We analyzed this existing data set, focusing specifically on the dose of exercise intervention in these studies. We re-analyzed data from 75 studies looking at benefits of time of exercising per week, frequency of exercise per week, duration of intervention (in weeks), and estimated intensity of exercise.

Results

Analysis revealed a significant positive correlation with exercise duration and analgesic effect on neck pain. Multiple linear regression modeling of these data predicted that increasing the frequency of exercise sessions per week is most likely to have a positive effect on chronic pain patients.

Discussion

Modest effects were observed with one significant correlation between duration and pain effect for neck pain. Overall, these results provide insufficient evidence to conclude the presence of a strong dose effect of exercise in pain, but our modeling data provide tes predictions that can be used to design future studies to explicitly test the question of dose in specific patient populations.

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<![CDATA[‘A world of competing sorrows’: A mixed methods analysis of media reports of children with cancer abandoning conventional treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c269779d5eed0c48470fa3d

Background

We aimed to provide health practitioners greater insight into the public perception of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) use. Our objectives were to identify news media reports of children abandoning conventional treatment for traditional and complementary medicine, analyze the thematic content of these news articles and estimate the tonality portrayed.

Methods

LexisNexis and Factiva were searched for terms related to cancer, children and T&CM. Inclusion criteria were children less than 18 years, in curative phase of treatment who attempted to abandon conventional therapy for any traditional and complementary medicine use. A secondary search was performed in LexisNexis, Factiva and Google News Archive with the names of children in identified cases. Qualitative analysis of news media reports was completed using a grounded theory approach. Quantitative analysis of article sentiment was performed using a linear support vector machine.

Results

Seventeen cases occurring between 2002 and 2016 were included. Five main themes were identified: treatment as torture, power imbalances, rights of parents, evidence versus beliefs and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Sentiment analysis revealed an overall negative tone, as demonstrated by 73% of the articles.

Interpretation

A better understanding of factors that lead to abandonment of conventional therapy for traditional and complementary medicine as portrayed in the news media may help healthcare providers prevent the occurrence of these cases.

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<![CDATA[Why do psychiatric patients attend or not attend treatment groups in the community: A qualitative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c1c0aa5d5eed0c4844267b0

Background

Non-attendance of treatment groups in the community has been a long-standing problem in mental health care. It has been found to have financial ramifications for services, worsen outcomes for those that do not attend and negatively impact on therapeutic group processes. There is a need to gain a better understanding of patients’ reasons for attending or not attending. This study aimed to explore patient views on facilitators and barriers to the attendance of treatment groups in the community.

Methods

The study used interview data collected as part of three studies that investigated treatment groups for psychiatric patients in the community. Sixty-seven interview transcripts were analysed using the framework method.

Results

Five themes relating to facilitators of group attendance were identified: opportunity for autonomy; self-acknowledging need and therapist encouragement; optimal group format and safe environment; interest in content and enjoyment; actual and expected benefits of attendance. Four themes related to barriers: not being sufficiently informed; concerns about social interactions and the unknown; limited accessibility; and negative group dynamics.

Conclusion

To facilitate attendance and reduce attrition to treatment groups in the community clinicians should address patient’s wishes for information, capture their interest in the group modality, and potentially offer a ‘trial’ session. Furthermore, they should make the group location and time as accessible as possible and create a moderately sized group of six to eight patients. In these groups, mutual respect, feelings of safety and encouragement appear essential to make patients feel they can benefit from attendance.

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<![CDATA[Changes in spinal stiffness with chronic thoracic pain: Correlation with pain and muscle activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c1966f6d5eed0c484b5371d

Objective

The objective was to compare thoracic spinal stiffness between healthy participants and participants with chronic thoracic pain and to explore the associations between spinal stiffness, pain and muscle activity. The reliability of spinal stiffness was also evaluated.

Material and methods

Spinal stiffness was assessed from T5 to T8 using a mechanical device in 25 healthy participants and 50 participants with chronic thoracic pain (symptoms had to be reported within the evaluated region of the back). The spinal levels for which spinal stiffness was measured were standardized (i.e. T5 to T8 for all participants) to minimize between-individual variations due to the evaluation of different spinal levels. The device load and displacement data were used to calculate the global and terminal spinal stiffness coefficients at each spinal level. Immediately after each assessment, participants were asked to rate their pain intensity during the trial, while thoracic muscle activity was recorded during the load application using surface electromyography electrodes (sEMG). Within- and between-day reliability were evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), while the effects of chronic thoracic pain and spinal levels on spinal stiffness and sEMG activity were assessed using mixed model ANOVAs. Correlations between pain intensity, muscle activity and spinal stiffness were also computed.

Results

ICC values for within- and between-day reliability of spinal stiffness ranged from 0.67 to 0.91 and from 0.60 to 0.94 (except at T5), respectively. A significant decrease in the global (F1,73 = 4.04, p = 0.048) and terminal (F1,73 = 4.93, p = 0.03) spinal stiffness was observed in participants with thoracic pain. sEMG activity was not significantly different between groups and between spinal levels. Pain intensity was only significantly and "moderately" correlated to spinal stiffness coefficients at one spinal level (-0.29≤r≤-0.51), while sEMG activity and spinal stiffness were not significantly correlated.

Conclusion

The results suggest that spinal stiffness can be reliably assessed using a mechanical device and that this parameter is decreased in participants with chronic thoracic pain. Studies are required to determine the value of instrumented spinal stiffness assessment in the evaluation and management of patients with chronic spine-related pain.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy of Hank's balanced salt solution compared to other solutions in the preservation of the periodontal ligament. A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b6003a4463d7e38dd0d05b7

This systematic review and meta-analysis (MA) aimed to verify the capacity of different storage media to preserve viability of periodontal ligament cells in comparison to Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution. The searches, selection process, data extraction and Risk of Bias control were conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines. Five MA were conducted to compare the cell viability between milk versus Hank's balanced salt solution (HBSS) in a dichotomous (1) or continuous (2) data model; tap water versus HBSS (3); medicinal herbals versus HBSS (4); and saline solution versus HBSS (5). 693 potentially studies were identified, with 18 studies included in the qualitative and 8 studies included in the quantitative analysis. Most of the articles presented a low risk of bias. HBSS medium showed a superior ratio of cell viability compared to tap water (RR 0.26; 95% CI [0.21, 0.32]; p < 0.00001; I2 = 96%) and saline solution (RR 0.76; 95% CI [0.69, 0.84]; p < 0.0001; I2 = 99%). Herbal medicines showed a similar ratio of cell viability when compared to HBSS (RR 0.97; 95% CI [0.94, 1.00]; p = 0.08; I2 = 50%). Mixed results were observed between milk and HBSS: a superior ratio of HBSS was observed in an overall evaluation (RR 0.26; 95% CI [0.21, 0.32]; p < 0.00001; I2 = 96%), and a similar ratio was achieved when periodontal ligament (PDL) cells were removed prior to immersion in the solution (RR 0.94; 95% CI [0.87, 1.01]; p = 0.10; I2 = 0%) or rinsed in tap water or maintained in open air prior to immersion (RR 0.63; 95% CI [0.35, 1.12]; p = 0.11; I2 = not applicable). This systematic review and MA suggests that milk and herbal medicines could represent an alternative to HBSS. However, more studies are necessary to obtain a reliable conclusion.

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<![CDATA[Treatment-emergent hypomania possibly associated with over-the-counter supplements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c043cdad5eed0c4846a9b7f

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is gaining popularity in the Western world. Among the general public, CAM is often perceived to be associated with less stigma, fewer adverse effects, and may be more affordable. A number of patients utilize CAM for the treatment of depression; however, as there is limited scientific evidence, the safety profile of these supplements are largely unknown. In this case, a 42-year-old man developed hypomania approximately 1 week after S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) therapy was initiated for depression. The combination of SAMe and 5-HTP can potentially induce hypomanic episodes.

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<![CDATA[Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c043cd4d5eed0c4846a9b0f

Anxiety disorders are some of the most common psychiatric disorders, with potentially debilitating consequences on individual function. Existing pharmacotherapies for anxiety disorders are limited by delay to therapeutic effect, dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, and abuse potential. Therefore, safe and evidence-based complementary or alternative therapies may be important allies in the care of patients with anxiety disorders. Essential oils are lipophilic and concentrated botanical extracts that exhibit many properties of drugs, although they are not Food and Drug Administration approved and have limitations characteristic of herbal preparations. Lavender essential oil has an extensive anecdotal history of anxiolytic benefit that has recently been supported by clinical efficacy studies. The 2 primary terpenoid constituents of lavender essential oil, linalool and linalyl acetate, may produce an anxiolytic effect in combination via inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels, reduction of 5HT1A receptor activity, and increased parasympathetic tone. The objectives of this article are to provide a brief overview of lavender oil in aromatherapy, explore variability in the constituents of lavender oil, summarize its pharmacology and safety profile, as well as describe its body of research that has been conducted for anxiety.

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<![CDATA[Melatonin supplementation for the prevention of hospital-associated delirium]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c043cd6d5eed0c4846a9b44

Characterized by acute alterations in cognition or consciousness, delirium is a transient neuropsychiatric syndrome that develops in a large percentage of hospitalized patients. Delirium is a robust predictor of increased morbidity, mortality, and health care costs, especially when diagnosed in the critical care setting. Although the exact pathogenesis behind delirium has yet to be defined, disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle are a core feature. Currently, no pharmacologic interventions are recommended for delirium prophylaxis. Due to the role of melatonin in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, its use in delirium has been investigated in recent years. Objective data has shown altered serum levels of melatonin and its precursor, tryptophan, in patients with delirium, further suggesting a correlation between melatonin and delirium. This article examines the available evidence and discusses considerations surrounding melatonin supplementation for the prevention of hospital-associated delirium.

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<![CDATA[Impact of acupuncture treatment on the lumbar surgery rate for low back pain in Korea: A nationwide matched retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b297b7a463d7e06147f8d6d

Introduction

Low back pain (LBP) is a globally prevalent disorder with high social significance. Invasive surgical procedures are increasingly being used to treat LBP despite a lack of solid evidence supporting their long-term benefits. This nationwide retrospective cohort study investigated the association between acupuncture treatment and lumbar surgery rate in patients with LBP.

Methods

Using the National Health Insurance Service Sample Cohort Database for 2002–2013, we identified newly diagnosed LBP patients in Korea between 2004 and 2010 and divided them into an acupuncture group and control group according to whether or not they received acupuncture. Propensity scores based on age, sex, income, and Charlson Comorbidity Index were matched between the two study groups. The lumbar surgery rate in the two years following the first visit (control group) or the first acupuncture session (acupuncture group) was calculated. In addition to the overall analysis, stratified analyses were also conducted in different age, sex, and income strata. Sensitivity analyses were further performed using varying definitions of acupuncture treatment.

Results

After matching, 130,089 subjects were included in each study group. The lumbar surgery rate was significantly lower in the acupuncture group than in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.633, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.576–0.696). Decrease in HR was consistently observed in the acupuncture group for all age strata, except for patients in their 20s (HR 1.031, 95% CI 0.804–1.323). HR for lumbar surgery tended to be further reduced in the older age groups upon acupuncture treatment, with no apparent sex-related differences. Lowered HR in the acupuncture group was continuously observed across all income groups; the higher income group showed a tendency of greater decrease. Sensitivity analyses showed that the number of acupuncture sessions had no major impact on the likelihood of lumbar surgery, but also that more intensive acupuncture treatment was associated with further reduction in lumbar surgery rates.

Conclusion

The present results found that administration of acupuncture treatment is associated with lower lumbar surgery rates for LBP patients in Korea. Prospective studies are warranted in the future to further investigate the effect of acupuncture treatment on lumbar surgery incidence.

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<![CDATA[Acute and chronic toxicity of a polyherbal preparation – Jueyin granules]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b597a2d463d7e5ce270da32

Background

The potential toxicity of Chinese herbal medicine has attracted more attention in recent years. Jueyin granules (JYG), a polyherbal formula, have been proven to be an effective agent for treating psoriasis in both animal models and clinical research. However, little is known about the possible acute and chronic toxicity of JYG. The objective of this study was to investigate the safety of JYG in ICR mice and Wistar rats.

Methods

To examine the acute toxicity of JYG, ICR mice were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group, each comprising 20 mice (10 male and 10 female). The experimental group was fed JYG solution at a dose of 21.5 g/kg, equivalent to 143 times the clinical human dosage, for 14 days, whereas control animals were fed distilled water. In the chronic toxicity test, Wistar rats were divided into four groups, each comprising 40 rats (20 male and 20 female). For 6 months, the experimental animals were given JYG at a dose of 7.5, 3.75 and 1.875 g/kg, whereas control animals were given distilled water. The animals’ body weight, food and water consumptions were monitored weekly. In addition, their biochemical and hematological parameters, histopathology, and body and organ weights were all measured at specific observation time points.

Results

According to the results of the acute toxicity test, no mortality was found and no abnormal pathological changes in major organs were observed in mice treated with JYG. In the chronic toxicity test, JYG did not cause significant abnormalities in the physiological parameters or pathological changes in the major organs of the rats.

Conclusion

The results indicated that JYG at the given doses did not induce any harmful effects in animals. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that JYG is safe at the studied dosage levels and causes no acute or chronic toxicity in animal models.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.1186/s12906-018-2211-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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<![CDATA[Total Saikosaponins of Bupleurum yinchowense reduces depressive, anxiety-like behavior and increases synaptic proteins expression in chronic corticosterine-treated mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b4ce9ab463d7e11b2f07596

Background

Bupleurum yinchowense Shan et Y. Li is widely used to treat depressive and anxiety disorders for hundreds of years in China. Total saikosaponins (TSS) is the major ingredient of Bupleurum yinchowense. A-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor and subsequent mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is responsible for synaptic maturation and may contribution to the synaptic alteration underlying depression. The aim of the study was to investigate the antidepressant-like and anxiolytic effect of TSS in chronic corticosterone-treated mice. The effect of TSS on synaptic proteins expression and AMPA receptor-mTOR signaling pathway alteration was also evaluated.

Methods

Dose-response effect of TSS (12.5, 25, 50 mg/kg) was investigated in forced swim test (FST) in ICR male mice. In the chronic corticosterine-treated model, TSS was given intragastrically once a day for 2 weeks and continued through the behavior testing period. Behavior tests and AMPA receptor related signaling pathway were investigated.

Results

TSS (25 and 50 mg/kg) decreased the immobility time in the FST when compared with the control group. TSS (25 mg/kg) showed antidepressant-like and anxiolytic effects in the chronic corticosterone treatment model in mice. TSS increased hippocampal synaptic proteins (synapsin-1 and postsynaptic density protein 95) expression. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that TSS significantly increased the synapsin-1 expression in CA3 of hippocampus. TSS also increased hippocampal phosphorylation expression of GluR1 Ser 845 (AMPA receptor subunit) and its downstream regulators extracellular signaling-regulated kinase (ERK), protein kinase B (Akt) and mTOR.

Conclusion

TSS produces antidepressant-like and anxiolytic effects and increases synaptic proteins expression which may be mediated by induction of AMPA receptor and subsequent mTOR signaling pathway.

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<![CDATA[Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial appraisal of Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana (Decne) Rehder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b4ab168463d7e6a020ec1cc

Background

Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana (Decne) Rehder. is locally used for skin infections and in wound healing. In this study we have evaluated methanol extract of its leaves and derived fractions against the clinical multi-drug resistant bacterial strains.

Methods

P. jacquemontiana leaves powder extracted with 95% methanol (PJM) and fractionated in escalating polarity of solvents; n-hexane (PJH), chloroform (PJC), ethyl acetate (PJE), n-butanol (PJB) and the remaining as aqueous fraction (PJA). Clinical as well as environmental 19 bacterial strains and 8 fungal strains were screened for minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentration (MBC/MFC). Preliminary phytochemical investigation for various phytochemical classes was also carried out.

Results

PJM contained the coumarins, phenols, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, sterols, phlobatannins, steroids, phytosterols, triterpenoids, acids, quinones, proteins, vitamin C, betacyanins, oils and resins while anthraquinones, phytosteroids, carbohydrates and anthocyanins were not detected. Disc diffusion assay (1 mg/disc) indicated the sensitivity of all the MDR strains of bacteria with PJM, PJE and PJB, while no inhibition was recorded with PJA. PJH and PJC inhibited the growth of all the strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Coagulase negative staphylococci used in this study. Maximum zone of inhibition (35.5 ± 1.32 mm) was obtained with PJM against Staphylococcus lugdenesis MDR (6197). Comparatively lower MIC (8-64 μg/ml) and MBC (32-256 μg/ml) values were recorded for PJM and PJE. In case of fungal strains only PJM, PJE and PJB markedly inhibited the growth and lower MIC (8-128 μg/ml) and MFC (32-512 μg/ml) values were determined for PJM and PJE.

Conclusion

The remarkable inhibition of various bacterial and fungal strains at low doses of the extract/fractions suggested the strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-candidal potential of P. jacquemontiana leaves.

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<![CDATA[DESIGNER Extracts as Tools to Balance Estrogenic and Chemopreventive Activities of Botanicals for Women’s Health]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bf2a91ad5eed0c4840c96ee

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Botanical dietary supplements contain multiple bioactive compounds that target numerous biological pathways. The lack of uniform standardization requirements is one reason that inconsistent clinical effects are reported frequently. The multifaceted biological interactions of active principles can be disentangled by a coupled pharmacological/phytochemical approach using specialized (“knock-out”) extracts. This is demonstrated for hops, a botanical for menopausal symptom management. Employing targeted, adsorbent-free countercurrent separation, Humulus lupulus extracts were designed for pre- and postmenopausal women by containing various amounts of the phytoestrogen 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN) and the chemopreventive constituent xanthohumol (XH). Analysis of their estrogenic (alkaline phosphatase), chemopreventive (NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1 [NQO1]), and cytotoxic bioactivities revealed that the estrogenicity of hops is a function of 8-PN, whereas their NQO1 induction and cytotoxic properties depend on XH levels. Antagonization of the estrogenicity of 8-PN by elevated XH concentrations provided evidence for the interdependence of the biological effects. A designed postmenopausal hop extract was prepared to balance 8-PN and XH levels for both estrogenic and chemopreventive properties. An extract designed for premenopausal women contains reduced 8-PN levels and high XH concentrations to minimize estrogenic while retaining chemopreventive properties. This study demonstrates the feasibility of modulating the concentrations of bioactive compounds in botanical extracts for potentially improved efficacy and safety.

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