Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 41, Issue: 12, Published: 2008
  • Stress-induced neuroinflammation: mechanisms and new pharmacological targets Review

    Munhoz, C.D.; García-Bueno, B.; Madrigal, J.L.M.; Lepsch, L.B.; Scavone, C.; Leza, J.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Stress is triggered by numerous unexpected environmental, social or pathological stimuli occurring during the life of animals, including humans, which determine changes in all of their systems. Although acute stress is essential for survival, chronic, long-lasting stress can be detrimental. In this review, we present data supporting the hypothesis that stress-related events are characterized by modifications of oxidative/nitrosative pathways in the brain in response to the activation of inflammatory mediators. Recent findings indicate a key role for nitric oxide (NO) and an excess of pro-oxidants in various brain areas as responsible for both neuronal functional impairment and structural damage. Similarly, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), another known source of oxidants, may account for stress-induced brain damage. Interestingly, some of the COX-2-derived mediators, such as the prostaglandin 15d-PGJ2 and its peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor PPARγ, are activated in the brain in response to stress, constituting a possible endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanism of defense against excessive inflammation. The stress-induced activation of both biochemical pathways depends on the activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor and on the activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB). In the case of inducible NO synthase (iNOS), release of the cytokine TNF-α also accounts for its expression. Different pharmacological strategies directed towards different sites in iNOS or COX-2 pathways have been shown to be neuroprotective in stress-induced brain damage: NMDA receptor blockers, inhibitors of TNF-α activation and release, inhibitors of NFκB, specific inhibitors of iNOS and COX-2 activities and PPARγ agonists. This article reviews recent contributions to this area addressing possible new pharmacological targets for the treatment of stress-induced neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Toluene permeabilization differentially affects F- and P-type ATPase activities present in the plasma membrane of Streptococcus mutans Biochemistry And Molecular Biology

    Thedei Jr., G.; Leitão, D.P.S.; Bolean, M.; Paulino, T.P.; Spadaro, A.C.C.; Ciancaglini, P.

    Abstract in English:

    Streptococcus mutans membrane-bound P- and F-type ATPases are responsible for H+ extrusion from the cytoplasm thus keeping intracellular pH appropriate for cell metabolism. Toluene-permeabilized bacterial cells have long been used to study total membrane-bound ATPase activity, and to compare the properties of ATPase in situ with those in membrane-rich fractions. The aim of the present research was to determine if toluene permeabilization can significantly modify the activity of membrane-bound ATPase of both F-type and P-type. ATPase activity was assayed discontinuously by measuring phosphate release from ATP as substrate. Treatment of S. mutans membrane fractions with toluene reduced total ATPase activity by approximately 80% and did not allow differentiation between F- and P-type ATPase activities by use of the standard inhibitors vanadate (3 µM) and oligomycin (4 µg/mL). Transmission electron microscopy shows that, after S. mutans cells permeabilization with toluene, bacterial cell wall and plasma membrane are severely injured, causing cytoplasmic leakage. As a consequence, loss of cell viability and disruption of H+ extrusion were observed. These data suggest that treatment of S. mutans with toluene is an efficient method for cell disruption, but care should be taken in the interpretation of ATPase activity when toluene-permeabilized cells are used, because results may not reflect the real P- and F-type ATPase activities present in intact cell membranes. The mild conditions used for the preparation of membrane fractions may be more suitable to study specific ATPase activity in the presence of biological agents, since this method preserves ATPase selectivity for standard inhibitors.
  • The effect of a low dose of clenbuterol on rat soleus muscle submitted to joint immobilization Experimental Biology

    Cancelliero, K.M.; Durigan, J.L.Q.; Vieira, R.P.; Silva, C.A.; Polacow, M.L.O.

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of joint immobilization on morphometric parameters and glycogen content of soleus muscle treated with clenbuterol. Male Wistar (3-4 months old) rats were divided into 4 groups (N = 6 for each group): control, clenbuterol, immobilized, and immobilized treated with clenbuterol. Immobilization was performed with acrylic resin orthoses and 10 µg/kg body weight clenbuterol was administered subcutaneously for 7 days. The following parameters were measured the next day on soleus muscle: weight, glycogen content, cross-sectional area, and connective tissue content. The clenbuterol group showed an increase in glycogen (81.6%, 0.38 ± 0.09 vs 0.69 ± 0.06 mg/100 g; P < 0.05) without alteration in weight, cross-sectional area or connective tissue compared with the control group. The immobilized group showed a reduction in muscle weight (34.2%, 123.5 ± 5.3 vs 81.3 ± 4.6 mg; P < 0.05), glycogen content (31.6%, 0.38 ± 0.09 vs 0.26 ± 0.05 mg/100 mg; P < 0.05) and cross-sectional area (44.1%, 2574.9 ± 560.2 vs 1438.1 ± 352.2 µm²; P < 0.05) and an increase in connective tissue (216.5%, 8.82 ± 3.55 vs 27.92 ± 5.36%; P < 0.05). However, the immobilized + clenbuterol group showed an increase in weight (15.9%; 81.3 ± 4.6 vs 94.2 ± 4.3 mg; P < 0.05), glycogen content (92.3%, 0.26 ± 0.05 vs 0.50 ± 0.17 mg/100 mg; P < 0.05), and cross-sectional area (19.9%, 1438.1 ± 352.2 vs 1724.8 ± 365.5 µm²; P < 0.05) and a reduction in connective tissue (52.2%, 27.92 ± 5.36 vs 13.34 ± 6.86%; P < 0.05). Statistical analysis was performed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov and homoscedasticity tests. For the muscle weight and muscle glycogen content, two-way ANOVA and the Tukey test were used. For the cross-sectional area and connective tissue content, Kruskal-Wallis and Tukey tests were used. This study emphasizes the importance of anabolic pharmacological protection during immobilization to minimize skeletal muscle alterations resulting from disuse.
  • Topographic distribution of the tibial somatosensory evoked potential using coherence Neurosciences And Behavior

    Melges, D.B.; Infantosi, A.F.C.; Miranda de Sá, A.M.F.L.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to determine the adequate cortical regions based on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) recording. This investigation was carried out using magnitude-squared coherence (MSC), a frequency domain objective response detection technique. Electroencephalographic signals were collected (International 10-20 System) from 38 volunteers, without history of neurological pathology, during somatosensory stimulation. Stimuli were applied to the right posterior tibial nerve at the rate of 5 Hz and intensity slightly above the motor threshold. Response detection was based on rejecting the null hypothesis of response absence (significance level α= 0.05 and M = 500 epochs). The best detection rates (maximum percentage of volunteers for whom the response was detected for the frequencies between 4.8 and 72 Hz) were obtained for the parietal and central leads mid-sagittal and ipsilateral to the stimulated leg: C4 (87%), P4 (82%), Cz (89%), and Pz (89%). The P37-N45 time-components of the SEP can also be observed in these leads. The other leads, including the central and parietal contralateral and the frontal and fronto-polar leads, presented low detection capacity. If only contralateral leads were considered, the centro-parietal region (C3 and P3) was among the best regions for response detection, presenting a correspondent well-defined N37; however, this was not observed in some volunteers. The results of the present study showed that the central and parietal regions, especially sagittal and ipsilateral to the stimuli, presented the best SNR in the gamma range. Furthermore, these findings suggest that the MSC can be a useful tool for monitoring purposes.
  • Gender and age differences in polysomnography findings and sleep complaints of patients referred to a sleep laboratory Neurosciences And Behavior

    Silva, A.; Andersen, M.L.; De Mello, M.T.; Bittencourt, L.R.A.; Peruzzo, D.; Tufik, S.

    Abstract in English:

    Our objective was to examine the effet of gender on the sleep pattern of patients referred to a sleep laboratory. The data (questionnaires and polysomnographic recordings) were collected from a total of 2365 patients (1550 men and 815 women). The polysomnography permits an objective assessment of the sleep pattern. We included only polysomnography exams obtained with no more than one recording system in order to permit normalization of the data. Men had a significantly higher body mass index than women (28.5 ± 4.8 vs 27.7 ± 6.35 kg/m²) and had a significantly higher score on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (10.8 ± 5.3 vs 9.5 ± 6.0), suggesting daytime sleepiness. Women had a significantly higher sleep latency than men, as well as a higher rapid eye movement (REM) latency. Men spent more time in stages 1 (4.6 ± 4.1 vs 3.9 ± 3.8) and 2 (57.0 ± 10.5 vs 55.2 ± 10.1) of non-REM sleep than women, whereas women spent significantly more time in deep sleep stages (3 and 4) than men (22.6 ± 9.0 vs 19.9 ± 9.0). The apnea/hypopnea and arousal indexes were significantly higher and more frequent in men than in women (31.0 ± 31.5 vs 17.3 ± 19.7). Also, periodic leg movement index did not differ significantly between genders, but rather differed among age groups. We did not find significant differences between genders in the percentage of REM sleep and sleep efficiency. The results of the current study suggest that there are specific gender differences in sleep pattern.
  • Engagement of multifocal neural circuits during recall of autobiographical happy events Neurosciences And Behavior

    Cerqueira, C.T.; Almeida, J.R.C.; Gorenstein, C.; Gentil, V.; Leite, C.C.; Sato, J.R.; Amaro Jr., E.; Busatto, G.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Happy emotional states have not been extensively explored in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies using autobiographic recall paradigms. We investigated the brain circuitry engaged during induction of happiness by standardized script-driven autobiographical recall in 11 healthy subjects (6 males), aged 32.4 ± 7.2 years, without physical or psychiatric disorders, selected according to their ability to vividly recall personal experiences. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) changes were recorded during auditory presentation of personal scripts of happiness, neutral content and negative emotional content (irritability). The same uniform structure was used for the cueing narratives of both emotionally salient and neutral conditions, in order to decrease the variability of findings. In the happiness relative to the neutral condition, there was an increased BOLD signal in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior insula, thalamus bilaterally, left hypothalamus, left anterior cingulate gyrus, and midportions of the left middle temporal gyrus (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons). Relative to the irritability condition, the happiness condition showed increased activity in the left insula, thalamus and hypothalamus, and in anterior and midportions of the inferior and middle temporal gyri bilaterally (P < 0.05, corrected), varying in size between 13 and 64 voxels. Findings of happiness-related increased activity in prefrontal and subcortical regions extend the results of previous functional imaging studies of autobiographical recall. The BOLD signal changes identified reflect general aspects of emotional processing, emotional control, and the processing of sensory and bodily signals associated with internally generated feelings of happiness. These results reinforce the notion that happiness induction engages a wide network of brain regions.
  • Antibodies against electronegative LDL inhibit atherosclerosis in LDLr-/- mice Physiology And Biophysics

    Grosso, D.M.; Ferderbar, S.; Wanschel, A.C.B.A.; Krieger, M.H.; Higushi, M.L.; Abdalla, D.S.P.

    Abstract in English:

    In order to determine the effect of antibodies against electronegative low-density lipoprotein LDL(-) on atherogenesis, five groups of LDL low receptor-deficient (LDLr-/-) mice (6 per group) were immunized with the following antibodies (100 µg each): mouse anti-LDL(-) monoclonal IgG2b, rabbit anti-LDL(-) polyclonal IgG or its Fab fragments and mouse irrelevant monoclonal IgG and non-immunized controls. Antibodies were administered intravenously one week before starting the hypercholesterolemic diet (1.25% cholesterol) and then every week for 21 days. The passive immunization with anti-LDL(-) monoclonal IgG2b, polyclonal antibody and its derived Fab significantly reduced the cross-sectional area of atherosclerotic lesions at the aortic root of LDLr-/- mice (28.8 ± 9.7, 67.3 ± 17.02, 56.9 ± 8.02 µm² (mean ± SD), respectively) compared to control (124.9 ± 13.2 µm²). Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 protein expression, quantified by the KS300 image-analyzing software, on endothelium and the number of macrophages in the intima was also decreased in aortas of mice treated with anti-LDL(-) monoclonal antibody (3.5 ± 0.70 per field x 10) compared to controls (21.5 ± 3.5 per field x 10). Furthermore, immunization with the monoclonal antibody decreased the concentration of LDL(-) in blood plasma (immunized: 1.0 ± 1.4; control: 20.5 ± 3.5 RLU), the amount of cholesterol oxides in plasma (immunized: 4.7 ± 2.7; control: 15.0 ± 2.0 pg COx/mg cholesterol) and liver (immunized: 2.3 ± 1.5; control: 30.0 ± 26.0 pg COx/mg cholesterol), and the hepatic content of lipid hydroperoxides (immunized: 0.30 ± 0.020; control: 0.38 ± 0.15 ng/mg protein). In conclusion, antibodies against electronegative LDL administered intravenously may play a protective role in atherosclerosis.
  • Systematic head and neck physical examination as a predictor of obstructive sleep apnea in class III obese patients Analytical, Diagnostic An Therapeutic Techniques And Instruments

    Martinho, F.L.; Tangerina, R.P.; Moura, S.M.G.T.; Gregório, L.C.; Tufik, S.; Bittencourt, L.R.A.

    Abstract in English:

    Our aim was to determine if anatomical abnormalities of the upper airway (UA) and facial skeleton of class III severely obese patients are related to the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Forty-five patients (69% females, mean age 46.5 ± 10.8 years) with a body mass index (BMI) over 40 kg/m² underwent UA and facial skeletal examinations as well as polysomnography. Mean BMI was 49 ± 7 kg/m² and mean neck circumference was 43.4 ± 5.1 cm. Polysomnographic findings showed that 22% had a normal apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and 78% had an AHI over 5. The presence of OSAS was associated with younger age (P = 0.02), larger neck circumference (P = 0.004), presence of a voluminous lateral wall (P = 0.0002), posteriorized soft palate (P = 0.0053), thick soft palate (P = 0.0014), long uvula (P = 0.04), thick uvula (P = 0.0052), and inferior turbinate hypertrophy (P = 0.04). A larger neck circumference (P = 0.02), presence of a voluminous lateral wall (P = 0.04), posteriorized soft palate (P = 0.03), and thick soft palate (P = 0.04) were all associated with OSAS severity. The prevalence of OSAS in this group was high. A larger neck circumference and soft tissue abnormalities of the UA were markers for both the presence and severity of OSAS. Conversely, no abnormalities in the facial skeleton were associated with OSAS in patients with morbid obesity.
  • Collagen content, but not the ratios of collagen type III/I mRNAs, differs among hypertensive, alcoholic, and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Soufen, H.N.; Salemi, V.M.C.; Aneas, I.M.S.; Ramires, F.J.A.; Benício, A.M.D.; Benvenuti, L.A.; Krieger, J.E.; Mady, C.

    Abstract in English:

    Cardiac interstitial fibrosis may contribute to ventricular dysfunction and the prognosis of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. The objective of the present study was to determine if total myocardial collagen content and collagen type III/I (III/I ratio) mRNAs differ in hypertensive, alcoholic, and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy subjects. Echocardiography and exercise cardiopulmonary testing were performed in patients with idiopathic (N = 22), hypertensive (N = 12), and alcoholic (N = 11) dilated cardiomyopathy. Morphometric analysis of collagen was performed in fragments obtained by endomyocardial biopsy with picrosirius red staining. The collagen III/I ratio was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Samples of controls (N = 10) were obtained from autopsy. Echocardiographic variables and maximal oxygen uptake were not different among dilated cardiomyopathy groups. Collagen was higher in all dilated cardiomyopathy groups (idiopathic, hypertensive and alcoholic, 7.36 ± 1.09%) versus controls (1.12 ± 0.18%), P < 0.05. Collagen was lower in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (4.97 ± 0.83%) than hypertensive (8.50 ± 1.11%) and alcoholic (10.77 ± 2.09%) samples (P < 0.005 for both). The collagen III/I ratio in all samples from dilated cardiomyopathy patients was higher compared to that in controls (0.29 ± 0.04, P < 0.05) but was the same in the samples from idiopathic (0.77 ± 0.07), hypertensive (0.75 ± 0.07), and alcoholic (0.81 ± 0.16) dilated cardiomyopathy groups. Because of the different physical properties of the types of collagen, the higher III/I ratio may contribute to progressive ventricular dilation and dysfunction in dilated cardiomyopathy patients.
  • Gut permeability to lactulose and mannitol differs in treated Crohn's disease and celiac disease patients and healthy subjects Digestive System

    Vilela, E.G.; Torres, H.O.G.; Ferrari, M.L.A.; Lima, A.S.; Cunha, A.S.

    Abstract in English:

    The gut barrier monitors and protects the gastrointestinal tract from challenges such as microorganisms, toxins and proteins that could act as antigens. There is evidence that gut barrier dysfunction may act as a primary disease mechanism in intestinal disorders. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the barrier function towards sugars after the appropriate treatment of celiac disease and Crohn's disease patients and compare the results with those obtained with healthy subjects. Fifteen healthy volunteers, 22 celiac disease patients after 1 year of a gluten-free diet, and 31 Crohn's disease patients in remission were submitted to an intestinal permeability test with 6.0 g lactulose and 3.0 g mannitol. Six-hour urinary lactulose excretion in Crohn's disease patients was significantly higher than in both celiac disease patients (0.42 vs 0.15%) and healthy controls (0.42 vs 0.07%). Urinary lactulose excretion was significantly higher in celiac disease patients than in healthy controls (0.15 vs 0.07%). Urinary mannitol excretion in Crohn's disease patients was the same as healthy controls (21 vs 21%) and these values were significantly higher than in celiac disease patients (10.9%). The lactulose/mannitol ratio was significantly higher in Crohn's disease patients in comparison to celiac disease patients (0.021 vs 0.013) and healthy controls (0.021 vs 0.003) and this ratio was also significantly higher in celiac disease patients compared to healthy controls (0.013 vs 0.003). In spite of treatment, differences in sugar permeability were observed in both disease groups. These differences in the behavior of the sugar probes probably reflect different mechanisms for the alterations of intestinal permeability.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is associated with early autonomic dysfunction assessed by exercise-related heart rate changes Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Kramer, C.K.; Leitão, C.B.; Azevedo, M.J.; Valiatti, F.B.; Rodrigues, T.C.; Canani, L.H.; Gross, J.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Diabetic retinopathy has been associated with cardiac autonomic dysfunction in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients. Heart rate (HR) changes during exercise testing indicate early alterations in autonomous tonus. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of diabetic retinopathy with exercise-related HR changes. A cross-sectional study was performed on 72 type 2 and 40 type 1 DM patients. Autonomic dysfunction was assessed by exercise-related HR changes (Bruce protocol). The maximum HR increase, defined as the difference between the peak exercise rate and the resting rate at baseline, and HR recovery, defined as the reduction in HR from the peak exercise to the HR at 1, 2, and 4 min after the cessation of the exercise, were determined. In type 2 DM patients, lower maximum HR increase (OR = 1.62, 95%CI = 1.03-2.54; P = 0.036), lower HR recovery at 2 (OR = 2.04, 95%CI = 1.16-3.57; P = 0.012) and 4 min (OR = 2.67, 95%CI = 1.37-5.20; P = 0.004) were associated with diabetic retinopathy, adjusted for confounding factors. In type 1 DM, the absence of an increase in HR at intervals of 10 bpm each during exercise added 100% to the odds for diabetic retinopathy (OR = 2.01, 95%CI = 1.1-3.69; P = 0.02) when adjusted for DM duration, A1c test and diastolic blood pressure. In conclusion, early autonomic dysfunction was associated with diabetic retinopathy. The recognition of HR changes during exercise can be used to identify a high-risk group for diabetic retinopathy.
  • Nutritional status and body composition after 6 months of patients switching from continuous ambulatorial peritoneal dialysis to automated peritoneal dialysis Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Garcia-Lopes, M.G.; Agliussi, R.G.; Avesani, C.M.; Manfredi, S.R.; Bazanelli, A.P.; Kamimura, M.A.; Draibe, S.A.; Cuppari, L.

    Abstract in English:

    Our objective was to determine if automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) leads to changes in nutritional parameters of patients treated by continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Twenty-six patients (15 males; 50.5 ± 14.3 years) were evaluated during CAPD while training for APD and after 3 and 6 months of APD. Body fat was assessed by the sum of skinfold thickness and the other body compartments were assessed by bioelectrical impedance. During the 6-month follow-up, 12 patients gained more than 1 kg (GW group), 8 patients lost more than 1 kg (LW group), and 6 patients maintained body weight (MW group). Except for length on dialysis that was longer for the LW group compared with the GW group, no other differences were found between the groups at baseline. After 6 months on APD, the LW group had a reduction in body fat (24.5 ± 7.7 vs 22.1 ± 7.3 kg; P = 0.01), body cell mass (22.6 ± 6.2 vs 21.6 ± 5.8 kg, P = 0.02) and phase angle (5.4 ± 0.9 vs 5.1 ± 0.8 degrees, P = 0.004). In the GW group, body fat (25 ± 7.6 vs 27.2 ± 7.6 kg, P = 0.001) and body cell mass (20.1 ± 3.9 vs 20.8 ± 4.0 kg, P = 0.05) were increased. In the present study, different patterns of change in body composition were found. The length of previous dialysis treatment seems to be the most important factor in determining these nutritional modifications.
  • The prevalence of chronic diabetic complications and metabolic syndrome is not associated with maternal type 2 diabetes Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Scheffel, R.S.; Kramer, C.K.; Rados, D.V.; Pinto, L.C.; Crispim, D.; Gross, J.L.; Canani, L.H.

    Abstract in English:

    The maternal history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) has been reported more frequently in patients with type 2 DM than paternal history. The aim of the present study was to determine if there was an association between maternal history of DM and the presence of chronic complications or metabolic syndrome (MetS) in patients with type 2 DM. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1455 patients with type 2 DM. All outpatients with type 2 diabetes attending the endocrine clinics who fulfilled the eligibility criteria were included. Familial history of DM was determined with a questionnaire. Diabetic complications were assessed using standard procedures. The definition of MetS used was that of the World Health Organization and the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III report criteria. Maternal history of DM was present in 469 (32.3%), absent in 713 (49.1%) and unknown in 273 patients (18.7%). Paternal history of DM was positive in 255 (17.6%), negative in 927 (63.8%) and unknown in 235 patients (16.1%). The frequency of microvascular chronic complications in patients with and without a positive maternal history of DM was similar: diabetic nephropathy (51.5 vs 52.5%), diabetic retinopathy (46.0 vs 41.7%), and diabetic sensory neuropathy (31.0 vs 37.1%). The prevalence of macrovascular chronic complications and MetS was also similar. Patients with type 2 DM were more likely to have a maternal than a paternal history of DM, although maternal history of DM was not associated with an increased prevalence of chronic complications or MetS.
  • Relationship between Brazilian airline pilot errors and time of day Health Care And Community Medicine

    de Mello, M.T.; Esteves, A.M.; Pires, M.L.N.; Santos, D.C.; Bittencourt, L.R.A.; Silva, R.S.; Tufik, S.

    Abstract in English:

    Flight safety is one of the most important and frequently discussed issues in aviation. Recent accident inquiries have raised questions as to how the work of flight crews is organized and the extent to which these conditions may have been contributing factors to accidents. Fatigue is based on physiologic limitations, which are reflected in performance deficits. The purpose of the present study was to provide an analysis of the periods of the day in which pilots working for a commercial airline presented major errors. Errors made by 515 captains and 472 copilots were analyzed using data from flight operation quality assurance systems. To analyze the times of day (shifts) during which incidents occurred, we divided the light-dark cycle (24:00) in four periods: morning, afternoon, night, and early morning. The differences of risk during the day were reported as the ratio of morning to afternoon, morning to night and morning to early morning error rates. For the purposes of this research, level 3 events alone were taken into account, since these were the most serious in which company operational limits were exceeded or when established procedures were not followed. According to airline flight schedules, 35% of flights take place in the morning period, 32% in the afternoon, 26% at night, and 7% in the early morning. Data showed that the risk of errors increased by almost 50% in the early morning relative to the morning period (ratio of 1:1.46). For the period of the afternoon, the ratio was 1:1.04 and for the night a ratio of 1:1.05 was found. These results showed that the period of the early morning represented a greater risk of attention problems and fatigue.
  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the frontal, cingulate and perirolandic cortices and its relationship to skin conductance in patients with schizophrenia Psychological Processes, Behavior And Mental Diseases

    Sanches, R.F.; Crippa, J.A.S.; Hallak, J.E.C.; de Sousa, J.P.M.; Araújo, D.; Santos, A.C.; Zuardi, A.W.

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether specific subgroups of schizophrenic patients, grouped according to electrodermal characteristics, show differences in the N-acetylaspartate/creatine plus choline (NAA / (Cr + Cho)) ratios in the frontal, cingulate and perirolandic cortices. Skin conductance levels (SCL) and skin conductance responses to auditory stimulation were measured in 38 patients with schizophrenia and in the same number of matched healthy volunteers (control). All subjects were submitted to multivoxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. When compared to the control group, patients presented significantly lower NAA / (Cr + Cho) ratios in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (schizophrenia = 0.95 ± 0.03; control = 1.12 ± 0.04) and in the right (schizophrenia = 0.88 ± 0.02; control = 0.94 ± 0.03) and left (schizophrenia = 0.84 ± 0.03; control = 0.94 ± 0.03) cingulates. These ratios did not differ between electrodermally responsive and non-responsive patients. When patients were divided into two groups: lower SCL (less than the mean SCL of the control group minus two standard deviations) and normal SCL (similar to the control group), the subgroup with a lower level of SCL showed a lower NAA / (Cr + Cho) ratio in the left cingulate (0.78 ± 0.05) than the controls (0.95 ± 0.02, P < 0.05) and the subgroup with normal SCL (0.88 ± 0.03, P < 0.05). There was a negative correlation between the NAA / (Cr + Cho) ratio in the left cingulate of patients with schizophrenia and the duration of the disease and years under medication. These data suggest the existence of a schizophrenic subgroup characterized by low SCL that could be a consequence of the lower neuronal viability observed in the left cingulate of these patients.
  • Minor sperm abnormalities in young male post-pubertal patients with juvenile dermatomyositis Skeletal, Muscle And Nervous Systems

    Moraes, A.J.P.; Pereira, R.M.R.; Cocuzza, M.; Casemiro, R.; Saito, O.; Silva, C.A.A.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to identify sperm abnormalities in young male patients with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM). In 2005, 18 male JDM patients, diagnosed according to the criteria of Bohan and Peter, were followed at the Pediatric Rheumatology Unit and Rheumatology Division, of our Institution. Of the 18 males, 11 were pre-pubertal and 7 were post-pubertal. Two of 7 post-pubertal JDM male patients were excluded: one for orchidopexy for cryptorchidism and the other for testicular ectopia in the left testis. The remaining 5 post-pubertal JDM patients were prospectively evaluated on the basis of two semen analyses, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), urologic evaluation, testicular Doppler ultrasound hormone profile. The data of the JDM patients were compared with those of 5 age-matched healthy controls. The median age 18, was similar in JDM patients and controls. All JDM patients had teratozoospermia (abnormal sperm morphology), as did 4 (80%) of the controls. One of JDM patients had previous oligoasthenoteratozoospermia treated with intravenous cyclophosphamide with normalization of the number and concentration of the sperm after 5 years. All sperm parameters (sperm concentration, total sperm count and total motile sperm count by WHO, and sperm morphology by Kruger strict criteria), testicular volumes by Prader orchidometer and ultrasound, and hormones were similar in JDM patients compared with controls. The frequency of anti-sperm antibodies was similar in both groups. All JDM patients had minor sperm abnormalities in the head, midpiece, and/or tail of spermatozoids. Serial semen analyses in larger study populations are necessary to identify the extent and duration of sperm abnormalities in male patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies.
  • Muscle strength but not functional capacity is associated with plasma interleukin-6 levels of community-dwelling elderly women Skeletal, Muscle And Nervous Systems

    Oliveira, D.M.G.; Narciso, F.M.S.; Santos, M.L.A.S.; Pereira, D.S.; Coelho, F.M.; Dias, J.M.D.; Pereira, L.S.M.

    Abstract in English:

    The association of plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, muscle strength and functional capacity was investigated in a cross-sectional study of community-dwelling elderly women from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Elderly people who present controlled chronic diseases with no negative impact on physical, psychosocial and mental functionality are considered to be community-dwelling. Psychological and social stress due to unsuccessfully aging can represent a risk for immune system disfunctions. IL-6 levels, isokinetic muscle strength of knee flexion/extension, and functional tests to determine time required to rise from a chair and gait velocity were measured in 57 participants (71.21 ± 7.38 years). Serum levels of IL-6 were measured in duplicate and were performed within one single assay (mouse monoclonal antibody against IL-6; High-Sensitivity, Quantikine®, R & D Systems, USA; intra-assay coefficient of variance = 6.9-7.4%; interassay coefficient of variance = 9.6-6.5%; sensitivity = 0.016-0.110 pg/mL; mean = 0.039 pg/mL). Muscle strength was assessed with the isokinetic dynamometer Biodex System 3 Pro®. After the Shapiro-Wilk normality test was applied, correlations were investigated using Spearman and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Post hoc analysis was performed using the Dunn test. A significant negative correlation was observed between plasma IL-6 levels (1.95 ± 1.77 pg/mL) and muscle strength for knee flexion (70.70 ± 21.14%; r = -0.265; P = 0.047) and extension (271.84 ± 67.85%; r = -0.315; P = 0.017). No significant correlation was observed between IL-6 levels and the functional tests (time to rise from a chair = 14.65 ± 2.82 s and gait velocity = 0.95 ± 0.14 m/s). These results suggest that IL-6 is associated with reduced muscle strength.
Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto SP Brazil, Tel. / Fax: +55 16 3315-9120 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjournal@terra.com.br