Current Politics and Economics of the Middle East

Current Politics and Economics of the Middle East is a scholarly, peer-reviewed Journal that publishes articles and research concerned with the many issues surrounding the Middle East today. Topics include, but are not limited to, domestic, regional, and global issues, culture, natural resources, environment, disease and poverty, foreign aid, economy and development, democracy and human rights, women’s issues, education, security, etc.

Journal Editor: Louis Maurici
ISSN: 1939-5809
Frequency: Quarterly



Volume 18

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Issue 1

Maxillary Canine Internal Root Resorption Concomitant to Orthodontic Retraction; Cone Beam Evaluation Hussam M. Abdel-Kader and Ahmed S. M. Ammar

TMD-Related Headache and Facial Pain: A Review Ibrahim Mortada, Rola Mortada, Mohamad Al Bazzal, Angelo Leone, and Abdo Jurjus

Effect of Chemical and Thermal Factors on Ni-Ti Endodontic Instruments: A Review Zahed Mohammadi and Sousan Shalavi

Co-Relation of the Disease Severity between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Periodontitis in South Indian Population T. Sivasankari, T. Ramakrishnan, B. Aruna, Kamal Kanathasan, Uma Sudhakar, Shankar Ram, Danny Mathew, and S. Parthiban

Prevalence of Maxillofacial Fractures Reported at Sandeman Provincial Hospital, Quetta, Pakistan Ambreen Mengal, Mirza Khan Tareen, and Jahangir Hamad

Resolution of Buccal Dehiscence Defect after Endodontic Treatment: A Case Report Jefferson J. C. Marion, Maíra Prado, Nicole A. Tomiazzi, Cleverson O. Silva, Emmanuel José Silva, and Thais M. Duque

Prevalence of ROM Levels (in GCF / Saliva, Plasma) in Smokers and Non-Smokers with Chronic Periodontitis Uma Sudhakar, T. Ramakrishnan, Vikram Buddhanesan, Himanshu Shekhar, Dr. Parthiban, and Dr. Karthikaivelan

Structuring, Logistics and Legal Aspects of Human Teeth Bank on the Northern Brazil Natácya Menezes de Souza Lopes, Glenda Araújo Pinheiro, Camila Sagica dos Anjos, Bárbara da Silva Neves, Arielle Monteiro Cristo, Silvio Augusto Fernandes de Menezes, Patricia de Almeida Rodrigues Silva e Souza, Ricardo Roberto de Souza Fonseca

Cavity Disinfectants in Restorative Dentistry- Journey til Date Karuna Yarmunja Mahabala, Arathi Rao, and P Anupama Nayak

Issue 2

Introduction: Dental pulp when exposed to iritants will endanger its life. The iatrogenic injury that happened during cavity preparation is the common cause of the pulp irritation. The response of the pulp to irritation is inflammation and, if left untreated, this will eventually progress to pulp necrosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effect of mangosteen rind extract in rabbit teeth with reversible pulpitis. Material and Methods: This study was conducted on 9 rabbits. 4 central incisors were used from each rabbit,. The teeth were perforated using small bur until bleeding, then after cleansing, materials will be applied. The materials used were the mangosteen rind of concentration 5% and 10%, and biodentine. All the teeth prepared and materials were applied to the 3 central incisors with one tooth left as control. The rabbits randomly assigned into 3 groups: Group 1: 3 rabbits decapitated 1 day post-injury, Group 2:

This research work is carried out to assess the antimicrobial efficacy of an anti-plaque agent, Hybnex® against the leading periodontal pathogens which are known to cause periodontal disease. Complete exclusion of these infective microbes and thereby impeding disease progression is the prime focus of periodontal therapy, which is virtually achieved by scaling and root planing. However, for maintenance of such perceptible conditions are carried out by the adjunctive use of antimicrobial agents. A total of fifteen intact human single rooted teeth were inoculated with periodontal pathogens to form a biofilm. The biofilm formed was confirmed using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The specimens were then divided into 3 groups. Group I: specimens were treated with test agent. Group II: specimens were treated with 0.2% Chlorhexidine (CHX) AND Group III: Specimens were treated with deionized water. The results showed comparable antimicrobial activity between test agent (Hybnex®) and CHX (0.2%) when compared to the deionized water, which was statistically significant (p < 0.001).

Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of a 37% phosphoric acid solution delivered by conventional irrigation, Endovac®, sonic and ultrasonic activated tips and plastic file on Ca(OH)2 removal using micro-CT. Methods: Fifty mesial roots of mandibular molars were manually instrumented. Ca(OH)2 paste was inserted into the root canal system with a 25 K-file. All teeth were scanned by micro-CT to determine the initial dressing volume. After 7 days, the Ca(OH)2 was removed with a 25 K-file and 10 mL of NaOCl. The specimens were allocated in 5 groups irrigated with phosphoric acid (n = 10): conventional irrigation (CI); Endovac (EV); Sonic irrigation (SI); Passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI) and Plastic file (PF). The teeth were re-scanned by micro-CT. Results: The percentage volume of Ca(OH)2 removal was calculated. Data was evaluated by Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests (p < 0.05). PUI removed significantly more Ca(OH)2 than CI, EV and PF.

Purpose: To investigate the pulpal response to EPT before and after pulpotomy procedure. Methods: Sixty teeth (premolar and molar), belonged to patients aged 20-60 years, were included in this survey. Teeth had a history of spontaneous pain and were candidate for root canal treatment. Before anesthesia and emergency pulpotomy treatment, the response to EPT was recorded. Pulpotomy were accomplished and the access cavity were sealed using a temporary restoration 2-5 days after pulpotomy, the responses to EPT were recorded again and the root canal treatment were completed. Statistical analysis was performed with paired t-test. The significance level was set as p < 0.05. Results: According to the results of this study, the mean value of response to EPT was 3.08 ± 0.8 before and 4.5 ± 1.6 after pulpotomy. The pulpal response to EPT before and after pulpotomy had significant difference (p < .001).

Purpose: This study aimed to correlate the two quantitative radiomorphometric indices—MI and PMI—evaluated by panoramic radiographs, to the BMD obtained by bone densitometry in postmenopausal women in the Amazon region and demonstrate the importance of panoramic radiography as a screening tool for patients with low BMD. Methods: The indices measured on panoramic radiographs of 91 postmenopausal women were evaluated and compared with the diagnosis of bone densitometry, using the chi-square and Pearson correlation test for statistical evaluation. Results: Patients with osteoporosis/osteopenia presented lower index values than normal patients. The correlation test showed that patients classified by densitometry as having normal bone density or osteoporosis, are more likely to be classified similarly by PMI. Moreover, cases classified as normal or with osteopenia and osteoporosis by densitometry are more likely to be classified similarly by the MI. The evaluated indices were able to identify women with low bone mass, showing that panoramic radiography can be a useful tool for screening such

Purpose: Revascularization has emerged as a favorable treatment option, in particular for teeth with pulp necrosis in the early stages of root formation. However, internal tooth discoloration has been observed by triple antibiotic paste, as well as by mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) used in the revascularization procedure. Case Report: In this report, a case of traumatized immature teeth was treated with pulp revascularization using two intracanal medicaments - triple antibiotic paste and the combination of calcium hydroxide and 2% chlorhexidine gel, and its effect on darkening was discussed. In addition, internal bleaching was proposed to solve the drawback of tooth discoloration after revascularization. Conclusion: At 15 months follow-up, clinical findings showed no tooth discoloration and radiographic examinations showed continuation of root formation and apical closure.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the surface tension of established and potential endodontic irrigants used during endodontic practice. Methods: The substances evaluated were: Distilled water; natrosol; sodium hypochlorite (1%, 2.5%, 5.25%, 6% - solution and gel); chlorhexidine (0.12%, 0.2%, 2% - solution and gel); 17% EDTA solution and gel; 37% phosphoric acid solution; citric acid (1%, 10%, 50% - solution and gel); sodium thiosulfate solution (0.5% and 5%); 10% sodium ascorbate solution; 100% Ethanol; absolute alcohol; and propyleneglycol. The surface tension was measured using the Du Noüy ring method. Ten measurements were taken for each substance (n = 10). Data were statistically analyzed using Anova and Tukey tests. Results: Comparing all substances evaluated, ethanol and absolute alcohol showed the lowest and 1% NaOCl the highest values of surface tension. Regarding the substances used during preparation, CHX showed the lowest surface tension values. Regarding NaOCl, in concentration of 6% this substance showed the lower surface tension. For smear layer removal, 17% EDTA showed the lowest values of surface tension. As final irrigant, ethanol and absolute alcohol showed the lowest values of surface tension followed by 2% CHX solution. Conclusion: It was concluded that the surface tension of the tested substances was varied, having the absolute alcohol the lowest and the 1% NaOCl the highest.

Purpose: The latest epidemiologic orofacial pain survey in Indonesia showed that orofacial pain remains as one of the main dental problems in Indonesia. Therefore, development of an assessment tool that evaluates the effect of orofacial pain on the earlier period of life is considered to be of important. The current study aimed on evaluating the validity as well as reliability of the Children Orofacial Pain Questionnaire (COPQ) that will be used as one of the assessment tools in the intensity, duration, frequency, and impact of orofacial pain on children. Method: One hundred and sixty-five schooled aged children (aged 6-12 years old) participated in the current study. Researcher interviewed all participants based on a questionnaire that evaluates the type of orofacial pain, intensity, duration, frequency, and the impact of orofacial pain on daily activity. Pearson’s correlation was used to test the construct validity of the questionnaire. Results: All questions tested were significantly correlated (p-value < 0.05) with a positive r values (ranged from 0.67 until 0.75). The reliability evaluation using the test-retest method showed a Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.74. Conclusion: It is concluded that the Indonesian COPQ is proven to be valid and reliable to be used as an assessment tool of orofacial pain on children.

Odontomas are a common type of odontogenic tumor and are considered to be hamartomas, containing both epithelial and mesenchymal elements with unknown etiology. Odontomas have been classified into two main types – compound and complex. Compound odontomas consist of tooth-like structure, organized in an orderly pattern, but presents altered size and conformation. Complex odontomas are malformations in which all dental tissues are present as a disorganized amorphous mass and they are frequently detected around the second decade of life. This report attempts to describe a rare event of an erupting odontoma in a 25 year-old male patient, Caucasian, who sought care at the service of CESUPA School of Dentistry, complaining about slight discomfort at lower incisors' area. First was realized a clinical and radiographic examination and was found 3 teeth-like structures which one of them was exposed at oral cavity and the treatment of choice was cirurgical excision. Therefore, the professional must be able to diagnose and treat properly this uncommon condition.

Volume 12

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Volume 32

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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Volume 12

Issue 1

Special issue: Helmet use of adolescents at North American independent schools

Edited by Ronald Chow, Michael Borean, Drew Hollenberg, Jaclyn Viehweger, and Joav Merrick

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Volume 17 (2018)

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Volume 11

Special issue: Palliative care: Experience from Hong Kong

Special issue: Current opinion in cancer and exercise

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Volume 14 (2019)

Volume 11

Volume 11 (Sold individually)

Special issue: Tribute to the pediatrician Emanuel Chigier, 1928-2017
Edited by Joav Merrick

Larger than life ambassador: Emanuel Chigier, pediatrician, 1928-2017 Daniel Hardoff and Joav Merrick

The quest for an alternative paradigm of STEM education for young people Daniel TL Shek and Po Chung

Assessment and intervention for perinatal bonding disorder Miki Mizumoto and Yoshiyuki Tachibana

Measuring child survival in Trinidad: Preparation for Sustainable Development Goal 3 Kameel Mungrue, Katavia Balfour, Binta Baptiste, Asa Badall, and Analiese Bates

Training of potential program implementers for the Tin Ka Ping P.A.T.H.S. Project in China: Subjective outcome evaluation findings Daniel TL Shek, Janet TY Leung, Lawrence K Ma, Li Lin, and Florence KY Wu

A qualitative study on the role of gender in the health and development of adolescents in disadvantaged communities in Ibadan, Nigeria Adesola O Olumide and Oladosu A Ojengbede

Overparenting from the perspectives of Chinese parents and youths Janet TY Leung, Daniel TL Shek, and Lorrie SL Ng

Mothers’ attributions in the relationship between young children’s temperament and parenting stress Melissa Middleton and Kimberly Renk

Does head and neck cancer (HNC) education have impact on adolescents’ knowledge and attitude towards HNC and HNC peer education? An example from Nigeria Kehinde K Kanmodi and Omotayo F Fagbule

Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and attitudes towards tobacco ban: A pilot survey of secondary school students in Ibokun Town, Nigeria Omotayo F Fagbule, Kehinde K Kanmodi, and Timothy O Aladelusi

Anaemia in infants: Is it always an 'iron clad' issue? An observational study Lutfi Jaber and Gary Diamond

Child abuse and alcohol misuse in a victim: The role of ethnic and societal factors, part 2 Sergei V Jargin

Incidental oral hairy leucoplakia (OHL) in a healthy asymptomatic individual Lyubov Matytsina-Quinlan, Mrinalini Mahto, Donald E Greydanus, and Laura Gwatkin

Volume 9, Issue 1

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Volume 14, Issue 1

Female reproductive sources such as endometrium and fallopian tube are gaining consensus in recent years for their stem cell properties. Endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) derived stem cell research and its therapeutic applications are underway by many investigations (Gargett et al. 2009, 2010; Masuda et al. 2010). Human fallopian tubes (hFTs) share the same embryologic origin as the uterus. It is well documented that fallopian tube derived cells may contribute to provide the unique environment required for the maintenance of male and female gamete viability, fertilization, and early development and transport to the uterus, altogether necessary for a successful reproductive outcome (Lyons 2006). With these attributes, endometrium (obtained at the time of dilation and curettage) and fallopian tube (obtained at the time of salpingectomy) may represent a potential source of pluripotent cells for treating various diseases. Epithelial component of the Fallopian tube has been first described by Henriksen and co-workers and subsequently well studied (Djahanbakhch et al. 1999; Henriksen et al. 1990; Hisao et al. 2000; Paik et al. 2012, Snegovskikh et al. 2014), the mesenchymal component of fallopian tube and its potential therapeutic applications are not much explored except for these literatures (Jazedje et al. 2009, 2011; Kadam et al. 2009; Indumathi et al. 2013). Thus, in this article, we outline a comparative key attributes of mesenchymal stem cells of fallopian tube (FT-MSCs) to that of endometrium (eMSCs) based on its marker characteristics, proliferation and apoptosis assay. This is based on our previously published paper on importance of these cells (Indumathi et al. 2013).

Vascular diseases are the disease of arteries and veins, mediated by endothelial cell dysfunctions, leading to blockage of vessels. Although bone marrow mononuclear cells and endothelial progenitor cells are currently used for treating vascular diseases, stem cells derived from endometrium are far superior in treating vascular diseases as it undergoes dynamic proliferation and has inherent angiogenic ability. However, taking these endometrial stem cells into clinic for treating vascular diseases is a challenge. We hypothesise herein, an easy andreliable method to study the anti-angiogenesis and its reversal using a chick embryo model. Briefly, we propose herein that, anti-angiogenesis of itraconazole, an anti-fungal drug and its reversal by forming neoangiogenesis using endometrial stem cells can be best studied on chick embryo model. A preliminary study was done to justify our hypothesis. In-depth investigations will be carried out to justify the proposed hypothesis effectively. This opens new avenues to unravel the mechanism of itraconazole in blocking CAM vasculature and the mechanism of EnScs in reversing the blocked vessels, therebypostulating the use of endometrial stem cells for vascular regeneration, after in-depth investigation in pre-clinical and clinical model.

Since the first generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), many efforts have been made to use them for cell therapies targeting diabetes. The primary focus in the research field was the generation of insulin-producing cells similar to innate β-cells from human iPSCs. β-cells play a significant role in the pathogenesis of both types of diabetes. In this work, we aimed at generating iPSCs from peripheral blood and their further differentiation into β-cells. First, we isolated mononuclear cells from peripheral blood and reprogrammed them into iPSCs. After assessments of pluripotency via immunohistochemistry, the generated cells were differentiated into β-cells. Successful differentiation was confirmed by analyzing cell surface markers specific to β-cells; CD142, and CD200. Moreover, the expression of PDX1, Insulin, and C-Peptide was detected via immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, the expression levels of β- cells specific genes; PDX1, Insulin, GATA4, and HNF6 were evaluated by qRT-PCR. Results confirmed the successful generation of iPSCs and their differentiation into β-cells. In conclusion, iPSCs can provide a promising source of autologous cells that could be considered as a potential cell therapy of diabetes.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have gained worldwide attention due to their potential uses in tissue engineering and regeneration. Some reports showed that human gingival mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs) can differentiate into different cell types, however, there is still limited evidence regarding their capacity for bone regeneration. In this study, we investigated the proliferation capacity and osteogenic potential of GMSCs and compared them to those of DPSCs. Mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from dental pulp and gingival tissues obtained from human third molars and/or premolars and cultured. Osteogenic differentiation of the cells was then induced using stem X-Vivo system. The proliferation capacity of the cells was measured using MTT proliferation Assay. Osteogenic differentiation was assessed using Alizarin red stain and by analyzing the gene expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC) genes. The results showed that DPSCs have higher proliferation capacity than GMSCs. Moreover, the expression of ALP and OC genes was higher in differentiated DPSCs than in GMSCs. Furthermore, staining with Alizarin red after 14 and 21 days of osteogenic induction showed that the calcium deposits accumulations were more in DPSCs than in GMSCs. The biological and molecular evidence of this study supports the superiority of DPSCs over GMSCs.

The easy availability and extensive proliferative and differentiation potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have made them ideal candidates for cell-based research. While conventional two dimensional (2D) culture systems might have negative effects on stemness potential, three dimensional (3D) culture is recognized to improve stem cells differentiation and proliferation potential. In fact, imitating the in vivo structure of tissues enable 3D cell cultivation to induce cell proliferation and provide an appropriate cell culture condition. The aim of the current study was to compare the proliferative potential of ASCs and BMSCs culturing on human amniotic membrane as a natural scaffold.

Medical infrared thermography (MIT) is a non-invasive, non-radiating, low cost detection tool used for analyzing physiological functions related to skin temperature. Technological advances have made medical thermography a reliable medical measurement tool. We performed a scientific literature search with an objective of exploring early diagnostic and prognostic value of MIT in areas of medicine and surgery. We found that there are potential applications in the field of vascular disorders, endocrinological disorders (especially diabetes mellitus), regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, oncology and surgery. It may also help understand mechanisms of action of traditional systems of medicine such as yoga, Ayurveda and acupuncture. Future studies should focus on validation and feasibility testing of medical thermography in clinical settings in India.

Volume 11

Special issue: Development and validation of assessment tools on service leadership knowledge, attitude and behavior

Edited by Daniel TL Shek, Xiaoqin Zhu, and Joav Merrick

Development and validation of assessment tools on service leadership knowledge, attitude, and behavior Daniel TL Shek, Xiaoqin Zhu, and Joav Merrick

Leadership assessment tools in different Chinese contexts Li Lin and Daniel TL Shek

Conceptual background and the development of service leadership knowledge scale Daniel TL Shek, Xiaoqin Zhu, and Alex YF Zhu

Development of the attitude to Service Leadership Scale in Hong Kong Cecilia MS Ma, Daniel TL Shek, and Yanto Chandra

Development of Service Leadership Behavior Scale: Background and conceptual model Daniel TL Shek, Xiaoqin Zhu, and Kin-Man Chan

Psychometric properties of the Service Leadership Behavior Scale: Preliminary findings Daniel TL Shek, Lawrence K Ma, Li Lin, and Hildie Leung

Content validation of a Service Leadership Behavior Scale in Hong Kong Daniel TL Shek, Jing Wu, Li Lin, and Xiang Li

Validation of the Service Leadership Knowledge Scale: Factorial and convergent validity Daniel TL Shek, Lawrence K Ma, Lu Yu, and Loretta MK Leung

Convergent and factorial validation of the Service Leadership Behavior Scale Daniel TL Shek, Lawrence K Ma, Cecilia MS Ma, and A Reza Hoshmand YF Zhu, Lawrence K Ma, and Li Lin

The Service Leadership Knowledge Scale: Norms and psychological correlates Daniel TL Shek, Xiaoqin Zhu, and Samson Tse

The Service Leadership Attitude Scale: Normative data and personal correlates in Chinese university students Daniel TL Shek, Jing Wu, and Ben YB Chan

The Service Leadership Behavior Scale: Norms and personal correlates Daniel TL Shek, Diya Dou, and Robin S Snell

Volume 11

Volume 9, Issue 2

Volume 13 (2018)

Volume 12

Volume 11

Volume 13, Issue 4

Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) have been investigated in the central nervous system repair after injury. However, the effectiveness of these cells in the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) induced hyperalgesia, allodynia, and hypoalgesia is far from clear. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of BMSC on formalin tonic pain and feeding behavior after thoracic complete SCI. Adult male rats underwent complete transection of the spinal cord and later at day 9 of SCI received a direct injection of pre-labeled BMSC cells around the injury site. Formalin pain behavior was studied once at the end of week 8 after SCI while feeding behavior was studied every day pre- and post-SCI. After the formalin pain study, rats were sacrificed for histological and neurochemical studies. Formalin pain behavior was decreased after SCI at week 8. This formalin pain behavior partially recovered in the BMSC transplanted rats. During the study period, feeding behavior was affected severely after SCI. However, it was improved in the BMSC group of rats. Neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine were affected after SCI in different brain regions which were restored partially by BMSC transplantation. Histological studies revealed the presence of pre-labeled BMSC that filled the lesion cavities in the transplanted group. Data suggest the bene-ficial effect of BMSC transplantation on supraspinal mediated feeding and formalin tonic pain behaviors that are associated with altered neurotransmitter levels in the SCI rats.

Biomaterials have allowed many advances in the field of bone tissue engineering (BTE). Polycaprolactone (PCL) is an FDA degradable polymer that has been used for manufacturing scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. Different modifications have been made to PCL scaffold in order to improve its surface properties and osteoinductive abilities. It is essential that any modification of the engineered scaffold should avoid altering the properties of the seeded cells. Stem cells isolated from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) -similar to all other mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)- do not express costimulatory molecules on their surface. These molecules are essential for the completion of T cell activation and therefore the lack of their expression accounts for the low immunogenicity of MSCs. In this study, SHED were isolated and seeded on 3D- printed PCL scaffolds which were either non-coated or coated with either nanohydroxyapatite (N-HAp) or multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Cells cultured without scaffolds were used as a control. After three-day culture, all cells were collected and analyzed by flow cytometry for the expression of surface co-stimulatory molecules; CD40, CD80, and CD86. Results showed that different coating materials evidently affected the immune-genicity of the seeded SHED. The expression of CD40, CD80, and CD86 markers was significantly higher in cells seeded on MWCNTs/PCL scaffolds, followed by cells seeded on N-HAp/PCL scaffolds when compared to cells seeded on non-coated PCL scaffolds. On the other hand, cells seeded on non-coated PCL scaffolds showed no significant difference in their expression to the specified markers when compared to the control group. The data presented in this study are significant when considering allogeneic MSCs treatments in order to avoid immune rejection.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) indeed hold great potential as a basis for cell-based therapies for multiple degenerative diseases. It involves the administration of transcription factors in order to transduce multiple termin-ally differentiated cell types into pluripotent embryonic-like stem cells. These cells can overcome the issues of immune rejection, as the cells are autologous, and also eliminate any ethical issues regarding the use of human embryos. Objective: Here we present a onetime transfection repro-gramming protocol for peripheral blood mononucleocytes (PBMNCs) Methods: PBMNCs were cultured in conditions favoring hematopoietic progenitor population. Three plas-mids encoding five reprogramming factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, L-Myc and Lin28) in addition to EBNA1, an enhancer of transfection efficiency and episomal plasmids expression were applied to reprogram the isolated cells. Results: A single transfection of this plasmid combination was sufficient to generate pluripotent markers positive iPSC colonies. Colonies resembling human ES-like cells were observed as early as 20 days after episomal plasmid neucleofection. These colonies stained positively for alkaline phosphatase. Moreover, the generated iPSCs expressed stem cell markers TRA-1-60, SSEA4, NANOG and OCT3/4 as determined by immunocytochemistry. These results demonstrated that iPSC could be effectively generated from PBMNCs using episomal plasmid vectors encoding OCT3/4, shRNA against p53, SOX2, KLF4, L-MYC and LIN28. Conclusion: Finally, it could be concluded that the method described in this research provides a promising approach for generating clinical grade induced pluripotent stem cells from highly accessible source of adult somatic cells.

Tumor tropism of Mesenchymal Stem Cells confers them an added characteristic. Possibly, one can explore inherent anti¬cancer potentials to deliver anti-cancer agents to the site of the tumor. It is a well-established fact that Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are equipped with traits like multi-lineage differentiation potential, immune privilegedness and probably some affinity for tumors. The scientific community has been debating pro-cancer or anti¬cancer nature of MSCs. It is believed that MSCs, by virtue of their reparative function, acts as a tumor-promoting entity by expressing several growth factors and helps formation of new vessels by a process called angiogenesis. However, MSCs are also reported to play an anti-cancer role by expressing molecules like TRAIL (Tumor Necrosis Factor-related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand) and DKK1 (Wnt pathway inhibitor) and many other tumor suppressor molecules. Extensive literature is available on tumor specific migration and anti-cancer nature of MSCs derived from either bone marrow or adipose tissue. The behavior of mix of MSCs derived from perinatal tissues viz. umbilical cord tissue, placenta and amniotic sac for these invest-igations is least explored. The advantages of utilizing perinatal tissue as a source of MSCs are obvious, which include the ease of procurement process, their abundant availability and the naive nature of cells as compared to other sources studied so far. We present here a comparative study of migration capabilities of MSCs derived from umbilical cord tissue alone (UCMSC), a subtype of the UCMSC called MSC1, adipose tissue derived Mesenchymal stem cells (ATMSC) and a mixture of MSCs (Mixed MSCs) derived from perinatal tissues namely the umbilical cord tissue, placenta and the amniotic sac.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to severe disability contributing to poor quality of life. Cell-based or cell-related therapies have emerged as breakthrough therapies, both in regeneration of spinal cord and enhanced functional recovery. This review aims to discuss the therapeutic benefits of yoga in the rehabilitation of SCI in enhancing neural plasticity and emerging as an important add-on to support stem cell therapies. Conventional treatment for SCI does not bring out full recovery of loss of function. Chronic systemic inflammation prevailing years after injury is one of the obstacles in sensory and motor function improvement. Recurrence of secondary infections, risk of neural tissue death and depression disorders leading to poor quality of life are some of the factors which are barriers to recovery of SCI. Cell replacement strategies provide cells that can replace the lost function. They provide a regenerative pathway for injured adult neurons, which would then promote the regeneration of adult neurons. Transplantation of cells mostly leads to the rejection of the donor material due to a combination of humoral and cellular immune responses. Evidences how that yoga modulates immune function which is otherwise compromised by stress. It can promote neurogenesis and angiogenesis resulting from increase production of neurotrophins. Yoga as an immune modulator can thus enhance the acceptance of implanted stem cells leading to the regeneration of the spinal cord circuitry and restore function after injury. It is thus hypothesized that yoga’s therapeutic benefits may prove as an approach to alleviate the barriers of cellular therapies if necessary evidences are generated.

Aim: To study the efficacy of Yoga as a supportive therapy modality to Ayurveda treatment in improving endocrine parameters and psychopathologies in PCOS. Methods: We selected 64 women with PCOS within the age range 18 to 40 years (mean age = 29.24 years) who visited to Ayurveda center to seek Ayurveda treatment for PCOS. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups of 32 each in Ayurveda group-AY and Ayurveda + Yoga group-AY + Y respectively. Women who had had; medical history of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal blockage and or had exposure to yoga practices in the past 2 years were excluded from the study. All the women in AY group received cleansing therapy based on Ayurveda pre-scription which was followed by oral herbal medication intake for three months. Women in AY + Y group received 3 months of yoga intervention 1 hr daily, 5 day/week for 3 months along with Ayurveda treatment. The assessment of the study was for endocrine variables, ovary mass and psychological states using perceived stress scale and hospital anxiety depression invent-tory, at the baseline and after 3 months. Results: In the AY + Y group a significant decrease was observed for 9 variables (1) prolactin (p = 0.003), 2) LH (p = 0.006), 3) testosterone (p = 0.003), 4) HbA1C (p = 0.006), 5) AMH (p = 0.004), 7) T4 (p = 0.001), 8) TSH (p = 0.035), 9) right ovary mass (p = 0.003). In AY Group significant reduction was found for 3 variables 1) AMH (p = 0.006), HbA1C (p = 0.003), T4 (p = 0.03). In the between group comparison A+Y group showed signif-icantly greater reduction in HbA1C (p < 0.001) and TSH (p = 0.002), left (p = 0.04) and right (p = 0.006) ovary mass as compared to AY group. We noticed significant improvement in anxiety, depression, & perceived stress in Y+A group. Conclusion: The present study suggests that addition of yoga intervention to the herbal medication for PCOS have additional benefits compared to only herbal treatment. This study also suggest that combination of complimentary therapies have synergetic effects in management of PCOS.

Volume 12, Issue 1

Special issue: Promotion of holistic development of university students in Hong Kong

The impact of a new 4-year undergraduate program in Hong Kong Daniel TL Shek, Yu Lu, and Joav Merrick

Leadership qualities as a foundation of serivce learning: The Hong Kong experience Daniel TL Shek

Service learning as a mandatory credit-bearing subject at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Stephen CF Chan, Grace Ngai, and Daniel TL Shek

University social responsibility and promotion of the quality of life Daniel TL Shek

The quest for holistic youth leadership development: What should be the desired attributes of youth leaders? Daniel TL Shek and Angelina Tsang-Yuen

General education at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University: A comprehensive evaluation study Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu, Wen Yu Chai, Kevin Chan, and Joe Ngai

Achievement of desired university graduate attributes through a new 4-year undergraduate program Daniel TL Shek, Lu Yu, Wen Yu Chai, Florence KY Wu, and Wynants WL Ho

Perceptions of teachers of the new general education curriculum in Hong Kong: A focus group study Daniel TL Shek, Catherine WY Chai, and Florence KY Wu

Wellbeing of university students in Hong Kong: A longitudinal case study Florence KY Wu, Daniel TL Shek, Catherine WY Chai, and Julie XQ Zhu

Development of undergraduate university students: A 4-year longitudinal case study in Hong Kong Daniel TL Shek, Wen Yu Chai, Huijing Lu, Lu Yu, Kevin Chan, Wynants Ho, Cecilia MS Ma, Florence KY Wu, Hildie Leung, Li Lin, and Moon Law

Volume 11

Volume 13, Issue 3

Current comprehension of endoderm organ development has enabled researchers to successfully direct pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to differentiate into endodermal lineage which can give rise to cells of the lungs, liver, pancreas, stomach, and intestine. Nevertheless, variations in the differentiation efficiency have been reported mainly due the utilization of poorly defined matrices in the protocols applied. On this basis, the present study investigated the potential role of recombinant human-Vitronectin-N (VN) in inducing differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into endodermal lineage. Differentiation was initiated by applying a previously established sequential step wise endodermal differentiation protocol. Expression of endodermal specific genes characteristic of each differentiation stage was investigated and analyzed by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Our results demonstrated a significant up-regulation of endoderm related markers characteristic of respective stages of differentiation in hiPSCs differentiated on VN coated dishes in comparison to those differentiated on routinely used feeder cells. Analysis of PDX1 expression in differentiated cells illustrated that VN was able to further induce pancreatic progenitors as well. Altogether, our results demonstrated that VN efficiently promoted endodermal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Background: Stem cells created new hope in regenerative medicine for their ability to repair damaged tissues. This present study examined the effect of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) on miRNA-133a expression, and their relation to cardiac complications in diabetic rats. Methods: The current study included three groups of Wistar rats: control rats, type 1 diabetes rat model induced by streptozotocin (STZ), and diabetic rats treated with BM-MSCs. For all rats, fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum insulin as well as cardiovascular functions (heart rate, systolic blood pressure and electrocardiogram) were assessed. All rats were sacrificed after eight weeks. Specimens from cardiac and pancreatic tissues were examined to detect fluorescent labelled BM-MSCs, and their regenerative effect by hematoxylin and eosin stain. Expression of miRNA-133a was assessed in pancreatic and cardiac tissues by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Results: This study revealed that the body weight and serum insulin levels were increased in BM-MSC treated diabetic rats, while FBG didn’t reach the euglycemic level. Moreover, improvement of systolic blood pressure and corrected QT (QTc) interval was found. The expression of miR-133a was significantly increased in pancreatic and cardiac tissues of diabetic rats, and correlated with FBG. However, there was no significant difference in its expression after treatment with BM-MSCs. Conclusion: This study has given evidence for the first time that miR133a was expressed in pancreatic as well as cardiac tissues of diabetic rats in response to hyperglycemia. Also, BM-MSCs had the potential to improve pancreatic and cardiac functions in diabetic rats.

Background: Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are considered an easily accessible source of mesenchymal stem cells holding great promise for use in tissue repair and regenerative medicine. In order for DPSCs to be used in therapeutic clinical applications, issues like safely enhancing culture expansion need to be addressed. Objective: In this research, we aimed to assess the safety of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a promoter of proliferation in comparison to routinely used animal derived supplements. Methods: The effect of PRP on the proliferation of DPSCs was assessed by MTT assay. Expression of stemness-related genes OCT4 & INTGRIN1 was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR. DNA sequencing was performed for OCT4 & INTGRIN1 genes to ensure that the isolated DPSCs stem cell properties were not altered by the PRP supplemented media. Results: At a concentration of 1% with platelet count of 1.5 x 106/cm3, PRP was able to significantly increase the proliferation rate while maintaining the viability of DPSCs in comparison to routinely used 15% FBS. Mesenchymal stem cell surface markers expression (CD29, CD105) were not altered by PRP supplementation. Moreover, PRP in cultures signif-icantly promoted expression of stemness markers OCT4 & INTGRIN1 compared with 10% FBS. The results were confirmed by DNA sequencing for OCT4 & INTGRIN1 genes where DPSCs cultured in PRP demonstrated 100% matching with the control group indicating that PRP supplementation didn’t alter the nucleotide sequence of stem cell genes. Conclusions: Taken together, our results indicate that PRP is a safe and efficient promoter of proliferation and can readily substitute traditional animal derived supplements like FBS.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Blood glucose control, prevention of DM complication and reducing the cardiovascular risk factors are the important goals of T2DM management. Having potential health benefiting effects, Yoga has become a popular alternative and complementary medicine in most of the countries around the world. There is large data evidence from RCTs for the efficacy of in various chronic problems including T2DM. In this article, various benefits of yoga practice in T2DM patients are discussed. We did a review of recent scientific studies on beneficial effects of yoga in blood glucose control, CVD risk factors and complications in T2DM. Our review found yoga as an effective intervention in reducing fasting blood sugar (FBS), postprandial blood sugar (PPBS), HbA1C and insulin resistance in T2DM. Yoga reduces cardiovascular complications in T2DM. Further, yoga improves nerve conduction velocity, cognitive function and it also improves mental health by reducing depression and stress in T2DM. This review concludes that yoga is a cost effective, feasible and potent intervention for optimal blood glucose control, reducing CVD risk factors, to improve cognition and mental health among patients with T2DM.

Volume 12

Special issue: Awareness of Parkinson’s disease among young adults

Volume 13, Issue 2

Previous studies have suggested that neurotransmitters may play an important role in influencing neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) differentiation into oligodendrocytes (OL). Differentiated OL are known to aid in remyelination and axonal protection. In order to derive pure lineages of OL, especially for use in regenerative medicine, improved diff-erentiation protocols are required. One potential differ-rentiation cue is the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, but, its effect on NSPCs is currently unknown. Using real-time PCR, we examined the in vitro ability of glutamate, in combination of growth factors to influence the NSPCs differentiation. Glutamate (200μM) for 14-days did not induce significant changes in the gene expression profile of differentiated cultures. Moreover, the combination of growth factors (FGF2, PDGF, NT3) demonstrated no significant effect on the proportions of differentiated cell types. Although the differentiation media, containing fetal bovine serum, had an effect on appearance of neuronal lineage, the overall expression of mature cell markers continued to decrease by day-14. In contrast, Matrigel-attached cultures, demonstrated significant increase in glial markers, with possible inhibition of neuronal differentiation as observed with spontaneous attachment. Overall, these data suggest that glutamate (200μM) and combination of growth factors had no modulating effect on the gene expression profile of differentiated NSPCs culture.

Differentiation of mesenchyal stem cells (MSCs) into biologically active hepatocytes depends on several factors. Glutathione (GSH) and antioxidant enzymes play major role in maintaining the balance between oxidative damage factors and antioxidants during the differentiation. There-fore by adding GSH modifiers to the culture media, we examined the impact of GSH on the process of MSC differentiation into hepatocyte-like cells. In the present study differentiation of MSCs into hepato-cyte-like cells was induced using a 2-step protocol. Then production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), cellular GSH, GSH peroxidase (GPX), GSH reductase (GR) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were determined on days 2, 7 and 14 of differentiation onset. Besides, the experiment was carried out in cells treated with glutathione modifiers namely; buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) or N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Depletion in GSH and GPX due to BSO treatments resulted in elevation of ROS production. In contrast, ROS was substantially decreased in cells having high levels of GSH and GPX following NAC treatments. The results showed that during differentiation, the cell proliferation was affected by ROS alterations. Cell proliferation was enhanced when treated with NAC which also increased GSH, GPX and TAC. As a consequence of GSH elevation by NAC, there was a substantial increase in antioxidant activity of the cells undergoing differentiation. This data show that ROS generation and TAC status can be balanced during the process of hepatic differentiation of MSCs by inducing GSH biosynthesis using NAC in the culture media. This action is associated with improved cell proliferation and differentiation.

This present study aims at the evaluation of different transportation, isolation, and cryopreservation conditions on the stemness properties of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), in an attempt to optimize those conditions to obtain high-quality cells for the needs of regenerative therapy. DPSCs were isolated from canine teeth that were placed in one of six different collection/transport solutions: phosphate buffered saline (PBS); PBS containing fetal bovine serum (FBS); Dulbecco modified Eagles’ medium (DMEM); DMEM containing FBS; Hank’s solution; or saline. Collected teeth were either processed after 3, 12, 24, 36, or 48 hours and using one of two different enzymes. The stemness properties of the isolated cells were evaluated in terms of proliferation, migration, and expression of stem cell markers. Moreover, DPSCs cryopreserved in one of two different cryopreservants and stored at -80℃ then transferred to liquid nitrogen after either 1,12,24,48 hours or 1 week. After thawing, the cells were evaluated for viability using trypan blue test. The results indicate that dental pulp cells can be isolated from dental pulp up to 48 hours after tooth extraction, which implies that processing immediately after extraction may not be required for successful isolation. However, the stemness properties of the isolated cells were significantly affected by the transportation media and the isolation time. This study also indicates that the shorter the time elapsed between transferring the cryopreserved cells from -80℃ to liquid nitrogen was, the higher the viability of the thawed cells was.

Domesticated animals or companion animals are pets that share a psychological bond with their owners. Today there are some 77 million dogs in the USA. The attitudes towards pets have changed and many pets are treated as family members. Dogs live longer lives than ever because preventive health care has become available for them by veterinarians in the health care field who devote much effort towards disease prevention, early detection, reduced invasiveness, and personalized therapies. Regular health exams and immunization programs help ensure that conditions are prevented or treated early. Millions of pets will develop diseases with close analogy to human diseases such as osteoarthritis. Pet owners will look for treatment options to help their beloved pets. Several major pet-insurance companies have recently added stem cell trans-plants to the lists of procedures for which they will pay. Stem cell therapy for dogs is a decision for the owner, and it means considering both the best interest of the dog and the owners financial possibilities. Stem cell technology is a new branch of veterinary medicine but unfortunately there is not yet much information on possible adverse side effects available. Stem cells can be harvested from a variety of adult animal tissues then be injected and induced to grow into different mature cell types.

Volume 13, Issue 1

The identification and use of pharmacological agents to regulate the fate of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and promote their differentiation into neurons has great potential in the development of novel clinical therapies. Here, we investigated the effect of pyrazole 3 (pyr3) on the generation of Ca2+ transients in mouse ESCs (mESCs), as well as on the differentiation of mESCs into neural cells. Pyr3 was originally identified as being a potent inhibitor of the transient receptor potential canonical subfamily 3 (TRPC3) channel. However, here we showed that pyr3 induced an increase in intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in a dose-dependent manner in undifferentiated mESCs. An initial, rapid increase in [Ca2+]i was stimulated mainly via an influx of Ca2+ across the plasma membrane, whereas a subsequent longer-lasting reduced plateau phase was mediated both by Ca2+ influx and by Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs). A similar increase in [Ca2+]i was recorded in mESCs following CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-out of TRPC3 in the presence of the L-type Ca2+ channel agonist, (S)-(-)-Bay K 8644. A much smaller increase in [Ca2+]i was recorded on addition of (S)-(-)-Bay K 8644 in control cells, where functional TRPC3 channels were present. Pyr3 also induced apoptosis via the disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in both undifferentiated mESCs and in cells undergoing neural differentiation, and it inhibited the early stages of mESC differentiation to neural progenitors. Taken together, our results suggest a novel role for TRPC3 in the regulation of [Ca2+]i, as well as on the survival and neural differentiation of mESCs.

The discovery, isolation, characterization and differ-entiation of stem cells have significantly changed the global scenario of medicinal use of these cells for diseases for which conventional drugs are of limited therapeutic potential. The presence of stem cells in virtually every multicellular organism suggests that these cells probably have a major role to play throughout the lifetime of the organism for performing specialized functions that are biologically demanded from time to time for normal development and survival. Stem cells are classified as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and adult stem cells. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells originally identified in mouse bone marrow, have now been discovered in many species and can be isolated from human and animal sources. Human MSCs (hMSCs) are multipotent, non-hematopoietic stromal cells which have the ability to differentiate into variety of cell types, including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myocytes, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, hepatocytes and neural cells. These cells are identified by adherence to plastic surfaces under normal culture conditions and exhibit fibroblast-like morphology. The cultured MSCs express cell surface markers including CD29, CD44, CD49a-f, CD51, CD73, CD105, CD106, CD166, and Stro-1 and lack the expression of CD14, CD19, CD34, CD45 and HLA-DR surface molecules. Because of their immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory properties and ability to secrete paracrine factors, hMSCs have emerged with a great potential in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and promise to be a liable source for therapeutic applications. This review article provides an overview on classification, sources and importance of mesenchymal stromal cells with an emphasis on its clinical applications. Brief updates on production technology and currently available cell therapy products have been described.

Background: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a meta-bolic condition characterized by chronic hyperglycemia. It is a highly prevalent medical problem across the globe and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Optimal blood glucose control is the primary goal of T2DM management. Yoga is a mind-body intervention found to be effective in various kinds of metabolic disorders including T2DM. Aim: This study intended to assess the impact of 3 months Integrated Yoga (IY) intervention on fasting and post-prandial blood glucose level among patients with T2DM. Methods: Total 251 patients with T2DM within the age range of 30-60 years (with average age; 46.04 ± 14.02 years) were enrolled in the study. Participants were divided into a yoga group (n=137) and a control group (n=114). Subjects in the yoga group received IY intervention consisted of Asanas, Surynamaskara, Pranayama and meditation every day for one hour/day, 6 days in a week for three months. Control group subjects followed their daily routines. Subjects on insulin therapy, with diabetic complications, uncontrolled hypertension, under steroid medication, or previous exposure to any form of yoga were excluded from the study. Fasting and post-prandial blood glucose level were assessed before and after 3 months for both the groups. The results: Significant decrease in both fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels was observed in IY group after 3 months compared to baseline. No improvement was seen in the control group. Conclusion: IY intervention helps in controlling blood glucose levels among patients with T2DM.

Introduction: Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (TSCI) is an injury to the spinal cord that results in temporary or permanent motor, sensory, and cognitive deficits. The current conventional approach of TSCI management includes surgery, pharmacology, and physical therapy, which have some limitations and are associated with side effects. Yoga is a form of mind-body medicine found to be effective in several neurological disorders as an add-on to other therapies. Aim: The present study intended to see the effect of Integrated Yoga (IY) intervention as an add-on to the physiotherapy on walking index, ESR, pain and spasticity among subjects with TSCI. Methods: The study was conducted in a Rehabilitation Centre at Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training and research (SVNIRTAR), Odisha. A total of 125 paraplegics within age range 18-60 years were randomly assigned to either integrated Yoga therapy + physiotherapy group (IY + PT) group (n = 62, age = 33.97 ± 10.00) or Physiotherapy (PT) group (n = 63, age = 32.84 ± 9.47). The participants in PT + IY group received one month of integrated yoga intervention consisting of yogic postures, yogic breathing techniques & chanting, and yogic relaxation practices along with physical therapy. Yoga session lasted for 75 mins per day and 6 days per week. PT group participants received only physiotherapy intervention for one month. All the participants were assessed for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury II (WISCI II), Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), and Modified-Modified Ashworth Scale (MMAS) at the baseline and after one month. Results: We found statically significant changes in 4 variables for IY + PT group 1) Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (P < 0.001), 2) WISCI II (P < 0.001) MPI-S1 (P < 0.001), MPI-S2 (P = 0.003), & MPI-S3 (P = 0.003), and 4) MMAS (P < 0.001) after one month of intervention compared to baseline.

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