• Diabetes: the shark in the water Editorial

  • Untitled document Letters

    Traore, Sadamoudou
  • Immunodiagnostics: the convergence of biotech and public health Feature

    Sánchez Gutiérrez, Aramís; Gorry, Conner
  • Heberprot-P: a novel product for treating advanced diabetic foot ulcer Special Article

    Berlanga, Jorge; Fernández, José I.; López, Ernesto; López, Pedro A.; Río, Amaurys del; Valenzuela, Carmen; Baldomero, Julio; Muzio, Verena; Raíces, Manuel; Silva, Ricardo; Acevedo, Boris E.; Herrera, Luis

    Abstract in English:

    Diabetic foot ulcer is a principal diabetic complication. It has been shown that diabetic patients have decreased growth factor concentrations in their tissues, particularly epidermal growth factor. Growth factor shortage impairs wound healing, which leads to chronic nonhealing wounds and sometimes eventual amputation. Ischemic diabetic foot ulcer is the most difficult to treat and confers the highest amputation risk. Injecting epidermal growth factor deep into the wound bottom and contours encourages a more effective pharmacodynamic response in terms of granulation tissue growth and wound closure. Epidermal growth factor injected into the ulcer matrix may also result in association with extracellular matrix proteins, thus enhancing cell proliferation and migration. Heberprot-P is an innovative Cuban product containing recombinant human epidermal growth factor for peri- and intra-lesional infiltration; evidence reveals it accelerates healing of deep and complex ulcers, both ischemic and neuropathic, and reduces diabetes-related amputations. Clinical trials of Heberprot-P in patients with diabetic foot ulcers have shown that repeated local infiltration of this product can enhance healing of chronic wounds safely and efficaciously. As a result, Heberprot-P was registered in Cuba in 2006, and in 2007 was included in the National Basic Medications List and approved for marketing. It has been registered in 15 other countries, enabling treatment of more than 100,000 patients. Heberprot-P is a unique therapy for the most complicated and recalcitrant chronic wounds usually associated with high amputation risk. Local injection in complex diabetic wounds has demonstrated a favorable risk-benefit ratio by speeding healing, reducing recurrences and attenuating amputation risk. Further testing and deployment worldwide of Heberprot-P would provide an opportunity to assess the product's potential to address an important unmet medical need.
  • Cross-modal plasticity in deaf child cochlear implant candidates assessed using visual and somatosensory evoked potentials Original Research

    Charroó-Ruíz, Lidia E.; Picó, Thais; Pérez-Abalo, María C.; Hernández, María del Carmen; Bermejo, Sandra; Bermejo, Beatriz; Álvarez, Beatriz; Paz, Antonio S.; Rodríguez, Ulises; Sevila, Manuel; Martínez, Yesi; Galán, Lídice

    Abstract in English:

    INTRODUCTION: Cross-modal plasticity has been extensively studied in deaf adults with neuroimaging studies, yielding valuable results. A recent study in our laboratory with deaf-blind children found evidence of cross-modal plasticity, revealed in over-representation of median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP N20) in left hemisphere parietal, temporal and occipital regions. This finding led to asking whether SEP N20 changes are peculiar to deaf-blindness or are also present in sighted deaf children. OBJECTIVE: Assess cross-modal plasticity in deaf child cochlear implant candidates using neurophysiological techniques (visual evoked potentials and median nerve somatosensory evoked potentials). METHODS: Participants were 14 prelingually deaf children assessed in the Cuban Cochlear Implant Program. Flash visual-evoked potentials and SEP N20 were recorded at 19 scalp recording sites. Topographic maps were obtained and compared to those of control group children with normal hearing. Analysis took into account duration of hearing loss. RESULTS: Topographic maps of flash visual-evoked potentials did not show changes in deaf child cochlear implant candidates. However, SEP N20 from right median nerve stimulation did show changes from expansion of cortical activation into the left temporal region in deaf children aged >7 years, which was interpreted as neurophysiological evidence of cross-modal plasticity, not previously described for this technique and type of somatosensory stimulus. We interpret this finding as due in part to duration of deafness, particularly related to handedness, since expansion was selective for the left hemisphere in the children, who were all right-handed. CONCLUSIONS: Cortical over-representation of SEP N20 in the left temporal region is interpreted as evidence of cross-modal plasticity that occurs if the deaf child does not receive a cochlear implant early in life-before concluding the critical period of neural development- and relies on sign language for communication.
  • Four decades of kidney transplantation in Cuba Review Article

    Alfonzo, Jorge P.

    Abstract in English:

    This article describes the background, beginnings, development, evolution and outcomes of kidney transplantation in Cuba. Nephrology as a medical specialty in Cuba began in 1962 and was formalized in 1966. Conditions were created to implement renal replacement therapy (including transplants), bring nephrology care to the entire country and train human resources who would assume this responsibility, making Cuba one of the first countries with a comprehensive program for renal patient care. After three unsuccessful cadaveric-donor kidney transplantations in 1968-69, the ensuing history of kidney transplantation can be summarized in the following three stages. 1970-1975: In January 1970, cadaveric-donor kidney transplantation began at the Nephrology Institute. That year, 17 kidney transplantations were performed; four of these patients lived with functional kidneys for 15-25 years; 10-year graft survival was 23.5% (Kaplan-Meier survival curve); HLA typing began in 1974. By December 1975, 170 grafts had been done in three hospitals. 1976-1985: Seven transplantation centers performed 893 grafts during this period. HLA-DR typing was introduced in 1976 and the National Histocompatibility Laboratory Network was founded in 1978. The first related living-donor kidney transplantation was done in 1979. 1986-2011: The National Kidney Transplantation Coordinating Center and the National Kidney Transplantation Program were created in 1986; the first combined kidney-pancreas transplantation was performed the same year. In 1990, cyclosporine and the Cuban monoclonal antibody IOR-T3 were introduced for immunosuppression to prevent rejection, as were other Cuban products (hepatitis B vaccine and recombinant human erythropoietin) for transplant patients. By December 2011, the cumulative number of transplants was 4636 (384 from related living donors). With over 40 years of experience, kidney transplantation is now well established in Cuba; it is free and universally accessible, on the basis of need and appropriateness.
  • Evidence of association between type 1 diabetes and exposure to enterovirus in Cuban children and adolescents Perspective

    Sarmiento, Luis; Cubas-Dueñas, Ileana; Cabrera-Rode, Eduardo

    Abstract in English:

    A possible etiologic role of enteroviruses for type 1 diabetes has been researched for 40 years, but evidence to date is inconclusive. This article summarizes new evidence from Cuban research supporting a role for enteroviruses, both in preclinical stages of autoimmune reactions against pancreatic β cells and at clinical onset, in a population with low type 1 diabetes incidence. Possible pathogenetic mechanisms are also discussed, such as acute cytolytic damage and molecular mimicry. Although direct causal effects of enteroviruses in type 1 diabetes are difficult to demonstrate, arguments supporting their role in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis should not be ignored; and confirmation could contribute to development of more effective preventive strategies.
  • Usefulness of nuclear cardiology techniques for silent ischemia detection in diabetics Perspective

    Peix, Amalia

    Abstract in English:

    Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death for diabetics, and in many cases its presence is silent due to cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Thus, early diagnosis of coronary disease is essential, permitting proper risk stratification and appropriate therapy. This paper examines the usefulness of several noninvasive imaging techniques to study cardiovascular diseases in individuals with diabetes mellitus, with emphasis on nuclear cardiology, and proposes a diagnostic algorithm for detection of silent ischemia.
  • Oxidative stress and birth defects in infants of women with pregestational diabetes Perspective

    Clapés, Sonia; Fernández, Tammy; Suárez, Gipsis

    Abstract in English:

    Hyperglycemia characteristic of diabetes mellitus triggers pathological processes in fetal development of various structures such as the retina, peripheral nerves, renal glomerulus, and arterial and venous beds. Women with diabetes prior to conception have children with birth defects three to five times more frequently than women without diabetes. There is no specific pattern of birth defects, but the central nervous and cardiovascular systems are the most affected. Hyperglycemia leads to mitochrondrial superoxide radical production, which activates five metabolic pathways that mediate damage leading to diabetic embryopathy. Once oxidative stress is established, there is modification of gene expression controlling embryonic development in critical periods. Vitamin E application in animal models has greatly lowered occurrence of birth defects in embryonic and fetal stages, consistent with an etiologic role for oxidative stress in dysmorphogenesis. Effective metabolic control before and during pregnancy, achieved in Cuba by implementing programs for control of birth defects in children of diabetic pregnant women, has been found effective.
  • Cuban research in current international journals Abstracts

Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba Oakland - California - United States
E-mail: editors@medicc.org