Publications by authors named "Amira A El-Houfey"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Oxidative Stress in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Mol Neurobiol 2020 May 5;57(5):2314-2332. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 11, 2016, the reported average incidence of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was 1 in 68 (1.46%) among 8-year-old children born in 2004 and living within the 11 monitoring sites' surveillance areas in the United States of America (USA) in 2012. ASD is a multifaceted neurodevelopmental disorder that is also considered a hidden disability, as, for the most part; there are no apparent morphological differences between children with ASD and typically developing children. ASD is diagnosed based upon a triad of features including impairment in socialization, impairment in language, and repetitive and stereotypic behaviors. The increasing incidence of ASD in the pediatric population and the lack of successful curative therapies make ASD one of the most challenging disorders for medicine. ASD neurobiology is thought to be associated with oxidative stress, as shown by increased levels of reactive oxygen species and increased lipid peroxidation, as well as an increase in other indicators of oxidative stress. Children with ASD diagnosis are considered more vulnerable to oxidative stress because of their imbalance in intracellular and extracellular glutathione levels and decreased glutathione reserve capacity. Several studies have suggested that the redox imbalance and oxidative stress are integral parts of ASD pathophysiology. As such, early assessment and treatment of antioxidant status may result in a better prognosis as it could decrease the oxidative stress in the brain before it can induce more irreversible brain damage. In this review, many aspects of the role of oxidative stress in ASD are discussed, taking into account that the process of oxidative stress may be a target for therapeutic interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-019-01742-2DOI Listing
May 2020

Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Costimulatory Molecules in Children With Allergic Rhinitis.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2019 Feb 18;128(2):128-134. Epub 2018 Nov 18.

9 Director of Training and Scholarship Administration, MOH, Gizan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Objectives:: The aim of this study is to assess the level of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and the expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 on monocytes and their ligands (CD28) on T-lymphocytes in children with allergic rhinitis (AR).

Methods:: The study included 60 children with AR and 50 controls. Flow cytometry was performed to analyze MDSCs and the expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 on monocytes and their ligands (CD28) on T-lymphocytes.

Results:: The percentages of total and monocytic MDSCs and the expression of costimulatory molecule CD86 on monocytes were significantly higher in children with AR than in healthy controls. In addition, the expressions of CD28 on CD4 and CD8 were significantly elevated in AR patients.

Conclusion:: The present study demonstrated that the percentages of MDSCs were significantly elevated in AR children. Moreover, the expressions of CD28 on CD4 and CD8 were significantly higher in children with AR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003489418812902DOI Listing
February 2019

Characterization of Regulatory T Cells in Preterm and Term Infants.

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) 2019 Feb 29;67(1):49-54. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Department of Medical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Our study aimed to study regulatory T cells (Tregs) and their expression of CD45RA, HLA-DR, and CD39 in preterm and full-term infants. In an observational study, we used a three-color flow cytometry for determination of Tregs and their expression of CD45RA, HLA-DR, and CD39 in preterm and full-term infants. The percentages of CD4CD25Foxp3, CD39 Tregs, HLA-DR Tregs and the expression of Foxp3 in CD4CD25Foxp3 Tregs cells were significantly lower in neonates when compared to healthy adult controls. The levels of naïve resting Tregs (CD45RATregs) were significantly higher in neonates than controls. The percentages of CD4CD25Foxp3Tregs, total CD4CD25 and CD4CD25 were significantly higher in preterm infants when compared to the full-term group. Moreover, CD45RATregs were significantly higher in preterm than in term infants. We found significant inverse correlations between the gestational age and the levels of both Tregs (r = - 0.395, p = 0.017) and CD45RATregs (r = - 0.422, p = 0.010). Relative to full-term, the frequencies, and phenotypes of Tregs were affected by prematurity. A larger longitudinal study with a sufficient number of newborns is needed to investigate the Treg pool of term and preterm infants thoroughly and to explore the association between the Treg pool and clinical variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00005-018-0530-xDOI Listing
February 2019

Cerebral hypoperfusion in autism spectrum disorder.

Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars) 2018 ;78(1):21-29

Faculty of Public Health, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway; Department of Research, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Brumunddal, Norway.

Cerebral hypoperfusion, or insufficient blood flow in the brain, occurs in many areas of the brain in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Hypoperfusion was demonstrated in the brains of individuals with ASD when compared to normal healthy control brains either using positron emission tomography (PET) or single‑photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The affected areas include, but are not limited to the: prefrontal, frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal cortices; thalami; basal ganglia; cingulate cortex; caudate nucleus; the limbic system including the hippocampal area; putamen; substantia nigra; cerebellum; and associative cortices. Moreover, correlations between symptom scores and hypoperfusion in the brains of individuals diagnosed with an ASD were found indicating that the greater the autism symptom pathology, the more significant the cerebral hypoperfusion or vascular pathology in the brain. Evidence suggests that brain inflammation and vascular inflammation may explain a part of the hypoperfusion. There is also evidence of a lack of normal compensatory increase in blood flow when the subjects are challenged with a task. Some studies propose treatments that can address the hypoperfusion found among individuals diagnosed with an ASD, bringing symptom relief to some extent. This review will explore the evidence that indicates cerebral hypoperfusion in ASD, as well as the possible etiological aspects, complications, and treatments.
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September 2018

Neurologic Complications in Children With Scorpionism: A Retrospective Study in Upper Egypt.

J Child Neurol 2017 05 31;32(6):537-542. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

6 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Menofiya University, Menofiya, Egypt.

Scorpion envenomation is a life-threatening health problem in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly among children. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiologic characteristics, clinical profile, and prognosis of neurologic complications among children with scorpionism in Upper Egypt. In this retrospective study, the neurologic complications of scorpionism in 2 university hospitals were analyzed from the points of epidemiologic and clinical picture and outcomes. The neurologic manifestations were found at a high percentage (85%). Irritability was the main manifestation (83.4%), followed by sweating (81.5%), hyperthermia (33.6%), and priapism (48.2% of males). Moreover, convulsion and coma were found in 14.7% and 11% of children, respectively. Neurologic manifestations were common in children with scorpionism and they correlated with poor outcome. Identification of epidemiologic and clinical features of central nervous system complications of scorpionism in children provide important data, helping in development of management policies aiming at preventive control of scorpionism and decrease its mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073817690091DOI Listing
May 2017

Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2018 Jan 21;59(1):20-29. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Alazhar University, Assiut, Egypt.

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a frequent developmental disorder characterized by pervasive deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities. It has been previously reported that there is vitamin D deficiency in autistic children; however, there is a lack of randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation in ASD children.

Methods: This study is a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial (RCT) that was conducted on 109 children with ASD (85 boys and 24 girls; aged 3-10 years). The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the core symptoms of autism in children. ASD patients were randomized to receive vitamin D3 or placebo for 4 months. The serum levels of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25 (OH)D) were measured at the beginning and at the end of the study. The autism severity and social maturity of the children were assessed by the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC).

Trial Registration Number: UMIN-CTR Study Design: trial number: UMIN000020281.

Results: Supplementation of vitamin D was well tolerated by the ASD children. The daily doses used in the therapy group was 300 IU vitamin D3/kg/day, not to exceed 5,000 IU/day. The autism symptoms of the children improved significantly, following 4-month vitamin D3 supplementation, but not in the placebo group. This study demonstrates the efficacy and tolerability of high doses of vitamin D3 in children with ASD.

Conclusions: This study is the first double-blinded RCT proving the efficacy of vitamin D3 in ASD patients. Depending on the parameters measured in the study, oral vitamin D supplementation may safely improve signs and symptoms of ASD and could be recommended for children with ASD. At this stage, this study is a single RCT with a small number of patients, and a great deal of additional wide-scale studies are needed to critically validate the efficacy of vitamin D in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12652DOI Listing
January 2018

Effects of bovine colostrum on recurrent respiratory tract infections and diarrhea in children.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2016 Sep;95(37):e4560

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University Department of Pediatrics, Qena Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University Department of Community Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Assiut University Department of pediatrics, faculty of medicine, Al-Azhar university Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University, Egypt.

Background: Bovine colostrum (BC) has direct antimicrobial and endotoxin-neutralizing effects throughout the alimentary tract, as well as other bioactivities that suppress gut inflammation and promote mucosal integrity and tissue repair under various conditions related to tissue injury. The precise role of BC in respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) infections in children is not well defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of BC administration in preventing recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and diarrhea in children.

Methods: One hundred sixty children (aged 1-6 years) having recurrent episodes of URTI or diarrhea received BC for 4 weeks. The number of episodes of URTI, diarrhea, and frequency of hospitalization required for URTI and diarrhea occurring during the study period were assessed at weeks 8 and 24.

Results: From a total number of 160 children, 81 patients (50.63%) were males. The mean age (± SD) was 3.65 (± 2.01) years. The mean (± SD) total number of infections was significantly decreased after BC therapy from 8.6 ± 5.1 at baseline to 5.5 ± 1.2 after 2 months (P < 0.001) and to 5.7 ± 1.6 after 6 months (P < 0.001). The mean (± SD) total number of URTI (P < 0.0001), number of episodes of diarrhea (P < 0.001), and number of hospital admissions (P < 0.001) were significantly decreased after BC therapy.

Conclusion: BC is effective in the prophylaxis of recurrent URTI and diarrhea as it reduces the number of episodes and the hospitalization due to these infections. Results of this study suggest that BC could be provided as a therapeutic option for children with recurrent URTI and diarrhea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000004560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402550PMC
September 2016

A comparison between plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin in children with Guillain-Barré syndrome in Upper Egypt.

Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2016 Jan;9(1):3-8

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

Objective: The aim of our study is to assess the clinico-electrophysiological profile of children with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in Upper Egypt and to compare the efficacy of plasmapheresis versus other treatment modalities.

Patients And Methods: This was a retrospective study of children from January 2010 to October 2014 diagnosed as GBS. It included 62 cases.

Results: Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) was the most prevalent type of GBS in our locality. As regards the treatment, 32 cases received plasmapheresis while 30 patients received intravenous immunoglobulin. We found a significant decrease in the duration of hospitalization and a significant increase in the number of children with complete recovery in cases treated with plasmapheresis.

Conclusion: GBS is not uncommon in children of Upper Egypt, with AIDP the most prevalent type. Plasmapheresis is the best treatment modalities for GBS as it reduces the duration of hospital stay and hastens the recovery of those children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1756285615610471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4710103PMC
January 2016

Plasma levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin in children with heart failure.

Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis 2016 Feb 30;10(1):30-6. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Department of Community Health Nursing, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

Introduction: Data about plasma levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) in children with heart failure (HF) are very limited. NGAL is used widely as a biomarker for the diagnosis of renal injury in numerous clinical studies. The aim of this study is to investigate the plasma NGAL in children with HF caused by idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) and its relation to the severity of HF.

Material And Methods: In a case-control study, 30 nondiabetic children, aged -16 years (all have IDCM) recruited from the pediatric department of our institute together with 30 healthy children were prospectively enrolled in this study. Patients underwent a detailed history taking, clinical examination, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class assessment and echocardiographic evaluation. Plasma levels of NGAL were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Plasma levels of NGAL were significantly higher in children with HF compared with healthy controls (mean: 290.97 versus 144.33, p < 0.0001). The relationship between NGAL and the severity of HF was investigated. However, we did not find any statistically significant relationship between plasma NGAL levels and indices of myocardial function.

Conclusions: NGAL levels were significantly increased in children with HF caused by IDCM. However, there was no significant relationship between plasma NGAL levels and indices of myocardial function. Future multicenter clinical studies in a large population addressing the natural course of NGAL in HF and its potential as a treatment target are needed in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1753944715619116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5933603PMC
February 2016

Endocrinological and biochemical changes of scorpionism in children in Upper Egypt.

Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab 2015 Oct;6(5):210-6

Department of Community Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Assiut University, Egypt.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine some endocrinological and biochemical changes of scorpionism in children in Upper Egypt. In addition, it aimed to find any possible relationship between these changes and the severity of scorpionism.

Patients And Methods: The present study was carried out at two university hospitals in Upper Egypt and included 42 children with envenomation and 20 apparently healthy children as controls. In all subjects, levels were measured of noradrenaline, aldosterone, insulin and cortisol, and some biochemical parameters and electrolytes including nitric oxide (NO), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), Na+ and K+.

Results: Na+, NO and CPK levels were significantly higher in children with envenomation compared with the controls. Also, there was a significant reduction in K+ in patients compared with controls. Children with severe envenomation had significantly higher levels of noradrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone compared with the controls and mild cases. However, insulin levels were significantly decreased in severe cases of scorpionism compared with mild ones. Moreover, hyperglycemia was detected in all patients with envenomation compared with controls, with significantly higher blood glucose levels among children with severe envenomation compared with mild cases.

Conclusion: Endocrinological changes were common in all children with scorpion envenomation and more obvious in cases of severe envenomation. The released mediators may account for several inflammatory manifestations such as pulmonary edema, myocardial failure, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple organ failure. The use of insulin is recommended in cases of severe envenomation to improve the outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2042018815593034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579414PMC
October 2015

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of treatment with zinc in children with intractable epilepsy.

Funct Neurol 2015 Jul-Sep;30(3):181-5

This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of oral zinc supplementation in children with intractable epilepsy. Forty-five children aged between three and 12 years and diagnosed with idiopathic intractable epilepsy at Assiut University Hospital, Assiut, Egypt were recruited. The patients were randomly allocated to two groups: the intervention group received oral zinc supplementation (1 mg/kg/day) while the placebo group received placebo, each for six months. The parents of each child filled in a detailed questionnaire that covered demographic characteristics, type of seizures, frequency, duration of seizures, previous hospital admissions, postictal phenomena and the occurrence of status epilepticus. The primary outcome (frequency of seizures) was compared between the two groups. Zinc supplementation resulted in a significant reduction of seizure frequency in 31% of the treated children. Zinc is an important trace element. Our results suggest that it has mildly beneficial effects in children with intractable epilepsy. We recommend further investigation of oral zinc supplementation as an adjunctive therapy for managing intractable epilepsy in children. Zinc therapy may be an option in treatment protocols for intractable epilepsy in the near future.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4610753PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.11138/fneur/2015.30.3.181DOI Listing
September 2016

A Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial of Digestive Enzymes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci 2015 Aug;13(2):188-93

Nicholson Science, Tampa, FL, USA.

Objective: There is growing evidence for a gut-brain connection associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This suggests a potential benefit from introduced digestive enzymes for children with ASD.

Methods: We performed a double-blind, randomized clinical trial on 101 children with ASD (82 boys and 19 girls) aged from 3 to 9 years. ASD patients were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnostic criteria. Structured interviews of at least one hour each both with the parents and the child were performed. Later on, another two hours-session was conducted applying the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). ASD patients were randomized to receive digestive enzymes or placebo.

Results: The ASD group receiving digestive enzyme therapy for 3 months had significant improvement in emotional response, general impression autistic score, general behavior and gastrointestinal symptoms. Our study demonstrated the usefulness of digestive enzyme in our population of ASD patients.

Conclusion: Digestive enzymes are inexpensive, readily available, have an excellent safety profile, and have mildly beneficial effects in ASD patients. Depending on the parameter measured in our study, we propose digestive enzymes for managing symptoms of ASD. Digestive enzyme therapy may be a possible option in treatment protocols for ASD in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9758/cpn.2015.13.2.188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540030PMC
August 2015

Evaluation of pulmonary function changes in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus in Upper Egypt.

Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab 2015 Jun;6(3):87-91

Community Health Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Assiut University, Egypt.

Background: Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children across the world and is responsible for a growing proportion of global healthcare expenditure. However, limited data are available on lung dysfunction in children with diabetes.

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the pulmonary function changes in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Methods: We studied 60 children with T1DM (mean age 10.5 ± 2.32 years; disease duration 2.45 ± 0.6 years, and 50 healthy control children (mean age 9.9 ± 2.5 years). Spirometry was performed for all individuals to measure forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), FEV1/FVC ratio, and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). Glycemic control was assessed on the basis of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), with HbA1c values <8% considered to indicate good glycemic control, and HbA1c values ⩾8% to indicate poor control.

Results: There was significant reduction in all spirometeric parameters in diabetic children in comparison with healthy control children. Children with poor glycemic control had significant impairment in lung functions compared with those with good glycemic control.

Conclusions: T1DM in children leads to impairment of lung functions and this impairment increases with poor glycemic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2042018815580514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4480553PMC
June 2015

Vitamin D status in autism spectrum disorders and the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in autistic children.

Nutr Neurosci 2016 Oct 15;19(8):346-351. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

a Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine , Assiut University , Egypt.

Objectives: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by pervasive deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and non-verbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities. Vitamin-D deficiency was previously reported in autistic children. However, the data on the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism are limited.

Methods: We performed a case-controlled cross-sectional analysis conducted on 122 ASD children, to assess their vitamin D status compared to controls and the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of autism. We also conducted an open trial of vitamin D supplementation in ASD children.

Results: Fifty-seven percent of the patients in the present study had vitamin D deficiency, and 30% had vitamin D insufficiency. The mean 25-OHD levels in patients with severe autism were significantly lower than those in patients with mild/moderate autism. Serum 25-OHD levels had significant negative correlations with Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores. Of the ASD group, 106 patients with low-serum 25-OHD levels (<30 ng/ml) participated in the open label trial. They received vitamin D3 (300 IU/kg/day not to exceed 5000 IU/day) for 3 months. Eighty-three subjects completed 3 months of daily vitamin D treatment. Collectively, 80.72% (67/83) of subjects who received vitamin D3 treatment had significantly improved outcome, which was mainly in the sections of the CARS and aberrant behavior checklist subscales that measure behavior, stereotypy, eye contact, and attention span.

Conclusion: Vitamin D is inexpensive, readily available and safe. It may have beneficial effects in ASD subjects, especially when the final serum level is more than 40 ng/ml.

Trial Registration Number: UMIN-CTR Study Design: trial Number: R000016846.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1476830515Y.0000000019DOI Listing
October 2016