2023 - Artigos

Produção científica de docentes e investigadores da ESS | P. PORTO para o ano de 2023.


Scars interfere with the motor system; however, the influence of c-section scars has not been described yet. The aim of this study is to relate the presence of abdominal scars from a caesarean section with changes in postural control—stability and orientation and abdominal and lumbar neuromuscular control in the orthostatic position. Cross-sectional analytical observational study comparing healthy primiparous women with caesarean delivery (n = 9) and physiologic delivery (n = 12) who have delivered more than one year before. The relative electromyographic activity of the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis/oblique internus and lumbar multifidus muscles, antagonist co-activation, the ellipse area, amplitude, displacement, velocity, standard deviation, and spectral power of the centre of pressure, and thoracic and lumbar curvatures, were evaluated in the standing position in both groups, through an electromyographic system, a pressure platform and spinal mouse system. In the “caesarean delivery” group, scar mobility was evaluated using a modified adheremeter. Significant differences in CoP medial-lateral velocity and mean velocity were observed between groups (p < 0.050), while no significant differences were in the level of muscle activity, antagonist co-activation, and thoracic and lumbar curvatures (p > 0.05). The information provided by the pressure signal seems to identify postural impairments in women with c-sections.

Título: Could Electromyographic and Pressure Related Signals Identify Differences in Abdominal Activity and Postural Control between Women with and without C-Section?

Revista: Sensors

JCR: 3.9

Referência bibliográfica: Figueiredo, A., Lopes, M., Pereira, A., Sousa, A. S. P., Silva, C., & Noites, A. (2023). Could Electromyographic and Pressure Related Signals Identify Differences in Abdominal Activity and Postural Control between Women with and without C-Section? Sensors, 23(10), 4878. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23104878


Previous studies have shown that haemodialysis patients have an increased risk of trace element imbalances. Most studies have determined the concentration of trace elements in serum only, but most trace elements are not uniformly distributed between plasma and blood cells, which justifies separate analysis of the different compartments. In this study, we determined both the serum and whole blood concentration of a wide panel of trace elements (Li, B, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cd, Pb) in haemodialysis patients and compared them with those of a control group. Whole blood and serum samples were collected during routine laboratory testing of patients undergoing chronic haemodialysis. For comparison purposes, samples from individuals with normal renal function were also analysed. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were found between the two groups for whole blood concentrations of all analysed elements except Zn (p = 0.347). For serum, the difference between groups was statistically significant for all elements (p < 0.05). This study confirms that patients on haemodialysis tend to present significant trace element imbalances. By determining the concentration of trace elements in both whole blood and serum, it was shown that chronic haemodialysis may affect intra- and extracellular blood compartments differently.

Título: Further Evidence on Trace Element Imbalances in Haemodialysis Patients—Paired Analysis of Blood and Serum Samples

Revista: Nutrients

JCR: 5.9

Referência bibliográfica: Azevedo, R., Gennaro, D., Duro, M., Pinto, E., & Almeida, A. (2023). Further Evidence on Trace Element Imbalances in Haemodialysis Patients—Paired Analysis of Blood and Serum Samples. Nutrients, 15(8), 1912. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15081912


In chronic shoulder pain, adaptations in the nervous system such as in motoneuron excitability, could contribute to impairments in scapular muscles, perpetuation and recurrence of pain and reduced improvements during rehabilitation. The present cross-sectional study aims to compare trapezius neural excitability between symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. In 12 participants with chronic shoulder pain (symptomatic group) and 12 without shoulder pain (asymptomatic group), the H reflex was evoked in all trapezius muscle parts, through C3/4 nerve stimulation, and the M-wave through accessory nerve stimulation. The current intensity to evoke the maximum H reflex, the latency and the maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of both the H reflex and M-wave, as well as the ratio between these two variables, were calculated. The percentage of responses was considered. Overall, M-waves were elicited in most participants, while the H reflex was elicited only in 58–75% or in 42–58% of the asymptomatic and symptomatic participants, respectively. A comparison between groups revealed that the symptomatic group presented a smaller maximum H reflex as a percentage of M-wave from upper trapezius and longer maximal H reflex latency from the lower trapezius (p < 0.05). Subjects with chronic shoulder pain present changes in trapezius H reflex parameters, highlighting the need to consider trapezius neuromuscular control in these individuals’ rehabilitation.

Título: Differences in Trapezius Muscle H-Reflex between Asymptomatic Subjects and Symptomatic Shoulder Pain Subjects

Revista: Sensors

JCR: 3.9

Referência bibliográfica: Melo, A. S. C., Taylor, J. L., Ferreira, R., Cunha, B., Ascenção, M., Fernandes, M., Sousa, V., Cruz, E. B., Vilas-Boas, J. P., & Sousa, A. S. P. (2023). Differences in Trapezius Muscle H-Reflex between Asymptomatic Subjects and Symptomatic Shoulder Pain Subjects. Sensors, 23(9), 4217. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23094217


Risk and uncertainty are central concepts of decision neuroscience. However, a comprehensive review of the literature shows that most studies defne risk and uncertainty in an unclear fashion or use both terms interchangeably, which hinders the integration of the existing fndings. We suggest uncertainty as an umbrella term that comprises scenarios characterized by outcome variance where relevant information about the type and likelihood of outcomes may be somewhat unavailable (ambiguity) and scenarios where the likelihood of outcomes is known (risk). These conceptual issues are problematic for studies on the temporal neurodynamics of decision-making under risk and ambiguity, because they lead to heterogeneity in task design and the interpretation of the results. To assess this problem, we conducted a state-of-the-art review of ERP studies on risk and ambiguity in decision-making. By employing the above defnitions to 16 reviewed studies, our results suggest that: (a) research has focused more on risk than ambiguity processing; (b) studies assessing decision-making under risk often implemented descriptive-based paradigms, whereas studies assessing ambiguity processing equally implemented descriptive- and experience-based tasks; (c) descriptive-based studies link risk processing to increased frontal negativities (e.g., N2, N400) and both risk and ambiguity to reduced parietal positivities (e.g., P2, P3); (d) experience-based studies link risk to increased P3 amplitudes and ambiguity to increased frontal negativities and the LPC component; (e) both risk and ambiguity processing seem to be related with cognitive control, confict monitoring, and increased cognitive demand; (f) further research and improved tasks are needed to dissociate risk and ambiguity processing.

Título: Uncertainty deconstructed: conceptual analysis and state-of-the-art review of the ERP correlates of risk and ambiguity in decision-making

Revista: Cognitive, Afective, & Behavioral Neuroscience

JCR: 2.9

Referência bibliográfica: Botelho, C., Fernandes, C., Campos, C. et al. Uncertainty deconstructed: conceptual analysis and state-of-the-art review of the ERP correlates of risk and ambiguity in decision-making. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 23, 522–542 (2023). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-023-01101-8


Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a clonal, rare, complement-mediated hemolytic anemia. PNH can be associated with marrow failure and thrombophilia. We present a clinical report of splenic vein thrombosis in a patient with classic PNH. A 41-year-old male with classic PNH, naïve to complement inhibitor therapy, developed splenic vein thrombosis as a major adverse effect after vaccination protocol to prevent meningococcal disease. We also report anticoagulant and eculizumab treatment outcomes. In PNH patients, vaccination should be monitored to prevent major outcome events, like vaccine-induced thrombosis. Eculizumab proves effective for treating intravascular hemolysis and preventing more thrombotic events. The potential protective role of eculizumab on controlling complement activity and consequent inflammation may help the patient to not experience breakthrough hemolysis when infected with SARS-CoV-2. Extravascular hemolysis remains present, but new molecules are being studied to inhibit proximal complement and there is a good health prospective for PNH patients.

Título: Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria: A Case Report in a Pandemic Environment

Revista: Reports

JCR: 0.9

Referência bibliográfica: Peixoto, V., Carneiro, A., Trigo, F., Vieira, M., & Prudêncio, C. (2023). Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria: A Case Report in a Pandemic Environment. Reports, 6(3), Artigo 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/reports6030042


Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the third most prevalent cancer worldwide. Early detection of this neoplasia has proven to improve prognosis, resulting in a 90% increase in survival. However, available CRC screening methods have limitations, requiring the development of new tools. MicroRNA biomarkers have emerged as a powerful screening tool, as they are highly expressed in CRC patients and easily detectable in several biological samples. While microRNAs are extensively studied in blood samples, recent interest has now arisen in other samples, such as stool samples, where they can be combined with existing screening methods. Among the microRNAs described in the literature, microRNA-21-5p and microRNA-92a-3p and their cluster have demonstrated high potential for early CRC screening. Furthermore, the combination of multiple microRNAs has shown improved performance in CRC detection compared to individual microRNAs. This review aims to assess the available data in the literature on microRNAs as promising biomarkers for early CRC screening, explore their advantages and disadvantages, and discuss the optimal study characteristics for analyzing these biomarkers.

Título: MicroRNA Biomarkers as Promising Tools for Early Colorectal Cancer Screening—A Comprehensive Review

Revista: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

JCR: 5.6

Referência bibliográfica: Santos, D. A. R., Gaiteiro, C., Santos, M., Santos, L., Dinis-Ribeiro, M., & Lima, L. (2023). MicroRNA Biomarkers as Promising Tools for Early Colorectal Cancer Screening—A Comprehensive Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(13), 11023. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241311023


Cardiovascular diseases are among the major causes of mortality and morbidity. Warfarin is often prescribed for these disorders, an anticoagulant with inter and intra-dosage variability dose required to achieve the target international normalized ratio. Warfarin presents a narrow therapeutic index, and due to its variability, it can often be associated with the risk of hemorrhage, or in other patients, thromboembolism. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms are included in the causes that contribute to this variability. The Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C9*3 genetic polymorphism modifies its enzymatic activity, and hence warfarin's plasmatic concentration. Thus, the need for a selective, rapid, low-cost, and real-time detection device is crucial before prescribing warfarin. In this work, a disposable electrochemical DNA-based biosensor capable of detecting CYP2C9*3 polymorphism was developed. By analyzing genomic databases, two specific 78 base pairs DNA probes; one with the wild-type adenine (Target-A) and another with the cytosine (Target-C) single-nucleotide genetic variation were designed. The biosensor implied the immobilization on screen-printed gold electrodes of a self-assembled monolayer composed by mercaptohexanol and a linear CYP2C9*3 DNA-capture probe. To improve the selectivity and avoid secondary structures a sandwich format of the CYP2C9*3 allele was designed using complementary fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled signaling DNA probe and enzymatic amplification of the electrochemical signal. Chronoamperometric measurements were performed at a range of 0.015–1.00 nM for both DNA targets achieving limit of detection of 42 p.m. The developed DNA-based biosensor was able to discriminate between the two synthetic target DNA targets, as well as the targeted denatured genomic DNA, extracted from volunteers genotyped as non-variant homozygous (A/A) and heterozygous (A/C) of the CYP2C9*3 polymorphism.

Título: Development of an electrochemical DNA-based biosensor for the detection of the cardiovascular pharmacogenetic-altering SNP CYP2C9*3

Revista: Talanta

JCR: 6.1

Referência bibliográfica: Morais, S. L., Magalhães, J. M. C. S., Domingues, V. F., Delerue-Matos, C., Ramos-Jesus, J., Ferreira-Fernandes, H., Pinto, G. R., Santos, M., & Barroso, M. F. (2023). Development of an electrochemical DNA-based biosensor for the detection of the cardiovascular pharmacogenetic-altering SNP CYP2C9*3. Talanta, 264, 124692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2023.124692


As one of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee is a rich source of non-enzymatic bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacity. In this study, twelve commercial coffee beverages found in local Portuguese markets were assessed to determine their total phenolic and flavonoid contents, as well as their antioxidant capacity, by conventional optical procedures, namely, ferric reducing antioxidant power and DPPH-radical scavenging assay, and non-conventional procedures such as a homemade DNA-based biosensor against two reactive radicals: HO• and H2O2. The innovative DNA-based biosensor comprised an adenine-rich oligonucleotide adsorbed onto a carbon paste electrode. This method detects the different peak intensities generated by square-wave voltammetry based on the partial damage to the adenine layer adsorbed on the electrode surface by the free radicals in the presence/absence of antioxidants. The DNA-based biosensor against H2O2 presented a higher DNA layer protection compared with HO• in the presence of the reference gallic acid. Additionally, the phenolic profiles of the twelve coffee samples were assessed by HPLC-DAD, and the main contributors to the exhibited antioxidant capacity properties were caffeine, and chlorogenic, protocatechuic, neochlorogenic and gallic acids. The DNA-based sensor used provides reliable and fast measurements of antioxidant capacity, and is also cheap and easy to construct.

Título: Assessment of the Antioxidant Capacity of Commercial Coffee Using Conventional Optical and Chromatographic Methods and an Innovative Electrochemical DNA-Based Biosensor

Revista: Biosensors

JCR: 5.4

Referência bibliográfica: Morais, S. L., Rede, D., Ramalhosa, M. J., Correia, M., Santos, M., Delerue-Matos, C., Moreira, M. M., Soares, C., & Barroso, M. F. (2023). Assessment of the Antioxidant Capacity of Commercial Coffee Using Conventional Optical and Chromatographic Methods and an Innovative Electrochemical DNA-Based Biosensor. Biosensors, 13(9), Artigo 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13090840


The brain’s sensitivity to oxidative stress and neuronal cell death requires effective pharmacotherapy approaches. Current pharmacological therapies are frequently ineffective and display negative side effects. Bioactive chemicals found in plants may provide a potential alternative due to their antioxidant and neuroprotective properties and can be used in therapy and the management of a variety of neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative illnesses. Several natural products, including vitamin C, Cammelia sinensis polyphenols, Hypericum perforatum, and Crocus sativus have shown promise in lowering oxidative stress and treating symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). Similarly, bioactive compounds such as curcumin, luteolin, resveratrol, quercetin, and plants like Acorus gramineus, Rhodiola rosea, and Ginkgo biloba are associated with neuroprotective effects and symptom improvement in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, in neurodegenerative diseases, natural compounds from Rhodiola rosea, Morinda lucida, and Glutinous rehmannia provide neurological improvement. Further study in clinical samples is required to thoroughly investigate the therapeutic advantages of these bioactive substances for persons suffering from these illnesses.

Título: From plants to psycho-neurology: unravelling the therapeutic benefits of bioactive compounds in brain disorders

Revista: Antioxidants

JCR: 7

Referência bibliográfica: Grosso, C., Santos, M., & Barroso, M. F. (2023). From Plants to Psycho-Neurology: Unravelling the Therapeutic Benefits of Bioactive Compounds in Brain Disorders. Antioxidants, 12(8), Artigo 8. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12081603


Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus, which is highly transmissible in humans. This paper presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and test-negative designs (TNDs) to assess the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of seasonal influenza vaccines (SIVs) in humans aged 15 to 64 years. An electronic search to identify all relevant studies was performed. The outcome measure of interest was VE on laboratory-confirmed influenza (any strain). Quality assessment was performed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for RCTs and the ROBINS-I tool for TNDs. The search identified a total of 2993 records, but only 123 studies from 73 papers were included in the meta-analysis. Of these studies, 9 were RCTs and 116 were TNDs. The pooled VE was 48% (95% CI: 42–54) for RCTs, 55.4% (95% CI: 43.2–64.9) when there was a match between the vaccine and most prevalent circulating strains and 39.3% (95% CI: 23.5–51.9) otherwise. The TNDs’ adjusted VE was equal to 39.9% (95% CI: 31–48), 45.1 (95% CI: 38.7–50.8) when there was a match and 35.1 (95% CI: 29.0–40.7) otherwise. The match between strains included in the vaccine and strains in circulation is the most important factor in the VE. It increases by more than 25% when there is a match with the most prevalent circulating strains. The laboratorial method for confirmation of influenza is a possible source of bias when estimating VE.

Título: Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Persons Aged 15–64 Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Revista: Vaccines

JCR: 7.8

Referência bibliográfica: Martins, J. P., Santos, M., Martins, A., Felgueiras, M., & Santos, R. (2023). Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Persons Aged 15&ndash;64 Years: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. 11 (8), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines11081322


Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are characterized by progressive and irreversible neuronal loss, accompanied by a range of pathological pathways, including aberrant protein aggregation, altered energy metabolism, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Some of the most common NDs include Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s Disease (HD). There are currently no available cures; there are only therapeutic approaches that ameliorate the progression of symptoms, which makes the search for new drugs and therapeutic targets a constant battle. Cyanobacteria are ancient prokaryotic oxygenic phototrophs whose long evolutionary history has resulted in the production of a plethora of biomedically relevant compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective properties, that can be valuable in this field. This review summarizes the major NDs and their pathophysiology, with a focus on the anti-neurodegenerative properties of cyanobacterial compounds and their main effects.

Título: Stalling the Course of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Could Cyanobacteria Constitute a New Approach toward Therapy?

Revista: Biomolecules

JCR: 5.5

Referência bibliográfica: Ramos, V., Reis, M., Ferreira, L., Silva, A. M., Ferraz, R., Vieira, M., Vasconcelos, V., & Martins, R. (2023). Stalling the Course of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Could Cyanobacteria Constitute a New Approach toward Therapy? Biomolecules, 13(10), Artigo 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom13101444


The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has revolutionized the provision of health services, often referred to as eHealth, benefiting community pharmacies that can offer new services in innovative formats, namely through telepharmacy. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of pharmacy professionals (i.e., pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) on the provision of new services. The study consisted of administering an online questionnaire to pharmacy professionals nationwide. The questionnaire was developed by the research team, based on focus group methodology, from which an inductive analysis led to the categories that made up the dimensions of the survey. Participants were 95 pharmacy professionals with a mean age of 33.69 years old (SD = 10.75). Almost 79% were women. The results show overall receptivity to the development of new services in community pharmacies. Suggestions for the development of the new services, conditions necessary for their implementation, potential obstacles, and strategies to promote adherence to the new services, among others, are identified. The knowledge thus acquired will help community pharmacies to develop innovative solutions in counselling, pharmacotherapy monitoring, and pharmacovigilance, for example, of herb/dietary supplement–drug adverse reactions and interactions. Based on this information, new services can become more accessible, namely through the use of ICTs.

Título: The Pharmacy of the Future: Pharmacy Professionals’ Perceptions and Contributions Regarding New Services in Community Pharmacies

Revista: Healthcare

JCR: 2.8

Referência bibliográfica: Dores, A. R., Peixoto, M., Carvalho, I. P., Jesus, Â., Moreira, F., & Marques, A. (2023). The Pharmacy of the Future: Pharmacy Professionals’ Perceptions and Contributions Regarding New Services in Community Pharmacies. Healthcare, 11(18), Artigo 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11182580 


Healthcare workers are a susceptible population to be psychologically affected during health crises, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience has been pointed out in the literature as a possible protective factor against psychological distress in crisis situations. This can be influenced by internal and external factors, such as individual characteristics and organizational factors. Thus, this study aims to characterize the overall resilience levels among healthcare professionals in Portugal and to understand the perspectives of this healthcare workers regarding organizational factors that improve individual resilience. This is a mixed-method study: a first quantitative study using a cross-sectional design to administer the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) to 271 healthcare professionals (Mage 33.90, SD = 9.59 years, 90.80% female), followed by a qualitative study through 10 in-depth interviews. The mean score for the total RSA was 178.17 (SD = 22.44) out of a total of 231. Qualitative analysis showed 4 major themes on factors that enhance resilience: “Professional’s Training,” “Support and Wellbeing Measures,” “Reorganization of Services” and “Professional Acknowledgment.” The findings may contribute to the development of targeted interventions and support systems to enhance resilience and well-being among healthcare workers.

Título: Healthcare Professionals’ Resilience During the COVID-19 and Organizational Factors That Improve Individual Resilience: A Mixed-Method Study

Revista: Health Services Insights

JCR: 2.8

Referência bibliográfica:  Almeida, R. S., Costa, A., Teixeira, I., Trigueiro, M. J., Dores, A. R., & Marques, A. (2023). Healthcare Professionals’ Resilience During the COVID-19 and Organizational Factors That Improve Individual Resilience: A Mixed-Method Study. Health Services Insights, 16(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/11786329231198991


It is now well-accepted that psychostimulants act on glial cells causing neuroinflammation and adding to the neurotoxic effects of such substances. Neuroinflammation can be described as an inflammatory response, within the CNS, mediated through several cytokines, reactive oxygen species, chemokines and other inflammatory markers. These inflammatory players, in particular cytokines, play important roles. Several studies have demonstrated that psychostimulants impact on cytokine production and release, both centrally and at the peripheral level. Nevertheless, the available data is often contradictory. Because understanding how cytokines are modulated by psychoactive substances seems crucial to perspective successful therapeutic interventions, here, we conducted a scoping review of the available literature. We have focused on how different psychostimulants impact on the cytokine profile. Publications were grouped according to the substance addressed (methamphetamine, cocaine, methylphenidate, MDMA or other amphetamines), the type of exposure and period of evaluation (acute, short- or long-term exposure, withdrawal, and reinstatement). Studies were further divided in those addressing central cytokines, circulating (peripheral) levels, or both. Our analysis showed that the classical pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β were those more investigated. The majority of studies have reported increased levels of these cytokines in the central nervous system after acute or repeated drug. However, studies investigating cytokine levels during withdrawal or reinstatement have shown higher variability in their findings. Although we have identified fewer studies addressing circulating cytokines in humans, the available data suggest that the results may be more robust in animal models than in patients with problematic drug use. As a major conclusion, an extensive use of arrays for relevant cytokines should be considered to better determine which cytokines, upon the classical ones, may be involved in the progression from episodic use to the development of addiction. A concerted effort is still necessary to address the link between peripheral and central immune players, including from a longitudinal perspective. Until there, the identification of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets to envision personalized immune-based therapeutics will continue to be unlikely.

Título: The impact of psychostimulants on central and peripheral neuro-immune regulation: a scoping review of cytokine profiles and their implications for addiction

Revista: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience

JCR: 5.3

Referência bibliográfica: Bravo, J., Magalhães, C., Andrade, E. B., Magalhães, A., & Summavielle, T. (2023). The impact of psychostimulants on central and peripheral neuro-immune regulation: A scoping review of cytokine profiles and their implications for addiction. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 17. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2023.1109611


Multiple studies show an association between anxiety disorders and dysregulation in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Thus, understanding how informative the physiological signals are would contribute to effectively detecting anxiety. This study targets the classification of anxiety as an imbalanced binary classification problem using physiological signals collected from a sample of healthy subjects under a neutral condition. For this purpose, the Electrocardiogram (ECG), Electrodermal Activity (EDA), and Electromyogram (EMG) signals from the WESAD publicly available dataset were used. The neutral condition was collected for around 20 min on 15 participants, and anxiety scores were assessed through the shortened 6-item STAI. To achieve the described goal, the subsequent steps were followed: signal pre-processing; feature extraction, analysis, and selection; and classification of anxiety. The findings of this study allowed us to classify anxiety with discriminatory class features based on physiological signals. Moreover, feature selection revealed that ECG features play a relevant role in anxiety classification. Supervised feature selection and data balancing techniques, especially Borderline SMOTE 2, increased the performance of most classifiers. In particular, the combination of feature selection and Borderline SMOTE 2 achieved the best ROC-AUC with the Random Forest classifier.

Título: Multimodal classification of anxiety based on physiological signals

Revista: Applied sciences

JCR: 2.7

Referência bibliográfica: Vaz, M., Summavielle, T., Sebastião, R., & Ribeiro, R. P. (2023). Multimodal Classification of Anxiety Based on Physiological Signals. Applied Sciences, 13(11), Artigo 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/app13116368


Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (tCBT) has presented itself as an intervention proposal that aims to integrate the common processes of human functioning with the therapeutic strategies of conventional cognitive-behavioral therapy, considered the gold standard for treating numerous disorders. As far as we know, this review is the first to specifically evaluate transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral interventions in groups. This review aimed to systematically examine the evidence regarding the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral transdiagnostic interventions in groups for the adult population compared to the general interventions or no intervention (control/waiting list). The report of the systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched, obtaining a total of 1,058 records. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 32 articles, published between 2005 and 2022, were selected. Eligible studies were submitted to the assessment of the potential risk of bias through Cochrane's tool for risk assessment of bias (RoB 2). The results suggest that transdiagnostic treatments are superior to waiting list conditions and the common treatments, and are at least as effective as active control interventions and specific cognitive-behavioral treatments for diagnosis.

Título: Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioral Group Interventions: A Systematic Review

Revista: Cognitive Therapy and Research

JCR: 2.8

Referência bibliográfica: Joaquim, S. B., Simões de Almeida, R., & Marques, A. J. (2023). Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioral Group Interventions: A Systematic Review. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 47(3), 303–326. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-023-10372-x


Volleyball players develop shoulder sports-related adaptations due to repetitive overhead motions. It is essential to differentiate between these sports-related adaptations and pathological patterns in clinical assessments, particularly on scapular resting posture and scapulohumeral rhythm. Using an electromagnetic tracking system, the 3D shoulder kinematics of 30 male elite asymptomatic volleyball players and a matching control group were recorded at rest and in eight humeral elevation positions, in 15-degree increments from 15 to 120 degrees. The results indicated that the dominant scapular resting posture of the volleyball group was more anteriorly tilted than the control group (Volleyball: mean = −12.02°, STD = 4.16°; Control: mean = −7.45°, STD = 5.42°; Mean difference = 4.57°; STD = 6.85°; CI95% = 2.1° to 7.1°). The scapulohumeral rhythm in the volleyball group showed greater scapular internal rotation (Volleyball: mean = 41.60°, STD = 9.14°; Control: mean = 35.60°, STD = 6.03°; mean difference = 6.02°, STD = 1.47°; CI95% = 4.80° to 7.25°) and anterior tilt (Volleyball: mean = −9.10°, STD = 5.87°; mean = −2.3°, STD = 9.18°; mean difference = 6.88°, STD = 0.66°; CI95% = 6.34° to 7.43°). These findings suggest that volleyball players have developed a sports-related scapular adaptive pattern. This information may be valuable for clinical assessment and rehabilitation planning in injured volleyball players and may aid in the decision-making process for determining a safe return-to-play after a shoulder injury.

Título: Scapular Resting Posture and Scapulohumeral Rhythm Adaptations in Volleyball Players: Implications for Clinical Shoulder Assessment in Athletes

Revista: Sports

JCR: 2.7

Referência bibliográfica: Pascoal, A. G., Ribeiro, A., & Infante, J. (2023). Scapular Resting Posture and Scapulohumeral Rhythm Adaptations in Volleyball Players: Implications for Clinical Shoulder Assessment in Athletes. Sports, 11(6), Artigo 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11060114



Ready-to-eat products, such as leafy greens, must be carefully controlled as they are directly consumed without any treatment to reduce the presence of potential pathogens. Food industries, especially those that process products with short shelf-life, demand rapid detection of foodborne pathogens such as Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In this sense, molecular methods can fulfill both requirements of turnaround time and consumer safety. The most popular rapid methods are those based on real-time PCR (qPCR) however, vegetables contain inhibitory compounds that may inhibit the amplification reaction thus, there is a need for novel sample preparation protocols. In the current study, a low-cost sample treatment based on sequential filtration steps was developed. This protocol was combined with covalent organic frameworks (COFs), and compared against a chelating resin, to evaluate their performance by multiplex qPCR targeting the major virulence genes of STEC, namely stx1, stx2, and eae, along with the rfbE for the specific identification of serogroup O157 due to its particularly high incidence, and an Internal Amplification Control to assess reaction inhibition. The optimized sample treatment effectively removed vegetable qPCR inhibitory compounds, and it was possible to detect STEC in spiked ready-to-eat salad samples in one working day, roughly 5 h, with an LOD50 of 8.7 CFU/25 g with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. The method was also assessed in samples with cold-stressed bacteria with good results, further demonstrating its applicability. It was demonstrated for the first time that COFs are suitable for DNA extraction and purification. In addition to this, due to the tunable nature of these materials, it is envisioned that future modifications in terms of pore size or combination with magnetic materials, will allow to further improve their performance. In addition to this, the rapid and low-cost sample treatment protocol developed demonstrated suitable for the rapid screening of STEC vegetable samples.

Título: Evaluation of Covalent Organic Frameworks for the low-cost, rapid detection of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ready-to-eat salads

Revista: Analytica Chimica Acta

JCR: 6.2

Referência bibliográfica: Costa-Ribeiro, A., Azinheiro, S., Fernandes, S. P. S., Lamas, A., Prado, M., Salonen, L. M., & Garrido-Maestu, A. (2023). Evaluation of Covalent Organic Frameworks for the low-cost, rapid detection of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ready-to-eat salads. Analytica Chimica Acta, 1267, 341357. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2023.341357 


We read with interest Stern’s Cognitive Reserve (CR) model (Citation2012) and his works along the years. According to Stern, CR proxies refer to different individual cognitive and socio-behavioral factors with impact on the adaptation of cognitive processes to aging, brain pathology or injury (Stern, Citation2002, Citation2009; Stern et al., Citation2019). However, Stern’s model of CR is focused on cognition and the influence of sensory or emotional aspects was not considered. Thus, we propose a model of Sensory, Emotional, and Cognitive Reserve (SEC reserve model) in which CR, sensory reserve (SR), and emotional reserve (ER) interact with each other, reducing the impact of neuropathology caused by brain disease and injury. Therefore, higher levels of SEC reserve hold the potential to enhance rehabilitation outcomes and prevent or delay the impact of neurocognitive deficits on functionality in the instrumental cognitive activities of daily life.

Título: A model of sensory, emotional, and cognitive reserve

Revista: Applied Neuropsychology: Adult

JCR: 1.7

Referência bibliográfica: Pinto, J. O., Peixoto, B., Dores, A. R., & Barbosa, F. (2023). A model of sensory, emotional, and cognitive reserve. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 0(0), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2023.2291480


Staphylococcus aureus is both a human commensal and a pathogen, that causes serious nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Despite nostrils being considered its preferred host habitat, the oral cavity has been demonstrated to be an ideal starting point for auto-infection and transmission. The antibiotic resistance assessment of S. aureus is a priority and is often reported in clinical settings. This study aimed to explore the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of S. aureus in the oral and nasal cavities of healthy individuals. The participants (n = 101) were subjected to a demographic and clinical background survey, a caries evaluation, and to oral and nasal swabbing. Swabs were cultured in differential/selective media and S. aureus isolates were identified (MALDI-TOF MS) and tested for antibiotic susceptibility (EUCAST/CLSI). Similar S. aureus prevalence was found exclusively on nasal (13.9%) or oral (12.0%) habitats, whereas 9.9% of the population were simultaneous nasal and oral carriers. In oro-nasal cavities, similar antibiotic resistance rates (83.3–81.5%), including MDR (20.8–29.6%), were observed. Notably, 60% (6/10) of the simultaneous nasal and oral carriers exhibited different antibiotic resistance profiles between cavities. This study demonstrates the relevance of the oral cavity as an independent colonization site for S. aureus and as a potential source of antimicrobial resistance, a role which has been widely neglected so far.

Título: Unveiling the Relevance of the Oral Cavity as a Staphylococcus aureus Colonization Site and Potential Source of Antimicrobial Resistance

Revista: Pathogens

JCR: 3.7

Referência bibliográfica: Campos, J., Pires, M. F., Sousa, M., Campos, C., da Costa, C. F. F. A., & Sampaio-Maia, B. (2023). Unveiling the Relevance of the Oral Cavity as a Staphylococcus aureus Colonization Site and Potential Source of Antimicrobial Resistance. Pathogens, 12(6), Artigo 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12060765


The thread herring Opisthonema oglinum (Lesueur, 1818) is a small pelagic fish distributed in the western margin of the Atlantic Ocean from the United States to Argentina. It is a target species for diverse commercial fisheries, including the Brazilian industrial purse seine fleets that operate in the Southeastern Brazilian Bight. To investigate the geographic variation in the thread herring populations in this fishing ground, sagittal otoliths were collected from two areas: Rio de Janeiro (RJ: 23°04′ S, 44°03′ W) and Santa Catarina (SC: 26°05′ S, 48°18′ W). Otolith shape analyses and multi-elemental signatures were statistically evaluated using elliptical Fourier descriptors and elemental/Ca ratios. Remarkable differences in the thread herring otoliths between the two areas were found. The previous scenario in which the thread herring constitutes a single panmictic population in the Atlantic Ocean is now debatable. The implications of these results in terms of rational fisheries management for this species are highlighted.

Título: Geographic variation in opisthonema oglinum (Lesueur, 1818) in the southeastern brazilian bight inferred from otolith shape and chemical signatures

Revista: Fishes

JCR: 2.3

Referência bibliográfica: Vaz-dos-Santos, A. M., Rautenberg, K. A., Augusto, C. G., Ballester, E. L. C., Schwingel, P. R., Pinto, E., Almeida, A., & Correia, A. T. (2023). Geographic Variation in Opisthonema oglinum (Lesueur, 1818) in the Southeastern Brazilian Bight Inferred from Otolith Shape and Chemical Signatures. Fishes, 8(5), Artigo 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes8050234

Problematic gaming patterns have been associated with mental disorders and an unhealthy lifestyle pattern characterized by poor physical activity, nutritional habits, and sleep patterns. Thus, our objective was to characterize highly engaged Portuguese gamers by assessing the prevalence of these health issues and patterns, including Internet Gaming Disorder. A sample of 235 gamers (83.3% male) recruited online (through mailing list and social media) participated in online questionnaires to assess sociodemographic and health information, gaming and nutritional habits, physical activity patterns, sleep hygiene, and mental health. The highly engaged gamers showed a mean playing time of 3.5 h/day (SD = 2.1) and 5.5 h/day (SD = 3.0) in other screen-related activities. Most of the players reported not consuming snacks while gaming. Physical activity practice was observed in 63.8% of the players. Most of the participants (66.3%) reported poor sleep quality and a “moderately and definitely evening” chronotype (60.4%). Gamers showed low scores of IGD, with only three reported cases, and half of the gamers reporting good psychological well-being. The mean of BSI scores was 1.6 (SD = 0.6), close to the cut-off point of 1.7. Poor sleep quality was observed in Portuguese gamers. Despite this, gamers seem to display a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular physical activity, a healthy diet during gaming time, and an unproblematic gaming behavior, as well as an emotionally healthy profile and state of well-being. Future studies should conduct a more thorough analysis of these variables and further explore possible correlations.

Título: Game on: a cross-sectional study on gamers’ mental health, game patterns, physical activity, eating and sleeping habits

Revista: Computers in Human Behavior

JCR: 9.9

Referência bibliográfica: Matias, C. N., Cardoso, J., Cavaca, M. L., Cardoso, S., Giro, R., Vaz, J., Couto, P. A., Dores, A. R., Ferreira, T. B., Tinsley, G. M., & Teixeira, F. J. (2023). Game on: A cross-sectional study on gamers’ mental health, Game patterns, physical activity, eating and sleeping habits. Computers in Human Behavior, 148, 107901. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2023.107901


The main purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate a potential relationship between early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) and impulsive and compulsive buying tendencies in a sample of young adults (college students). This research adds to the cognitive perspective of consumer behavior that the cognitive schemas putatively associated with early experiences may have a strong impact on impulsive and compulsive buying. Data was obtained from 365 participants in a cross-sectional study design. Participants completed an online survey with the following instruments: Young Schema Questionnaire; Impulsive Buying Tendency Measurement Scale; Richmond Compulsive Buying Scale; and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Using multiple linear hierarchical regressions, we confirmed that the domain of over vigilance and inhibition schemas was positively associated with impulsive and compulsive buying tendencies, while an opposite association was found for the domain of impaired limits. Being a female was also a predictor of impulsive buying and compulsive buying. The results were discussed in terms of the coping mechanisms to deal with negative emotions, as a way to obtain rewards, or as a way to escape painful self-awareness. Other mechanisms related to the internalization of perfectionist expectations and the propensity to shame were also explored.

Título: Exploring the associations between early maladaptive schemas and impulsive and compulsive buying tendencies

Revista: Frontiers in Psychiatry

JCR: 4.7

Referência bibliográfica: Rocha, S., Fernández, X. M., Castro, Y. R., Ferreira, S., Teixeira, L., Campos, C., & Rocha, N. B. (2023). Exploring the associations between early maladaptive schemas and impulsive and compulsive buying tendencies. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 14, 1157710. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1157710


This study examined the associations between psychopathy dimensions (triarchic phenotypes and classical factors), empathy domains (cognitive and affective), and interoception (interoceptive attention and accuracy) while accounting for the putative role of alexithymia. A community sample (n = 515) completed an online survey encompassing: Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (boldness, meanness, disinhibition); Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (primary and secondary psychopathy); Body Perception Questionnaire (interoceptive attention); Interoceptive Accuracy Scale; Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Hierarchical linear regression models were implemented for hypothesis-driven analyses examining the associations between psychopathy, empathy, and interoception while controlling for sex, age, and alexithymia. Exploratory path models were employed to investigate alexithymia and/or cognitive empathy as mediators between interoception and psychopathy. Our results largely confirmed the postulated empathy profiles across psychopathy dimensions, as meanness and primary psychopathy displayed a broad empathy impairment, while disinhibition and secondary psychopathy were only associated with diminished cognitive empathy. Importantly, boldness displayed a unique pattern (enhanced cognitive empathy and reduced affective empathy), further reinforcing its importance within the constellation of psychopathy traits. Contrary to our hypotheses, self-perceived interoceptive attention and accuracy were not associated with either psychopathy dimension after controlling for alexithymia. However, interoceptive accuracy and alexithymia were associated with cognitive empathy, while alexithymia was also positively related to all psychopathy dimensions (as expected), despite the unexpected strong and negative association with boldness. Exploratory analyses suggested significant indirect effects (mediation) between interoceptive accuracy and psychopathy via alexithymia and/or cognitive empathy. These mediating effects must be interpreted with caution and future studies should be designed to formally test this model.

Título: Dissociating cognitive and affective empathy across psychopathy dimensions: The role of interoception and alexithymia

Revista: Frontiers in Psychology

JCR: 3.8

Referência bibliográfica: Campos, C., Rocha, N. B., & Barbosa, F. (2023). Dissociating cognitive and affective empathy across psychopathy dimensions: The role of interoception and alexithymia. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1082965


Advancements in modern medicine have bolstered the usage of home-based rehabilitation services for patients, particularly those recovering from diseases or conditions that necessitate a structured rehabilitation process. Understanding the technological factors that can influence the efficacy of home-based rehabilitation is crucial for optimizing patient outcomes. As technologies continue to evolve rapidly, it is imperative to document the current state of the art and elucidate the key features of the hardware and software employed in these rehabilitation systems. This narrative review aims to provide a summary of the modern technological trends and advancements in home-based shoulder rehabilitation scenarios. It specifically focuses on wearable devices, robots, exoskeletons, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, and serious games. Through an in-depth analysis of existing literature and research, this review presents the state of the art in home-based rehabilitation systems, highlighting their strengths and limitations. Furthermore, this review proposes hypotheses and potential directions for future upgrades and enhancements in these technologies. By exploring the integration of these technologies into home-based rehabilitation, this review aims to shed light on the current landscape and offer insights into the future possibilities for improving patient outcomes and optimizing the effectiveness of home-based rehabilitation programs.

Título: Home-Based Rehabilitation of the Shoulder Using Auxiliary Systems and Artificial Intelligence: An Overview

Revista: Sensors

JCR: 3.9

Referência bibliográfica: Cunha, B., Ferreira, R., & Sousa, A. S. P. (2023). Home-Based Rehabilitation of the Shoulder Using Auxiliary Systems and Artificial Intelligence: An Overview. Sensors, 23(16), Artigo 16. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23167100


Exposure to environmental chemicals during developmental stages can result in several adverse outcomes. In this study, the exposure of Portuguese children to Cu, Co, I, Mo, Mn, Ni, As, Sb, Cd, Pb, Sn and Tl was evaluated through the analysis of first morning urine through ICP-MS. Furthermore, we attempted to determine possible exposure predictors. The study sample consisted of 54% girls and 46% boys, with a median age of 10 years; 61% were overweight/obese and were put on a nutritionally oriented diet. For I, half of the population was probably in deficiency status. The median urinary concentrations (μg/L) were Cu 21.9, Mo 54.6, Co 0.76, Mn 2.1, Ni 4.74, As 37.9, Sb 0.09, Cd 0.29, Pb 0.94, Sn 0.45, Tl 0.39 and I 125.5. The region was a significant predictor for Cu, Co, Ni, As and Tl. Children living in an urban area had higher urinary levels, except for Co and Ni. Age was a significant predictor for Cu, I, Mo, Mn, Ni, Sb, Cd and Sn with urinary levels of these elements decreasing with age. No sex-related differences were observed. Diet and weight group were predictors for urinary Cu, Mn, Ni, Sb and As. Significant differences were observed between the diet/weight groups for Cu, Ni, Sb and As, with the healthy diet group presenting higher values.

Título: Trace Elements in Portuguese Children: Urinary Levels and Exposure Predictors

Revista: Toxics

JCR: 4.6

Referência bibliográfica:  Correia-Sá, L., Fernandes, V. C., Maia, M. L., Pinto, E., Norberto, S., Almeida, A., Santos, C., Delerue-Matos, C., Calhau, C., & Domingues, V. F. (2023). Trace Elements in Portuguese Children: Urinary Levels and Exposure Predictors. Toxics, 11(9), Artigo 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090767


Intersex gonads have been observed in thicklip grey mullet Chelon labrosus, inhabiting estuaries with high burdens of xenoestrogens in the Southeast Bay of Biscay, but knowledge of population connectivity among estuaries is lacking for this euryhaline fish species. This study investigates the population structure of C. labrosus using otolith shape and elemental signatures of 60 adults (overall length ~ 38 cm) from two estuaries 21 nautic miles apart, one with a high incidence of intersex condition (Gernika), and the other one pristine (Plentzia). Otolith shape analyses were performed using elliptical Fourier descriptors, while elemental signatures of whole sagittae were obtained by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrophotometry. Univariate and multivariate statistics were applied to determine if otolith signatures show patterns of homogeneity between estuaries. The data indicated significant differences in the otolith shape and elemental composition between mullets of Gernika and Plentzia. Elemental differences were mainly driven by Sr, Li (both higher in Plentzia) and Ba (higher in Gernika). The 98% re-classification success rate obtained from stepwise linear discriminant function analysis suggests that Gernika and Plentzia individuals form separated population units. The limited connectivity between these two close estuaries would indicate a different life history of exposure to chemicals, which might explain the high prevalence of intersex condition in Gernika and its absence in Plenztia.

Título: Otolith shape and elemental signatures provide insights into the connectivity of euryhaline Chelon labrosus inhabiting two close estuaries with different burdens of xenoestrogens in the Southern Bay of Biscay

Revista: Marine Environmental Research

JCR: 3.3

Referência bibliográfica: Nzioka, A., Cancio, I., Diaz de Cerio, O., Pinto, E., Almeida, A., & Correia, A. T. (2023). Otolith shape and elemental signatures provide insights into the connectivity of euryhaline Chelon labrosus inhabiting two close estuaries with different burdens of xenoestrogens in the Southern Bay of Biscay. Marine Environmental Research, 189, 106075. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.106075


Adequate gestational progression depends to a great extent on placental development, which can modify maternal and neonatal outcomes. Any environmental toxicant, including metals, with the capacity to affect the placenta can alter the development of the pregnancy and its outcome. The objective of this study was to correlate the placenta levels of 14 essential and non-essential elements with neonatal weight. We examined relationships between placental concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, mercury, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, lead, rubidium, selenium, strontium, and zinc from 79 low obstetric risk pregnant women in Ourense (Northwestern Spain, 42°20′12.1″N 7°51.844′O) with neonatal weight. We tested associations between placental metal concentrations and neonatal weight by conducting multivariable linear regressions using generalized linear models (GLM) and generalized additive models (GAM). While placental Co (p = 0.03) and Sr (p = 0.048) concentrations were associated with higher neonatal weight, concentrations of Li (p = 0.027), Mo (p = 0.049), and Se (p = 0.02) in the placenta were associated with lower newborn weight. Our findings suggest that the concentration of some metals in the placenta may affect fetal growth.

Título: Placental levels of essential and non‑essential trace element in relation to neonatal weight in Northwestern Spain: application of generalized additive models

Revista: Environmental Science and Pollution Research

JCR: 5.8

Referência bibliográfica: Álvarez-Silvares, E., Fernández-Cruz, T., Bermudez-González, M., Rubio-Cid, P., Almeida, A., Pinto, E., Seoane-Pillado, T., & Martínez-Carballo, E. (2023). Placental levels of essential and non-essential trace element in relation to neonatal weight in Northwestern Spain: Application of generalized additive models. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(22), 62566–62578. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-26560-x


 This study aims to observe the evolution of the electrode–skin interface impedance of surface EMG electrodes over the time taken to determine the time of stabilization. Eight healthy subjects participated in the study. Electrode–skin impedance was evaluated in the rectus abdominal muscle every five minutes, over a total period of 50 min. A reduction of 13.23% in the impedance values was observed in minute 10 (p = 0.007), and a reduction of 9.02% was observed in minute 15 (p = 0.029). No statistically significant differences were observed in the other instants evaluated. The findings obtained in the present study demonstrate a decrease in electrode–skin impedance from minute 5 to minute 15, followed by a stabilization period with a low percentage of variation till minute 50.

Título: Long-Term Electrode–Skin Impedance Variation for Electromyographic Measurements

Revista: Sensors

JCR: 3.9

Referência bibliográfica: Sousa, A. S. P., Noites, A., Vilarinho, R., & Santos, R. (2023). Long-Term Electrode–Skin Impedance Variation for Electromyographic Measurements. Sensors, 23(20), Artigo 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23208582


Pharmacy professionals that manipulate cytotoxic drugs need to undergo educational programs, adopt the most convenient practices, and use appropriate equipment to avoid, as far as possible, occupational exposure to cytotoxic drugs. The main goal of this work is to characterize the education, technical practices, and attitudes towards cytotoxic drugs, of Portuguese pharmacy technicians. A questionnaire comprising eleven questions deemed pertinent was elaborated and subsequently validated by a pilot test. The anonymous, web-based survey was conducted between December 2022 and January 2023, by graduated pharmacy technicians that had manipulated cytotoxic drugs between 2017 and 2022. A total of 77 pharmacy technicians responded to the survey. Although sixty-six pharmacy technicians (86%) had been trained before beginning to manipulate cytotoxic drugs, the promotion of regular post-admission training by the institutions is sparse – only assumed by 53% of the pharmacy technicians (n=41). All participants reported using gloves and gown during manipulation and the use of double gloves was common (99%; n=76). Compliances with the recommended limit time for uninterrupted manipulation activity (82%; n=63) and systematic double-checking (86%; n=66) were high, but the regular use of sterile gauze around syringe connection sites 58% (n=45), was less frequent. None of the surveyed pharmacy technicians used closed-system transfer devices (CSTD) and 41 (53%) of those who used spikes did not thoughtfully use these devices. The implementation of regular training programs in manipulating cytotoxic drugs should be fostered, to promote the more judicious use of engineering controls and transversal adoption of the safest technical practices.

Título: Characterization of education, technical practices and attitudes of Portuguese pharmacy technicians towards manipulation of cytotoxic drugs

Revista: Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice

JCR: 1.3

Referência bibliográfica: Campos, D., Silva, I., Rego, M., Correia, P., & Moreira, F. (2023). Characterization of education, technical practices and attitudes of Portuguese pharmacy technicians towards manipulation of cytotoxic drugs. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice. https://doi.org/10.1177/10781552231190025


Quercetin (QUE) is the most widely used flavonoid for therapeutic purposes. To improve the available knowledge about the properties of some natural products, determining the amount of QUE is crucial. The main objective of this systematic review is to identify the analytical methods validated for detecting and quantifying QUE in different matrices and characterize their sensitivity. A search was conducted until 30 June 2023 in the PubMed database for experimental studies that addressed the validation of chromatographic analytical methods to detect and quantify QUE from consumable natural products. Only studies published between 2018 and 2022, written in English, were included. The risk of bias was assessed by emphasizing methods of comparison according to previously published studies. Descriptive statistics were used to depict the obtained results. The studies were analyzed based on the type of QUE source, chromatographic method, and validation parameters. A total of 17 studies were included in this review. Plants were the most commonly analyzed source of QUE. Among the detection methods, spectrophotometry proved to be the most widely used, surpassing mass spectrometry (MS). After analyzing the bias, all the included studies mentioned/presented, totally or partially, at least four of the eight parameters.

Título: Chromatographic Methods Developed for the Quantification of Quercetin Extracted from Natural Sources: Systematic Review of Published Studies from 2018 to 2022

Revista: Molecules

JCR: 4.6

Referência bibliográfica: Carvalho, D., Pinho, C., Oliveira, R., Moreira, F., & Oliveira, A. I. (2023). Chromatographic Methods Developed for the Quantification of Quercetin Extracted from Natural Sources: Systematic Review of Published Studies from 2018 to 2022. Molecules, 28(23), Artigo 23. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237714


The evaluation of the efficacy of incorporation of quercetin in nanoparticles is crucial, both for the development and quality control of pharmaceutical formulations. The validation of analytical methods for the precise quantification of quercetin is useful for the evaluation of various potential quercetin delivery systems and quercetin pharmacokinetics. This work aimed to validate a high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection (HPLC-DAD) method for quercetin detection and quantification in nanoparticles. Different mobile phase conditions and detection wavelengths (254 and 368 nm) were tested, and the major validation parameters were assessed (precision, accuracy, linearity, sensitivity, stability, and selectivity). The best peak resolution was obtained when quercetin was analyzed at 368 nm with a mobile phase of 1.5% acetic acid and a water/acetonitrile/methanol ratio of 55:40:5. Under these conditions, quercetin also eluted rapidly (retention time of 3.6 min). The method proved to be linear (R2 > 0.995), specific, and repeatable (variation coefficient between 2.4% and 6.7%) and presented intermediate precision (variation coefficient between 7.2% and 9.4%). The accuracy of the analysis ranged between 88.6% and 110.7%, and detection and quantification limits were 0.046 and 0.14 µg/mL, respectively. Quercetin solutions were more stable when stored at 4 °C than at room temperature or −20 °C. This validated method satisfied more parameters of bias assessment than most recent methods for quercetin determination and presented itself as more sensitive and efficient than general spectrophotometric methods. The method was successfully used for the analysis of quercetin incorporation in nanoparticles and will be evaluated in the future for its adequacy for the determination of quercetin in more complex matrices.

Título: Validation of an HPLC-DAD Method for Quercetin Quantification in Nanoparticles

Revista: Pharmaceuticals

JCR: 4.6

Referência bibliográfica: Carvalho, D., Jesus, Â., Pinho, C., Oliveira, R. F., Moreira, F., & Oliveira, A. I. (2023). Validation of an HPLC-DAD Method for Quercetin Quantification in Nanoparticles. Pharmaceuticals, 16(12), Artigo 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16121736


Digital pathology (DP) is indisputably the future for histopathology laboratories. The process of digital implementation requires deep workflow reorganisation which involves an interdisciplinary team. This transformation may have the greatest impact on the Histotechnologist (HTL) profession. Our review of the literature has clearly revealed that the role of HTLs in the establishment of DP is being unnoticed and guidance is limited. This article aims to bring HTLs from behind-the-scenes into the spotlight. Our objective is to provide them guidance and practical recommendations to successfully contribute to the implementation of a new digital workflow. Furthermore, it also intends to contribute for improvement of study programs, ensuring the role of HTL in DP is addressed as part of graduate and post-graduate education. In our review, we report on the differences encountered between workflow schemes and the limitations observed in this process. The authors propose a digital workflow to achieve its limitless potential, focusing on the HTL’s role. This article explores the novel responsibilities of HTLs during specimen gross dissection, embedding, microtomy, staining, digital scanning, and whole slide image quality control. Furthermore, we highlight the benefits and challenges that DP implementation might bring the HTLs career. HTLs have an important role in the digital workflow: the responsibility of achieving the perfect glass slide.

Título: Invisible for a few but essential for many: the role of Histotechnologists in the establishment of digital pathology

Revista: Journal of Histotechnology   

JCR: 1.1

Referência bibliográfica: Magalhães, G., Calisto, R., Freire, C., Silva, R., Montezuma, D., Canberk, S., & Schmitt, F. (2023). Invisible for a few but essential for many: The role of Histotechnologists in the establishment of digital pathology. Journal of Histotechnology, 0(0), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/01478885.2023.2268297


The purpose of this study was to assess how knowledge and empowerment impact the quality of life (QoL) of a person with type 2 diabetes, leading to better communication and disease management. We conducted a descriptive and observational study of individuals with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Empowerment Scale-Short Form (DES-SF), Diabetes Knowledge Test (DKT), and EQ-5D-5L were used, in addition to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Evaluating the variability in the DES-SF and DKT in relation to the EQ-5D-5L and identifying possible sociodemographic and clinical determinants were conducted using univariate analyses followed by a multiple linear regression model to test whether the factors significantly predicted QoL. A total of 763 individuals were included in the final sample. Patients aged 65 years or older had lower QoL scores, as well as patients who lived alone, had less than 12 years of education, and experienced complications. The insulin-treated group showed higher scores in DKT than the non-insulin-treated group. It was also found that being male, being under 65 years of age, having no complications present, and having higher levels of knowledge and empowerment predicted higher QoL. Our results show that DKT and DES are still determinants of QoL, even after adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Therefore, literacy and empowerment are important for the improvement of the QoL of people with diabetes, by enabling them to manage their health conditions. New clinical practices focused on education, increasing patients’ knowledge, and empowerment may contribute to better health outcomes.

Título: Empowerment and knowledge as determinants for quality of life: a contribution to a better type 2 diabetes self-management

Revista: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

JCR: 4.614

Referência bibliográfica: Ferreira, P. L., Morais, C., Pimenta, R., Ribeiro, I., Amorim, I., & Alves, S. M. (2023). Empowerment and knowledge as determinants for quality of life: a contribution to a better type 2 diabetes self-management. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(5), Artigo 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054544


The aim of the study was to characterize the 2-year progression of risk phenotypes of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) in type 2 diabetes (T2D) phenotype C, or ischemic phenotype, identified by decreased skeletonized retinal vessel density (VD), ≥2 SD over normal values, and phenotype B, or edema phenotype, identified by increased retinal thickness, i.e., subclinical macular edema, and no significant decrease in VD. A prospective longitudinal cohort study (CORDIS, NCT03696810) was conducted with 4 visits (baseline, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years). Ophthalmological examinations included best-corrected visual acuity, color fundus photography (CFP), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study grading was performed at the baseline and last visits based on 7-field CFP. Results: One hundred and twenty-two eyes from T2D individuals with NPDR fitted in the categories of phenotypes B and C and completed the 2-year follow-up. Sixty-five (53%) of the eyes were classified as phenotype B and 57 (47%) eyes as phenotype C. Neurodegeneration represented by thinning of the ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer was present in both phenotypes and showed significant progression over the 2-year period (p < 0.001). In phenotype C, significant progression in the 2-year period was identified in decreased skeletonized VD (p = 0.01), whereas in phenotype B microvascular changes involved preferentially decrease in perfusion density (PD, p = 0.012). Phenotype B with changes in VD and PD (flow) and preferential involvement of the deep capillary plexus (p < 0.001) is associated with development of center-involved macular edema. In the 2-year period of follow-up, both phenotypes B and C showed progression in retinal neurodegeneration, with changes at the microvascular level characterized by decreases in PD in phenotype B and decreases in VD in phenotype C.

Título: Characterization of 2-Year Progression of Different Phenotypes of Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Revista: Ophtalmic Research

JCR: 3.031 (2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Ribeiro, L., Marques, I. P., Santos, T., Carvalho, S., Santos, A. R., Mendes, L., Lobo, C., & Cunha-Vaz, J. (2023). Characterization of 2-Year Progression of Different Phenotypes of Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. Ophthalmic Research, 228–237. https://doi.org/10.1159/000526370


Fermented papaya is recognized as a nutraceutical with a diverse and rich composition. Fermentation of fruit with desirable microorganisms could be a strategy to improve the nutritional quality and profile of the fruit. Despite the popularity of fermented papaya, there is still a lack of knowledge on the effects of various fermentation parameters. The goal of this study was to screen the antioxidant and other properties of the products obtained through a variety of fermentation experiments, as well as the impact of adding Gluconobacter oxydans on their physicochemical properties. The strategies used to produce the fermented papaya extracts were spontaneous fermentation and bioinoculation with G. oxydans. Different fermentation tests were performed to measure pH, total soluble solids, reducing sugars, sodium pyruvate content, total phenolic content (TPC), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). There was a decrease in TPC during spontaneous fermentations (five assays). However, it can be observed that in the fermentation assays with G. oxydans, there was an increase in TPC and antioxidant properties. The highest content of TPC was observed on the eighth day of P7 (260.18 ± 0.02 µg gallic acid equivalents· mL−1) which was fermented with the bacteria and supplemented with glucose. Therefore, phenolic compounds in fermented papaya were found to increase antioxidant capacity as a result of bioinoculation with G. oxydans.

Título: Screening of Antioxidant Effect of Spontaneous and Bioinoculated with Gluconobacter oxydans Fermented Papaya: A Comparative Study

Revista: Fermentation

JCR: 5.123(2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Leitão, M., Ferreira, B., Guedes, B., Moreira, D., García, P. A., Barreiros, L., & Correia, P. (2023). Screening of Antioxidant Effect of Spontaneous and Bioinoculated with Gluconobacter oxydans Fermented Papaya: A Comparative Study. Fermentation, 9(2), 124. https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9020124


In recent years, the number of pregnant women with obesity has increased exponentially; thus, it is important to evaluate and characterize the physical activity levels of this specific group. The aim of this study is to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Portuguese version of the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire and Pregnancy Questionnaire in pregnant women with obesity and to classify physical activity using the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire and accelerometry. An analytical observational study was carried out between May and August of 2019 at the University Hospital Center of São João, with a sample of 31 pregnant women with obesity (30.9 ± 4.6 years 36.5 ± 4.6 kg/m2 of BMI and 21.5 ± 9 gestational weeks). The physical activity of participants was evaluated using an accelerometer and Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire at two time points (the first visit at the moment of consultation and the second seven days after, with accelerometer retest), the interclass correlation coefficient was used to test reliability between the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire filled out at visit1 and the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire filled out at visit2, and Pearson’s correlation was used to determine validity between the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire and accelerometry. The interclass correlation coefficient values for total activity were 0.95, 0.97 for moderate and 0.58 for vigorous intensities. It ranged from 0.74 for sports/exercise to 0.96 for domestic activities. The Pearson’s correlations showed that the Physical Activity and Pregnancy Questionnaire is moderately valid for moderate intensity (r = 0.435). A total of 67.7% of the pregnant women complied with international physical activity recommendations.

Título: Comparison of the Portuguese Version of the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) with Accelerometry for Classifying Physical Activity among Pregnant Women with Obesity

Revista: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

JCR: 4.614 (2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Bernardo, D., Carvalho, C., Leirós-Rodríguez, R., Mota, J., & Santos, P. C. (2023). Comparison of the Portuguese Version of the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) with Accelerometry for Classifying Physical Activity among Pregnant Women with Obesity. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(2), 929. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/2/929


Protein-bound uremic toxins, mainly indoxyl sulfate (3-INDS), p-cresol sulfate (pCS), and indole-3-acetic acid (3-IAA) but also phenol (Pol) and p-cresol (pC), are progressively accumulated during chronic kidney disease (CKD). Their accurate measurement in biomatrices is demanded for timely diagnosis and adoption of appropriate therapeutic measures. Multianalyte methods allowing the establishment of a uremic metabolite profle are still missing. Hence, the aim of this work was to develop a rapid and sensitive method based on high-performance liquid chromatography with fuorescence detection for the simultaneous quantifcation of Pol, 3-IAA, pC, 3-INDS, and pCS in human plasma. Separation was attained in 12 min, using a monolithic C18 column and isocratic elution with acetonitrile and phosphate bufer containing an ion-pairing reagent, at a fow rate of 2 mL min−1. Standards were prepared in plasma and quantifcation was performed using the background subtraction approach. LOQ values were≤0.2 µg mL−1 for all analytes except for pCS (LOQ of 2 µg mL−1). The method proved to be accurate (93.5–112%) and precise (CV≤14.3%). The multianalyte application of the method, associated to a reduced sample volume (50 µL), a less toxic internal standard (eugenol) in comparison to the previously applied 2,6-dimethylphenol and 4-ethylphenol, and a green extraction solvent (ethanol), resulted in the AGREE score of 0.62 which is in line with the recent trend of green and sustainable analytical chemistry. The validated method was successfully applied to the analysis of plasma samples from control subjects exhibiting normal levels of uremic toxins and CKD patients presenting signifcantly higher levels of 3-IAA, pC, 3-INDS, and pCS that can be further investigated as biomarkers of disease progression.

Título: Rapid and sustainable HPLC method for the determination of uremic toxins in human plasma samples

Revista: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

JCR: 4.478 (2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Silva, L.A.P., Campagnolo, S., Fernandes, S.R. et al. Rapid and sustainable HPLC method for the determination of uremic toxins in human plasma samples. Anal Bioanal Chem 415, 683–694 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-022-04458-w


Dried blood spot (DBS) is a minimally invasive sampling technique that has several advantages over conventional venipuncture/arterial blood sampling. More recently, DBS has also been applied for lipidomics analysis, but this is an area that requires further research. The few works found in the literature on lipidomics of DBS samples performed the analysis in adult samples, leaving pediatric ages unmapped. The objective of this study was to assess the variability of the lipid profile (identified by high-resolution C18 RP-LC-MS/MS) of DBS at pediatric age (0-10 days, 2-18 months, and 3-13 years) and to identify age-related variations. The results revealed that the lipidomic signature of the three age groups is significantly different, especially for a few species of neutral lipids and phosphatidylcholines. The main contributors to the differentiation of the groups correspond to 3 carnitine (Car), 2 cholesteryl ester (CE), 2 diacylglycerol (DG), 2 triacylglycerol (TG), 3 phosphatidylcholine (PC), 1 ether-linked PC, 1 phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), 1 ether-linked PE and 1 phosphatidylinositol (PI) species, all with statistically significant differences. Additionally, lipid species containing linoleic acid (C18:2) were shown to have significantly lower levels in the 0-10 days group with a gradual increase in the 2-18 month, reaching the highest concentrations in the 3-13 year group. The results of this study highlighted the adaptations of the lipid profile at different pediatric ages. These results may help improve understanding of the evolution of lipid metabolism throughout childhood and should be investigated further.

Título: Lipid profile variability in children at different ages measured in dried blood spots

Revista: Molecular Omics

JCR: 4.212 (2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Ferreira, H. B., Melo, T., Rocha, H., Paiva, A., Domingues, P., & Domingues, M. R. (2023). Lipid profile variability in children at different ages measured in dried blood spots. Molecular Omics. https://doi.org/10.1039/D2MO00206J


Low Earth orbit radiometers allow monitoring nighttime anthropogenic light emissions in wide areas of the planet. In this work we describe a simple model for assessing significant outdoor lighting changes at the municipality level using on-orbit measurements complemented with ground-truth information. We apply it to evaluate the transformation effected in the municipality of Ribeira (42°33′23″N, 8°59′32″ W) in Galicia, which in 2015 reduced the amount of installed lumen in its publicly-owned outdoor lighting system from 93.2 to 28.7 Mlm. This significant cutback, with the help of additional controls, allowed to reduce from 0.768 to 0.208 Mlm/km2 the lumen emission density averaged across the territory. In combination with the VIIRS-DNB annual composite readings these data allow to estimate that the relative weight of the emissions of the public streetlight system with respect to the total emissions of light in the municipality changed from an initial value of 74.86% to 44.68% after the transformation. The effects of the sources’ spectral shift and the photon calibration factor on the radiance reported by the VIIRS-DNB are also evaluated.

Título: Quantitative evaluation of outdoor artificial light emissions using low Earth orbit radiometers

Revista: Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer

JCR: 2.342 (2021)

Referência bibliográfica: Bará, S., Bao-Varela, C., & Lima, R. C. (2023). Quantitative evaluation of outdoor artificial light emissions using low Earth orbit radiometers. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 295, 108405. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jqsrt.2022.108405

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