Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Yassin Eltorki

11 Prevalence, Median Time, and Associated Factors with the Likelihood of Initial Antidepressant Change: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Nervana Elbakary, Sami Ouanes, Sadaf Riaz, Oraib Abdallah, Islam Mahran, Noriya Al-Khuzaei, Yassin Eltorki


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) requires therapeutic interventions during the initial month after being diagnosed for better disease outcomes. International guidelines recommend a duration of 4–12 weeks for an initial antidepressant (IAD) trial at an optimized dose to get a response. If depressive symptoms persist after this duration, guidelines recommend switching, augmenting, or combining strategies as the next step. Most patients with MDD in the mental health setting have been labeled incorrectly as treatment-resistant where in fact they have not been subjected to an adequate trial of guideline-recommended therapy. Premature discontinuation of IAD due to ineffectiveness can cause unfavorable consequences. Avoiding irrational practices such as subtherapeutic doses of IAD, premature switching between the ADs, and refraining from unjustified polypharmacy can help the disease to go into a remission phase We aimed to determine the prevalence and the patterns of strategies applied after an IAD was changed because of a suboptimal response as a primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the median survival time on IAD before any change; and the predictors that were associated with IAD change. This was a retrospective cross- sectional study conducted in Mental Health Services in Qatar. A dataset between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, was extracted from the electronic health records. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were defined and applied. The sample size was calculated to be at least 379 patients. Descriptive statistics were reported as frequencies and percentages, in addition, to mean and standard deviation. The median time of IAD to any change strategy was calculated using survival analysis. Associated predictors were examined using two unadjusted and adjusted cox regression models. A total of 487 patients met the inclusion criteria of the study. The average age for participants was 39.1 ± 12.3 years. Patients with first experience MDD episode 255 (52%) constituted a major part of our sample comparing to the relapse group 206(42%). About 431 (88%) of the patients had an occurrence of IAD change to any strategy before end of the study. Almost half of the sample (212 (49%); 95% CI [44–53%]) had their IAD changed less than or equal to 30 days. Switching was consistently more common than combination or augmentation at any timepoint. The median time to IAD change was 43 days with 95% CI [33.2–52.7]. Five independent variables (age, bothersome side effects, un-optimization of the dose before any change, comorbid anxiety, first onset episode) were significantly associated with the likelihood of IAD change in the unadjusted analysis. The factors statistically associated with higher hazard of IAD change in the adjusted analysis were: younger age, un-optimization of the IAD dose before any change, and comorbid anxiety. Because almost half of the patients in this study changed their IAD as early as within the first month, efforts to avoid treatment failure are needed to ensure patient-treatment targets are met. The findings of this study can have direct clinical guidance for health care professionals since an optimized, evidence-based use of AD medication can improve the clinical outcomes of patients with MDD; and also, to identify high-risk factors that could worsen the survival time on IAD such as young age and comorbid anxiety

Keywords: initial antidepressant, dose optimization, major depressive disorder, comorbid anxiety, combination, augmentation, switching, premature discontinuation

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10 Synthesis, Molecular Docking, and Cytotoxic Activity of Novel Triazolopyridazine Derivatives

Authors: Azza T. Tahera, Eman M. Ahmeda, Nadia A. Khalila, Yassin M. Nissanb


New 3-(pyridin-4-yl)-[1,2,4] triazolo [4,3-b] pyridazine derivatives 2a-i, 4a,b and 6a,b were designed, synthesized and evaluated as cytotoxic agents. All compounds were investigated for their in vitro cytotoxicity at a single dose 10-5M concentration towards 60 cancer cell lines according to USA NCI protocol. The preliminary screening results showed that the majority of tested compounds exhibited remarkable activity against SR (leukemia) cell panel. Molecular docking for all synthesized compounds was performed on the active site of c-Met kinase. The most active compounds, 2f and 4a were further evaluated at a seven dose level screening and their IC50 as a c-Met kinase inhibitors were determined in vitro.

Keywords: triazolopyridazines, pyridazines, cytotoxic activity, cell panel

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9 Understanding the Impact of Consumers’ Perceptions and Attitudes toward Eco-Friendly Hotel Recommended Advertisements on Tourist Buying Behavior

Authors: Cherouk Amr Yassin


This study aims to provide insight into consumer decision-making, which has become very complicated to understand and predict in the existing world of sustainable development. The deficiency of a good understanding of the tourist's perception and attitude toward sustainable development in the tourism industry may impede the ability of organizations to build a sustainable marketing orientation and may negatively influence predicted consumer response. Therefore, this research paper adds further insights into the attitude toward recommended eco-friendly hotel advertisements and their effect on the purchase intention of eco-friendly services. Structural equational modeling was completed to realize the effects of the variables under investigation. The findings revealed that consumer decision-making in choosing eco-friendly hotels is affected by the positive attitude toward sustainable development ads, influenced by informativeness and credibility as values perceived by eco-friendly hotels. This study provides practical implications for tourism, marketers, hotel managers, promoters, and consumers.

Keywords: attitude, consumer behavior, consumer decision making, eco-friendly hotels, perception, the tourism industry

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8 Nutritional and Antioxidant Properties of Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) Grown in Algeria

Authors: Asma Temagoult, Bariza Zitouni, Yassin Noui


Cactus fruit contains different nutritional and functional components, which are used because of their benefits to human health, such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, carotenoids and vitamins C. It has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic action, and antioxidant properties related to anticarcinogenic, antiulcerogenic and immunomodulatory effects. The antioxidant and nutritional properties have been characterized in cactus prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.), cultivar yellow, grown in Arris area; Eastern of Algeria. The antioxidant properties of this cactus cultivar were higher than the others cactus cultivar in the world. The amount of fruit phenolic compounds revealed contents between 20.65 and 45.70 mg / 100 g of FW for total polyphenols and 0.519 - 0.591 mg / 100 g of FW for the flavonoids. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH radical scavenging and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) methods. The average recorded to the potassium content is about 1070 mg / 100 g of the fresh weight; sodium is 60.7 mg / 100 g of the fresh weight and 80 mg / 100g for the calcium. According to the high value of this cactus, it was considered as a good nutrient and important pharmaceutical resource. It could be used as a natural additive or substituted food supplement in many foodstuffs production, to benefit from these benefits.

Keywords: antioxidant properties, DPPH, FRAP, nutritional properties, Opuntia ficus indica

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7 An Automatic Speech Recognition of Conversational Telephone Speech in Malay Language

Authors: M. Draman, S. Z. Muhamad Yassin, M. S. Alias, Z. Lambak, M. I. Zulkifli, S. N. Padhi, K. N. Baharim, F. Maskuriy, A. I. A. Rahim


The performance of Malay automatic speech recognition (ASR) system for the call centre environment is presented. The system utilizes Kaldi toolkit as the platform to the entire library and algorithm used in performing the ASR task. The acoustic model implemented in this system uses a deep neural network (DNN) method to model the acoustic signal and the standard (n-gram) model for language modelling. With 80 hours of training data from the call centre recordings, the ASR system can achieve 72% of accuracy that corresponds to 28% of word error rate (WER). The testing was done using 20 hours of audio data. Despite the implementation of DNN, the system shows a low accuracy owing to the varieties of noises, accent and dialect that typically occurs in Malaysian call centre environment. This significant variation of speakers is reflected by the large standard deviation of the average word error rate (WERav) (i.e., ~ 10%). It is observed that the lowest WER (13.8%) was obtained from recording sample with a standard Malay dialect (central Malaysia) of native speaker as compared to 49% of the sample with the highest WER that contains conversation of the speaker that uses non-standard Malay dialect.

Keywords: conversational speech recognition, deep neural network, Malay language, speech recognition

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6 Improving Swelling Performance Using Industrial Waste Products

Authors: Mohieldin Elmashad, Salwa Yassin


Expansive soils regarded as one of the most problematic unsaturated formations in the Egyptian arid zones and present a great challenge in civil engineering, in general, and geotechnical engineering, in particular. Severe geotechnical complications and consequent structural damages have been arising due to an excessive and differential volumetric change upon wetting and change in water content. Different studies have been carried out concerning the swelling performance of the expansive soils using different additives including phospho-gypsum as an industrial waste product. However, this paper describes the results of a comprehensive testing programme that was carried out to investigate the effect of phospho-gypsum (PG) and sodium chloride (NaCl), as an additive mixture, on the swelling performance of constituent samples of swelling soils. The constituent samples comprise commercial bentonite collected from a natural site, mixed with different percentages of PG-NaCl mixture. The testing programme had been scoped to cover the physical and chemical properties of the constituent samples. In addition, a mineralogical study using x-ray diffraction (XRD) was performed on the collected bentonite and the mixed bentonite with PG-NaCl mixture samples. The obtained results of this study showed significant improvement in the swelling performance of the tested samples with the increase of the proposed PG-NaCl mixture content.

Keywords: expansive soils, industrial waste, mineralogical study, swelling performance, X-ray diffraction

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5 Moho Undulations beneath South of Egypt, Using the Seismic Waves Generated by Tele Earthquakes

Authors: Ahmed Hosny, Haroon Elshaikh, Gaber Hassib, Yassin Ali


The Moho discontinuity undulations beneath the southern part of Egypt have been defined using the seismic waves generated by tele earthquakes. These earthquakes have been recorded by the Aswan seismic network, which consists of 10 seismic stations established around the lake of Nasser. An additional seismic station was located towards the east of the Lake of Nasser by about ~ 150 km. Receiver functions and H-k stacking methods were used for obtaining the depths of Moho discontinuity and the Vp/Vs ratios beneath each seismic station. Our results revealed that, the depths of Moho discontinuity beneath the stations located around the Lake of Nasser range from 36 to 39 km, with an average value of 37.5 km. These results are consistent with the previous works done on the same area. The obtained Vp/Vs ratios for the crust of this area were ranged from 1.73 to 1.86, with an average value of 1.79. While beneath the station located towards the east, the Moho discontinuity was detected at a shallowest depth of 27 km and the Vp/Vs ratio was 1.82. The difference in the Moho depths beneath the stations located around the Lake of Nasser and the station located to the east revealed the boundary position between the Saharan Metacraton to the west and the Nubian-Arabian Shield to the east. This structural boundary delineates the position of the old collision of the Oceanic crust of the Nubian-Arabian Shield to the east with the Continental crust of the Saharan Metacraton to the west.

Keywords: Moho undulations, south of Egypt, seismic waves, earthquakes

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4 Performance Augmentation of a Combined Cycle Power Plant with Waste Heat Recovery and Solar Energy

Authors: Mohammed A. Elhaj, Jamal S. Yassin


In the present time, energy crises are considered a severe problem across the world. For the protection of global environment and maintain ecological balance, energy saving is considered one of the most vital issues from the view point of fuel consumption. As the industrial sectors everywhere continue efforts to improve their energy efficiency, recovering waste heat losses provides an attractive opportunity for an emission free and less costly energy resource. In the other hand the using of solar energy has become more insistent particularly after the high gross of prices and running off the conventional energy sources. Therefore, it is essential that we should endeavor for waste heat recovery as well as solar energy by making significant and concrete efforts. For these reasons this investigation is carried out to study and analyze the performance of a power plant working by a combined cycle in which Heat Recovery System Generator (HRSG) gets its energy from the waste heat of a gas turbine unit. Evaluation of the performance of the plant is based on different thermal efficiencies of the main components in addition to the second law analysis considering the exergy destructions for the whole components. The contribution factors including the solar as well as the wasted energy are considered in the calculations. The final results have shown that there is significant exergy destruction in solar concentrator and the combustion chamber of the gas turbine unit. Other components such as compressor, gas turbine, steam turbine and heat exchangers having insignificant exergy destruction. Also, solar energy can contribute by about 27% of the input energy to the plant while the energy lost with exhaust gases can contribute by about 64% at maximum cases.

Keywords: solar energy, environment, efficiency, waste heat, steam generator, performance, exergy destruction

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3 Thermal Performance of an Air Heating Storing System

Authors: Mohammed A. Elhaj, Jamal S. Yassin


Owing to the lack of synchronization between the solar energy availability and the heat demands in a specific application, the energy storing sub-system is necessary to maintain the continuity of thermal process. The present work is dealing with an active solar heating storing system in which an air solar collector is connected to storing unit where this energy is distributed and provided to the heated space in a controlled manner. The solar collector is a box type absorber where the air flows between a number of vanes attached between the collector absorber and the bottom plate. This design can improve the efficiency due to increasing the heat transfer area exposed to the flowing air, as well as the heat conduction through the metal vanes from the top absorbing surface. The storing unit is a packed bed type where the air is coming from the air collector and circulated through the bed in order to add/remove the energy through the charging / discharging processes, respectively. The major advantage of the packed bed storage is its high degree of thermal stratification. Numerical solution of the packed bed energy storage is considered through dividing the bed into a number of equal segments for the bed particles and solved the energy equation for each segment depending on the neighbor ones. The studied design and performance parameters in the developed simulation model including, particle size, void fraction, etc. The final results showed that the collector efficiency was fluctuated between 55%-61% in winter season (January) under the climatic conditions of Misurata in Libya. Maximum temperature of 52ºC is attained at the top of the bed while the lower one is 25ºC at the end of the charging process of hot air into the bed. This distribution can satisfy the required load for the most house heating in Libya.

Keywords: solar energy, thermal process, performance, collector, packed bed, numerical analysis, simulation

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2 Instrument Development and Validation for Quality Early Childhood Curriculum in the Malaysian Context

Authors: Sadiah Baharom, Che Nidzam Che Ahmad, Saipol Barin Ramli, Asmayati Yahaya, Sopia Md Yassin


The early childhood care and education (ECCE) in Malaysia aspire to develop children who are intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually balanced. This aspiration can only materialise if the early childhood program developed comprehensive and is of high quality comparable to international standards. As such, there is a pressing need to assess the quality of the program in an all-encompassing manner. The overall research project aims at developing a comprehensive and integrated model of high-quality Malaysian ECCE. One of the major objectives of this project is to assess and evaluate the scope and quality of the existing ECCE programs in Malaysia. To this end, a specific aspect of this objective is to develop and validate an instrument to assess and evaluate the ECCE curriculum of the country. Thus this paper describes the development and validation of an instrument to explore the quality of early childhood care and education curriculum currently implemented in the country’s ECCE centres. The generation of the constructs and items were based on a set of criteria mapped against existing ECCE practice, document analyses, expert interviews and panel discussions. The items went through expert validation and were field tested on 597 ECCE teachers. The data obtained went through an exploratory factor analysis to validate the constructs of the instrument followed by reliability studies on internal consistency based on the Cronbach Alpha values. The final set of items for the ECCE curriculum instrument, earmarked for the main study, consists of four constructs namely philosophy and core values, curriculum content, curriculum review and unique features. Each construct consists of between 21 to 3 items with a total of 36 items in all. The reliability coefficients for each construct range from 0.65 to 0.961. These values are within the acceptable limits for a reliable instrument to be used in the main study.

Keywords: early childhood and care education, instrument development, reliability studies, validity studies

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1 Seroprevalence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-Cov) Infection among Healthy and High Risk Individuals in Qatar

Authors: Raham El-Kahlout, Hadi Yassin, Asmaa Athani, Marwan Abou Madi, Gheyath Nasrallah


Background: Since its first isolation in September 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has diffused across 27 countries infecting more than two thousand individuals with a high case fatality rate. MERS-CoV–specific antibodies are widely found in Dromedary camel along with viral shedding of similar viruses detected in human at same region, suggesting that MERS epidemiology may be central role by camel. Interestingly, MERS-CoV has also been also reported to be asymptomatic or to cause influenza-like mild illnesses. Therefore, in a country like Qatar (bordered Saudi Arabia), where camels are widely spread, serological surveys are important to explore the role of camels in MERS-CoV transmission. However, widespread strategic serological surveillances of MERS-CoV among populations, particularly in endemic country, are infrequent. In the absence of clear epidemiological view, cross-sectional MERS antibody surveillances in human populations are of global concern. Method: We performed a comparative serological screening of 4719 healthy blood donors, 135 baseline case contacts (high risk individual), and four MERS confirmed patients (by PCR) for the presence of anti-MERS IgG. Initially, samples were screened using Euroimmune anti- MERS-CoV IgG ELISA kit, the only commercial kit available in the market and recommended by the CDC as a screening kit. To confirm ELISA test results, farther serological testing was performed for all borderline and positive samples using two assays; the anti MERS-CoV IgG and IgM Euroimmune indirect immunofluorescent test (IIFT) and pseudoviral particle neutralizing assay (PPNA). Additionally, to test cross reactivity of anti-MERS-CoV antibody with other family members of coronavirus, borderline and positive samples were tested for the presence of the of IgG antibody of the following viruses; SARS, HCoV-229E, HKU1 using the Euroimmune IIFT for SARS and HCoV-229E and ELISA for HKU1. Results: In all of 4858 screened 15 samples [10 donors (0.21%, 10/4719), 1 case contact (0.77 %, 1/130), 3 patients (75%, 3/4)] anti-MERS IgG reactive/borderline samples were seen in ELISA. However, only 7 (0.14%) of them gave positive with in IIFT and only 3 (0.06%) was confirmed by the specific anti-MERS PPNA. One of the interesting findings was, a donor, who was selected in the control group as a negative anti-MERS IgG ELISA, yield reactive for anti-MERS IgM IIFT and was confirmed with the PPNA. Further, our preliminary results showed that there was a strong cross reactivity between anti- MERS-COV IgG with both HCoV-229E or anti-HKU1 IgG, yet, no cross reactivity of SARS were found. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that MERS-CoV is not heavily circulated among the population of Qatar and this is also indicated by low number of confirmed cases (only 18) since 2012. Additionally, the presence of antibody of other pathogenic human coronavirus may cause false positive results of both ELISA and IIFT, which stress the need for more evaluation studies for the available serological assays. Conclusion: this study provides an insight about the epidemiological view for MERS-CoV in Qatar population. It also provides a performance evaluation for the available serologic tests for MERS-CoV in a view of serologic status to other human coronaviruses.

Keywords: seroprevalence, MERS-CoV, healthy individuals, Qatar

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