RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

For the year 2018, the PITAHC funded eleven (11) research projects in partnership with academe, and different research institutions and non-government organizations, namely, Health Futures Foundation, Inc. University of the Philippines – Los Baños, De La Salle University – Manila, University of the Philippines – Manila, Section of Adult Neurology International Institute for Neuroscience, Inc. , St. Luke’s Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, and Makati Medical Center.

Research projects that were completed

Philippine Traditional Medicine (PMT) Research

A Descriptive Study of Five (5) Sacred Healing Place sin Luzon

Sacred healing places refer to places with spiritual or religious attraction that have been revered by certain population for healing and/or recovery. The Philippines inheres a landscape of sacred healing places as by-products of the country’s interwoven history of pre-colonial and post-colonial way of life. Unfortunately, most sacred healing places are faced with looming destruction because the importance of the sacred healing places has not been emphasized; and communities around the said places lack the means to protect them against cultural and environmental degradation. The study therefore aims to describe five (5) healing places in Luzon. The study will identify the address and major belief system of as many sacred healing places in Luzon and determine the belief system categories as well as describe the selected healing places based on geographical characteristics, ecological attributes, socio-cultural attributes, and operational characteristics. The proposed project can grant a deeper understanding of the relationship between geographical, ecological, socio-cultural, and operational aspects of sacred healing places.

Natural Products Research

In vitro evaluation of Psidium guajava ethanolic extract against four dominant Leptospira serovars in the Philippines

The study aims to evaluate the anti-leptospiral activity of Psidium guajava ethanolic leaf extract against four dominant pathogenic Leptospira serovars in the Philippines.  Specifically, the project will determine the motility inhibition activity of Psidium guajava (bayabas) ethanolic leaf extract against Leptospira interrogans serovar Manilae strain K64, L. interrogans serovar Losbanos strain K37, L. interrogans serovar Ratnapura strain K5 and L. borgpetersennii serovar Javanica strain K6 from 1 to 6 day incubation at 30°C using the microdilution technique. This project will also determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Psidium guajava (bayabas) ethanolic leaf extract against L. interrogans serovar Manilae strain K64, L. interrogans serovar Losbanos strain K37, L. interrogans serovar Ratnapura strain K5 and L. borgpetersennii serovar Javanica strain K6 after 3-7 days incubation at 30°C using the tube dilution technique.  Moreover, this will determine the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of Psidium guajava (bayabas) ethanolic leaf extract against L. interrogans serovar Manilae strain K64, L. interrogans serovar Losbanos strain K37, L. interrogans serovar Ratnapura strain K5 and L. borgpetersennii serovar Javanica strain K6 after 7 days incubation at 30°C using the tube dilution technique. Lastly, the project will determine the effect of Psidium guajava (bayabas) ethanolic leaf extract on the cell membrane integrity of L. interrogans serovar Manilae strain K64, L. interrogans serovar Losbanos strain K37, L. interrogans serovar Ratnapura strain K5 and L. borgpetersennii serovar Javanica strain K6 using propidium iodine uptake assay.

Assessment of the Bioactivities, Macronutrient, and Micronutrient Content of Selected Plant Foods

The study aims to develop a database of the antioxidant activities, phytochemical components and anti-mutagenic properties of indigenous, local or endemic plant foods. The study will determine the antioxidant properties of hydrophilic and lipophilic extracts of food plants using different methods.  This will determine the phytochemicals responsible for the anti-oxidative property.  Moreover, the study will determine anti-mutagenic properties of food plant extracts found to be rich in antioxidants using Ames Test.

Macronutrient and micronutrient content will also be validated and screened.

In vivo anti-amoebic and anti-giardial activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Quassia amara (korales) and Pepperomica pellucida (ulasimang bato)

Parasitic diseases contribute notably to the problem of infectious disease worldwide. This group of diseases is usually caused by infectious organisms such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia sp., Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia sp. It affects 500 million and 200 million of the world’s population, respectively. Amoebiasis particularly amoebic liver disease and giardiasis, cause significant morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals around the world, especially in developing countries

The study will determine the anti-amoebic and anti-giardial activities of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Quassia amara (korales) and Pepperomia pellucida (ulasimang bato) using the in vivo mouse model. Specifically, it will determine the minimum effective concentration of Quassia amara (korales) and Pepperomia pellucida (ulasimang bato) and determine the percent cure rate of mice against Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia intestinalis.

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase I and Phase II Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Psidium guajava Ointment in Subjects Colonized with Staphylococcus aureus

The study will assess the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 15%, 30% and 50% concentrations of guava (Psidium guajava) ointment in healthy adults aged 19 to 55 years old who are colonized with S. aureus. Specifically, it aims to: (1) determine the percentage eradication of nasal carriage of S. aureus of 15%, 30%, and 50%  Psidium guajava ointment applied topically; (2) determine the adverse effects and the percent of participants who developed adverse effects to the different concentrations of topically applied Psidium guajava ointment; and (3) determine the percentage of recurrence of positive S. aureus cultures from the nasal mucosa 7 days post-treatment.

Formulation Studies on Lyophilized Aqueous Extract of Blumea balsamifera L. DC Leaves as a Tablet

The study aims to formulate a tablet using the lyophilized aqueous extract of Blumea balsamifera L. DC leaves. Specifically, the project will identify compatible excipients with lyophilized aqueous extract of Blumea balsamifera L. DCleaves. This project will also determine the master formula for the production of tablet using lyophilized aqueous extract of Blumea balsamifera L. DC leaves.  Moreover, this will  test the quality of the raw materials, intermediate products and final products of lyophilized aqueous extract Blumea balsamifera L. DC tablet.  Lastly, the project will establish the initial stability profile of the formulated lyophilized Blumea balsamifera L DC tablet.

Traditional and Complementary Modalities Research

Filipino Multi-component Intervention to maintain Cognitive Performance among High Risk Population (FINOMAIN): Integration of Complementary Non-pharmacological Approach with Standard Medical Care for Elderly with Cognitive Impairment

The study aims to  determine the efficacy of a multicomponent intervention integrating dance exercise (INDAK) with intensive monitoring and management of vascular risk factors in maintaining or improving cognitive performance of high risks population such as Filipino elderly with CIND. The specific objectives are:  (a) To determine effectiveness of this multicomponent intervention in terms of intervention adherence, cognitive performance, neuropsychiatric symptoms, functionality and self-rated health of participants and compare results between control and intervention group; (b)  To compare the burden of vascular risk factors and vascular burden affecting older adults with CIND between intervention and control group; (c)To compare the burden of amyloid in the blood of elderly with CIND between intervention and control group; (d)  To establish a baseline database for risk factor profile of elderly participants with CIND; compiling results from baseline neuroimaging, blood amyloid, APOE genotype, neuropsychological tests performance and vascular risk factors, for possible future long-term follow-up of this study population with dementia incidence as the outcome.

A Single – Blinded, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial on Efficacy of Acupuncture as Adjunct Therapy for Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus (LSC) represents epidermal hypertrophy that results from chronic, habitual rubbing or scratching of the skin. It affects adults predominantly ages 30 to 50 years. LSC may exhibit lesions with predilection for the posterior neck, occipital scalp, anogential region, shins, kles, and dorsal aspects of the hands, feet, and forearm. The skin condition often needs prolonged use of topical corticosteroids. However, prolonged use of cortocosteroids have side effects. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the root causes of skin manifestations involve internal imbalances between the yin and yang, deficiency or excess of qi and blood, or dysfunction of the organs.Acupuncture is one method in TCM done to address these imbalances. Its efficacy as adjunct therapy for the treatment of LSC will be studied. The research will determine  the efficacy of acupuncture therapy on pruritus and quality of life among Filipino adult patients for the treatment of LSC. Specifically, it will compare Pruritus Severity (VAS Score) and Quality of Life (Dermatology Life Quality Index) outcomes among patients undergoing acupuncture therapy with topical corticosteriods versus topical corticosteroids along for the treatment of LSC at baseline and every two (2) weeks until end of treatment.

Acute Maternal and Fetal Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise: A Single Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Antenatal Surveillance Strategies in Filipino Women

The study will evaluate chronic and acute maternal and fetal responses to a similar low impact form of exercise, Sheng Zhen Gong. This is a system of standing, seated and lying Qigong forms and contemplations which originated in China and is considered a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

This will be the first study in the Philippines to evaluate both chronic and acute maternal and fetal cardiovascular responses to Shen Zhen Gong exercise using multi-modal fetal surveillance techniques which include 2D- ultrasonography, Color Doppler studies, cardiotocography and non-invasive (maternal and fetal) electrocardiography. The study will provide further understanding of the underlying acute fetal behavioral and cardiophysiologic responses to maternal exercise in a low risk population. This will be a faculty driven collaborative study between the University of the Philippines (Manila), the Tohoku University (Sendai), and the International Sheng Zhen Society (Manila).

Socio-Cultural Research

Work-related disability Caused by Headache Disorders among Workers in Asia – A Survey at Information Technology (IT) Industries in Japan, Republic of Korea, and the Philippines

This study aims to determine the prevalence of and the disability caused by headaches among Information Technology (IT) workers in the Philippines using a comprehensive questionnaire. Specifically, the study will to determine the prevalence of  headache among IT workers and the disability and functional impairment associated with headache.   The study will determine the factors associated with disability and functional impairment. This will also determine the proportion of workers using traditional and complementary health care among IT workers for headache relief. Moreover, the study will determine the satisfaction of workers with the use of traditional an complementary health care for headache relief.  This will determine lost productive time including both missed workdays (absenteeism) and impairment at work (presenteeism) due to headache. Lastly, the study will calculate the cost of lost productive time at work due to headache to elucidate what IT workers do to obtain relief, other than visiting physicians.

Knowledge Management Research

Medical Marijuana in the Philippines: Developing a Research Agenda

This study aims to assist PITAHC in drafting a list of feasible and viable research questions and projects addressing the potential health benefits and safety issues of Marijuana-based on existing body of evidence from scientific literature. Specifically, the study will identify and retrieve researches that have been conducted and/or are being conducted locally and internationally on Marijuana for Medical Purposes. The study will conduct a critical appraisal of retrieved literatures on marijuana using the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine: critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews/meta-analysis.  Lastly, the study will provide PITAHC a synthesis of the review and recommendations which research questions are practical and feasible for a full blown confirmatory or exploratory research.

Research Projects Presented in a

Research Convention/Symposium/

Congress/ Forum

The following are four (4) projects funded by PITAHC that were presented both locally and internationally.

Project Title Date and Venue
Presentation
Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of Siling Labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) Liniment in the Management of Osteoarthritis University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health Research Forum, September 17, 2018  
Assessment of the Bioactivities of Plant Foods Consumed by Locals in the Different Regions of the Philippines, Year 1 24th IUBMB Congress and 15th FAOBMB Congress, Seoul, South Korea  June 4 – 8, 2018
The Effect of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLT) on Acupuncture points as Adjunct Management for Osteoarthritis of the Knee among the elderly International Convention on Low Level laser Therapy, April 30, 2018
Work-related Disability Caused by Headache Disorders among Workers in Asia – A Survey at Information Technology (IT) Industries in Japan, Republic of Korea, and the Philippines 15th Asian Oceanian Congress of Neurology (AOCN2018), COEX, Seoul, South Korea, November 8, 2018

Research Projects Adopted by the Industry

The technological transfer document of Peperomia pellucida (Ulasimang Bato) for the treatment of gout, will be presented to various invited pharmaceutical companies in a technology presentation scheduled on February 11, 2019.

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