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Concept: Dammam

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PURPOSE: Epilepsy is very common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a prevalence of 6.54 per 1000. The present study was conducted to investigate the level of public awareness, and the attitudes and knowledge regarding epilepsy in the Saudi population in Riyadh - capital city of Saudi Arabia. METHODS: A survey consisting of 19 questions pertaining to epilepsy awareness was distributed to Saudi citizens living in Riyadh older than 15 years of age in malls, supermarkets, health clubs, mosques, universities and schools. RESULTS: Of the 7078 respondents who completed the questionnaire, 6756 (95.5%) had heard about epilepsy, 3024 (42.7%) had witnessed what they believed to be a seizure and 5164 (73%) would allow their children to interact with an individual who had epilepsy. However, 5382 (76%) respondents would not want their children to marry an individual with epilepsy, 1004 (14.2%) believed that epilepsy was infectious and 574 (8.1%) believed that epilepsy was a type of mental illness. A total of 1509 (21.3%) respondents were not aware of a single potential cause of epilepsy, 3493 (50.6%) would not seek medical advice if one of their relatives had epilepsy, 2221 (31.4%) did not know how to deal with an individual experiencing an epileptic episode and 6554 (92.6%) did not know that surgery was a treatment option for individuals with epilepsy in Saudi Arabia. Of the 7078 respondents, 3237 (45.7%) would not abide by a physician’s advice not to operate a motor vehicle because of their illness, of whom 1631 (50.4%) cited problems with the public transportation system as a reason for disregarding the doctor’s advice. The effect of age and level of education were statistically significant on most of the study variables. CONCLUSION: The level of epilepsy awareness in the Saudi population needs improvement.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, Medina

28

 In spring 2014, a sudden rise in the number of notified MERS-Coronavirus infections occurred across Saudi Arabia with a focus in Jeddah. Hypotheses to explain the outbreak pattern include increased surveillance, increased zoonotic transmission, nosocomial transmission, changes in viral transmissibility, as well as diagnostic laboratory artifacts.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, Medina

27

Both α- and β-thalassemia (α- and β-thal) are highly prevalent in the population of the Al-Qatif and Al-Ahsa regions in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This study provides a more precise picture of the α-thal mutations prevalent in 104 transfusion-dependent β-thal patients in the Eastern Province. Detection of α-thal mutations was carried out using the α-globin StripAssay kit. A total of 12 α-thal mutations (21 genotypes) were identified in 33.7% of the chromosomes (46 patients). The heterozygous and homozygous -α(3.7) (α(+)) deletion mutations were the most prevalent in the β-thal patients (21.7%). We identified three α(0) deletions [- -(MED), - -(FIL) and -(α)20.5] that have not been previously reported for the population of Saudi Arabia. The seven point mutations identified in the β-thal patients were: codon 14 [TGG>TAG (α1)], codon 59 [GGC>GAC (α1)] (Hb Adana), polyadenylation signal site (polyA1) [AATAAA>AATAAG (α2)], codon 142 [TAA>TCA (α2)] (Hb Koya Dora), codon 59 [GGC>GAC (α2)] (Hb Adana), initiation codon [ATG>ACG (α2)] and the ααα(anti 3.7) gene triplication. The Hb Koya Dora mutation occurred at the highest frequency (15.38%). Comparison of the clinical phenotype of β-thal patients, with and without an α-thal mutation, showed that patients with β-thal alone had a significantly elevated level of alanine transaminase (ALT) (mean 72.5 IU/L) and aspartate transaminase (AST) (mean 71.8 IU/L) (p <0.005). In addition, the β-thal patients without an α-thal mutation had a higher percentage of osteoporosis (16.6%), fractures (12.5%), and splenectomies (58.3%). This confirms previous data that the co-inheritance of α-thal in β-thal patients results in the amelioration of the clinical phenotype of β-thal patients. Moreover, the high frequency of α- and β-thal in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and their coinheritance, necessitates the inclusion of α-thal testing in the current pre marital testing program to highlight the risk to the offspring of affected individuals.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam

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To assess the epidemiological characteristics of prematurity and survival rate in preterm infants diagnosed at a university hospital in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.  

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam, Ras Tanura

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The levels of natural radioactivity have been investigated in some Saudi Arabian Gulf coastal areas. Sampling sites were chosen according to the presence of nearby non-nuclear industrial activities such as, the two main water desalination plants in Al Khobar and Al Jubail, and Maaden phosphate complex in Ras Al Khair, to ensure that effluents discharges into the Arabian Gulf didn’t enhance radioactivity in seawater and shore sediments. Seawater samples were analyzed for radium isotopes (Ra-226 & Ra-228) and measured by gamma spectrometry using high purity germanium detector, after radiochemical separation of the isotopes by co-precipitation with MnO2. Shore sediment samples were analyzed for (226)Ra, (228)Ra ((232)Th), (4)°K and (137)Cs using gamma sepectrometry. A small variation was observed in the activity concentrations of the investigated radioisotopes, and the activity levels were comparable to those reported in literature. Quality assurance and methods validation were established through the efficiency calibration of the detectors, the estimation of uncertainties, the use of blanks, the analysis of standard reference materials and the intercomparison and proficiency tests. Radiological hazards were assessed, and the annual effective dose had an average value of 0.02mSv. On the basis of the current results, we may conclude that any radiological hazards to the public visiting these shores are not expected.

Concepts: Water, Radioactive decay, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Desalination, Reverse osmosis, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam

4

To investigate the prevalence and correlates of smartphone addiction among university students in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

1

Anxiety and depression during the antenatal period is a growing problem with major effects on the mother, the developing fetus, and the neonate.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Fetus, Hospital, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam, Ras Tanura

1

Keratoconus (KC) is a ectatic corneal disorder with marked progression during childhood and puberty that may lead to severe visual loss. In addition to KC prevalence, estimate shows major geographical variations; recent studies using Scheimpflug technology are in contrast to the 1980s and 1990s literature. The present study aims to determine the prevalence of KC in paediatric patients in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam

0

The aim of the present study was to investigate the pattern of antibiotic prescription and dentists' awareness about the recent guidelines for antibiotic prescription.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam, King Saud University

0

Students differ in their preferred methods of acquiring, processing, and recalling new information. The aim of this study was to investigate the learning style preferences of undergraduate dental students and examine the influence of gender, Grade Point Average (GPA), and academic year levels on these preferences.

Concepts: Grade, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Dammam