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Skeptic look on contemporary recommended cholesterol levels

The Skeptik 2013;2:29-35.

Ginter E, Kajaba I

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Presently accepted guidelines related to serum total cholesterol (CH) deal only with elevated levels. Desirable value is considered less than 5.2 mmol/L, marginal to elevated cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is at 5.2 to 6.2 mmol/L, high risk is at CH above 6.2 mmol/L. This policy ignores findings where very low CH was associated with increased general mortality. Consequently, CH values lower than 4.2 mmol/L should represent an increased risk of general mortality.

Key words: cholesterol levels, cardiovascular mortality, total mortality, statins

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

Neurobiology of cancer dissease

The Skeptik 2013;2:36-42.

Bánovská L1, Mravec B2

1 Institute of pathological physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University
2 Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Reductionistic approach to biomedical research is necessary on the one hand but on the other hand, may limit the understanding of biological phenomena in all their complexity. It is valid also for research of cancer that is often focused on examining the role of selected molecules. Neurobiological research of cancer, focused on investigation of the role of interactions between tumor tissue and the nervous system, is based on a holistic approach to the complex process such as tumor growth.

Key Words: immune system, nervous system, neurobiology of cancer

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

The first clinical trial of hypothermic machine perfusion of human liver grafts prior to transplantation: A critical comment

The Skeptik 2013;2:43-45.

Kukan M

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Hepatic grafts can be preserved in University of Wisconsin solution by the static preservation for less than 12 hours for good outcome of liver transplantation surgery (1). For prolongation hepatic graft presevartion, implementation of ex vivo extraportoreal graft perfusion into clinical practice was suggested (2).

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

Pathological gambling in context of developmental tendencies of psychiatric classification systems

The Skeptik 2013;2:46-62.

Nábělek L

Department of Psychiatry, F.D.Roosevelt Hospital, emeritus, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Although both main diagnostic and statistical classification systems (ICD-10 and DSM-IV) define pathological gambling as a disorder of impulse control, diagnostic criteria, characteristics of course and outcome and methods of treatment are more similar to psychoactive substance dependencies. Neurobiological studies postulate the dysregulation of dopamin, serotonin and noradreneline systems in this disorder. The neurobehavioral model of pathological gambling supports the opinion of a close similarity of pathological gambling (and other so-called non-substance addictions) and psychoactive substance dependence with all theoretical and therapeutic consequ-ences. The gambling behavior can be viewed as an addictive disorder – without the confounding variables usually involved in addictions to exogenous substance. The dopaminergic system has been associated with reward and is involved in drug and alcohol addiction. Dopaminergic function is changed in pathological gamblers. Noradrenaline may play a role in the arousal and novelty-seeking behavior associated with pathological gambling. It has long been reported that pathological gamblers have a higher rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts than the general population. The relationship between disorders of the central seroto¬nergic function and impulsive and aggressive behavior draw attention to a mutual relationship between reduced serotonin metabolism and suicidal behavior among pathological gamblers. Indeed, pathological gamblers are treated in programs modeled on addictive disorders or in the same programs as addicts. The forensic assessment of criminal offenders with diagnosis pathological gambling could not be difficult. Neither the ability to recognize the common danger nor the ability to control the patient`s behavior is not significantly diminished in pathological gamblers without another comorbid diagnosis. A logical conclusion of the ongoing conceptualization of pathological gambling can be the suggested concept of the common category of addiction disorders including both substance and non-substance addictions, which should be implemented in the upcoming revisions of psychiatric classification systems.

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

Judicial Practice in Towns of Eastern Slovakia in the16th Century

The Skeptik 2013;2:63-66.

Szeghyová B

Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract: The research was based on archival documents from upper Hungarian or present day eastern Slovakian towns. These are Košice, Levoča, Bardejov and Prešov. The author examines judicial practice in the towns in the 16th century and draws preliminary conclusions about methods used, character and organization of urban judiciary and self government, punishments and punishment patterns. Urban courts were rather selective in the treatment of the offender; cases of the same offence, tried at the same time and in the same town could be treated differently, depending on particular circumstances of individual crimes and on social status, wealth, familiarity, age or gender of the accused.

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

The reasons and consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union

The Skeptik 2013;2:67-76.

Germuška E

University of Prešov in Prešov, Faculty of Arts, Institute of Political Sciences

In this contribution the author deals with the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which have a profound impact on today's Russian society and state. Post-Soviet space is more than ever exposed to outside influences. China, the U.S., European Union, Iran and other actors in world politics realize their economic interests also in this part of the world. Russia as a traditional partner and historic institution progress in this area is currently interested in creating a Eurasian union, which is the offer to a comprehensive, strategic and mutually beneficial economic integration. The contribution identifies the causes and the accompanying phenomena of life while the last group integration around Russia, which Russia should be avoided in the future if it wants to create a successful, stable and attractive model of integration in post-Soviet space.

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

Crop Circles. The question resolved newly. Puzzled out.

The Skeptik 2013;2:77-83.

Ledecký J

Lysá nad Labem, Czech Republic

Interesting scientific, nature research and investigation news about cereals (Poaceae, abiotic stress factors), also (but only as by-product) crop circles.

Crop Circles are probably the greatest joke, that Mother Natue on the whole mankind made ever.

Crop circles have always been, solely and only, creations of Mother Nature. Exceptions are very rare, not more than 1%, but that is just a work of really very stupid people. They're trying to prove, primarily to themselves, that every regular patterns in cereals - crop circles, are made by people, and there is not involved, for example, some activity of aliens - extraterrestrials.

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

New guidelines for modification of liver transplantation process

The Skeptik 2013;2:84-86.

Kukan M

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

At present, hepatic grafts can be preserved in UW solution by the static preservation for less than 12 hours for good outcome of liver transplantation surgery (1). On the basis of research results from isolated animal perfused livers, we suggest that both a safe preservation of hepatic grafts is possible (for up to18 hours) and that conterporary used liver transplantation process have to be modify according to the following guidliness:

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics

h-index, a missleading value for evaluation of scientist research output

The Skeptik 2013;2:87-88

Kukan M, Ginter E

Slovak Medical University, emeritus, Bratislava, Slovakia

Eight years ago, Dr. Hirsch elaborated systems of mathematical equations for elucidation of individual´s scientific research output (1). This so called h-index was widely accepted in scientific databases. Actually, it appears to be appropriate number to assess research scientist´s impact in the science. However, here we give examples of three slovakian research scientists, working in the same town, under both the area of socialism and capitalism that the use of h-index is not a valid number. (From ethical point of view we cannot give his/her names).

published by Slovak Society of Skeptics