Universidad del Valle de México, Mexico
Diana Alvarado has got her first Researcher Professor position in Universidad del Valle de México a year ago and became part of the Researchers National System. She has acquired experience on molecular biology and techniques to detect DNA damage, like Comet assay and Micronuclei assay, as well as the spectrophotometric techniques to detect oxidative stress. One of the reasons for which she chose as her research line obesity, is because Mexico is amongst the first world places of obesity and related diseases as obesity and metabolic syndrome. With this research line she has the purpose to show a practical, yet early way to diagnose, prevent and treat in a more specifical way, all of the comorbilities related to obesity, which have become at least in our country, the main causes for death. Passionated for her work, as a young researcher, she is looking for opportunities to establish collaboration networks with other researchers doing similar things which could be eventually translated into wellbeing for people with this disease.
According to the World Health Organisation, Mexico is amongst the countries with the highest prevalence of obesity and related comorbidities. Several attempts have been made in order to control this, the so called, epidemics of the century. It is imperative to design alternatives to prevent obesity-derived chronic conditions. One of the first signals of cellular impairment is oxidative stress, condition that could eventually trigger to vascular disease, immune response decreased, low repairment rate of tissues, etc. On the other hand, micronuclei has been considered as the vestibule for the development of chronical diseases, including cancer, for which we have considered of great interest to study it in association with obesity.
Statement of the Problem: Obesity has become a real problem of public health in most countries of the world, not being limited to those of high income but also to developing ones. The highest rates of obesity in adults and children are in United States of America, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary, and it is estimated that 1 in 5 adults is obese, while 1 in 6 children are overweight or obese. Obesity is certainly the main problem, however, there is a series of comorbidities associated to obesity that make even more complicated the situation. Diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular complications, renal failure are just some of the pathologies linked to obesity. It is of relevance the designment of strategies that allow us to deal from different perspectives with this issue. The aim of this work is, in a first phase is to detect a couple of early biomarkers (lipid ad protein peroxidation, measured as oxidative stress, and micronuclei) that could help us to associate with appearing of clinical disease during early stages; while in a second phase, to design a strategy of prevention of complications.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: An experimental, cross-sectional study has been designed in order to explore the levels of oxidative stress and DNA damage at different stages of the disease (obesity), trying to associate them with different factors, lifestyle, presence of other comorbidities, etc. Oxidative stress will be determined as lipid and protein peroxidation through spectrophotometric techniques, while DNA damage will be counted as micronuclei detection in oral mucose cells.
Expected findings: According to the etiology of the disease, considered as an inflammatory condition, we expected to find the highest levels in those patients with higher weight or with other pathologies, which could allow us to associate it with probable development of any other complication. It would be of usefulness to detect previously the point in which these complications could be prevented.
Conclusion & Significance: Obesity has become one of the most complicated issues in modern society. The high prevalence and incidence worldwide has made of this disease, a real public health problem. A multidisciplinary work will be definitely the path to follow, addressing this issue from different perspectives. Prevention is definitely one of the most important routes to follow, which is our main objective with this work. Mexico has one of the highest rates of obesity, and despite health sector has made enormous efforts to decrease them, it only seems to increase every year, augmenting at the same rhythm all of the complications attached to it. Designing a strategy, based on the observations at a cellular level, could allow us to prevent patients from undesirable complications, from which most of the time, they are not aware of.
We still can not conclude something clear, since our sample has not been completed yet, but we expect to end it up in the next few months.