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publicado em 19/09/2012 às 20h30:00
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Examination developed at UFMG accelerates diagnosis of leprosy

Detection of early-stage disease increases chances of curing the patients before any impairment of the nerves

 
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Ilustração: Ana Cláudia Ferreira
Bacterium Mycobacterium leprae (detail) is the causative agent of leprosy.
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Bacterium Mycobacterium leprae (detail) is the causative agent of leprosy.

New method of diagnosis of leprosy, based on the perception of heat and cold, is being employed at the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) by clinical neurophysiologist Manoel de Figueiredo Villarroel. The goal is to diagnose leprosy logo in its early stages, increasing the chance of cure for patients before any impairment of the nerves.

The new test uses modified version of an apparatus used in the Israeli study of diseases that affect the nerves. Constitutes called Peltier plate formed by semiconductor and connected to a computer system. The arrangement enables the board to warm or cool according to the direction of the applied electric current.

According to the investigator, a lesion of the skin, as an early signs of leprosy is the loss of temperature sensitivity, one can, with this method, quantifying the loss of temperature and pain sensitivity. This way you can determine how you are perceived by patients suspected of having the disease, explains. Loss of sensitivity is translated into numbers which can be used for future comparisons.

To perform the test, the thermal stimulator is placed on the skin lesion suspected patient, and heating or cooling will over time. When the patient feels the temperature change, stops the examination. The same procedure is repeated on normal skin, then when the comparison is made. If the perception of heat or cold deviates far from normal, the chance of being patient with the disease is very high, says the author of the thesis. Those with leprosy do not realize the heat to about 50 degrees, not cold to about 0 °, while the normal percepçãodo would heat up to 36 º and feel of the cold through 28.

The researcher followed for five years, 108 patients of different service units in the capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. Thus, it might prove that this test has much higher sensitivity than traditional, which evaluates the sensitivity by touch.

The instrument used is still expensive, but there is already an effort to barateá it. There is research in São Paulo and Programade Graduate in Electrical Engineering (Biomedical Engineering), UFMG, to compress and reduce the cost of the device, enabling the mass production and more affordable, Villarroel said.

<i> information UFMG </ i>

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Leprosy diagnosis    Peltier plate    UFMG    Federal University of Minas Gerais    Dermatology   
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leprosy diagnosis    Peltier plate    UFMG    Federal University of Minas Gerais    dermatology   
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