The prize of the Dean of the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University was awarded to two researchers from the Protein Engineering team of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno. In the category of the Best Student of the Doctoral Study Program, Ondřej Vávra and Jan Štourač received it, as an evaluation and thanks for their work so far in the Loschmidt Laboratories of the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University and FNUSA-ICRC. On this occasion, we asked both colleagues who specializes in bioinformatics for a short interview.

I imagine bioinformatics as such IT guys in the laboratory. Is it true? And what have you already programmed in?
Ondřej: I probably wouldn’t describe it that way, it’s about a combination of IT and biology, but we are not programmers in laboratories například For example, I consider myself a self taught IT guy. I started at the high school, with Pascal. Then I worked in Bash, but in Loschmidt’s labs I needed more complex scripts to process the data, so now I’m working in Python, where I’m still a slightly advanced user and I’m happy to be sitting in the office with Jan, who can help me.
Jan: In my case, it’s more IT than biology or work in laboratories… I started programming in elementary school, my first programming “language” was Baltík and his simple programming of the wizard by graphical chaining of actions. At the gym I was a classic webmaker, so HTML, cascading styles, JavaScript, then PHP, SQL and in high school in the Pascal seminar. Currently, it’s mainly Java for more complex applications and Python as a fast prototyping language.

So how did you get into Loschmidt’s labs?
Ondřej: My journey was quite steep, I come from Hradec Králové and I had no idea about any Loschmidt laboratories. I chose to study at university mainly because of biology, which always attracted me the most. I got to Masaryk University, majoring in molecular biology. In the first semester, we had a seminar with the heads of all laboratories, where they presented their research activities. There I learned about Loschmidt’s labs for the first time and I was very interested in the combination of IT and biology. And when I met structural biology in my sophomore year, it was decided. I have already done my bachelor’s thesis here and I am satisfied here.
Jan: It was easier for me and a little earlier. Im from Brno and we had to take part in Secondary School professional activities at our gym. And in the search for a suitable topic, I was fascinated by bioinformatics as a fascinating connection between computer science and biology, and that was only a step to Masaryk University and Loschmidt’s laboratories. I then continued working on the projects even after the completion of it and I have already stayed here.

What are your results during your time here and what are your next goals?
Ondřej: My probably biggest result is that I participated in the development of a method for rapid analysis of the passage of molecules through protein tunnels. We successfully performed several other analyzes with this method, thanks to an internship abroad, we established further cooperation, so we managed to evaluate it well. Three years ago, I also received the Brno Ph.D. The talent of the South Moravian Center for International Mobility (JCMM), however, I am now in the fourth year of doctoral studies, so it is most important for me to combine work here with writing a doctoral thesis. So the closest goal is to complete my project and finish it successfully.
Jan: I primarily deal with the design and development of bioinformatics tools and databases. And it can be said that in some way I have been involved in almost everyone who has come out of our lab in the last ten years, which is twelve or thirteen programs. What makes me most happy is that they are popular in the scientific community and are really used by thousands of scientists around the world. As for studying, I’m in my second year, so in a while I will have a state exam and then I’ll see. And if the pandemic situation allows, I would like to go on an internship at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Great Britain this year. But now it’s hard to plan anything, so it’s hard to say how it will all turn out in the end.

The most difficult you have encountered in your work so far, and what obstacle do you face now?
Ondřej: It was a purely professional problem, within the project in foreign cooperation I needed to integrate a special kind of simulations, which we have not done here yet. Long story short – it took about a year before I managed to find and put into operation a usable method and everything finally worked out. Now I face another obstacle. So far, there is no reliable automated method that can decide whether a protein has a ligand binding site on the surface or inside. If this problem could be solved and we could use software tools to determine the nature of these places, it would be a huge step forward. Using machine learning, we could apply this knowledge to the entire protein database and then better design changes to proteins or ligands, which would have an impact not only on applications in medicine, but also in industry.
Jan: I deal with one very difficult matter somehow continuously. It is about the robustness of our programs. Our calculations are quite demanding and run simultaneously on many computers. And as we all know, from time to time one stops randomly working or responding, and this then leads to a false calculation failure, which is a problem. So we’re working to keep the running task running as well as possible, and for example to restart automatically, without the user noticing anything and we have to apologize for the technical inconvenience. But this is more of a technical matter, from a scientific point of view, the biggest challenge for me at the moment is the development of the PredicSNP Onco tool. It is a software aimed at the personalized treatment of children’s cancer, which aims to analyze the effect of mutations found in the cancer tissue of a particular patient on the functioning of key proteins and their interaction with known drugs. The results obtained by us will then be used by physicians in deciding and preparing a suitable therapeutic plan.

What do bioinformatics say about the threats posed to us by filmmakers like Matrix or Terminator?
Ondřej: Probably nothing, we have fun like other viewers 🙂 I have no specific fear of any IT thing. I don’t have an Internet of Things facility at home, but it’s more of a question that I don’t care so much. And if I want to adjust the household to some automatic mode, then in the first place I will deal with security, which is something that a lot of people forget. As far as machine learning is concerned, it’s more of a question for Elon Musk or Bill Gates, where they are going to go, I’ve never thought about it. It will definitely affect our lives, for example, let’s take semi-autonomous cars, so we will see what it will look like in ten years.
Jan: Rather than the plots of the mentioned films, I am frightened by the “big brother” and the associated loss of privacy. Today, we almost always communicate to third parties, whether search engines, visited sites or social network operators, an awful lot of information that can be used to extract incredible details about our lives, habits and so on. And they can be easily abused, as in China in their social credit system, which seems very scary to me. And unfortunately it’s not sci-fi, but it’s here and now, and using it anywhere in the world is “just” a matter of justification. This is associated with the risk of theft of private data or identity by a completely stranger. Although I am glad that the state is gradually digitizing, I have no major illusions about information security. Globally, IT security is often perceived as an unnecessary and expensive luxury, and is basically not addressed until a problem arises. Unfortunately.

Let’s leave the IT topic – what about free time?
Ondřej: I recently found a new hobby – I make mechanical keyboards. Otherwise, music or reading to take a break from that computer.
Jan: For me, it’s definitely nature and trips. I like to walk in the mountains, in the woods and try to spend as much free time as possible outside the computer and the Internet. On weekends, I prefer to volunteer with the Brontosaurus to take care of valuable natural sites or monuments.

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The CZECRIN research infrastructure invites all interested parties to its annual scientific conference 2021. The conference program is already out there and you can view it on the CZECRIN website. If you are interested in a topic, but you have already blocked the date, you can still register for the conference and get a record of the entire conference.

If you are already looking forward to the conference and would like to shorten the wait, CZECRIN has prepared a small competition quiz for you, in which you can test your knowledge of CZECRIN and clinical research and you can also participate in the prize draw by participating. Attention, if you want to participate in the draw, you must be registered for the conference. The evaluation of the quiz will take place at the end of the CZECRIN Conference.

The CZECRIN research infrastructure, which is part of the pan-European ECRIN-ERIC network, offers its support, services and expertise to all research-oriented physicians in order to join forces in a rapid approach to the initiation of national and especially transnational clinical trials.
St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno and International Clinical Research Center, together with Masaryk University, is a founding member and main coordinator of this Czech national infrastructure.

Thank you for your great interest, the study is already full.

Do you want to prevent the development of diabetes? Not satisfied with your weight? Are you not feeling well in your body? These three questions are part of the campaign for recruitment to a new project to support the right lifestyle, which will start during the holidays at the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC).

The pilot research project will be implemented by the Kardiovize research team, where scientists will focus on diseases associated with poor lifestyle. “We will first evaluate an individual’s current condition, such as physical activity, medical history, or eating habits, and use this information to determine the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Juan Pablo Gonzalez Rivas, head of the research team. This will be followed by a consultation with a doctor, nutritionist and trainer in order to draw up a three-month individual plan. Its goal will be to motivate the patient to lose weight, and related improvements in glucose, lipids and blood pressure – in short, to improve his health and quality of life.

Anyone aged 25 to 75 years with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 kg / m2 and 40 kg / m2 can be included in the study. Determining the approximate BMI is simple, just a calculator. It is the ratio of weight and square root of height in meters. The pilot project will run for a total of six months, after a medical examination and examination by a nutritional therapist, the selected individuals will begin a lifestyle change program under the guidance of a specialized coach. Blood samples will also be taken during the study to measure blood fats and sugars.

“It is really a challenge for us, and if it succeeds on a local scale, we would like to expand this program for the entire Czech population. We want to help as many people as possible,” added Gonzalez Rivas.

DETAIL INFORMATION
Who we are looking for: people in the age 25–75 years, whose body mass index (BMI) value is in the range of 25 kg / m2 to 40 kg / m2 (BMI calculation: weight / square root of height in meters).

How will the project go? The project will last 6 months, during which time the selected candidates will undergo a medical examination and an examination by a nutrition therapist. After your first visit to the doctor, you should begin a lifestyle change program led by a lifestyle coach.
Meetings with the coach will take place weekly for three months and then every two weeks until the program is completed. In total it will be 16 sessions. Each session will last one hour at a time. You will receive discussion materials at each session. At home, you should record the amount of food and drink consumed, as well as the type of physical activity and its duration. Records should be kept throughout the project, ie 6 months.
During the study, blood samples will be taken to check your blood fats and sugars at baseline, after two months, and at the end of the study. If the test reveals high levels of blood pressure or blood fats, your doctor will recommend appropriate treatment in addition to lifestyle recommendations during the consultation.
Due to the current situation, which is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to interview the coach, both in person and online.

For whom the project is not suitable: if you suffer (or have suffered) from any of these diseases, participation in the program is unfortunately not possible for you: proven diabetes, cancer, ischemic heart disease, stroke, angina pectoris, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure or kidney disease, other serious kidney disease, osteoarthritis of the knee, ankle or hip joint, moderate to severe lung disease, or other disease that prevents moderate physical activity. Participating in the project is also not suitable for you if you are taking certain medications, such as chemotherapy, blood thinners and medicines that affect body weight (for example, orlistat, pregabalin, etc.). Another exclusion criterion is pregnancy or pregnancy planning during the project, or if you know in advance that you will not be able to attend most sessions of the program.

Project start: June 2021 (recruitment), July (start of intervention)

Please note that once the capacity is filled, recruitment to the project will be completed.

How to apply for the project?
You can apply by phone at 543 185 592, 603 299 683 (on working days, between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm) or via the email address infokardiovize@fnusa.cz.

Thank you for your great interest, the study is already full.
We will be happy to answer any questions. From all applicants, applicants meeting the project criteria will be selected and subsequently invited to participate.

We are looking forward to collaborate with you.

Prevent activation of the cellular receptor, which slows growth and causes achondroplasia. A groundbreaking method of treating genetic disorders of growth has been described by scientists from the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) and Masaryk University in Brno, together with Japanese colleagues.

The key substance in this case is an RNA aptamer with the James Bond name RBM-007, which acts as a ligand trap. Ligands are usually small proteins that form complexes with cellular receptors and can activate them. In the case of achondroplasia, it is the FGFR3 receptor whose increased activity slows the growth of cartilage cells. An aptamer is an engineered portion of a ribonucleic or deoxyribonucleic acid that binds to a ligand that can no longer activate FGFR 3 receptors, thereby preventing growth disorders.

Pavel Krejčí, head of the FNUSA-ICRC Cell Signaling research team, contributed significantly to this discovery. “The Japanese company developed this RBM-007 for the treatment of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration), however, we noticed its potential for the treatment of growth disorders and started working in this area,” Krejčí described the beginnings of the cooperation. That was five years ago and now RBM-007 is entering the first phase of clinical trials and is being tested in Japanese patients. The results are very promising, however, testing a new drug is a long way off. “Drug for achondroplasia – Vosoritide, which I participated in the research, will reach the first patients after more than sixteen years,” Krejčí added.

The main focus of the FNUSA-ICRC Cell Signaling team, ie research into receptor tyrosine kinases, which currently includes FGFR3, is far from over. “Currently, we have about fifteen projects under development,” Krejčí confirmed. One is the study of aptamers that would not function as a ligand trap but inhibit receptors directly. The result could be a new generation of molecules with great potential for the treatment of diseases related to damage to various organs, not just bones. “We are trying to create a bridge between basic and clinical research. So far, we are doing well, hopefully it will last in the future, ” added Pavel Krejčí.

The publication was published in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine and can be found here:

Achondroplasia is a genetic form of dwarf growth, the height in adulthood in those affected by this disease is on average 125 cm. It is the most common form of genetic growth disorder in humans, and is caused by mutations in the FGFR3 gene. In the Czech Republic, 4-5 children with this disorder are born annually. Four years ago, scientists from the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) founded register of these children, thanks to which they collect data on their health.

RNDr. Jan Fröhlich, Ph.D. and Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra of the Epigenetics, Metabolism and Aging FNUSA-ICRC Research team, in collaboration with a research institute at the Medical University in Varna, published a successful review summarizing current knowledge on the effect of adipomyokines / metabotrophic factors on the development and progression of cardiometabolic (CMD) and neurodegenerative diseases. The work was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

“Over the last 30 years, there has been a significant change in the view of adipose tissue, which is now understood as an important regulator of metabolism and one of the main endocrine organs of the human body,” says Dr. Jan Fröhlich with the fact that adiopobiology has thus become an important scientific field, dealing, among other things, with the study of the origin and consequences of obesity. It plays an important role in the pathophysiology of cardiometabolic and neurometabolic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“According to the latest findings, one of the main risk factors for the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease is obesity and the associated hypertension, high LDL cholesterol and diabetes. On the contrary, numerous studies in mouse models and volunteers have shown that starvation-induced diets or short-term exercise have a beneficial effect and slow the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, ”explains Dr. Jan Fröhlich.

It has been shown that mediators of positive effects are factors / hormones secreted from skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, so-called adipomyokines. Adipomyokines are a heterogeneous group of metabolites and proteins that have a direct effect on metabolism and are therefore also nicknamed metabotrophic factors. “In our work, we point out that therapies based on the modulation of metabolism through the administration of metabotrophic factors could in the future help patients suffering from serious cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases,” points out Dr. Jan Fröhlich.

The full article is available HERE.

The Hands-on Computational Enzyme Design Course is a highly practical and interactive course meant primarily for protein and metabolic engineers with no prior experience in computer modelling and bioinformatics. Other experts willing to broaden their current computational protein design toolbox can also benefit from this course. A team of experts and software developers provide training on how to operate several software tools devoted to different aspect of enzyme engineering, and how to properly interpret the results. Four main topics covered are: (i) Mining and analysis of novel enzymes, (ii) Engineering protein stability, (iii) Engineering enzyme activity and specificity, and (iv) Engineering protein solubility. The theoretical background and practical exercises are provided in a dynamic discussion environment.

The first edition of this course was carried out in the classical on-site format for 3.5 days, in Brno, Czech Republic, in February 2020. The course was organized by the Loschmidt Laboratories, Department of Experimental Biology and RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University and International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the second edition of the course was performed on-line in May 2021. Both editions were fully booked and the feedback from the participants was very positive. The great majority of the participants was highly satisfied and would recommend the course to a colleague. The 2nd edition was fully booked after only 2 weeks, with participants from 16 countries and 4 continents, 12% of them coming from industry. Our experience shows that: (i) by running an on-line edition we shortened distances, allowing participants from farther regions of the globe to join, (ii) the demand for training on computational enzyme design tools is high, and (iii) the reputation of the Loschmidt Laboratories as providers of valuable tools and training is growing.

We plan to run in the future both on-site and on-line versions of the course. If you are interested in participating in the next edition, you can access the course website and sign up to our newsletters to stay tuned!
Contact: Dr. Serqio Marques – smar96@gmail.com

Improving the quality of care for human resources, transparent recruitment and selection of employees, support for the development of professional growth, equal working and salary conditions for women and men and many other benefits. All this means the HR AWARD, which confirms that the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) guarantees excellence in caring for the working conditions of her researchers.
The award given by the European Commission is one of the most prestigious in the field of HR and is widely recognized in the international scientific community. “In the case of a foreign job applicant at our center, inquiries about the HR AWARD are very common,” confirmed Silvia Vašulková, HR Award Officer of FNUSA-ICRC. The share of foreign workers in our center is very high, out of the total number of 425 employees it is almost twenty-five percent.
However, the work on improving processes in the field of HR does not end there, on the contrary. “Now we have and want to fulfill all the projects and tasks contained in our action plan, in two years we will have an internal evaluation and its eventual revision,” added Silvia Vašulková. After its implementation, our center awaits evaluation directly by the European Commission.

All information about HR AWARD can be found here:

On Saturday, May 15, we commemorate the Day of the Fight against Stroke. St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno, together with the Sarema Rehabilitation Center, prepared a live broadcast on the topic on her Facebook page. Stroke is the second most common cause of death in the world. Every fourth person is at risk and affects patients regardless of age. There are no exceptional cases where the stroke affected the mother during childbirth, the patient with COVID-19 or the driver while driving. It is important to get to the hospital as soon as possible and start intensive rehabilitation as soon as possible after treatment.

Head of the Stroke research team of the The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno and professor of neurology Robert Mikulík emphasizes that patients should not be transported to the hospital on their own axis. “If the patient travels on his own, he may arrive at the hospital without a stroke center, which provides comprehensive care for patients with cerebrovascular problems. On the contrary, when he dials 155, the rescuers themselves will contact a suitable doctor or medical facility, ”says prof. MUDr. Robert Mikulík, Ph.D., who, in addition to the research center, also works at the 1st Department of Neurology, FNUSA and LF MU.

If stroke treatment is to be effective, it must be started as soon as possible, ideally within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms. Time is crucial for a stroke. The sooner the patient enters the hospital, the higher his chances of recovery. Professor Mikulík also draws attention to an interesting phenomenon, namely the direct connection between COVID-19 and the occurrence of stroke. “Although it has already been shown that COVID-19 can cause stroke and the number of patients should increase, we paradoxically recorded about 15% fewer cases in the hospital during the spring of 2020,” he points out that people should not risk serious consequences and during a pandemic seek professional help.

Equally important is the early start of intensive rehabilitation, as explained by Mgr. Tereza Valíková from the Sarema Rehabilitation Center: “The sooner we start, the sooner we will address the brain and neuroplastic processes. When we start later, we often encounter patients who have already developed poor compensatory habits, which are more difficult to break down, ”he says. Thanks to the start of intensive rehabilitation in time, Mrs. Eliška, who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke during childbirth, is also slowly returning to life. “Eliška had a tumor in her head that was not known. Apparently, due to the pressure at birth, there was bleeding from the tumor and a large swelling of the brain. She fell into a coma at night. After midnight, she was taken by ambulance to the hospital and operated there urgently. The tumor was successfully removed, but the swelling of the brain managed to do great damage, “recalls Eliška’s husband, Petr. His wife is now training intensively at the Sarema Rehabilitation Center and is making great progress, which you can follow on the website www.proelisku.cz. However, due to long-term stays in therapies, she cannot see her two sons as often as she would like.
“Complete cure depends on several factors, such as the extent, age and timeliness of care. Therefore, if you suspect a stroke, contact emergency services immediately. The consequences do not have to be any or minimal, ”adds Tereza Valíková.

For more information, on Saturday 15 May at 5 pm, those interested can “tune in” to a webinar called The Story of a Stroke: The Patient’s Journey. They will learn what the first minutes of a patient look like after arriving at the hospital and how to properly rehabilitate the brain. Just join the event at this link , or the Facebook page of FNUSA-ICRC or FNUSA, who will share the broadcast.

An important research team within the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) is Kardiovize. It is a cardiovascular prevention program in Central and Eastern Europe based on population analysis. One percent of the population of the city of Brno participates in it and the data from the research have a large international overlap. Its importance is also confirmed by the head of the research team, Dr. Juan Pablo Gonzalez Rivas: “Cardiometabolic risk factors, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia, are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.”

However, this burden affects populations disproportionally, „It is very important to understand how to stop the consequences of cardiometabolic risk factors globally, and the heterogeneity of the drivers that creates the disease varies considerably across regions, cultures, and ethnic groups, for this reason, it is mandatory to approach the understanding of this problem using a multicultural perspective“, says Dr. Gonzalez Rivas.

This fact was also the reason for the creation of the international consortium METRICS, which was established last year. Kardiovize is a founding member of the consortium and Dr. Gonzalez Rivas is its secretary. METRICS is the result of a long-term collaboration with a group of scientists from Venezuela, led by Ramfis Nieto-Martinez and Dr. Jeffrey I. Mechanick of Mount Sinai, NY, USA. “We have published sixteen articles with this group in the last seven years,” said Dr. Gonzalez Rivas. “We meet regularly every month and continue to actively cooperate on our projects.”

Currently, the consortium has 29 members from four continents, such as Masaryk University in Brno, Universidade Federal Fluminese in Rio de Janeiro, Charles University in Prague, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Mayo Clinic. These are not only medical and PhD students, but also top scientists. “We are very proud of our diversity and I would like to emphasize that this is not a closed society, anyone can join us and will be welcome,” added Dr. Gonzalez Rivas. Five members of Kardiovize itself are involved, each of whom presented at least one project related to public health issues last year, and another five projects are currently being prepared.

We asked Dr. Gonzalez Rivas – can a medical student from Masaryk University in Brno, for example, get involved in the activities of the consortium?
Of course, one of the core values we have in our research team is to support junior researchers and interns. For example, Anna Zimovjanová, one of our interns, approached us with the idea of a project aimed at evaluating the impact of social determinants on the mental health of medical students. Both mental health and the social situation are among the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. So we in Kardiovize helped her with the preparation of the project and she also introduced it to the members of METRICS. They provided it with feedback and in June she will present a supplemented proposal for the implementation of this project and its implementation in seven countries, which we consider a huge success. This is exactly the goal of the cooperation between the Kardiovize team and the METRICS consortium, ie to offer a platform for the development of our own projects. I would just like to add that Anna Zimovjanová is also a recent research assistant in our team while studying at Masaryk University.

More information about the METRICS consortium can be found on the website. Alternatively, you can contact Dr. Gonzalez Rivas (juan.gonzalez@fnusa.cz).

Kardiovize research team of the International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) has published a new publication dealing with visceral fat. This is the first such published study in Europe.

The new Kardiovize publication deals with visceral fat, ie fat stores that are stored around vital organs. “It turned out that we can’t use the values of visceral fat defined by colleagues in the USA or Japan to determine cardiovascular risk. The local population has very different values, “said the head of the FNUSA-ICRC Kardiovize research team, dr. Juan Pablo Gonzalez Rivas. The publication was published in the professional journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

A young researcher, Anna Polcrová, who studied Nutritional Therapy at the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University, Social Epidemiology at the Faculty of Science of Charles University and continued her studies at Masaryk University while working in the Kardiovize team. “Body fat can be stored in the human body in various areas. In principle, we distinguish between subcutaneous fat, which is located under the skin, and visceral fat, which is located inside the abdominal cavity and surrounds our organs. It is the placement of fat stores in the body that significantly affects its impact on our health. Previous research has found that fat placed under the skin is not as risky as visceral fat, because excess visceral fat is associated with metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance, diabetes II. type, increased risk of thrombosis or endothelial dysfunction, ie disorders of the inner lining of blood vessels. ”

And how is the level of visceral fat in the human body actually measured? A generally accepted standard method is computed tomography, which is, however, relatively expensive and exposes the patient to radioactive radiation. “We used bioelectrical impedance analysis in the patients in the study, which has the advantage of simplicity, speed and also lower costs. It is non-invasive and shows a strong correlation with the values measured by computed tomography. The bioimpedance method is based on weak electricity flowing through the body and measurements to calculate impedance (resistance), which allows to describe the composition of the human body, including areas of visceral fat. Although it may sound dangerous, this method is completely painless and can be used for people of any age. The only contraindication is the presence of a pacemaker or pregnancy, “added Anna Polcrová.

To create this analysis, the researchers used the data of 2052 participants in the long-term study Kardiovize, which is ongoing at FNUSA-ICRC. Since 2013, it has been monitoring the health of a sample of the Brno population aged 25-65, and the second wave of examinations will be completed this year. “Our results showed that the limit values of visceral fat related to cardiometabolic risk in the Czech population are different in comparison with previous studies in other populations. We observed that 90 cm2 limits in men and 109 cm2 in women were associated with the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors including high waist circumference, increased blood pressure, decreased HDL-cholesterol (so-called “good” cholesterol), elevated triglycerides and elevated glucose levels on an empty stomach. In addition, men had a higher risk of cardiometabolic complications with lower visceral fat levels compared to women. Briefly, the results showed that the distinction between high and low visceral fat and associated cardiometabolic risk must be based on population-specific cut-off values, while taking into account gender differences. The amount of adipose tissue in the body, which is assessed as the norm for women, can be considered risky for men. And it works the same way among members of different ethnicities, “added Anna Polcrová.

It should be added that a new study by the Kardiovize research team was also selected for publication in the form of an e-poster at the prestigious European Congress on Obesity. A total of 330 e-posters were received (three from FNUSA-ICRC), but only 20 of them were selected for oral presentation, two of them from FNUSA-ICRC. Among them is also the work of Anna Polcrová.

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