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 Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
Announcement for authors

It is for the information of authors submitting their manuscripts to Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences that we do not accept KAP studies, Survey Reports, animal studies. Reviews and Case Reports are rarely accepted as these have very low priority with us. Original research work, epidemiological studies, Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) are preferred. We do not entertain Promotion Papers. Processing fee is non-refundable hence if you have any doubt, you can ask by sending us an e mail. Please also make sure that the submissions are accompanied by Letter of Undertaking signed by all authors, approval by the Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board and processing charges. Incomplete submissions are not entertained. Formatting, screening for plagiarism etc., takes about for external review which takes three to four months’ time though efforts are being made to reduce this period.
Fast Track processing facility is available only in a few selected cases when the authors have to appear in FCPS or any other examination or defend their PhD Thesis for which they are required to seek permission prior to arranging fast track processing fee. We try to ensure Peer Review of such manuscripts within ten to twelve weeks but there is no guarantee of acceptance or publication.
Make sure that you follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJEs) Guidelines for authorship criteria. Any manuscript with more than three authors will be referred to the Authorship Committee and its decision will be final. As such avoid Gift Authorship otherwise it can result in rejection of your manuscript. Please also make sure to carefully read and follow instructions for authors on our website and individual authors contribution should be mentioned on the title page. Authors are required to make submissions direct on our website in one file from title page to references including tables while illustrations can be uploaded as supplementary files. Maximum length of the original articles including title and references should be two thousand five hundred words but maximum up to three thousand words with up to twenty five latest relevant references. For Case Reports, Special/Short Communications maximum length is up to fifteen hundred words, one figure and maximum of ten references. For Reviews maximum length is up to three thousand five hundred words with up to forty references. Make sure to follow instruction’s regarding length of the manuscripts in different categories as there is lot of pressure on limited space available. Do not forget to add DOI numbers in references where available.

Shaukat Ali Jawaid
Publisher/Chief Editor

Transplant drug may provide
benefits after spinal cord injury 

New research in mice indicates that a drug commonly used to suppress the immune system in recipients of organ transplants may also reduce tissue damage and neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. The findings are published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.

Rapamycin, which is an inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, has a variety of cellular functions and is known to possess both immunosuppressant and anti-tumor properties. In their previous work, investigators at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan found that rapamycin treatment can reduce nerve damage and locomotor impairment after spinal cord injury. In this latest study, the team examined whether rapamycin also reduces neuropathic pain, a state of chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system.

Using a mouse model of thoracic spinal cord contusion injury, the researchers divided the mice into rapamycin-treated and control groups. Rapamycin treatment four hours after spinal cord injury significantly improved locomotor function and reduced mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity in the hindpaws. Close examination of the mechanisms involved revealed that treatment decreased the activity of various pathways involved in pain.

If the findings hold true in humans, rapamycin could provide considerable benefits to spinal cord injury patients, up to 80 percent of whom experience clinically significant pain that is described as burning, stabbing, and electric shock-like. Further studies to clarify the impact and full effects of mTOR signaling are needed in order to support the clinical use of mTOR inhibitors in patients with spinal cord injury, the authors wrote.

Ref.:Tateda, S., Kanno, H., Ozawa, H., Sekiguchi, A., Yahata, K., Yamaya, S. and Itoi, E. (2016), Rapamycin suppresses microglial activation and reduces the development of neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. J. Orthop. Res.. doi: 10.1002/jor.23328

Many Malaysian children with
epilepsy are vitamin D deficient

Long-term use of antiepileptic drugs is a significant risk factor for vitamin D deficiency in children with epilepsy. A new Epilepsia study found that despite living in the tropics, a high proportion of Malaysian children with epilepsy are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Among 244 children, vitamin D deficiency was identified in 55 (22.5%) of patients, and a further 48 (19.7%) had vitamin D insufficiency. Children with multiple antiepileptic drugs, low sunshine exposure, Indian ethnicity, female sex, and age >12 years were more likely to be vitamin D deficient.

 Poor physical performance may be
an early sign of late-age dementia

Poor physical performance was linked with an increased risk of developing dementia in a study of individuals aged 90 and older who were followed for an average of 2.6 years. After controlling for various factors, poor standing balance had the strongest association with dementia, followed by poor performances in a 4-meter walk test and a handgrip test.

The oldest-old, people aged 90 and older, represent the fastest growing segment of the society with the highest rates of dementia; however, many of the traditional risk factors of dementia lose or change their effect in this age group. Therefore, it is crucial that we identify age specific risk and protective factors for late-age dementia, said Dr. Szofia Bullain, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study. The fact that we were able to detect impairment in physical performance two to three years before the onset of dementia suggests that poor physical performance may be a risk factor for, or an early sign of, developing late-age dementia. The researchers next plan to examine the underlying pathological processes, which may provide clues to new preventive and treatment strategies for late-age dementia.

 Zinc lozenges help most patients
 earlier from the common cold

Zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of the common cold by nearly 3 days, according to a recent analysis.  Among 199 patients with the common cold who participated in three randomized placebo-controlled trials, the effect of zinc lozenges was not modified by allergy status, smoking, symptom severity, age, sex, or ethnic group.

One study indicated that zinc lozenges might be more effective for common cold patients with allergies, but we showed that the efficacy is the same for those with and without allergies. Common cold patients should be encouraged to try zinc acetate lozenges not exceeding 100 mg of elemental zinc per day for treating their colds, said Dr. Harri Hemila, lead author of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology analysis.

17 more apply to establish
medical colleges

ISLAMABAD: At a time when a large number of the existing medical colleges in the public as well as private sector are facing acute shortage of faculty members particularly in the basis sciences, seventeen more applications have been received by the Ministry of National Health Services. These have been forwarded to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council for verification and evaluation, it is learnt.

At present there are one hundred forty three medical and dental colleges in Pakistan of which fifty one are in public sector and almost doubt le the number i.e. ninety two are in private sector. Do we really need such a large number of medical and dental colleges?  Lack of appropriate teaching and training facilities in some of the medical dental colleges has already deteriorated the standard of medical and dental education. No new applicant should be given permission till such time that they have established a teaching hospital.  PM&DC should first ensure that the existing institutions have the proper facilities and those which do not make up the deficiencies in a given time, should be ordered to be closed down. While giving permission to the new applicants, it is extremely important that the credentials of those behind these ventures should be carefully checked and it must be ensured that they have the necessary funds to establish, manage and efficiently run these institutions.

Unfortunately in most cases it is not the educationists but businessmen who are coming forward to set up these new medical and dental colleges because it has become a business to make quick money.  However, it is quite unlikely that all these medical and dental colleges will be able to sustain in the long run, hence many of them will eventually close down in the days to come.

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