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DUHS Symposium on Ramadan
and Health on 26th October

KARACHI: Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi is organizing an International Symposium on ‘Ramadan and Health’ on 26th of October 2013 at Dow International Medical College, Ojha Campus, Karachi. A press briefing was arranged at DUHS on 10th October to share the details of the Symposium. Prof. M. Umer Farooq, Pro Vice Chancellor, DUHS, Prof. Zaman Shaikh, Chairman of the organizing committee, Prof. Muhammad Masroor, Principal, Dow International Medical College, DUHS, Dr. Nazeer Khan, Director, Research Department DUHS sharing their views on the occasion said that the aim of this conference is to share the research studies conducted by international and national researchers to understand the effect of Ramadan fasting on human health.
This is the first symposium on this topic being held in Pakistan. Earlier, four conferences have been held in various countries. The most striking findings of researchers will be shared with both scientific and general audience in the form of state of art and plenary lectures, free papers and posters. Some overseas speakers are also expected who have conducted research examining the effects of fasting on human health particularly metabolic outcomes. Similarly, national speakers from various cities of the country are being invited to participate and present their work. The topics which are likely to be discussed in the symposium include Ramadan fasting related practices, fasting and feasting in Ramadan, physical activity during Ramadan fasting, management of hypertension and diabetes mellitus during Ramadan fasting, health-related quality of life etc.

GABA inverse agonist restores cognitive
function in Down’s syndrome-Benoit Delatour

BARCELONA: A selective GABA inverse agonist has restored cognitive function in a mouse model of Down’s syndrome (DS) and has the potential to benefit humans. This was stated by Dr. Benoit Delatour from the Research Centre of the Institute of Brain and Spinal Cord (Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de Moelle Epinière) at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris while making a presentation at the 26th ECNP Congress held in Barcelona, Spain recently. “The drug we used is a specific GABA-­A α5 inverse agonist (α5IA) that hypothetically could combat the abnormal neuronal excitation/inhibition balance associated with DS”, he explained
Continuing he said that “We observed that repeated and even single administrations of the α5IA molecule can potentiate learning and memory performances in cognitively-­impaired DS mice, underlying the potency of this therapeutic approach,” he added.An imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission has recently been proposed as a factor in the altered brain function of individuals with DS. While several studies have suggested GABA-­A antagonists for restoring learning and memory performances in DS mouse models, many tend to cause seizures in animal models as well as in humans.
To investigate safer agents, we used a GABA-­A inverse agonist (α5IA) to specifically target the α5 subunit of GABA-­A receptors in Ts65Dn mice, a classical animal model of DS and we found that the drug had no convulsant effects and did not promote any side effects on sensory-­motor and anxiety-­related behaviours. They also found no evidence of histological changes in various organ tissues following chronic administration.
To investigate what impact α5IA had on learning and memory function, our team trained the mice in a spatial navigation (Morris water maze) task. We found that Ts65Dn mice showed a clear learning impairment that was reversed following daily treatment with α5IA. Furthermore, an acute injection of α5IA before acquisition was enough to alleviate recognition memory impairments in the Ts65Dn mice. “α5IA enhanced behaviourally-­evoked immediate early gene products (as markers of neuronal activation) in specific brain regions and also restored normal levels of gene expression in several disregulated pathways”, explained Dr Delatour. “Such stimulation of neuronal activity and normalisation of gene expression combined with the known effects of α5IA on synaptic plasticity, might support the promnestic [memory enhancing] and therapeutic effects of the drug,” he added.
With future human trials planned, our team is optimistic about the impact his research could have on cognitive impairment in individuals with DS. “The results obtained by us and by others are very encouraging... it appears that several targets in DS have been identified and can be the source of new pharmaceutical interventions. It is very likely that the combinatiPn of different emerging therapies will provide significant clinical outcomes for people with DS”, he concluded. (PR)

High use of cardiac stents
linked to injuries, fatalities

In a highly critical 3,500-word article titled Deaths Linked To Cardiac Stents Rise As Overuse Seen, US medicine’s binge on cardiac stents. In some cases, overuse, death, injury and fraud have accompanied the devices use as a go-to treatment, according to thousands of pages of court documents and regulatory filings, interviews with 37 cardiologists and 33 heart patients or their survivors, and more than a dozen medical studies. Just last year, cardiac stents were linked to more than 770 deaths in FDA incident reports.
However, physicians are using fewer stents and choosing more-appropriate patients than they were a few years ago, according to John Harold, president of the American College of Cardiology. Harold said there are examples of inappropriate use and the ACC is taking steps to address and correct the imbalance with treatment guidelines and by urging more hospital oversight.

Many patients in need of an
ICD do not receive one

Research published online in Circulation suggests that, among patients who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, of those who met the criteria for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), only 13% had received one. Researchers found that ICDs were given to 12 (13.0%; 95% CI 6.1%-19.9%) of 92 patients who met the eligibility criteria of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 35%. The researchers also found that, in addition to meeting the criteria, most of the these patients (89%) had a documented history of heart failure, were on diuretics (75%), indicating heart failure symptoms, or had heart failure (8%) as the indication for their echocardiogram.

Having both diabetes and depression
may increase risk of MI

Research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting suggests that people who have both diabetes and depression have an increased likelihood of having a myocardial infarction (MI). The likelihood of having an MI compared with individuals without either condition were greatest among those ages 45 to 64, with the strongest association seen in women (OR 7.1, 95% CI 6.1-8.2), according to Karin, of Linkping University in Sweden. Meanwhile, the corresponding odds ratio for men in that age group was 2.8 (95% CI 2.5-3.2), Rdholm reported.

Training in Research
and Publications

ISLAMABAD: Dev-Net is undertaking an innovative training program for research and publication in pharmaceutical policy and practice. The program is aimed at producing high quality research and publications in this rather neglected area of knowledge and expertise in Pakistan.
The training program is offered under the auspices of University of Auckland, New Zealand, and partnered by the World Health Organization, Health Services Academy of Pakistan and other Pakistani Universities. The trainings will be held in HEC regional centers. For details see
following links:

1. ts/PharmaceuticalPolicyAndPractice.pdf

Dr. Tanveerul Hassan Zubairi
elected FIMA President

Dr. Tanveerul Hassan Zuabiri from Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has been elected President of Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) which is an international body of doctors and 30 medical associations around the world are its members. He was elected at the 33rd council meeting of FIMA held at Cap Town South Africa. Dr. Tanveer is a Radiologist from Lahore and past secretary general of FIMA.
Dr. Misbah-ul-Aziz, PIMA president on his return from South Africa said that a 7-members delegation from Pakistan participated in the meeting. Problems facing throughout the world were discussed and relief activities carried out by Islamic Medical Associations in their respective countries were also highlighted. Dr. Misbah added that a doctor from Malaysia’s Islamic Medical Association has been elected as General Secretary while a Turkish doctor was elected as Vice President for next two years.(PR)



All the house officers serving at Fatima Jinnah Medical College/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have to
complete a compulsory Basic Life Support Course and it is also mentioned on their certificate. Group
photograph taken on October 3rd shows the latest batch of House Officers who completed the BLS course photographed with Prof. Munezza Qayyum, Prof. Sardar Fakhar Imam Principal FJMC,
Mr.Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pulse International, Prof.Amar Zaman Director DME at FJMC

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