Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL. 20  ISSUE:  6  June  2022 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management









Welcome to our healthcare bulletin 'e-SQUARE' ! We hope you are enjoying our online bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Heart Health !", "Diabetes Remission !", "Tracking Movement !", "Tumor Signatures !,  "Pregnancy & PCOS !", "Mechanical Itching !".

In our regular feature, we have some products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

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Editorial Team

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The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Heart Health !

                          Promising way to cut atherosclerotic plaque

A new study shows targeting a protein in smooth muscle cells can block and decrease the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque in mouse models. Atherosclerosis is a common condition that develops when plaque builds up inside the arteries. Diseases linked to atherosclerosis, such as coronary artery disease, are the leading cause of death in the United States. Atherosclerosis can affect most of the arteries in the body, including arteries in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys. Researchers have been focused on other cell types, like endothelial cells and macrophages, but more recent studies have highlighted a role of smooth muscle cells in plaque formation. Using a knockout method, researchers fed genetically modified mice a high fat diet and caused the mice to have high cholesterol levels in their blood to drive atherosclerotic plaque formation. Blocking a specific protein called PERK in these mice resulted in an 80% decrease of atherosclerotic plaque buildup in male mice. Males tend to have more of this buildup than females. This tells us that blocking PERK in smooth muscle cells is important in plaque formation. Interestingly, this protein is activated in smooth muscle cells by too much cholesterol in the cells. Current treatments to help patients who suffer from atherosclerosis related conditions include lifestyle and diet changes, medications such as statins and PCSK9 inhibitors, and in more severe cases, procedures to open blocked arteries. However, researchers said, lifestyle changes may not always help, and current medications have side effects or can be prohibitively expensive. Researchers also told that there are a lot of drugs on the market that block the smooth muscle cell pathway & now that they know this buildup can be blocked by targeting smooth muscle cells. People can use medication that is already available and target this pathway to help patients with atherosclerotic plaque buildup. Researchers are hopeful these findings can translate to clinical care.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Diabetes Remission !

                        Diabetes remission after gastric bypass surgery

A newly developed test could help doctors more accurately predict whether individuals who undergo gastric bypass surgery will experience a remission of type 2 diabetes within two years of the procedure. The test, which measures blood levels of ceramides, a waxy, fat-like substance similar to cholesterol, can also be used to assess the likelihood that a gastric bypass patient will have a recurrence of type 2 diabetes within a decade. In previous studies, researchers found that ceramides can reduce the amount of insulin a body can produce or use, increasing the likelihood that a person will develop type 2 diabetes & decided to examine the association between ceramides, diabetes, and severe obesity. More than 24 million Americans are severely obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). As a result, many of them have a substantial risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other severe conditions. For some of these individuals, gastric bypass surgery is often the best option. In some cases, patients can shed more than 30% of their body weight after surgery and keep it off for at least seven years, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Diabetes is less common after gastric bypass but predicting which patients will have a remission of the disease or a later recurrence has been challenging. The researchers chose to have two control groups to account for the possibility that those who were denied insurance coverage were more motivated to diet, exercise, and engage in other weight-loss strategies than those who had no interest in gastric bypass. Overall, the scientists found that low ceramide levels prior to gastric bypass surgery predicted which patients would achieve remission of the diabetes two years later. Of the 67 gastric bypass patients who had diabetes prior to surgery, 73% either had transient or sustained remission of their type 2 diabetes. However, those individuals with high ceramides did not achieve diabetes remission, regardless of weight change. Among its limitations, the study did not include a group of lean individuals. As a result, they were unable to determine if ceramide levels influence diabetes progression beyond a severely obese population. The researchers also did not prevent participants from pursuing weight loss interventions or lifestyle changes beyond the scope of the study, which focused specifically on Roux-en-Y, the most common gastric bypass surgery. While the data linking high ceramide levels to diabetes is strong, more research is needed before routine ceramide testing can be recommended.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Tracking Movement !

                                             The path how our brain process and store movement informations

Researchers examining the brain at a single neuron level found that computation happens not just in the interaction between neurons, but within each individual neuron. Each of these cells, it turns out, is not a simple switch, but a complicated calculating machine. This discovery promises changes not only to understand how the brain works, but better understanding of conditions ranging from Parkinson's disease to autism. The findings are also expected to advance machine learning, offering inspiration for new architectures. Movement is controlled by the primary motor cortex of the brain. In this area, researchers are able to pinpoint exactly which neuron(s) fire at any given moment to produce the movement. A signal travels from the dendrites to the cell's body, and then transferred onwards through the axon. The number and structure of dendrites varies greatly between nerve cells, like the crown of one tree differs from the crown of another. The particular neurons focused on were the largest pyramidal neurons of the cortex. These cells, known to be heavily involved in movement, have a large dendritic tree, with many branches, sub-branches, and sub-sub-branches. The team discovered that these branches do not merely pass information onwards. Each sub-sub-branch performs a calculation on the information it receives and passes the result to the bigger sub-branch. The sub-branch than performs a calculation on the information received from all its subsidiaries and passes that on. Moreover, multiple dendritic branchlets can interact with one another to amplify their combined computational product. The result is a complex calculation performed within each individual neuron. The team showed that the neuron is compartmentalized, and that its branches perform calculations independently. Multiple neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders are likely to be linked to alterations in the neuron's ability to process data. In Parkinson's disease, it has been observed that the dendritic tree undergoes anatomical and physiological changes. In autism, it looks possible that the excitability of the dendritic branches is altered, resulting in the numerous effects associated with the condition. The novel understanding of how neurons work opens new research pathways with regards to these and other disorders, with the hope of their alleviation.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Tumor Signatures !

                              Tumor 'signatures' could provide key to accurate treatment for cancers

Scientists have found a way to identify and interpret 'signatures' that reveal the complex genetic causes of some of the deadliest cancers which often have a survival rate of less than 10%. Currently, scientists use individual genetic changes to develop mutational signatures, which can be used to understand the origin of a cancer, and to predict how a cancer progresses. However, so far, there has not been a framework to interpret the larger, more complex patterns of genetic changes seen in chromosome instability in the same way. Chromosomal instability is a common feature of cancer, occurring in around 80% of tumors, but this jumble of fragments can be difficult to read, making it hard to understand exactly what types or patterns of instability are present in any given tumor. Instead, tumors are divided into broad categories of having either high or low amounts of chromosomal instability. Cancers with high levels of chromosomal instability are extremely deadly, often having survival rates of less than 10%. As such, understanding and treating chromosomal instability is central to improving the outcomes for millions of cancer patients worldwide. Researchers investigated patterns of chromosomal instability across 7,880 tumors, representing 33 types of cancer, such as liver and lung cancer, from The Cancer Genome Atlas. By analyzing the differences in the number of repetitions of sequences of DNA within the tumors, they were able to characterize 17 different types of chromosomal instability. These chromosomal instability signatures were able to predict how tumors might respond to drugs, as well as helping in the identification of future drug targets. The more complex the genetic changes that underlie a cancer, the more difficult they are to interpret and the more challenging it is to treat the tumor. This is tragically clear from the very low survival rates for cancers that arise as a result of chromosomal instability. This discovery offers hope that this information can turn things around, providing much more sophisticated and accurate treatments.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Pregnancy & PCOS !

          Pregnancy with polycystic ovary syndrome at risk of heart complications during delivery

Common hormone disorder among women of reproductive age has been linked to an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events and pregnancy outcomes at the time of birth. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects an estimated 5%-13% of women in the general population. Building on previous research that shows PCOS is linked to future cardiovascular disease risks later in life, the new findings reveal that it can also significantly increase heart problems among pregnant women during delivery. These problems include pre-eclampsia, peripartum cardiomyopathy, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms and venous thromboembolism, compared with women without PCOS. Oftentimes, women with PCOS are understandably concerned about the immediate effects, like an irregular menstrual cycle, excess body hair, weight gain and acne. However, the long-term cardiovascular complications are also a serious problem. The prevalence of PCOS and obesity among those with the hormone disorder increased significantly during the study period. During that same time period, obesity also skyrocketed from 5.7% to 28.2% among women with PCOS. Researchers note that some of the increase in PCOS may be due to better detection and diagnosis. After adjusting for age, race, other disorders not related to PCOS, insurance coverage and income, PCOS remained an independent predictor of heart complications during delivery compared with women who did not have the hormone disorder. Complications included preeclampsia, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, weakened heart, and higher risk of developing blood clots. Women with PCOS were overall older and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. The study also found Black women with PCOS were at greater risk for preeclampsia and other adverse outcomes. This study shows that PCOS is indeed a risk factor for acute cardiac complications at the time of delivery and should be taken seriously. In a separate analysis published in the Journal of Women's Health, scientists found that women with PCOS are two times more likely to have coronary artery calcification (CAC), a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. It is a marker of atherosclerosis, even without symptoms, and a reliable predictor of cardiovascular disease risk. Women with PCOS are at an increased risk for dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Detecting CAC early in women with PCOS is a key to preventing future cardiovascular disease risk.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Mechanical Itching !

                                               Scientists identify sensor underlying mechanical itch

Scientists at Scripps Research have identified a protein in sensory nerves that works as a key detector of itch specifically the "mechanical" itch stimulus of crawling insects, wool fibers, or other irritating objects that touch the skin. These findings help us untangle the complexity of itch sensation, and suggest that PIEZO1 inhibitors could be very useful clinically. Itch is a distinct sensation with its own nerve circuitry and evolutionary purpose likely to alert organisms to potentially harmful chemicals, insects and parasites. Researchers over the past decade or so have identified itch-specific subsets of spinal neurons that extend nerve fibers into the skin and are sensitive to chemical triggers of itch such as the allergy mediator histamine. But so far, relatively little has been discovered about the circuitry of mechanical itch. PIEZO1's role in mechanical itch was unexpected. These unique, propeller-shaped "mechanosensor" ion channels are embedded in the outer membranes of many cell types. They become activated when mechanically distorted, opening their ion channels and triggering various downstream events. Scientists have shown that PIEZO2 is a key mechanosensor for light touch, the feeling of the positioning of the body and limbs, and the urge to urinate all via nerves in various tissues and organs. By contrast, the researchers have found that PIEZO1 has a variety of non-sensory roles throughout the body, for example in blood vessels and red blood cells. In experiments in mice, they confirmed that PIEZO1 is expressed, and appears to be a functional, mechanical pressure-sensitive ion channel protein in two different types of sensory neuron that were already implicated in chemical itch. Mice with an overactive form of PIEZO1 were markedly more sensitive to itch sensations. By contrast, mice lacking PIEZO1 in their sensory neurons scratched themselves far less when stimulated on the skin with filaments that normally would trigger strong itch sensations. The researchers also showed that a PIEZO1-blocking compound alleviates scratching behaviors in mice with the equivalent of eczema.

SOURCE: Science Daily News, June 2022

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Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Antiscar TM
  Generic Name Extractum Cepae +Heparin +Allantoin
  Strength 100 mg+ 0.278 mg+10 mg
  Dosage form Gel
Therapeutic Category Antiscar
  Product Nomi TM
Generic Name



2.5 mg/spray

Dosage form Nasal Spray
Therapeutic Category Antimigraine
  Product Magnide TM
  Generic Name Magnesium Oxide

365 mg

  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Mineral

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