Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  19     ISSUE:  5   May 2021 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management



Rubyeat Adnan




Hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Error-Prone !", "Cerebellum & Human Brain !", "Migraine Facts !", "Archaic Humans !",  "Cancer Risk !", "Lithium & Depression !".

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.

 Error-Prone !

Errors at the start of life

The process of combining maternal and paternal genetic information is surprisingly error-prone. Only one in three fertilizations leads to a successful pregnancy. Many embryos fail to progress beyond early development. The researchers discovered that errors often occur when the genetic material from each parent combines immediately after fertilization. This is due to a remarkably inefficient process. Human somatic cells typically have 46 chromosomes, which together carry the genetic information. These chromosomes are first brought together at fertilization, 23 from the father's sperm, and 23 from the mother's egg. After fertilization, the parental chromosomes initially exist in two separate compartments, known as pronuclei. These pronuclei slowly move towards each other until they come into contact. The pronuclear envelopes then dissolve, and the parental chromosomes unite. The majority of human embryos, however, end up with an incorrect number of chromosomes. These embryos are often not viable, making erroneous genome unification a leading cause of miscarriage and infertility. Components of the cytoskeleton and the nuclear envelope control chromosome movement within the pronuclei. Intriguingly, these elements also steer the two pronuclei towards each other. Two closely linked processes that are essential, but often go wrong. Thus, whether an embryo will develop healthily or not depends on a remarkably inefficient process.The scientists' findings are also relevant for in vitro fertilization in humans. It has been discussed for some time whether the accumulation of the so-called nucleoli at the pronuclear interface in human zygotes could be used as an indicator for the chance of successful fertilization. Zygotes in which these pronuclear components all cluster at the interface have a better chance of developing successfully, and could therefore be preferentially used for fertility treatment.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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 Cerebellum & Human Brain !

Cerebellum: Key Role in Evolution of Human Brain

The cerebellum a part of the brain once recognized mainly for its role in coordinating movement underwent evolutionary changes that may have contributed to human culture, language and tool use. Scientists studying how humans evolved their remarkable capacity to think and learn have frequently focused on the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain vital for executive functions, like moral reasoning and decision making. But recently, the cerebellum has begun receiving more attention for its role in human cognition. Researcher investigated the evolution of the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex by looking for molecular differences between humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaque monkeys. Specifically, they examined genomes from the two types of brain tissue in the three species to find epigenetic differences. These are modifications that do not change the DNA sequence but can affect which genes are turned on and off and can be inherited by future generations.Compared to chimpanzees and rhesus macaques, humans showed greater epigenetic differences in the cerebellum than the prefrontal cortex, highlighting the importance of the cerebellum in human brain evolution. The epigenetic differences were especially apparent on genes involved in brain development, brain inflammation, fat metabolism and synaptic plasticity the strengthening or weakening of connections between neurons depending on how often they are used. The epigenetic differences identified in the new study are relevant for understanding how the human brain functions and its ability to adapt and make new connections. These epigenetic differences may also be involved in aging and disease. Previous studies have shown that epigenetic differences between humans and chimpanzees in the prefrontal cortex are associated with genes involved in psychiatric conditions and neurodegeneration. Overall, the new study affirms the importance of including the cerebellum when studying how the human brain evolved.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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 Migraine Facts !

Hallmark of anti-migraine treatments

By discovering a potential new cellular mechanism for migraines researchers have found a new way to treat chronic migraine. They explained that the dynamic process of routing and rerouting connections among nerve cells, called neural plasticity, is critical to both the causes and cures for disorders of the central nervous system such as depression, chronic pain, and addiction. The structure of the cell is maintained by its cytoskeleton which is made up of the protein, tubulin. Tubulin is in a constant state of flux, waxing and waning to change the size and shape of the cell. This dynamic property of the cell allows the nervous system to change in response to its environment. Tubulin is modified in the body through a chemical process called acetylation. When tubulin is acetylated it encourages flexible, stable cytoskeleton; while tubulin deacetylation induced by histone deacetylase 6, or HDAC6, promotes cytoskeletal instability. Studies show that decreased neuronal complexity may be a feature, or mechanism, of chronic migraine. Restoration of this complexity could be a hallmark of anti-migraine treatments. Blocking HDAC6 would allow neurons to restore its flexibility so the brain would be more receptive to other types of treatment. When HDAC6 is inhibited, tubulin acetylation and cytoskeletal flexibility is restored. Additionally, HDAC6 reversed the cellular correlates of migraine and relieved migraine-associated pain, according to the study. Once out of the cycle of decreased neuronal complexity, the brain may become more responsive to pain management therapies.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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 Archaic Humans !

                                      A new perspective on the genomes of archaic humans

A genome by itself is like a recipe without a chef full of important information, but in need of interpretation. So, even though we have sequenced genomes of our nearest extinct relatives the Neanderthals and the Denisovans there remain many unknowns regarding how differences in our genomes actually lead to differences in physical traits. Researcher have the naked DNA sequence, and can really do is stare at it and hope one day able to understand what it means. Motivated by such hopes, a team of researchers have devised a new method to harvest more information from the genomes of archaic humans to potentially reveal the physical consequences of genomic differences between us and them. The process by which genes are activated or silenced, which determines when, how and where DNA's instructions are followed. Gene expression tends to be the genetic detail that determines physical differences between closely related groups. Starting with 14,042 genetic variants unique to modern humans, the researchers found 407 that specifically contribute to differences in gene expression between modern and archaic humans. In further analysis, they determined that the differences were more likely to be associated with the vocal tract and the cerebellum, which is the part of our brain that receives sensory information and controls voluntary movement, including walking, coordination, balance and speech. With such a large number of variants to examine, the researchers relied on a technique called a "massively parallel reporter assay" to test which sequences actually affect gene regulation. That virus is then put into a cell. If that variant affects gene expression, the reporter gene produces a barcoded molecule that identifies what DNA sequence it came from. The barcode allows the researchers to scan the products of a large number of variants at once. Essentially, the whole process imitates an abridged version of how each variant would play out in a cell in real life and reports the results. In total, the researchers found 407 sequences that represented a change in expression in modern humans compared to our predecessors. Among that list, genes that affect the cerebellum and genes that affect the voice box, pharynx, larynx and vocal cords seem to be overrepresented. This would suggest some kind of rapid evolution of those organs or some kind of a path that is specific to modern humans. Even with those unknowns, this technique by itself is a significant advance for evolutionary research.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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 Cancer Risk !

                       Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer

Researchers have found a link between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer in women under age 50. The findings suggest that heavy consumption of sugary drinks during adolescence and adulthood can increase the disease risk. Colorectal cancer in younger adults remains relatively rare, but the fact that the rates have been increasing over the past three decade, is a major public health concern and a priority in cancer prevention. Compared with women who drank less than one 8-ounce serving per week of sugar-sweetened beverages, those who drank two or more servings per day had just over twice the risk of developing early-onset colorectal cancer, meaning it was diagnosed before age 50. The researchers calculated a 16% increase in risk for each 8-ounce serving per day. And from ages 13 to 18, an important time for growth and development, each daily serving was linked to a 32% increased risk of eventually developing colorectal cancer before age 50.Sugar-sweetened drink consumption has been linked to metabolic health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, including in children. But less is known about whether such high-sugar beverages could have a role in the increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in younger people. Like early-onset colorectal cancer rates, consumption of such drinks has increased over the past 20 years, with the highest consumption level found among adolescents and young adults ages 20 to 34. With the increasing rates in mind, the American Cancer Society has recently lowered the recommended age for a first screening colonoscopy to 45, down from the previously recommended age 50 for people at average risk. Those with additional risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, should start even earlier, according to the guidelines. While sugar-sweetened beverages were linked to an increased risk of early-onset colorectal cancer, some other drinks including milk and coffee were associated with a decreased risk. This observational study can't demonstrate that drinking sugary beverages causes this type of cancer or that drinking milk or coffee is protective, but the researchers said that replacing sweetened beverages with unsweetened drinks, such as milk and coffee, is a better choice for long-term health.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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 Lithium & Depression !

                Connection between lithium concentrations in the brain and depression 

Depressive disorders are among the most frequent illnesses worldwide. The causes are complex and to date only partially understood. The trace element lithium appears to play a role. Using neutrons of the research neutron source at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), a research team has now proved that the distribution of lithium in the brains of depressive people is different from the distribution found in healthy humans. International studies have shown that a higher natural lithium content in drinking water coincides with a lower suicide rate among the population. In much higher concentrations lithium salts have been used for decades to treat mania and depressive disturbances. However, the exact role lithium plays in the brain is still unknown. Researcher develop a method which can be used to precisely determine the distribution of lithium in the human brain. The team hopes to be able to draw conclusions for therapy as well as to gain a better understanding of the physiological processes involved in depression. The scientists investigated the brain of a suicidal patient and compared it with two control persons. The investigation focused on the ratio of the lithium concentration in white brain matter to the concentration in the gray matter of the brain. In order to determine where how much lithium is present in the brain, the researchers analyzed 150 samples from various brain regions. The two decay products are captured by detectors in front of and behind the sample and thus provide information on where exactly the lithium is located in the brain section. Since the lithium concentration in the brain is usually very low, it is also very difficult to ascertain. Researcher observed that there was significantly more lithium present in the white matter of the healthy person than in the gray matter. Research results are fairly groundbreaking, because researcher were able for the first time to ascertain the distribution of lithium under physiological conditions & able to ascertain trace quantities of the element in the brain without first administering medication and because the distribution is so clearly different, assume that lithium indeed has an important function in the body.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2021

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Betaburn TM
  Generic Name Beta-Sitosterol


Dosage form Ointment
  Therapeutic Category Topical Antibacterial
Product DK  TM
Generic Name

Vitamin D3 + Vitamin K1 + Vitamin K2

Strength 400IU+60mcg+30 mcg
Dosage form Soft Gel Capsule
Therapeutic Category Vitamin
  Product Ulrif  TM
Generic Name Sucralfate
  Strength 1g/5ml
Dosage form Suspension
  Therapeutic Category Non Systemic Antiulcerant

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