Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL. 12  ISSUE:  4  April  2014 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor,

Welcome to this edition of 'e-SQUARE'.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Apathy Alert !", "Extroverts Happier !", "Genes Determine Pain !", "Sleep Apnea Alert",  "Stress Tied Allergy !", "Vit-D & Obesity !".

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

We will appreciate your feedback !

Click on to reply mode.

Yours sincerely,


Editorial Team

Reply Mode      : e-square@squaregroup.com

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

 Apathy Alert !

Apathy Might Signal Brain Shrinkage In Old Age: Study

Older adults who show signs of apathy tend to have a smaller brain volume than their peers with more vim and vigor, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of more than 4,300 older adults, those with at least two symptoms of apathy had slightly less gray matter and white matter in their brains. Gray matter basically acts as the brain's information-processing centers, while white matter is like the wiring connecting those centers. While the study tied apathy to reduced brain volume, it didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It's possible that apathy could serve as a "warning sign" of increased dementia risk or some other disorder affecting the brain, according to study co-author. But she said more research is needed to understand what is going on. The findings are based on 4,354 adults from Iceland, mainly in their 70s, who underwent MRI scans to measure their brain volume. They also answered three questions aimed at gauging apathy: "Have you dropped many of your activities and interests?" "Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things?" and "Do you feel full of energy?" Almost half of the study participants had two or three signs of apathy. And on average, research team found, they had slightly smaller brain volume than those with one or no signs of apathy. That leaves open the chicken-and-egg question. "We can't say which comes first, apathy or changes in the brain consistent with symptoms of apathy," she said. The researchers did try to tease out whether certain health conditions could explain the connection. Apathy symptoms are common in people with depression, for example, but research team found that apathy was tied to lower brain volume even in the absence of depression. People with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia often become apathetic as well, but none of the study participants had dementia. The researchers also factored in diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and study participants' exercise levels and walking speeds. Apathy was still linked to lower brain volume. Another possibility, according to research team, is that "cerebral small-vessel disease" plays some role. That refers to damage to the small blood vessels of the brain, from conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Small-vessel disease can lead to what doctors call vascular dementia -- which is second to Alzheimer's as the most common form of dementia. For now, study co-author suggested that older adults who notice a loss of energy or motivation bring it up to their doctor. She said it could be a sign of some underlying problem that warrants a closer look.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2014

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 Extroverts Happier !

Extroverts Happier Regardless Of Culture, Study Finds

Being outgoing makes you happier no matter where you live, a new international study says. Researchers looked at mood and behavior among college students in the United States, China, Japan, the Philippines and Venezuela. Overall, those who felt or acted more extroverted in daily situations were happier. The investigators also found that the students' behavior was more upbeat when they felt free to be themselves, according to the study. "We are not the first to show that being more extroverted in daily behavior can lead to more positive moods. However, we are probably the first to extend this finding to a variety of cultures," study author said news release. Previous studies found that introverts in the United States were happier when they did outgoing things such as giving an old friend a call or smiling at a passerby. According to the news release, most of this type of research has been conducted in Western nations that place a high value on independence and individualism. In this study, researcher wanted to investigate the link between extroversion and happiness in more community-based cultures in Asia and South America. The findings show that many cultures share similar major personality traits and that being outgoing may be one way to increase happiness in all of them, researchers say. "Cross-cultural psychologists like to talk about psychic unity," study author said. "Despite all of our cultural differences, the way personality is organized seems to be pretty comparable across cultural groups. There is evidence to show that 40 to 50 percent of the variation in personality traits has a genetic basis."

SOURCE:  HealthDay News, April 2014

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 Genes Determine Pain !

Genes May Help Determine Pain Threshold

It's been a mystery why some people can withstand pain better than others. Now a new study suggests that genetics may play a role in whether pain tolerance is low or high. Researchers pinpointed four genes that could help explain why perceptions of pain differ from person to person. "Our study is quite significant because it provides an objective way to understand pain and why different individuals have different pain tolerance levels," study author said. "Identifying whether a person has these four genes could help doctors better understand a patient's perception of pain," she explained. The study involved more than 2,700 people taking prescription painkillers, called opioids (commonly known as narcotics), for chronic pain. The participants were asked to rate their pain on a scale from zero to 10. After excluding those who reported their pain as zero, the researchers divided the remaining patients into three groups depending on their pain score. Of all the participants, 9 percent were classified as having low pain perception. Meanwhile 46 percent of the patients were considered to have moderate pain. Finally, 45 percent of the participants were rated as having high pain perception. The participants were also evaluated for the following genes: COMT, DRD2, DRD1 and OPRK1. The DRD1 gene was more common among those with low pain perception, the study revealed. The researchers found this gene variant was 33 percent more prevalent in the low-pain group than in the high-pain group. For those with moderate pain, the COMT and OPRK genes were seen more. COMT was 25 percent more common in those with moderate pain than those with high pain perception. OPRK was 19 percent more prevalent, the investigators found. Meanwhile, the DRD2 gene variant was 25 percent more common among those with a high pain perception than those with moderate pain. "Chronic pain can affect every other part of life," study author said. "Finding genes that maybe play a role in pain perception could provide a target for developing new therapies and help physicians better understand their patients' perceptions of pain."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2014

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Sleep Apnea Alert !

Sleep Apnea May Be Linked To Poor Bone Health

People with sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, may be at increased risk for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, especially women and older people, a new study suggests. Sleep apnea causes repeated, brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can increase a person's risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. "Ongoing sleep disruptions caused by obstructive sleep apnea can harm many of the body's systems, including the skeletal system," said study co-author. "When sleep apnea periodically deprives the body of oxygen, it can weaken bones and raise the risk of osteoporosis," co-author said. "The progressive condition can lead to bone fractures, increased medical costs, reduced quality of life and even death." For the study, researchers analyzed the medical records of nearly 1,400 people in Taiwan diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea between 2000 and 2008. They compared them with more than 20,600 people who did not have the sleep disorder. Over six years of follow-up, people with sleep apnea were 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. The risk for the bone-thinning disease was highest among women and older people with sleep apnea, according to the study. "As more and more people are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea worldwide, both patients and health care providers need to be aware of the heightened risk of developing other conditions," study co-author said. "We need to pay more attention to the relationship between sleep apnea and bone health so we can identify strategies to prevent osteoporosis." However, the study only noted an association between sleep apnea and osteoporosis. It does not prove that one causes the other.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2014

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Stress Tied Allergy !

Stress Tied To Worse Allergy Symptoms

Stress may trigger symptom flare-ups in people with seasonal allergies, a new study suggests. Researchers followed 179 people with hay fever for 12 weeks, and found that 39 percent of them had more than one flare-up. Those patients had higher levels of stress than those who didn't have allergy symptoms during the study period. Sixty-four percent of the participants with higher stress levels had more than four flare-ups over two 14-day periods, according to the findings. There was no significant link between stress and flare-ups on the same day, but a number of people had flare-ups within days of experiencing increased daily stress, the researchers said. "Stress can cause several negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers," study author said. "Our study also found those with more frequent allergy flares also have a greater negative mood, which may be leading to these flares," she added. "Symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes can cause added stress for allergy sufferers, and may even be the root of stress for some," she said. "While alleviating stress won't cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms." Although the study found an association between stress levels and severity of allergy symptoms, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Ways to reduce and control stress include: meditation and deep breathing; making time for fun and relaxation; eating right, getting sufficient sleep and taking care of health issues; asking for help from a family member, co-worker or social worker; and eliminating things that cause stress and learning how to cope with it better.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2014

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Vit-D & Obesity !

Too Little Vitamin D May Add To Obesity's Burden

Severely obese people with vitamin D deficiency may be less mobile than those with normal levels of the vitamin, a new study says. Poor physical functioning can reduce quality of life and increase the risk of early death, the researchers noted. The study included 252 severely obese people who were timed as they walked 1,640 feet and climbed up and down a single step 50 times. The participants also gave blood samples and estimates of their levels of physical activity. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels had the slowest walking times and the lowest amounts of physical activity, according to the study. "People with severe obesity already are eight times more likely to have poor physical function than people with a healthy [body weight]," study co-author said in a news release. "Poor vitamin D status contributes to the deterioration of physical function in this population. Among those with severe obesity, 43 percent are at risk of vitamin D deficiency," he added. About 6.5 percent of American adults are severely obese, the study authors noted in the news release. While the study doesn't prove that lower levels of vitamin D curtail mobility, it does suggest a link might exist between the two. Improving vitamin D status could be a simple matter of spending more time outside, because sun exposure can boost the body's natural vitamin D production, he said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, April 2014

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Deflacort
  Generic Name Deflazacort
  Strength 6 mg 
  Dosage form Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Corticosteroid
  Product Orostar  Plus Mouthwash 120
Generic Name

Menthol + Thymol + Methyl Salicylate + Eucalyptol + NaF



Dosage form Mouthwash
Therapeutic Category Antiseptic Mouthwash
  Product Orostar  Plus Mouthwash 250
  Generic Name Menthol + Thymol + Methyl Salicylate + Eucalyptol + NaF
  Strength 0.042%+0.064%+0.06%+0.092%+0.02%
  Dosage form Mouthwash
  Therapeutic Category Antiseptic Mouthwash

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