Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  13     ISSUE:  5   May 2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





We hope that you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin.

Our current issue focused on some interesting features like -

"Depression & Stroke !", "Gene Therapy !", "Statins Slow Ca !", "Smoking & Angioplasty !",  "PTSD Alert !", "Vit-D & Wt. Loss !".

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

We will appreciate your feedback !

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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.

 Depression & Stroke !

                                                                             Even Treated Depression May Raise Stroke Risk

Depression in older adults appears to significantly increase the risk of a stroke, even after depression symptoms have gotten better, a new study suggests. The researchers found that people who had severe symptoms of depression were more than twice as likely to have a stroke as those with no symptoms. People who had symptoms at the first interview, but had gotten better by the second interview still had a 66 percent higher stroke risk, the study authors said. "The surprising finding that stroke risk remains elevated even if symptoms seem to have gone away make replicating this study urgent," lead researcher said. "If replicated, these findings suggest that doctors should seek to identify and treat depressive symptoms before harmful effects on stroke risk start to accumulate," she said. It's important to note, however, that this study only found an association between depression and stroke risk. It can't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between these conditions, due to the study's design. Although how stroke and depression might be linked isn't clear, other research has shown that depression increases the risk of high blood pressure, abnormalities in the nervous system and increased inflammation, the researchers said. Moreover, depression might trigger conditions such as infection and an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, which can increase the risk of stroke, the study authors said. In addition, depressed people are more likely to smoke and be less physically active, they added. For the study, researcher and her colleagues collected data on more than 16,000 men and women. They were all 50 and older. And they were part of the Health and Retirement Study that ran from 1998 to 2010. Over 12 years, nearly 1,200 people had a stroke. Throughout the study period, between 10 and 12 percent of participants had high levels of depressive symptoms. Another 8 to 10 percent of study volunteers reported depression that had recently remitted. The researchers didn't ask whether depressive symptoms lessened because of treatment or for other reasons. In addition to the overall increased risk of stroke for people with depression, the findings suggested that stroke risk remains elevated even when depression has eased, especially for women, the researchers said. They also noted that people under 65 who had depressive symptoms had a greater risk of stroke compared to those over 65 with depression. The study also found that people with recent-onset depression -- depressive symptoms that started in-between the study interviews -- didn't have a significantly increased stroke risk. The researchers said that suggests that depression may contribute to physiological changes over the long-term.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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 Gene Therapy !

 Gene Therapy Shows Promise For Inherited Eye Disease

A new study finds that gene therapy quickly improves eyesight for patients who've lost their vision from an inherited condition called Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). But the improvements aren't permanent: Researchers said the gains began to diminish after one to three years. "Gene therapy for LCA demonstrated we could improve vision in previously untreatable and incurable retinal conditions," study leader said. "Even though the current version of the therapy doesn't appear to be the permanent treatment we were hoping for, the gain in knowledge ... is an opportunity to improve the therapy so that the restored vision can be sustained for longer durations in patients," he added. Scientists started the research in 2007, looking at 15 people with the eye condition who received injections of a virus that carried certain genes. "Within days of the injections, some patients reported increases in their ability to see dim lights they had never seen before," he said. "It was remarkable for us to get this feedback that things were indeed changing positively." Director of the National Eye Institute, said that six years of data shows that a gene-therapy approach is safe and successfully improves vision in people with LCA. "As with any application of a novel therapy, it now needs to be fine-tuned. More research is needed to understand the underlying biology and how we can preserve or restore photoreceptors for a lifetime," he said. 

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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 Statins Slow Ca !

Statins May Slow Prostate Cancer Progression: Study

Statins, widely used to lower cholesterol levels, may also slow the progression of prostate cancer in patients receiving hormone therapy, a new study suggests. Among 926 men undergoing hormone therapy for advanced prostate therapy, those taking statins saw significant benefits, researchers said. Their cancer remained stable for an average of 27.5 months before worsening, compared with an average of 17.4 months among men not taking statins. "These findings are preliminary, so I would not recommend that everybody start on statins to slow prostate cancer," said study senior author said. He also cautioned that these findings apply only to men who have advanced prostate cancer that has relapsed after hormone therapy. "This does not speak to early stage prostate cancer or whether statins are beneficial in preventing prostate cancer," he said. Patients in the study, conducted from 1996 to 2013, were followed for nearly six years on average. Hormone therapy is the usual treatment for men who suffer from prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate gland. The therapy deprives the body of testosterone, the male hormone that helps cancer cells grow. However, over time, the therapy becomes less effective and the cancer begins to grow again. Essentially, he explained, statins keep testosterone from entering cancer cells. They block dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), a precursor of testosterone, thus preventing cancer cell growth, he said. More specifically, lab experiments indicated that statins use up the available supply of a protein called SLCO2B1, which allows various drugs and hormones to enter cells. This appears to keep DHEAS from the cancer cells, making hormone therapy more effective. "This is a plausible mechanism by which a statin may have a benefit to prostate cancer patients," senior author said. He added that more studies are needed to verify their findings. "We have a strong hypothesis, but it is by no means proof that statins prolong the time to relapse. But the data is strongly suggestive that that's the fact," he said. Adding a statin to hormone therapy may be a way to make hormone therapy last longer and prevent cancer from progressing, he said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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 Smoking & Angioplasty !

Quitting Smoking Improves Angioplasty Outcome, Study Finds

Patients who quit smoking when they have angioplasty -- have better outcomes, a new study finds. Quitting smoking was associated with less chest pain and better quality of life, researchers reported. "It's a no-brainer. Stopping smoking seems like a relatively easy way to increase chances of getting the best outcomes from angioplasty," senior author said. The researchers followed more than 2,700 adults who underwent angioplasty for either a heart attack or chest pain. One year after the procedure, 21 percent of those who quit smoking when they had angioplasty had chest pain, compared with 31 percent of those who kept smoking, and 19 percent of those who never smoked or quit smoking before the procedure. Patients who undergo angioplasty are strongly encouraged to quit smoking in order to reduce the risk of future heart problems. At the one-year follow-up, 38 percent of smokers had quit, according to the study. "It's not just important that we do a good job treating the blockage. Cardiologists have to work with patients to help them stop smoking, whether it means nicotine replacement, a smoking cessation program or some other intervention," senior author said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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 PTSD Alert !

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Be Linked To Accelerated Aging

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may cause accelerated aging, a new study suggests. Previous research has linked PTSD with mental health disorders such as depression, insomnia, anger, eating disorders and substance abuse. But, this is the first time PTSD has been potentially linked to a number of biological processes that could lead to faster aging, the investigators said. The researchers reviewed 64 studies. Six of the studies found that people with PTSD had reduced telomere length. Telomeres -- which are protective caps on the end of DNA strands on chromosomes -- become shorter as people age. Other studies reviewed found a link between PTSD and higher levels of signs of inflammation, and that people with PTSD have higher rates of aging-related conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and ulcers. Several studies also suggested a mild-to-moderate association between PTSD and premature death. Although the studies reviewed point to associations between PTSD and factors related to accelerated aging, the new review wasn't designed to prove that PTSD was the cause of the faster aging. The findings were published online May 7 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. "These findings do not speak to whether accelerated aging is specific to PTSD, but they do argue the need to re-conceptualize PTSD as something more than a mental illness," first author said. The findings show the need for further research into the possible links between PTSD and accelerated aging and how it might affect treatment of people with PTSD, he added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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 Vit-D & Wt. loss !

Vitamin D Supplements Might Help Some Lose Weight

For obese Americans who are low on vitamin D, taking a supplement of the nutrient might help them lose weight, a new study suggests. According to an Italian team, prior research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of obesity and obesity-related complications. However, studies on the use of vitamin D supplements to curb obesity have so far been inconclusive, the team said. The new study included 400 overweight and obese people with vitamin D deficiency who were put on a low-calorie diet and then divided into three groups. One group took no vitamin D supplements, while the two other groups took either 25,000 international units (IU) or 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month. After six months, participants in both vitamin D supplementation groups had lost more weight and had greater reductions in their waistlines than those who hadn't taken the supplements, research team said. "The present data indicate that in obese and overweight people with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation aids weight loss and enhances the beneficial effects of a reduced-calorie diet," research team wrote. The researchers suggest that all overweight and obese people should have their vitamin D levels tested. Previous studies have suggested that about 40 percent of North American adults are vitamin D-deficient, according to the study.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, May 2015

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Zanthin
  Generic Name Astaxanthine

2 mg, 4 mg

  Dosage form Licap
  Therapeutic Category Antioxidant
  Product Cefotil Plus        
Generic Name

Cefuroxime+Clavulanic Acid

Strength 250 mg, 500 mg
Dosage form Tablet
Therapeutic Category Cephalosporin
  Product Asynta
  Generic Name Sodium Alginate+Potassium Bicarbonate
  Strength 500 mg+ 100 mg
  Dosage form Chewable Tablet
  Therapeutic Category Non Systemic Antacid

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