Healthcare online Keeping you up-to-date
VOL.  12     ISSUE:  10    October  2014 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor,

Welcome to our online healthcare bulletin 'e-SQUARE'.

In this issue, we focused on some interesting features like -"Diabetes Hope !", "Habits & Colon Cancer !", "Mini-Strokes Alert !",  "Psoriasis Tied HTN !",  "Superbug !", "Gout Linked DM !".

In our regular feature, we have some new 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.

Diabetes Hope !

Stem Cell Success Raises Hopes Of Type 1 Diabetes Cure

In what may be a step toward a cure for type 1 diabetes, researchers say they've developed a large-scale method for turning human embryonic stem cells into fully functioning beta cells capable of producing insulin. Currently, people with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections to maintain blood sugar control. But "insulin injections don't cure the disease," said study co-author. Patients are vulnerable to metabolic swings that can bring about serious complications, including blindness and limb loss, he said. "We wanted to replace insulin injections using nature's own solution, being the pancreatic beta cell," he said. Now, "we are reporting the ability to make hundreds of millions of these cells," he added. Study author ultimately envisions a credit card-sized package of beta cells that can be safely transplanted into a diabetes patient and left in place for a year or more, before needing to be replaced. But between then and now, human trials must be launched, a venture he thinks could begin in about three years. If that research pans out, the research's results may prove to be a benchmark in the multi-decade effort to deliver on the promise of stem cell research as a way to access new treatments for all sorts of diseases. Stem cells are essentially undifferentiated cells that can be induced into becoming specialized cells that are tissue- or organ-specific, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In some cases, such cells are sourced from embryonic tissue. Alternatively, it's possible to derive stem cells from prespecialized adult cells that are then reprogrammed to morph into an undifferentiated state. These are called induced pluripotent stem cells. Because the current effort was launched before the innovation of induced pluripotent stem cells, study co-author said his team conducted its work using embryonic stem cells. Nevertheless, he said the newfound ability to generate large supplies of beta cells will work using either type. People without diabetes have an average of 1 billion beta cells, but only about 150 million are actually needed to do the job, he said. Producing that quantity is essentially no longer a problem, according to the researchers. The induced beta cells have roughly the same genetic expression, structure and function as naturally produced human beta cells, the study authors explained. And ongoing animal testing suggests that when transplanted into mice they don't just control diabetes, they cure it. "When provided to an immuno-compromised mouse, we can cure their diabetes right away, in less than 10 days," he said. The trick going forward will be to replicate that scenario in animals whose immune system is healthy and on guard. It's possible that the launch of an automatic immune response could halt the cure in its tracks, the scientists said. Work to solve this problem is already underway, however. So far, said co-author, "cells have lived for six months in animals. But that's still ongoing, so we don't know how long they will ultimately survive."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, October 2014

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Habits & Colon Ca !

                                                                          Healthy Habits Might Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

A few healthy habits could reduce risk for colon cancer, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from more than 347,000 people in Europe who were followed for 12 years. During that time, nearly 3,760 cases of colon cancer were diagnosed among the participants. The study authors examined how five lifestyle factors affected colon cancer risk: healthy weight; low amounts of belly fat; regular physical activity; not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption; and a well-balanced diet. This diet was high in fruits, vegetables, fish, yogurt, nuts and seeds, and foods rich in fiber, and low in red and processed meat. The more of these factors people had, the lower their risk for colon cancer, according to the researchers. Compared to those with none or only one of the factors, those people with two healthy factors were 13 percent less likely to develop colon cancer while the risk was 37 percent less for those with all five healthy factors, the study found. However, the association was greater among men than women, according to the authors of the study. "Estimates based on our study populations suggest that up to 22 percent of the cases in men and 11 percent of the cases in women would have been prevented if all five of the healthy lifestyle behaviors had been followed. Our results particularly demonstrate the potential for prevention in men who are at a higher risk of [colon] cancer than women," lead author . The findings "provide additional incentive to individuals, medical professionals and public health authorities to invest in healthy lifestyle initiatives. Each person can contribute a lot to avoid cancer; the more healthy lifestyle changes, the better," author concluded. While the findings don't prove that healthy living will prevent colon cancer, they add to evidence that factors such as weight and diet influence the risk.

SOURCE:  HealthDay News, October 2014

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Mini-Strokes Alert !

                                                                               Mini-Strokes May Lead To PTSD, Study Finds

A mini-stroke may not cause lasting physical damage, but it could increase the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a small, new study suggests. Almost one-third of patients who suffered a mini-stroke -- known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) -- developed symptoms of PTSD, including depression, anxiety and reduced quality of life, the researchers said. "At the moment, a TIA is seen by doctors as a fairly benign disorder," said study co-author. However, study author and colleagues found that from a patient's perspective, a TIA is not so benign. "We found one in three patients develop PTSD, which is perhaps better known as a problem found in survivors of war zones and natural disasters," she said. PTSD can develop when a person experiences a frightening event that poses a serious threat, she explained. "It leads the person to experience symptoms such as worry, nightmares, flashbacks and social isolation," she said. The findings are based on questionnaires completed by 108 study volunteers three months after having a TIA. The responses also revealed that about 14 percent had significantly reduced mental quality of life after their mini-stroke, and 6.5 percent had reduced physical quality of life. The participants' median age was 70, according to the study. TIA is a fairly common neurological condition. Five out of 1,000 people will experience one at some point during their life, she said. Like stroke, transient ischemic attacks are caused by restricted blood supply to the brain. "TIAs are brief episodes of stroke-like symptoms, such as sudden onset of numbness, weakness or paralysis, slurred speech, loss of language, sudden loss of memory, blurred vision, confusion, and severe headache," she added. "However, in contrast to a stroke, no residual impairment remains." TIAs are considered to be a warning sign for a stroke. It is important that patients who experience one of these mini-strokes see their doctor, she said. It's not entirely clear why some patients develop post-traumatic stress disorder following a TIA, but others do not, she said. "However, what we do know at this stage is that younger patients and patients who in general find it difficult to cope with stress are more likely to develop psychological problems following a TIA," she said. "We also found that patients who overestimate their risk of suffering a future stroke are also more likely to show psychological problems," she added. These findings suggest that particular attention should be paid to younger patients. Teaching better stress-coping skills and carefully explaining a patient's realistic stroke risk might help prevent PTSD after a transient ischemic attack, study author said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, October 2014

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Psoriasis Tied HTN !

                                                     Psoriasis Tied To Raised Risk Of Uncontrolled Blood Pressure

People with more severe cases of psoriasis may be at increased risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure, a large study finds. Researchers looking at over 13,000 adults in the United Kingdom found that those with severe psoriasis were 48 percent more likely to have poorly controlled blood pressure, versus people without the skin condition. The findings confirm an association between psoriasis and cardiovascular health. But the precise reasons are not clear, and a cause-and-effect link was not proven. "We still don't fully understand why we see a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in people with psoriasis," said study leader. But, she said, chronic inflammation could be a common denominator. People with psoriasis develop thick, scaly patches on their skin that are often itchy or sore. Experts believe the problem arises from an abnormal immune system attack on healthy skin cells -- a reaction that causes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the blood vessels is thought to contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The current findings are based on an electronic medical database that included nearly 13,300 adults diagnosed with high blood pressure. Over 1,300 of those people also had psoriasis. Research team found that among people with severe psoriasis -- meaning it affected more than 10 percent of their skin -- almost 60 percent had uncontrolled high blood pressure (a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher). What's more, their odds of poorly controlled blood pressure were 48 percent higher, versus people without psoriasis, the study found. Meanwhile, people with moderate psoriasis (at least 3 percent of the skin affected) had a 20 percent higher risk. The researchers did consider other factors that affect blood pressure control, including people's weight, smoking and drinking habits, and use of medications that can boost blood pressure. But psoriasis itself was still associated with a higher risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure. Study author agreed that the findings bring more awareness to the cardiovascular risks many people with psoriasis face. "Even among doctors, there's still an under-recognition," she said. A big question, she noted, is whether getting severe psoriasis under better control with medication can improve people's cardiovascular health, too. "There are clinical trials underway," she said, "but right now, we don't know the answer."

SOURCE: HealthDay News, October 2014

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Superbug !

                                                     Common Childhood Vaccine Cuts 'Superbug' Infection: Study

The childhood pneumococcal vaccine helps children avoid the suffering and danger of ear infections, meningitis and pneumonia. And a new study suggests it may provide an added bonus: cutting down on infections from antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." First used in children in 2010, the pneumococcal vaccine was linked to a 62 percent reduction between 2009 and 2013 of drug-resistant infections of bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections for children under 5. "The vaccine is an important tool against antibiotic resistance," said lead researcher. "Along with appropriate antibiotic use, it is part of the solution to protecting ourselves against the growing threat of antibiotic resistance," she added. The pneumococcal vaccine is currently recommended for all children age 5 and younger. Pneumococcal bacteria can cause ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis. It is the most common vaccine-preventable bacterial cause of death, the researchers noted. Antibiotic-resistant strains are especially worrisome because standard drugs do not seem to help fight these bacteria. But the advent of the pneumococcal vaccine may have lessened the danger. According to researcher, more than 4,400 cases of antibiotic-resistant, invasive pneumococcal disease were prevented between 2010 to 2013. "Not only does this vaccine prevent pneumococcal infection, which means fewer antibiotics are prescribed, but it also prevents antibiotic-resistant infections," she added. Researcher said the vaccine has been so effective that the U.S. government's Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing bacteria-resistant pneumococcal disease from 9.3 to 6 cases per 100,000 children was achieved nine years early and has since dropped to 3.5 cases per 100,000. The vaccine is required in three-quarters of states before a child can be admitted to day care, she noted, and 85 percent of U.S. children have by now received the recommended four doses. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given in four doses, at 2, 4 and 6 months of age and at 12 through 15 months. The vaccine is not just for kids, she stressed. One dose is recommended for all adults 65 and older, followed by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine six to 12 months later. There are more than 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria, she noted. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects against 13 of the most common severe pneumococcal infections among children, while the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria, including those most likely to cause serious disease, which is why both are recommended for older adults. Additionally, one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for adults 19 and older who have certain cancers, HIV or kidney failure, followed by doses of polysaccharide vaccine, study author said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News , October 2014

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Gout Linked DM !

                                                                    Gout May Be Linked To Raised Diabetes Risk: Study

Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in women, a new study finds. Researchers followed more than 35,000 gout sufferers in the United Kingdom and found that women with gout were 71 percent more likely to develop diabetes compared with people without gout. For men, the increased risk was 22 percent. "Gout seems to be contributing to the risk of diabetes independently of other diabetes risk factors, such as obesity," said lead researcher. People with gout have excess uric acid in the body, which forms needle-like crystals that lodge in the joints. Diabetes, characterized by high blood sugar levels, can lead to kidney damage, heart disease and limb amputations over time. Clarifying its relationship to gout "is essential," the study authors said. However, while the current research suggests gout raises the risk of diabetes, the study can't prove it. "The association is clearly there, but why that is so isn't known," he said. Study author speculates that ongoing, low-level inflammation from gout may increase the risk for diabetes. Other risk factors shared by both diseases -- high cholesterol and high blood pressure, for example -- might also increase the risk, he said. The researchers used data from health records on adult patients from January 1995 to May 2010. They zeroed in on about 35,000 people with newly diagnosed gout and compared them with more than 137,000 people without the condition. To isolate the relationship between gout and diabetes, the investigators took age, sex and especially weight into account, because obesity is a risk factor for both gout and type 2 diabetes. The odds of developing diabetes alongside gout was much more likely for women, the researchers found. Study author said the absolute risk of a woman with gout developing diabetes is about 5 percent, and for a man it's about 3 percent. People with gout tended to drink more alcohol, saw their doctor more often, had more medical problems, and took steroids and diuretics more often than those who did not have gout, the study authors noted. Treatments for gout are available and are tailored individually. Lead researcher said the best way to reduce the risk of developing gout or diabetes is to control risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, October 2014

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Mevin
  Generic Name Mebeverine
  Strength 200 mg
  Dosage form SR Capsule
  Therapeutic Category Antispasmodic
  Product Risedon Plus
Generic Name

Risedronate Sodium, Calcium


35 mg and 500 mg

Dosage form Copackaged Tablet
Therapeutic Category Antiosteoporotic
  Product Clopirox
  Generic Name Ciclopirox Olamine
Strength 1%
  Dosage form Cream
  Therapeutic Category Topical Antifungal

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