Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Awareness

September is PCOS awareness month. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body hair and polycystic ovaries. PCOS causes small, pearl-sized cyst clusters in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly more amounts of male hormones known as androgens. The cause of PCOS is unknown. PCOS is a syndrome disease and is a collection of signs and symptoms.Post menopausal women can also suffer from PCOS.


PCOS is caused by an imbalance in the hormones (chemical messengers) in your brain and your ovaries. PCOS usually happens when a hormone called LH (from the pituitary gland) or levels of insulin (from the pancreas) are too high, which then causes the ovaries to make extra amounts of testosterone. All women make testosterone, but in PCOS, ovaries make a little bit more testosterone than required. In PCOS LH levels are often high when the menstrual cycle starts. The levels of LH are also higher than FSH levels. Because the LH levels are already quite high, there is no LH surge. Without this LH surge, ovulation does not occur, and periods are irregular.

The symptoms include:

  • Infertility
  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
  • Irregular or missing periods
  • Patches of dark skin on the back of your neck and other areas, called acanthosis nigricans

70% of women with PCOS are still undiagnosed. Hence awareness is key factor for the syndrome. PCOS treatment starts with proper diagnosis. Treatment is then chosen based on every individual’s symptom, age and future pregnancy plans. Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is increased in PCOS, and may become part of its diagnostic criteria

  • Birth control pills to regulate menstruation
  • Insulin-sensitizing medications
  • Ovulation induction to treat infertility
  • Androgen-blocking medications
  • Topical anti-hair-growth medications
  • Other excess hair treatments

The best treatment for PCOS is a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. Increasing your daily activity and a regular exercise regime reduces further complications. Vitamin D deficiency may play an important role in the metabolic syndrome. Myo-inositol supplementation, however, appears to be effective in improving several of the hormonal disturbances of PCOS. Early diagnosis and treatment reduces the risk of some of the other risks, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The World Health Organization estimates that it affects 116 million women worldwide as of 2010. High-fiber carbohydrates include whole-grain breads and cereals, whole-wheat pasta, bulgur wheat, barley, brown rice, and beans are some healthy foods to help combat the complications of the syndrome.



Common Cold: Vaccine

Common cold is a viral infectious disease which  affects the nose, throat, sinuses, and voice box may also be affected. The rhinoviruses is the most  cause for common cold.  People with influenza often show similar symptoms as people with a cold, though symptoms are usually more severe in influenza. There is no vaccine for the common cold. The need for a vaccine against rhinoviruses is necessary because there are more than 100 varieties of rhinovirus causing common cold circulating around the world.

The researchers report in Nature Communications ; Vaccines that combine dozens of varieties of rhinovirus at once are effective in stimulating antiviral antibodies in mice and monkeys. Researchers in 1960s showed that it was possible to vaccinate people against one variety of rhinovirus and prevent them from getting sick when affected with samples of the same virus. The main problem arises due to the diversity of the rhinoviruses.

Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta took 50 types of rhinovirus and mixed them together into our vaccine, and made sure we had enough of each one,” Moore says. “If we make a vaccine with 50 or 100 variants, it’s the same amount of total protein in a single dose of vaccine.

“There are no good animal models of rhinovirus replication,” Moore says. “The next step would be human challenge models with volunteers, which are feasible because the virus is not very pathogenic.”

Emory University School of Medicine has provided the vaccine technology to a startup company, Meissa Vaccines, Inc., which is pursuing a product development plan with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ vaccine manufacturing services

Source:Science Daily


Chikungunya: Facts

Chikungunya: Virus 

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne alpha virus that was first isolated after a 1952 outbreak in modern-day Tanzania .A number of chikungunya outbreaks is due to the change in the genetic sequence which altered the viral coat protein which allows it to multiply more easily in the mosquito cells. The virus uses Asian tiger mosquito (invasive vector ) and the main vector being Aedes aegypti. Precautions need to be taken to stop the growth of the vector to combat the virus spread.

In 2006 there was a large outbreak in India . The virus re-emerged in 2006 after a gap of 32 years and caused an explosive outbreak affecting 13 states. The states first affected were Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Kerala. The tropical environment of India aids in the mosquito growth and hence spread of the virus.

Now in the year 2016 the outbreak in Delhi and regions near to Delhi is large.  According to the Department of Microbiology at AIIMS, 712 samples were tested at its lab this year, of which 391 tested positive — 362 of the positive cases were tested between July 1 and August 20. Last year, only 64 cases were reported in Delhi.

Chikungunya can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. The commonly available ELISA blood test can be used to check Chikungunya antibodies. While this may take longer to become positive, virological tests like RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase PCR) can be used for earlier detection of virus in the blood – as early as the first 5 days after the onset of symptoms.

Research is ongoing to find a vaccine for Chikungunya. The disease is spreading outside Asia and it is suspected that new strains of Chikungunya viruses are out .

Note: It is a cumulative data from various sources.

Staying safe:   

Mosquitoes breed in fresh water. Prevent water logging in your area, and discard the bottles, tyres, dishes and other areas where water logging is possible.

Cover water coolers and tanks, and clean them frequently. Donot allow water to stay stagnated for more than a day.

Children wear clothes that cover their hands and legs while going out to play, and do not allow them to play near water bodies.

If diagnosed with dengue or chikungunya, take plenty of rest. Water, fruit juices, coconut water and electrolyte solutions help in staying hydrated.

The blood platelet count has to monitered and if required platelet transfusion may be needed.

Do net self-medicate. Antibiotics and steroids do not show any benefit and can have adverse effect. Aspirin should be avoided. Paracetamol can be taken to reduce fever.

New Gene Discovery can yield new treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

New research has found that blocking the gene – called TNFR5 – halted the destruction process of insulin producing cells, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Insulin regulates the blood sugar level. Insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases sugar when the sugar level is low.

Using high-density microarray analysis, more than 31,000 genes associated with the pancreas were evaluated, which would determine which ones were most sensitive to glucose and fatty acids.

The researchers found that the gene TNFR5 had the highest sensitivity to glucose and fatty acids, and  an overexpression of this gene led to beta cell destruction. This led to the finding inhibiting TNFR 5 activity could be a promising treatment for type 2 diabetes.


₹250 crore facility setup by Indian immunologicals Ltd at Hyderabad

The Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) is a leading biologicals company in the country. It has set up a new facility with an investment of Rs. 250 crore near Hyderabad and is set to become India’s largest producer of animal health formulations.

Spread over 47 acres at Karkapatla is IIL’s second manufacturing unit in Hyderabad and will significantly expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities. The IIL has developed this facility considering the growing demand for the next 10 years for human vaccines and animal health formulations.

The first phase of human vaccine facility at IIL has the capacity to produce eight million doses of human rabies vaccine, while the animal health formulation facility is equipped to produce an estimated capacity of 300 million tablets, 100 million bolus, and 20 million vials of injectables.

Deputy managing director K. Anand Kumar said, “The facility will strengthen IIL’s position in the industry and will immensely increase our manufacturing capabilities. We are expecting this plant to play a key role in manufacturing top quality vaccines with the most recent German technology.”

Source: IANS

Drug Screening Tool reduces need for Animal Testing

In the drug development phase animal testing plays an important role to detect any toxic effects of the drug.

  • Human primary renal proximal tubular cells or similar cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were used earlier.
  • The team used human iPSCs, which can can be generated from cells that are easily found in the body ex : skin.

Scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore describe how they developed the platform using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and machine learning methods.As well as predicting toxicity, they note that the new platform also correctly identifies the injury mechanisms that a drug may induce, which can improve understanding of the compound and its effects.

The tool will be useful to both Pharmaceutical sector as well as the food and cosmetics industry.

Senior author Dr. Daniele Zink, IBN team leader and principal research scientist, says:”We have developed the fastest and most efficient protocol for generating kidney cells from induced pluripotent stem cells. Within 8 days, it yielded highly pure kidney cells that were suitable for compound screening.”


Source : MNT

Cardiological Society of India launches book on developing healthy heart lifestyle

The Cardiological society of Bengal was started on the 11th April, 1946  with Dr. B.C. Roy, the legendary physician as its first President. Cardiological Society of India has twenty five branches of its own spread all over the country.

The Cardiological Society of India is an active member of the International Society & federation of Cardiology and Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology and also SAARC society of Cardiology and jointly working with European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and American College of Cardiology (ACC). 

The present membership strength of the Society including overseas members has reached more than four thousand. Every year the World Heart Day is observed at CSI HQ and all other branches of CSI on 29th September

“Ten Commandments for Creating Heart-Healthy Homes”, the book is available in English and 10 other Indian languages and would be circulated among school children across the country.

CSI general secretary Dr Mrinal Kanti Das said: “Prevention is the best way to fight cardiovascular diseases and so we have chosen school children as the target audience.

“The book also seeks to address the issue of obesity and hypertension to which our younger population is increasingly falling prey to,” said Dr Das.

“The book can play a big part in preventing cardiovascular diseases and we will talk with the other departments concerned to ensure if the contents can be displayed at all medical facilities whether government or private so that awareness can be widely spread,” said Dr Bachani.

Medical Research News and Updates

Image credit: Medical News Today.


According to Medical News Today report Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have made a discovery that could help in the fight against both cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Assistant Professor of Immunology Young Jun Kang, who collaborated on the study with the lab of TSRI Institute Professor Richard A. Lerner – who is also Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry – says:

“This finding could be helpful for developing strategies to target cancer and inflammatory diseases.”