vol.32, no.8, august 2021 www.medicalreviewintl.com reg. # ss-388 | price rs.75.00 un calls for support for new covid-19 origins studies the world organization that health (who) has urged all countries “to put differences aside” in order to speed up efforts to understand where and how the covid-19 virus started – including the unproven suggestion it was manufactured in a laboratory. the move, announced comes after a joint report was issued by who and china into the origins of the coronavirus. noting that a review of that report had determined that there was insufficient scientific evidence to rule any of the hypotheses out about the origins of the new coronavirus, the un agency insisted that to address the ‘lab hypothesis’, it needed access “to all data” in order to prevent global health threats in future. who all calls governments to depoliticize the situation and cooperate to accelerate the origins studies, and importantly to work together to develop a common framework for future emerging pathogens of pandemic potential. in a detailed statement, who explained that it had decided on a new series for crossed of scientific studies “that need to be undertaken” into all hypotheses about how the previously unknown pathogen from animals to humans. we call on all governments to put differences aside and work together to provide all data and access required so that the next series of studies can be commenced as soon as possible.” the interests transparency call a new independent advisory group of experts called the international scientific advisory group for origins of novel pathogens (sago) will support the sensitive project by coordinating the studies recommended in the march report, it said. of in transparency, who said that it welcomed nominations for the panel from all countries, adding that the experts’ work resemble previous would covid-19 missions to china and those launched to hunt for the origins of avian influenza, lassa virus and ebola virus. “this open call aims to ensure that a broad range of and scientific skills expertise are identified to advise who on the studies needed to identify the origins of any future emerging or re-emerging pathogen of pandemic potential,” the un agency said. scientific endeavour after how difficult it is for scientists to find the origins of any highlighting that novel pathogen, the agency insisted the mission is not and should not be an exercise in attributing blame, finger-pointing or political point-scoring. it is vitally important to know how the covid-19 pandemic began, to set an example for establishing the origins of all future animal-human spill- over events. contd. on page 2 who lauds govt. of sindh’s efforts against coronavirus - cm sindh chief minister sindh, syed murad ali shah has said that his government under the guidelines of world health organization (who) is making all-out efforts to contain the fourth wave of covid-19 in the province. he said this during his meeting with who representative/head of mission pakistan, dr. palitha mahipala at cm house. the meeting was attended by health minister sindh, dr. azra fazal pechuho, pscm sajid jamal abro, secretary health, dr. kazim jatoi and head of office who sindh, dr. sara salman. syed murad ali shah and dr. palitha mahipala discussed covid situation in the country particularly in sindh and measures taken by the provincial government to control the situation. syed murad ali shah that every day around 20,000 pcr tests were conducted in the province against which over 10 percent of patients were being detected. he said that out of over 48,000 total covid patients, 1,463 had been admitted in hospitals. so far 8,599,197 doses of vaccine had been administered, which meant over 25 percent eligible population for vaccines had been covered so far. dr. palitha mahipala lauded the efforts of sindh province to contain the situation. he said that there was a need to launch a campaign to educate people to implement public health measures which included wearing of masks, ensuring social distancing, and hand hygiene. the who and health department sindh agreed to work together to start the campaign from august, the 2021. discussing the possibilities of increasing testing capacity in sindh the dr. palitha mahipala assured his full support and also announced to donate 10,000 viral transport mediums to the sindh government. he training appreciated for program capacity of senior clinicians in sindh. who apprised the sindh government on donation of ventilators, icu beds, cardiac monitors and pulse oximeters, ipc and lab supplies which were handed over to improve the health system capacity in sindh. conducted building
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 2 gilgit-baltistan to adopt & scale up innovative digital health app. the gilgit-baltistan, government looks innovations adoption, and status. this has not only helped me perform my duties well, but also enabled the clients to trust me and my recommendations.” “hayat has effectively demonstrated the immense potential of digital health interventions in strengthening health systems,” said aku president firoz rasul. “the university forward to continued collaborations with health departments across the region to enhance coverage, the scale-up integration of initiatives that can help achieve health targets under the sustainable development goals.” “public-private partnerships enable to be implemented at scale,” said director saleem sayani, of aku’s technology innovation support centre and the project’s principal investigator. “we are glad to be working with a partner that shares our belief in the power of to enhance access to quality healthcare.” hayat has been rolled out in health facilities across afghanistan and pakistan since 2018 but this is the first time that a government has agreed to incorporate the app in its operations and to ensure its sustainability by including its operational costs in its budget. is discussions currently with the government of khyber pakhtunkhwa and afghanistan to roll out the system in more districts. the app’s development was jointly funded by grand challenges canada and the aga khan foundation canada. in addition to hayat, aga khan health services has been collaborating with aku on multiple digital health projects in northern pakistan with an emphasis on maternal, neonatal and child health services, and immunisation programmes. the university technology in un calls for support for new covid-19 origins studies with access to sensitive information crucial to the success of the new who studies, the un agency noted that research would need to include “a further examination of raw data from the earliest cases, along with blood serum from potentially infected people in 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic. data sharing the that taken data from a number of countries reported finding the virus in blood samples in 2019 has already been shared with who, it noted. this included italy, where who coordinated retesting of pre- pandemic blood samples outside the country. sharing raw data and giving permission for the retesting of samples in labs outside of italy reflects scientific all solidarity at its best and is no different from what we encourage countries, including china, to support so that we can advance the studies of the origins quickly and effectively,” who said, before reiterating that access to data was critically important for evolving our understanding of science and should not be politicised in any way. in of set low pilot study to set up covid-19 early warning system launched to researchers also plan compare data about the number of vaccinations in the area against the volume of cases to understand the effectiveness vaccine drives. in later phases of the project, researchers will conduct genetic sequencing of wastewater samples to determine whether new covid-19 variants have arrived in the city. this could signal to ramp prevention measures up or consider changes in precautionary measures, treatments or vaccine roll- out plans. that lockdowns have enormous social economic consequences. comparing data sewage surveillance study with clinical and epidemiological data from the community will enable us to halt the cycle of surges leading to lockdowns by enabling policymakers to take prompter, more effective decisions. once researchers have assessed the feasibility of the system in karachi, they hope to be able to scale up the programme at the provincial and national level. area by measuring viral concentration sewage samples. data about the quantum of the virus in wastewater will also be compared with the district records from health office about the number and location of positive tests in the area to prepare heat maps of high and incidence areas. this could enable prompter measures preventive testing or such as mass targeted to lockdowns be in high-burden areas. conversely, the data could also help provide an indication of a forthcoming decline cases which could inform policy decisions such as the easing of restrictions. dr. imran nisar, assistant professor and principal investigator of the study said that insights from sewage surveillance can help us get ahead of the virus and take more effective measures to curb new cases. no one knows when this pandemic will end but new tools such as wastewater analysis can potentially make mitigation measures more effective. further said from our at aku the need taken he new and in to are regularly public health researchers evaluate the feasibility of a faster way to detect new cases of covid-19 in karachi. disease infectious epidemiologists from aga khan university, the national institute of health, islamabad, and the world health organization’s pakistan office collaborated with karachi’s district health office, east, to pilot a sewage surveillance system that will test wastewater samples for the presence of the coronavirus and its concentration. they are building on work by health authorities in several countries such as the us, canada, australia and several european nations to set up extensive sewage surveillance systems. these systems have helped detect high concentrations of the virus in sewage a week to ten days before cases would rise, enabling public health authorities to take prompt action to contain the spread of the disease. surveillance sewage systems take advantage of the fact that the presence of viruses can be identified in sewage before a person shows for example, people can shed sars cov-2 in their stool in the first 3 to 7 days after infection, long before a person begins to suffer from a fever, cough or shortness of breath. this means that wastewater sampling has the potential to act as a sensitive, early warning system for trends in new cases and a potential way to prevent new cases. that’s because nasal swab tests, which detect the presence of the virus in the nose, are typically only taken after symptoms appear, between 7 and ten days after infection, which means that people could have unknowingly been spreading the disease for days before their positive test. researchers will analyse the amount of sars cov- 2 particles per millilitre of filtered sewage to estimate the number of cases in the area. they hope to generate data that will help them estimate future number of cases in a well demarcated catchment symptoms. the into care access of gb, and aga khan university have signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the formal adoption and deployment of the university’s mobile health application and web portal, hayat, region’s routine health services. hayat allows lady health workers, community midwives and immunisation staff to instantly log details of mother and child health services provided during field visits and to more effectively raise awareness about preventable diseases. at the system level, the app’s web portal enables health supervisors and government officials to essential information in real-time on the performance of health workers and campaigns. it also provides detailed reports and data to inform evidence- based decision making and policy. over 114,000 children and adolescents, and over in gilgit- 200,000 adults baltistan and khyber pakhtunkhwa have benefited from delivered through the hayat digital health platform since its introduction in 2018 via a partnership between aku, aga khan health services – the implementing partner of the project – and the gb government. the gb government will now take over responsibility for operating the digital platform in the district of ghizer. the agreement will the government also see replace existing paper- for key based processes maternal, reproductive, newborn child health services – such as vaccinations, antenatal care, and preventive nutrition health services, postnatal care, child growth monitoring and family planning – with systems using hayat’s infrastructure. speaking about hayat’s health impact, services lady and a digital the “gilgit-baltistan supervisor working in ghizer said: “what i find most exciting is the availability of all paper-based forms and checklists in a digital format in hayat. it helps me complete my tasks in no time.” health application will be powered by a data centre based in gilgit that was voluntarily established by the university and has now been handed over to the local government at no cost. the initiative will aid the government’s plans to digitise the health system in order to enhance the efficiency, transparency and accountability of the provision of health services. is committed to raising key maternal, neonatal and child health indicators,” said gb health secretary mir waqar ahmed. “the hayat app will now be our primary means to collect, store and evaluate data about the health system’s performance. we are also considering the rollout of the app in two more districts in gilgit-baltistan.” prior to the introduction of hayat, gb’s lady health workers and immunisation in staff faced challenges coordinating with one another. lady health workers would share details about needed children vaccinations with their colleagues through paper- based systems which often led to late vaccinations and children being missed during campaigns. in contrast, the hayat app ensures automatic and immediate coordination between health workers which has ensured that more children in ghizer receive recommended vaccinations within 48 hours of birth. speaking about the hayat app, a vaccinator in ghizer, gb, said: “with the app in place, we can keep a track of (vaccine) defaulters and reach out to them to get their due vaccinations. even if the family is not in the village, i can still call them and inquire about the due vaccination who than children 1,000 children vaccinated against polio virus more children were covered in the subsequent days. the authorities set a target of giving polio drops to 290,608 children in hyderabad during the 5-day drive. an official informed that the catch-up exercise to cover as many left out cases as possible was carried out. 11,000 received anti-polio drops in 5-days immunization campaign carried out during the first week of august 2021. according to the official of health department, some 10,139 children were not available at their residences while the parents of another the 677 children refused immunization. initially, the figure of the refusal cases was 2,114 which was reduced by 1,437 to 677 by persuading the parents. likewise, 55,549 children were not at their homes during the initial visits of the polio teams. however, 45,410 hec, national academy collaborate to strengthen teaching commission’s the higher education (hec) postsecondary education reform unit (peru) and national academy of higher (nahe) education are working collaboratively teaching in educational to strengthen postsecondary institutes. a statement issued by the hec said that this capacity building exercise has started with public sector affiliated colleges but will later be expanded to universities. the new hec undergraduate education 2020 (uep) mandates a number of reforms to better serve undergraduate students. policy
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 3 pakistani students attends intl. iranian university inks mou with pcmd, uok study sciences medical have signed the mou on behalf of their institutions. the mou aims to establish a mutually beneficial relationship built on academic, scientific and cultural cooperation. this agreement may include faculty and research staff abroad exchanges, program, collaborative research programs, including the exchange of voucher samples, and natural product extracts, joint workshops, and service programs. iccbs spokesman said that the center had initiated a number of scientific programs with the objective to find possible treatments of often neglected and prevalent diseases of pakistan, as well as associated human resource development, he said, adding that the main objective of the center is to train highly qualified manpower in the fields of emerging new and molecular medicine drug development. is worth mentioning here that the basic conceptual aim of the neuroscience research center of shahid beheshti university of medical sciences expand the destiny of scientific finding knowledge appropriate usable preventive curative medical procedures. and and and to is it independence day celebrations flag hoisting ceremony & tree plantation was held at dow university of health sciences. vice chancellor, duhs prof. saeed quraishy and other senior faculty members attended the ceremony. independence day celebration held at liaquat university of medical & health sciences (lumhs), jamshoro independence day celebration held at sindh institute of urology & transplantation (siut), karachi pir abdul rasheed, president, pir ellahi baksh (pib) cooperative housing society performed flag hoisting & cake cutting ceremony held in pib cooperative housing society. muhammad suleman (mammo) & muhammad asif arain, chairman of the society, mr. muhammad lateef also seen in the picture the research to establish neuroscience center (nrc) of shahid beheshti of medical university sciences, tehran, iran signed a memorandum of understanding (mou) with dr. panjwani center for molecular medicine and drug research (pcmd), university of karachi (uok). the objective of the mou is research programs in dr. panjwani center and nrc with a commitment to the discovery in the field of neuroscience. according iccbs, university of karachi, dr. panjwani center works as a constituent center of the iccbs – university of karachi. the mou was signed in an online meeting held recently. prof. dr. m. iqbal choudhary, director of the international center for chemical and biological sciences, and comstech coordinator-general, and prof. abolhassan ahmadiani, director neuroscience research center, shahid beheshti university of to chemistry olympiads 2021 four pakistani students at lej national science center, information international centre for chemical and biological sciences (iccbs), of karachi university participated the major in online exam of the 53rd chemistry international olympiads 2021 (icho- 2021). hej research institute of chemistry, university of karachi has played a terms significant to of providing students, organizing and hosting the event at the lej center. the international chemistry olympiads has already been kicked in tokyo, japan. prof dr. khalid m. khan, coordinator of national chemistry talent contest (nctc) the ongoing global pandemic had restricted the international training said role that in exam ismail college, event to online events only. the online exam of the icho-2021 was started in the morning and continued in the late evening. the names of the students who participated the in included written muhammad from kips lahore, ayesha junaid from bahria college karsaz, karachi, muhammad yahya from college, tameer-i-nau quetta, and rameesha khursheed fauji foundation college for girls, rawalpindi. it is pertinent to mention here that prof dr. khalid m. khan, prof. dr. m. raza shah, deputy coordinator to nctc, and other officials were also present on the occasion. prof. khan said that the international chemistry olympiads is one of the world’s biggest and most competitions significant from successful chemistry with in the participation of more than eighty countries. talking about the training of young chemists, he said that these students were trained at hej research institute of chemistry under the stem careers program of hec. he said that these four students were also selected from nearly 1000 students through contests and examinations held at the national level. organizers selected around 50 students from a pool of 1000 contestants through a examination; later on the same process picked up 11 students. and after holding more examinations, finally, four students were selected for 53rd international chemistry olympiad. the results of the ongoing olympiad will be announced in august 21. rigorous vaccinated not to develop severe symptoms of coronavirus that president dr. mirza ali azhar, pakistan medical association (pma) sindh has said that people should vaccinated get so they would not develop severe symptoms of covid-19 incase if they contracted with virus. more than 90 percent of total patients admitted in hospitals were non-vaccinated. he further said that the vaccinated persons would develop mild symptoms if they contracted virus. the people should get vaccinated as soon as possible which was only way to contain spread of virus in the country. besides, the should launch the awareness drive to educate the people about government scholars informed, adding benefits of vaccinations, he that including all stakeholders religious should also be collaborated for this cause. furthermore, the provincial government should ensure implementation of covid sops in the province, he reiterated. it would also help to contain the spread of the covid-19 in the province. dr. jaipal chhabbria said that mass vaccination was protecting the lives of the people and suggested that the provincial government should proper arrangement at designated covid centers. it has been observed that the rush at and vaccination centers ensure long queues have been witnessed at the centers which has brought hardship to the people in the province especially karachi. he advised that number of vaccination centers should be increased to facilitate the people in the province. even vaccination centers should be established at union councils level. he further said that the government was banning various the country for those who were non-vaccinated, suggesting that people should not refuse to get vaccinated as the covid-19 cases were rising. facilities in rush and overcrowding at covid vaccination centers can lead to increased virus spread – pma strict measures like lockdown, vaccination implementation, and sops are the only solutions to prevent covid spread and widespread economic hardship, says professor dr. abdullah muttaqi. rush growing dr. abdullah muttaqi, president of the pakistan islamic medical association, (pima) karachi said that the and overcrowding at vaccination centers could increase the spread of coronavirus. prof. abdullah muttaqi urged the government to significantly increase the number of vaccination centers and open all the vaccination centers in the city for 24 hours instead of merely extending the working of specific vaccination centers. extending working hours is a practical solution to reduce congestion at vaccination centers. he further said that the hours that suggested rush at covid vaccination centers is due to the deadline given for blocking sims salaries. and withholding he the government should either withdraw or extend the deadline. he said that the pressure on the vaccination centers is getting out of control and as a result of this congestion, implementation of corona sops is not possible. it is quite likely that this will further increase rate of coronavirus the transmission. also appealed to the people to get vaccinated as soon as possible implement avoid drastic sops to measures lockdown, like and he he sindh the hardship, from and economic disease getting infected and hospitalization. furthermore, urged citizens to act responsibly in this regard and follow the medical community’s advice. he also demanded that the government shortcomings rectify in the vaccination process to make vaccination easy and accessible to everyone. he urged to significantly increase the number of vaccination centers in the city for 24 hours instead of merely extending the working hours of specific vaccination centers.
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 4 pakistan faces potential outbreak of gastrointestinal diseases due to infestation of flies - pma association concern and pakistan medical (pma) over shows unhygienic grimy situation of the city and also about the abundance of flies in the country which can potentially cause an outbreak of various diseases. to dr. s. m. according qaiser sajjad, general secretary, pma flies can be a source of spreading diseases, particularly gastrointestinal ones. the situation has become grim in the urban areas across the country. the condition is especially worrisome in karachi owing to sewerage water and garbage collected on the roads, as well as the offal of sacrificial animals left on the streets after eid- ul-azha — all of which are becoming breeding grounds for the flies. concerned unhygienic situation pma is very much over the and grimy the country, in have uncollected particularly in urban areas and especially in karachi, where sewerage water on the streets and roads, heaps of garbage and remains of sacrificial animals become breeding places for flies due to which swarms of flies can be seen everywhere in cities covering fruits, vegetables, and all other edibles in the markets. pma maintained that the aforementioned reasons are causing a rapid spread of gastrointestinal infections, while cases of typhoid are also surging. he also cited research that suggests that apart from gastrointestinal diseases, a single fly is also capable of causing eye infections as it carries hundreds of viruses and bacteria. he informed that according to research, a fly can carry about one hundred organisms and transmit virus) and can like the diseases mostly (bacteria as intestinal infections (such as dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid and cholera), eye infections such trachoma and epidemic conjunctivitis. the pma has advised the people to keep their edibles covered, regularly wash their hands with soap before every meal, and avoid eating out in order to stay safe from the threat. it also directs them to maintain cleanliness and dispose of their garbage properly. furthermore, pointing out the failure of concerned authorities to carry out fumigation and cleanliness drives near hospitals, markets and garbage dumping sites, the pma the government to dispose of the sacrificial remains and garbage on an urgent basis. pma has also requested the municipal agencies to launch fumigation drives in their respective areas to restrict the outbreak of the diseases. requested spray campaign launched to eradicate flies, mosquitoes and other insects the campaign a disinfectant spray was inaugurated by administrator karachi laeeq ahmed in the city to eradicate the flies, mosquitoes and other insects that have appeared after the start of eid-ul-azha and monsoon season. campaign was carried in every district with assistance of al- khidmat. a memorandum of understanding (mou) has also been signed with al-khidmat to run the spray campaign in a highly active and effective manner. senior director coordi- nation khan, senior director municipal services sm taha, director municipal services noman arshad, director municipal public health mujaddid israni, tariq mustafa, al- khidmat chief executive naveed ali baig, executive director rashid qureshi, director community services qazi syed sadar- ud-din and coordinator al- khidmat manzar alam were also present on the occasion. laeeq ahmed informed that in order to prevent dengue, malaria and other epidemic diseases during the monsoon khalid the season, it is necessary to spray effectively throughout the city. he said that this spray campaign will be run in all districts of karachi and will be sprayed on a daily basis. kmc and al-khidmat will run the campaign jointly and the two agencies will also monitor it regularly. he was of the view that that the work has been started and the campaign will be gradually rolled out in each district for which kmc provided trained staff and 35 service vehicles with diesel and spray. the whole city is in the grip of the covid-19 epidemic. citizens should be very careful to deal with this deadly virus,” he cautioned. the said that the fourth wave of coronavirus is taking a very dangerous is need to take precautionary measures to save our own lives as well as the lives of other citizens. al-khidmat chief executive naveed ali baig speaking on the occasion said that today is a very important day and al-khidmat has signed a memorandum of understanding with kmc administrator turn. there for the spray campaign in the spirit of service to the city. al- khidmat is an organisation that seeks to meet the needs of the city, he said, adding that after the monsoon, flies and mosquitoes breed, which leads to numerous diseases. if civic bodies and civil society work together, better results will come out. he said that kmc is a national body and al-khidmat will continue to cooperate with it in various welfare projects. the purpose of both the organisations is to serve the city. he said that al-khidmat is working in seven different sphere of life including health, education, kifalat, orphanage, clean employment, water, community and disaster management. there is need to take precautionary measures to save our own lives as well as the lives of other citizens. a memorandum of understanding (mou) was also signed by senior director municipal services and director community services qazi syed sadar- ud-din on behalf of kmc and al-khidmat. services walk held to mark world hepatitis day an awareness walk was the district held at (dhq) headquarters hospital the world hepatitis day. dr. maqsood ahmad, senior gastroenterologist of dhq to mark hospital, led the walk and a large number of people participated in it. speaking on the occasion, dr. maqsood ahmad said about 325 million people were from suffering hepatitisacross the globe and their number was increasing, unhygienic adding and adulterated foodwith polluted water were the main causes of hepatitis a & e. that 7-days national polio campaign monitored deputy commissioner larkana, tariq manzoor along with additional deputy commissioner-ii larkana and district health officer larkana visited various villages of larkana and ratodero taluka in order to monitor 7-day national polio campaign started in larkana district. the deputy commissioner was briefed that the officials of health department with the assistance of who, the visit, during unicef, setup 812 teams, those who were visiting door to door to administrate anti polio drops to 0-5 years children in larkana district. he urged upon the parents, teachers, representative of ngos and the members of community that they should come forward play their role to success the 7- day anti polio campaign which was being started in the district so that no any child 0-5 years would be deprived of oral polio drops. control the deputy commissioner also said that in order to monitor the anti polio campaign in larkana district at district and taluka level the rooms had already been setup. he also directed the health teams to realize their responsibilities and visit door to door in the remote / rural areas and rain throughout affected areas larkana and administered the oral polio drops to 0-5 year’s children. district mobile van covid vaccination center inaugurated a mobile van equipped with necessary facilities and staffers for covid having capacity of around 1500 vaccinations per day was inaugurated by advisor to the sindh chief minister barrister murtaza wahab. the mobile van vaccination center would visit different areas of karachi to provide vaccination facility to the people. the mass vaccination center at the expo centre karachi is already extending services round-the-clock while after addition of 11 more cvcs with 24-hour operation facility, now a total 12 mvcs are available day- and-night to the people in karachi. he said that besides mass vaccination center at expo centre, people may also visit 11 other mass vaccination center at the expo centre set up at dow ojha campus, khaliq dina hall, jpmc, lyari general hospital, sindh government children’s hospital in district central, sindh government hospital liquatabad, new karachi sindh government hospital, sindh government qatar hospital, murad memon goth hospital, korangi 5 hospital and saudabad sindh government hospital. vaccine against all contagious diseases being provided at ucs of diseases was vaccine for all contagious being provided uninterruptedly at all health units of the district, spokesman punjab medical association said saturday. in this, mobile teams of expanded programme on immunization (epi) were at connection present to almost all union councils of muzaffargarh, said maqbool alam in a statement here. moreover, he said children below and five years of age were regularly given polio drops at all epi fixed centres and concerned ucs. he said according to a third party review, ratio of polio vaccination in the district remained up to 99 percent while routine vaccination to local population had reached to 98 percent, he added. maqbool alam condemned negative propaganda against contiguous on social media and termed it as ‘criminal negligence’ and ‘irresponsible act’. diseases deputy commissioner cisits coronavirus vaccination centre bahawalpur, deputy commissioner irfan ali kathia visited corona vaccination center located at government girls higher secondary school, satellite town bahawalpur. focal person, dr. rao muhammad zakir assistant and commissioner city naeem sadiq cheema were also present on the occasion. the deputy commissioner inspected various departments at the corona vaccination center and inquired about the corona vaccination facility provided the to the visitors. he asked the medical officer and the concerned staff to fulfill their responsibilities with a sense of patriotism and vaccination should be provided to all the people having age 18 years and above. mass vaccination against covid top priority of sindh govt for irrigation, said provincial minister jam that khan shoro mass vaccination against covid-19 is the top priority of the government and effective steps were being taken to vaccinate hundreds of thousands people on daily basis. he expressed these view during his maiden visit to hyderabad after taking oath. he said that the government had taken effective measures to inoculate a large number of the population so that the province could be prevented the from coronavirus pandemic. he appealed to the people not to pay heed fake propaganda towards perception and wrong regarding coronavirus vaccine and come forward to get themselves vaccinated as early as possible as vaccination was the only solution to curb the spread of the pandemic. he further informed that that as a citizen of hyderabad, he wanted to play an important role in the development of the second largest city of sindh. earlier, he visited mass stadium vaccination centre set up by the district administration at niaz and reviewed the arrangements for vaccinating the general public round the clock. he said that the government had taken effective measures to inoculate a large number of the population so that the province could be prevented from coronavirus pandemic. he appealed to the people not to pay heed towards fake propaganda and wrong perception the
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 5 breastfeeding decreases mothers’ risk of developing covax delivers 2nd consignment of us-donated covid-19 moderna breast cancer national commission on the rights of child (ncrc) said breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer and it could avert 20,000 maternal deaths each year caused due to the disease. a statement issued by ncrc said that it promotes better health for mothers and children alike. breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. it said that according to the who, exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a baby’s life and continued breastfeeding cancer, solid foods children globally until the age of two with proper can guarantee a healthy life of a child. research worldwide claims that improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of more than 820,000 every year. there are only 40% of children fewer than six months who are exclusively breastfed. the statement said that the federal and provincial governments have enacted legislation on protection and promotion of breastfeeding and child nutrition but there are issues of implementation. according the who, to in pakistan only 37.7% of mothers practise “exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.” statistics suggested that 44 per cent of pakistani children are stunted. the world breastfeeding week 2021 theme protect breastfeeding - a shared responsibility is denoting how breastfeeding the is survival, and wellbeing of all. the theme also acknow- ledges that although support at the individual level is very important, breastfeeding must be considered a public health that requires investment at all levels. indispensable health issue for google contributes usd7.5 m support of covid-19 relief efforts in pakistan and five asian countries with pakistan and other southeast total covid to as part of asian countries currently grappling with a surge in covid-19 cases, google announced commitment of a usd$7.5 million in new grant funding and other support to help alleviate the current pandemic crisis. this new commitment, google.org, google’s philanthropic arm, is providing a usd$1.5 million grant to unicef to support urgent covid-19 response needs across five countries including pakistan, thailand, malaysia, vietnam and the philippines. with this grant, unicef will deploy female vaccinators vaccination in centers the number of women being vaccinated and boost vaccine communication in pakistan. unicef will also continue to governments and communities to control the spread of the virus and reduce the number of deaths including by, including by enhancing preparedness for possible future waves of covid-19. announcing these new commitments, farhan qureshi, country director for google pakistan said that the current surge in covid-19 cases is causing immense pressure on our healthcare system, and this google.org grant to unicef aims to deepen our support for pakistan at this critical increase support to by time. we’ll also continue to focus on ensuring timely access to information, as well as tools for all pakistanis to stay informed, connected and safe during this crisis. karin hulshof, regional director, unicef, east asia and the pacific said that we are grateful for google.org’s contribution to unicef as we continue to respond tirelessly the global pandemic providing fair access to covid-19 vaccines and services to target populations with a focus on the most vulnerable. only a truly global response can protect and secure the future of every child and the communities in which they live, and we will continue working with our partners and lean on them for innovative their expertise, solutions and flexible funding to help minimize the impact in the region and beyond. this grant to google. org is also providing an additional usd$1 million to international federation of red cross and red crescent societies (ifrc) to address the urgent need of oxygen supplies and medical equipment in indonesia. in addition, google.org will provide usd$5 million worth of ad grants to local government agencies across and organizations southeast asia, including pakistan, to run public health beyond unicef, vaccines to pakistan a total of 8 million doses of covid-19 vaccines to have been delivered the covax pakistan by the global facility, covid-19 vaccine equity scheme, so far. the second consignment of 3 million doses of moderna (mrna-1273) covid-19 vaccines donated by the government of the united states to the covax facility arrived in pakistan bringing the total doses donated by the us government to pakistan through covax to 5.5 million since 8 may. the donation is part of the 870 million additional covid-19 vaccine doses pledged by the g7 through the covax facility dose- sharing mechanism to support global equitable access to vaccines in 2021 and 2022, with the aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021. the global covid-19 vaccine equity scheme, has delivered a total 8 million doses of vaccine to pakistan since 8 may, including 2.5 million doses of astrazeneca, 100,000 doses pfizer and 5.5 million doses of moderna covid-19 vaccines. to date, close to 7 million people have been fully vaccinated and nearly 20 million partially vaccinated in pakistan since the start of the national vaccination campaign in february 2021. the number of confirmed covid-19 cases in pakistan has now reached close to a million, while nearly 23,000 people are reported to have succumbed to the disease. covax, to and equitable dr. palitha mahipala, who representative in pakistan said that despite national, regional and global efforts, the pandemic is nowhere near finished. who will continue to work with the government of pakistan and donors to implement activities control transmission and advocate vaccine for access distribution. vaccines are key in the fight again covid-19 and we encourage everyone to get their vaccine immediately. us government is thankful for expressing their solidarity with pakistan through this donation. nobody is safe until everyone is safe. the allocation of extra doses of covid-19 vaccines by g7 countries to covax will not only limit the spread of the coronavirus covid-19, it will also prevent new variants from emerging. aida girma, unicef representative in pakistan said that unicef thanks the government of the united states its generous contribution to the covax dose-sharing mechanism. this is an important step in the continued fight against covid-19. unicef commends the government of pakistan for its leadership in ensuring a smooth roll- out the covid-19 vaccination campaign the population and urges to and continue taking covid-19 precautionary measures. unicef will continue to support the national response to covid-19 campaign through pakistan in vaccinated get for of people; communication services procurement of essential covid-19 supplies; expansion of cold chain capacity to ensure safe storage of vaccines; risk and community engagement to increase vaccine uptake and enforce sops and efficient and effective management of the covid-19 call centre 1166. strictly complying with covid-19 public health and social measures continues to be critical to stop the spread of virus, after getting vaccinated. these include regularly wearing face masks, washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitizer; remaining at least six feet away from other avoiding crowded places; and staying at home and seeking care when having covid-19 symptoms. the goal of covax is to help address the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for all participating countries territories regardless of income level. the covax facility co- led by gavi, the coalition for epidemic preparedness innovations and w h o t o g e t h e r w i t h unicef aims to provide to quality-assured access vaccines, covid-19 protection enabling of frontline care and as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups. social workers, (cepi) health and the experts term hepatitis vaccination as need of hour as well the media their views health experts urged to play active role in highlighting early screening, preventive measures as vaccination against hepatitis related illness, as viral hepatitis is leading cause of liver cancer. they were sharing in connection with world hepatitis day which is being observed all over the world including pakistan to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. the theme of this year is hepatitis can’t wait - conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. with a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness even in the current covid-19 crisis - we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis. dr. shahid ahmad medical consultant that hepatitis b vaccine is widely successful and should be stressed severe to all administered those who haven’t been infected. viral hepatitis known as hepatitis a, b, c, d, and e affects millions of people globally, he said, adding its causing acute and chronic liver disease. he informed that globally 325 million people live with hepatitis, with more than 1.1 million lives lost each year”, he said, adding, pakistan would become one of the highest prevalence of the disease if people not pay serious attention for their early screening and early treatment of disease. dr. sajjad jamil liver diseases consultant said that the recent statistics regarding this really alarming where millions of pakistani population is suffering from hepatitis as 1 out of every 10 pakistanis has contracted hepatitis. provision of clean drinking water, hygienic food and improved can reduce the spread of this type of hepatitis substantially, he sanitation disease are available immunity further suggested. dr. nazish bhutt said an effective vaccine can prove lifelong and now hepatitis e vaccine is for people undergoing. said she hepatitis b & c ratio is increasing and main reasons behind unnecessary are use of syringes, unsafe blood transfusion, usage of unsterilized equipments in dental procedures, piercing and other beauty procedures such as pedicure etc. at the end the experts emphasized that there is an urgent need to spread awareness regarding screening, prevention and management of this disease so that they can prevent this disease at early stage to prevent the loss. the theme of is hepatitis can’t wait - conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. with a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness even in the current covid-19 crisis. this year the world in ad grants information campaigns for free. since last year, google has provided over usd$27 million to support local governments including the world health organization who served over 343 million public service announcements (psas) to reach audiences with messages on how to stay safe and facts about vaccines. since the start of the pandemic, google.org funded vaccine has also distributions in asia and across through gavi, the vaccine alliance. google has also focused its efforts in ensuring that information serves everyone in pakistan its tools and products. for example, google previously gave ad grants to help the government of pakistan provide critical information on how the spread of covid-19 and other measures to help local communities. google has also surfaced the latest updates and health advice from health authorities across search, maps and youtube in urdu and english. and during ramadan in 2020 and 2021, the company supported a ptv live stream broadcast of tarawih prayers on youtube, facilitating observance of an important religious event with enhanced public health and safety measures. to prevent pakistani through anti-polio drive held in 68 districts of the country duration held anti-polio drive of varied in 68 districts of the country to vaccinate more than 23.6 m children under five years age. emergency according to national operation center, approx. 179,000 frontline health workers are taking part in the campaign. special assistant to the prime minister on national health services, dr. faisal sultan urged the parents to cooperate with the polio are teams and ensure that their children vaccinated against the crippling disease. in an effort to eradicate polio virus from punjab, punjab health department has also launched polio campaign in 11 districts of the province.
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 6 parents urged to ignore anti- nutritious dates for vulnerable polio propaganda to fake from them parents must not fall prey propaganda, myths and must vaccinate their children in ongoing polio vaccination drive to save lifelong disability said dr. ashraf nizami pakistan president, medical association (pma). he encouraged parents to visit their nearest health centres and ensure that children had completed their routine immunization, as it was extremely necessary for a healthy future for them. repeated vaccination is polio eradication in order to ensure children are safe from the disease, he added. he emphasized that parents necessary for two drops of specially grandparents to cooperate with polio teams and secure the future of their own children by allowing them the vaccine. every child must be administered two drops of the vaccine. religious scholars representing all the sects have also endorsed the vaccination drive, asking people to have their kids immunized to protect them from lifelong disability. he further called upon the media to work as positive voices for the programme in support of eradicating polio. technical officer baluchistan that dr. sami khan tarin. supporter said in balochistan high of transmission polio vaccination campaign was successfully launched in 16 districts of balochistan. he said that one polio case of the year 2021 was confirmed in balochistan’s qilla abdullah and overall situation of polio cases is better than previous years. he said it was national duty of parents to administer anti-polio vaccines to their children and cooperate with government in fight against crippling disease of polio. joint efforts is needed to work in the polio affected areas to make the anti polio campaign as a success, he added. media urged to create awareness for importance of breastfeeding the among special assistant to prime minister on health, dr. faisal sultan stressed that the media should play active in creating massive role awareness the people, particularly mothers, about importance of breastfeeding. he expressed these views in his video message on the occasion of world breastfeeding week. he said that it is high time to convince mothers and families infant formula or cow milk for their babies. world breastfeeding week is being celebrated to avoid to save from august 1 to 7 to renew the commitment to create more supportive culture of breastfeeding the health and well being of children. he said national breast- feeding week is a best chance for women to refresh their knowledge about the health and safety protocols of breastfeeding to their infants. faisal further explained that apart from meeting the nutritional needs of a newborn, breast milk also boosts immunity and offers protection against sultan infections in children. breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. it has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat -- everything your baby needs to grow. and it’s all provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula. breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. scientists urged to help identify drug targets for covid virus in and pakistani biologists bioinformatics specialists should play their role identifying drug targets for the covid-19 causing virus. this was stated by prof. muhammad mukhtar, vice chancellor of national skills university islamabad pakistan while presiding over the inaugural of hands-on ceremony training workshop on protein-ligand docking and molecular dynamics simulation organized by the virtual university pakistan. the trainers of this workshop, mainly the chief organizers dr. muhammad tariq pervez, dr. arshad hashmi from the vu campus, and he congratulated laboratories several others who will mentor students during the three-day intensive program. rector vu, prof. dr. arshad saleem bhatti elaborating on his vision discussed world-class establishing training in various cities of pakistan. according to him, students maintain their interactions with the physical landmarks of their alma maters, and his team is such initiatives. he further said that covid-19 causing virus inhibitors can be developed through in silico technology. the world has almost failed at this front. there are nearly 300 vaccines emerging in the past one and a half year administration struggling with molecular causing for covid-19 in different phases, virus including pre-clinical, clinical, and post-evaluation. unfortunately, not a newly developed single antiviral the covid-19 exists for causing virus except previously approved fda drug, the remdesivir. docking simulation methods have been identify antivirals for hiv, and there is a good potential to find one for the covid-19 causing virus. he advised participants of the workshop to get in such projects and congratulated virtual for organizing this timely event. university involved used to anti-polio drive inaugurated families in pakistan the united nations world food programme (wfp) received a contribution of 116 metric tons of dates from the kingdom of saudi arabia to help its food and nutrition assistance for vulnerable families in pakistan. a healthy and nutritious snack commonly used for the breaking of the fast, the saudi dates were initially planned to be distributed ahead of the holy month of ramadan in april and may. however, their arrival was delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic. wfp is distributing the palm dates to more than 10,000 families in close collaboration provincial with disaster management the and authority (pdma) khyber pakhtunkhwa. wfp pakistan repre- sentative country director chris kaye said that saudi dates are not only delicious but also rich in minerals and vitamins. they will provide much needed nutrition to all members of the family. us embassy & usefp congratulates global ugrad scholarship recipients by to study approximately 142 pakistani undergraduate received students in scholarships the united states for one semester under the global undergraduate exchange (global ugrad) program the united funded the states government. participants will attend undergraduate classes at 78 us colleges and universities and participate in professional development workshops to enhance their academic and cultural immersion in the united states. ray castillo, minister counselor for public affairs at united states embassy during a virtual pre-departure orientation hosted by the standing in said to pursue united states educational pakistan foundation (usefp) that the global ugrad scholarship provides the tools for its recipients to become leaders in their professions and communities. we are proud to provide this opportunity these high achieving for students their academic and career goals. the students in this latest pakistani global ugrad cohort represent a wide range of fields of study, including humanities, engineering, and business administration. the scholarship recipients hail from all four provinces, gilgit-baltistan, azad jammu and kashmir, and the islamabad capital territory. eighty-two percent of the travel launched students are women. the virtual orientation provided grantees the opportunity to learn about campus life, american culture, and visa and requirements while interacting with fellow students. since the global ugrad program in 2010, approximately 2,200 pakistani have received one-semester scholarships to study in the united states. usefp, a bi- national commission by the governments of pakistan and the united states, is one of 49 fulbright commissions throughout the world. since its inception, around 9,000 pakistanis and more than 935 americans have participated in usefp. students kp health deptt, unicef join hands for global breastfeeding month approach and key messages of the campaign. chairman kp assembly’s standing committee on health, rabia basri attended the event as a chief guest. she stressed for a more integrated and consolidated efforts to create awareness among people regarding benefits of breast feeding. she suggested that local political leadership should also be invited to disseminate the message of campaign at grass root level. director general health services kp, dr. niaz muhammad that ceremonies and events would be held in breastfeeding month level to create awareness and promote breast feeding. of said occurrence in at district diseases various he said have and level. like pneumonia, children diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections can also be decreased by promoting breastfeeding. speakers said that breast feeding reduces maternal and child morbidity and mortality and that breast- higher fed child intelligence greater immunity it was concurred that breastfeeding is one of the best investment in saving lives and a practice capable to improve health and social development of any individual. it is safe to continue breastfeeding even if a mother is suspected or confirmed positive to covid. speakers said that inspiring progress has been made in kp to improve breast feeding that is 60 % but lot has to be done for 70 percent by 2030. khyber health department pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with unicef organized here tuesday the launching ceremony of global breast feeding month to create awareness and highlight benefits of breastfeeding. the event titled “protecting breast feeding, a shared responsibility” also highlighted constraints faced by mothers in practicing optimal breast feeding. the ceremony included starting series of month- long provincial and district level activities including awareness walks, orientation sessions healthcare workers, teachers, religious scholars and mothers besides engaging electronic and print media to spread objectives the purpose of also for deputy commissioner, ali shahzad inaugurated 5-days anti-polio drive by administering anti-polio drops to a kid at district headquarters hospital. ali shahzad sharing his view on the occasion said that the battle against polio has been reached in final stage. the drive was being made the in multan more effective as training was imparted to all polio workers. the 100 percent implementation would be ensured on micro plan which constituted to make the drive successful. the assistant commissioners would also monitor the polio drive. he further informed that drops would be administered to kids 7,50,000 over during district under five years old across the the drive. exactly 2991 teams including 2623 mobile, 222 fixed and 146 transit teams were constituted for making the drive successful. on this occasion, ceo health dr. shoaib-ur-rehman, dhos, dr. ali mahdi, dr. farooq, ms dhq hospital and others were present. anti-polio drive held 68 districts of the country duration held anti-polio drive of varied in 68 districts of the country to vaccinate more than 23.6 million children under five years age. emergency center, according to national operation approximately 179,000 frontline health workers are taking part in the campaign, under strict covid related sops. special assistant to the prime minister on national health services, dr. faisal sultan urged the parents to cooperate with the polio are teams and ensure that their children vaccinated against the crippling disease. in an effort to eradicate polio virus from punjab, punjab health department has also launched polio campaign in 11 districts of the province.
august 2021 the health current affair medical review 7 new blood test improves prostate china steps up punishment for breaching cancer screening reported institutet researchers at karolinska in sweden that recently magnetic resonance imaging (mri) could reduce overdiagnoses and thereby improve prostate cancer screening. now, the same research group has published a study in the lancet oncology, which shows that the addition of a novel blood test, the stockholm3 test, can reduce the number of mris performed by a third while further preventing the detection of minor, low-risk tumours. tobias nordström, asso- ciate professor of urology at the department of clinical sciences, danderyd hospital at karolinska institutet, who is responsible for the sthlm3mri study said that overall, our studies show that we have identified the tools needed to be able to carry out effective and safe screening for prostate cancer. after many years of debate and research, it feels fantastic to be able to present knowledge that can improve healthcare for men. current screening methods (prostate-specific -- psa antigen) tests combined traditional biopsies with -- in unnecessary biopsies and the detection of numerous minor, low-risk tumours (overdiagnosis). result not that outweigh consequently, no country except lithuania has chosen to introduce a nationwide prostate cancer screening programme, as the benefits do the disadvantages. in july 2021, results the sthlm3mri from study were presented in the new england journal indicating of medicine, that overdiagnosis could be reduced by substituting traditional prostate biopsies with magnetic resonance imaging (mri) and targeted biopsies. the new results, now published in the lancet oncology, show the addition of the stockholm3 test, which was developed by researchers at karolinska institutet, can be an important complement. it is a blood test that uses an algorithm to analyse a combination of protein markers, genetic markers and clinical data. martin eklund, associate professor at the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, karolinska joint institutet, responsibility the sthlm3mri study said that the availability of mri in healthcare will be a limiting factor. we now show that a novel blood test as adjunct to mri can reduce the number of mris performed by a third. compared with traditional with for is sthlm3mri screening, overdiagnosis is reduced by as much as 69 percent. at the same time, the number of biopsies is halved, while we can find just as many clinically significant tumours. a randomised study that was conducted between 2018 and 2021 with 12,750 male participants from stockholm county. the participants provided an initial blood sample for psa analysis and analysis using the new test. men stockholm3 with test results showing elevated psa levels were then randomly selected for traditional biopsies or mri. in the mri group, biopsies were conducted strictly on suspected tumours identified by mri. the research was financed the swedish cancer by society, swedish research the swedish research council for health, working life and welfare, karolinska hagstrandska institutet, minnesfonden, region the swedish stockholm, order the åke wiberg foundation, the e-science research center (serc) and prostatacancerförbundet (the prostate cancer association). early was financed by eit health. the council, of druids, validation swedish new tumor cell tracking system aims to understand cancer treatment resistance despite tremendous advances in medicine, tumors are challenging to cure because they are made up of heterogeneous cells. like human families, the individual cells of a tumor share some common traits and characteristics, but as the tumor expands, the cells also develop their own identities. and, as a result, some cells are more resistant to therapy than others and quicker to adapt and change. a team of researchers at the university of texas at austin developed a new way to tag tumor cells to figure out how they evolve and change over time to resist cancer treatments. they studied chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) primarily, but findings could help researchers learn more about the entire spectrum of cancerous tumors. amy brock, an associate professor the cockrell school’s department of biomedical engineering and co-lead author on a new paper published in nature cancer said that this is a technology lets you replay evolutionary history of the tumor. we can collect those pre-resistant cells and go back and look at what happened to them. these that the in we can try many parallel treatments and measure how specific cells respond and which ones persist. the ability to essentially “tag” nucleic acids -- the genetic information of the cell such as rna or dna -- to monitor them is not a brand-new technology. however, current capabilities don’t paint a full picture of how tumor cells evolve. what this platform, known as clonmapper, can do that is wasn’t possible before look backward and trace how tumor cells change over time. that gives researchers the ability to look at which cells “win out” over less resistant cells, continue to clone themselves and make the tumor more dangerous. by these cells, researchers can better test which treatments do and don’t work against them. monitoring changes over time is key to successful transfer treatments. tumor treatments cells adjust and resistant. that’s why patients can go into later experience relapse. this is one of reasons cancer so challenging -- we don’t have very good ways of predicting ahead of time which cells to become remission, but treatment isolating is on that will be sensitive to a type of drug and which ones will be resistant. this acquired resistance is a leading cause of treatment failure for many patients with cancer. cll is a low-grade b-cell malignancy is often monitored for months or even years before it requires active treatment. this “watch and wait” style of treatment relies heavily on accurate monitoring of the patient. in the study, clonmapper focused identifying which cells were cloning themselves, how fast this process happened and how it influences the growth rate of surrounding cells over time. this allowed a much more accurate analysis of the cell population and may enable more customized treatment plans for patients. the clonmapper study was led by researchers from ut austin and the dana- farber cancer institute, harvard medical school and the broad institute. the ut austin team includes from the cockrell school and college of natural sciences aziz m. al’khafaji, eric brenner, kaitlyn e. johnson and russell e. durrett. covid-19 prevention measures are organs the china’s public security stepping investigation and up punishment of actions that country’s undermine and covid-19 prevention the ministry of public security. country’s enforcing covid-19 prevention measures, police departments across the country have the control efforts, the recently handled more than 60 cases of covid-19 prevention breaches and similar actions, said the ministry. in august , police in nanjing, china’s jiangsu province, handled 11 cases of local residents leaving the city with other people’s negative nucleic acid test results, in breach of east and the city’s covid-19 control protocols. the ministry urged the public to abide by covid-19 prevention control requirements. it vowed to handle breaches, the spread of pandemic-related rumors, and other similar behavior in strict accordance with the law. brain cholesterol regulates alzheimer’s plaques- study reveals to of of that online findings neurons, production a team co-led by scientists at scripps research has used advanced imaging reveal how methods the the alzheimer ’s-associated protein amyloid beta (aβ) in the brain is tightly regulated by cholesterol. appearing ahead of of the proceedings of the national academy of sciences (pnas), the scientists’ work advances understanding how alzheimer’s disease develops and underscores the long-underappreciated role of brain cholesterol. the also help explain why genetic studies link alzheimer’s risk to a cholesterol-transporting protein called apolipoprotein e (apoe). atudy co-senior author scott hansen and an associate professor in the department of molecular medicine at scripps research, florida. we showed that cholesterol is acting essentially as a signal in neurons that determines how much aβ gets made -- and thus it should be unsurprising apoe, which carries the cholesterol to influences alzheimer’s risk. the other co-senior author of the study was heather ferris, md, phd, assistant professor in the department of medicine at the university of virginia school of medicine. the study’s first author, hao wang, is a graduate student in the hansen lab. understanding aβ a type of aβ in the alzheimer’s brain can form large, insoluble aggregates that gather in extensive clumps or “plaques” -- one of the most prominent features of the disease at autopsy. genetic evidence correlates the production of a subtype of aβ with alzheimer’s, yet aβ’s role in both the healthy brain and in disease remain a subject of debate, after many clinical trials of aβ-clearing therapeutics have struggled to show a benefit. in the new study, hansen and his colleagues take a close cholesterol’s connection to aβ production. cholesterol’s role has been suggested by various prior studies but never confirmed directly, due to technological limitations. the scientists used an advanced microscopy technique super- called look are lipid researchers resolution imaging to “see,” in cells and in the brains of live mice and tracked how cholesterol regulates aβ production. they focused on cholesterol produced in the brain by essential helper cells called astrocytes, and saw it was carried by apoe proteins to the outer membranes of neurons. there, it appeared to help maintain clusters of cholesterol and related molecules colloquially referred to as “lipid rafts.” lipid rafts are not yet well understood, in part because they are too tiny to image with ordinary light microscopes. with improved technology, they increasingly appreciated as hubs where signaling molecules come together to carry out key cellular functions. the protein from which aβ is produced, app, also sits in neuronal membranes. the showed that apoe and its cholesterol cargo bring app into contact with nearby rafts. there, in the rafts, enzymes that cleave app to form aβ are found. they found that blocking the flow of cholesterol would take app out of contact with lipid rafts, effectively preventing aβ production. cholesterol health the scientists then did a series of experiments in aged “3xtg-ad” mice, which are genetically engineered to overproduce aβ, to develop aβ plaques, and broadly to model alzheimer’s. they found that when they shut off cholesterol production in the mice, aβ production plummeted to near-normal, and aβ plaques virtually disappeared. another classic alzheimer’s sign usually seen in these mice is the accumulation of tangled aggregates of a neuronal protein called tau -- and those disappeared too. by confirming and clarifying astrocyte- the role produced in aβ production, the study suggests targeting this process is worthy of exploration for potential to prevent alzheimer’s progression. hansen notes, however, that cholesterol is needed by the brain for many other the processes, maintenance normal of cholesterol including astrocyte thereby brain that and of in currently colleagues alertness and cognition. his laboratory discovered in a 2020 study that severely interrupting the effect of cholesterol in neurons by general can anesthetics induce unconsciousness via a shared mechanism. you couldn’t just eliminate cholesterol neurons, cholesterol is needed to set a proper threshold for both aβ production and normal cognition. the findings offer new evidence of the underlying factors advancing development of alzheimer’s. a common variant of the apoe gene, known as the e4 variant, is the largest risk factor for late-onset alzheimer’s, and hansen and found evidence in the study that this variant, compared to the more common, lower-risk e3 variant, somehow boosts app’s association with lipid rafts, which thus boosts aβ production. hansen and his laboratory studying are how apoe’s transport of cholesterol and maintenance of lipid rafts in the brain impacts only aβ production but also brain inflammation another feature of alzheimer’s that contributes to destruction in the brain but has murky causes. the suggestion here of a central mechanism, involving cholesterol, that could help explain why both aβ plaques and inflammation are so prominent in the alzheimer’s brain. the findings offer new evidence of the underlying factors advancing development of alzheimer’s. a common variant of the apoe gene, known as the e4 variant, is the largest risk factor for late-onset alzheimer’s, and hansen and found evidence in the study that this variant, compared to the more common, lower-risk e3 variant, somehow boosts app’s association with lipid rafts, which thus boosts aβ production. the also help explain why genetic studies link alzheimer’s risk to a cholesterol-transporting protein called apolipoprotein e (apoe). colleagues findings there not is --
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