Dow University entrance test & a special child
Ayesha Paracha scores 20 marks in entrance test
Karachi, July 22, 2008: Ayesha Paracha, a special child, scored only 20.5 marks out of 100 in the
entrance test for MBBS, a spokesman of Dow University of HealthSciences (DUHS)
said on Monday.
Hence, the prospects of her getting admission in the
medical college were dimmed.
Ms Paracha said that
she was disheartened over the results. "Now I am out of the merit list," she
said. It was a "tough paper" for her.
She said that the other five
disabled students had taken part in a "normal test" and now the DUHS was saying
that her marks would be compared with those candidates, which, she said, was not
"I will consult with lawyers and will seek legal remedies," she
She hinted that she might file a petition before the judiciary on
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KU team's research on drug for schizophrenia makes headway
Karachi: A professor at the Department of Biochemistry, University of
Karachi (KU), has carried out a research on a drug - Buspirone (anxiolytic and
anti-depressant) - and found out that if the same drug is used with the
conventional Neuroleptics for schizophrenia (such as Haloperidol), then the side
effect connected with Neuroleptics could be reversed and eradicated. The side
effect is Tardive Dyskinsia, a disabling behaviour.
Dr Darkhshan Jabeen
Haleem, former chairman of biochemistry department and also the former Dean
Faculty of Science, heads the Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology unit and has
a team of researchers who are working for their PhD degree and are also
lecturers in the department. She has a PhD in Neurochemistry and
Neuropharmacology from the University of London, the United Kingdom.
Haleem informed that in the past two decades, countless medical studies
have shown that the use of Neuroleptic psychiatric drugs (also known as
antipsychotic) is associated with structural brain changes, especially when
taking high dosages for a long time.
"These brain changes can include
actual shrinkage of the higher level parts of the brain. The shrinkage can be
seen in brain scans and autopsy studies. In response to industry defenders, who
claim that this shrinkage is from 'mental illness', studies show Neuroleptics
lead to similar brain changes in animals. While the medical side of large
libraries has this information, the public media side of the library does not.
In other words, the public, patients and their families are not being informed
about what medicine has long been known", she revealed.
according to Dr Haleem, is a generic name and comes in different brands such as
Ansial, Ansiced, Anxiron, Axoren, Bespar, Buspar, Buspimen, Buspinol, Buspisal,
Narol, Spitomin and Sorbon, is an anxiolytic agent and a serotonin receptor
agonist belonging to the azaspirodecanedione class of compounds.
"Tardive dyskinesia (TD), a syndrome of involuntary hyperkinesias in the
orofacial region that develops in patients chronically treated with Neuroleptics
agents is a major limitation of the therapy. Rats chronically treated with
haloperidol exhibit vacuous chewing movements (VCMs) with the twitching of
facial musculature and tongue protrusion", Dr Haleem explained.
Shireen, a lecturer and a PhD scholar and one of many in the research team of Dr
Haleem, is working on adverse effects related to the motor activity of
anti-Psychotics (a group of drugs commonly but not exclusively used to treat
psychosis), which is used for the treatment of schizophrenia.
TD is a
severe motor side effect produced by the long term treatment with conventional
antipsychotics. "We were trying to find out a drug that could provide maximum
efficacy for the treatment of Schizophrenia with minimal or no side effects.
Mianserin and Buspirone are clinically used as antidepressant and we (our team)
discovered that adjunctive treatment of those drugs with conventional
antipsychotics produces less or no motor deficits. Our work was conducted on
animal specimens", Shireen said.
Asma Khan, also a lecturer and a PhD
scholar working with Dr Haleem, is working on the mechanism of tolerance
following long term use of anxiolytics, in this case Diazepam, Buspirone and
Ondansetron. "Diazepam and Buspirone are clinically used to relieve the symptoms
of various anxiety disorders. The work was conducted on animals. Diazepam
produces tolerance when used for long term.
However, long term use of
Buspirone and Ondansetron retain its effectiveness to produce anxiolytics
effects. Our findings proposed that novel compounds can be used as adjunct with
diazepam to retain its anxiolytic effects following long term use", Asma
The research by Dr Haleem has been noticed by the medical
circles in Germany and other Western European countries and she has been invited
to attend a medical seminar in Germany. Her research was supported by a grant
from the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
A number of other
investigations on stress, obesity and anorexia nervosa that were carried out
from Biochemical Neuropharmacology have gained global attraction and
recognition. The News
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