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Vol 21, No. 05, May 2017   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
EDITOR'S LETTER
In this May issue, APBN have features related to neuroscience, brain health and cancer.

The article “microRNAs in Huntington’s disease", written by Dr Yang and Olakunle, talked about the typical pathological characteristics of Huntington’s diseases (HD), clinical symptoms of HD, and the fact that there is no cure for this genetic disease up till now. Extensive studies on microRNAs (miRNAs) in the field of gene regulatory mechanism hope to shine light to the development of potential therapy using miRNAs for the devastating HD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Natural brain aging, or age-related cognitive decline, starts as early as 20s. As we age, the brain’s ability to repair and defend itself from the free radicals slows down, resulting in damages and toxin build-up. It happens to everyone, not necessarily leading to pathological diseases like dementia, but inevitably causing the decrease in mental agility and the ability to multi-task and recall information. Dr Watson gives some tips in the “Revive Your Brain" article to keep our brain in top shape, such as taking credible brain supplements and constantly engaging in social activities to stimulate minds.

If you are keen to know more about complementary medicines, flip to our interview feature with Dr Lesley Braun, the director of Blackmores Institute, in Spotlights section. The interview with Dr Braun taught us common health supplements like multivitamins, fish oil, vitamin C, probiotics, Coenzyme Q10, and the conditions they address. We also report on some learning points from the Blackmores symposium, which are useful to integrate for pharmacy practice.

APBN interviewed Sir David Lane, a scientist who discovered the p53 gene (aka the “Guardian of the genome”) and largely contributed to cancer research and development. Sir David Lane said environmental or external factors cause cancers. Smoking – being the most straightforward – could damage genes, leading to particular types of mutation. On the other hand, he sees personalised medicine becoming increasingly important in the bid to find the right drug for different cancers.

APBN also spoke to Dr Zhao Ping, the chairman of the Cancer Foundation of China, to learn why variations of the cancer types exist between cities and rural areas in China. China focuses on early diagnosis and detection of cancer in order to provide timely intervention. The government converts a lot of hospitals to cancer hospitals to better handle the progressing cancer incidence in the nation. A non-profit organisation in Malaysia, National Cancer Council Malaysia (or MAKNA), launched mobile mammogram units for the breast cancer screening, as part of the programmes they do to provide cancer care and support.

Hope your mind gets stimulation from reading our May 2017 issue. Many exciting things are going on so stay sharp and stay tuned for our upcoming issues for more scientific information.

Thank you.


Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
APBN Editor
You can reach me at [email protected]

 

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