By Mubashir Bukhari
Srinagar, Mar 27: In a ground-breaking study, a Kashmiri doctor claims to have found a way to reduce liver fat in fatty liver diseases using a Type 2 diabetes drug.
Mohammad Shafi Kuchay, a resident of Humhama here, who earlier worked at SKIMS Soura, is currently holding the position of Consultant Endocrinology and Diabetes at Medanta, Gurgaon.
He along with team of doctors at the hospital have shown promise in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the small “E-LIFT study” which they recently presented at “ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting” in Chicago.
According to the study conducted by them, empagliflozin drug which was used to treat Type 2 diabetes has the potential to reduce liver fat in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Dr Kuchay said that for the first time in the world such a research has been carried in the drug and they received good response from the Endocrine society.
“Our research was adjudged as the best and we received lot of approbation at the Endocrine meet in Chicago,” he said.
Dr Kuchay, who is also the principal investigator of the study, told The Kashmir Monitor that till now, there was no medicine available in the market for fatty liver.
“Despite the fact that nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may progress to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, there are no approved medications for treating NAFLD or NASH,” he said. “Our results suggest that empagliflozin may help in treating NAFLD.”
“Not only this drug helps in diabetes but we found it can help in reducing fatty liver in patients. We demonstrated its second function first time to the world,” he said.
He said previous studies had established the potential of the diabetes drug empagliflozin in decreasing liver fat in rodents.
“I thought let us try this on humans. First step was to register it and then in 2016 we started research on this drug,” Dr Kuchay said.
He said in the trial, the team included patients who were 40 years or older and had Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD.
He said at the beginning of the study and 20 weeks later, the patients underwent measurement of their liver fat using a new technique called magnetic resonance imaging-derived proton density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF), which is an accurate and robust technique for liver fat estimation.
The patients also had blood tests of their liver enzyme levels and other biochemical parameters.
“After 20 weeks of treatment, the liver fat of patients receiving empagliflozin decreased from an average of 16.2 to 11.3 per cent, whereas the control group had only a decrease from 16.4 to 15.6 percent, a statistically significant difference between groups,” Dr Kuchay said.
“Overall, 25% of the control group had an increase in liver fat during the study period, half had no change, and 25% had a reduction. In the empagliflozin group, no patients had increased liver fat, 23% remained stable, and 77% experienced a decrease in liver fat.”
He said that the initial results are promising and open up the possibility that empagliflozin may provide additional benefits for patients with diabetes.
His study got much attention in the international media and was published by numerous newspapers and scientific journals worldwide.
Dr Kuchay was also invited by Medscape, a well-known professional medical website, for video CME presentation, along with Professor Silvio Inzucchi (USA), a renowned name in the field of diabetes research.
Voter turnout in Bijbehara, Anantnag a lesson for Mehbooba : Omar
Kulgam, Apr 24: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the low voter turnout in Anantnag and Bijbehara is a lesson for PDP and Mehbooba Mufti.
He asserted that the ensuing elections are significant since it provides the people of the state an opportunity to reveal how passionately they feel about their identity including Art370, Art 35-A.
Addressing two separate public meets at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug, Kulgam party vice president said that the threats of BJP-RSS to abrogate Art 370, Art 35A will be defeated as the people of the state will not allow them succeed in their nefarious designs. “ Today state is facing an assault on its special status from all sides, however all the machinations of the forces as are inimical to our status will fall flat if the people of our state show resoluteness in protecting the identity and integrity of our state. This time people across the state have taken it upon themselves to trounce the efforts as are hell bent to destroy the special constitutional status of the state,” he said adding, “Today’s elections is not about choosing MLA’s, today our state is fraught with a challenging situation. The need of the hour is to send a representative to Parliament who can fight for the interests of state, the situation that the state is facing today demands of having a credible voice at Delhi who can work tireless both within and outside parliament for the protection of Art 370, Art 35-A. Seeing the scope of work and the challenges we are facing, we considerately fielded Retired Justice Hasnain Sb from Anantnag constituency. He is known for his pronounced judgments on Art 370, Art 35 A. He boasts the necessary political and legal acumen to deal with the situation.”
While highlighting the importance of Art 370, Art 35 A, Omar said, “It is needless to say how important Art 370, Art 35-A are for the state and its people. Today the people of our state are masters of its own land. They work on their land, and derive their sustenance from it. God forbid, if these articles are done away with, the consequences that will follow shall be beyond our comprehension. The people of the state will stop to cleave to a respectable denomination which Sher- e- Kashmir bestowed upon them through famous land to tiller reforms and other people friendly measures. Our kids would not be able to derive various scholarships from government. The youth of our state will cease to be the sole beneficiary of jobs in government sector. Keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences of abrogation of our status, we deemed it fit to have Hasnain Masoodi represent us in parliament from Anantnag.”
Mehbooba demands release of Yasin Malik
Srinagar, Apr 24: Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday demanded the release of separatist leader Yasin Malik.
“Yasin Malik should be released immediately as he is really unwell. Also other members of Jamaat-e-Islami should be released. Sadhvi Pragya on whom there are several serious accusations has been set free,” Mufti said.
Delhi’s Patiala House Court Wednesday sent Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik to judicial custody till May 24 in connection with a 2017 alleged funding case.
Mehbooba also lodged a note of protest against a slew of measures brought about in the valley recently.
“After the encounter, families of militants are harassed and the cross LoC trade which was taking place through Muzaffarabad has also been stopped. The National Highway is closed for traffic for two days in a week and security forces are interfering in the daily life of people. We are protesting against all these issues,” she said.
Elections in the state are staggered in five phases which began on April 11 and culminate on May 6. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.
Rains lash Kashmir; weather to improve from today
Srinagar, Apr 24: Rains continued to lash Kashmir since Tuesday evening, bringing the average temperature down in the valley.
The local meteorological department predicted improvement in weather conditions from Thursday evening.
The rains began on Tuesday evening and continued intermittently till this evening. The rains in the Valley led to dip in the temperature.
Deputy Director MeT, Mukhtar Ahmad said that the weather conditions in Kashmir would improve from Thursday evening.
He said the light rainfall would continue intermittently till Thursday evening following which there will be improvement in the weather.
Ahmad said that in plains the weather would improve from Thursday afternoon while in higher reaches it will start improving from the evening.
Meanwhile, an official in Meteorological department informed that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 12.0 degrees Celsius Tuesday night against 8.9 degrees Celsius normal for this time of the season.
The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir received 3.9 mm of rain since overnight till 8:30 hours, he said.
The official said that Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded a low of 10.8 degrees Celsius and had a rainfall of 6.8 mm while the mercury in Kokernag town in south Kashmir settled at a low of 9.2 degrees Celsius and it had 8.6 mm of rains during the time.