Ahmed M Ashour has completed his MS degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University and started his PhD studies at Strathclyde University School of Medicine. Currently, he is a Faculty member at Umm Al Qura University, Saudi Arabia.
Diabetes is a major health problem in Saudi Arabia (KSA) with prevalence of 30%, which is within the highest reported figures in the world. Cigarette smoking is considered as a modifiable risk factor and has significant roles in the developing type II Diabetes Mellitus (DM). Studies showed that the risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than non-smokers. The cause of mortality and morbidity is increased in smokers with diabetes. Limited research has been done on smoking among patients with type II DM in Saudi Arabia and there is also scarcity of evidence on smoking cessation therapies for patients with type II DM. Therefore, it is essential to assess smoking rates amongst diabetic patients in the KSA. Our hypothesis is to investigate the effectiveness of transdermal patch (Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT) combined with/without telephone counseling sessions (behavioral intervention) in Saudi for type II diabetic smokers. The current regular smokers of 10 cigarettes or more on a daily basis and other inclusion criteria will be invited to take part in randomized open-blind controlled clinical trial for smoking cessation amongst patients with type II DM. From other countries’ previous studies, we expect a high continuous abstinence rate in the transdermal patch/telephone consoling group as compared to the medication alone. In addition, this project would be the first of its kind in the KSA to provide an answer to unresolved question on the best pharmaceutical interventions for smoking cessation amongst patients with diabetes.
Benedicta U Iwuagwu is currently a second year PhD student in the School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences and obtained her Post-graduate degree in Research Methods at Robert Gordon University
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease associated with micro-vascular complications including diabetic retinopathy (DR). Chronic high glucose concentration is known to increase the incidence and severity of DR, however, the sequence of molecular events is complex and the precise mechanisms involved are still debated. This study presents a 3D porcine retinal model designed to examine the early molecular deregulation of retinal tissue. Porcine retinal tissue was extracted from individual ocular globes (n≥6) donated by a local abattoir within 2 hours post-mortem. Retina were cultured in DMEM within an agarose (0.5%) + collagen (0.5 mg/ml) co-gel and maintained in a humidified atmosphere with 95% air and 5% CO2 at 37°C. Retinal tissue fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin (NBF) and processed for paraffin embedding and sectioning. Tissue sections (10 μm) were stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) was carried out with anti-HIF1α (1:800), anti-GFAP (1:100), and anti-CD31 (1:100). In addition, retinal tissues were harvested at different time points 0/4/24 hours and RNA was extracted using TRIzol reagent to identify the feasibility of using the model for these of gene expression. Use of H&E enabled visualization of the retinal structure and IHC demonstrated the expression of specific proteins. In contrast, RNA electrophoresis indicated that there was partial degradation of the RNA which would exclude this approach from meaningful further analysis. Further refinement of the model may be possible to improve RNA quality. Thus the 3D retinal model has the potential for studying early deregulations in DR.