Colombo, Sri Lanka

University of Colombo
Colombo, Sri Lanka

The University of Colombo is a public research university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The oldest institution of modern higher education in Sri Lanka, it is also the largest university in the island, specialised in the fields of natural, social, and applied science as well as mathematics, computer science, and law. It is ranked among the top 10 universities in South Asia.The University of Colombo was founded in 1921 as University College Colombo, affiliated to the University of London. Degrees were issued to its students from 1923 onwards. The university traces its roots to 1870 when the Ceylon Medical School was established. UoC has produced notable alumni in the fields of science, law, economics, business, literature, and politics. Wikipedia.

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Dissanayake D.W.N.,University of Colombo | Mason R.,University of Nottingham | Marsden C.A.,University of Nottingham
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2013

Sensory gating, a mandatory process in early information processing, has been found to be defective in neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. Understanding the neurobiology of sensory gating may provide insight into unravelling the neurobiology of information processing and to yet unanswered queries on the pathophysiology of disabling neuropsychiatric diseases. The endocannabinoid system has been linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Furthermore, cannabinoids disrupt sensory gating in animals and humans which supports the hypothesis that the disruption of sensory gating by alterations in the endocannabinoid system is a significant factor in the etiology of schizophrenia. Based on the above hypothesis this article reviews the sensory gating process in relation to the auditory conditioning-test paradigm with an emphasis on its association with the endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: HCO-05-2014 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2015

South Asians, who represent one-quarter of the worlds population, are at high risk of type-2 diabetes (T2D). Intensive lifestyle modification (healthy diet and physical activity) is effective at preventing T2D amongst South Asians with impaired glucose tolerance, but this approach is limited by high-cost, poor scalability and low impact on T2D burden. We will complete a cluster-randomised clinical trial at 120 locations across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK. We will compare family-based intensive lifestyle modification (22 health promotion sessions from a community health worker, active group, N=60 sites) vs usual care (1 session, control group, N=60 sites) for prevention of T2D, amongst 3,600 non-diabetic South Asian men and women with central obesity (waist100cm) and/or prediabetes (HbA1c6.0%). Participants will be followed annually for 3 years. The primary endpoint will be new-onset T2D (physician diagnosis on treatment or HbA1c6.0%, predicted N~734 over 3 years). Secondary endpoints will include waist and weight in the index case and family members. Our study has 80% power to identify a reduction in T2D risk with family-based intervention vs usual care of: 30% in South Asians with central obesity; 24% in South Asians with prediabetes; and 24% overall. Health economic evaluation will determine cost-effectiveness of family based lifestyle modification for prevention of T2D amongst South Asians with central obesity and / or prediabetes. The impact of gender and socio-economic factors on clinical utility and cost-effectiveness will be investigated. Our results will determine whether screening by waist circumference and/or HbA1c, coupled with intervention by family-based lifestyle modification, is an efficient, effective and equitable strategy for prevention of T2D in South Asians. Our findings will thereby provide a robust evidence base for scalable community-wide approaches to reverse the epidemic of T2D amongst the >1.5 billion South Asians worldwide.

The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Dr. Ganesha Thambipillay, FRACP, to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. Thambipillay holds over 40 years of experience and an extensive expertise in all facets of his field, especially general paediatrics, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and sleep disorders in children. Dr. Thambipillay is currently serving patients at Sydney Sleep Services in Wagga Wagga, Australia. Dr. Thambipillay graduated with his Medical Degree in 1972 from the University of Colombo-MBBS Faculty of Medicine. Following his graduation, Dr. Thambipillay went on to complete an internship in Sri Lanka, before completing his fellowship at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children. He holds dual board certification in Pediatrics and in Sleep Medicine, and has earned the coveted title of Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. To keep up to date with the latest advances in his field, Dr. Thambipillay maintains professional memberships with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Australasian Sleep Association, and the Australian Association of Consultant Physicians. Dr. Thambipillay attributes his great success to keeping his family as his number one priority, and maintaining a devotion to his religion as a model for his life. When he is not assisting patients, Dr. Thambipillay enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, and taking walks with his wife. Learn more about Dr. Ganesha Thambipillay by reading his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review. features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit:

Geeganage C.,University of Colombo
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Dysphagia (swallowing problems) are common after stroke and can cause chest infection and malnutrition. Dysphagic, and malnourished, stroke patients have a poorer outcome. To assess the effectiveness of interventions for the treatment of dysphagia (swallowing therapy), and nutritional and fluid supplementation, in patients with acute and subacute (within six months from onset) stroke. We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (February 2012), MEDLINE (1966 to July 2011), EMBASE (1980 to July 2011), CINAHL (1982 to July 2011) and Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science (CPCI-S) (1990 to July 2011). We also searched the reference lists of relevant trials and review articles, searched Current Controlled Trials and contacted researchers (July 2011). For the previous version of this review we contacted the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and equipment manufacturers. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in dysphagic stroke patients, and nutritional supplementation in all stroke patients, where the stroke occurred within six months of enrolment. Two review authors independently applied the inclusion criteria, assessed trial quality, and extracted data, and resolved any disagreements through discussion with a third review author. We used random-effects models to calculate odds ratios (OR), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and mean differences (MD). The primary outcome was functional outcome (death or dependency, or death or disability) at the end of the trial. We included 33 studies involving 6779 participants.Swallowing therapy: acupuncture, drug therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, pharyngeal electrical stimulation, physical stimulation (thermal, tactile), transcranial direct current stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation each had no significant effect on case fatality or combined death or dependency. Dysphagia at end-of-trial was reduced by acupuncture (number of studies (t) = 4, numbers of participants (n) = 256; OR 0.24; 95% CI 0.13 to 0.46; P < 0.0001; I(2) = 0%) and behavioural interventions (t = 5; n = 423; OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.88; P = 0.01; I(2) = 22%). Route of feeding: percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and nasogastric tube (NGT) feeding did not differ for case fatality or the composite outcome of death or dependency, but PEG was associated with fewer treatment failures (t = 3; n = 72; OR 0.09; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.51; P = 0.007; I(2) = 0%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (t = 1; n = 321; OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.09 to 0.69; P = 0.007), and higher feed delivery (t = 1; n = 30; MD 22.00; 95% CI 16.15 to 27.85; P < 0.00001) and albumin concentration (t = 3; n = 63; MD 4.92 g/L; 95% CI 0.19 to 9.65; P = 0.04; I(2) = 58%). Although looped NGT versus conventional NGT feeding did not differ for end-of-trial case fatality or death or dependency, feed delivery was higher with looped NGT (t = 1; n = 104; MD 18.00%; 95% CI 6.66 to 29.34; P = 0.002). Timing of feeding: there was no difference for case fatality, or death or dependency, with early feeding as compared to late feeding. Fluid supplementation: there was no difference for case fatality, or death or dependency, with fluid supplementation. Nutritional supplementation: there was no difference for case fatality, or death or dependency, with nutritional supplementation. However, nutritional supplementation was associated with reduced pressure sores (t = 2; n = 4125; OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.96; P = 0.03; I(2) = 0%), and, by definition, increased energy intake (t = 3; n = 174; MD 430.18 kcal/day; 95% CI 141.61 to 718.75; P = 0.003; I(2) = 91%) and protein intake (t = 3; n = 174; MD 17.28 g/day; 95% CI 1.99 to 32.56; P = 0.03; I(2) = 92%). There remains insufficient data on the effect of swallowing therapy, feeding, and nutritional and fluid supplementation on functional outcome and death in dysphagic patients with acute or subacute stroke. Behavioural interventions and acupuncture reduced dysphagia, and pharyngeal electrical stimulation reduced pharyngeal transit time. Compared with NGT feeding, PEG reduced treatment failures and gastrointestinal bleeding, and had higher feed delivery and albumin concentration. Nutritional supplementation was associated with reduced pressure sores, and increased energy and protein intake.

BACKGROUND: Decoction prepared from leaves of Atalantia ceylanica is used in traditional medicine in Sri Lanka for the treatment of various liver ailments since ancient times. Lyophilized powder of the water extract of A. ceylanica leaves was investigated for its phytochemical constituents, antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity in-vitro.METHODS: The total phenolic and flavonoid contents were determined using Folin Ciocalteu method and aluminium chloride colorimetric assay respectively. The antioxidant activities of the decoction were investigated using 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), hydroxyl radical, nitric oxide scavenging assays and ferric ion reducing power assay. Hepatotoxicity was induced on porcine liver slices with ethanol to study hepatoprotective activity. Porcine liver slices were incubated at 37°C with different concentrations of the water extract of A. ceylanica in the presence of ethanol for 2 hours. The hepatoprotective effects were quantified by the leakage of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to the medium. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay was performed to examine the anti-lipid peroxidation activity caused by the plant extract.RESULTS: The mean ± SD (n =9) for the levels of total phenolics and flavonoids were 4.87 ± 0.89 w/w% of gallic acid equivalents and 16.48 ± 0.63 w/w% of (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate equivalents respectively. The decoction demonstrated high antioxidant activity. The mean ± SD values of EC50 were 131.2 ± 36.1, 48.4 ± 12.1, 263.5 ± 28.3 and 87.70 ± 6.06 μg/ml for DPPH, hydroxyl radical, nitric oxide scavenging assays and ferric ion reducing power assay respectively.A significant decrease (p <0.05) was observed in ALT, AST and LDH release from porcine liver slices treated with A. ceylanica extract at a concentration of 2 mg/ml in the presence of ethanol (5 M) compared to that of ethanol (5 M) treated slices. Furthermore, a reduction in lipid peroxidation was also observed in liver slices treated with the leaf extract of A. ceylanica (2 mg/ml) compared to that of ethanol induced liver toxicity (p <0.05).CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that aqueous extract of A. ceylanica exerts hepatoprotective activity against ethanol induced liver toxicity of porcine liver slices which can be attributed to the antioxidant properties possessed by the plant material.

Wijetunga D.,University of Colombo
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication | Year: 2014

Most discussions on the digital divide have predominantly focused on social disparities in the physical accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICT), and the proposed solutions are related to providing low cost access to the underprivileged. The mobile phone has been considered as a good solution due to its relatively low cost. This paper, based on an empirical study in Sri Lanka, demonstrates that even though the underprivileged population has adopted the mobile phone, most of the computer based communication facilities available in the phones are 'inaccessible' to such users due the objectification of broader social inequalities in the design of phones. In other words, the digital divide is objectified in the design. © 2014 International Communication Association.

Jayasinghe S.,University of Colombo
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology | Year: 2011

The mechanistic interpretation of reality can be traced to the influential work by René Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton. Their theories were able to accurately predict most physical phenomena relating to motion, optics and gravity. This paradigm had at least three principles and approaches: reductionism, linearity and hierarchy. These ideas appear to have influenced social scientists and the discourse on population health. In contrast, Complexity Science takes a more holistic view of systems. It views natural systems as being 'open', with fuzzy borders, constantly adapting to cope with pressures from the environment. These are called Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). The sub-systems within it lack stable hierarchies, and the roles of agency keep changing. The interactions with the environment and among sub-systems are non-linear interactions and lead to self-organisation and emergent properties. Theoretical frameworks such as epi+demos+cracy and the ecosocial approach to health have implicitly used some of these concepts of interacting dynamic sub-systems. Using Complexity Science we can view population health outcomes as an emergent property of CAS, which has numerous dynamic non-linear interactions among its interconnected sub-systems or agents. In order to appreciate these sub-systems and determinants, one should acquire a basic knowledge of diverse disciplines and interact with experts from different disciplines. Strategies to improve health should be multi-pronged, and take into account the diversity of actors, determinants and contexts. The dynamic nature of the system requires that the interventions are constantly monitored to provide early feedback to a flexible system that takes quick corrections. © 2011 Jayasinghe; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rajapakse S.,University of Colombo
Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock | Year: 2011

Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure. The onset of shock in dengue can be dramatic, and its progression relentless. The pathogenesis of shock in dengue is complex. It is known that endothelial dysfunction induced by cytokines and chemical mediators occurs. Diagnosis is largely clinical and is supported by serology and identification of viral material in blood. No specific methods are available to predict outcome and progression. Careful fluid management and supportive therapy is the mainstay of management. Corticosteroids and intravenous immunoglobulins are of no proven benefit. No specific therapy has been shown to be effective in improving survival.

Rajapakse S.,University of Colombo
International Journal of Clinical Practice | Year: 2015

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among patients admitted to hospital. Pulmonary embolism results in 5-10% of deaths, and is the commonest cause of preventable deaths in hospitalised patients (1,2). In addition. considerable morbidity results from VTE, such as post-thrombotic syndrome and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The economic burden resulting from VTE and its complications is high. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Jayasinghe S.,University of Colombo
MEDICC Review | Year: 2014

Epidemics of chronic kidney disease not attributable to common causes have recently been observed in Central America and Asia. Since the etiology is unclear, the disease is often known by terms such as chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. There is growing evidence that risk factors include rural agricultural work and agrochemical exposure. The disease should be renamed chronic agrochemical nephropathy to highlight the most likely etiology and draw attention to the condition.

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