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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.

Andraweera P.H.,University of Adelaide | Andraweera P.H.,University of Colombo | Dekker G.A.,University of Adelaide | Roberts C.T.,University of Adelaide
Human Reproduction Update | Year: 2012

Background: Pre-eclampsia, small-for-gestational-age infants, preterm birth and recurrent miscarriage complicate a significant number of pregnancies. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of angiogenic growth factors is implicated in the pathophysiology of these complications. We aimed to elucidate the role of these angiogenic factors in placentation and to evaluate the predictive value of their protein concentrations and genetic variations in pregnancy complications. Methods: We performed a systematic search of PubMed, and retrieved original articles. The search included a combination of terms such as VEGF-A, placental growth factor (PlGF), kinase insert domain receptor, fms-like-tyrosine-kinase receptor 1, soluble fms-like-tyrosine-kinase receptor 1, pre-eclampsia, small-for-gestational-age infants, preterm birth, recurrent miscarriage, placenta, prediction and polymorphisms. Results: This review summarizes the current knowledge of the roles of the VEGF family in early placentation and of the abnormalities in maternal plasma and placental expression of angiogenic proteins in adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with normal pregnancy. PlGF and sFLT-1 in combination with other clinical and biochemical markers in late first or second trimester appear to predict early-onset pre-eclampsia with a high sensitivity and specificity. However, VEGF family proteins do not have sufficient power to accurately predict late-onset pre-eclampsia, small-for-gestational age pregnancies or preterm birth. Functional polymorphisms in these angiogenic genes are implicated in pregnancy complications, but their contribution appears to be minor. Conclusions: Although the VEGF family has important roles in normal and complicated pregnancy, the current predictive value of the VEGF family as biomarkers appears to be limited to early-onset pre-eclampsia. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

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.

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