Research is an integral component of pharmacy education. Considering this, much emphasis is given for research right from the undergraduate level.

Research programs are focused on a wide range of areas including drug discovery, novel drug delivery systems, toxicology/ pharmacology, analytical method development, preclinical and herbal research,research on therapeutics, optimization of dosage regimen in healthcare delivery, pharmacokinetic evaluation, etc.

Quality, innovative and value based research is much encouraged and the school has started taking heights in research achievements.

It is what distinguishes us from similar schools and what equip our students for leading - edge positions on the rapidly changing healthcare frontier.

Research Activities (Ongoing Research Projects)

  1. Brain targeting of an antiepileptic drug via intranasal nano structured lipid carriers

    It is a project funded by DST-Nanomission . The duration of the project is 3 years . Dr. Sabitha M, Principal , Amrita School of Pharmacy is the Principal investigator and Dr. R. Jayakumar , Professor, Centre for Nanosciences. Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by neurobiologic, cognitive, psychological and social consequences of this condition. The first line drug phenytoin sodium by intranasal route using nanodrug delivery approaches seems to be promising for controlling acute epileptic seizure. Phenytoin sodium loaded NLCs developed by melt emulsification -ultrasonication method using cholesterol as solid lipid, oleic acid as liquid lipid and poloxamer 188 as the polymer will be evaluated for is efficacy in brain delivery via. Intranasal route.

  2. Effects of large cardamon extracts on experimental models of hypertension and endothelium function.

    The Department of Pharmacology has a project funded by The Spices Board of India. Dr. P. Uma Devi is the principal investigator while Mr. Jipnomon Joseph and Mr. S K Kanthlal are the co-investigators. The project aims to study the effects of spices on different experimental models of hypertension and to elucidate the probable mechanisms for the observed effects.

    Hypertension is a chronic medical condition associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction. Impaired endothelial function has been observed in metabolic syndrome like obesity and diabetes. Hyperglycemia induces mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in response to insulin resistance and cause endothelial dysfunction by disrupting nitric oxide production. Spices have been used traditionally for various ailments. Dietary supplementation with spices has been reported to produce beneficial effects in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Areas of Research

Publications

Year of Publication Publication Type Title

2020

Journal Article

V. M. Kurup and Thomas, J., “Edible Vaccines: Promises and Challenges.”, Mol Biotechnol, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 79-90, 2020.[Abstract]


Vaccines are biological preparations that improve immunity to particular diseases and form an important innovation of 19th century research. It contains a protein that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weak or killed forms of the microbe. Vaccines are agents that stimulate the body's immune system to recognize the antigen. Now, a new form of vaccine was introduced which will have the power to mask the risk side of conventional vaccines. This type of vaccine was produced from plants which are genetically modified. In the production of edible vaccines, the gene-encoding bacterial or viral disease-causing agent can be incorporated in plants without losing its immunogenic property. The main mechanism of action of edible vaccines is to activate the systemic and mucosal immunity responses against a foreign disease-causing organism. Edible vaccines can be produced by incorporating transgene in to the selected plant cell. At present edible vaccine are developed for veterinary and human use. But the main challenge faced by edible vaccine is its acceptance by the population so that it is necessary to make aware the society about its use and benefits. When compared to other traditional vaccines, edible vaccines are cost effective, efficient and safe. It promises a better prevention option from diseases.

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2020

Journal Article

Athira Kaipuzha Venu, Bandopadhyay, S., Samudrala, P. Kumar, V.G.M. Naidu, Mangala Lahkar, and Chakravarty, S., “An Overview of the Heterogeneity of Major Depressive Disorder: Current Knowledge and Future Prospective”, Current Neuropharmacology, vol. 18, no. 3, 2020.[Abstract]


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is estimated to impose maximum debilitating effectson the society by 2030, with its critical effects on health, functioning, quality of life and concomitanthigh levels of morbidity and mortality. Yet, the disease is inadequately understood, diagnosedand treated. Moreover, with the recent drastic rise in the pace of life, stress has materialized as oneof the most potent environmental factors for depression. In this scenario, it is important to understandthe modern pathogenetic hypotheses and mechanisms, and possibly try to shift from the traditionalapproaches in depression therapy. These include the elaboration of pathophysiologicalchanges in heterogeneous systems such as genetic, epigenetic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, gammaaminobutyricacid, glutamatergic and endocannabinoid systems, neurotrophic factors, HPA axis,immune system as well as cellular stress mechanisms. These components interact with each other ina complex matrix and further elucidation of their mechanism and cascade pathways are needed.This might aid in the identification of MDD subtypes as well as the development of sophisticatedbiomarkers. Further, characterization might also aid in developing multitargeted therapies that holdmuch promise as compared to the conventional monoamine based treatment. New candidate pharmacons,refined psychotherapeutic modalities, advanced neuro-surgical and imaging techniques aswell as the implementation of pharmacokinetic, pharmacogenetic prescribing guidelines constitutethe emerging expanses of MDD treatment.

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2019

Journal Article

A. Asok, Sreekumar, S., Radhika,, Cc, A., Dr. Umadevi P., and Dr. Pavithran K., “Effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in the treatment of insomnia in solid tumor patients.”, J Oncol Pharm Pract, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1608-1612, 2019.[Abstract]


Objective: To study the effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in managing insomnia in solid tumor patients.
Methods: Cancer patients with a Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score ≥ 5 were grouped into two. Both groups received treatment for insomnia in the form of either zolpidem 5 mg for 7 days or sleep hygiene counseling.
Result: At baseline, zolpidem and counseling group had a mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score of 14.82 ± 2.61 and 11.67 ± 3.32, respectively. The difference in mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was found to be 4.03 in patients using zolpidem and 1.5 in counseled patients (p = 0.003). The components of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index namely difficulty falling asleep within 30 min (sleep latency), overall sleep quality, trouble staying awake during daytime and trouble staying motivated to get things done showed statistically significant improvement after treatment with zolpidem. Following sleep hygiene counseling, the proportion of patients with sleep latency > 30 min reduced considerably. Waking up to use the bathroom was the most common problem reported by approximately 94% patients in both groups before treatment which remained the most prevalent problem even after treatment. Night or early morning awakenings seemed to decrease significantly in patients taking zolpidem (p = 0.039) while it did not show any improvement with counseling. Counseling seemed to get patients to sleep within 30 min.
Conclusion: Patients on zolpidem showed a reduction in their Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores thereby suggesting it as a treatment for insomnia in solid tumor patients. Sleep hygiene counseling, though not as effective as zolpidem, made a slight difference in the overall sleep.

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2019

Journal Article

A. Benny and Thomas, J., “Essential Oils as Treatment Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease: Current and Future Perspectives.”, Planta Med, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 239-248, 2019.[Abstract]


Alzheimer's disease is a multifarious neurodegenerative disease that causes cognitive impairment and gradual memory loss. Several hypotheses have been put forward to postulate its pathophysiology. Currently, few drugs are available for the management of Alzheimer's disease and the treatment provides only symptomatic relief. Our aim is to review the relevant , and clinical studies focused toward the potential uses of essential oils in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Scientific databases such as PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Google Scholar from April 1998 to June 2018 were explored to collect data. We have conducted wide search on various essential oils used in different models of Alzheimer's disease. Out of 55 essential oils identified for Alzheimer's intervention, 28 have been included in the present review. A short description of studies of 13 essential oils together with clinical trial data of , and have been highlighted. studies of remaining essential oils that possess antioxidant and anticholinesterase potential are also mentioned. Our literary survey revealed encouraging results regarding the various essential oils being studied in preclinical and clinical studies of Alzheimer's disease with significant effects in modulating the pathology through anti-amyloid, antioxidants, anticholinesterase, and memory-enhancement activity. More »»

2019

Journal Article

P. Rajitha, Shammika, P., S. Aiswarya, Gopikrishnan, A., Dr. Jayakumar Rangasamy, and Dr. Sabitha M., “Chaulmoogra oil based Methotrexate Loaded Topical Nanoemulsion for the Treatment of Psoriasis”, Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, vol. 49, pp. 463 - 476, 2019.[Abstract]


Chaulmoogra oil based methotrexate loaded nanoemulsion was prepared via emulsification technique using tween 80 and ethanol as surfactants. The formulation was characterized by FTIR and TEM. The prepared nanoemulsion has an average particle size of 34 nm with negative surface charge and has pH compatible to skin. Rheological studies revealed the shear thinning non-Newtonian visco-elastic behavior of the formulation as explained by the Herschel Bulkley model. The formulation was cytocompatible towards mouse dermal fibroblast L929 cells when tested by MTT assay and was stable in refrigerator for the tested period of 3 months. The in-vitro release mechanism of methotrexate from formulation followed zero order release kinetics with non Fickian diffusion mechanism. The ex-vivo skin permeation studies done by Franz diffusion cell apparatus using porcine skin revealed the improved skin permeation and retention of drug in deep skin layers when compared with control drug solution. The in vivo anti-psoriatic studies done on imiquimod psoriatic model revealed superior anti-psoriatic efficacy, with effective skin retention and lesser serum and tissue accumulation when compared with orally administered methotrexate tablet.

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2019

Journal Article

H. Upadya, Prabhu, S., Prasad, A., Subramanian, D., Gupta, S., and Goel, A., “A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multicenter clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Emblica officinalis extract in patients with dyslipidemia.”, BMC Complement Altern Med, vol. 19, no. 1, p. 27, 2019.[Abstract]


BACKGROUND: Dyslipidemia is one of the most frequently implicated risk factors for development of atherosclerosis. This study evaluated the efficacy of amla (Emblica officinalis) extract (composed of polyphenols, triterpenoids, oils etc. as found in the fresh wild amla fruit) in patients with dyslipidemia.

METHODS: A total of 98 dyslipidemic patients were enrolled and divided into amla and placebo groups. Amla extract (500 mg) or a matching placebo capsule was administered twice daily for 12 weeks to the respective group of patients. The patients were followed up for 12 weeks and efficacy of study medication was assessed by analyzing lipid profile. Other parameters evaluated were apolipoprotein B (Apo B), apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), fasting blood sugar (FBS), homocysteine and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

RESULTS: In 12 weeks, the major lipids such as total cholesterol (TC) (p = 0.0003), triglyceride (TG) (p = 0.0003), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 0.0064) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) (p = 0.0001) were significantly lower in amla group as compared to placebo group. Additionally, a 39% reduction in atherogenic index of the plasma (AIP) (p = 0.0177) was also noted in amla group. The ratio of Apo B to Apo A1 was reduced more (p = 0.0866) in the amla group as compared to the placebo. There was no significant change in CoQ10 level of amla (p = 0.2942) or placebo groups (p = 0.6744). Although there was a general trend of FBS reduction, the numbers of participants who may be classified as pre-diabetes and diabetes groups (FBS > 100 mg/dl) in the amla group were only 8. These results show that the amla extract used in the study is potentially a hypoglycaemic as well. However, this needs reconfirmation in a larger study.

CONCLUSIONS: The Amla extract has shown significant potential in reducing TC and TG levels as well as lipid ratios, AIP and apoB/apo A-I in dyslipidemic persons and thus has scope to treat general as well as diabetic dyslipidemia. A single agent to reduce cholesterol as well as TG is rare. Cholesterol reduction is achieved without concomitant reduction of Co Q10, in contrast to what is observed with statins.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered with Clinical Trials Registry- India at www.ctri.nic.in (Registration number: CTRI/2015/04/005682 ) on 8 April 2015 (retrospectively registered).

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2019

Journal Article

D. S. Raju, Sugunan, A., Dr. Pavithran K., Arun Philip, and Remya Reghu, “Chemoport-related Fungemia Caused by Trichosporon asahii.”, J Pediatr Hematol Oncol, 2019.[Abstract]


Trichosporon asahii is a rare opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes fatal systemic infection in immunocompromised patients. Neutropenia developing due to malignancies is an important risk factor for fungal infection. Invasive infections due to T. asahii can be divided into disseminated and localized forms. The disseminated form is more common and usually occurs in neutropenic patients. The patient typically has an acute febrile illness that progresses rapidly to multiorgan failure. Here, we are presenting a case of fungal sepsis by invasive T. asahii in a 1-year-old child with Wilms Tumor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that fungal sepsis due to T. asahii has been reported in a Wilms tumor patient. The incidence of rare invasive fungal infections is increasing in immunocompromised patients in whom management becomes difficult due to their heterogenous antifungal susceptibility pattern and intrinsic resistance to the standard antifungal agents that are routinely given. The patient was admitted with high spiking fever, and his laboratory investigations suggested neutropenia. T. asahii was isolated from the blood culture, for which he was started on inj. voriconozole. After 14 days of treatment, the fungus was cleared out from the patient's blood.

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2019

Journal Article

A. P, Sreesha N. Nair, and Ambika, “Wound healing activity of plants from the convolvulaceae family”, Advances in Wound Care, vol. 8, pp. 28-37, 2019.[Abstract]


Significance: Compounds derived from plants are gaining importance for the treatment of several diseases. Many plants from the Convolvulaceae family contain compounds that have demonstrated wound healing and antidiabetic activity. Such compounds can be effectively used as a part of treatments to promote wound healing in diabetics and used in combination with antimicrobial therapy to reduce the likelihood of drug resistance and allergic reactions. Novel strategies for developing herbal formulations such as nanoparticles and adhesive patches can improve the delivery of plant-based therapeutic agents. Recent Advances: Studies have confirmed the antidiabetic and wound healing activities of Merremia tridentata, Argyreia speciosa, and Ipomoea batatas, whereas Evolvulus alsinoides, Evolvulus nummularius, Argyreia cuneata, and Ipomoea carnea have wound healing activity. Critical Issues: Drug resistance is a major problem associated with antimicrobial therapy and can affect wound healing processes. Phytoconstituents can facilitate healing processes and reduce reliance on antibiotics. Future Directions: Plants from the Convolvulaceae family have had frequent traditional uses, and all plants selected for this study have antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and wound healing properties. Detailed phytochemical studies of these plants can help develop novel wound healing therapies. © 2019 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. More »»

2019

Journal Article

E. C. Ninan and Emmanuel James, “Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to abrus precatorius poisoning – A case report”, Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 2019.[Abstract]


Abrus precatorius, commonly known as ‘Rosary pea’ or ‘Jequirity pea’ and known as 'shisham, Batrah-Hindi or Ain Alfreeth’ in the Middle East, grows wild in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The seeds of the plant contain one of the most potent toxins known to man. Poisoning with abrus seeds is a rare occurrence as the harder outer coat of the seeds generally resists digestion and such reports are scarce in the literature. We present here a case of a 22 year old lady who developed severe vomiting, diarrhoea and malena at the initial stages and later seizures and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to deliberate chewing and swallowing of abrus seeds. She was rescued with several sessions of membrane plasmapheresis and supportive care. The neuropathological process of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis due to abrus poisoning was reversed by plasmapheresis. © 2019 The Authors More »»

2019

Journal Article

J. Mariam Joshua, Meenu Vijayan, and Kumar, G., “A retrospective analysis of patients treated with intravesical BCG for high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer”, Ther Adv Urol, vol. 11, p. 1756287219833056, 2019.[Abstract]


Background:Adjuvant intravesical immunotherapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is considered as the first-line agent in patients with high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) after surgery. There are no data in India where there is a high prevalence of tubercle bacillus and inherent immunity against sp. The present study aims to evaluate the outcomes of intravesical BCG in the Indian population.

Methods: A retrospective study of 101 patients who underwent intravesical BCG for high-risk NMIBC between January 2006 and December 2015 was carried out in a single centre. We compared the recurrence-free rate and progression rate of patients who received induction alone and induction with maintenance BCG therapy. The safety profile of intravesical BCG therapy was also assessed in the study.

Results: After a median follow up of 2 years, the disease-free survival (DFS) rates of the induction group and maintenance group were 82% and 88% respectively ( = 0.233). There was no difference in progression-free survival (PFS) rates at 2 years in those who receive maintenance BCG (95%) and those with induction BCG (94.7%; = 0.721). A total of 69.36% of our patients had local adverse events.

Conclusion: </b>Our results suggest that maintenance therapy does not enhance the therapeutic effects of BCG in patients who respond favourably to 6 weeks of induction. Additional prospective studies are warranted in those countries where tuberculosis exposure is prevalent.

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