Health & Wellness
The government is testing drugs with severe side effects like psychosis and suicidal behavior on hundreds of military veterans, using small cash payments to attract patients into medical experiments that often target distressed soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, a Washington Times/ABC News
investigation has found.
In one such experiment involving the controversial anti-smoking drug Chantix, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took three months to alert its patients about severe mental side effects. The warning did not arrive until after one of the veterans taking the drug had suffered a psychotic episode that ended in a near lethal confrontation with police.
|Iraq war veteran James Elliott smokes on his porch in Silver Spring as he talks about his experiences in war and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr. Elliott suffered a psychotic episode while taking the anti-smoking drug Chantix.
Tue, 17 Jun 2008 10:15 CDT
Comprehensive lifestyle changes including a better diet and more exercise can lead not only to a better physique, but also to swift and dramatic changes at the genetic level, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
Would you take a wonder drug that offered to free you from decades of nicotine addiction? Even if other users reported sinister psychological side effects? For Derek de Koff, the answer was easy: after 12 years as a smoker, he was ready to try anything to kick the habit. Or so he thought...
I'd heard about Chantix, a relatively new drug from Pfizer that blocks nicotine from attaching to your brain receptors. That way, you stop receiving any pleasure from cigarettes at all. The drug, snuggling up to those receptors the same way nicotine does, reduces withdrawal cravings and unleashes a happy little wash of dopamine to boot. Wonderful things they can do nowadays.
My doctor wished me luck as he wrote out the prescription, telling me it was the single most important decision I'd ever make. I had the medication that night, 35 minutes after dropping into a pharmacy. While waiting, I gleefully chain-smoked Parliament Lights. One of Chantix's big perks is that you can smoke for the first seven days you're on it (most people take it for 12 weeks) more than enough time, I thought, to say goodbye to an old friend.
A fruit-flavoured sugar pill which parents can use to soothe childhood aches and pains has been criticised. The pills are already on sale in the US, costing $6 for a bottle of 50.
They harness the "placebo effect", which makes some people feel better because they falsely believe they have had medicine. One UK scientist said it could make children rely on pills later in life, and another accused the makers of "medicalising love".
At least 50% of recent onset rheumatoid arthritis patients achieve remission (a state free of signs and symptoms) within 36 weeks when following a systematic approach of step-up DMARD treatment in combination with tight control, according to results of a study presented June 11 at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France. Results of this study indicate that achieving remission is not only possible during clinical trials but can be a realistic goal of standard clinical care.
New research at UT Southwestern Medical Center may explain why some people who are stressed or depressed overeat. While levels of the so-called "hunger hormone" ghrelin are known to increase when a person doesn't eat, findings by UT Southwestern scientists suggest that the hormone might also help defend against symptoms of stress-induced depression and anxiety.
|©UT Southwestern Medical Center
|While levels of the so-called "hunger hormone" ghrelin are known to increase when a person doesn't eat, new findings by Drs. Jeffrey Zigman (left) and Michael Lutter suggest that the hormone might also help defend against symptoms of stress-induced depression and anxiety.
"Our findings in mice suggest that chronic stress causes ghrelin levels to go up and that behaviors associated with depression and anxiety decrease when ghrelin levels rise. An unfortunate side effect, however, is increased food intake and body weight," said Dr. Jeffrey Zigman, assistant professor of internal medicine and psychiatry at UT Southwestern and senior author of a study appearing online today and in a future print edition of Nature Neuroscience
Osteoporosis is a disease that can be crippling, leaving bones brittle, weak and easily broken. There are already some 8 million women in the U.S. who suffer from osteoporosis and experts say that number could soon skyrocket.
It has been proven that fluoride can contribute
In some studies, when high doses of fluoride (average 26 mg per day) were used in trials to treat patients with osteoporosis in an effort to harden their bones and reduce fracture rates, it actually led to a HIGHER number of fractures, particularly hip fractures (Inkovaara 1975; Gerster 1983; Dambacher 1986; O'Duffy 1986; Hedlund 1989; Bayley 1990; Gutteridge 1990. 2002; Orcel 1990; Riggs 1990 and Schnitzler 1990). The cumulative doses used in these trials are exceeded by the lifetime cumulative doses being experienced by many people living in fluoridated communities.
Here's something else to worry about: Tech pros worry too much.
A new study discussed at Information Week says two out of three of you stay awake at night worrying
about how things are working at work.
Resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, reduces the number of fat cells and may one day be used to treat or prevent obesity, according to a new study. The results will be presented at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Past research found that resveratrol protected laboratory mice that were fed a high-calorie diet from the health problems of obesity, by mimicking the effects of calorie restriction. Researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany wanted to know if resveratrol could mimic the effects of calorie restriction in human fat cells by changing their size or function. The German team used a strain of human fat cell precursors, called preadipocytes. In the body, these cells develop into mature fat cells, according to the study's lead author, Pamela Fischer-Posovszky, PhD, a pediatric endocrinology research fellow in the university's Diabetes and Obesity Unit.
Many women experience menopausal changes in their body including hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, but the changes they don't notice can be more dangerous. In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered significant changes in the brain's vascular system when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. MU scientists predict that currently used estrogen-based hormone therapies may complicate this process and may do more harm than good in postmenopausal women.
"Before menopause, women are much more protected from certain conditions such as heart disease and stroke, but these vascular changes might explain why women lose this protection after menopause," said Olga Glinskii, research assistant professor of medical pharmacology and physiology in MU's School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "Because the body eventually will naturally adapt to the loss of estrogen, we advise extreme caution when using estrogen-based therapy in postmenopausal women."