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Thu, 21 Oct 2021
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Syringe

Adverse Reactions to Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population

Department of Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (RGW) and Department of Psychiatry (RGW) and Director of Research (RJG-W) Western Reserve Care System, Youngstown, OH; and Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (RH).

Abstract

This study was designed to ascertain whether individuals with mood disorders are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of aspartame. Although the protocol required the recruitment of 40 patients with unipolar depression and a similar number of individuals without a psychiatric history, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.

In a crossover design, subjects received aspartame 30 mg/kg/day or placebo for 7 days. Despite the small n, there was a significant difference between aspartame and placebo in number and severity of symptoms for patients with a history of depression, whereas for individuals without such a history there was not. We conclude that individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener and its use in this population should be discouraged.

Life Preserver

Doctors Often Fail to Spot Suicidal Patients

(HealthDay News) -- Pointing to a disconnect between doctors and some of their neediest patients, a new study suggests that large numbers of physicians fail to spot symptoms that raise suicide risk.

U.S. researchers recruited actresses to act as patients and visit physicians while showing signs of depression or a similar disorder.

Only 36 percent of the doctors asked the "patients" about suicidal thoughts, the team found.

Magic Wand

Study: Acupuncture Works for Back Pain

CHICAGO - Fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing for low back pain, and either kind performs much better than usual care, German researchers have found. Almost half the patients treated with acupuncture needles felt relief that lasted months. In contrast, only about a quarter of the patients receiving medications and other Western medical treatments felt better.

Ambulance

Suspected bird flu death in Indonesia

An Indonesian woman suspected of being infected with bird flu has died in the West Java city of Bandung, hospital sources there said today.

Samples from the 30-year-old woman have been sent for testing in Jakarta, said a staff member at Bandung's Hasan Sadikin general hospital who only identified himself as Herdi.

Smiley

Solve all your problems with depression zapper

The most promising new treatment for severe depression isn't a pill. It's a permanent implant that shocks the brain. Is this what joy looks like?

Comment: That's one way to turn off the last vestiges of your conscience - zap it till it dies and all seems right in the world once again. Should we have expected something different when we put psychopaths in charge of "curing" us?


People

People who 'um' and 'ah' are more memorable than clear speakers

They are seen as a mark of poor communication, and can be. . . um. . . simply maddening for anyone waiting for a punchline.

But the utterances that slow down our sentences actually make us better understood, according to scientists.

They found that "ums", "ers" and "ahs" - known as "disfluencies" - force a listener to pay attention.

Health

Horse flu: 150,000 vaccine doses on the way

The NSW Government will today consider providing financial support to the racing industry as plans are completed to vaccinate later this week an initial 9000 racing horses and breeding stallions exposed to equine influenza.

Magnify

Minnesota Law Sheds More Light on Drug Companies

A Minnesota disclosure law has revealed that drug companies are devoting large sums of money to many members of state advisory panels who make decisions on which drugs will be used in Medicaid programs.

The Minnesota Medicaid Drug Formulary Committee is considering a conflict-of-interest policy that requires panel members to disclose such financial relationships and refrain from voting on drugs that may pose a conflict of interest.

Attention

The Shocking Dangers of MSG You Don't Know

A silent killer that's worse than alcohol, nicotine, and drugs is likely lurking in your kitchen cabinets and even your child's school cafeteria. It's monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that's known widely as an addition to Chinese food, but that's actually added to thousands of the foods you eat.

Health

Why Doctors Often Dismiss Drug Side Effects

Patients' concerns about drug side effects are often shrugged off by their doctors, according to a survey of 650 patients who were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.

Statins, such as Lipitor and Zocor, are common drugs with widely known side effects that include liver damage, muscle problems, memory and mood changes, and more. In the case of muscle problems, if the side effect is not recognized it can progress to a potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis.