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Fri, 10 Apr 2020
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Gabapentin Shown Effective for Fibromyalgia Pain

New research supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) shows that the anticonvulsant medication gabapentin, which is used for certain types of seizures, can be an effective treatment for the pain and other symptoms associated with the common, often hard-to-treat chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia.

In the NIAMS-sponsored, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 150 women (90 percent) and men with the condition, Lesley M. Arnold, M.D., director of the Women's Health Research Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and her colleagues found that those taking gabapentin at dosages of 1,200 to 2,400 mg daily for 12 weeks displayed significantly less pain than those taking placebo. Patients taking gabapentin also reported significantly better sleep and less fatigue. For the majority of participants, the drug was well tolerated. The most common side effects included dizziness and sedation, which were mild to moderate in severity in most cases.

NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz. M.D., Ph.D., remarked that "While gabapentin does not have Food and Drug Administration approval for fibromyalgia, I believe this study offers additional insight to physicians considering the drug for their fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition for which current treatments are only modestly effective, so a study such as this is potentially good news for people with this common, painful condition."

Health

Antihistamine Shows Promise in Treating Alzheimer's

A drug long used as an antihistamine in Russia is showing what some scientists characterize as surprisingly strong results in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Results of a midstage clinical trial are expected to be presented this week that will show that patients treated with the drug, Dimebon, did better than those receiving a placebo on all five measures of cognition and behavior.

Magic Wand

Scientists develop pill to delay the menopause

New drugs are being developed that could stave off the menopause, it has been revealed.

They could lead to a fertility revolution, allowing women to wait longer to have a child.

The dramatic news came from fertility expert Professor Robert Winston. He told a conference that researchers had found a protein which they believe could be developed into a pill or an injection to extend the life of women's eggs.

Health

Two more hospitalized for suspected bird flu - Indonesia

A teenager in Terengganu and a 31-year-old man in Selangor were warded yesterday for showing bird flu-like symptoms.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the 16-year-old youth was now being treated at the Kuala Terengganu Hospital after he had fever and coughing.

Health

Southeast Asia battles dengue surge, climate fears

Southeast Asian nations are battling a surge in dengue cases, amid signs that climate change could make 2007 the worst year on record for a disease that often gets less attention than some higher-profile health risks.

The spread of dengue, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and is endemic in much of the region, has also accelerated in recent years due to increasing urbanization and travel or migration within the region, experts say.

Attention

Concerns grow about war veterans' misdiagnoses. Brain injuries can defy easy detection

As the medical community learns more about the brain impairments afflicting troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, concern is growing back home that these battle-weary soldiers may be facing yet another obstacle: misdiagnosis.

Traumatic brain injury has become a high-profile condition, thrust into the national spotlight now that thousands of troops who have left the war zone continue to struggle with the consequences of combat. Better known as TBI, the ailment is a physical wound caused by the head-rattling shockwaves associated with bomb explosions that tear brain cells apart.

But TBI shares many of the same symptoms with a common battlefield psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Both are often marked by depression, mood swings, irritability, problems concentrating, and memory dysfunction. The similarities can cause healthcare professionals to overlook mild traumatic brain injuries, especially when a patient lacks visible wounds, according to doctors and veterans advocates familiar with the issue.

Light Saber

Cannabis compound reduces skin allergies in mice

Cannabis can reduce allergic skin reactions, a new study suggests. The findings may lead to new drugs based on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in the plant, to treat allergy and autoimmune disorders.

Andreas Zimmer at the University of Bonn in Germany, and colleagues created a group of mice that lack the receptor for endocannabinoids - forms of THC produced naturally in the body. The team noticed that the mice soon developed a severe skin allergy to the nickel in the metal tags the researchers had fastened to their ears.

Zimmer set up a series of experiments to test the anti-allergy effect of natural and synthetic THC compounds.

Health

NHS swamped by an epidemic of allergies

The NHS is failing to keep up with the growing number of allergy sufferers, with new figures today showing that only a handful of specialist doctors across the country are running clinics for them.

One in three people in Britain can expect to suffer from some form of allergy during their lifetime - including 2 million people in the UK thought to have some allergy to food - but there has been barely any increase in NHS services to cope with this. Experts will warn this week that demand for care is outstripping the NHS's ability to cope, and many patients go to private clinics or dietitians that may offer unconventional diets.

X

California co. expands beef recall due to E. coli

Southern California meatpacker United Food Group LLC expanded a recall to include 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef that may be contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Saturday.

Fourteen people in six Western states have fallen ill after eating the beef but all have recovered, the department said.

Ambulance

Muscle cream caused NYC teen's death

A medical examiner blamed a 17-year-old track star's death on the use of too much muscle cream, the kind used to soothe aching legs after exercise.