New "landmark" research finds that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study.
In research published Friday in The Lancet magazine, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.
Nutt and colleagues used three factors to determine the harm associated with any drug: the physical harm to the user, the drug's potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use. The researchers asked two groups of experts - psychiatrists specializing in addiction and legal or police officials with scientific or medical expertise - to assign scores to 20 different drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD.
A school board president accused of attacking his estranged wife claims he was on Ambien and doesn't remember the incident.
Comment: Ambien's serious side effects are actually fairly well known at this point. Of course, most people think these side effects 'won't happen to them' - difficult to tell whether his dismay is genuine or not - could be.
Experience in the early development of new neurons in specific brain regions affects their survival and activity in the adult brain, new research shows. How these new neurons store information about these experiences may explain how they can affect learning and memory in adults.
A team of researchers headed by Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute, found that experience enhances the survival of new neurons in a brain area called the dentate gyrus, and that more of these new neurons were activated when exposed to the same experience later. This change in function may be a mechanism for long-term memory. The findings are published in the March 21 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.
"The results identify a critical period for experience-induced enhancement of new neuron survival in the hippocampus," says Elizabeth Gould, PhD, of Princeton University, who was not affiliated with the study. The hippocampus contains the dentate gyrus.
We've all had our moments of weakness when trying to control ourselves; eating that donut on your diet, losing your temper with your kids, becoming upset when you're doing your best not to. It isn't like we plan on these lapses in judgment. It's more like they just sort of happen.
There is scientific evidence that explains this phenomenon of everyday life. Self regulation, our strength to inhibit impulses, make decisions, persist at difficult tasks, and control emotions can be spent just like a muscle that has been lifting heavy weights. When we spend our strength on one task (trying to control your emotion around a petulant boss), there is less to spend on others (avoiding the Ben & Jerry's when we get home).
Thu, 22 Mar 2007 19:52 UTC
With calls of emotional blackmail from opponents, a measure requiring women seeking abortions to first review ultrasound images of their fetuses advanced Wednesday in the South Carolina Legislature.
The legislation, supported by Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, passed 91-23 after lawmakers defeated amendments exempting rape or incest. The House must approve the bill again in a routine vote before it goes to the Senate, where its sponsor expects it to pass with those exemptions.
Some states make ultrasound images available to women before an abortion, but South Carolina would be alone in requiring women to view the pictures.
In his 1983 fake documentary 'Zelig', Woody Alan plays a character, Leonard Zelig, a kind of human chameleon who takes on the appearance and behaviour of whoever he is with. Now psychologists in Italy
have reported the real-life case of AD, a 65-year-old whose identity appears dependent on the environment he is in. He started behaving this way after cardiac arrest caused damage to the fronto-temporal region of his brain.
Comment: Strange... it sounds a lot like psychopathy.
Japanese doctors were warned on Wednesday against prescribing Tamiflu to teenagers after several young patients taking the bird flu-fighting drug reportedly exhibited dangerous behavior.
The Health Ministry issued emergency instructions Tuesday to a Japanese Tamiflu distributor, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., to warn doctors not to give the drug to teenagers, a Chugai official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.
Chugai began distributing warnings to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies across Japan on Wednesday, the official said.
Pharmaceutical companies fail to publicly reveal all of the money and gifts they give to physicians and health care workers - making it hard to know what the money is for.
A new analysis found that records were sketchy and hard to access in two states that require drug companies to publicly disclose payments made to physicians.
Five states and the District of Columbia have enacted so-called sunshine laws that require companies to report how much money they pay doctors and other health care workers as well as in what form and for what purpose. Such payments can range from consulting fees for clinical trials to meals to "detailing" (paying doctors to let drug-marketing reps talk up their drugs during the workday), some of which can raise concerns about conflicts of interest when doctors are prescribing the companies' drugs to patients.