Pharmacology

Anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin, estrogen, and Fluimucil can improve the efficacy of existing schizophrenia treatments, according to results announced at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in Berlin.

Doctors have long believed that helping the immune system may benefit the treatment of schizophrenia, but until now there has been no conclusive evidence that this would be effective. Now a group of researchers at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands has carried out a comprehensive meta-analysis of all robust studies on the effects of adding anti-inflammatories to antipsychotic medication. They conclude that anti-inflammatory medicines, such as aspirin, can add to the effective treatment of schizophrenia. 


Long-term daily use of Viagra can provide protection for the heart at different stages of heart disease, with few side effects, according to a new meta-analysis published in BMC Medicine

Scientists from the Sapienza University of Rome carried out a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by searching for articles published between January 2004 and May 2014 to deduce the effectiveness of  Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor
(PDE5i) in providing cardiac protection, and to find out whether it was well-tolerated and safe. They identified 24 suitable trials for analysis from four research databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and SCOPUS. The trials involved 1622 patients from mixed populations who were treated with PDE5i or a placebo. 


Computer simulations show how bacteria are able to destroy antibiotics, focusing on the role of enzymes in the bacteria which split the structure of the antibiotic and stop it working, making the bacteria resistant. 

The new findings show that it's possible to test how enzymes react to certain antibiotics and thus design new antibiotics with a much lower risk of resistance, and even to choose the best medicines for specific outbreaks.

Using QM/MM - quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations – the research team were able to gain a molecular-level insight into how enzymes called 'beta-lactamases' react to antibiotics.


Canada, which has roughly 1,500 vials of an ebola vaccine called VSV-EBOV, has offered 1,000 vials to the World Health Organization and said the rest would be used for upcoming clinical trials in 5 locations: two in the United States, and one each in Germany, Switzerland and a non-Western-African country that isn't battling ebola.  

Young mice with the rodent equivalent of a rare autism spectrum disorder (ASD) called Rett syndrome that were fed a diet supplemented with the synthetic oil triheptanoin had physical and behavioral symptoms that were less severe after being on the diet - and they lived longer than mice on regular diets.

Researchers involved in the study think that triheptanoin improved the functioning of mitochondria, energy factories common to all cells. Since mitochondrial defects are seen in other ASDs, the researchers say, the experimental results offer hope that the oil could help not just people with Rett syndrome, but also patients with other, more common ASDs.


Alerted by an announcement in several British newspapers, for example Honeysuckle tea could fight flu, Boiling honeysuckle releases molecule which can help fight influenza virus, study suggests, I started digging deeper.  Although it has not yet appeared in the literature, I did find the following EurekaAlert:

Clinicians are just like anyone else. As the days goes on, they wear down a little. Numerous patient care decisions each day, and the cumulative demand of those decisions, take their toll.

In primary care, doctors often prescribe unnecessary antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARI) and now scholars at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston found that antibiotic prescribing rates increased as the days got later.     


Treatment approaches to reduce the risk of bone complications (metastasis) associated with breast cancer may be one step closer to becoming a reality. According to a study led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), findings show that medication used to treat bone deterioration in post-menopausal women may also slow skeletal metastasis caused from breast cancer.

This study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), is among the first to link bisphosphonate (a common osteoporosis medication) use with improved survival in women with breast cancer.


A new study has found that lungs become more inflammatory with age and that ibuprofen can lower that inflammation - and the difference can be dramatic.

Immune cells from old mouse lungs, after lung inflammation was reduced by ibuprofen, fought tuberculosis bacteria as effectively as cells from young mice. The ibuprofen had no effect on the immune response to TB in young mice. The researchers already knew that old mice had a harder time clearing TB from the lungs than young mice, but had not investigated the role of lung inflammation in that response. 


The public may be critical of the War On Cancer and its hundreds of billions of government money, but pharmaceutical companies have continue to make progress. A new study finds that 80 percent of bowel cancers could be treated with existing JAK inhibitors.

The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age, more than 90% of cases occur in people 50 years old or older, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. But there is a genetic commonality in 80 percent of those, and that is where JAK inhibitors come into play.