Pharmacology

Where is Mel Brooks when you need him?

Ever since Chipotle's self-righteous claim (which isn't even true) that the company was removing GM ingredients from its food because "it doesn't align with [the company's] position," just about everything conceivable went wrong.  It's now a bit of a novelty to find a news day when they haven't poisoned someone.
Though any potential benefits of marijuana are unknown - claims are anecdotal and no different than the claims about kratom or acupuncture - a group is contending that it can nonetheless help with the other popular buzz term of 2016: Opioid addiction. 

But there is a caveat. The determination in Clinical Psychology Review was made by a systematic review. If homeopaths want to show that homeopathy works, they simply do a review of homeopathy papers. That doesn't mean it works and so another review won't do much to assuage fears that marijuana addiction is trading one problem for another - in this case, toxic chemicals inhaled in smoke for pain relief that may not be evident.
Though DSM-5 is considered nothing more than a glossary by the National Institute of Mental Health, it continues to be used as a diagnostic tool by clinical practitioners. As a result, Psychiatric disturbances are all too often diagnosed as schizophrenia. ‘Personalized medicine’ may offer the solution.

The symptoms that we define as ‘schizophrenia’ are among the most serious that can befall a person. In the international literature schizophrenia is no longer regarded as a single illness, but as a group of separate conditions, some of which have yet to be defined. A public debate has grown up on this issue, and there are a number of people who support the statement that 'schizophrenia' doesn't actually exist.'

Vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer - but the source is a systematic review of just seven studies, so no one outside mainstream media and supplement salespeople promote panic about it.


The story of phosphoethanolamine (PHOS) in Brazil, which set off a widely publicized scientific debacle about the dangers of taking unproven compounds as medicines, shows once again that just because some miracle cure is touted in a foreign country doesn't make it real.

This fact is in defiance of anti-science groups convinced of an FDA/Big Pharma conspiracy against cures, but America remains the gold standard for legitimacy, and with good reason. While cancer patients and their advocates may find the process of cancer drug discovery to be opaque or frustrating, the authors of the policy paper argue that the process is an essential part of clinical research.

51 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) urging the federal agency to halt an emergency push to ban the analgesic herb kratom by as early as tomorrow. 


Researchers have clarified important mechanisms involved in the formation of neural circuits in the brain, and discovered that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance also found in cannabis, causes disruption of neural circuits within the cortex. 


Women who have high alcohol intake, 14 or more servings of alcohol a week are slightly more likely to have reduced fertility, suggests a study published in The BMJ today.

In developed countries, up to 24% of couples experience infertility, defined as time to pregnancy of 12 months or more. Official guidelines in countries like the USA, UK and Denmark recommend that women trying to become pregnant should abstain from alcohol consumption. But the extent to which alcohol intake affects female fertility is unclear. So a group of Danish researchers carried out a large prospective cohort study to examine the association between pre-conception alcohol consumption and time to pregnancy.


During the 2016, after 8 years of politicians refusing to work together, it may surprise you to learn that other groups do consult experts outside their own circles. It won't surprise you to learn a group of academics think that's a bad thing, and that cancer care guidelines should never meet with the companies that actually create cancer care.

Yet that's what the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center sets out to do, and does; they think that any consulting means scientists and doctors are for sale. 


A new study in Neurology associates calcium supplements with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease. 
Calcium from food affects the body differently than calcium from supplements and is safe or even protective against vascular problems. 

Cerebrovascular disease is a group of disorders that affect blood flow in the brain. These diseases, including stroke, are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and increase the risk of developing dementia.