Hormonal treatments administered as part of the procedures for sex reassignment have well-known and well-documented effects on the secondary sexual characteristics of the adult body, shifting a recipient's physical appearance to that of the opposite sex.

New research published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry indicates that these hormonal treatments also alter brain chemistry.

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, led by senior authors Dr. Siegfried Kasper and Dr. Rupert Lanzenberger, show that administration of the male hormone testosterone in female-to-male transsexuals raises brain levels of SERT, the protein that transports the chemical messenger serotonin into nerve cells.

The human organism is composed of numerous types of molecules, both simple and complex, and all fundamental processes in a living body occur in water solutions. Therefore, for a drug to work, it must dissolve in body liquids, which are primarily water.

Polymorphism of solid substances, a well-known problem of drug delivery, is the ability of solid drugs to form several different crystal structures (polymorphs). Polymorphs may differ in properties like biological activity, and in addition, their formation is difficult to control.

It's a lovely narrative. Modern medicine fails, but ancient Chinese medicine comes to the rescue!

The only problem is that it is completely false. But you wouldn't know that from reading the news. Many in the press are telling their own story, facts be damned.

Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop "exercise pills" that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body.

A review of current development efforts in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, ponders whether such pills will achieve their potential therapeutic impact, at least in the near future.

Despite all the hype we hear about revolutionary new approaches to combating cancer, such as genetic analysis of tumors, targeting cell growth pathways, and immunotherapy, the reality is that most cancer patients are still treated with cytotoxic drugs (cell poisons), many of which have been used for more than 50 years.

The following table gives examples of commonly used cytotoxic drugs, when they were first used, and how likely they are to cause vomiting:

The commonly prescribed antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, may alter brain structures in depressed and non-depressed individuals in very different ways, according to new research conducted in monkeys. It significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas in non-depressed subjects.

In the study, 41 middle-aged female monkeys were fed a diet formulated to replicate that consumed by many Americans for 18 months, during which time depressive behavior in the animals was recorded. Female monkeys were chosen for this study because depression is nearly twice as common in women as men and the use of antidepressants is most common in women ages 40 to 59.

The misery of motion sickness could be ended within five to ten years thanks to a new treatment being developed by scientists.

The cause of motion sickness is still a mystery but a popular theory among scientists says it is to do with confusing messages received by our brains from both our ears and eyes, when we are moving. It is a very common complaint and has the potential to affect all of us, meaning we get a bit queasy on boats or rollercoasters. However, around three in ten people experience hard-to-bear motion sickness symptoms, such as dizziness, severe nausea, cold sweats, and more.

Using an inexpensive drug for every hip or knee replacement since 2013 has helped St. Michael's Hospital reduce its number of red blood cell transfusions performed during these surgeries by more than 40 per cent without negatively affecting patients, according to new research.

The drug tranexamic acid, known as TXA, prevents excessive blood loss during surgeries.

TXA had been shown to be effective in orthopedic, trauma and cardiac patients but less than half of eligible patients at St. Michael's received this drug because of a previous province-wide shortage. The drug was given only to patients at high risk of requiring a blood transfusion.

It’s about time. The FDA is cracking down on the sale of a natural substance that most of us consume every day. It is the chemical caffeine, and it’s the “energy” in energy drinks. (This is a misnomer. They should be called “drinks that do nothing until a chemical stimulant is added.”)