Pharmacology

Scholars say they are closing in on how ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), produces feelings of euphoria in users and in a new paper say that it might be useful in the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.  A small study using MDMA as an adjunct to psychotherapy reported positive preliminary results.

The limitation of the new paper; these were brain images and done for a television show a year and a half before it was in a journal.

A double-blind trial has determined that tea and coffee aren't just morning pick-me-ups, they are also a memory enhancer.

That goes for carbonated drinks containing caffeine also.


With increased regulations on pharmaceutical companies, billion-dollar research that will fail 95 percent of the time and a short window to sell successful products before genetic versions and lawsuits take the revenue away, the future might be the past: it's a lot smarter to find new uses for old drugs than risk developing new ones.


Inhibitors of both JAK and Src kinases represent promising targets for cancer therapeutics because of the central importance of these kinases in tumor cell proliferation and survival. In addition, in cancer cells activation of JAK has been reported as a compensatory effect in response to Src inhibitor exposure. This implies simultaneous inhibition of both kinases could have a synergy of anti-cancer effects compared to an agent that inhibits one or the other kinases.
 


An antioxidant called MitoQ, which was designed to try and fight damage within human cells about a dozen years ago, significantly helps symptoms in mice that have a multiple sclerosis-like disease.

Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide and occurs when the body's immune system attacks the myelin, or the protective sheath, surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Some underlying nerve fibers are destroyed. Resulting symptoms can include blurred vision and blindness, loss of balance, slurred speech, tremors, numbness and problems with memory and concentration.


Patients receiving the widely used anesthesia drug etomidate for surgery may be at increased risk or mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study in Anesthesia&Analgesia which adds to safety concerns over etomidate's use as an anesthetic and sedative drug.

The study assessed the risk of adverse outcomes in patients receiving etomidate for induction of anesthesia. Rates of death and cardiovascular events in about 2,100 patients receiving etomidate were compared to those in a matched group of 5,200 patients receiving induction with a different intravenous anesthetic, propofol. All patients had severe but non-critical medical conditions— ASA physical status III or IV—and were undergoing noncardiac surgery.


The live vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guérin, used in some parts of the world to prevent tuberculosis, may help prevent multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who show the beginning signs of the disease, according to a new study in Neurology.  


A single dose of the hormone oxytocin, delivered via nasal spray, has been shown to enhance brain activity while processing social information in children with autism spectrum disorders.

 Results showed that oxytocin facilitated social attunement, a process that makes the brain regions involved in social behavior and social cognition activate more for social stimuli (such as faces) and activate less for non-social stimuli (such as cars). 


Can you artificially strengthen a marital bond? 

Scientists at the Bonn University Medical Center found that if oxytocin is administered to men and if they are shown pictures of their partner, the bonding hormone stimulates the reward center in the brain, increass the attractiveness of the partner, and strengthens monogamy. 


Though more and more women are given antidepressant medication while they are pregnant and there have been more diagnosed cases of autism, there is no connection between the use of antidepressant medication - SSRIs - during the course of pregnancy and the risk of having a child with autism.