Pharmacology

A new study shows that aspirin therapy for coronary artery disease is four times more likely to be ineffective in women compared to men with the same medical history.

Historically, studies have shown that aspirin therapy is less effective in women than in men, but it has remained unclear how much less effective and whether this affects patient outcomes, said Michael Dorsch, clinical pharmacist and adjunct clinical instructor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

Green tea may help protect against autoimmune disease, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Researchers studied an animal model for type I diabetes and primary Sjogren's Syndrome, which damages the glands that produce tears and saliva.

In the U.S. more than $20 billion was spent on dietary supplements in 2005. Over $7 billion was spent on plant-based herbal dietary supplements such as grape seed extract, St. John's wort, ginseng and biloba extract.

Researcher Dr. Susanne Mertens-Talcott of Texas A&M University is looking into how useful plant-based phytochemicals, including antioxidants and herbal supplements, can be in the promotion of health and prevention of chronic diseases.

"My overall goal is to find out more about the safety and efficacy of phytochemical dietary supplements," she said. Because these items are already popular with consumers, "we need to follow up with research. We know very little about (dose) recommendations and how safe (they are)."

A study of herbal kelp supplements led by UC Davis public health expert Marc Schenker concludes that its medicinal use may cause inadvertent arsenic poisoning and health dangers for consumers, especially when overused. Schenker and two researchers evaluated nine over-the-counter herbal kelp products and found higher than acceptable arsenic levels in eight of them.

The new study, published in the April issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (http://www.ehponline.org/) was prompted by the case of a 54-year-old woman who was seen at the UC Davis Occupational Medicine Clinic following a two-year history of worsening alopecia (hair loss), fatigue and memory loss.

The medication tilarginine, a drug that was believed could be beneficial for patients who develop cardiogenic shock (low blood pressure due to impaired cardiac function) after a heart attack, did not reduce the risk of death up to six months after a heart attack, according to a JAMA study published online March 26. The study is being released early to coincide with its presentation at the American College of Cardiology's annual conference.

Preliminary research suggests that use of a novel, potent drug to treat cholesterol disorders decreases triglycerides and increases HDL-C, the "good" cholesterol, but also raises some safety concerns, according to a study in the March 28 issue of JAMA. The study is being released early to coincide with its presentation at the American College of Cardiology's annual conference.

Solving a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades, MIT and Harvard researchers have discovered the final piece of the synthesis pathway of vitamin B12-the only vitamin synthesized exclusively by microorganisms.

B12, the most chemically complex of all vitamins, is essential for human health. Four Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research related to B12, but one fragment of the molecule remained an enigma-until now.

New research suggests that a child's race may be a factor in determining his/her susceptibility to tobacco toxins associated with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The study, published in the March issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), reveals that African American children with asthma, who are exposed to ETS, have significantly higher toxin levels when compared to their Caucasian counterparts.

"African American children suffer from higher rates of tobacco-related disorders, such as asthma, sudden-infant death syndrome, and low birth weight, and we need to know why," said lead author Stephen Wilson MD, University of Cincinnati.

Acrux announced positive results from its Phase 1 clinical studies
using two unique contraceptive skin sprays, each containing a progestin and an estrogen.

The first study was a Phase I, pharmacokinetic study, investigating the delivery of a formulation combining Nestorone® and the synthetic estrogen, Ethinyl Estradiol. A single dose of the combination formulation was applied to the forearm of healthy volunteers.

The results showed that the dosing of the contraceptive spray provided effective delivery of both contraceptive agents, with blood concentrations of Nestorone® and Ethinyl Estradiol in the target range expected to provide effective contraception.

The spray was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events recorded.

Oregon Health & Science University research shows how calcium regulates the recharging of high-frequency auditory nerve cells after they've fired a burst of signals, and it may have implications for neurological disorders.

The study by scientists at OHSU's Vollum Institute and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which appears in the current issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows that calcium ions play a greater role in keeping in check the brain's most powerful circuits, such as those used for processing sound signals, than previously thought.