Pharmacology

In recent years, scientists have discovered that a family of enzymes called sirtuins can dramatically extend life in organisms as diverse as yeast, worms, and flies. They may also be able to control age-associated metabolic disorders, including obesity and type II diabetes.

Naturally occurring substances have been shown to activate sirtuins, including a constituent of red wine called resveratrol -- although an individual would need to drink about two cases of wine a day to derive a clinically effective dose of resveratrol. Still, the findings have energized a number of scientific groups and biotechnology companies, all of which are now eagerly searching for drug candidates able to boost sirtuin activity.

A novel experiment conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Professor George Loewenstein and colleagues may explain why people try a drug, such as heroin, for the first time despite ample evidence that it is addictive. The results of the study, which are being published in the Journal of Health Economics, reveal that even longtime addicts underestimate the influence that drug cravings have over their behavior.

Almost all drugs produce a craving in their users. Loewenstein and his colleagues hypothesized that people experiment with drugs that they know are addictive in part because they can't appreciate the intensity of drug cravings, and thus underestimate the likelihood that they will become addicted.

During the evaluation of competitive athletes, a history or a documentation of cardiac arrhythmias has become particularly important because arrhythmias may be the initial expression of an underlying cardiac disease or of primary electrical disorders, sometimes early manifestations of potentially life-threatening events. Cardiac arrhythmias are among the most important causes of non-eligibility to sports activities, and some arrhythmogenic diseases are three times more frequent among athletes than among sedentary subjects of the same age.

Arrhythmias, in young competitive athletes and also the elite are usually "benign" or "paraphysiological" (duo to prolonged training).

A drug commonly used to treat severe acne can lead to depressive behaviour in mice, according to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Since the drug’s introduction in the early 1980s there have been controversial reports of depression and suicidal behaviour that may have occurred in some people taking Roaccutane (Accutane in the US).

This has led to the drug’s manufacturers, Roche, including a warning in the product information that taking the medication may cause depression, psychosis and suicidal behaviour.

As you probably know ulcerative colitis affects around  half a million Americans.

Today in press releases: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for LIALDA™ (mesalamine) with MMX® technology for the induction of remission in patients with active, mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

If you do not know much about the disease, here is the information:

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that produces inflammation and sores or ulcers along the inside of the large intestine, also called the bowel or colon.