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Drugs

— Health & Wellbeing

New test predicts suicide risk in patients on antidepressants

The results of a years-long study with patients on antidepressants may help doctors predict one of the most severe side effects those medications can produce: treatment-emergent suicidal ideation (TESI). The condition is estimated to affect between four and 14 percent of patients, who typically present symptoms of TESI in the first weeks of treatment or following dosage adjustments. So far doctors haven’t had indicators to predict which patients are more likely to develop TESI, but a new test based on research carried out by the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, could change that. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Drugs to fix "misfolded" proteins could cure a range of diseases

Proteins adopt their functional three-dimensional structure by the folding of a linear chain of amino acids. Gene mutation can cause this folding process to go awry, resulting in "misfolded" proteins that are inactive or, in worse cases, exhibit modified or toxic functionality. This is the cause of a wide range of diseases, but researchers have developed a technique that fixes these misfolded proteins, allowing them to perform their intended function, thereby providing a potential cure for a number of diseases. Read More
— Medical

New nanoparticle opens doorway to oral treatment of chronic diseases

Most of us would swallow a pill before being poked by a needle, yet sufferers of chronic illnesses are regularly required to administer their medicine intravenously. A team of researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has developed a new type of nanoparticle that could afford patients the choice – potentially making uncomfortable injections a thing of the past in the treatment of a range of chronic diseases. Read More
— Medical

Inhalable drug delivery provides new approach to lung cancer treatment

According to American Cancer Society estimates, lung cancer will account for 27 percent of all US cancer deaths in 2013, making it by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Part of the problem is getting the toxic chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat the cancer into the lungs. A new drug delivery system aims to overcome this problem by allowing the drugs to be inhaled, thereby delivering the drug where it is needed while reducing the harmful effects to other organs. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Zapping away cocaine addiction with laser light

Like so many other illicit drugs, cocaine can be extremely, destructively addictive. Recent research suggests, however, that ridding people of such addictions may be as simple as zapping them on them scalp. In a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco, scientists were able to turn cocaine addiction on and off in rats via pulses of laser light to their brains. Read More
— Good Thinking Feature

The rise of Bitcoin: Bonanza or bust?

This could turn out to be one of the most remarkable stories of our era – or one of the biggest scams in human history. Bitcoin, the anonymous digital currency, is more than four years old now, and a single bitcoin has gone from being worth literally nothing in 2009 to being worth nearly US$30 at current market values. Here's a quick primer on the Bitcoin system, how some anonymous programmers managed to create 300 million dollars out of thin air, what you can do with bitcoins, and a few words of warning. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

New device tests multiple chemotherapy drugs in a patient's living tumor

Seattle’s Presage Biosciences has developed a device which introduces small amounts of different chemotherapy drugs into a patient's tumor. The tumor is inspected after removal and the most effective of the drugs are used for post-surgical chemotherapy, resulting in more efficient, personalized cancer treatments. The new device is awaiting FDA approval, but is currently being used to facilitate development of new chemotherapy drugs. Read More
— Good Thinking

DrinkSavvy tech could indicate presence of date rape drugs in drinks

Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so-called “date rape” drugs are nasty, sneaky things. When surreptitiously added to someone’s drink, they cause that person to become disoriented, sleepy, slow-to-react, and otherwise easier to sexually assault. Making things worse, the victim usually can’t remember what happened while they were drugged, making prosecution or even identification of the assailant difficult. Now, however, a new invention known as DrinkSavvy may allow people to know if such drugs have been put in their drink. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise

Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. Read More
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