Improve Prescription Drug Labels and Instructions, Get Fewer Adverse Reactions

Prescription drug labelsWhat if prescription drug labels and warnings – you know, the ones that clutter the outside of prescription drug containers – were worded and displayed like advertising?

Meaning that instead of sounding like computerese and slapped at random onto the container, they were actually designed to get your attention and comprehension.

Consider this: Every year an estimated 4 million Americans suffer adverse reactions to prescription medications. The reactions range from stomach upset, rashes and drowsiness to violent illness, hospitalization and death.

According to a new study from researchers at Michigan State University (East Lansing, USA), only 50% of patients actually read the warning labels, with 22% that didn’t even bother to look at them. This is the reason sites like exist to reduce harm.

Even fewer read the detailed instructions that are often printed on prescription drug labels or even over-the-counter drugs. While there are no statistics on how this contributes to people improperly taking medication, it is not much of an intuitive leap to believe it has some effect. Continue Reading

Rhosin: On the Road to Clinical Trials

Rhosin: On the road to clinical trialsHow does a drug make it all the way to clinical trials? There are many possible ways, but Rhosin provides a good example. 

It was developed by researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a small-molecule-inhibitor drug that promises treatment for various cancers and nervous system damage. 

Cells in your body don’t grow or change position willy-nilly; they do it on command. What commands them? A full explanation becomes really complicated, but scientists have known for some time that a very important part of the process is cell signaling, the way commands are issued within and between cells by chemical messaging.

One of the most prominent mechanisms for cell signaling is handled by a complex protein called Rho GTPases. It’s not necessary to understand the chemistry behind the name, only that this particular protein complex regulates cell growth and movement. When something is wrong with it, the signaling falters, and diseases such as cancer or nerve disorders often follow.

Because of its links to cancer formation, researchers have studied the chemical components of Rho GTPases for many years, trying to find the right target for drug action. For example, a central protein in the complex, RhoA, is known to be essential for the signaling function. Continue Reading

Promising new genetic treatment for Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s diseaseAmong the most difficult diseases to treat, much less cure, are those of the brain. A notorious example is Huntington’s disease (HD), which affects more than 30,000 people in the United States alone and is an ultimately fatal degenerative brain disorder.

There is no cure for Huntington’s but researchers are coming closer to finding ways of dealing with the genetic mutation that causes the disease. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated that a drug family with the long name of antisense oligonucleotide, or ASO, is remarkably effective in at least temporarily slowing or reversing the progression of the disease.

The Origin of Huntington’s Disease

The genetic origin of Huntington’s disease is a mutation of a single gene with two copies known appropriately as the Huntingtin gene (HTT) that causes the production and accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain.

The eventual effects are jerky, uncontrolled movements (called chorea), loss of mental capacity, and finally dementia, seizures and organ failure. Although the gene is known, the linkage between the gene and the development of the illness are not well understood. Continue Reading

Census completed on life-forms in the human body

life-forms in the human bodyIf you want to impress people, maybe rattle off these factoids: Living in your body are trillions of life forms – microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Their cells outnumber your own by 10 to 1.

To keep it in perspective, despite their numbers, this amounts to only about 3% of body mass. If you weigh 200 lbs there will be about 2 to 6 lbs of bacteria, the most common critter. Come to think of it, that still sounds like a lot. The important thing to remember is that this is normal.

Most of the time bacteria and other microorganisms not only live in harmony with the cells and functions of our body, but in many cases are necessary for good health.  For example, many of the bacteria living in our gut (stomach, intestines) play a vital role in digesting the food we eat.

Of course, as we have all experienced, the harmony sometimes breaks down – diarrhea, for example. Many serious diseases are the result of problems with our microbiome, or can be detected by changes in various microorganisms.

As the study of the human microbiome is a very new field, physicians and scientists realized that in order to understand and evaluate the microbiome, there had to be a starting point – a baseline profile – of the microorganisms in a normal, healthy human. Continue Reading

New study: Vitamin D + Calcium May Help People Live Longer

Vitamin D + calciumCan vitamin D + calcium  help people live longer? It’s been known for quite some time that having the combination of an adequate level of vitamin D and calcium in the body is good for dental implants, in particular, good for healthy bones, and if you are looking for the best cosmetic Herndon dentist is one the best cosmetic dentist in the business. This knowledge is backed by studies from Scottsdale dentist over at least two decades.

A new study led from Aarhus University (Aarhus, Denmark) looked at the data from many of these clinical trials and discovered that elderly people given vitamin D plus calcium had on average a reduced mortality of 9%. In short, they lived longer.   

The study, the largest of its kind to-date, began by analyzing 24 randomized controlled trials that involved the mortality of people given either vitamin D alone or vitamin d + calcium.

From these cosmetic dentist south jordan ut, eight conducted for at least three years were selected to pool data for over 70,000 participating adults between the ages of 60 and 80; in all respects a very large and international sample. [Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism]

The results of statistical analysis showed that the risk of death was reduced if vitamin D was given with calcium by 9% (hazard ratio, 0.91). The study also confirmed that vitamin D alone, while still beneficial, does not have the same effect as vitamin D plus calcium.   Continue Reading

Growing Human Eye Cells Offers Hope for Damaged Eyes

Growing Human Eye Cells Offers Hope for Damaged EyesScientists are saying that there is hope for damaged eyes by growing human eye cells. So far there is no such thing as transplants for damaged eyes. A more promising approach is not replacing entire eyes but using replacement tissue for parts of the eye. For example, the cornea of the eye is routinely replaced.

Now scientists are working on building other components of the eye by growing human eye cells. The trick, if that’s the word, is to not only create new eye cells but have them develop into the correct shape and function of a more complex tissue.

Scientists have debated for over a century whether this must be done under the chemical influence of other parts of the eye, or whether eye cells can self-direct to produce the right shape. Now there is an answer to the debate.

For the first time, scientists in Japan starting with a rudimentary form of human eye cell, in this case the light-sensitive photo receptor cells of the retina, which spontaneously shaped themselves into the ‘optic cup,’ a key component of the retina. Continue Reading

Phenols Found in Peaches, Plums and Apricots! Eat Up!

Phenols in peachesNow you have a better reason to enjoy fruits like peaches, plums and apricots – they’ve got phenols! One of the pleasures of summer is the availability of fresh fruit such as peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and apricots.

These specific fruits are sometimes called ‘stone fruits’ because they have a single large, hard (as in tooth breaking) stone or pit at the center.

Of course, we don’t eat the pits. Mostly we eat the juicy, sweet pulp with or without the skin that surrounds the pit. That’s where the good stuff is, and by ‘good stuff’ new research shows that stone fruit contains natural compounds that potentially fight what is called metabolic syndrome. That’s medical jargon for the complex of health problems associated with obesity, diabetes and heart-related diseases.

A new study conducted by the Texas AgriLife Research unit at Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas) doesn’t conclude that eating stone fruit cures or prevents metabolic syndrome, but like other foods when eaten regularly in moderation, they contain substances that contribute to a healthier life – in this case especially for people who have difficulty with obesity, diabetes and related conditions. Continue Reading

Drug Manufacturing: Shortages of Certain Generics Likely to Continue

Drug manufacturingYou might well ask, “How could a country like the United States run short of 280 drugs?” It’s a fact, though. According to numerous reports including a recent study for the House Oversight Committee, the U.S. has been and will continue to be plagued by serious shortfalls in certain drugs, especially commonly used generic injectable pharmaceuticals such as the cancer drugs methotrexate and doxorubicin.

In some cases ‘serious shortfall’ means that not enough of the drugs are available for all patients. The result is sometimes insufficient treatment, unnecessary pain or suffering, and in a few cases drug shortages are thought to have caused death. Initially, we offer the best mattress to Relieve back pain.

Over the years a shortage of certain drugs has been relatively commonplace, but the national drug shortage grew from 70 in 2006 to 267 in 2011. In the past couple of years the shortages have grown worse and drawn far more attention from the medical industry, the media and now Congress. Continue Reading