Treatment for opioid addiction tampers with the testosterone levels of male but not female opioid users, McMaster University research has shown. In a paper published by the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers say addiction treatment may need to change to address the side–effect. The study found men using methadone, which is used for opioid addiction treatment, have significantly suppressed testosterone levels of about a quarter of the testosterone of men not using opioids. In women using methadone for addiction treatment, testosterone levels were not significantly impacted, even considering the menstrual cycle.
Low testosterone in men has been associated with poor quality of life as well as erectile dysfunction, fatigue and mood disturbances. "We expect that treating testosterone deficiency will improve outcomes of methadone treatment for patients, including treatment response and retention," said Dr. Zena Samaan, principal investigator of the study. "Doctors should also ensure the patients are being prescribed the lowest dose of opioids including methadone for effective treatment to minimize testosterone suppression."
Taken from McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences News
It’s back–to–school time, and kids are already starting practice for football, soccer, and other sports. It’s a time when parents may be thinking about sport safety and the potential for their kids to be injured by violent jarring and shocks.
Exploiting the public's rising concern about concussions, some companies are offering untested, unproven, and possibly dangerous products that claim to prevent, treat or cure concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring the marketplace and taking enforcement actions where appropriate, issuing warning letters to firms—the usual first step for dealing with claims that products labeled as dietary supplements are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The agency is also warning consumers to avoid purported dietary supplements marketed with claims to prevent, treat, or cure concussions and other TBIs because the claims are not backed with scientific evidence that the products are safe or effective for such purposes. These products are sold on the Internet and at various retail outlets, and marketed to consumers using social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
One common but misleading claim: Using a particular dietary supplement promotes faster healing after a concussion or other TBI. Even if a particular supplement contains no harmful ingredients, that claim alone can be dangerous, says Gary Coody, FDA's National Health Fraud Coordinator.
"We're very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches, and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready to resume activities before they are really ready," says Coody. "Also, watch for claims that these products can prevent or lessen the severity of concussions or TBIs."
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or by a violent shaking of the head and upper body. Concussions and other TBIs are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring by a health care professional. The long–term impact of concussions on professional athletes and children who play contact sports has recently been the subject of highly publicized discussions.
A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that if concussion victims resume strenuous activities—such as football, soccer or hockey—too soon, they risk a greater chance of having a subsequent concussion. Moreover, repeat concussions can have a cumulative effect on the brain, with devastating consequences that can include brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long–term disability and death.
“There is simply no scientific evidence to support the use of any dietary supplement for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post–concussion symptoms that would allow athletes to return to play sooner,” said Charlotte Christin, acting director of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs.
Taken from FDA Press Announcements
New national guidelines can improve the way statin drugs are prescribed to patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, a Yale University study has found. The research, published Aug. 25 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also showed the new guidelines produce only a modest increase in the number of patients being given the drugs.
“There has been a great deal of discussion about the new guidelines. People worry whether the new risk equation is accurate,” said Dr. Kevin M. Johnson, lead author of the study and associate professor of diagnostic radiology at the Yale School of Medicine. “They are concerned that too many people will be put on statins.” Johnson and co–author Dr. David A. Dowe of Atlantic Medical Imaging, in Galloway, N.J., studied 3,076 subjects.
They applied both sets of guidelines to determine whether patients would start statin therapy. They found that the new guidelines did a better job of discriminating between patients with little or no plaque and those with more plaque. Of patients with heavy plaque, 92% would be assigned to statin therapy under the new method, but only 53% under the old standards. The biggest difference between the two results, researchers said, was the use of low–density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol targets under the old guidelines.
The targets “seriously degraded the accuracy of the NCEP guideline for statin assignment,” according to the study. “The old guidelines emphasized lowering LDL cholesterol to certain target values, but the new guidelines have done away with that approach,” Johnson said. “Many doctors are reluctant to give up targets.” The researchers noted that they used coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden as the determining factor in the study.
Taken from Yale School of Medicine News
The onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two–year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti–inflammatory properties of natural products. Now, a new phase of research can explore the development of drugs that will stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s. The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co–researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound – found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse. There is still no cure for the disease, but the punicalagin in pomegranate could prevent it or slow down its development. The research is published in the latest edition of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Taken from The University of Huddersfield News
As Ebola case counts climb in West Africa, health experts are now recommending travel screenings to slow the outbreak. I'm Rachelle Grossman with your latest health news. The World Health Organization is suggesting that countries including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone begin screening people leaving the country at international airports, seaports and major land border crossings, for signs of Ebola. The death toll now stands at more than 12-hundred. The WHO stresses that the risk of transmitting Ebola during air travel is low since the disease is spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. The WHO says strengthened international cooperation is needed to contain the virus.
Taken from DailyRx
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles in people with alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, and have tested an FDA–approved drug that eliminated these immune cells and restored hair growth in a small number of patients. The results appear in online issue of Nature Medicine. In the paper, the researchers report initial results from an ongoing clinical trial of the drug, which has produced complete hair regrowth in several patients with moderate–to–severe alopecia areata. Data from three participants appear in the current paper; each patient experienced total hair regrowth within five months of the start of treatment.
Taken from Columbia University Medical Center
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to be aware of products sold online claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus. Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the FDA has seen and received consumer complaints about a variety of products claiming to either prevent the Ebola virus or treat the infection. There are currently no FDA–approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet. By law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.
Taken from FDA Press Announcements
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Belsomra (suvorexant) tablets for use as needed to treat difficulty in falling and staying asleep. Belsomra is an orexin receptor antagonist and is the first approved drug of this type. Orexins are chemicals that are involved in regulating the sleep–wake cycle and play a role in keeping people awake. Belsomra alters the signaling of orexin in the brain. “To assist health care professionals and patients in finding the best dose to treat each individual patient’s sleeplessness, the FDA has approved Belsomra in four different strengths – 5, 10, 15, and 20 milligrams,” said Ellis Unger, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Using the lowest effective dose can reduce the risk of side effects, such as next–morning drowsiness.” Belsomra should be taken no more than once per night, within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least seven hours remaining before the planned time of waking. The total dose should not exceed 20 mg once daily. Patients using the 20 mg strength should be cautioned against next–day driving or activities requiring full mental alertness. Patients taking lower doses should also be made aware of the potential for next–day driving impairment, because there is individual variation in sensitivity to the drug.
Taken from FDA Press Announcements
Although children have been eating more fruit in recent years, they still may not be eating enough fruits and vegetables overall. I'm Erin White with your latest health news.
The CDC recently released guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption per age group and tracked average intake. Based on the newest data, most children needed to increase both fruit and vegetable consumption to meet the guidelines. The researchers wrote that eating more fruits and vegetables adds needed nutrients, reduces risk of death and illness and helps manage body weight.
Being obese or overweight can increase the risk of a host of health problems -- including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Packing on too many pounds may also raise the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. I'm Erin White with your latest health news.
A recent study found that women who were overweight or obese faced an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition marked by joint inflammation and pain.
Maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk of health problems.
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