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Browsing: Psychopharmacology

The latest news about psychopharmacology and drug research

Drugs for hair loss and BPH may result in loss of libido, ED in men

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), in collaboration with colleagues at Lahey Clinic and from Denmark and Germany, have found that 5a-reductase inhibitors (5a-RIs), while improving urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and possible hair loss prevention, produces significant adverse effects in some individuals including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction (ED), ejaculatory dysfunction and potential depression.

Evidence lacking for widespread use of costly antipsychotic drugs

Many prescriptions for the top-selling class of drugs, known as atypical antipsychotic medications, lack strong evidence that the drugs will actually help, a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and University of Chicago has found. Yet, drugs in this class may cause such serious effects as weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and cost Americans billions of dollars.

Uncovering the neurobiological basis of general anesthesia

The use of general anesthesia is a routine part of surgical operations at hospitals and medical facilities around the world, but the precise biological mechanisms that underlie anesthetic drugs’ effects on the brain and the body are only beginning to be understood. A review article in the December 30 New England Journal of Medicine brings together for the first time information from a range of disciplines, including neuroscience and sleep medicine, to lay the groundwork for more comprehensive investigations of processes underlying general anesthesia.

Prescribed medicines are responsible for over 3 percent of road traffic crashes in France

In France, the effect that all medicines have on driving performance has been classified into 4 levels of risk, from level 0 (no or negligible risk) to level 3 (major risk) and according to a study by Ludivine Orriols, from Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, France, and colleagues, level 2 and 3 medicines are responsible for over 3% of road traffic crashes in France.

Ziprasidone and Olanzapine carry no difference in risk of mortality

A study published online this month in the American Journal of Psychiatry in advance of print publication in February 2011 showed no difference in nonsuicide mortality between people taking ziprasidone and another second-generation anti-psychotic in real-world use.

Serotonin uses specialized signaling pathway distinct from pathways used by N-methyltryptamines

Scripps Research Institute scientists have shown for the first time that the neurotransmitter serotonin uses a specialized signaling pathway to mediate biological functions that are distinct from the signaling pathways used by hallucinogenic substances. The new findings could have a profound effect on the development of new therapies for a number of disorders, including schizophrenia and depression.

Just two drinks slow reactions in older people

Blood alcohol levels below the current legal limit for driving have a significant negative effect on a person’s dexterity. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes found that just two single vodka and orange drinks were enough to make senior volunteers struggle at an obstacle avoidance test while walking.

Oxytocin makes people trusting, but not gullible

Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that plays an important role in social behavior—it has even been nicknamed “the love hormone” and “liquid trust.” Increased levels of OT have been associated with greater caring, generosity, and trust. But does OT increase people’s trust in just anybody or does it act more selectively?

Body clock drugs could ease psychiatric disorders and jet lag

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have successfully used a drug to reset and restart the natural 24 hour body clock of mice in the lab. The ability to do this in a mammal opens up the possibility of dealing with a range of human difficulties including some psychiatric disorders, jet lag and the health impacts of shift work.

Endocannabinoid Blockers Improve Obesity-Related Health Complications

An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Study Finds Link Between Estradiol and Depression, Anxiety

A study from the University of Albany found that the administration of the hormone estradiol to aged female mice decreased anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors. This finding may help explain the onset of depression during and after menopause.

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