Browsing: Psychopharmacology

The latest news about psychopharmacology and drug research

Public confused about ingredients in pain relievers

People take billions of doses of over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol every year, but many do not pay attention to the active ingredients they contain, such as acetaminophen, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. That lack of knowledge about popular pain relievers plus particular ignorance of acetaminophen’s presence in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines could be a key reason acetaminophen overdose has become the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.

New target structure for antidepressants on the horizon

Max Planck scientists were able to show for the first time that physiologically measurable changes can be observed in the brains of healthy carriers of this risk allele. These changes affect a transporter protein involved in the production of an important neuronal transmitter. Given that traditional drugs interact with similar transporter molecules, the researchers are pinning great hopes on this factor as the target structure of future antidepressant medication.

Women more likely to self-medicate

Approximately 20% of Spaniards take non-prescribed medication and women are the group most inclined towards this practice. This is the conclusion of a research study carried out by experts from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, which also links this habit to nationality, income level and alcohol and tobacco consumption amongst the population.

Alcohol helps the brain remember

Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better, says a new study from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin.

Early work indicates drug used to treat alcoholism may help those with Fragile X and autism

n small, early clinical trials, adults and children with autism and Fragile X syndrome have shown improved communication and social behavior when treated with acamprosate, according to Craig Erickson, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine and chief of the Riley Hospital for Children Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Indiana University Health.

The influence of advertising on drug recommendations

A medical journal’s revenue source can affect drug recommendations, with free journals positively recommending specific drugs while journals funded solely by subscriptions usually recommending against the use of the drugs, states a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Antidepressant drugs suppress activity of potassium channels

Using a unique and relatively simple cell-based fluorescent assay they developed, scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley have identified a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel.

Use of atypical antipsychotics in treatment of dementia declined after FDA warning

A warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of dementia was associated with a significant decline in the use of these medications for treating dementia symptoms in elderly patients, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Drug-abusers have difficulty recognizing negative emotions like wrath, fear and sadness

University of Granada scientists have been the first to analyze the relation between drug abuse and recognition of basic emotions (happiness, surprise, wrath, fear, sadness and disgust) by drug-abusers. Thus, the study revealed that drug-abusers have difficulty to identify negative emotions by their facial expression: wrath, disgust, fear and sadness.

Little-known growth factor enhances memory, prevents forgetting in rats

A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats’ memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.

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