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.
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.
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.
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 (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?
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.