August 9, 2012 |
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. Amid the generally discouraging news about drugs that can slow or reverse the progress of Alzheimer's disease, a new study is a faint glimmer of hope: In mice whose brains are clogged with the protein deposits that characterize Alzheimer's, a drug called bexarotene substantially reversed key signs of dementia and reduced by half the telltale protein deposits of the disease....
July 26, 2012 |
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, the culmination of years of controversy over the sale of pot here. Meanwhile, in Oakland, a federal crackdown closed the nation's largest dispensary amid protests and demonstrations. But authorities rarely seem to address the real issue about marijuana in California: Is it good medicine? Some proponents of medical marijuana argue that pot is "natural" and therefore better, or at least no worse, than legally prescribed drugs, which may be addictive and may carry dangerous side effects.
July 16, 2012 |
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Truvada for prevention of HIV infection in HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the disease, the first time a drug has been approved for reducing that risk. The approval follows on the heels of three studies published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that daily use of the drug could reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 75% in heterosexual couples. The drug has also been shown to be effective in gay couples.
June 26, 2012 |
A birth control gel for men sharply lowered sperm counts with few side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. The gel, containing testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone, will require substantially more testing, but it has the potential to become the first effective chemical birth control agent for males. The male hormone testosterone can turn off the production of reproductive hormones controlling the production of sperm. Progestin, a synthetic hormone similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, can amplify the effects of testosterone.
June 1, 2012 |
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused in the late-night massacre of 16 men, women and children in southern Afghanistan, was using alcohol and steroids near the time of the murders, drugs that have been linked to symptoms of unusual aggression, Army prosecutors alleged Friday. A new charge sheet returned against the 38-year-old serviceman also charges him with burning bodies of the victims and damaging a laptop computer in a purported attempt to impede the investigation into the March 11 attacks near a remote special operations post near the town of Belambay.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2012 |
Barbara Britt has a song in her head, a campfire tune that she learned years ago. I'm a little piece of tin. Its silliness, she knew, would keep her upbeat for the appointment she had with James Lee, the 12-year-old with a tumor in his brain stem. Nobody knows where I have been. James was one of nearly a dozen patients scheduled for today's clinic, and Britt, a nurse care manager at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has found that songs keep her from becoming overwhelmed by the lives of her patients and their families.
May 30, 2012 |
A widely used antioxidant supplement can reduce some of the symptoms of autism in children, a pilot study has found. The supplement -- N-acetylcysteine, or NAC -- lowered irritability in the children and reduced repetitive behaviors, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The team cautioned, however, that only 31 children were enrolled and that larger studies are needed to confirm the potential benefit. Currently, irritability, mood swings and depression in autistic children are treated with antipsychotic drugs.
May 13, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - While most of the nation is still trying to claw its way out of the deep economic crater left by the recession, this onetime steel capital is already out - thanks largely to the relentless growth in healthcare jobs. Partly because of the outsized ambitions of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the healthcare industry has replaced manufacturing as the region's powerhouse. About 1 in 5 private-sector employees in the Pittsburgh area today works at a hospital, a doctor's office or in some other health services business.
May 1, 2012 |
Resveratrol, the plant compound found in red wine and reputed to have anti-aging effects, including protection against cancer and diabetes, has just had a "told-you-so" moment. Resveratrol 's discoverer, the embattled Harvard professor who hopes it will point the way to new anti-aging drugs, long argued that the phytonutrient worked its magic by "turning on" the SIRT1 gene. The SIRT1 gene, one of a family of genes, the Sirtuins, is believed to control the good function and longevity of cells and, in turn, of their host.
February 22, 2012 |
The diet drug Qnexa has cleared a major hurdle toward eventual Food and Drug Administration approval. An independent panel of medical experts who advise the agency voted Wednesday that Qnexa's significant weight-loss benefit outweighed its potential risks. The hearing was held in Silver Spring, Md. The surprisingly positive 20-2 vote in favor of approval moves the decision on Qnexa into the hands of the FDA, which will issue a final ruling later this year. The agency typically follows the recommendations of an advisory committee but is not bound by it. If approved, as is now expected, Qnexa would be the first prescription diet drug to reach the market since 1999.