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Opioid receptors outside the brain targeted in rats; new direction for painkillers
Opioid abuse is a growing public health crisis, affecting up to 36 million people worldwide. Many of these individuals first get hooked on prescription painkillers that target mu opioid receptors in the brain. A study in rats published Aug. 25 in Cell Reports suggests that a different approach that targets delta opioid receptors on sensory neurons in peripheral tissues might avoid the side effects and high abuse potential of currently available pain relievers. (2016-08-25)

Hitching a ride: Misfiring drugs hit the wrong targets
Researchers have shown how anti-HIV protein inhibitor drugs can bind to the wrong protein, causing unwanted side effects. (2016-08-25)

Could physical activity be good for alcohol and substance use disorders?
A team of researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry has received funding of £154,000 from the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit program, to carry out a systematic review of research to see if and how physical activity and exercise could help those with alcohol and substance use disorders. (2016-08-24)

Study shows diabetes treatment helps reduce weight in children with autism
A drug that's been used for decades in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is proving effective in helping to control weight gain in children who are treated for autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). (2016-08-24)

Brief rapamycin therapy in middle-aged mice extends lives
In mice, the drug rapamycin is known to extend lives and delay some age-related problems. Questions remain about about how it promotes healthy aging, when, how much and how long to administer rapamycin, and how to avoid serious side effects. A new study showed brief therapy during middle age with rapamycin dramatically extended mouse lives. Findings revealed the need to further examine how gender and dose influence side effects and the drug's impact on susceptibility to and protection from different types of cancer. (2016-08-23)

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells
A discovery in the field of biomaterials may open new frontiers in stem and cancer cell manipulation and associated advanced therapy development. Novel scaffolds are shown enabling cells to behave in a different but controlled way in vitro due to the presence of aligned, self-assembled ceramic nanofibers of an ultra-high anisotropy ratio augmented into graphene shells. (2016-08-23)

Expecting the worst increases side-effects in breast cancer patients on hormone therapies
A study of women receiving hormone therapies such as tamoxifen as part of their treatment for breast cancer has found that the number and seriousness of side effects they experienced were influenced by their expectations. The study, published in Annals of Oncology, found that women who had higher expectations of suffering more and worse side-effects before their treatment began did, in fact, experience more after two years of adjuvant hormone therapy. (2016-08-22)

Nivolumab in advanced lung cancer: Indication of major added benefit
Patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC who have already undergone chemotherapy survive longer with the drug than with docetaxel. (2016-08-18)

Study paves way for steroid treatments with fewer side effects
An improved therapy to replace essential steroids in the body is a step closer thanks to University of Edinburgh research. The treatment could help people unable to produce a class of steroids called corticosteroids, which are involved in physiological processes including regulating metabolism and blood pressure, and helping the body to cope with physical stress. The therapy for people with adrenal gland disorders is expected to have fewer side effects than existing treatments. (2016-08-17)

Designer agent blocks pain in mice without morphine's side effects
Scientists have synthesized a molecule with a unique profile of highly specific pain-relieving properties and demonstrated its efficacy in mice. PZM21 was not 'reinforcing' or prone to triggering respiratory impairment and was less constipating than existing analgesics. It had more effect on the brain-mediated emotional/experiential component of pain than on spinal cord reflexive responses. In addition to clinical potential, it holds promise as a 'tool molecule' for exploring the workings of brain pain systems. (2016-08-17)

Molecule prevents effect of chemotherapy
For the last three years the research team has been working on the development of a so-called biomarker to predict treatment effectiveness. Now the researchers found a molecule which is closely associated with the effect of Oxaliplatin treatment, an anti-cancer drug widely used in the treatment of colorectal cancer. (2016-08-16)

Bone marrow-derived stem cells offer blood transplant patients better quality of life
Large, nationwide study finds better psychological well-being, fewer graft-vs.-host disease symptoms and greater likelihood of returning to work among bone marrow transplant recipients. (2016-08-16)

Intestinal flora effects drug response
Intestinal flora has multiple influences on human health, but research from Kumamoto University in Japan has revealed that it is also likely to have an effect on the body's response to drugs. Individual changes in the intestinal flora caused by antibacterial and antibiotic drugs may affect the effectiveness and side effects of other medicines. (2016-08-12)

Nivolumab in renal cell cancer: Indication of added benefit
Patients with advanced renal cell cancer have weaker symptoms and side effects and patients with an unfavorable prognosis survive longer than those receiving the comparator therapy. (2016-08-10)

A single compound could treat 3 parasitic diseases
Scientists have identified a compound that can kill the parasites responsible for three neglected diseases: Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness. (2016-08-08)

Targeting brain cells to alleviate neuropathic pain
Rutgers scientists discovered that chronic neuropathic pain -- caused by nerve damage as a result of an injury, surgery or a debilitating disease like diabetes or cancer -- could be greatly reduced in animals when the injury is treated targeting microglia brain cells within a few days. This research will help in the quest to help the more than 1 million Americans afflicted with this chronic pain. (2016-08-08)

'Pain paradox' discovery provides route to new pain control drugs
A natural substance known to activate pain in the central nervous system has been found to have the opposite effect in other parts of the body, potentially paving the way to new methods of pain control. (2016-07-28)

Markers that cause toxic radiotherapy side-effects in prostate cancer identified
A new study involving researchers from The University of Manchester looked at the genetic information of more than 1,500 prostate cancer patients and identified two variants linked to increased risk of radiotherapy side-effects. (2016-07-26)

New gene therapy prevents muscle wasting associated with cancer
A new gene therapy could be used to prevent the loss of muscle mass and physical strength associated with advanced cancer (2016-07-22)

Virtual development of real drugs
systemsDock is a new, free on-line resource that makes screening for drugs faster and more accurate. (2016-07-21)

GPM measured heavy rain in Tropical Storm Estelle
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite traveled above tropical storm Estelle and found heavy rainfall occurring on its eastern side. (2016-07-21)

How to increase the fat burned during exercise
When we exercise, our body's oxidation of fat and carbohydrates depends on the intensity and duration of the activity. A new study analyses the effect of consuming an alkaloid, p-synephrine, on the burning of lipids and refutes the value of 'miracle' diets: it is not possible to lose more than a kilogram of fat per month. (2016-07-19)

Surface composition determines temperature and therefore habitability of a planet
Astronomers from KU Leuven, Belgium, have shown that the interaction between the surface and the atmosphere of an exoplanet has major consequences for the temperature on the planet. This temperature, in turn, is a crucial element in the quest for habitable planets outside our Solar System. (2016-07-14)

Local drug activation at solid tumor sites
Sarcoma is an aggressive form of cancer responsible for up to 20 percent of childhood cancers. Tumors often first appear in the extremities and the abdomen. Surgery is a primary treatment, but it often is combined with chemotherapy. This week in ACS Central Science, researchers propose a scheme to target chemotherapy medications specifically to sarcomas, leading to greater efficacy and fewer side effects. (2016-07-13)

Penn preclinical study outlines cardiovascular side effects of breast cancer drug
A receptor protein that is the target of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is needed for proper heart blood-vessel development. These discoveries have implications for better understanding the cardiovascular side effects of trastuzumab commonly used for cancer and provide an example of integration at the molecular level of pathways involved in tissue growth and blood-vessel patterning. (2016-07-13)

A comparison between quetiapine and aripiprazole for treatment of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a common cause of incapacity and is ranked as the third most disabling illness subsequent to dementia and quadriplegia. Nearly 75 percent of persons with schizophrenia have continuing problems with recurrent psychotic episodes. (2016-07-13)

NASA camera catches moon 'photobombing' Earth
For only the second time in a year, a NASA camera aboard the DSCOVR satellite captured a view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth. (2016-07-11)

Study: Gut bacteria can cause, predict and prevent rheumatoid arthritis
The bacteria in your gut do more than break down your food. They also can predict susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, suggests Veena Taneja, Ph.D., an immunologist at Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. (2016-07-11)

Dopamine receptor blockade seen as cause for antipsychotic drug side-effects
University of California, Irvine scientists led by Emiliana Borrelli and colleagues have discovered the key cellular mechanism that underlies the antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism -- which includes involuntary movements, tremors and other severe physical conditions. These studies present evidence that will stimulate a targeted approach for the design of novel antipsychotics without side-effects. (2016-07-06)

Pill organizers could cause adverse effects among elderly
New research from the University of East Anglia shows that switching to use a pill organizer could cause adverse effects among the elderly. The research team say that patients should consult their GP or pharmacist before switching to a pill organizer. (2016-07-05)

Study investigates whether it is safe for GPs to prescribe fewer antibiotics
A new study has found that reducing antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections -- such as coughs, colds, sore throats and ear infections -- is not linked to an increase in the most serious bacterial complications, such as bacterial meningitis. The study, published in the BMJ, investigated whether reducing antibiotic prescribing for people attending their GP with respiratory tract infections could have an effect on safety. (2016-07-04)

Did controversy over statins influence their use in the UK?
A period of controversy over the risks and benefits of statins, covered widely in the UK media, was followed by a temporary increase in the number of people stopping their statin treatment, finds a study in The BMJ today. (2016-06-28)

Teaching an old drug new tricks to fight cytomegalovirus
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that an old drug once mostly used to treat amebiasis -- a disease caused by a parasite -- and induce vomiting in cases of poisoning appears to also halt replication of cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpesvirus that can cause serious disease in immunocompromised individuals, including those with HIV or organ transplant recipients. (2016-06-27)

Foot wrap offers alternative to medication for patients with restless legs syndrome
Authors from Lake Erie Research Institute in Pennsylvania report an adjustable foot wrap caused to treat restless legs syndrome is 1.4 times more effective than the standard pharmaceutical treatment. (2016-06-27)

MUSC-based startup wins National TechConnect Innovation Award
ToleRaM Nanotech, LLC, a startup company that specializes in merging bioengineering with medicine, recently won a National TechConnect Innovation Award. The genius behind the company comes from the synergy of a physician-scientist team at the Medical University of South Carolina that's interested in research into the targeted delivery of drugs to decrease rejection of transplanted organs. (2016-06-23)

New cancer immunotherapy drugs linked to arthritis in some patients
Case reports on 13 cancer patients suggest that a small number of cancer patients taking the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab may be at some higher-than-normal risk of developing autoimmune joint and tissue diseases, including inflammatory arthritis, according to a preliminary study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers. (2016-06-23)

High-tech scans can spare lymphoma patients intensive chemo
Hodgkin lymphoma patients can be spared the serious side effects of chemotherapy thanks to high-tech scans that can predict the outcome of treatment. (2016-06-22)

Low doses of common cancer drug may promote cancer spread
New research indicates that paclitaxel, which is the most commonly used chemotherapy for breast cancer, suppresses tumors when given at a certain dosage, but at low doses, it actually promotes cancer spread to the liver. (2016-06-22)

Gamble on your opponent's gaze if you want to win
Blackjack players who hold high-value cards tend to glance fleetingly to the right, whereas those with a lower-value hand do so spontaneously to the left. This is according to research on aspects of mental arithmetic, led by Kevin Holmes of Colorado College in the US. The findings are published in Springer's journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. (2016-06-21)

Osimertinib in lung cancer: Added benefit not proven
Due to a lack of studies of direct comparisons the manufacturer subsequently submitted historical comparisons, but the visible effects were not large enough for conclusions on added benefit. (2016-06-20)

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