||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Scientists design simple dipstick test for cocaine, other drugs
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple "dipstick" test for detecting cocaine and other drugs in saliva, urine or blood serum. The test is based upon DNA-gold nanoparticle technology, and can be packaged in user-friendly kits similar to those used for home pregnancy tests.
Nov 14, 2006, 02:44
C. elegans provides model for the genetics of nicotine dependence
The unassuming C. elegans nematode worm, a 1-millimeter workhorse of the genetics lab, is quite similar to human beings in its genetic susceptibility to nicotine dependence, according to University of Michigan researchers.
Nov 4, 2006, 18:20
Research links 'ecstasy' to survival of key movement-related cells in brain
New research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) suggests that the widely abused club drug "ecstasy," or MDMA, can increase the survival of dopamine cells in the brain during fetal development.
Oct 19, 2006, 01:41
Smoking Ban Associated With Rapid Improvement In Health Of Bar Workers in Scotland
Bar workers in Scotland showed significant improvements in respiratory symptoms and lung function within 2 months following a ban on smoking in confined public places, according to a study in the October 11 issue of JAMA. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke is a major worldwide public health issue, according to background information in the article. The effects on individuals has been difficult to measure, but a number of studies have established an increased risk of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and lung cancer, and the 2006 report by the U.S. surgeon general highlighted the causal relationship between secondhand smoke and premature death. In addition, for patients with preexisting respiratory conditions such as asthma, secondhand smoke leads to poorer disease control and more frequent hospital admission.
Oct 11, 2006, 05:11
Smoking media literacy (SML) is a valuable tool in efforts to discourage teens from smoking
Today alone, more than 4,400 U.S. teenagers will start smoking, according to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Many of these adolescents will be lured to cigarettes by advertisements and movies that feature sophisticated models and actors, suggesting that smoking is a glamorous, grown-up activity. However, teens who are savvier about the motives and methods of advertisers may be less inclined to take to cigarettes, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study indicates.
Oct 10, 2006, 12:45
DNA highly-promising predictor for successful treatment of alcoholics
According to Dutch researcher Wendy Ooteman, the biological and genetic characteristics of alcoholics can predict which drugs will best suppress the desire to drink. Naltrexone and acamprosate are drugs that are supposed to suppress the desire for a drink. The researcher investigated which patient characteristics were responsible for predicting the drug that would work best.
Oct 5, 2006, 01:12
Hold the Hookah
The growing fad of smoking tobacco through a waterpipe, sometimes known as a hookah, is rapidly turning into a worrisome epidemic, according to a Georgetown University researcher who says smokers who think this form of tobacco use is less toxic than cigarettes are wrong.
Oct 1, 2006, 22:51
Weight concerns affects women's motivations to stay smoke-free after delivery
Although many women quit smoking during pregnancy, the majority will resume smoking after having a baby. Results of a University of Pittsburgh study suggest that women's worries about weight may decrease their motivation to remain smoke-free postpartum. The study is published in the October issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
Sep 15, 2006, 17:43
Nicotine Withdrawal Begins Within 30 Minutes
Smokers who have tried to quit are well aware of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal: cravings for cigarettes, mood disturbances, appetite increase and sleep problems. However, it had not previously been known when withdrawal symptoms first appear. Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D., Director of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute's Tobacco Research & Intervention Program and his research team from Moffitt and the University of South Florida study examined this and found that within 30 minutes, the abstaining smokers reported greater cravings for cigarettes. Results have been published in the most recent issue of Psychopharmacology, authored by Peter S. Hendricks, Joseph, W. Ditre, and David J. Drobes, and Brandon.
Aug 22, 2006, 20:28
Varenicline Appears Effective In Helping Smokers Kick The Habit
Women younger than age 75 years who eat diets rich in the yellow plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin may have a reduced risk of developing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Aug 15, 2006, 13:28
Drug addiction treatment sees drop in success rate
The proportion of drug users who completed treatment for drug addiction decreased between 1998 and 2002, although the overall number of drug users who entered treatment increased. A British study of the outcome of treatment for drug addiction, published today in the open access journal BMC Public Health, also reveals that drug users were more likely to drop out of treatment if they had been coerced into it by the criminal justice system than if they had entered by other routes.
Aug 11, 2006, 14:17
Increase in psychotic symptoms predicts relapse to cannabis use
There may be a two-way relationship between cannabis use and psychosis, according to a new study from Australia. Published in the August issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study found that more frequent cannabis use was associated with a higher risk of psychotic relapse, and more severe psychotic symptoms were associated with increased risk of cannabis relapse.
Aug 9, 2006, 12:41
Smokers with chronic pain smoke more
Smokers who experience significant pain smoke more cigarettes per day than those who are not regularly in pain, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Kentucky. However, more than half of smokers with pain are at least considering quitting smoking.
Aug 3, 2006, 17:12
Nicotine may actually reduce blood alcohol concentrations
It's no mystery that many drinkers smoke, and many smokers drink. What is novel is a recent finding among rodents that nicotine can reduce blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at dosage levels that could be achieved by human smokers. This may lead to more drinking.
Jul 31, 2006, 17:22
Alcoholics' deficits in smell are linked to frontal lobe dysfunction
Prior research has shown that chronic alcoholism is associated with numerous olfactory deficits in odor judgment, odor identification, odor sensitivity, and the ability to qualitatively discriminate between odors. New findings indicate that olfactory deficits among alcoholics are associated with prefrontal cognitive dysfunction, specifically, impairment in the functional integrity of the prefrontal lobe.
Jul 31, 2006, 17:21
Asp carriers of the OPRM1 gene taking naltrexone have increased urge to drink
Naltrexone (NTX) is able to reduce drinking and craving among many alcoholics and heavy drinkers, but not all of them. Polymorphisms in the D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4) gene and the ì opiate receptor (OPRM1) gene may moderate NTX's effects on craving. New findings indicate that Asp carriers of the OPRM1 gene do indeed have a different response to NTX, albeit contrary to expectations: these individuals have a greater urge to drink.
Jul 31, 2006, 17:10
Psilocybin Can Produce Mystical Experiences
Using unusually rigorous scientific conditions and measures, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that the active agent in “sacred mushrooms” can induce mystical/spiritual experiences descriptively identical to spontaneous ones people have reported for centuries. The resulting experiences apparently prompt positive changes in behavior and attitude that last several months, at least. The agent, a plant alkaloid called psilocybin, mimics the effect of serotonin on brain receptors-as do some other hallucinogens-but precisely where in the brain and in what manner are unknown.
Jul 12, 2006, 17:34
Illicit Drug Abuse: Blame it on genes!!!
Researchers have found that genetic factors may play an important role in a person’s use, misuse or dependence of illicit drugs like marijuana, stimulants, opiates, cocaine and psychedelics.
Jul 6, 2006, 03:09
Varenicline Prevents Relapse of Smoking Behaviour
In a study, Serena Tonstad, M.D., Ph.D., of Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo, Norway and colleagues with the Varenicline Phase 3 Study Group conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of an additional 12 weeks of varenicline used for relapse prevention in smokers who successfully achieved abstinence following an initial 12-week varenicline treatment.
Jul 5, 2006, 19:12
Varenicline produce higher continuous smoking abstinence rates
In a study, Douglas E. Jorenby, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis., and colleagues with the Varenicline Phase 3 Study Group conducted a study designed identical to that of Gonzales et al to assess the efficacy and safety of varenicline for smoking cessation compared with placebo and bupropion SR during initial treatment and long-term follow-up.
Jul 5, 2006, 19:09
Varenicline shows effectiveness in helping smokers quit
The drug varenicline shows effectiveness in helping smokers quit and abstain from smoking when compared to placebo and the smoking cessation medication bupropion, according to three studies in the July 5 issue of JAMA. Although nearly 41 percent of smokers try to quit smoking each year, relapse is common, and only about 10 percent achieve and maintain abstinence. The negative effects of nicotine withdrawal account, in part, for low success rates, according to background information in the article. Approved pharmacotherapies to treat nicotine dependence (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion) have had important, but moderate efficacy, with reported rates of quitting generally twice those of placebo. Additional and more effective therapies are needed.
Jul 5, 2006, 19:02
Early Drinking Linked to Risk of Alcohol Dependence
Individuals who are younger when they begin drinking alcohol may face a higher risk of alcohol dependence throughout life, at a younger age and consisting of multiple episodes, according to results of a national survey published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Jul 4, 2006, 13:24
Obesity Decreases Odds of Substance Abuse
Obesity is associated with a 25 percent increase in the risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders and a 25 percent decrease in likeliness for substance abuse, according to a paper in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. About 31 percent of all U.S. adults were obese in 2000, an increase from 23 percent in 1990, according to background information in the article. Obese adults are at higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other harmful conditions. Previous studies have suggested a link between obesity and depression, but little research has examined the associations between obesity and other psychiatric disorders.
Jul 4, 2006, 13:14
False perception of reduced health risks may factor into decision to keep smoking
People who smoke low-tar and low-nicotine, or "light" cigarettes thinking they will reduce their health risks may actually be less likely to kick the habit, according to research conducted by University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. As such, light cigarette smokers increase their lifetime risk of a variety of smoking-related diseases suggests the study published online by the American Journal of Public Health.
Jun 30, 2006, 13:11
Inattentional blindness more likely under influence of alcohol
The study showed that subjects who were mildly intoxicated (at half the legal intoxication limit in the US) were heavily compromised in their ability to notice an unexpected visual object when they were focused on another simple task. The phenomenon, known as 'Inattentional blindness' – where unexpected, yet salient objects appear in the visual fields but fail to be detected while subjects are focused on another task– has been demonstrated under various conditions, but this is the first instance to show that these visual errors become even more likely under the influence of alcohol.
Jun 30, 2006, 13:06
Genetics make it difficult for both genders to stop smoking
Researchers have long known that reasons for smoking include social pressure and other environmental factors, as well as genetic factors based on results of previous twin studies. Now a more comprehensive study of twins by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) has provided a better understanding of these complex influences. They found that women are far more likely than men to start smoking because of environmental factors, whereas genetic factors appear to play a larger role in influencing men to start smoking.
Jun 24, 2006, 02:58
Broken Heart Syndrome can result from opioid withdrawal
People who experience abrupt withdrawal from high-dose opioids or use cocaine increase their risk of cardiac event, according to two new studies published in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Jun 22, 2006, 17:05
Understanding how nicotine switches on the brain's reward machinery
Understanding what makes people crave the high of nicotine is a key to developing treatment for this highly addictive drug. And that understanding involves tracing the neural machinery by which nicotine switches on the brain's reward machinery.
Jun 15, 2006, 11:51
Biochemical signature of cocaine craving revealed
Ask anyone who has been addicted to drugs and they'll tell you that the mere sight of someone using their drug of choice -- or even people, places, or objects associated with drug use -- can trigger an intense desire for the drug. Using sophisticated brain-imaging techniques at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Brookhaven Lab, and the University of Pennsylvania have uncovered the brain chemistry that underlies such "cue-induced" craving in cocaine addicts. The work, which appears in the June 14, 2006 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests new targets for medications aimed at treating addiction.
Jun 15, 2006, 11:48
New PET Radiotracer to Visualize Cannabinoid Receptors Developed
A team of Johns Hopkins researchers developed a new radiotracer—a radioactive substance that can be traced in the body—to visualize and quantify the brain’s cannabinoid receptors by positron emission tomography (PET), opening a door to the development of new medications to treat drug dependence, obesity, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette syndrome.
Jun 6, 2006, 23:56