Recently, cannabis has experienced a resurgence of interest. Two countries—Uruguay and Canada—have legalized it. In the United States, 33 states and the District of Columbia now allow at least its medical use. In the field of epilepsy, there have been more than 150 years of anecdotes about the plant’s anti-seizure effects. Recent trials of cannabidiol (CBD)—a molecule found in the cannabis plant—led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Epidiolex to treat seizures in Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, might also be used to treat heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a condition that is predicted to affect over 8% of people ages 65 or older by the year 2020. The study, which was published in the Journal of General Physiology, shows that metformin relaxes a key heart muscle protein called titin, allowing the heart to properly fill with blood before pumping it around the body.
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a novel combination of two classes of drugs that induces the highest rate of proliferation ever observed in adult human beta cells—the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The result is an important step toward a diabetes treatment that restores the body’s ability to produce insulin.
Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by the University of Zurich now shows that this measure is recommended too often, as current guidelines fail to take into account the risks of side effects.
Men who use androgenic anabolic steroids—such as testosterone—may face a higher risk of early death and of experiencing more hospital admissions, according to a new Journal of Internal Medicine study.
Pharmacogenetic tests are marketed as an aid to psychiatrists in selecting the antidepressant or antipsychotic medication that will work best in individual patients, based on their genetic makeup. But for most patients, these pharmacogenetic tests don't provide much useful information, beyond a basic understanding of how antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs are metabolized, suggests a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.