Is there a link between marijuana and COPD?

Marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use in several parts of the United States. Researchers continue to investigate whether marijuana can cause or even help treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Some people use marijuana to relieve chronic pain, and there is growing interest in using marijuana to treat a range of other health issues, including epilepsy and the side effects of cancer treatment.

However, there is also concern that recreational use of marijuana increases a person’s risk of developing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Full story at Medical News Today

Reducing side effects in commonly used drugs

New research from The Australian National University (ANU) has drilled down to the molecular level to find similarities across six pharmaceutical drugs used in pain relief, dentist anaesthetic, and treatment of epilepsy, in a bid to find a way to reduce unwanted side-effects.

One in five Australians experience chronic pain, and 250,000 Australians live with epilepsy, 40 per cent of which are children.

Until now, researchers have known that drugs which treat pain and epilepsy are effective, some of which have even been used clinically since the 1950s. But molecular details of how they work and why they cause side effects have not been studied until relatively recently, thanks to new technology.

Full story at Science Daily

Drug Used to Treat Epilepsy Can Help People with Alcoholism: Study

The drug gabapentin, used to treat epilepsy and some types of pain, can help people with alcoholism quit drinking, a new study concludes.

The 12-week study of 150 alcohol-dependent participants found gabapentin decreased the number of days people drank heavily, and at least tripled the percentage of people who were able to stop drinking altogether, compared with those receiving a placebo. The drug also reduced alcohol craving and improved mood and sleep quality, Forbes reports.

After 12 weeks, 4 percent of those receiving a placebo were completely abstinent, compared with 11 percent of those receiving 900 milligrams of gabapentin, and 17 percent of those receiving 1,800 milligrams of gabapentin. Among those receiving a placebo, 22 percent reported no heavy drinking days (more than four drinks a day for women, and five for men), compared with 30 percent taking 800 milligrams of gabapentin, and 45 percent taking 1,800 milligrams.

The study appears in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Gabapentin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating epilepsy and neuropathic pain, a complex, chronic pain state that is usually accompanied by tissue injury.

Full story of epilepsy drug for alcoholism at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

New Studies Could Result in Better Treatments for Epilepsy, Behavioral Disorders

Better Treatment for Epilepsy DisorderThree studies conducted as part of Wayne State University’s Systems Biology of Epilepsy Project (SBEP) could result in new types of treatment for the disease and, as a bonus, for behavioral disorders as well.

The SBEP started out with funds from the President’s Research Enhancement Fund and spanned neurology, neuroscience, genetics and computational biology. It since has been supported by multiple National Institutes of Health-funded grants aimed at identifying the underlying causes of epilepsy, and it is uniquely integrated within the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the Wayne State School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center.

Under the guidance of Jeffrey Loeb, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics (CMMG) and professor of neurology, the project brings together researchers from different fields to create an interdisciplinary research program that targets the complex disease. The multifaceted program at Wayne State is like no other in the world, officials say, with two primary goals: improving clinical care and creating novel strategies for diagnosis and treatment of patients with epilepsy.

Full story of epilepsy treatment at Science Daily

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