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Helena Blackstone The first study looking into the use of MDMA to treat alcohol addiction has shown the treatment is safe and early results show encouraging outcomes from the approach, scientists have said. Doctors in Bristol are testing whether a few doses of the drug, in conjunction with psychotherapy, could help patients overcome alcoholism more effectively than conventional treatments. Those who have completed the study have so far reported almost no relapse and no physical or psychological problems. In comparison, eight in 10 alcoholics in England relapse within three years after current treatment approaches. Dr Ben Sessa, an addiction psychiatrist and senior research fellow at Imperial College London, and who led the trial, said: “With the very best that medical science can work with, 80% of people are drinking within three years post alcohol detox.” Eleven people have so far completed the safety and tolerability study, which involves nine months of follow-ups. “We’ve got one person who has completely relapsed, back to previous drinking levels, we have five people who are completely dry and we have four or five who have had one or two drinks but wouldn’t reach the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder,” Sessa said. Most addiction is based on underlying trauma, often from childhood, explained Sessa. “MDMA selectively impairs the fear response,” he said. “It allows recall of painful memories without being overwhelmed. © 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26514 - Posted: 08.19.2019

John Pappas A confidential government document containing evidence so critical it had the potential to change the course of an American tragedy was kept in the dark for more than a decade. The document, known as a “prosecution memo,” details how government lawyers believed that Purdue Pharma, the maker of the powerful opioid, OxyContin, knew early on that the drug was fueling a rise in abuse and addiction. They also gathered evidence indicating that the company’s executives had misled the public and Congress. “The Weekly” shines a light on that 2006 Justice Department memo and its consequences for today’s wave of lawsuits against opioid makers and members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma. We go with Barry Meier, the New York Times reporter who for two decades has chronicled how opioid abuse has ravaged America, as he travels back to where the crisis began. Barry Meier covered business, public policy, health and safety for nearly 30 years for The New York Times. He began covering the marketing of the painkiller OxyContin and the resulting epidemic of opioid addiction as early as 2001. He is also the author of “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” first published in 2003 and recently reissued. The Confidential Memo Revealed Prosecutors cited evidence in their 2006 memo that Sackler family members who own Purdue were sent reports about problems with the company’s drugs. But that evidence never came to light because the recommended felony charges against Purdue executives never went forward. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26511 - Posted: 08.17.2019

Statistics Canada says Canadian men are almost twice as likely to use cannabis as women. New data from the National Cannabis Survey today shows 16 per cent of Canadians over 15 years old report using pot in April, May or June. That's down slightly from 17.5 per cent in the first three months of the year. Almost five million Canadians consumed cannabis in some form during the three month period. One quarter of men, and 16 per cent of women, reported they plan to consume it in the next three months. The survey suggests men are more likely to use cannabis daily or weekly than women, and are also more likely to use it for non-medicinal purposes. About four in 10 marijuana users say they bought cannabis illegally. Smoking the drug remains the most common way of consuming it, with 68 per cent of men and 62 per cent of women consumers choosing this method. At 14 per cent, women were almost three times more likely than men (five per cent) to have consumed cannabis through "other methods," including edible and topical variants. Recreational marijuana became legal in Canada last October and Statistics Canada is tracking consumption habits every three months. ©2019 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 26506 - Posted: 08.16.2019

By Sheila Kaplan Nearly three dozen young people have been hospitalized around the country in recent weeks for severe respiratory problems after vaping either nicotine or marijuana, stumping doctors treating them. The Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin public health departments are investigating these cases and at least 20 additional emergency admissions that doctors suspect are related to vaping some substance, possibly even illegal street drugs or adulterated liquids laced with T.H.C., the ingredient that produces marijuana’s high. There are also cases in California, which appear to be associated with vaping cannabis or cannabidiol oil. Most of the patients were having difficulty breathing when they arrived at the hospital. Some patients also reported chest pain, vomiting and other ailments. The cases have ranged in severity, with some patients suffering severe lung damage that required weeks of treatment in the intensive care units. Each of the patients reported using e-cigarettes or other vaping devices in the weeks leading up to the emergency. But officials are not yet clear whether vaping caused the injuries, and if so, what ingredient in the e-cigarette or vaping systems was responsible. “We know the children have been injured. We don’t yet know the causative agent,” said Dr. David D. Gummin, medical director of the Wisconsin Poison Center, and professor and chief of medical toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “We have no leads pointing to a specific substance other than those that are associated with smoking or vaping.” Initially, Dr. Gummin said, doctors suspected that the patients were suffering from an infectious disease. But the patients’ failure to respond to antibiotics led the doctors to believe they had been harmed by a toxic substance. A common practice among their patients was vaping. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26501 - Posted: 08.15.2019

By Tiffany Hsu Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., were concerned when a young man contacted their department last year complaining of a heart-pounding, hallucinogenic high he had neither expected nor wanted to have. The team, led by the forensic toxicologist Michelle R. Peace, had published a study about mysterious ingredients in vaping liquids. That’s how the man, a graduate student Dr. Peace declined to name, knew to tell it about his experience. He said he had vaped a liquid, from a company called Diamond CBD, that contained CBD, or cannabidiol. A compound reputed to have soothing properties, CBD has been marketed by the fast-growing cannabis industry as an ingredient in sleeping masks, kombucha, Carl’s Jr. burgers and Martha Stewart-backed dog treats. It is not supposed to cause a psychoactive experience. Dr. Peace decided to run some tests of Diamond CBD vaping liquids, some from the graduate student and some bought from the manufacturer. In four of nine samples, all marketed on the company’s website as 100 percent natural, her lab discovered a synthetic compound, 5F-ADB. That ingredient has been linked by the Drug Enforcement Administration to anxiety, convulsions, psychosis, hospitalization and death. Diamond CBD has often promoted its products as health aids meant to “help your body to heal and recover” and “to make you feel the best version of yourself.” The company’s parent, PotNetwork Holdings, said in a statement that independent tests did not show “any unnatural or improper derivative.” The company said it planned to run more tests on its products and materials and would issue a recall if it found any problems. The efforts of cannabis companies to go mainstream could be hampered by CBD advertising that depends on misleading or unproven claims, entrepreneurs and researchers said. Dr. Peace compared the marketing efforts of some companies to snake-oil scams in the 1800s, “when guys in wagons were selling sham tinctures in glass bottles.” © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 26497 - Posted: 08.14.2019

By Michael Buchanan Social affairs correspondent, BBC News Alcohol-related brain damage, a condition similar to dementia, is poorly understood and often missed by health professionals, a study by charity Alcohol Change UK says. And patients struggling with the "double stigma" of brain impairment and alcohol addiction often end up in accident and emergency units because of a lack of community services. The condition affects balance and makes it difficult for patients to process new information. They can also become confused and experience memory loss. At its most basic, the injury is caused by damage to brain cells from alcohol, which causes them to shrink and die or deprives them of vital vitamins. Heavy drinking A man who drinks more than 50 units of alcohol a week, or a woman drinking more than 35 units, for five years or more is at risk of the disease, Alcohol Change says. "You're talking about a condition that's the result of long-term heavy drinking, which a lot of people are going to say, 'Well someone's done that themselves, it's his own fault,'" Andrew Misell, from Alcohol Change UK, said. "And then you're talking about a condition which makes someone's behaviour difficult to manage - people can be aggressive, inappropriate, confused and confusing to others" Last year, the alcohol care team at the Royal Liverpool Hospital treated 79 patients with alcohol-related brain disease. Patients are asked to sit a test used to diagnose dementia, which has been adapted for this condition. A low score can lead to scans to see if the patient's alcohol intake has shrunk their brain. If it has, an occupational therapist is then brought in to find out how the brain damage has affected that person's daily life. © 2019 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 26483 - Posted: 08.03.2019

By Emily S. Rueb Excessive alcohol consumption is not safe for a person at any age, but it is particularly dangerous for older adults. And according to a study published this week, about one in 10 older adults is considered a binge drinker. “Binge drinking, even episodically or infrequently, may negatively affect other health conditions by exacerbating disease, interacting with prescribed medications and complicating disease management,” said Dr. Benjamin Han, the lead author of the study that was published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Alcohol is also a risk factor for injury, Dr. Han said, but the consequences and recovery from a fall are much more serious for an 81-year-old than a 21-year-old. The study defined binge drinking as consuming five or more drinks in a sitting for men, and four or more drinks in a sitting for women. And a drink equaled a can or bottle of beer, a glass of wine or a wine cooler, a shot of liquor, or a mixed drink with liquor in it. Dr. Han’s group analyzed data from the annual U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2015 and 2017. In all, the findings included 10,927 adults aged 65 or older who reported their drinking habits in the previous 30 days. The group did not include adults living in long-term-care facilities or nursing homes, Dr. Han added. The prevalence of binge drinking among adults 65 and older is still relatively low compared with other age groups, Dr. Han said. Over 38 percent of college-aged adults, 18 to 25, had recently drunk excessively, the highest prevalence of any age group. Adults ages 26 to 34 had only slightly fewer binge drinkers, and the second highest percentage, the study found. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 26482 - Posted: 08.03.2019

By Sheila Kaplan WASHINGTON — Last summer, with public concern about teenage vaping growing, Juul Labs paid a charter school organization in Baltimore $134,000 to set up a five-week summer camp to teach children healthy lifestyles. The curriculum was created by Juul — maker of the very vaping devices that were causing the most alarm among parents, health experts and public officials. In April 2017, a Juul representative visited the Dwight School in New York City to meet with students — with no teachers present — and told them the company’s e-cigarettes were “totally safe.” Other schools across the country were offered $10,000 from the e-cigarette company for the right to talk to students in classrooms or after school. In Richmond, Calif. last year, Juul gave the Police Activities League $90,000 to offer the company’s vaping education program “Moving Beyond” to middle school and high school students who faced suspension for using cigarettes. Those efforts were among many detailed by a House subcommittee on Thursday afternoon in the second day of hearings on the problem of youth vaping and Juul’s role in it — a topic that the Food and Drug Administration and two state attorneys general have been investigating for more than a year. Juul “deployed a sophisticated program to enter schools and convey its messaging directly to teenage children,” recruited thousands of online influencers to market its vaping devices to youths and targeted children as young as 8 in summer camp, a memo prepared by subcommittee staff members claimed. Juul, which has an estimated $38 billion valuation, stopped shipping the flavored pods to retailers at a time when the Food and Drug Administration was threatening to remove its devices from the market if it did not make them inaccessible to youths. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26457 - Posted: 07.27.2019

By Heather King On Sept. 29, 2016, I was at a private book signing in Williamson County, Tenn., for Alberto Gonzales, the former United States attorney general. As the chairwoman for the Montgomery County Young Republicans, I spent a lot of time sharing drinks with Tennessee’s political class. At the end of the evening, I decided to drive home, even though I knew I had drunk too much. I had taken these back roads so many times, I told myself; I could make it home. Twenty minutes into my hourlong trek, I passed out. When I regained consciousness, I was upside down in a ditch. A stranger stopped to pull me out of my car. The police arrived and arrested me immediately. The next morning, reality set in. I had done so much damage in my life that my son, Taj, who was 16 at the time, refused to talk to me. That was the last night I drank. As much as I would love to say that I stopped drinking for Taj, I didn’t. For the first time in many years, I wanted to live more than I wanted to drink. I found myself in this weird dilemma: I could no longer see myself drinking, but I had no idea how to live my life without alcohol. My son was the first person that I told I was going to stop. He didn’t believe me, and rightly so. He had seen plenty of unsuccessful attempts to quit. But he held me, as a parent would hold a child after her first heartbreak, and he told me we would get through it together. At 16 years old, my child was more of an adult than I was at 34. I became a mother at 18 years old. I had never wanted children. Partying my way through high school and getting drunk with my older brother was my only priority. It stayed that way even after I had my son. I never thought I was capable of loving and nurturing a small human; after all, I was raised by a working single mom who rarely showed affection. Not because she didn’t love me; she just wasn’t around. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26443 - Posted: 07.24.2019

Selena Simmons-Duffin Good news came out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday: Preliminary data shows reported drug overdoses declined 4.2% in 2018, after rising precipitously for decades. "It looks like this is the first turnaround since the opioid crisis began," says Bertha Madras who served on President Trump's opioid commission, and is a professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School. She says it won't be entirely clear until the CDC finalizes the numbers but, "I think the tide could be turning." But not everyone was celebrating. Some states actually saw double-digit increases. "It's deflating," Rachel Winograd says. She's an associate research professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "It's incredibly discouraging to see the increase in Missouri in 2018 that happened at the same time as we really ramped up so many efforts to save lives and improve lives in our state." The provisional data shows Missouri deaths increased by 17% — one of 18 states that saw a year-over-year increase. Over the last several years, Missouri has received $65 million in federal grants to address the opioid crisis, Winograd says, and she has helped the state decide where and how to spend that money. They've focused on expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and "saturating our communities with naloxone — the opiate overdose antidote," she says. © 2019 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26436 - Posted: 07.20.2019

By Jan Hoffman, Katie Thomas and Danny Hakim The Walgreens employee was bewildered by the quantity of opioids the company was shipping to just one store. Its pharmacy in Port Richey, Fla. (population 2,831) was ordering 3,271 bottles of oxycodone a month. “I don’t know how they can even house this many bottles to be honest,” Barbara Martin, whose job was to review suspicious drug orders, wrote to a colleague in a January 2011 email. The next month, the company shipped another outsized order to the same store. The email was among thousands of documents from corporations across the pharmaceutical and retail industries — internal memos, depositions, sales and shipping reports, experts’ analyses, and other confidential information — filed Friday in federal court in Cleveland by lawyers for cities, towns and counties devastated by addiction. They lay out a detailed case of how diverse corporate interests — far beyond the familiar players like Purdue Pharma — fed a deadly opioid epidemic that persisted for nearly two decades. From the team at NYT Parenting: Get the latest news and guidance for parents. We'll celebrate the little parenting moments that mean a lot — and share stories that matter to families. Little-known manufacturers of generic pills, superstores like Walmart and chain retailers like Rite Aid also flooded the country with billions of pills, according to the filings. The devastation was so extreme that one Ohio county resorted to a mobile morgue to handle all the corpses of people who died from overdoses. As the epidemic crested, the suppliers with the greatest sales were not the branded manufacturers but those who made generic prescription drugs. Between 2003 and 2011, lawyers for the plaintiffs said in one filing, Mallinckrodt, the Ireland-based manufacturer of generic and branded drugs, sold 53 million orders of opioids. Yet the company stopped and then reported to federal authorities at most 33 orders as suspicious, a ratio the lawyers described as defying credibility. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26435 - Posted: 07.20.2019

Lying inside a scanner, the patient watched as pictures appeared one by one: A bicycle. A cupcake. Heroin. Outside, researchers tracked her brain's reactions to the surprise sight of the drug she'd fought to kick. U.S. government scientists are starting to peek into the brains of people caught in the opioid epidemic, to see if medicines proven to treat addiction, like methadone, do more than ease the cravings and withdrawal. Do they also heal a brain damaged by addiction? And which one works best for which patient? They're fundamental questions considering that far too few of the 2 million opioid users who need anti-addiction medicine actually receive it. One reason: "People say you're just changing one drug for another," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, who is leading that first-of-its-kind study. "The brain responds differently to these medications than to heroin. It's not the same." Science has made clear that three medicines — methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone — can effectively treat what specialists prefer to call opioid use disorder. Patients who stick with methadone or buprenorphine in particular cut their chances of death in half, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that explored how to overcome barriers to that care. Opioid addiction changes the brain in ways that even when people quit can leave them vulnerable to relapse, changes that researchers believe lessen with long-term abstinence. ©2019 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26407 - Posted: 07.11.2019

By Meghana Keshavan, Christian Angermayer is an unlikely proselyte of psychedelia: The German financier didn’t drink so much as a sip of beer for the first three decades of his life. But five years ago, after careful consideration (and the encouragement of a personal physician), Angermayer boarded a yacht with a handful of his closest friends. They sailed into the crystalline, tropical waters of a jurisdiction in which such substances are legal (he is very emphatic on this point), and had his very first psychedelic trip. His entire worldview was changed. “It was the single most meaningful thing I’ve ever done or experienced in my life,” said Angermayer, 40. “Nothing has ever come close to it.” The first thing Angermayer did after the experience was call his parents and tell them, with a newfound conviction, that he loved them. Then, being a consummate entrepreneur, he quickly identified a business opportunity: He would commercialize psychedelics. Today, with a net worth of roughly $400 million accrued through various enterprises, Angermayer is one of the driving forces behind the movement to turn long-shunned psychoactive substances, like the psilocybin derived from so-called magic mushrooms, into approved medications for depression and other mental illnesses. Though he still resolutely won’t touch even a drop of alcohol, he has banded together a team of like-minded entrepreneurs—including Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel—to invest in a handful of startups focused on developing psychedelics. © 2019 Scientific American,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 26403 - Posted: 07.10.2019

By Lacy Schley We all know smoking is bad for your health. But it seems smoking might be bad for your personality, too. A recent paper published in the Journal of Research In Personality reports that, compared to people who didn’t smoke, cigarette smokers were more likely to report not-so-great changes in certain aspects of their personalities. What’s more, giving up smoking didn’t help reverse those changes. Smoking: Through the Years The paper outlines a series of five different long-term studies — four in the U.S. and one in Japan — that collectively surveyed about 15,500 people. Experts at a handful of different universities started the projects to track a whole host of things over time, like physical and mental health, relationships, behavior, etc. But for the purposes of this paper, the authors were only interested in the link between personality and smoking. In each of the different studies, participants, who ranged in age from 20 to 92 years old, filled out a questionnaire that asked them about their smoking habits. The surveys included questions meant to assess where the participants fell on a spectrum of five personality traits, often called the Big Five: openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Then, anywhere from four to 18 years later (depending on the studies), the same participants filled out the same survey again. Researchers flagged those who had quit smoking since their first survey and put them into their own “smoking cessation” group.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26394 - Posted: 07.08.2019

Millions of people in the UK are putting their sight at risk by continuing to smoke, warn specialists. Despite the clear connection, only one in five people recognise that smoking can lead to blindness, a poll for the Association of Optometrists (AOP) finds. Smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight compared with non-smokers, says the RNIB. That is because tobacco smoke can cause and worsen a number of eye conditions. How smoking can harm your eyes Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that can irritate and harm the eyes. For example, heavy metals, such as lead and copper, can collect in the lens - the transparent bit that sits behind the pupil and brings rays of light into focus - and lead to cataracts, where the lens becomes cloudy. Smoking can make diabetes-related sight problems worse by damaging blood vessels at the back of the eye (the retina). Smokers are around three times more likely to get age-related macular degeneration - a condition affecting a person's central vision, meaning that they lose their ability to see fine details. And they are 16 times more likely than non-smokers to develop sudden loss of vision caused by optic neuropathy, where the blood supply to the eye becomes blocked. In the poll of 2,006 adults, 18% correctly said that smoking increased the risk of blindness or sight loss, while three-quarters (76%) knew smoking was linked to cancer. © 2019 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 10: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 7: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Link ID: 26375 - Posted: 07.02.2019

Mike Power Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentleman, and gather around. Do you, your loved one – or family pet – suffer from any of the following conditions? Cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, anxiety, menstrual cramps, insomnia, dry skin, psychosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, anger, depression, ADHD, Crohn’s and IBS, PTSD, opiate addiction, Parkinson’s, pain of any kind, migraine, or canine uptightness? Then it’s your lucky day. All can be treated, claim the snake oil salesmen of the modern wild west, with the miracle cure-all: CBD, or cannabidiol. It’s one of the 119 cannabinoids contained in cannabis sativa, indica and ruderalis, and all hybrids thereof; aka weed. CBD is legal and doesn’t get you high – still-illegal cannabinoid THC does that job very efficiently – but it’s fair to say business is blazing. What a giddy array of products there are: from CBD water (sold in clear bottles that mean the sensitive compound swiftly degrades), to cooking or massage oils, pills, chewing gum, transdermal patches, pessaries, gin, beer and lube. The crown for silliest CBD product of the year, however, belongs indisputably to the CBD-infused pillowcases sold by one hopeful firm of US fabric-makers. Yoga classes offering CBD-assisted asanas and guided meditation have sprung up, with devotees claiming greater flexibility and elevated mood. Sellers in the UK are careful not to claim any specific medical benefits for the products because of a lack of clinical evidence, so they are instead marketed as food supplements. In this, they are supported by breathless, uncritical media reports on CBD use for airily unspecified “wellbeing” purposes. © 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 8: General Principles of Sensory Processing, Touch, and Pain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 26369 - Posted: 07.01.2019

Allison Aubrey At 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, people are starting to pack into a popular bar called Harvard & Stone in a hip Los Angeles neighborhood. The chatter gets louder as the booze begins to flow. In the far corner, about a dozen women in a group are clearly enjoying themselves too, but they are not drinking alcohol. They're sipping handcrafted mocktails, with names like Baby's First Bourbon and Honey Dew Collins, featuring nonalcoholic distilled spirits. They're part of a sober social club, made up mostly of women in their 30s who want to have fun and make friends without alcohol. The members of this club work out, have demanding jobs and simply don't want to feel foggy or hungover anymore. Without alcohol, they say, they just feel better. "Oh my gosh. Well, one thing that was noticeable to pretty much everybody was my overall health and, like, my skin, my eyes. ... I lost weight," says Stephanie Forte, who works in sales in the beauty industry. Another social club member, Kathy Kuzniar, says she used to obsess over whether there was enough wine in the house. She says she feels calmer since she became sober, and she has lost 30 pounds. Not too long ago, a group of women in a bar who were not drinking alcohol would have seemed kind of strange. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 86 percent of adults over 18 report having had an alcoholic drink or drinks at some point in their lifetime, and 56 percent say they've had alcohol in the past month. Still, abstaining from alcohol — on a short-term basis or longer term — is becoming more common. © 2019 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26366 - Posted: 06.28.2019

Laura Klivans San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city. The city is the corporate home of Juul Labs, the biggest producer of e-cigarettes in the United States. City Attorney Dennis Herrera co-authored the ordinance, and celebrated the final vote. "This is a decisive step to help prevent another generation of San Francisco children from becoming addicted to nicotine," he says. "This temporary moratorium wouldn't be necessary if the federal government had done its job," says Herrera. "E-cigarettes are a product that, by law, are not allowed on the market without FDA review. For some reason, the FDA has so far refused to follow the law. If the federal government is not going to act, San Francisco will." Juul responded to the final vote in a written statement to media, saying the ban will cause new challenges for the city. "This full prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes, deny the opportunity to switch for current adult smokers, and create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use," writes Juul spokesman Ted Kwong. Two San Francisco ordinances would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes in brick-and-mortar stores and also online, if the products are being shipped to addresses in the city. © 2019 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26362 - Posted: 06.27.2019

Preliminary research by the Canadian Paediatric Society found "a significant number of young children" required medical care after ingesting cannabis in the months surrounding legalization last October. The Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program says it collected 16 reported cases of serious adverse events involving recreational cannabis between September and December 2018. They include six cases of kids younger than 18 who accidentally ate edibles and one case of accidental exposure. In each case, the cannabis belonged to a parent or caregiver. Four other cases of exposure were not accidental, although the society could not share more information. Details surrounding the five other reports were not immediately available, including how the kids were exposed to cannabis, their ages and whether exposure was accidental or not. The surveillance program defines "adverse events" as all cases in which kids are harmed by cannabis consumption, including injuries that may result from use by another individual, such as a friend or parent who is under the influence of cannabis. The two-year study will collect data until October 2020. The cannabis data was released Thursday, along with details from several other research projects underway. "The number of cases involving young children is striking," Christina Grant, a pediatrician in Hamilton and co-principal investigator, said Thursday in a release. ©2019 CBC/Radio-Canada

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 26361 - Posted: 06.27.2019

/ By Sara Talpos Earlier this year, a half-dozen students from City Hill Middle School, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, traveled with their science teacher Katrina Spina to the state capital to testify in support of a bill that would ban sales of energy drinks to children under the age of 16. Having devoted three months to a chemistry unit studying the ingredients in and potential health impacts of common energy drinks — with brand names like Red Bull, Monster Energy, and Rockstar – the students came to a sobering conclusion: “Energy drinks can be fatal to everyone, but especially to adolescents,” 7th-grader Luke Deitelbaum told state legislators. “Even though this is true, most energy drink companies continue to market these drinks specifically toward teens.” “Countries such as the United Kingdom and Norway have considered banning sales to young people, while Lithuania and Latvia have active bans in place.” A 2018 report found that more than 40 percent of American teens in a survey had consumed an energy drink within the past three months. Another survey found that 28 percent of adolescents in the European Union had consumed these sorts of beverages in the past three days. This popularity is in marked contrast to the recommendations of groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Sports Medicine, who say youth should forgo these products entirely. These recommendations are based on concerns about health problems that, although rare, can occur after consumption, including seizures, delirium, rapid heart rate, stroke, and even sudden death. A U.S. government report found that from 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency department visits involving energy drinks more than doubled, to nearly 21,000. Copyright 2019 Undark

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26358 - Posted: 06.26.2019