Family & Relationships A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It.

21:00  16 april  2018
21:00  16 april  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

Dublin dad-of-four who became addicted to steroids tragically takes his own life

  Dublin dad-of-four who became addicted to steroids tragically takes his own life His brave wife has opened up on how he experienced multiple episodes of psychosis and couldn't cope with the symptoms of withdrawal after taking steroids to look good for their wedding .Sarita Egan's husband had hoped to bulk up before their wedding day in July 2013, and began taking steroids in order to help him look his best. But Mark, 35, had struggled to stop taking the drug after his honeymoon and found himself suffering from the side effects of withdrawal.

  A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It. © Provided by Getty Scrambling for ways to contain America’s out-of-control opioid crisis, some experts in the field are convinced that one bit of good advice is to just say no to the enduring “just say no” antidrug message. Addiction, they say, is not a question of free will or a correctable character flaw, as a lot of people would like to believe. Rather, it is an affliction of the brain that needs to be treated as one would any chronic illness.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

One possible approach, an experimental vaccine, draws attention in this offering from Retro Report, a series of short video documentaries exploring major news stories of the past and their lasting impact. This vaccine would be intended principally for men and women already hooked on heroin or related opioids like Oxycodone and fentanyl — people who would be at risk of death should they detoxify and then relapse, as all too many do.

Common food compound linked to cancer spread

  Common food compound linked to cancer spread A protein found in asparagus and other everyday foods has been linked to the spread of breast cancer, scientists have discovered. Restricting the amino acid asparagine decreased the spread of the disease in mice.Amino acids are essential building blocks that cells use to make proteins.The body already produces some asparagine but it is also found in our diet in foods such as asparagus, soy, dairy, poultry, beef and seafood.

If it works, the vaccine would stop opioids by effectively blocking them from reaching the brain by way of the circulatory system. At the same time, it would not interfere with other treatments for addicts, like methadone and buprenorphine, or with a compound like naloxone that reverses overdoses.

The vaccine is designed to create high levels of antibodies, said Dr. Gary Matyas, an immunologist who has been developing it at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in Silver Springs, Md. “You inject heroin, the antibodies basically grab all the heroin, bind it all up, and the heroin can’t cross the blood-brain barrier,” he told Retro Report. “And so there’s no high.” Presumably, in time, the heroin would be expelled from the body like any waste product.

New Drug Could Lead To A More Effective Asthma Treatment

  New Drug Could Lead To A More Effective Asthma Treatment A new treatment has been discovered that could prove more effective than the current medication used to treat millions of asthma sufferers around the globe. The treatment was discovered by teams from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Shanghai University after sifting through some 6,000 different compounds.Eventually they found a drug called (TSG12) that relaxes the muscles and opens the airways in those suffering from asthma.The treatment, which is non-toxic to humans, prevents pulmonary resistance in those suffering from egg and dust mite induced asthma.

“It would be part of their therapy for recovering,” Dr. Matyas said of addicts. “If they mess up and take a dose of heroin, the heroin won’t work.”

  A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It. © Provided by Getty But will the vaccine itself work? It still must be tested on humans, and that is not a speedy process; it could take a decade or more, Dr. Matyas said, for there to be “a licensed product.” Among the questions are how large the dosages would have to be and how often they would need to be administered. Nonetheless, he is encouraged by the success he has had with lab mice and rats.

A lot is riding on his experiments. Coming to grips with the opioid epidemic is obviously a national imperative as overdoses soar and more than 52,000 Americans die of them each year, an average of one every 10 minutes. While President Trump has proclaimed it a public health emergency, he has yet to offer specific solutions other than to urge the death penalty for drug dealers.

Should I Stop Eating Asparagus To Stop Cancer's Spread?

  Should I Stop Eating Asparagus To Stop Cancer's Spread? An amino acid found in asparagus could be responsible for the spread of breast cancer, according to a new study. So should you stop eating it?  Scientists discovered that restricting an amino acid called asparagine stopped cancer cells from invading other parts of the body in mice. Amino acids are the building blocks that cells use to make proteins. The body can make asparagine, however it’s also found in high concentrations in foods like asparagus, seafood, soy, dairy and poultry products.

His health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, has gone further, endorsing an expansion of what is known as medication-assisted treatment and saying he wished to “correct a misconception that patients must achieve total abstinence.” Speaking in February at a gathering of the National Governors Association, Mr. Azar said that addicts “need medicine to regain the dignity that comes with being in control of their lives.”

But that approach is not embraced by everyone in the Trump administration, and it is not clear where the White House will ultimately land on the matter of medicinal intervention. A notable advocate of abstinence is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who invokes language borrowed from the long-ago “war on drugs” in framing substance abuse as a moral failing. Echoing verbatim the phrase made famous in the 1980s by Nancy Reagan, then the first lady, Mr. Sessions said in October that “we’ve got to re-establish, first, a view that you should just say no. People should say no to drug use.”

That’s probably reasonable advice to an adolescent who has yet to so much as puff on a marijuana joint or take a swig of booze, said Thomas McLellan, who was deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama administration. But it’s another story with someone already on drugs. “If you’re talking about a person who’s addicted to opioids and is in a very bad situation, ‘just say no’ is perfectly ridiculous,” Mr. McLellan told Retro Report.

*This* Is How Many Selfies Women Take Before They Actually Like One

  *This* Is How Many Selfies Women Take Before They Actually Like One But I'm callin' bullsh*t.But if you've ever wondered how your selfie habits stack up in comparison to other humans, well, boy, oh, BOY, have we got you covered. Because according to a survey conducted by The Florida House Experience, a health treatment center in Florida, the average number of selfies people take before they know they've 'got a winner' hovers around the two-to-five range for 48 percent of men and women, whereas 28 percent of women admit to taking at least six to ten selfies.

  A Drug to End Addiction? Scientists Are Working on It. © Provided by Getty He was equally dismissive of those who regard methadone maintenance and other regimens as no more than crutches that substitute one form of dependency for another. “As a matter of fact, they are a crutch,” he said. But he added, “They make crutches for people who are having trouble standing on their own.” The treatments are no different from, say, insulin injections for diabetics, guiding people through troubled moments when they are “very vulnerable to relapse.”

“They’re an insurance policy,” Mr. McLellan said. More to the point, he said, “they reduce craving and, most importantly, they prevent overdoses.”

Along that line, the vaccine being developed by Dr. Matyas, which is intended to be effective as well against H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, would in theory block heroin from reaching the brain and binding to protein receptors there. Thus it would (a) eliminate, or at least appreciably minimize, the euphoria that the drug produces in users who relapse, and (b) end the risk of respiratory depression that accompanies an overdose, causing the addict to stop breathing.

While it will take years for his discovery to be tested thoroughly and approved by the federal authorities, Dr., Matyas has faith in the potential to help turn this crisis around. In that vein, he invoked a famous addict, the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in 2014 having succumbed to what was believed to be a lethal mixture of heroin and other drugs.

The vaccine would not end an addict’s craving for opioids, the immunologist said. As with Mr. Hoffman, relapses are to be expected, and the vaccine would have to be re-administered at regular intervals. But by keeping users from getting high, the medication would greatly reduce the risk of overdoses. That’s the “true vision” of the vaccine, Dr. Matyas said: to ward off the pattern of relapse and overdose that killed Mr. Hoffman and ended a great stage and film talent.

There's even more evidence that one type of exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have .
<p>A recent study provides even more evidence that aerobic activity benefits the brain and body more than any other.</p>When we commit to regular workouts that raise our heart rate and get us moving and sweating for a sustained period of time, magical things happen to our mind and body. We start to think more clearly, feel better about ourselves, and even build buffers against age-related cognitive decline. Our lungs and heart get stronger, too.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!