Potential drugs for mental retardation and autism treatment

US researchers say they have successfully corrected key symptoms of a type of autism and mental retardation in mice, a development which could offer sufferers a potential treatment. – Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have corrected key symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice. The work, which will be reported in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron, indicates that a certain class of drugs could have the same effect in humans. These drugs are not yet approved by the FDA, but will soon be entering into clinical trials.

New warning for nonoxynol 9 OTC contraceptives in US

Nonoxynol 9 or N9 in the widely available stand-alone contraceptive products do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule that requires that manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) stand-alone vaginal contraceptive and spermicidal products containing the chemical ingredient nonoxynol 9 (N9) include a warning that the chemical N9 does not provide protection against infection from HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Women with osteoporosis have increased long-term risk for new fracture

Older women with a prevalent vertebral fracture should be treated for osteoporosis irrespective of bone mineral density BMD. – Over a 15 year period, women with low bone mineral density and a previous vertebral fracture had an increased risk of a new vertebral fracture compared to women with normal bone mineral density and no previous fracture, according to a study in the December 19 issue of JAMA.

Massage eases pain and anxiety after surgery

Massage can ease pain after surgery and may complement the use of drugs for patients, US researchers said. – A 20-minute evening back massage may help relieve pain and reduce anxiety following major surgery when given in addition to pain medications, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

8 human cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Peshawar, Pakistan

The World Health Organization warned Monday that countries should be on alert for bird flu because it is again on the move, with Pakistan reporting South Asia’s first human infections and Myanmar logging its first human case. – The Ministry of Health in Pakistan has informed WHO of 8 suspected human cases of H5N1 avian influenza infection in the Peshawar area of the country. These cases were detected following a series of culling operations in response to outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry. One of the cases has now recovered and a further two suspected cases have since died.

Psoriasis increases mortality risk

People with a severe form of the skin disease psoriasis are likely to die at a younger age than their healthy peers, according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. – Patients with severe psoriasis appear to have an increased risk of death compared with patients without the skin condition, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New advice to doctors and patients for Champix needed

The European health regulator said Pfizer’s Champix, a stop-smoking aid, should carry a warning about the risk of suicide attempts among patients.
– There have been reports of ?suicidal ideation’ (thinking about committing suicide) and suicide attempts in people taking Champix. It is very difficult to know if this is due to Champix, as the act of stopping smoking itself can make people depressed, especially if they already have a mental health problem. Depression is often associated with suicidal thoughts.

Swad brand sindoor contains high levels of lead

Swad brand sindoor contains high levels of lead

FDA is warning consumers not to use Swad brand sindoor because the product contains high levels of lead, leading to lead toxicity or lead poisoning.
– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use 3.5 oz. packages of Swad brand sindoor, an orange or red powder used in some traditional South Asian Pacific ceremonies that is applied to the face or scalp, imported by Raja Foods LLC of Skokie, Illinois because the product contains high levels of lead. Although the product was not intended to be sold for food use, its labeling is confusing and implies that it may be used as food.

Combination therapy and antibiotics may help multiple sclerosis patients

Combining a medication currently used to treat multiple sclerosis with an antibiotic may slow the progress of the disease in multiple sclerosis patients.
– A preliminary study suggests that combining a medication currently used to treat multiple sclerosis with an antibiotic may slow the progress of the disease, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the February 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Test for targeted therapy in acute myeloid leukemia

Researchers have discovered that a particular hormone is responsible for driving a cancer enzyme to cause an often deadly red blood cell cancer, Polycythemia vera.
– An Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researcher has discovered that a particular hormone is responsible for driving a cancer enzyme to cause an often deadly red blood cell cancer.