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Pharmacology - Health - 24.09.2019
Anti-malarial drug can make cancer chemotherapy more effective
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have found an anti-malarial drug was effective in treating head and neck cancer in mice. The drug quinacrine was used extensively to prevent and treat malaria in soldiers fighting in mosquito-ridden areas during World War Two. It is similar to the quinine that makes tonic water glow, has minimal side-effects, and is now used for treating parasite infections and other conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 24.09.2019
Gum disease linked with higher risk of hypertension
People with gum disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a new UCL-led study. The meta-analysis of previous findings was published today iná Cardiovascular Research , a journal of the European Society of Cardiology. "We observed a linear association - the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension," said senior author Professor Francesco D'Aiuto (UCL Eastman Dental Institute).

Health - Pharmacology - 23.09.2019
Heart damage from cancer drugs linked to faulty genes
Scientists have unveiled clues into why some cancer patients develop a serious heart condition after chemotherapy. The new research, from a team of international scientists led by Imperial College London , Royal Brompton Hospital and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences , shows the heart condition may be linked to a faulty gene called titin.

Pharmacology - 20.09.2019
Antidepressants may reduce anxiety more than depressive symptoms
One of the most common antidepressants, sertraline, leads to an early reduction in anxiety symptoms, commonly found in depression, several weeks before any improvement in depressive symptoms, a UCL-led clinical trial has found. Published in The Lancet Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), this is the largest-ever placebo-controlled trial of an antidepressant, which has not been funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmacology - Health - 20.09.2019
Breath-holding technique could improve outcomes for radiotherapy patients
A technique that will enable cancer patients to hold their breath during prolonged bouts of radiotherapy treatment has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. In the study, published in Radiotherapy and Oncology , researchers demonstrated that, by safely increasing oxygen levels in the lungs and removing carbon dioxide from blood, it is possible for individuals to hold their breath for multiple four-minute periods during treatment.

Health - Pharmacology - 17.09.2019
How animal research is helping fight antibiotic resistance
We explore how animal research is playing a vital role in the battle against antibiotic resistant superbugs. People do not expect to die from a simple infection. But that might change: the world is running out of effective antibiotics. For decades, diseases like bacterial gastroenteritis and colitis have not been a serious health threat, thanks to antibiotics.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 17.09.2019
Brain activity intensity drives need for sleep
The intensity of brain activity during the day, notwithstanding how long we've been awake, appears to increase our need for sleep, according to a new UCL study in zebrafish. The research, published in Neuron , found a gene that responds to brain activity in order to coordinate the need for sleep. It helps shed new light on how sleep is regulated in the brain.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.09.2019
Childhood behaviour linked to taking paracetamol during pregnancy
A new study by the University of Bristol adds to evidence that links potential adverse effects of taking paracetamol during pregnancy. The research published today (Monday 16 September) in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology examined whether there were any effects of taking paracetamol in mid-pregnancy and the behaviour of the offspring between the ages of 6 month and 11 years, with memory and IQ tested up until the age of 17.

Pharmacology - Health - 12.09.2019
Antibiotics reduce survival rates in cancer patients taking immunotherapy
Cancer patients on immunotherapy fare worse if they have recently taken antibiotics, with their response and overall survival rate 'crashing'. The findings come from a study of almost 200 cancer patients in the UK taking a type of immunotherapy called checkpoint inhibitors, part of the standard treatment pathway for cancer patients on the NHS.

Health - Pharmacology - 12.09.2019
Statins could protect older patients from severe pneumonia
Statins could be used to treat older patients admitted to hospital with a severe type of pneumonia, researchers at the University of Birmingham have found. A clinical trial, led by the University of Birmingham's Institute of Inflammation and Ageing , set out to determine if giving a high dose of a statin called simvastatin over a short period would improve immune system function for older adults who had been hospitalised with community acquired pneumonia with sepsis.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.09.2019
More die after surgery than from HIV, TB, and malaria combined - study
Around the world 4.2 million people die every year within 30 days after surgery - with half of these deaths occurring in lowand middle-income countries (LMICs), a new study reveals. There is also a significant unmet need for surgery in LMICs and researchers believe that if operations were provided for all patients who need them the number of global post-operative deaths would increase to 6.1 million.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.09.2019
Brings personalised medicine to treat leukaemia one step closer
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have revealed the roles that different types of gene mutations play in causing blood cancers in a study that was the culmination of a decade's research. The findings of the team, led by Professor Constanze Bonifer and Professor Peter Cockerill of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Cancer and Genomic Studies , mean doctors are now one step closer to being able to provide tailored and targeted treatment specific to individual patients - increasing their chances of survival.

Health - Pharmacology - 10.09.2019
Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia
A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher. In an editorial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry , Professor David Curtis (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment and QMUL Centre for Psychiatry) suggests the readily available product could easily be incorporated into treatment plans, while calling for clinical trials to clarify the benefit and inform guidelines.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.09.2019
Blood test shows promise to aid better detection of lung cancer
Lung cancer can be spotted earlier and diagnosed more precisely with the help of a blood test, a major study carried out in Scotland has found. The Early Detection of Cancer of the Lung Scotland (ECLS) is the world's largest clinical biomarker trial looking into detecting early lung cancer using a blood test.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 04.09.2019
Protein tangles linked with dementia seen for first time in patients’ brains
Scientists have visualised for the first time protein 'tangles' associated with dementia in the brains of patients who have suffered a single head injury. This is the finding of a new study led by scientists from Imperial College London, published Translational Medicine. In the early-stage study, researchers studied 21 patients who had suffered a moderate to severe head injury at least 18 years earlier (mostly from traffic accidents), as well as 11 healthy individuals who had not experienced a head injury.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.09.2019
Cracking "virus code" could help fight cancer
Virus experts from Cardiff University's School of Medicine have uncovered, for the first time, how a virus known as Adenovirus type 26 (Ad26), which has been used effectively in a tamed form as a vaccine, can infect human cells. Ad26 is a virus of great interest to the scientific and medical community.

Pharmacology - Health - 03.09.2019
Cholesterol-cutting gene silencing treatment shows lasting effects
Twice-yearly injections of a cholesterol-cutting medication could offer patients lasting reduction in cholesterol, cutting risk of heart attacks. A new, currently-unlicensed drug treatment that works by 'silencing' genes can help to halve levels of LDL cholesterol with just two injections per year, according to new data presented this week.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.09.2019
Bacteria behind hospital infections block out antibiotics
Drug-resistant bacteria responsible for deadly hospital-acquired infections shut out antibiotics by closing tiny doors in their cell walls. The new finding by researchers at the MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection , Imperial College London, could allow researchers to design new drugs that 'pick the locks' of these closed doors and allow antibiotics into bacterial cells.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.09.2019
Breast cancer can form ’sleeper cells’ after drug treatment
Breast cancer medicines may force some cancer cells into 'sleeper mode', allowing them to potentially come back to life years after initial treatment. These are the early-stage findings from scientists at Imperial College London , who studied human breast cancer cells in the laboratory.

Pharmacology - Health - 01.09.2019
Diabetes medication can be used to treat heart failure
A common diabetes medication, originally introduced as a treatment for diabetes, can be successfully used to treat patients with heart failure, reducing their risk of worsening heart failure or death from cardiovascular causes by more than 25%. The new research, which is presented today at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019, found the diabetes drug dapagliflozin could be used as a treatment for patients with heart failure, even if they don't also have diabetes.