Progress for treatments of rare disorders

The search for treatments for rare disorders have taken a step forward on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast Track designation to Pfizer’s investigational gene therapy PF-06939926 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (https://investors.pfizer.com/investor-news/press-release-details/2020/Pfizer-Receives-FDA-Fast-Track-Designation-for-Duchenne-Muscular-Dystrophy-Investigational-Gene-Therapy/default.aspx). PF-06939926 utilises recombinant …

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GLP‐1 receptor agonists for Parkinson’s disease?

Insulin has a role in brain neuronal metabolism and repair and promoting synaptic function. One of the many changes associated with Parkinson’s disease is desensitisation to the effects of insulin signalling – which is why there is interest in the potential of GLP-1 agonists, a …

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Alcohol-induced loss of consciousness linked to higher dementia risk

People who report loss of consciousness due to alcohol consumption have a 2-fold increased risk of dementia compared with individuals who do not report loss consciousness, according to an analysis from Scandinavia.
The study combined cohorts from the UK, France, Sweden and Finland to create a …

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Lyme disease and psychiatric disorders

Confirmed cases of Lyme disease – an infection by Borrelia spp. acquired from a tick bite – are becoming more common in the UK. Although easily treatable if recognised early, the infection may have serious complications and, in 2% – 4% of individuals infected, it …

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National Clinical Audits for psychosis and epilepsy

The National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (NCAP) has published its findings for the 2019/20 audits in England and Wales.
The report for England describes the quality of care from a case note audit of 10,560 people aged 14 – 65 who had been on the caseload …

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Impact of coronavirus pandemic on families affected by autism

The changes to social and work life required to manage the coronavirus pandemic impose huge demands on everyone but their impact has been greatest on vulnerable people, including those living with mental health problems.
Psychiatrists from Italy carried out an online survey to assess the impact …

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Bupropion evaluated for apathy associated with Alzheimer’s disease

This 12-week double-blind clinical trial from Germany compared bupropion 150 mg/day for 4 weeks then 300 mg/day for 8 weeks with placebo in 108 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and apathy but not depression.
After adjusting for baseline apathy score (using the Main Outcomes …

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Prescribing safety indicators for mental health

An extensive suite of indicators to assess and monitor the safety of prescribing for mental health disorders has been developed through a consensus of 31 specialists.
Using a modified electronic Delphi procedure, they rated their agreement on 101 potential prescribing safety indicators using a five-point scale; …

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Non-medical use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs

Perhaps as many as 635,000 adults in the UK are using a benzodiazepine or a Z-drug (zaleplon, zolpidem, zopiclone) for a non-medical purpose, a new analysis of the NMURx survey suggests.
NMURx was an online survey of illicit drug use by the over-16s in the UK …

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Japanese herb comparable with clonazepam for sleep disorder

Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) may be a prodromal marker of Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease. It is most common in elderly people, which is why an alternative is needed to the usual approach of treatment with clonazepam, a benzodiazepine with a …

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