Utilisation of antipsychotics

An analysis of medical database records in the UK, Italy, Spain and the United States involving a total of 1.4 million patients with schizophrenic disorder and 766,000 new episodes of treatment with an antipsychotic has shown that all countries favour second generation agents over the …

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Online intervention for depression in people with epilepsy

Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent among people with epilepsy. Many do not have access to a professional who can offer cognitive therapy, say researchers in Germany, but the internet offers an alternative way to deliver this intervention (Epilepsia 25 February 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.14673).
They compared a …

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Depression and overweight/obesity

Two studies in people who are overweight or obese have sought to determine the impact of psychological and/or pharmacological interventions on symptoms of depression. The MoodFOOD Prevention Trial (JAMA 2019;321:858-868) compared multinutrient supplementation and ‘food-related behavioural activation therapy’ (changing behaviour associated with food and encouraging …

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Long term benefit in myasthenia gravis

Treatment of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive refractory generalised myasthenia gravis with the anti-complement monoclonal antibody eculizumab is associated with symptom improvement lasting up to three years, says manufacturer Alexion.
The data come from an extension to the 26-week Phase III REGAIN trial, which showed that eculizumab did …

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Guidance on rescheduling gabapentin and pregabalin

NHS England has published guidance on managing the rescheduling of gabapentin and pregabalin as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs (https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/pregabalin-and-gabapentin-guidance.pdf). The regulation takes effect from April 1st 2019.
The change has been made in light of concerns about the abuse potential of gabapentin and pregabalin. Schedule 3 …

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More join the Dementia Consortium

More pharmaceutical companies have announced they will be part of the joint industry-charity drug discovery collaboration, the Dementia Consortium (www.dementiaconsortium.org).
Launched in 2013, the Consortium is a partnership between Alzheimer’s Research UK, the development group Evotec and the pharmaceutical companies Abbvie, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Lilly, MSD …

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Cannabinoids to be tested in people with Alzheimer’s disease

The charity Alzheimer Research UK is to invest £300,000 in a clinical trial to evaluate the effect of the cannabinoids spray preparation Sativex as a treatment for agitation or aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Sativex for the Treatment of AgitatioN in Dementia (STAND) trial …

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Progress with DMD treatment

The Swiss pharmaceutical company Santhera has announced encouraging results from a follow-up study of idebenone, its treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Idebenone is a cofactor for the enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase; it stimulates mitochondrial electron transport and scavenges reactive oxygen species. The 52-week Phase III DELOS …

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Mental Health Act information provision improving says CQC

More people are being given information about their rights under the Mental Health Act, the Care Quality Commission has found (www.cqc.org.uk). But concerns about safety on mental health wards remain.
The CQC’s report Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2017/18 compared NHS performance in 2016/18 with …

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Mixed results with novel intervention for Parkinson’s disease

Intracerebral infusion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) can reverse the neurodegenerative changes in the putamen associated with Parkinson’s disease, a new trial from Bristol University has shown. However, this was not associated with an improvement in symptoms compared with placebo.
The trial was funded …

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