PTSD: Agony and Ecstasy

In November of 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission for the commencement of large-scale Phase 3 clinical trials into the use of MDMA (Ecstasy) in the treatment of PTSD. If successful, the trials could see an illicit street substance become a potent treatment for PTSD by 2021. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Continue reading “PTSD: Agony and Ecstasy”

Kratom: Medicinal or Criminal

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) moved earlier this year to list the herbal supplement kratom as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This would place kratom alongside Heroin, LSD, Morphine, and Ice as substances that have a high potential for abuse and a risk to public health. The ban, proposed toContinue reading “Kratom: Medicinal or Criminal”

Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Alcohol and drug misuse and related disorders are major public health challenges that are taking an enormous toll on individuals, families, and society. Neighborhoods and communities as a whole are also suffering as a result of alcohol- and drug-related crime and violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the increased costs of health care associatedContinue reading “Substance Use Disorder (SUD)”

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder, is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by unstable relationships with other people, unstable sense of self, and unstable emotions. There is often an extreme fear of abandonment, frequent dangerous behavior, a feeling of emptiness, and self-harm. Symptoms may be brought on byContinue reading “Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)”

Mental Health Disorders Redefined

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the 2013 update to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) classification and diagnostic tool. The DSM-5 was published on May 18, 2013, superseding the DSM-IV-TR, which was published in 2000. In most respects DSM-5 is not greatly changed from DSM-IV-TR, however some changes are worthContinue reading “Mental Health Disorders Redefined”

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months. Unlike children with conduct disorder (CD), children with oppositional defiant disorder are not aggressive towards people or animals, do not destroy property, and do not show a pattern of theft or deceit. A diagnosis of ODDContinue reading “Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)”

New Research Shows Benefits of High-Intensity Statins

In a study publishing this week in JAMA Cardiology, Stanford researchers show that taking high-intensity statins could increase heart patients’ chances of survival over taking moderate-intensity statins. There are currently seven main types of statins prescribed in the United States. A set of guidelines put forth by the American College of Cardiology and the American HeartContinue reading “New Research Shows Benefits of High-Intensity Statins”

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. During the first trimester of pregnancy, alcohol interferes with the migration and organization of brain cells, which can create structural deformities or deficits within the brain. During the third trimester, damage can beContinue reading “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)”

Genetic Damage Caused By Smoking

Scientists have measured the catastrophic genetic damage caused by smoking in different organs of the body and identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoking causes mutations in DNA. Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and their collaborators found smokers accumulated an average of 150 extra mutations in everyContinue reading “Genetic Damage Caused By Smoking”

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist made up of bones and ligaments. The median nerve, which controls sensation and movement in the thumb and first three fingers, runs through this passageway along with tendons to the fingers and thumb. When it’s pinched or compressed, the result isContinue reading “What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?”