Monday, February 13, 2006

New Research

Ran across this blurb for an interesting book: Dr Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer by Robert Cooke
Dr. Folkman's radical new way of thinking about cancer was once considered preposterous. So little was known about how cancer spreads and how blood vessels grow that he wasn't even taken seriously enough to be considered a heretic. Now, though, the overwhelming majority of experts believes that the day will soon come when antiangiogenesis therapy supplants the current more toxic and less-effective treatments — chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery-as the preferred method of treatment for cancer in patients around the world, and Dr. Folkman's breakthrough will come to be taken for granted the way we now take for granted the polio vaccine and antibiotics. Dr. Folkman's War brilliantly describes how high the odds are against success in medical research, how vicious the competition for grants, how entrenched the skepticism about any genuinely original thinking, how polluted by politics and commerce is the process of getting medicine into patients' hands.

If it is hard to fund and research cancer cures, imagine the plight of schizophrenics who have a disease that is shoved into the back of the closet.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Doubling Up on Antipsychotics Useless

Prescribing more than one antipsychotic drug in an effort to help hard-to-treat schizophrenia appears to have no benefit and should be dropped from psychiatric practice, a Canadian-led international study concludes.
Up to one-third of schizophrenics continue to have disturbing symptoms such as auditory hallucinations even when receiving treatment, said Dr. William Honer of the University of British Columbia's department of psychiatry. The treatment of choice for such patients is usually the drug clozapine. "If symptom improvement is still limited, the psychiatrist may prescribe a second antipsychotic drug known as risperidone at the same time in an attempt to enhance the effects of clozapine," Honer, lead author of the study that included researchers from Canada, Germany, China and the United Kingdom, said in a release.

"Although this practice is fairly common, there was little evidence to indicate the value of this strategy, which is why we did our study."

See entire article here