People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often can’t face their trauma, which is necessary for psychotherapy to work. It is a big reason PTSD is so difficult to treat. Scientists are leading clinical trials into the use of the banned drug MDMA in connection with therapy to help break this hurdle, and the results so far have been outstanding in curing PTSD.
Dr. Michael Mithoefer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina and Medical Director, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation clinical trials
Charlotte Harrison, Senior Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
Some people are more likely than others to become persistent opioid users after surgery, and a new report from “Choices Matter” finds that millennial women are at greatest risk. Researchers say the number of women age 18 to 34 who become persistent opioid users six months after surgery rose by 17 percent last year alone. Forty percent more women than men continue using opioid painkillers long after surgery, and while 12 percent of patients overall become addicted or dependent on them after surgery, that number is 18 percent among millennials.
Over the last decade or so, a number of studies have come out suggesting that a glass of wine per day is good for your heart. But a new study finds that the risks of drinking far outweigh the benefits. In fact, researchers say consuming just one drink per day, every day increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent. The study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research explains that daily drinking increases cancer risk so much that it overshadows any heart benefit.
A person’s mix of intestinal bacteria can mean the difference between being thin or obese. Now a new study shows that the bacteria in an infant’s mouth can predict obesity. The study in the journal Scientific Reports finds that a child’s oral bacteria at age two can predict obesity two years later. Researchers hope the finding may lead to preventive steps for children who are found to be at risk.
Lung cancer deaths in California are 28 percent lower than the rest of the country, and that gap is increasing by almost a percentage point per year. What are they doing right? A new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research gives credit to the state’s aggressive anti-smoking campaign. Researchers say the campaign has resulted in a 39 percent lower rate of people who start smoking compared to the U.S. as a whole, a 30 percent lower consumption of cigarettes among those who do smoke, and a 24 percent higher early quit rate.
And finally… if you want to avoid getting sick this flu season, science has proven a way to increase the odds—turn on your tv. A study in the journal BMC Infectious Disease shows that people who watch more tv get sick with the flu less often. The reason is pretty obvious. Those people are staying home and have a lot less chance to catch a flu virus from someone else.
Synopsis: Only about a third of research subjects in clinical studies are women. In basic research on animals and cells, female models are even more poorly represented. This results in poor understanding of how new drugs work on women and occasional drug recalls when major side effects are discovered after the fact. Experts discuss why such an imbalance occurs, its results, and how the problem is being addressed.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Teresa Woodruff, Director, Women’s Health Research Institute, Northwestern University; Dr. Melina Kibbe, Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University; Dr. Kathryn Sandberg, Director, Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging & Disease, Georgetown Univeresity