Health

Powerful Psychedelic Drug Gains New Notice as an Opioid Addiction Therapy
Health

Powerful Psychedelic Drug Gains New Notice as an Opioid Addiction Therapy

The drug company Atai Life Sciences is spending millions to research the compound, and congressional lawmakers from both parties have been pushing the government to promote ibogaine research for substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems.For Dr. Deborah Mash, a professor of neurology at the University of Miami who began studying ibogaine in the early 1990s, the soaring interest is a vindication of her belief that the compound could help ameliorate the opioid crisis. “Ibogaine is not a silver bullet, and it won’t work for everybody, but it’s the most powerful addiction interrupter I’ve ever seen,” she said.Researchers have also been studying ibogaine’s ability to treat other difficult mental health problems. A small study published earlier this year in ...
Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right
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Why ‘Fetal Personhood’ Is Roiling the Right

As I.V.F. grew in popularity, so did the concerns of its opponents. Standard practice involves creating multiple embryos, which are screened for genetic abnormalities, and the ones that appear healthiest can be transferred. Extra embryos are often frozen; by one count, there are a million and a half frozen embryos in the United States. After a designated time period, they may be donated to science or destroyed, just as the Catholic Church feared.The anti-abortion movement won a partial victory for protecting life at conception in 2001, when President George W. Bush banned the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, but President Barack Obama reversed the policy eight years later.Starting in the late 2000s, voters rejected ballot initiatives to enshrine fetal personhood in at...
‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care
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‘All in Her Head’: A Doctor Reckons With Sexism in Women’s Health Care

Six years ago, Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a breast cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, held the hand of a patient who was hours from death.As Dr. Comen leaned in for a final goodbye, she pressed her cheek to her patient’s damp face. “Then she said it,” Dr. Comen recalled.“‘I’m so sorry for sweating on you.’”In her two decades as a physician, Dr. Comen has found that women are constantly apologizing to her: for sweating, for asking follow-up questions, for failing to detect their own cancers sooner.“Women apologize for being sick or seeking care or advocating for themselves,” she said during an interview in her office: “‘I’m so sorry, but I’m in pain. I’m so sorry, this looks disgusting.’”These experiences in the exam room are part of what drove Dr. Comen to write...
Vaccines Didn’t Turn Back Mpox, Study Finds. People Did.
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Vaccines Didn’t Turn Back Mpox, Study Finds. People Did.

Why It Matters: Vaccines often arrive too late to stamp out outbreaks.Public health response to outbreaks often relies heavily on vaccines and treatments, but that underestimates the importance of other measures, said Miguel Paredes, lead author of the new study and an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.Although the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine for mpox in 2019, getting enough doses produced and into arms proved challenging for many months after the outbreak began. Vaccines for new pathogens are likely to take even longer.The new analysis suggests an alternative. Alerting high-risk communities allowed individuals to alter their behavior, such as reducing the number of partners, and led to a sharp decrease in transmission, Mr. Paredes said. In ...
A Doctor’s Lifelong Quest to Solve One of Pediatric Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries
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A Doctor’s Lifelong Quest to Solve One of Pediatric Medicine’s Greatest Mysteries

At the Kawasaki Disease Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, led by Dr. Burns, caring for children affected by Kawasaki disease is always linked to the search for the cause.On a recent Wednesday morning, Dr. Kirsten Dummer, a pediatric cardiologist, was examining the heart scans of a 2-year-old who showed signs of a large aneurysm on the right side of the heart.“The biggest question from parents is: How did this happen? How did my child get this? In every patient room, that’s what they fundamentally want to know,” she said. “Year after year after year, they come back and ask us, ‘Do you guys know more yet?’”Dr. Burns, who has continued to see patients herself, said those inquiries motivated her.“If we were all Ph.D.s in the laboratory working on the etiology of Kawasaki disease,” ...
Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens
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Drug Drastically Reduces Children’s Reactions to Traces of Food Allergens

A drug that has been used for decades to treat allergic asthma and hives significantly reduced the risk of life-threatening reactions in children with severe food allergies who were exposed to trace amounts of peanuts, cashews, milk and eggs, researchers reported on Sunday.The drug, Xolair, has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adults and children over age 1 with food allergies. It is the first treatment that drastically cuts the risk of serious reactions — like anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the body to go into shock — after accidental exposures to various food allergens.The results of the researchers’ study on children and adolescents, presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in...