Differential Impact of Two Risk Communications on Antipsychotic Prescribing to People With Dementia in Scotland: Segmented Regression Time Series Analysis 2001-2011.

Differential impact of two risk communications on antipsychotic prescribing to people with dementia in Scotland: segmented regression time series analysis 2001-2011.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e68976
Guthrie B, Clark SA, Reynish EL, McCowan C, Morales DR

Regulatory risk communications are an important method for disseminating drug safety information, but their impact varies. Two significant UK risk communications about antipsychotic use in older people with dementia were issued in 2004 and 2009. These varied considerably in their content and dissemination, allowing examination of their differential impact.Segmented regression time-series analysis 2001-2011 for people aged ?65 years with dementia in 87 Scottish general practices, examining the impact of two pre-specified risk communications in 2004 and 2009 on antipsychotic and other psychotropic prescribing.The percentage of people with dementia prescribed an antipsychotic was 15.9% in quarter 1 2001 and was rising by an estimated 0.6%/quarter before the 2004 risk communication. The 2004 risk communication was sent directly to all prescribers, and specifically recommended review of all patients prescribed relevant drugs. It was associated with an immediate absolute reduction in antipsychotic prescribing of 5.9% (95% CI -6.6 to -5.2) and a change to a stable level of prescribing subsequently. The 2009 risk communication was disseminated in a limited circulation bulletin, and only specifically recommended avoiding initiation if possible. There was no immediate associated impact, but it was associated with a significant decline in prescribing subsequently which appeared driven by a decline in initiation, with the percentage prescribed an antipsychotic falling from 18.4% in Q1 2009 to 13.5% in Q1 2011. There was no widespread substitution of antipsychotics with other psychotropic drugs.The two risk communications were associated with reductions in antipsychotic use, in ways which were compatible with marked differences in their content and dissemination. Further research is needed to ensure that the content and dissemination of regulatory risk communications is optimal, and to track their impact on intended and unintended outcomes. Although rates are falling, antipsychotic prescribing in dementia in Scotland remains unacceptably high. HubMed – drug

Cell Survival Signalling through PPAR? and Arachidonic Acid Metabolites in Neuroblastoma.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e68859
Bell E, Ponthan F, Whitworth C, Westermann F, Thomas H, Redfern CP

promoting cell death, differentiation and cell cycle arrest, or cell survival and proliferation. Arachidonic acid (AA) release occurs in response to RA treatment and, therefore, AA and its downstream metabolites may be involved in cell survival signalling. To test this, we inhibited phospholipase A2-mediated AA release, cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases with small-molecule inhibitors to determine if this would sensitise cells to cell death after RA treatment. The data suggest that, in response to RA, phospholipase A2-mediated release of AA and subsequent metabolism by lipoxygenases is important for cell survival. Evidence from gene expression reporter assays and PPAR? knockdown suggests that lipoxygenase metabolites activate PPAR?. The involvement of PPAR? in cell survival is supported by results of experiments with the PPAR? inhibitor GSK0660 and siRNA-mediated knockdown. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR studies demonstrated that inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase after RA treatment resulted in a strong up-regulation of mRNA for PPAR?2, a putative inhibitory PPAR? isoform. Over-expression of PPAR?2 using a tetracycline-inducible system in neuroblastoma cells reduced proliferation and induced cell death. These data provide evidence linking lipoxygenases and PPAR? in a cell survival-signalling mechanism and suggest new drug-development targets for malignant and hyper-proliferative diseases. HubMed – drug

The rationale for consuming cognitive enhancement drugs in university students and teachers.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e68821
Sattler S, Sauer C, Mehlkop G, Graeff P

Cognitive enhancement (CE) is the pharmaceutical augmentation of mental abilities (e.g., learning or memory) without medical necessity. This topic has recently attracted widespread attention in scientific and social circles. However, knowledge regarding the mechanisms that underlie the decision to use CE medication is limited. To analyze these decisions, we used data from two online surveys of randomly sampled university teachers (N?=?1,406) and students (N?=?3,486). Each respondent evaluated one randomly selected vignette with regard to a hypothetical CE drug. We experimentally varied the characteristics of the drugs among vignettes and distributed them among respondents. In addition, the respondent’s internalization of social norms with respect to CE drug use was measured. Our results revealed that students were more willing to enhance cognitive performance via drugs than university teachers, although the overall willingness was low. The probability of side effects and their strength reduced the willingness to use CE drugs among students and university teachers, whereas higher likelihoods and magnitudes of CE increased this propensity. In addition, the internalized norm against CE drug use influenced decision making: Higher internalization decreased the willingness to use such medications. Students’ internalized norms more strongly affected CE abstinence compared with those of university teachers. Furthermore, internalized norms negatively interacted with the instrumental incentives for taking CE medication. This internalization limited the influence of and deliberation on instrumental incentives. This study is the first to provide empirical evidence regarding the importance of social norms and their influence on rational decision making with regard to CE. We identified previously undiscovered decision-making patterns concerning CE. Thus, this study provides insight into the motivators and inhibitors of CE drug use. These findings have implications for contending with CE behavior by highlighting the magnitude of potential side effects and by informing the debate regarding the ethics of CE use. HubMed – drug