Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation: Illicit Stimulant Use in Humans Is Associated With a Long-Term Increase in Tremor.

Illicit stimulant use in humans is associated with a long-term increase in tremor.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e52025
Flavel SC, Koch JD, White JM, Todd G

Use of illicit stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy is a significant health problem. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that 14-57 million people use stimulants each year. Chronic use of illicit stimulants can cause neurotoxicity in animals and humans but the long-term functional consequences are not well understood. Stimulant users self-report problems with tremor whilst abstinent. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate the long-term effect of stimulant use on human tremor during rest and movement. We hypothesized that individuals with a history of stimulant use would exhibit abnormally large tremor during rest and movement. Tremor was assessed in abstinent ecstasy users (n?=?9; 22±3 yrs) and abstinent users of amphetamine-like drugs (n?=?7; 33±9 yrs) and in two control groups: non-drug users (n?=?23; 27±8 yrs) and cannabis users (n?=?12; 24±7 yrs). Tremor was measured with an accelerometer attached to the index finger at rest (30 s) and during flexion and extension of the index finger (30 s). Acceleration traces were analyzed with fast-Fourier transform. During movement, tremor amplitude was significantly greater in ecstasy users than in non-drug users (frequency range 3.9-13.3 Hz; P<0.05), but was unaffected in cannabis users or users of amphetamine-like drugs. The peak frequency of tremor did not significantly differ between groups nor did resting tremor. In conclusion, abstinent ecstasy users exhibit an abnormally large tremor during movement. Further work is required to determine if the abnormality translates to increased risk of movement disorders in this population. HubMed – drug


Lacrimal Proline Rich 4 (LPRR4) Protein in the Tear Fluid Is a Potential Biomarker of Dry Eye Syndrome.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e51979
Aluru SV, Agarwal S, Srinivasan B, Iyer GK, Rajappa SM, Tatu U, Padmanabhan P, Subramanian N, Narayanasamy A

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a complex, multifactorial, immune-associated disorder of the tear and ocular surface. DES with a high prevalence world over needs identification of potential biomarkers so as to understand not only the disease mechanism but also to identify drug targets. In this study we looked for differentially expressed proteins in tear samples of DES to arrive at characteristic biomarkers. As part of a prospective case-control study, tear specimen were collected using Schirmer strips from 129 dry eye cases and 73 age matched controls. 2D electrophoresis (2DE) and Differential gel electrophoresis (DIGE) was done to identify differentially expressed proteins. One of the differentially expressed protein in DES is lacrimal proline rich 4 protein (LPRR4). LPRR4 protein expression was quantified by enzyme immune sorbent assay (ELISA). LPRR4 was down regulated significantly in all types of dry eye cases, correlating with the disease severity as measured by clinical investigations. Further characterization of the protein is required to assess its therapeutic potential in DES.
HubMed – drug


Dexamethasone Reduces Sensitivity to Cisplatin by Blunting p53-Dependent Cellular Senescence in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

PLoS One. 2012; 7(12): e51821
Ge H, Ni S, Wang X, Xu N, Liu Y, Wang X, Wang L, Song D, Song Y, Bai C

Dexamethasone (DEX) co-treatment has proved beneficial in NSCLC patients, improving clinical symptoms by the reduction of side effects after chemotherapy. However, recent studies have shown that DEX could render cancer cells more insensitive to cytotoxic drug therapy, but it is not known whether DEX co-treatment could influence therapy-induced senescence (TIS), and unknown whether it is in a p53-dependent or p53-independent manner.We examined in different human NSCLC cell lines and detected cellular senescence after cisplatin (DDP) treatment in the presence or absence of DEX. The in vivo effect of the combination of DEX and DDP was assessed by tumor growth experiments using human lung cancer cell lines growing as xenograft tumors in nude mice.Co-treatment with DEX during chemotherapy in NSCLC resulted in increased tumor cell viability and inhibition of TIS compared with DDP treated group. DEX co-treatment cells exhibited the decrease of DNA damage signaling pathway proteins, the lower expression of p53 and p21(CIP1), the lower cellular secretory program and down-regulation of NF-?B and its signaling cascade. DEX also significantly reduced DDP sensitivity in vivo.Our results underscore that DEX reduces chemotherapy sensitivity by blunting therapy induced cellular senescence after chemotherapy in NSCLC, which may, at least in part, in a p53-dependent manner. These data therefore raise concerns about the widespread combined use of gluocorticoids (GCs) with antineoplastic drugs in the clinical management of cancer patients.
HubMed – drug


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