Your genes affect your reaction to drugs

By: Charis Eng
Posted on: January 12, 2016

Your doctor prescribes a medication. If you have a high risk of negative side effects, do you ask for something else instead? If you know the drug won’t work well for you, do you request more options?These questions aren’t just hypothetical. They’re at the heart of pharmacogenomics.Pharmacogenomics is the study of how your genes affect your response to drugs. If you have... READ MORE

Scientists grow ‘organoids’ for research

By: Malcolm Ritter
Posted on: January 06, 2016

Dr. Sergiu Pasca, a neuroscientist, used to envy cancer specialists. They could get their hands on tumors for research, while Pasca could not directly study key portions of a living brain.But these days, Pasca does the next best thing: He grows his own.In his lab at Stanford University, thousands of whitish balls of human brain tissue float in hundreds of dishes. Each smaller than a pea,... READ MORE

Popular spices can reduce appetite, fat

By: Karen Asp
Posted on: December 22, 2015

As the mercury drops, what better way to add warmth than by spicing up your favorite cold-weather foods?Apple pie wouldn’t be the same without cinnamon; spicy ginger punches up soups; zippy black pepper jazzes up roasts; and aromatic vanilla adds extra oomph to baked goods.But spices do more than just add flavor. They also serve up unique health benefits.Pepper and ginger fight fatThe ... READ MORE

Knee replacement surgery vs. therapy

By: Marilynn Marchione
Posted on: December 15, 2015

People with knees worn out by arthritis will get more pain relief from joint replacement surgery, but it has more risks and there’s a good chance that less drastic approaches also would help.That’s the bottom line from the first study to strictly test other treatments against knee replacement — an operation done hundreds of thousands of times a year in the... READ MORE

FDA calls for clearer warnings in drug ads

By: Nancy Ferrari
Posted on: December 08, 2015

Twenty years ago, you probably wouldn’t have been able to name any of the numerous prescription medications available to you, let alone think to ask your doctor for a particular one by name. Today, the average (even perfectly healthy) consumer is barraged by hundreds, if not thousands, of “direct-to-consumer” advertisements for prescription drugs.In 1997, the U.S. Food and ... READ MORE

Are your meds making you depressed?

By: Beacon
Posted on: December 02, 2015

Be on the lookout for mood swings, sleeplessness and anxiety when starting certain medications.We all get the blues from time to time. But if signs of depression, such as prolonged hopelessness or trouble concentrating, seem to come out of nowhere, the cause may be in your medication regimen.“I think most patients are not aware that some medications can cause depression,” said... READ MORE