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Seventy-five years ago, a new stimulant drug with the generic name of methylphenidate was born in the Swiss lab of chemical company Ciba. Like many drugs, its therapeutic purpose was unclear. But these were the days a scientist could take a drug home and test it on their spouse, which is exactly what Ciba scientist Leandro Panizzon did. Panizzon's wife, Rita, reported that the drug gave her tennis game a real fillip. And so Panizzon named the drug Ritaline in his wife's honor.
Sixteen years ago, a research group at Mayo Medical School published results showing that a protein called TRAIL can kill cells that cause liver fibrosis but no one seemed to follow up on these findings. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have improved on this protein and shown that it selectively kills cells that cause the hardening of skin associated with scleroderma, effectively reversing the condition in mice genetically engineered to mimic the disease. A report on these results was published earlier this year in Nature Communications.
Professor Sue Jordan from the University's College of Human and Health Sciences led the research which is newly published in the PLOS ONE journal. The study showed how care home residents' adverse side effects were picked up more effectively by their nurses and carers when a structured monitoring system was used alongside administration of mental health medicines.
Russian researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Institute of Cell Biophysics, and elsewhere have shown an antioxidant compound known as peroxiredoxin to be effective in treating kidney injury in mice. The study in Cell and Tissue Research reports tripled survival rates in test animals treated with the chemical prior to sustaining an ischemia reperfusion injury. The team says peroxiredoxin also offers prospects for longer kidney transplant storage.
A drug developed by researchers at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University that targets enzymes involved in the development of pancreatic cancer cells is showing promise for improved treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The drug, called CPI-613 (known as Devimistat), is being combined with the standard chemotherapy regimen (FOLFIRINOX) to treat pancreatic cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center has opened a clinical trial with this drug combination to treat patients with metastatic disease.
States that require prescribers to register with and use prescription drug monitoring programs in most clinical circumstances saw notably fewer opioid prescriptions and reduced opioid-related hospital use by Medicaid patients compared to states with weak or no drug monitoring program mandates, according to a new study from investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine.

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