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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • The Central Nervous System

    The End of the Serotonin Transporter Gene Story?

    For over twenty years, there’s been interest in the idea that changes in the serotonin transporter protein might be associated with depression in humans. The hypothesis makes some sense on the face of it, although the entire serotonin/depression connection is a lot more complicated than it’s thought to be in the popular imagination. The… Read More
  • Biological News

    Hope For Nonaddictive Opioid Painkillers

    No one needs to be told about the opioid painkiller problem in this country. There are legal, commerical, regulatory, and ethical ways to look at it, but from a pharmacological standpoint, the whole thing would be a lot easier to deal with if there were any highly effective non-addictive painkillers. But that’s exactly what we… Read More
  • How Not to Do It

    How Not to Do It: Dosing Volunteers

    Well, here I post about the ethical problems of using normal volunteers in Phase I studies, and this story comes along. It’s not exactly an investigational drug trial – two students (in “Sports Science”) at Northumbria University in England were being given caffeine to measure its effects on exercise. But there was a bit of… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Clinical Trials, Up and Very Much Down

    Lots of news at both ends of the scale today. At the bad end would be Arrowhead Pharma, who have been exploring therapeutic RNA interference. That’s a hard row to hoe, and nothing illustrates that better than their announcement that they’re dropping three clinical programs, pretty much all the advanced research that they have, because… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    A Quiet And Sudden Exit for Amiselimod

    Here’s an example of a common behavior in this industry – and to be fair, in many others as well. Big deals are celebrated and press-released at the outset, but if things don’t work out, they end very quietly – as quietly as possible. Sometimes that’s not very possible at all, because a big Phase… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    A Lament From the Treadmill

    Here’s neuroscientist Mark Humphries on the recent release by the Allen Institute of a huge pile of data on visual cortex processing. The “Allen Brain Observatory” details the activity of neurons in the mouse brain in response to a range of different visual cues. It’s broken down by layers of the cortex and by known… Read More
  • Biological News

    Galvani: GSK Goes “Bioelectronic”

    You’ll likely have seen the news that GSK is partnering with Verily (a Google startup) to launch a company called Galvani. This will investigate devices that directly modify nerve transmission, which is something that I don’t think any large drug company has ever put money into – certainly not the $700 million that GSK has… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Sage Therapeutics: Time For Some Real Numbers Now

    I wrote last summer about Sage Therapeutics and their strange four-patient open-label depression study. Well, now they’re back with a placebo-controlled trial in the same indication (post-partum depression), and it’s very much one of those on-the-one-hand things. Because on that one hand, the data look very good indeed. There’s a… Read More
  • Biological News

    Ever Finer Splitting

    Charles Darwin once divided scientists into two types: “splitters” and “lumpers”. The splitters are the ones who keep finding finer distinctions between things that were once thought to be the same, and the lumpers, naturally, keep finding underlying similarities between things that were thought to be different. Recently, th… Read More
  • Biological News

    Understand the Brain? Let’s Try Donkey Kong First.

    I didn’t think I’d actually see someone try the thought experiment mentioned in this post, but by golly, someone has. That was a discussion of the attempts to simulate the workings of an actual brain, neuron connectivity and all, and the article I quoted went into great detail about just how far we are from… Read More
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