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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • 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
  • Diabetes and Obesity

    Three Not-So-Reproducible Papers

    You may well remember Amgen’s statement in 2012 about how many academic papers they were having trouble reproducing. Not everyone has taken it seriously, since they didn’t provide specific details, just an overall count. (On the other hand, a lot of people inside the drug industry just nodded their heads, having had similar – and… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Alkermes Hits a Wall in Depression

    In case you hadn’t seen it, CNS drug development recently did what it’s really good at doing: disappointing people late in the clinic. Alkermes had their candidate for depression, ALKS-5461, fail not one, but two Phase III trials. That’s especially, well, depressing because the therapy had been thought to have real potential in a… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Unpleasant Alzheimer’s News

    Here are a couple of new developments in Alzheimer’s and dementia – nothing encouraging, unfortunately. A new paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, from a team that’s looked at multiyear patient records, suggests that there’s a dose-response relationship between use of strong anticholinergic drugs and later development of dementi… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A Dietary Cause for a Neurodegenerative Disease

    This is an interesting paper in itself, and its potential implications are even more so. The authors, from the Institute for Ethnomedicine and the University of Miami, have been studying a neurodegenerative condition found among Chamorro villagers on the island of Guam. The disease (Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia comp… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    Simulating the Brain. Sure Thing.

    My mention the other day of Japan’s Fifth Generation computer project prompted a reader to send along this link, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It concerns the Human Brain Project, currently being funded by the EU, and if you’re offended by procreating inanimate objects, you probably shouldn’t read it. But I feel the author’s f… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    The Rising Placebo Effect

    The placebo effect has many interesting and annoying features, among them the way that it varies so much among different therapeutic areas. There is no placebo effect for a broken leg, or for pancreatic cancer: these things are going to play out the way that they do, regardless of what you think about them. But… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Does An Ancient Retrovirus Have Anything to Do with ALS?

    One of the reasons that many people think that organisms can carry around “junk” DNA (that has little or no function) is that up to 8% of our own genomes are remnants of ancient retroviruses. At some points in the distant past, some germ-line cells got infected, had viral DNA spliced into them, and then… Read More