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April 16-22 Health, Chronic Pain, & TMJ Disorder News Round-Up

Possible new drug for depression and anxietyPreliminary findings show that abnormal signaling by a chemical called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) may contribute to these conditions. Researchers have developed a stable molecule (dubbed ANA-12) which appears to stop this signaling in mice. While it will be years before we see this being tested in humans, there is hope for a possible new class of drugs to treat depression and anxiety on the horizon. Source

Can your dentist help you sleep better? Studies indicate that smoking, drinking, lack of physical activity; medications, nasal obstruction, menopause and excessive weight can all have a negative impact on the body’s ability to rest and consequently develop sleep apnea. Sleep apnea deprives the body of oxygen by restricting air flow.

Recent studies done by the University of Barcelona in Spain show that early diagnosis of sleep apnea and special devices (a type of splint called a mandibular advancement device or MAD) can effectively treat mild to moderate cases. A team of researchers has gone on to develop a working model marrying both the dental and medical communities for the treatment and diagnosis of this disorder. Source

Peppermint relieves irritable bowel syndrome – Researchers from University of Adelaide discovered that peppermint activates an “anti-pain” channel in the colon, which in turn helps soothe pain from IBS. This is the first clinical evidence demonstrating why it is so effective at relieving pain, published in the April issue of the journal Pain. Source

FDA launches new strategy to cut abuse of long-acting opioid pain medications – The FDA unveiled a new program this week that requires companies that make long acting pain medications like Oxycontin to create and distribute information to doctors and patients about how to prescribe and use the drugs appropriately. This plan, called a REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategy) must be planned for by the drug companies within the next 120 days. The patient education materials will come in the form of a medication guide, which explains how to safely use and dispose of the medication. Source.

Would you like to hear more about the FDA program for pain medication? If so, let us know in the comments and we’ll write a follow up article with more detail.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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