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What is the nervous system designed to do? Nerves make the arms and legs move. Nerves make the heart beat and the lungs breathe. Ultimately, the entire nervous system is designed to keep the body alive. That is its most primal function. If a lion is chasing, the body runs. If the hand touches something hot, it jerks away. Just like a built-in alarm system, this system of nerves will alert the body to danger and trigger automatic protective responses. Normally, this system works beautifully and life is preserved well into adulthood.
However, in some cases, this alarm system goes haywire. For example, some people are born with the inability to feel pain , a condition called the congenital insensitivity to pain . That condition is not a blessing, but a curse that leads to insurmountable body damage and a premature death. The nervous system can go haywire in other ways too. What happens if this alarm system is too sensitive? Now instead of feeling no pain, one is left to feel too muc...
Although Xyrem (sodium oxybate) failed to gain FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia, it is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat the sleep problems that commonly accompany FM. Thus far, Xyrem only has FDA approval to reduce attacks of muscle weakness (cataplexy) and treat daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy.
This week the FDA reminded both healthcare professionals and patients that the combined use of Xyrem with alcohol or central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs can markedly impair consciousness and may lead to severe breathing problems (respiratory depression). The use of alcohol with Xyrem is a new contraindication added to the Xyrem label.
In addition to alcohol, medications that should be avoided when taking Xyrem include:
Sedating antidepressants or antipsychotics
The use of Xyrem along with these products or other CNS depressants increase...
This month, the media carried reports of a scientific study that challenged the notion of serotonin’s role in depression, which in turn casts doubts about the use of SSRI antidepressants to treat the illness.
The similar wording of these reports suggests that the reporters were engaging in a copy-and-paste of the same press release. Let’s go beyond the press release ...
First, the monoamine hypothesis ...
Serotonin is a monoamine class of neurotransmitter. Monoamine refers to the neurotransmitter’s chemical composition. Two other monoamines (falling into a subclass called catecholamines) include dopamine and norepinephrine.
As we know, neurotransmitters act as chemical signals between neurons. Neurons, in turn, organize into complex pathways that prompt specific thoughts and emotions and reactions. Serotonin is strongly linked to mood, and - make no mistake about this - no study is about to unseat that notion.
You should know
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