Study says pills and patch effective way to stop smoking
A new study published in JAMA from Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, suggests that combining the use of both pills and the patch is the most effective way to quit smoking. These findings contradict other previous research that dismissed combining both as a sound treatment.
For this study, researchers used 446 people from seven health care centers around South Africa between April 2011 and October 2012. Participants randomly received either fake or real nicotine patches to begin wearing two weeks proper to their chosen quit date. A week before using the patch, participants began taking the pill varenicline—and continued taking it for three months. Varenicline works by activating the same brain receptors nicotine does.
Researchers analyzed the amount of carbon monoxide in the participants’ breath to determine how long they abstained from tobacco. They found that 55 percent of participants who took the pill and real nicotine patch didn’t smoke for 12 weeks, compared to 41 percent of participants who took the pill and the fake patch. After following up at 24 weeks, the participants with the real patch and pills were 49 percent smoke-free, compared to the other group with 33 percent smoke-free.
One researcher noted the successful quit rate of combining treatments may be attributed to a greater saturation of nicotine brain receptors and reducing cravings compared to one treatment. However, scientists also acknowledged that further studies are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of using both products.
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Sourced from: reuters.com, Smoking cessation more effective with pills and patch: study
Published On: July 9, 2014
Birth control computer chip in the works
Birth control could be going cyber. Researchers from a Massachusetts company are working on a microcomputer chip for birth control that can be controlled by a wireless remote.
MicroCHIPS, an IT start-up, is developing the device that would be implanted underneath the skin in the butt, abdomen or upper arm. It would store the hormone levonorgestrel, already used in some birth controls and release 30mcg of the hormone daily for as long as 16 years. The chip could easily be turned off if the woman wants to halt birth control or wishes to conceive.
The hormone is concealed on the chip through a hermetic titanium and platinum seal. When the remote button is pushed, it triggers an electric current from an internal battery that melts the seal temporarily so a dosage is released.
Why would a person want this? Convenience. Supporters of the idea say the simplicity of turning the birth control on and off could greatly simplify fmaily planning. Critics have speculated that the implanted chip could be susceptible to hackers. However, MicroCHIPS says the remote communication has to happen at skin level—making it impossible for someone to reprogram the chip from across a room or further away.
The chip, which has been is backed by Bill Gates, is likely to undergo preclinical testing in the U.S. next year and is could be available to the public by 2018.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Birth control computer chip ‘could be on sale by 2018’
Published On: July 9, 2014