Friday, December 20, 2013

Aspirin may help in fight against 'anger syndrome'

All theory so far

If you have a quick temper it may calm you to learn that bouts of rage could be cured by simply taking an aspirin.

A study has found that uncontrollable anger may be the result of inflammation in the body. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED), which is known as “anger syndrome”, usually begins in the late teens and is defined as a “failure to resist aggressive impulses”.

US researchers found that IED sufferers had higher markers of inflammation in the blood. Levels of one protein were on average twice as high in those diagnosed with IED, while another marker molecule was present in those with the worst records of aggressive behaviour.

“These two markers consistently correlate with aggression and impulsivity but not with other psychiatric problems,” said Prof Emil Coccaro, the lead scientist from the University of Chicago.

“We don’t yet know if the inflammation triggers aggression or aggressive feelings set off inflammation, but it’s a powerful indication.”

The discovery, which is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, raises the prospect of treating such anger with common drugs such as aspirin, an anti-inflammatory.

Prof Coccaro said uncontrollable rage was a mental health condition that should not be dismissed as “bad behaviour”. A study in 2006 found that the disorder affects up to five per cent of adults.


No evidence antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps actually prevent spread of germs... and they could even damage health, watchdog finds

The Food and Drug Administration said today there is no evidence that antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and there is some evidence they may pose health risks.

The agency said it is revisiting the safety of chemicals like triclosan in light of recent studies suggesting they can interfere with hormone levels and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

The government's preliminary ruling lends new credence to longstanding warnings from researchers who say the chemicals are, at best, ineffective and at worst, a threat to public health.

Under its proposed rule released Monday, the agency will require manufacturers to prove that their antibacterial soaps and body washes are safe and more effective than plain soap and water.

Manufacturers will have a year to prove it after the FDA said: 'To put it simply, we need to collect additional information from the companies that make these products so that consumers can be confident about their effectiveness and about their safety.'

If companies cannot demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products, they would have to be reformulated, relabeled or possibly removed from the market.

The agency will take comments on its proposal before finalizing it in coming months.

'Due to consumers' extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using antibacterial soap to balance any potential risk,' said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's drug center.

'The proposed rule covers only those antibacterial soaps and washes that are used with water. It does not apply to hand sanitizers, hand wipes or antibacterial soaps that are used in health care setting such as hospitals', the FDA said in their blog.

They aim to have their final rule by September 2016.

The agency's proposal comes more than 40 years after the agency was first tasked with evaluating triclosan and similar ingredients.

At least 2,000 different soap products contain triclosan or some other antimicrobial agent and it is also used in toothpaste to kill germs that cause gum disease, the FDA's Dr. Sandra Kweder said.

Ultimately, the government agreed to publish its findings only after a three-year legal battle with the environmental group, Natural Resources Defense Council, which accused the FDA of delaying action on triclosan.

The chemical is found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S.

The FDA's preliminary rule only applies to personal hygiene products, but it has implications for a $1 billion industry that includes thousands of antibacterial products, including kitchen knives, toys, pacifiers and toothpaste.

Most of the research surrounding triclosan's safety involves animal studies, which cannot always be applied to humans.

But some scientists worry the chemical can disrupt hormones in humans too, raising the risk of infertility, early puberty and other developmental problems.

Other experts are concerned that routine use of antibacterial chemicals like triclosan is contributing to a surge in drug-resistant germs, or superbugs, that render antibiotics ineffective.

In March 2010, the European Union banned the chemical from all products that come into contact with food, such as containers and silverware.


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