Schizophrenia and Smoking Pot

The findings, published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, add to the debate over how potentially damaging marijuana can be on the brain, and how long lasting cannabis’ influence on brain structures is.

Pot smokers, schizophrenics may share similar brain changes –


Birth Rates of Teens and Unwed Women Increases

For the first time in years, rates of birth to teens and unwed women are on the increase.  Alarmingly, low birth weight is at its highest level in four decades.  Pre-term babies have increased some 20%, the highest since 1990.  The study concludes that black and Hispanic women are typically disadvantaged relative to their white counterparts.

Steep increases since 1990 in the percentage of mothers who gained too little or too much weight (less than 16 pounds or more than 40) during pregnancy – up from 24 percent to 33 percent of all births.

Antipsychotics and Heart Problems

A recent study finds that the “newer” antipsychotic medications nearly double the risk of dying from heart problems compared to older generation antipsychotic medications.

Researchers examined Tennessee Medicaid records covering the 15 years ending in 2005. They focused on about 44,000 users of older anti-psychotic drugs like haloperidol and about 46,000 users of newer drugs like Zyprexa, made by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., and Risperdal, made by New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson Inc.

The study also included 186,600 people who weren’t taking
anti-psychotics but resembled the users in age, heart risk status another characteristics.  Some 1,900 participants died of sudden cardiac death over the 15 years.

Analysis found that taking either the older or the newer drugs roughly doubled the risk of sudden cardiac death. The overall rate in drug users was about three deaths per year for every 1,000 patients.

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PTSD = No Purple Heart

Posted by Stars and Stripes:

Defense officials have rejected the idea that troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder should be eligible for the Purple Heart.

“PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event; it is not a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an ‘outside force or agent,’ but is a secondary effect caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event,” said Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez.

The matter came up in May, when a military psychologist at Fort Bliss, Texas, told reporters he felt that making troops suffering from PTSD eligible for the Purple Heart would help remove the disorder’s stigma.