A statement by Claude Lenfant, M.D., Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is going to change the way many practitioners think about postmenopausal hromone replacement therapy. The results of two, NIH-funded studies have found that postmenopausal hormone therapy (HRT) is not beneficial in the short term to either prevent the progression of or induce the regression of atherosclerosis in coronary arteries in women with established coronary heart disease (CHD). This key finding reported in "Effects of Estrogen Replacement on the Progression of Coronary-Artery Atherosclerosis," (ERA) by David M. Herrington, M.D., and colleagues in the August 24, 2000 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is sure to make some waves. Not only are HRT medications the top prescribed drugs in the US, they have long been purported to have cardioprotective effects. The new results extend the debate on the role of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) in preventing CHD.
In other research news, The NIH has put on display at the Federal Register its final Guidelines for research involving human pluripotent stem cells. The Guidelines detail the procedures to help ensure that NIH-funded human pluripotent stem cell research is conducted in an ethical and legal manner. Such research promises new treatments and possible cures for many debilitating diseases and injuries, including Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, burns and spinal cord injuries. The NIH believes the potential medical benefits of human pluripotent stem cell technology are compelling and worthy of pursuit in accordance with appropriate ethical standards. Vidyya has everything researchers might need to understand the guidelines, from a basic fact sheet to the guidelines themselves in this issue.
Finally, investigators at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio report in the lead article in todayís Journal of the American Medical Association (Volume 284, Number 8) that the medication ondansetron may be an effective therapy for patients with early-onset alcohol dependence (alcoholism). Ondansetron appears to work by acting on serotonin, one of the brainís many neurotransmitters. The study was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and led by Bankole A. Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Addiction, Department of Psychiatry, UTHSC.
Articles in today's Vidyya are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.