Data highlights value of supervised drug consumption services

Increased visits play a role in a decrease in overdose deaths

Data highlights value of supervised drug consumption servicesResearchers have found a link between increased visits to supervised consumption sites in Alberta and decreased fentanyl-related overdose deaths. Using publicly available opioid-response reports from the province of Alberta, the University of Alberta researchers looked at the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths by quarter from 2017 to 2020, as well as the number of visits…

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugs

Alberta-based 48Hour Discovery works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to streamline the process

‘Molecule libraries’ help speed the search for new drugsWith the cost of drug development beginning to skyrocket in the 1990s, pharmaceutical giants thought the path to better economics lay in high-throughput screening facilities that would test libraries that ranged in size from a few thousand up to million compounds at a time. “Separate shelves, many rooms, with the emphasis on robotics and automation…

Cannabis should not be taken during pregnancy: study

New U of A research has implications for prenatal development in humans

Cannabis should not be taken during pregnancy: studyZebrafish exposed to the leading cannabinoids found in cannabis in the earliest stages of development suffer a significant drop in neural activity later in life, according to a University of Alberta study that has implications for prenatal development in humans. Richard Kanyo, the lead author on the study and post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine…

New study may help explain low oxygen levels in COVID-19 patients

U of A researchers find SARS-CoV-2 infects immature red blood cells, reducing oxygen in the blood and impairing immune response

New study may help explain low oxygen levels in COVID-19 patientsA new study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports by University of Alberta researchers sheds light on why many COVID-19 patients, even those not in hospital, are suffering from hypoxia – a potentially dangerous condition in which there’s decreased oxygenation in the body’s tissues. The study also shows why the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone has been…

Canada’s drug screening process falls dangerously short

A cure should never be worse than the disease and when regulators don’t do due diligence, that’s the very thing that can happen

Canada’s drug screening process falls dangerously shortCan we trust our government and medical establishment? Not entirely. Some glimpses of Health Canada’s approach to prescription drug safety are less than assuring. Public policy should be guided towards more drug safety, not less. Health Canada was solely funded by taxpayers until 1994 when it began to issue user fees to companies that wanted…

Tackling heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes

U of A pharmacy researcher looks for ways to correct a common but often hidden type of diabetes-related heart failure

Tackling heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetesA University of Alberta laboratory has uncovered a new approach to preventing heart failure in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to research findings published recently in the journal Cell Reports. “We know people with diabetes take drugs for years to control their blood sugars, but the drugs don’t cure their diabetes,” said lead author John Ussher, associate…

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identified

Researchers are now looking to develop a drug that will boost existing statin drugs to prevent heart disease

Protein that blocks body’s ability to clear bad cholesterol identifiedA team of researchers at the University of Alberta has uncovered a long-sought link in the battle to control cholesterol and heart disease. The protein that interferes with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors that clear ‘bad’ cholesterol from the blood was identified in findings recently published in Nature Communications by Dawei Zhang, associate professor of pediatrics in the Faculty…

Governments taking cautious approach to cannabis marketing

Marketing after legalization suggests most provinces are seeking to distance cannabis from existing alcohol and gaming brands

Governments taking cautious approach to cannabis marketingThe provinces have been largely ambivalent to the sale of cannabis and even appear to employ a “demarketing” strategy, according to a University of Alberta look at the branding behind legalization that also showed flexible public policy can be beneficial in times of uncertainty. “Our initial expectation was that governments would be competing fairly effectively…

Research on how flu drug works may reveal how to outsmart variants

Researcher sees parallels in the challenges of developing antiviral drugs for respiratory infections caused by influenza and coronaviruses

Research on how flu drug works may reveal how to outsmart variantsA University of Alberta laboratory has uncovered the mechanism of action for a recently approved influenza drug in newly published research. The scientists discovered that the drug baloxavir marboxil binds highly efficiently to an enzyme that is key to how the influenza virus replicates inside an infected patient. They also showed how a mutation of…

Fat cells may influence how the body reacts to heart failure

Promising results in mice open door to new areas of research in treating patients

Fat cells may influence how the body reacts to heart failureResearchers have found that limiting the amount of fat the body releases into the bloodstream from fat cells during heart failure could help improve outcomes for patients. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Jason Dyck, professor of pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and director of the University of Alberta’s Cardiovascular Research Centre, found…