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Chemicals in Heart Stress Tests Can Actually Trigger Heart Attacks

December 04, 2013

By Dr. Mercola
Cardiac stress tests are sometimes used to make sure your heart works properly when put under stress.
Typically, you’ll be asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle to increase your heart rate until your heart is adequately stressed, then its function will be examined using an MRI or other imaging tests.
In cases where a person is unable to increase their heart rate via exercise, chemicals are sometimes used to simulate stress on your heart.
You need to be very careful when considering this type of heart test, known as a chemical cardiac stress test, as a new announcement from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that the drugs used could actually trigger a heart attack and death.
Read the full article at Mercola

(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/04/chemical-stress-test.aspx?e_cid=20131204Z1A_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20131204Z1A&et_cid=DM34427&et_rid=357451274)

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WebMD Pockets Millions to Stimulate $1 Trillion in Drug Sales


December 04, 2013 
By Dr. Mercola
According to the Washington Times,1 WebMD, the second most visited health site on the World Wide Web, has received a $4.8 million government contract to educate doctors about the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially dubbed “Obamacare.”
A similar contract for the public portal to educate consumers might also be in the works. However, the lack of transparency and disclosure of the contract has raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.
WebMD has defended against such allegations, saying that the government contract does not affect the company’s news operation, which is free to report what it wants about the health care plan. Still, as stated in the featured article:
“[F]ew if any news outlets earn millions of dollars in training fees from the government on topics they cover, putting WebMD in a unique spot in the media landscape as it navigates not only potential conflicts but also the appearance of conflicts.”

Read more at Mercola

(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/04/webmd-obamacare.aspx?e_cid=20131204Z1A_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20131204Z1A&et_cid=DM34427&et_rid=357451274)

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Alzheimer’s May Be Late-Stage Type 2 Diabetes: The Relationship Between Insulin, Amyloid Plaques, And Enzyme Destruction


By  | Dec 2, 2013 04
Science has known for years that Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are connected, but new research from Albany University suggests the mechanism by which the association forms implicates Alzheimer’s as a product of late-stage diabetes, due to the way increased insulin production stops destructive amyloid plaques from getting broken down.
The research team presented its findings, which are still in the preliminary stages, at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego. Through their investigation, the team found that because type 2 diabetes — the most common form of the disease — causes people’s bodies to overproduce insulin, as a result of high blood glucose, the excess insulin trickles into the brain. Once there, it disrupts a key enzyme that normally erases amyloid plaques, a build-up of which scientists have suspected leads to Alzheimer’s. Without this erasure, the plaques accumulate and cognitive decline follows.
Read the full article at Medical Daily 
(http://www.medicaldaily.com/alzheimers-may-be-late-stage-type-2-diabetes-relationship-between-insulin-amyloid-plaques-and-enzyme)

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The pill that can text from inside the body



Keep taking the tablets: many people take pills for years and, when asked, will quite happily admit they do not work and have never done
A new pill is being trialled which could text relatives and your doctor to show you have taken it Photo: PA
It is hoped the pills could be used to cut the number of drugs that are wasted each year as well as alert family members if medication isn’t being taken properly by elderly relatives.
Each pill contains a sensor that transmits a signal to a patch worn by the patient when the sensor itself hits the stomach acid after being swallowed. This patch then sends the data via text message or e-mail, showing that the pill has been taken.
The sensor is the size of a grain of sand and is embedded into the pill alongside copper and magnesium which make an electrical circuit when they come into contact with stomach acid, much like a potato battery. This electrical circuit powers the sensor.
The digital pill has been trialled as an extra dummy pill alongside normal high blood pressure medication by Lloyds Pharmacy, but there are hopes it could be used in active drugs in the future.
Read more at Telegraph 
(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10279007/The-pill-that-can-text-from-inside-the-body.html)

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We Are Close To A Breakthrough On Medicinal Cannabis.


Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 
I am happy to report that over the summer we have made real progress in our work on medicinal cannabis.  I truly believe that we are close to a breakthrough.
bedrocan-flosAt the beginning of the year we developed a new strategy which has proved very effective.  Instead of trying to run a high profile media campaign we decided to work on supporting individuals who have a clear and demonstrable medical need for cannabis.  This means getting support from their doctor and their MP and then seeking a prescription for a Bedrocan product and applying to the Home Office for a personal import licence. If, as is most likely, the application is refused, this could lead to issuing judicial review proceedings against the Home Secretary to show that the decision is irrational, not to say cruel and unjust.
So why have we adopted what is essentially a ‘behind the scenes’ strategy?
Read the full article at Clear UK
(http://www.clear-uk.org/we-are-close-to-a-breakthrough-on-medicinal-cannabis/)

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Pills can’t treat all ills—Antidepressants no more effective than placebo


The Bolton News – August 28, 2013
by Brian Daniels,
National Spokesperson, CCHR United Kingdom
RECENTLY, there was media coverage on the number of antidepressants being consumed along with questions about whether they actually worked.
Although they were once reserved for the mentally disturbed, today it is difficult to find someone who has not taken one. Prescribed for everything from learning and behavioural problems, bedwetting, juvenile delinquency, aggression, criminality, drug addiction and smoking, to handling the fears and problems of the elderly,antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed on Earth.
Here are the recent statistics obtained from the NHS (National Health Service) Business Services Authority regarding their use. In England alone, over 27 million prescription items for antidepressants were dispensed in 2012, costing the National Health Service more than £73 million.
Read the full story at CCHR International 

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‘Rave Drug’ Ketamine Proven to Lift Depression


For people suffering from treatment-resistant depression, ketamine known in the drug world at “Special K” can provide immediate relief for their symptoms. The discovery of its anti-depressant properties has been called “arguably the most important discovery in half a century” of depressive research. The drug “rapidly spurs the growth of new synapses, the connections between brain cells, and is associated with reversal of the atrophy caused by chronic stress.”
Now in the largest controlled study of ketamine to date, Dr. John Crystal professor of psychiatry at Yale has confirmed those assumptions. The study administered a single small intravenous (IV) dose of Ketamine to patients with severe depression. Within one day 64% of patients reported fewer symptoms and the results outweighed those given midazolam, an asethic drug used as the control. Only 28% of patients using midazolam reported any sort of improvement.
Read the full article at WRR

(http://whiteraverrafting.com/rave-drug-ketamine-proven-to-lift-depression/2013/08/28/#ixzz2eRoxbEnP)

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So just how harmful is cannabis?

August 18, 2013


So just how harmful is cannabis?

By Amir Englund and Robin MacGregor Murray
Is cannabis harmful to mental health? That question has provoked much debate over the years, often generating more heat than light.
The bottom line is this: within the scientific community, there is a general consensus that most people who use cannabis will not develop significant mental-health problems. Certain individuals, however, are more susceptible to the negative effects of its use.
It was long thought that cannabis was a relatively harmless drug, and that concerns about its use were overstated. Some psychiatrists had reported that excessive use could lead to a psychotic state, including hallucinations, delusions, and thought disturbance.
Read more at Cyprus Mail 

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Nightmares, numbness, panic - what coming off antidepressants feels like

By Juliet Rowan / 10:15 AM Tuesday Aug 20, 2013


Last night, I was visited by bloodied, haggard corpses of people with holes where their eyes should've been. Just as I was getting to grips with their horrific appearance, they started stabbing at me with huge, skewer-type needles. I had no defense against their relentless attack until someone managed, with an almost pathetic gesture, to fend them off with a plastic lid. Just long enough for me to wake up.
This is my world at the moment. Nightmares when I sleep, headaches while I'm awake and, if I succumb to it, a rising sense of panic that threatens to swallow me whole. I'm getting chest pain, nausea, a numb face, and today I spent the morning trapped in a horrible haze, trying desperately to ground myself and focus on looking after my two small children.
After almost two years on Citalopram, one of the world's most prescribed antidepressants, I have decided to stop.
I was not prepared for a difficult withdrawal (and neither it seems were the many others who have Googled "side effects of coming off Citalopram"). There was no warning from my doctor; I was just told to take it slowly, reducing my dose a week or so at a time.
Read the full article at New Zealand Herald 

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Drug for Colitis, Crohn's Disease Shows Promise


By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug may help some people who have inflammatory bowel disease that has failed to respond to current medications, two new clinical trials find.
The drug, called vedolizumab, is being developed to treat the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) -- ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both arise when the immune system launches an abnormal attack on the lining of the digestive tract, leading to chronic inflammation and symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.
In the new trials, reported in the Aug. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that vedolizumab worked in some cases where standard IBD medications had failed.
The drug was more effective for colitis than for Crohn's, however, and an expert not involved in the studies said he suspects vedolizumab might be approved for colitis first.

Read the full story at Web MD

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Aspirin to Zoloft: The Scoop on 5 Medicines


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When should we question if our child is getting the right treatment?


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PTSD study: Magic Mushroom psilocybin may treat conditioned fear


By JohnThomas Didymus
Jul 6, 2013  
Researchers have found that low doses of psilocybin, the active substance in magic mushrooms, help mice overcome conditioned fear response, opening up the possibility of use of psilocybin in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The research study titled "Effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogenesis and extinction of trace fear conditioning," published in the June issue of the journal of Experimental Brain Research, by a team of scientists, including Dr. Briony Catlow of the Lieber Institute of Brain Development and Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, professor at the University of South Florida, studied the effect of low doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin in mice conditioned to exhibit "fear response" to an auditory tone linked to a painful stimulus, specifically, an electric shock delivered soon after the mice were exposed to the auditory tone.
The researchers found that mice administered low doses of psilocybin overcame the conditioned fear response faster than mice that did not receive the drug.
According to the study co-author, Sanchez-Ramos, "They stopped freezing; they lost their fear [faster]."
Although, the results apply only to mice, the researchers believe it paves the way for further studies exploring the possibility of using the psychoactive compound to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in humans.

Read the full article at Digital Journal 

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Psychiatrists: the drug pushers


A psychiatrist who once "treated" me used to recite this rueful little mantra: "They say failed doctors become psychiatrists, and that failed psychiatrists specialise in drugs." By drugs this psychiatrist meant drugs of addiction – and his "treatment" of me consisted of prescribing Temgesic, a synthetic opiate, as a substitute for the heroin I was more strongly inclined to take. So, he undertook this role: acting, in effect, as a state-licensed drug dealer; and he also attempted a kind of psychotherapy, talking to me about my problems and engaging with my own restless critique of – among many other things – psychiatry itself. Together we conceived of doing some sort of project on drugs and addiction, and began undertaking research. On one memorable fact-finding trip to Amsterdam, we ended up smoking a great deal of marijuana as well as drinking to excess – I also scored heroin and used it under the very eyes of the medical practitioner who was, at least nominally, "treating" me.
All of this happened more than 20 years ago, and I drag it up here not in order to retrospectively censure the psychiatrist concerned, but rather to present him and his behaviour as a perversely honest version of the role played by his profession. For what, in essence, do psychiatrists specialise in, if not mood-altering drugs? Or, to put it another way, what do psychiatrists have to offer – over and above the other so-called "psy professions" – beyond their capacity to legally administer psychoactive drugs, and in some cases forcibly confine those they deem to be mentally ill?
Read the full article at Black Dog Tribe 

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Mental Health Watchdog Launches Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Database—Search All Drug Regulatory Agency Warnings, Studies & Adverse Reactions Reports


The mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has taken its commitment to inform and protect the public on mental health issues to a new level with the recent launch of its redesigned website (http://www.cchrint.org) and enhanced psychiatric drug side effects database.


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) August 14, 2013
With one in five Americans currently taking prescribed psychiatric drugs (according to Medco Health Solutions), the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), is concerned the public are not being accurately informed of the documented risks. Taking its commitment to inform and protect the public on mental health issues to a new level, CCHR has launched a comprehensive redesign of its website (http://www.cchrint.org) andenhanced drug database which features 211 psychiatric drug regulatory agency warnings, 223 studies, and over 400,000 adverse reactions reported to the US FDA by doctors, pharmacists, health care providers and consumers.
Wholly aware that trying to sift through the massive amount of data available on the web can be daunting to even the most seasoned researcher, CCHR painstakingly created the definitive guide to documented psychiatric drug side effects, taking the official FDA adverse reaction reports (MedWatch data), international drug regulatory agency warnings and studies, then summarized the often complex information into an easy, user-friendly format for consumers, researchers and policy makers.

Read the full list at PRWEB

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Cannabis for Elders: A Precarious State

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Those who stand to benefit most from medical marijuana have the hardest time getting it.
Margo Bauer was desperate. Dealing with chronic nausea and frequent bouts of vomiting -- both attributed to her multiple sclerosis -- the retired nurse was constantly exhausted and in pain. That was, until she attended an informational meeting where she was introduced to medical marijuana.

Under California's Medical Marijuana Program, she received a medical marijuana card and now legally grows her own plant at a Southern California assisted living facility where she lives with her husband who suffers from Alzheimer's. She smokes a rolled joint occasionally, which she says keeps her nausea at bay, and her pain lifted to the point that she joined an all-female synchronized swimming team, the Aquadettes.

Bauer, now 75, has also become an outspoken advocate for medical marijuana use among seniors and was instrumental in starting a collective at her assisted living facility.
"I carry a little container with a rolled cigarette," she said, "and if I have nausea I know that it is because I haven't taken enough pot."

Read the full story at the Atlantic 

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5 Unexpected Side Effects Of Common Medications


Posted:   |  Updated: 08/12/2013 7:58 am EDT
By Linda Melone
Some popular drugs may spark odd, unexpected reactions, like color blindness, deja vu and even compulsive gambling
Even the most-studied, widely prescribed drugs can have unwanted side effects, like stomach upset, drowsiness and fatigue. It's the price we pay to address more serious medical issues. Some medications, though, can cause unexpected and unusual side effects very different than those listed at the top of the box or pamphlet, says pharmacist Suzy Cohen, author of Drug Muggers: What Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and How to Restore Them.
Below, we list some of these unexpected side effects and suggest alternatives for those who might experience them. They are generally rare and non-life-threatening, but speak to your doctor or pharmacist and read consumer advisories for all your prescriptions to learn more.
"If you need a medication for a life-threatening infection or a progressive, disabling disease," Cohen says, "consider that and don't just deny yourself medication because of a rare side effect. The odds are you are not going to suffer a bizarre side effect, especially if you start at lower dosages and test the waters before diving in head first."
Drug: Ambien
Unexpected side effect: sleep driving or eating
Like sleepwalking, sleep driving involves driving somewhere with no memory of the activity. Within a few days of starting to take this widely used sleep aid to treat insomnia, some people will sleep drive, carry on complex conversations, perform routine daily tasks, have sex or eat while asleep, with no memory of the experiences.
The behaviors often occur in the morning, because Ambien remains in your bloodstream even after you wake, says Zara Risoldi Cochrane, an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. "For some people, these blood levels are high enough to cause carryover effects," she says, including, in some cases, sleep driving.
The rate of occurrence has not been measured, but it is believed to be rare. "The FDA has received about 700 reports of sleep driving in the 20 years since Ambien was approved," Cochrane says
"The changes are different in women and men," Dr. Ellis Unger of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Drug Evaluation recently told ABCNews.com. "We don't understand why yet, but women are more susceptible to next-morning impairment." In January, the agency advised doctors to reduce the prescribed dose of Ambien for women from 10 mg to 5, and from 12.5 mg to 6.25 mg for extended-release products like Ambien CR. As an alternative, you could consider over-the-counter sleep aids or ask your doctor about adjusting your Ambien dosage.

Read the full story at the Huffington Post 

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We Can Fight This Feeling: The Loss of Cory Monteith and How We Can Prevent Future Overdose Fatalities


By:Leo Beletsky / July 25 2013



A coroner's report confirmed last week that actor Cory Monteith's death was a result of an overdose. Monteith joins icons like Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, John Belushi, and Jim Morrison in meeting a premature end by overdosing on prescription opioids, heroin, or some mixture of these drugs with other substances. We all know that stars are "just like us," so it should come as no surprise that celebrities are not exceptional when it comes to risks of overdose.
In fact, Motheith's death is part of a nationwide epidemic that has quietly climbed the charts of America's top killers: drug overdoses now claim more lives than motor vehicle accidents. Opioid drugs (including prescription painkillers and heroin) are the primary culprits, contributing to approximately 17,000 U.S. deaths. Though countless celebrities have tragically died of overdose, there is no high-profile spokesperson, event, or fund dedicated to battling this epidemic.
Read more at Huffington Post 

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Can you 3D print drugs?


Can you 3D print drugs?
The technology exists, and while the hope is to make prescription drug distribution more efficient, there's also a dark side to the novel idea


By  | June 26, 2013


From the looks of it, 3D printing is about to revolutionize all sorts of industries, from kitchenware (download a design for an ice cube tray off the internet instead of heading to Pier 1 Imports) to dreamier pursuits like the food replicator in Star Trek that we've fantasized about (3D-printed pizza, anyone?). There's the dangerous stuff, too, as Defense Distributed — the libertarian-leaning organization dedicated to disseminating open-source CAD files for 3D-printed handguns and rifles — has demonstrated by thumbing its nose at gun-control laws, irking lawmakers in the process.
Other industries will likely be revolutionized as well, so we might as well ask the hard questions now. How soon until it's possible to 3D print drugs?
Perhaps sooner than you think. Medicine, in particular, was the centerpiece of a recent TED Talk by Lee Cronin, a chemist from the University of Glasgow. Cronin claims to have prototyped a 3D printer capable of assembling chemical compounds on the molecular level. "What Apple did for music," Cronin said, "I'd like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs."
His process wouldn't be all that different from the way today's clunky 3D printers work, except on a much smaller (and therefore more precise) scale. According to Cronin, users would go to an online drugstore with their digital prescription, buy the "blueprint" and the chemical "ink" they need, and then print the drug at home with software and a 3D molecular printer. Medicine's entire distribution model could, in essence, be flattened.
The advantage, of course, is that the advent of home-printed drugs would open up "the way for personal medicine," Cronin tells Vice. Chemicals and dosages can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Allergies and other concerns can be edited out. "In the future, we will not sell drugs, but blueprints or apps," says Cronin.
Read more at The Week 


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Is Ecstasy the Key to Alleviating Autism Anxiety?


Is Ecstasy the Key to Alleviating Autism Anxiety?

By: Kelly Bourdet


Autism resists both definitions and treatment within the medical community. But the strange historical interpretation of autistic behavior and symptoms has led to novel experimental treatments for the disorder. Sometimes a disease that doesn’t fit neatly into the medical paradigm must go outside that paradigm in search of nontraditional treatment options. 

Because autism presents itself in such a variety of ways—from individuals who are completely nonverbal to those with more aggressive, disorganized behaviors—it resists a definitive treatment protocol. In fact, there are no pharmacological interventions that “treat” autism. 

Instead, psychiatrists are focused on treating co-morbid conditions, often things like depression, anxiety, and social isolation. So, today, someone on the autism spectrum might take an antidepressant or an atypical antipsychotic medication to improve their experience in the world, but these medications aren’t correcting any neurological changes associated with autism itself. Now, there's building interest in testing the clinical use of psychedelics. Last week, the FDA approved a research study protocol in which adults diagnosed with both autism and social anxiety will be given the psychedelic drug MDMA in hopes that they’ll experience a long-term reduction in anxiety.
Alicia Danforth, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology who focuses on psychedelic research, recently completed a research study on adults with autism who have self-administered ecstasy. Because of how difficult it has traditionally been to get research studies through the FDA approval process, many studies investigating the effects of psychedelic compounds are in fact non-controlled, survey studies on individuals who have illegally and independently used psychedelic drugs. The purpose of this self-administration ranged from those who were using it purely recreationally, to individuals curious about the potential therapeutic effects of MDMA trying, at least partially, to "self-medicate." 
The results of her survey study were positive and promising, though of course far more rigorous studies are necessary to strengthen the connection between MDMA use and improvement in social anxiety in the autistic. Danforth said that over half of the people she interviewed spontaneously made reports in improvement in social anxiety.

DANFORTH STATES THAT OVER HALF OF THE PEOPLE SHE INTERVIEWED SPONTANEOUSLY MADE REPORTS IN IMPROVEMENT IN SOCIAL ANXIETY.

When asked if structured research studies with autistic people and MDMA will be similar in format to the PTSD trials already underway, Danforth said that there’s a “general consensus in the field that conventional psychotherapies don’t work particularly well with autistic individuals. There are some barriers to developing that trust and therapeutic rapport, so we’re really reconsidering what MDMA-assisted therapy will look like.” So perhaps it’s the actual experience of trust enabled by the drug, rather than any specific talk therapy that takes place while under the influence, that is ultimately beneficial.
It’s important to note that those on the autism spectrum do not necessarily want to be “cured” of their autism, to become neurotypical. Many of the manifestations (or symptoms) of autism can be seen as beneficial—for example, increased ability to focus on details and highly specialized interests. However, the difficulty in relating to others can take a psychological toll. New research into psychedelics and autism treatment is focused on this aspect of the disorder: they want to ease co-existing anxiety, not “fix” neurological differences.
Psychedelics operate in a way that is fundamentally different from the most common pharmacological treatments for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. These drugs—things like SSRIs and atypical antipsychotics—are maintenance therapies, taken over years or decades to suppress symptoms. Psychedelic drugs operate on the principle that a person can alter their perception of the world in a more permanent way via transient, controlled psychedelic experiences. So while a person who undergoes MDMA-assisted therapy might continue to take some supportive therapy (like an antidepressant) after the experience, the hope is that they would have a sustained improvement in their social anxiety as a result of the therapy.

Read the whole story at Motherboard 

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