Monday, October 1, 2018

Global child mortality

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Stimulant and drug use in Ontario

Landscape of Prescription Stimulant Use

Stimulants are a class of medications approved in Canada for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sleeping disorders (e.g. narcolepsy). The objective of this report is to describe patterns of prescription stimulant use in Ontario over time, by age and gender, and to explore how the use of these medications differs across the province.
This research report is a project identified by the ODPRN Citizens’ Panel (CP) as being of joint interest to policymakers, researchers and the general public. The CP members identified the research questions of interest, chose the measures to be included in the report, provided interpretations on study findings and reviewed the final report.

Access the full report and associated resources:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Opioid Chapters – life stories

A new joint multimedia project of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) and the website Healthy Debate. Please see details below and share with your respective networks.

“Drugs were in my system since I was two years old,” says Henry, a community services worker who lives in Ottawa. “The only difference between me and others is that they went to school and had a childhood. Yeah, there are the opioids. But there is also the life line that gets you there.”

The Opioid Chapters features Henry’s story along with those of 10 other people whose lives have been profoundly affected by opioids. A joint project of the Ontario Drug Policy and Research Network (ODPRN) and the website Healthy Debate, this multimedia online series features powerful first-person narratives from people who take opioids for chronic pain, those with an opioid use disorder, and providers who work with both.

The stories reveal the singularity of each person’s experience with respect to opioids. Benjamin, a young father and student, is a strong proponent of harm reduction. For Fran, the best way forward from a history of addiction and ongoing chronic pain is Suboxone. Rupa, a family physician, partners with patients in an effort to help them taper off high doses of opioids. Michael has had chronic pain for 15 years and tried multiple treatments; opioids are what allow him to function. 

Taken together, these accounts also reveal the complexity of addressing what many are today calling an opioid crisis. There is no one solution. But to begin to make positive change, we need to understand the unique impact opioids have on different people’s lives. The Opioid Chapters offers a window into the difficult journeys and hard-won successes of people affected by opioids, and the importance of listening carefully to their experiences.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Overall cancer death rates

Greater Efforts Are Needed to Address ‘Financial Toxicity’ of Cancer Treatment

 In addition to facing new concerns about their health, individuals who are diagnosed with cancer often worry about the financial burdens of treatment. A new study indicates that many patients feel that such ‘financial toxicity’ is not adequately addressed by their doctors and other clinicians. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

The survey also revealed that many patients desired to talk to providers about the financial impact of cancer: 
  • 15.2 percent of whites, 
  • 31.1 percent of blacks, 
  • 30.3 percent of Latinas, 
  • and 25.4 percent of Asians. 
Unmet patient needs for engagement with doctors about financial concerns were common. Of 945 women who worried about finances, 679 (72.8 percent) indicated that doctors and their staff did not help. Of 523 women who desired to talk to providers about the impact of breast cancer on employment or finances, 283 (55.4 percent) reported no relevant discussion.

Full Citation: “Unmet need for clinician engagement about financial toxicity after diagnosis of breast cancer.” CANCER; Published Online: July 23, 2018 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.31532).

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

28th annual conference for the International Cannabinoid Research Society

Image result for tweed medical marijuanaCanada is set to legalize marijuana.  The new Canadian laws forbid celebrities advertising for companies.

Our nearby facility, Tweed - Canadian Cannabis,  has been producing medical marijuana for a few years. Their packaging is getting to be pretty sweet.
Image result for tweed medical marijuana
This would be an interesting conference. Much research is being done.

Cannabinoid Research Company ebbu Returns to Annual Meeting of World’s Top Cannabis Researchers, Presenting New Study Findings on Mood Effects

LEIDEN, The Netherlands—July 11, 2018—Pioneering cannabis science firm ebbu has released findings from its innovative clinical research into the mood effects of cannabis. These findings were presented this week at the 28th annual conference for the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS), where the world’s foremost cannabis researchers convened to discuss ongoing studies and findings with their peers, gain valuable feedback and forge partnerships with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of how the body processes and is affected by cannabis.

ebbu Director of Clinical Pharmacology
Dr. Jonathan Martin 

About ebbu
Colorado-based ebbu is generating clinically-proven cannabinoid formulations for medicine, and mainstreaming hemp and adult-use cannabis by creating consistent, predictable sensations. ebbu partners with category-leading companies to power infused products using its patented, lab-tested and science-based platform. For more information, visit

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Memory and cognitive function

Memory and cognitive function naturally decline as we age, but there are things that we can do to preserve our brain health. A healthy diet and regular exercise have been found to help preserve brain function, but a new study published today in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience suggests that maintaining a strong social network could also be the key to preserving memory.

Elizabeth Kirby, PhD, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and lead author of the study, says the discovery bolsters a body of research that supports the role of social connections in preserving the mind and improving quality of life. affects the brain on a molecular level so researchers can mimic or support those changes to better protect brain function as people get older.

Elizabeth Kirby, PhD, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center led a study that observed mice to examine how having a social network helps preserve memory and cognitive function in the aging brain.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Fewer Men Are Being Screened, Diagnosed, and Treated for Prostate Cancer

A new study reveals declines in prostate cancer screening and diagnoses in the United States in recent years, as well as decreases in the use of definitive treatments in men who have been diagnosed. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

There is considerable debate surrounding the value of prostate cancer screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and the 2012 United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against PSA testing lies at the center of this debate. This recommendation was made in part due to the potential harms—such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence—associated with the treatment of clinically insignificant prostate cancer with radical prostatectomy or radiation.

To examine the use of diagnostics and treatments for prostate cancer in the years surrounding the USPSTF recommendation, James Kearns, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and his colleagues analyzed MarketScan claims, which capture more than 30 million privately insured patients in the United States. The team looked specifically at information related to PSA testing, prostate biopsy, prostate cancer diagnosis, and definitive local treatment in men aged 40-64 years for the years 2008-2014. 

Men under age 65 years may benefit most from radiation or surgery for their prostate cancer because prostate cancer tends to cause problems for men many years after diagnosis.
In the analysis of approximately 6 million men with a full year of data, PSA testing, prostate biopsy, and prostate cancer detection declined significantly between 2009 and 2014, most notably after 2011. The prostate biopsy rate per 100 patients with a PSA test decreased over the study period from 1.95 to 1.52. Prostate cancer incidence per prostate biopsy increased over the study period from 0.36 to 0.39. Of new prostate cancer diagnoses, the proportion managed with definitive local treatment decreased from 69 percent to 54 percent. Both PSA testing and prostate cancer incidence decreased significantly after 2011.

Cognitive App for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

One in every 10 people over the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s, but MindMate developed an app aimed at supporting the cognitive function in Baby Boomers and seniors. This iOS application helps stave off the mental signs of aging, simply by allowing seniors to play on their phone. Here’s why it matters:

Recent studies show that cognitive stimulation paired with physical activity reduces the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and improves cognitive function in those already suffering from the disease(s).
Studies also found that those who followed the MIND diet (rich in whole grains, vegetables, fish and healthy fats) scored higher on tests of memory and thinking skills compared to those who did not eat these kinds of foods. On average, MIND diet followers were the equivalent of 7.5 years younger in terms of “brain health.”​
- One in every 10 people over the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

MindMate is a comprehensive iOS app that provides games, entertainment, nutritional advice, recipes, and exercises aimed at stimulating the senior mind.

The app is free to download and use and can be found in Apple’s App Store.