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News: December 1, 2009

Ecstasy Users at Higher Risk of Sleep Apnea

December 1, 2009

The widely used club drug ecstasy appears to increase the risk of sleep apnea, say U.S. researchers.
"People who use ecstasy need to know that this drug damages the brain and can cause immediate and dangerous problems such as sleep apnea," study author Dr. Una McCann, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a news release.
McCann and colleagues conducted sleep tests on 71 people who'd used ecstasy (MDMA) and 62 people who'd never used the illegal drug. Ecstasy users had a more than eight-fold increased risk of sleep apnea compared to non-users. Mild sleep apnea rates were similar in both groups (21 percent of ecstasy users and 27 percent of non-users), but only ecstasy users had moderate (13 percent) or severe (1 percent) sleep apnea.
The longer a person used ecstasy, the more sleep apnea episodes they experienced, said the researchers. They also found that ecstasy use was a greater risk factor for sleep apnea than obesity.
"Our findings may be explained by how ecstasy damages neurons related to serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is involved in sleep regulation and breathing, among other important functions," McCann said. "Sleep apnea in itself is dangerous, but it can also contribute to thinking problems in people who use ecstasy because chronic sleep disruption is known to have a negative effect on how a person functions during the daytime."


Archive issues: (50)

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December 5, 2009 | Half of teen girls have STIs by 2 years of first sex

Within 2 years of having sex for the first time, half of teenage girls may be at least one of three common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to results of a study published today. Often, those girls are infected by the age of 15.  Researchers followed 386 urban adolescent girls aged 14 to 17 for up to 8 years. Within 2 years of becoming sexually active, half of the girls were infected ...

December 4, 2009 | Antidepressants May Change Your Personality

Taking antidepressants may not only help alleviate depression, but could make you more extraverted and less neurotic, new research suggests.  Extraversion, which is associated with positive emotions, is ...

December 3, 2009 | Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers

Add colorectal cancer to the list of malignancies caused by smoking, with a new study strengthening the link between the two.  And other studies are providing more bad news for people who haven't managed to quit: Two papers ...

Archive list: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

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News

December 20, 2009

Wii, Xbox 360 and Other Video Games Offer Some Benefits

Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation, and other video games are hot on holiday gift lists, but some parents wonder whether these games offer any benefits or are detrimental to kids. The results of a new study may put some minds at ease, while others may ...

December 18, 2009

Should You Be Shoveling Snow?

Yes, the weather outside is frightful, and soon you will have to think about shoveling snow. But should you be the one doing the work? Who should and should not shovel snow, and how can you do it safely?  Every winter, approximately 1,200 Americans die from a ...

December 17, 2009

Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of healing, in addition to risking other long term health ...

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