NEW YORK -- Derivatives of the active compound in cannabis -- cannabinoids -- may have the potential for treating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, U.K. researchers report. "The system that responds to cannabis in the brain is present and functioning in the lining of the gut," explained lead researcher Dr. Karen Wright, of the University of Bath. The team found that cannabinoid receptor CB2 was increased in colonic tissue characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease, while cannabinoids enhanced surface wound closure via mechanisms involving the CB1 receptor.
CANCER FOLLOWS HORMONE THERAPY
NEW YORK -- Prostate cancer developed in 20 men within months to a few years after they began testosterone supplementation to correct a deficiency of the hormone, investigators report. The men were identified in six urology practices. Prostate cancer was detected within two years of the start of testosterone replacement in 11 of these men, and within a year for seven, the authors report. The others were diagnosed after 28 months to 8 years.
PRESSURE RISES WITH GLAUCOMA
NEW YORK -- The results of a study involving more than 27,000 people with glaucoma suggest high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is significantly more common in this group than in those who do not have hypertension, U.K. researchers report. They also found treating hypertension with beta-blocker drugs, but not other types of antihypertensive drugs, lowered the risk of glaucoma.
OVERLOOKED CELLS LINKED TO EPILEPSY
Star-shaped brain cells that are often overlooked as mere support cells appear to play a key role in the development of epilepsy, researchers say in a study published on-line in Nature Medicine. It's one of the first times scientists have produced firm evidence implicating the cells, known as astrocytes, in a common human disease. Scientists found astrocytes can serve as ground zero in the brain, setting off a harmful cascade of electrical activity in the brain by sending out a chemical that triggers other brain cells to fire out of control.