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Alcohol consumption – a method to prolong life in old age?

Some studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption extends life and protects the heart, while others have negated these benefits, arguing that the former studies are flawed and that there is no such thing as safe alcohol consumption. Moderate drinking — sometimes defined as 2–7 glasses of wine per week — may also keep depression at bay, according to some research, although the same study showed that heavy drinking increased depression risk. When it comes to the cardiovascular benefits of alcohol, the results are mixed. Some suggest that moderate consumption of wine and beer, but not spirits, protects against cardiovascular disease, while other results point to protective benefits of drinking vodka as well as wine. now, the results of a new, large-scale study are in. The Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is "one of the largest and most rigorous" studies on alcohol consumption and death risk in the United States, and a new report has presented the findings of a 16-year follow-up period. The analysis revealed that moderate and occasional drinkers had lower death rates than abstainers. Current abstainers had the highest mortality rates. However, the researchers explain, this could result from reverse causation — that is, people may have stopped drinking when their health became poor. Also, importantly, moderate and occasional female drinkers were less likely to die prematurely than lifetime abstainers. (Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

New drug to keep acute migraine at bay

Many people with acute migraine rely on triptans, a class of drugs that have been in use since the 1990s. However, triptans do not help everyone, and some people cannot take them because of their adverse side effects. The drug in the study, rimegepant, belongs to a new generation called gepants, which work in a different way than triptans. Gepants stop head pain by blocking the receptor for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a small protein that the body releases during migraine episodes. Studies were conducted on the same. The results showed that 19.6% of those who took rimegepant tablets had no pain after 2 hours compared with only 12.0% of those who took placebo tablets. The investigators note that this difference is statistically significant, meaning that it was highly unlikely to be due to chance.

In addition, 37.6% of the participants in the rimegepant group experienced relief from their "most bothersome symptom" 2 hours after taking their tablet compared with 25.2% of those in the placebo group. The most common side effects were nausea and urinary tract infection. The investigators observed no adverse cardiovascular effects. "These results confirm that rimegepant's mechanism of action — blocking the CGRP pathway — effectively relieves pain and associated symptoms that occur during acute migraine attacks," Dr. Lipton concludes. Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, the developers of rimegepant, sponsored the trial. They are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the drug for the treatment of acute migraine. "As someone who has studied CGRP blockers for more than a decade, I'm gratified to see their benefits confirmed in a large-scale clinical trial.", says Dr. Richard B. Lipton.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)