Quick Hits: Marijuana and Cognitive Impairment, New Migraine Treatment & More

Young people who frequently use marijuana may experience some cognitive impairment, according to a new study. Researchers collected data from 69 previous studies where they compared 2,152 heavy cannabis users with 6,575 people who used marijuana occasionally. Results indicated that frequent marijuana use reduced the cognitive function of young adults. Although the effect was relatively small, it was still significant. Researchers also discovered that after about 72 hours of marijuana abstinence, the young adults fully regained their cognitive ability. Posted April 18, 2018. Via JAMA Psychiatry.

A new migraine treatment known as erenumab may offer some relief to patients. The new therapy is a biologic injection that works over a long period of time and supposedly stops a migraine in its tracks. During a study, 246 people who had episodic migraine were injected with 140 mg of erenumab or a placebo once a month for 3 months. After 3 months, the results, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting, indicated that “erenumab reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more than 50%” for about 30% of the study participants compared to those treated with placebo. This study was supported by drugmaker Novartis. Posted April 17, 2018. Via American Academy of Neurology. A postmarketing study in 2021 found that the treatment is associated with a risk of hypertension. Seven of the 61 cases of hypertension reported to the FDA adverse event reporting system (FAERS) required hospitalization.

The FDA has announced that it will be boosting disease-focused guidance for drugmakers. This new guidance will instruct them on how to successfully navigate through the drug development process, and also highlight the development of drugs that aim to treat less-common medical conditions. “Among some of the many areas we’re working on right now are new guidance to lay out modern criteria for the development of drugs targeted to ulcerative colitis; rare pediatric cancers; pediatric HIV; and serious, life-threatening and non-cancer blood disorders like aplastic anemia,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in comments regarding the agency’s fiscal year 2019 budget. Posted April 17, 2018. Via FDA.

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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