Brain Differences Suggest Therapeutic Targets in Takotsubo

A new study has identified differences in the brain present in patients with the cardiac disorder Takotsubo syndrome vs control scans, which may lead to new therapeutic targets. Takotsubo syndrome is an acute heart failure cardiomyopathy mimicking an acute myocardial infarction (MI) in its presentation, but on investigation, no obstructive coronary disease is present. The … Read more

ADHD Meds and Cardiovascular Safety: New Data

A new study provides some reassurance regarding the cardiovascular safety of medications used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A large meta-analysis showed no statistically significant association between use of stimulant or nonstimulant ADHD medications and any cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcome across age groups. However, a “modest” increase in risk could not be ruled out, especially … Read more

Naloxone May Fail for Overdoses Tainted With ‘Tranq,’ FDA Warns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting healthcare professionals about the special management required for opioid overdoses tainted with xylazine, an animal tranquilizer known on the street as tranq, tranq dope, sleep-cut, Philly dope, and zombie drug. The tranquilizer is often combined with fentanyl or heroin, or occasionally with a stimulant, said the … Read more

EEG Backs Near-Death Experience During CPR

Brain wave recordings obtained during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) offer support to near-death experiences subjectively reported by some people who survive cardiac arrest, according to a novel new study. “These recalled experiences and brain wave changes may be the first signs of the so-called ‘near-death’ experience, and we have captured them for the first time in … Read more

Four Commonly Abused Drugs Linked With Atrial Fibrillation

Cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, and cannabis may independently increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), based on data from almost 24 million people. While more work is needed to uncover causal links, physicians should be aware that these commonly abused substances could be driving new cases of AFib, reported investigators from the University of California, San … Read more

Why We Just Can’t Look Away

Halloween Ends? Yeah, sure. Like that’ll happen. The market for horror remains robust 44 years after the original Halloween movie premiered. Part of the reason (besides Michael Myers’s charm) is that we humans appear to be hard-wired to enjoy getting scared. Whatever happens in Halloween Ends, the latest entry in the long-running film series, you’ll … Read more

Video Games Trigger Dangerous Arrhythmias in Some Children

Playing video games can produce potentially fatal arrhythmias in susceptible children, including those not known to be at risk, and war games are a potent trigger, an international case series and systematic review reveals. Nineteen patients experienced or suspected arrhythmia while playing video games, six went into cardiac arrest, and four died suddenly. “Now that … Read more

Time to Test Effects of CBD in Cardiovascular Disease?

Well-designed clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) for cardiovascular disease are needed, based on evidence from preclinical studies showing that it has anti-inflammatory effects, a new report suggests. The systematic review of nine preclinical studies found reproducible positive adverse outcomes in vivo models with CBD. Mechanisms for the findings included … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Fear Response Fueling Postural Tachycardia Syndrome?

Some patients with symptoms of postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) may be experiencing a fear response caused by previous fainting episodes, new research suggests. Investigators compared adult patients with POTS symptoms with healthy controls and found that patients with POTS had higher somatic vigilance and more anxiety. They also had more pronounced anticipatory tachycardia immediately before … Read more