Medical research

Researchers develop 'dimmer switch' to help control gene therapy

In a major advancement in the field of gene therapy for rare and devastating diseases, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed a "dimmer switch" system that can control levels of proteins ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Discovery points to ketamine's long-term antidepressant effects

Building on recent research confirming how ketamine induces rapid antidepressant action, Professor of Pharmacology Lisa Monteggia and her collaborators show how the molecular mechanism of the gene MeCP2 and associated synaptic ...

Immunology

Clarifying the problem of T-cell 'exhaustion'

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have illuminated an important limitation of the immune system in prolonged battles against cancers or viruses: T cells, which are among the ...

Medical research

New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice

A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

New model helps map the individual variations of mental illness

The diagnosis of mental illnesses such as major depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder is typically based on coarse groupings of symptoms. These symptoms, however, vary widely among individuals as do the brain circuits ...

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Drug

A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.

In pharmacology, Dictionary.com defines a drug as "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.

Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior. Some drugs can cause addiction and habituation.

Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being introduced from outside the organism.[citation needed] For example, insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the body; it is called a hormone when it is synthesized by the pancreas inside the body, but if it is introduced into the body from outside, it is called a drug.[citation needed]

Many natural substances such as beers, wines, and some mushrooms, blur the line between food and drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA