Medical research

New test diagnoses Lyme disease within 15 minutes

Some 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year. Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, the disease if left untreated can cause serious neurologic, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Promising steps towards a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a type of lung disease that results in scarring of the lungs, also known as fibrosis. Over time, the fibrosis gets increasingly worse so that it becomes hard for those with the condition ...

Overweight & Obesity

Gut bacteria is key factor in childhood obesity

New information published by scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Health suggests that gut bacteria and its interactions with immune cells and metabolic organs, including fat tissue, play a key role in childhood obesity.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A quarter of Aussie 'transplant tourists' get infections

Over a quarter of patients returning to Australia after receiving an organ transplantation overseas will experience complications, including bacterial and viral infections, according to research published online today by ...

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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, a drug is "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/or 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 psychoactive mushrooms, blur the line between food and recreational drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body and some substances normally considered drugs such as DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) are actually produced by the human body in trace amounts.

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