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 ...

Neuroscience

Detecting patients' pain levels via their brain signals

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have developed a system that measures a patient's pain level by analyzing brain activity from a portable neuroimaging device. The system could help doctors diagnose and treat pain in unconscious ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia

A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher.

Neuroscience

The future of mind control

Electrodes implanted in the brain help alleviate symptoms like the intrusive tremors associated with Parkinson's disease. But current probes face limitations due to their size and inflexibility. "The brain is squishy and ...

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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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