Postpartum Depression Pill Safe and Effective, Data Shows

Zuranolone, a postpartum depression pill, was found to be safe and effective in a new Phase 3 trial, the researchers say. Symptoms of postpartum depression include negative mood, low energy, crying spells, and an inability to focus or sleep.  

Zuranolone, given as a daily pill over the course of two weeks, is in clinical development and has been granted “priority review” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.   

The study of 196 women with severe postpartum depression found that those who took a daily 50-milligram dose of zuranolone in a pill for 14 days showed “significant improvements in depressive symptoms” compared with those who were given a placebo.

“When I started the drug, the next day, I woke up and I’m like, ‘OK.’ I immediately just started feeling more like me,” one trial participant told the media.    

The FDA is expected to take action on approval this month.  

Juul Seeks OK on Vape That Can Verify User’s Age

E-cigarette company Juul Labs is seeking U.S. authorization to sell a “next-generation” vape with age verification capabilities in the United States.

To verify a user’s age, the proposed vape pairs with a phone app, requiring a customer to either upload their government ID and a real-time selfie or input personal information and allow a third-party database to verify their identity, according to a Juul spokesperson.

A unique Pod ID chip within the Juul device can also detect counterfeit cartridges made by other companies, many of which have flooded the market with illegal fruity flavors that appeal to minors.

The mission of the new platform is twofold, according to the company: Encourage adult smokers to switch from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes while restricting underage access.

The legal age to purchase e-cigarettes in the U.S. is 21.

In 2019, Juul suspended all flavors other than tobacco and menthol and suspended broadcast, digital and print marketing. Juul dominated more than 70% of the US e-cigarette market at its peak in late 2018.

Blacks Less Likely to Get Memory Care Despite More Need: Study

Black people and people living in less affluent neighborhoods — areas with higher poverty levels and fewer educational and employment opportunities — may be less likely to be seen at a memory care clinic compared to White people and people living in neighborhoods with fewer disadvantages, according to new research published in the August issue of the journal Neurology.

For the study, researchers looked at 4,824 people seen at a specialty memory care clinic at Washington University in St. Louis over 10 years. 

Researchers found that Black people were underrepresented in the clinic. Black people made up 11% of those seen in the clinic, compared to 16% of those living in the clinic’s service area.

They also found that Black people were more likely to have more advanced dementia at their first visit to the memory clinic compared to White people. After adjusting for age, sex, and area deprivation index, Black people were 59% more likely to have moderate to severe dementia at their initial evaluation than White people.

“Our results are concerning, especially since these clinics are likely to be a major point of access for new Alzheimer’s treatments as they become available,” said study author Albert M. Lai, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis. “While we studied one memory clinic, if additional research finds similar disparities in other memory clinics, then these differences in access could worsen existing health care disparities.”