2012: Banner Year for New Drugs

Fueled by new cancer therapeutics, last year the annual new molecular and biological entity approval count from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saw its highest year since 1997. One-third of the novel products approved by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) are used to treat cancers of the blood, breast, colon, prostate, skin and thyroid.

FDA approved

Improving Anti-seizure Technology

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are developing a new early warning system for seizures that is sensitive enough to detect imminent seizures without setting off a large number of false alarms. The software may someday be embedded in a microchip that would continually check electrical activity in the brain and launch electrical stimulation whenever a seizure is beginning to form.


Ultra-thin Brain Implant Could Treat Neurological and Psychiatric Illness

Reflecting a convergence of skills and advances in electrical engineering, materials science and neurosurgery, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia have developed a flexible brain implant that conforms to the brain’s surface and may make possible a whole new generation of brain-computer interfaces for treating neurological and psychiatric illness and research.

Brain array

Schizophrenia and Epilepsy May be Linked, Shared Cause Not Yet Known

A recent study published in the journal Epilepsia indicates that there is a bidirectional relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy [1]. This means that people with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of developing epilepsy, and those with epilepsy face a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. The fact that each disorder acts as a risk factor for the other indicates that the two may share some underlying causative factors, be they genetic, environmental, or neurological in origin.

Schizophrenia and epilepsy