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WEIGHT GAIN AND MEDS

ANCHOR LEAD: KNOWING WHY SOME MEDICATIONS CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN MAY HELP DESIGN NEW DRUGS THAT DON’T, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

The class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics are used for serious mental illnesses, but also for Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and other conditions.  Yet these medications can cause significant weight gain, which leads many people to stop taking them.  Solomon Snyder, professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, have identified a connection between some of these drugs and appetite regulation.  

SNYDER:  Clinically this means that we have a means to develop a new class of antipsychotic drugs that won’t cause this terrible weight gain which is so serious.  I’ve seen 140 pound individuals gain a hundred pounds as a result of taking these drugs, which means they’d rather suffer from mental illness than from this terrible obesity.  :22

Snyder says some members of this class of medications already on the market don’t have the same effect on weight and may work just as well.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting. .    

 


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