Antidepressant drug linked with increased risk of birth defects when taken in early pregnancy

Using paroxetine — a medication prescribed to treat conditions including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder — during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase newborns’ risk of congenital malformations and cardiac malformations. Up to one-fifth of women of childbearing age experience depressive symptoms that often lead to mild to moderate depression, and prescriptions for antidepressants during pregnancy have increased in recent years. The most common drugs for treating depression in pregnant women are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and up until 2005, one drug in that class — paroxetine — was considered to be safe for use during pregnancy.

Source:Antidepressant drug linked with increased risk of birth defects when taken in early pregnancy

New method for analyzing synaptic density

A new approach has been developed that allows researchers to broadly survey learning-related changes in synapse properties. The researchers used machine-learning algorithms to analyze thousands of images from the cerebral cortex. This allowed them to identify synapses from an entire cortical region, revealing unanticipated information about how synaptic properties change during development and learning.

Source:New method for analyzing synaptic density

Myopia-related differences in eye structure may help in developing 'customized' intraocular lenses

The presence of myopia, or nearsightedness, significantly affects the muscles used in focusing the lens of the eye — a finding with important implications for the development of ‘accommodating’ implanted intraocular lenses (IOLs) that can adjust to different visual distances, reports a new study.

Source:Myopia-related differences in eye structure may help in developing 'customized' intraocular lenses

Germany: Significantly fewer severely injured patients than in 2000

About 18,000 people are severely injured every year in Germany. Earlier investigations, in 2000 and 2006, estimated that more than 32,000 people sustain multiple trauma each year. The newly calculated lower number likely reflects a reduction of severe injuries caused by road traffic and occupational accidents.

Source:Germany: Significantly fewer severely injured patients than in 2000

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