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  • The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers

    The Age of Anxiety: A History of America's Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers

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    Anxious Americans have increasingly pursued peace of mind through pills and prescriptions. In 2006, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 40 million adult Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year: more than double the number thought to have such a disorder in 2001. Anti-anxiety drugs are a billion-dollar business. Yet as recently as 1955, when the first tranquilizer—Miltown—went on the market, pharmaceutical executives worried that there wouldn’t be interest in anxiety-relief. At mid-century, talk therapy remained the treatment of choice.But Miltown became a sensation—the first psychotropic blockbuster in United States history. By 1957, Americans had filled 36 million prescriptions. Patients seeking made-to-order tranquility emptied drugstores, forcing pharmacists to post signs reading “more Miltown tomorrow.” The drug’s financial success and cultural impact revolutionized perceptions of anxiety and its treatment, inspiring the development of other lifestyle drugs including Valium and Prozac.In The Age of Anxiety, Andrea Tone draws on a broad array of original sources—manufacturers’ files, FDA reports, letters, government investigations, and interviews with inventors, physicians, patients, and activists—to provide the first comprehensive account of the rise of America’s tranquilizer culture. She transports readers from the bomb shelters of the Cold War to the scientific optimism of the Baby Boomers, to the “just say no” Puritanism of the late 1970s and 1980s.A vibrant history of America’s long and turbulent affair with tranquilizers, The Age of Anxiety casts new light on what it has meant to seek synthetic solutions to everyday angst.
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  • Small Molecule Therapy for Genetic Disease

    Small Molecule Therapy for Genetic Disease

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    This book summarizes the substantial work that has been accomplished in the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism with simple molecules. These agents are discrete, often of natural origin, and provide predictable therapeutic responses. As such, they avoid many of the practical difficulties associated with gene and protein therapies. This handbook will enable interested clinician scientists and others to rapidly survey the field, thus ascertaining what has been done and as well as future directions for therapeutic research. Its important introductory chapters discuss the infrastructure of the field. These chapters focus on an introduction to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, a description of the FDA Office of Orphan Products, and a summary of the operation of the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases. The remainder of the book is devoted to a review of small molecule therapy for genetic diseases. The book closely analyzes the cofactors used to augment the function of defective enzymes and the compounds that are able to utilize an alternative pathway in order to avoid the consequences of the metabolic block present in the patient. Among other therapies, the authors discuss the use of zinc and tetrathiomolybdate to treat Wilson's disease and the use of cysteamine to treat nephropathic cystinosis.
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