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University Degree: Pharmacology

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  1. Using the structural, historical and cultural dimensions of the sociological imagination, identify the critical issues that relate to how western medicine has responded to the challenge of alternative medicine.

    Its biological in nature, therefore it reduces illness to a biological process. Its scientific in nature, thus regards the scientific method as providing the only means by which to access valid knowledge. Its mechanistic in nature, therefore conceptualizes the separation of body and mind and perceives the body as a machine of which a disease is a malfunctioning part that requires fixing, and the biomedical model emphasize on finding a cure, rather than prevention of the disease. In contrast, alternative medicine practitioners regard health and illness not only as a physical matter, but also as an emotional and spiritual one.

    • Word count: 642
  2. The effect of alcohol consumption on the brain.

    NMDA receptors are affected which was said in a new study that the interactions with dopamine and glutamate neurotransmitter pathways are a key factor in the regulation of the inhibitory affects of alcohol and brain function. They found that alcohol stops the NMDA glutamate receptor, which is a reason you feel "drunk".

    • Word count: 398
  3. 'Should the widespread use of antibiotics continue?'

    On April 28 1994, it was reported that some bacteria in patient samples could resist all currently availible antibiotics (2). In order to prevent this from happening on a massive scale, the use of antibiotics should be kept to a minimum and there should be larger investments into alternative treatments. During 1979-1987, 0.02% of pneumococcus strains were penicillin resistent in 13 hospitals in 12 states and in 1995, the figure had increased to 6.6% (3). This shows how quickly the resistance of a particular strain can widely increase and so action against the use of antibiotics must take place as quickly as possible.

    • Word count: 748
  4. Letter to an M.P. Concerning Cannabis

    The medical benefits of cannabis have been proven by extensive medical research. This research has led to disproving many myths about the drug, e.g. it does not cause cancer, damage the lungs, impair short-term memory, nor causes brain damage. It is tobacco that cannabis is usually smoked with which causes these illnesses. Cannabis helps to ease pain, nausea and vomiting caused by serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis. It can improve the quality of life of many sufferers. It is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol. It should be a matter of choice whether or not people smoke cannabis because it is a fundamental human right that they can decide for themselves and this has been taken away as the decision has been made for them.

    • Word count: 631
  5. Biosimilars and recombinant drugs

    There are many Biosimilars being developed in the market which are waiting to be approved. POTENTIAL MERITS AND DEMERITS OF BIOSIMILARS: MERITS: Biosimilars had come as a boon to the biologists when there was a concern of biopharmaceuticals patent expiration. They are cheaper versions eliciting the same biological effects as that of original biopharmaceuticals. They help in treatment of many orphan diseases. DEMERITS: Biosimilars are not identical with biopharmaceuticals in structure, manufacturing and purification. There are many potential problems identified with Biosimilars which include: * Patient safety and Immunogenecity: As biosimilars are not similar to biopharmaceuticals, the potential risk associated with them is also different.

    • Word count: 876
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Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the role of the GABAA receptor chloride channel complex in the action of anxiolytic drugs

    "However, in contrast to diazepam which is a full agonist at all benzodiazepine-sensitive GABAA receptors, L838417 fails to enhance the GABA response at ?1 containing receptors but acts on ?2, 3, and 5 containing receptors apparently with partial agonistic activity. L838417 displayed anxiolytic-like activity in wild type rats as shown in the elevated plus-maze test and in conditioned fear potentiated startle protocol. The behavioural characterisation of L838417 supports the conclusion that the sedative but not the anxiolytic-like properties of benzodiazepines are mediated by ?1 containing GABAA receptors (McKernan et al 2000). It can be expected that more advanced anxiolytic drugs would be agonists selective for ?2 containing GABAA receptors. Also, sub-type specific drugs should display fewer side-effects, such as tolerance and dependence liability and depression of respiration, due to the fact that they only act on a small population of GABAA receptors. In the future it may be possible for subtype specific ligands to be used in the treatment of not only anxiety and depression which are traditionally treated with benzodiazepines, but other neuropsychiatric disorders for which treatment has been relatively unsuccessful to date."

  • Discuss the viability of the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes

    "the arguments that claim that cannabis causes long term damage to the body and these long term side effects outweigh any positive aspects of the drug. Cannabis is plant related to nettles and hops grows wild in many parts of the world, it is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions of India. The plant contains more than four hundred chemicals and can be processed in such a way that it's main active ingredient namely delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC can be ingested to produce psychoactive effects. When smoked THC will reach the brain in about seven seconds; if eaten effects can take much longer. Positive effects can include talkativeness, relaxation, a loss of social inhibition and greater appreciation of sound and colour. Speech may become slurred and co-ordination is usually impaired. Large amounts of the drug can produce hallucinogenic effects. (Gross, 2002: Pg. 112) However as with many drugs there are undesirable side effects. These may come in the form of mild panic and paranoia. To illustrate, a recent study showed that 10 to 15% of people who smoked cannabis reported feelings of confusion or paranoia and around 30% gave these experiences as their reasons for quitting the drug. Nausea and vomiting may occur where too much is taken at once, especially when the drug is taken with alcohol. ("

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