Need for social support deters HIV patients from taking their drug ‘cocktails’

Social support may play a small but potentially important role in helping HIV-positive people adhere to the complicated schedules for taking their drug “cocktails” to control the virus that causes AIDS. A pilot study of primarily indigent black and Puerto Rican men and women at an HIV clinic in New York City suggested that individuals who had the social support they needed were more likely to take their medications. The pilot project was part of a larger study to assess the efficacy of peer support to enhance people’s adherence to their cocktail or Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy.

High-carb supplement helps with weight loss, MIT researchers say

MIT researchers have reported that a high-carbohydrate dietary supplement can help patients who experience weight gain while taking antidepressants. Even though the high-carbohydrate regimen altered serotonin levels, it did not alter the antidepressants’ effectiveness. The regimen, which includes a high-carbohydrate drink developed at MIT based on research conducted here, also helped non-medicated obese individuals, the researchers reported. All participants lost between 12 and 26 pounds during the 12-week study. Patients taking psychotropic medications such as antidepressants that increase the activity of serotonin in the brain sometimes gain weight by overeating sweet and starchy foods.