All news from Anaesthesiology

Psychotropic Drug Therapy In Patients In The Intensive Care Unit

Managing psychological problems in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) is a big challenge, requiring pharmacological interventions. On the other hand, these patients are more prone to side effects and drug interactions associated with psychotropic drugs use.

Benzodiazepines (BZDs), antidepressants, and antipsychotics are commonly used in critically ill patients. Therefore, their therapeutic effects and adverse events are discussed in this study. Different studies have shown that non-BZD drugs are preferred to BZDs for agitation and pain management, but antipsychotic agents are not recommended.

Also, it is better not to start antidepressants until the patient has fully recovered. However, further investigations are required for the use of psychotropic drugs in ICUs.

Smarter Strategies To Treat Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, or cardiac arrhythmia, affecting 2-3 % of the European population and as many as one in 10 people over the age of 80. Its prevalence is expected to double or triple in the next few decades as the population ages, significantly increasing the burden on healthcare systems.

The EU-funded CATCH ME project is addressing that challenge by providing innovative digital tools to enhance clinical practice, and by conducting groundbreaking research into the mechanisms and effects of atrial fibrillation in order to improve treatment.

Cryo-EM Reveals Sharper Protein Structures

As the imaging technique produces ever-sharper protein structures, researchers are racing to develop tools to assess how accurate they are. Once derided as ‘blobology’ for its blurry images, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is now churning out high-resolution structures of everything from virus particles to enzymes.

The number of cryo-EM images uploaded to the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) has boomed from just 8 in 2002 to 1,106 last year the same year the technique won its developers the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.