Seeking new therapies for the treatment of social anxiety in autistic adults, researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) announced today that they are initiating a novel study into the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy.

Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. (the “Company,” or “Emmaus”), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated primarily to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare and orphan diseases, today announced that preliminary top-line results of its Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of its treatment for sickle cell anemia and sickle beta-0 thalassemia met both the primary and secondary endpoints of the clinical trial.

In the only long-term, National Institutes of Health-funded study of prenatal methamphetamine exposure and child outcome, researchers found youngsters exposed to the potent illegal drug before birth had increased cognitive problems at age 7.5 years, highlighting the need for early intervention to improve academic outcomes and reduce the potential for negative behaviors, according to the study published online by The Journal of Pediatrics.

It costs about $2,000 to buy an ounce of the illegal drug, the therapist said — enough for roughly 150 doses. She pays her longtime dealer in cash; he gives her a Ziploc bag of white powder.

Back home, she scoops the contents into clear capsules. She calls it “the medicine”; others know it as MDMA, the active ingredient in the party drug Ecstasy.

MDMA has been banned by the federal government since 1985 as a dangerous recreational drug with no medical value. But interest is rising in its potential to help people suffering from psychiatric or emotional problems.

Based on a survey of parents of children with congenital heart disease, physicians delivering the diagnosis need to do a better job of showing compassion, ensuring parents understand all their options and providing easily understandable information, according to a new study published in the February edition of the journal, Pediatric Cardiology.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved nine “Healthy Harbor Grants” totaling $550,000 that will help promote health care, health education, community outreach, and access to respiratory care in the harbor communities of San Pedro and Wilmington.  The grants were funded from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund, administered through the Port of Los Angeles’ partnership with San Pedro based Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF), an independent non-profit organization created to mitigate the environmental impacts of port operations.

Richard J. Glassock, MD, a member of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute’s Board of Directors, will receive the 2014 Medal of Excellence from the American Association of Kidney Patients at a March conference and will be honored throughout the year at a series of events.

Investigator(s): The Lundquist Institute

Changing the hospital orders for women who have just delivered a child led to a 69% increase in the new mothers’ pertussis vaccination rate, providing protection for themselves and their newborns against the disease, commonly known as whooping cough, according to a study in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.