Posts Tagged ‘New Scientific Study’

CITIVA and UWI Join Forces to Lead Global Charge in Marijuana Research

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — CITIVA Jamaica (CITIVA) has made another major step in their ongoing relationship with the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (UWI). The medical research company held its first Continuing Medical Education (CME) Seminar on October 15, 2015, during which CITIVA’s Chief Medical Officer, Jack D’Angelo MD, MBA, delivered a lecture onCannabinoids and the Management of Multiple Disease States.

CITIVA is focused on advancing the study of marijuana and its efficacy in the field of medicine. In July, CITIVA initiated construction of the world’s first facility dedicated to medical marijuana research at UWI.

“In the US we are only allowed to legally study the undesirable effects [of marijuana]; those are the only studies that can be funded,” said D’Angelo, adding that, “these studies are a little bit unfair in their interpretation.” CITIVA’s research will focus on the endocannabinoid system – a system within the human body which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. CITIVA is seeking to show how the naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana affect different disease states, particularly Type II Diabetes, Epilepsy and Neuropathic Pain.

Support for the inaugural seminar came from an array of medical fields, with many individuals looking forward to the start of CITIVA’s clinical trials. “It’s good to see that there was a multidisciplinary turnout,” said Eric Williams, who is a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital. Amongst those in attendance were, pediatric neurologist Dr. Roxanne Melbourne-Chambers, senior lecturer in Physiology at UWI, Dr. Dagogo Pebble, and Executive Director of the Jamaican Epilepsy Association, Joy McHugh.

“This is a growing industry,” said Pebble, “and having Citiva here will be like having [the research] at the home of the plant.” CITIVA’s research into Type II Diabetes, epilepsy and neuropathic pain could have additional benefits for the local population. “Particularly within our context and our strained resources, this would seem to be an option worth researching to see if it is clinically applicable,” said Chambers, who treats many children with severe epilepsy at the University Hospital. The cost of cannabinoid treatments is expected to be significantly lower than synthetic products.

Along with their work at UWI, CITIVA is working closely with the Diabetes Association of Jamaica (DAJ) and the Jamaican Epilepsy Association (JEA) to study these diseases and how cannabinoids can be beneficial to treatment. One initiative, spear-headed by CITIVA and the JEA, is to make cannabinoid treatments available to all children afflicted with epilepsy. “People in the US move to states where [marijuana is] available to treat their children,” said D’Angelo, who used the CNN piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta as a prime example of how these treatments work.

CITIVA seeks to make medical practitioners and educators aware of the advancements in marijuana research. “Still in medical schools we don’t spend any time educating people on this topic,” according to D’Angelo. The hope is to grow this series of CME Seminars into a program at the UWI which will be a critical part of proving the efficacy of cannabinoid treatments.

CONTACT: For further information and/or to schedule interviews, please contact: Tiffany Grey, DRT Communications Ltd., Email: [email protected], Tel: 631-8663

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New Scientific Study Finds Coral Reefs Under Attack From Chemical In Sunscreen As Global Bleaching Event Hits

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — A new study published today in a toxicology journal has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sunscreen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs and threatens their existence.

Oxybenzone is found in over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, and pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sunscreens and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage outfalls and from coastal septic systems.

The study comes less than two weeks after NOAA declared the third ever global coral bleaching event and warned that locally produced threats to coral, such as pollution, stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that they will resist bleaching, or recover from it.

It demonstrates that exposure of coral planulae (baby coral) to oxybenzone, produces gross morphological deformities, damages their DNA, and, most alarmingly, acts as an endocrine disruptor. The latter causes the coral to encase itself in its own skeleton leading to death.

These effects were observed as low as 62 parts per trillion, the equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, for example, found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million.  This is over 12 times higher than the concentrations necessary to impact on coral.

A team of marine scientists from Virginia, Florida, Israel, the National Aquarium (US) and the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, undertook the study.  Lead author Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory Virginia, said, “The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue.  We have lost at least 80% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers. Everyone wants to build coral nurseries for reef restoration, but this will achieve little if the factors that originally killed off the reef remain or intensify in the environment.”

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion are emitted into coral reef areas each year, much of which contains between one and 10% oxybenzone.

Further information about the study can be found at and

CONTACT:  Patricia Roy; [email protected] ;  +34.696.905.907

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