New Hypothesis on Depression

The discovery of antidepressant drugs led to the first biochemical hypothesis of depression, known as the monoamine hypothesis. However, this hypothesis does not seem to fully explain the complexity of human depression. Now a new study offers one more important key that may increase our understanding of the pathogenesis behind clinical depression and neurodegenerative disorders.

Source: Sequestered prion protein takes the good mood away, suggests new hypothesis on depression

With new (possibly proper) understanding, comes better treatment.

Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

A new study has found that beer could help prevent degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Chinese researchers discovered that a chemical in hops – the plant used to make beer – could protect brain cells from oxidative stress that causes dementia.

Source: Fancy A Pint? Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

The testing was only on rats to date, and researchers stress that a pint a day will not stave off the condition.  You need at least three… 😉

Reminder: Alcohol is addictive, laden with empty calories, and socially complex. Be careful™.

Hibernating Hints at Dementia Therapy

Bears, hedgehogs and mice destroy brain connections as they enter hibernation, and repair them as they wake up.

A UK team discovered “cold-shock chemicals” that trigger the process. They used these to prevent brain cells dying in animals, and say that restoring lost memories may eventually be possible.

Source: Hibernating hints at dementia therapy

We know that RBM3 protects, regardless of whether it was produced by hibernation or artificial elevation of just the protein RBM3.  So you don’t need to go out trying to freeze yourself 😉

Breakthrough: Brain Barrier Opened to Treat Cancer

For the first time, doctors have opened and closed the brain’s protector – the blood-brain barrier – on demand. The breakthrough will allow drugs to reach diseased areas of the brain that are otherwise out of bounds. Ultimately, it could make it easier to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

Source: Brain barrier opened for first time to treat cancer

The news is a bit preliminary:

An MRI scan showed that a marker chemical, injected along with the microbubbles, was crossing the BBB. “We hope this means the chemotherapy drug is doing the same thing,” says Canney, who presented his observations last week at the Focused Ultrasound symposium in North Bethesda, Maryland.