Saturday May 25, 2019

Commonly Used Antidepressant Can Help Delay Ageing of Brain Cells, Says Study

In the new study, appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, they put the drug in the drinking water of mice at various ages for various amounts of time

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Aspirin
Aspirin may lower risk of ovarian cancer as well. Pixabay

Administering commonly used antidepressant fluoxetine to mice helped restore youthful flexibility to their ageing brain cells, showed a study.

The study provides fresh evidence that the decline in the capacity of brain cells to change, called “plasticity,” rather than a decline in total cell numbers may underlie some of the sensory and cognitive declines associated with normal brain ageing.

Scientists at the MIT revealed that in mice treated with fluoxetine, also known as Prozac, the inhibitory interneurons in the visual cortex remained just as abundant during ageing, but their arbors become simplified and they become much less structurally dynamic and flexible.

They could also restore a significant degree of lost plasticity to the cells.

“Here we show that fluoxetine can also ameliorate the age-related decline in structural and functional plasticity of visual cortex neurons,” said the scientists including lead author Ronen Eavri from MIT.

antidepressant
Administering commonly used antidepressant fluoxetine to mice helped restore youthful flexibility to their ageing brain cells.
 “Our finding that fluoxetine treatment in ageing mice can attenuate the concurrent age-related declines in interneuron structural and visual cortex functional plasticity suggests it could provide an important therapeutic approach towards mitigation of sensory and cognitive deficits associated with ageing, provided it is initiated before severe network deterioration,” they added.

A previous study had shown that fluoxetine promotes interneuron branch remodelling in young mice, so the team decided to see whether it could do so for older mice and restore plasticity as well.

In the new study, appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, they put the drug in the drinking water of mice at various ages for various amounts of time.

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Three-month-old mice treated for three months showed little change in dendrite growth compared to untreated controls, but 25 per cent of the cells in six-month-old mice treated for three months showed significant new growth (at the age of 9 months).

But among 3-month-old mice treated for six months, 67 per cent of cells showed new growth by the age of 9 months, showing that treatment starting early and lasting for six months had the strongest effect. (IANS)

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Researchers Find Molecular Link Between Oestrogen and Bone Ageing

In addition, Sema3A was found to promote the survival of osteocytes -- bone cells -- in these mice

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

Researchers have found a new molecular link between oestrogen and bone ageing, which may eventually lead to new strategies to treat osteoporosis among post-menopausal women.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and prone to fractures.

Women over 50 are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis, which may be due to the loss of oestrogen that occurs after menopause.

“Over the last few decades, we’ve learned that oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining a functional bone matrix,” said Tomoki Nakashima from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) in Japan.

However, how oestrogen does this, was not fully understood, the researchers said.

bone loss
Decoded: How does oestrogen protect bones? Check it out here.

In the study, the researchers discovered a protein called Sema3A, which was found to maintain bone matrix — proteins and minerals in bone — suggesting a relationship between oestrogen and Sema3A.

Further, the researchers found that blood serum levels of the protein Sema3A decreased in pre-menopausal women as they get older and dropped even more once they reach menopause.

In the study done on mice, the ovaries of mice were removed but it was found that the loss of oestrogen did not prevent their bones from deteriorating.

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In addition, Sema3A was found to promote the survival of osteocytes — bone cells — in these mice.

“We believe that as women lose oestrogen with age and Sema3A levels drop, osteocytes begin to die and bone loses the ability to maintain its supportive structure,” Mikihito Hayashi from the varsity said. (IANS)