Friday January 24, 2020

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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Alzheimer’s Drugs Improve Memory and Slow The Ageing Process

Old age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and above the age of 65, a person's risk of developing the disease doubles about every five years

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Alzheimer's
The contribution of old age-associated detrimental processes to the disease has been largely neglected in Alzheimer's disease Drug discovery. Pixabay

Researchers have found that two experimental Alzheimer’s Drugs, known as CMS121 and J147, improve memory and slow the degeneration of brain cells.

The research, published in the journal eLife, suggests that the drugs may be useful for treating a broader array of conditions and points out a new pathway that links normal ageing to Alzheimer’s disease.

“This study further validated these two compounds not only as Alzheimer’s drug candidates, but also as potentially more widely useful for their anti-aging effects,” said the study’s co-author Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US.

The researchers have shown how these compounds can slow ageing in healthy older mice, blocking the damage to brain cells that normally occurs during ageing and restoring the levels of specific molecules to those seen in younger brains.

Old age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and above the age of 65, a person’s risk of developing the disease doubles about every five years.

“The contribution of old age-associated detrimental processes to the disease has been largely neglected in Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery,” said Antonio Currais, a Salk staff scientist and first author of the new paper.

In the new study, the researchers turned to a strain of mice that age unusually fast.

A subset of these mice was given CMS121 or J147 beginning at nine months old — the equivalent to late middle age in humans.

Alzheimer's
Researchers have found that two experimental Alzheimer’s Drugs, known as CMS121 and J147, improve memory and slow the degeneration of brain cells. Pixabay

After four months, the team tested the memory and behaviour of the animals and analysed the genetic and molecular markers in their brains.

Not only did the animals given either of the drug candidates performed better on memory tests than mice that had not received any treatment, but their brains also showed differences at the cellular and molecular levels.

In particular, expression of genes associated with the cell’s energy-generating structures called mitochondria was preserved by CMS121 and J147 with ageing.

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“The bottom line was that these two compounds prevent molecular changes that are associated with ageing,” said Maher.

More detailed experiments showed that both drugs affected mitochondria by increasing levels of the chemical acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA). (IANS)