Why stem cells from teeth can help treat depression

Dental pulp taken from a center for extracted teeth is being tested as a way to treat depression in a new trial.

The theory is that stem cells – master cells that can grow into different types of specialized cells – in the pulp may help encourage the formation of new neurons in the brain.

The researchers behind the experiment believe that the more neurons there are, the better the connection between these cells and the areas of the brain responsible for our emotions. Stem cells are also anti-inflammatory, and it is thought that depression may be linked to inflammation in the brain.

The theory is that stem cells — master cells that can grow into different types of specialized cells — in the pulp may help encourage the formation of new neurons in the brain.

The trial follows the breakthrough discovery that antidepressants may stimulate stem cells in the brain to make more neurons.

According to NHS figures, nearly one in ten people will experience depression at some time during their lives. The exact cause is not understood.

Levels in the brain of mood chemicals like serotonin are thought to be involved – most antidepressants are designed to work by increasing serotonin levels – but this chemical imbalance theory is unproven.

There are many other factors as well, including genetic susceptibility and stressful life events.

However, researchers now believe that neuronal growth, and the connections between neurons, play an important role.

Previous studies have found that the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and emotion in response to those memories, is smaller in patients with chronic depression.

This, some experts suggest, may explain why antidepressants take time to work. They boost brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, but it may take a few weeks before they take effect. Mood may only improve when new nerve cells grow and form new connections, a process that takes weeks.

According to NHS figures, nearly one in ten people will experience depression at some time during their lives.  The exact reason is not understood

According to NHS figures, nearly one in ten people will experience depression at some time during their lives. The exact reason is not understood

Ongoing research at Johns Hopkins University in the US has shown that antidepressants can stimulate the growth of stem cells in the brain. They found that exercise had a similar effect. In the new trial, 48 depressed people will be given stem cells taken from other people’s dental pulp, in addition to the antidepressant fluoxetine.

The cells will be processed and cleaned before being injected into the patients’ arms in four sessions, two weeks apart. The comparison group would have to take only fluoxetine daily.

Commenting on this approach, Carmine Pariant, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at Kings College London says: “In the short term, stress increases the production of chemicals in the body that help in the fight-or-flight response.

For example, stress increases inflammation, which protects us from infection.

However, the psychosocial stressors that cause depression – such as unemployment, marital difficulties, or bereavement – are usually long-term, and in the long run, increased inflammation reduces the birth of new brain cells and communication between brain cells, leading to depression. “.

Stem cells are also “anti-inflammatory,” he says, so in addition to creating new brain cells, they can reduce the inflammatory effects of stress on the brain.

We know that stem cells reach areas where there is inflammation. This is how they will find their way from the blood to the brain.

Living near a park may reduce depression – and not just because of a greener environment.

Researchers monitored 50,000 adults for six years and found that those who lived in areas with the most open green space around their homes had a 15 percent lower risk of depression.

Previous studies have found that green spaces can improve mood, but the researchers, writing in the journal Science of the Total Environment, say pollution may be at least partially to blame.

“The mental health benefits of healthy vegetation may come from reducing air pollutants,” say doctors from Zhejiang University College of Medicine in China.

Previous research has suggested that air pollutants cause inflammation in the brain that can lead to depression.

A powder made from freshwater sponges found in rivers and lakes has been tested for acne. It is believed to be anti-inflammatory and promote the growth of collagen – the tissues that keep skin firm and healthy. In a US trial, 120 patients will use the powder, made with Dermata Therapeutics, into a gel once a week.

What to eat to reduce the risk of a hip fracture

A review by scientists at the University of Leeds and published in the journal PLoS One found that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of developing a hip fracture by about 8 percent.

Using data from 16 separate studies, they found that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables provides some of the strongest protection by making bones more alkaline, which helps them retain bone-strengthening calcium.

By contrast, dairy products – currently recommended to reduce fracture risk – offer limited protection, while excessive alcohol intake, which can lower bone density, increases fracture odds.

How heat maintains muscle if you can’t exercise

People who are unable to exercise due to a long-term injury may benefit from heat treatment for their muscles, according to research from Brigham Young University in the US.

In the study, 21 healthy volunteers were asked to wear a narrow, motion-restricting knee brace for ten days. Half of them warmed their leg muscles daily with a machine that sent radio waves into the skin; The rest were given a placebo.

The results, published in the Journal of Physiology, showed that the blood vessels in the placebo group shrank and shriveled (which increases heart disease risk) while they remained healthy in the heat-treated group. Researchers will now see if saunas have the same effect.

An electric patch that can repair hearts

Scientists have developed an injectable adhesive to treat people recovering from heart attacks and help prevent heart failure.

One current treatment for this is to insert a surgical electrical patch into the heart, which sends signals to help with a healthy pumping pattern. But this procedure is fraught with risks.

Now, engineers from the University of Western Ontario have made a patch that can be compressed and injected before the heart is expanded. Nature Biomedical Engineering reports that the 2-cm-high adhesive is made of a flexible protein called elastin, gelatin and a form of moldable carbon.

Studies have shown that the patch acts as a conductor, carrying the heart’s normal electrical signals, and improving pumping.

Insulin pills instead of injections for diabetes

new Nature Biomedical Engineering reports that the smart pill could provide insulin for diabetic patients.

People with type 1 and 2 diabetes who need the hormone insulin to regulate their blood sugar levels must inject it. Scientists have struggled to come up with an alternative to the tablets, because stomach acid would break them down before they could be absorbed into the blood.

Researchers at Yale University in the US have now developed a tablet sleeve, made of hardened bile acid, to protect it. When the cortex in the pancreas breaks down, it can also help fight inflammation associated with the disease.

A new treatment for ear glue in children

Can a wireless headphone help kids with sticky ears avoid surgery? A sticky ear, where the middle part is filled with fluid, is caused by infection and can lead to temporary hearing loss. It often clears up on its own. Some children need surgery to insert small rings to clear the fluid – but they often fall out.

The new set, which consists of bone-conducting earphones (which transmit sound through vibrations) and a microphone connected to an app that allows families to monitor hearing.

Scientists from institutions in Cambridge asked 26 children with gummy ears to try the group at home. All families — the majority of the local waiting list for grommet surgery — decided to continue with the technology instead, according to a BMJ Innovations magazine report.

control yourself

The terms are related to the power in your hand. This week: Cognitive decline.

People with poor grip strength are nearly twice as likely to have a risk of cognitive decline as those with a firm grip, according to an analysis of 15 studies published in Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience in February. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease was also 40 percent higher.

Low grip strength is thought to be a sign of insufficient physical activity – say, it has been linked to a higher rate of cognitive decline. But Adam Taylor, professor of anatomy at Lancaster University, says there may also be a neuromuscular connection.

The nervous system declines with age and this affects the speed at which nerve impulses from your brain reach your hand muscles, making the signal to move less efficient.

This will naturally reduce grip strength with age, but the effects of degenerative changes in the brain will likely speed up this process, accelerating natural wasting.

slut health

American researchers at Harvard University said that a runny nose puts men at risk of erectile dysfunction. They compared data from 17,000 men diagnosed with ED with a control group, looking for rates of chronic sinusitis – inflammation of the nose and sinuses.

The study, published in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in October, suggests that inflammation may lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, including the arteries that supply blood to the penis.

Old drugs, new tricks

This week: amantadine

This drug was developed in the mid-1960s to treat influenza – it has been shown to inhibit the ability of influenza viruses to penetrate healthy cells and cause infection.

But the drug ultimately failed because every strain of influenza became resistant to its effects. It was withdrawn globally as a treatment for influenza in 2011.

However, during his early years as a treatment for the flu, some patients with Parkinson’s disease noticed that their symptoms improved with him — most notably, there was a marked reduction in involuntary muscle movements.

In 2017, the drug was officially reused as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and is available on the NHS.

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