A nasal spray can be a new way to tackle depression. Based on a horse tranquillizer, the spray starts to work in just two hours, much faster than many used medications that can take weeks.
The fluid contains a compound called esketamine, which is thought to act on the chemical glutamate of the brain to restore connections between brain cells. It is used in much smaller doses than ketamine.
The US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, agreed last week to use the spray for patients with depression who do not respond to other treatments.
The fluid contains a compound called esketamine, which is thought to act on the chemical glutamate of the brain to restore connections between brain cells (stock image)
Five centers in the UK are taking part in a long-term spray study, which is used twice a week. Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Clinical depression has an estimated one in 15 adults at any one time.
It is the result of changes in brain chemistry and the causes range from genetics and changes in hormone levels to chronic medical conditions, stress and sadness.
The most common treatments are medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). These work for some – not all – patients and can take between two and six weeks to exert full effects. A study of 3,000 cases of major depression in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that fewer than 30 percent had remission after taking SSRIs.
A nasal spray has been investigated because it provides relief faster because the drug reaches the place where it is needed in the brain without being processed by the body.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest (stock image)
While most existing drugs work on the chemical serotonin in the brain, which is involved in mood regulation, esketamine works on another substance, glutamate.
The surprising reasons for a red face. This week: hormones
Hot flashes are one of the most common menopause symptoms. A rise in face temperature causes the blood vessels to widen just below the skin, resulting in redness.
One theory is that hot flashes are the result of a failure in the brain's heat control mechanisms, possibly caused by changes in estrogen and other hormones around the time of the menopause. Flushes are occasionally seen in men, with a fall in testosterone levels – most likely due to androgen deprivation treatment, a prostate cancer treatment that limits testosterone production, so it cannot stimulate cancer cell growth.
The NHS says that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment. But other therapies can help, including vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory effects, and even antidepressants, which regulate hormones, such as serotonin, that affect body temperature.
Research has shown that problems with connections between nerve cells in the brain can lead to depression. One theory is that it is associated with languishing nerve cells in brain regions that control mood and emotion, possibly due to stress.
Glutamate, released by nerve cells in the brain, is one chemical product that is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells. However, too much glutamate is bad for the brain, which leads to loss of nerve cells and has been associated with depression.
Esketamine works by blocking excess glutamate and this is ultimately supposed to repair and restore nerve cells. Animal studies dating back to the 1950s have suggested that drugs that act on glutamate can be effective for depression. But it was only in 2000 that the first small study found similar effects in humans.
A new study, reported in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, analyzed data from 14 patients who received esketamine.
The results showed that four out of seven people who used the spray responded to treatment after two hours and three went into remission.
None of the seven who took a placebo saw an improvement.
About 1,150 patients are participating in a drug study in hospitals in the United States, Canada, South America and Europe. They will use the esketamine nasal spray twice a week; they are monitored for approximately five years.
Building muscle strength can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 32 percent, according to a survey of 4,500 adults in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal. Researchers recommend resistance training with squats, boards or lunges, and then add weights.
Carmine Pariante, professor of biological psychiatry at King's College in London, said: "It is important to emphasize that only selected patients will use this drug – people with severe depression and who do not respond to the currently available antidepressants.
& # 39; Longer studies are needed to fully understand the risks of using this medicine. Nevertheless, it is really exciting that after many years we finally have an antidepressant that works on a completely new mechanism in the brain. & # 39;
- A nasal spray of oxytocin from the & # 39; love hormone & # 39; could make fat and sugary foods less tasty. Brain scans suggested overweight and obese people and found that low-calorie foods were less tempting after they were given the spray containing oxytocin, a hormone involved in sex and sexual attraction. "Knowing how the drug exerts its effects is a crucial step toward establishing oxytocin as a drug treatment for overeating and obesity," said lead investigator. Liya Kerem of the Massachusetts General Hospital in the US
Could this be the answer to peanut allergies?
Researchers have found a way to suppress the allergic reaction to peanuts. Peanut allergens bind with susceptible antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) in susceptible individuals, creating a chain reaction that can lead to anaphylactic shock.
Now researchers from the University of Notre Dame in the US have prevent allergens from binding to IgE using a substance called covalent heterobivalent inhibitor.
In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers wrote that their findings open the door to a new class of allergy treatments.
Gum disease can increase the risk of impotence. A review by Jinan University in China involving more than 200,000 men found people with gum disease 2.85 times more likely to be impotent. One theory is that gum disease causes inflammation that damages the blood vessels that feed the penis.
- Only 20 minutes in contact with nature can lower the stress hormone levels. For eight weeks, students at the University of Michigan spent ten minutes or more, at least three times a week, in a park or garden. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped considerably, reports the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Light a glass! How beer increases memory
Bitter hop cones in the beer can stimulate memory. Previous studies suggested that moderate alcohol consumption improves cognitive function, but the question was: & # 39; How? & # 39;
Now research in the Faseb Journal shows that iso-a-acids, or IAA & # 39; s, found in hops (which give beer its bitterness) increase the levels of chemical dopamine concentration in mice, thereby activating the vagus nerve in memory.
The researchers from Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan, noted an improvement in memory for spatial and object recognition when the mice were administered IAA's.
They said this suggested that IAA & # 39; s foods can be a safe way to improve cognitive function.
What's in it?
We reveal the ingredients in everyday products. This week: Calpol
We reveal the ingredients in everyday products. This week: Calpol
MALTITOL LIQUID: hydrogenated glucose syrup combined with maltitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute.
SORBITOL LIQUID: Another alcohol sugar used in combination with maltitol liquid forms the basis of the drug.
DISPERSIBLE CELLULOSE: The structural component of Calpol, which carries the active component (paracetamol) & # 39; & # 39 ;.
XANTHAN GUM: a food stabilizer and thickener that stops splitting the drug into individual ingredients.
PARACETAMOL: The active ingredient in Calpol, paracetamol, is a mild painkiller. The exact mechanism of action is not known, but it is accepted that it dampens the intensity of pain signals received by the brain and stops the release of substances that increase pain and body temperature.