Antihistamine may reduce bad memories
Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have found that a popular antihistamine can interact with targeted genes to reduce negative memories. And that, say the scientists, could potentially help treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The study, published in the journal PNAS, sought to identify genes to which drugs could be targeted. The researchers were able to identify 20 potential drug target genes, and then found that one chemical compound–which happens to be a antihistamine–interacted with the targeted genes. In fact, just one dose of it resulted in a major reduction in recalling negative memories. In this study, that meant disturbing pictures the participants had previously seen.
In addition, the antihistamine did not affect neutral or positive memory of pictures. Scientists hope that this research could lead to new treatments for PTSD, which affects about 7.7 million adults in the U.S.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Antihistamine Compound reduces bad memories
Published On: Oct 23, 2013
Lack of sleep tied to plaques buildup in brain
In a new study published in JAMA Neurology, scientists concluded that reduced sleep and poor sleep quality may be linked to increased build-up of beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of older adults.While sleep and beta-amyloid plaques have been linked in the past, researchers wanted to look at the link between beta-amyloid deposits and sleep quality within “community-dwelling” older adults.
The research team analyzed data from 70 adults with a mean age of 76 years, taken from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. All participants were free of any form of dementia. The participants were required to self-report their sleep patterns, disclosing the average hours of sleep they had each night, how often they woke during the night, whether they had trouble falling asleep and whether they woke earlier than planned. Their beta-amyloid deposits in the brain were measured using various imaging techniques.
The participants reported sleep duration ranging from no more than five hours to more than seven hours each night. When comparing sleep duration with brain imaging, the researchers found that shorter overall nights’ sleep duration and poor sleep quality were linked to increased beta-amyloid buildup. However, the researchers said that the number of times a person woke during the night was not linked to an increase in beta-amyloid buildup.
The researchers concluded that intervention trials are needed in order to determine whether longer sleep duration and better sleep quality may prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Lack of sleep may increase Alzheimer’s risk
Published On: Oct 23, 2013