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Posts tagged with "The Central Nervous System"

  • Infectious Diseases

    Microbiome Connections to Disease Get Stronger

    A fair amount of what you read about the human microbiome is hype. There’s no way around it. It’s quite difficult to study this area in a meaningful, reproducible way, and even the best work in the area can only go so far, as things stand now. When differences in (say) gut flora are actually… Read More
  • Cancer

    Repurposing Zika

    Oncology drives you to some pretty strange ideas about therapy. But that’s understandable – in what other field are you trying aggressively to kill off parts of the patient’s own body? That’s why chemotherapy started off with the study of people who had been exposed to mustard gas (during the Bari bombing raid), where it… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    A New Piece of the Parkinson’s Puzzle

    Here’s some more news on the Parkinson’s front, with a possible risk factor (and possible protective agent) both coming from an unexpected direction. It’s been known for quite a while now that the alpha-synuclein protein is deeply involved in the pathology of the disease – precipitated masses of it are found apparently killi… Read More
  • Biological News

    Those Compounds Aren’t What You Think They Are

    There’s a lot of work in the literature on the TrkB receptor, which responds to brain-derived neutrotrophic factor (BDNF). That name certainly makes the ligand protein sound like a pretty big deal, and so it is: BDNF is involved in a lot of neural development pathways, injuries to nerve tissue, and the like, and given… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Ultrasound For Brain Drug Delivery – Not So Fast

    I wrote a couple of years ago here about the idea of making the blood-brain barrier more permeable by the use of focused ultrasound, in the presence of injected microbubbles. This would be a very useful thing if it works – as anyone who’s been concerned with central nervous system drugs (or drug delivery in… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    A New Parkinson’s Therapy – Possibly

    There’s a new report of progress in Parkinson’s disease, and from an unexpected direction. Well, it was unexpected for me, anyway. Parkinson’s is, famously, a condition that is driven by the steady deterioration of dopamine-rich neurons in the brain, most particularly in the substantia nigra region. An impressive amount of researc… Read More
  • Biological News

    Parkinson’s As An Autoimmune Disease: More Evidence

    For many complex diseases, you’ll find that there are a couple of hypotheses floating around them that are hard to prove and hard to disprove: one is that they’re actually caused by some (as yet unrecognized) infectious agent, and the other is that that they’re actually an autoimmune/inflammatory disorder. You can also recognize t… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    Effective CNS Drugs Are Where You Find Them

    Here’s an interesting post over at Slate Star Codex (a site that generates a lot of them), on psychiatric drugs. The question is, what are the most interesting and potentially useful developments in this area over the last ten or twenty years? And the answer might well be things based on drugs of abuse: The… Read More
  • The Central Nervous System

    The End of the Serotonin Transporter Gene Story?

    For over twenty years, there’s been interest in the idea that changes in the serotonin transporter protein might be associated with depression in humans. The hypothesis makes some sense on the face of it, although the entire serotonin/depression connection is a lot more complicated than it’s thought to be in the popular imagination. The… Read More
  • Biological News

    Hope For Nonaddictive Opioid Painkillers

    No one needs to be told about the opioid painkiller problem in this country. There are legal, commerical, regulatory, and ethical ways to look at it, but from a pharmacological standpoint, the whole thing would be a lot easier to deal with if there were any highly effective non-addictive painkillers. But that’s exactly what we… Read More
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