The Society for Neuroscience
just completed their conference. There are some interesting news releases and other research tidbits.
I’ve been waiting to see more gender/brain research (might be applicable to MS) and it looks like it’s happening.
Research in Gender and Brain Suggest Differences at Cell Level
McCarthy and her team have also recently found that sex hormones induce differentiation of glial cells in the developing brain, resulting in differences in the glial structure between males and females. Once considered only a source of support for developing neurons, glial cells are now recognized as being active participants in establishing neural synapses, or transmissions between brain cells.
"Understanding these hormonally-mediated sex differences in the brain provides insight into the many neurological disorders….that exhibit strong gender bias,
Unfortunately, the article never mentions MS.
Another article, Blood to Brain: New Studies Cross Barriers to Treatment
focuses on developments in drug delivery across the BBB.
Another one extols the virtues of exercise. Benefits of Exercise Include Protection from Brain Diseases, Aging
I think NHE alerted us to this some time ago.
in recent years we've gathered compelling evidence that exercise is also good for your brain," says Fred Gage, PhD, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. "We now know that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in the aging brain."
exercise reduces post-trauma increases in the levels of two other proteins, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and Nogo-A, which inhibit the growth of new axons, the nerve cell fibers that send electrical impulses (messages) to other neurons.
"We're now trying to determine if there are one or more biochemical pathways involved in the protection that can provide new targets for developing neuroprotective drugs,"
The abstracts from this conference are available at their web site
. They are very scientific, mostly incomprehensible to me and can’t be “republished” without permission. Nonetheless, some interesting stuff in animal research—
--caffeine blocks increases in BBB permeability and the researchers even suggest that it might be used to provide neuroprotection because of its ability to stabilize the BBB (rabbits with high cholesterol)
--two “phytoestrogens”, resveratrol and quercetin, decrease apoptotic neuronal death that’s caused by oxidative stress and neuroinflammation
--Vitamin D 3 was neuroprotective in traumatic brain injury and acted synergistically with progesterone in improving recovery
--thyroid hormone injections helped restore normal levels of myelin in “demyelinated mice”
--nitric oxide mediated death of motor neurons may occur before the death of oligodendrocytes (myelin making cells). The researchers suggested faulty interactions between those cells as “the causative agent” in MS
--in a viral model of MS cannabinoids protected against excitotoxic-induced axonal damage
There was some stuff on hormones too but I’ll spare you (for now).
I think the message is—exercise in the sun while drinking strong coffee (or whatever), or some red wine (it has resveratrol I think) all the while inhaling.