Showing posts from February, 2013

Natural Antidepressant

A newly recognized chemical factor in the brain, called neuritin, regulates plasticity and may play a role in depression

Researchers have identified a nerve growth factor that regulates synaptic plasticity and appears to have antidepressant effects. In new research, published in June 25, 2012.,  in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists show that neuritin, which increases synaptic connections in the hippocampus, can alleviate stress-induced depressive symptoms. The findings give insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying depression, as well as identifying a possible target for therapeutics.

“The work does a really good job of convincing me that neuritin is involved in depression,” said Scott Russo, who studies the brain’s response to stress at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, and was not involved in the research. “[Neuritin] has the potential to both prevent and correct depression.”

Previous work has shown that stress and depression can lead to atroph…

The Truth About Tobacco

Health Benefits of Smoking Cigarettes: Could Tobacco Be Good for You?

Thanks to Surgeon General's Warning labels, public smoking bans, strict regulation of advertising, excise taxes, and public service messages, nearly everyone in America is fully aware of the many health risks associated with cigarette smoking. Ongoing research has continuously proven that smoking causes lung dysfunction, cancer, SIDS, heart disease, birth defects, preterm birth, and other serious health problems. Knowing this, the idea that cigarette smokingmay offer health benefits may seem utterly absurd.

However, cigarette smoking has been confirmed to provide numerous benefits to the health of smokers. Surprisingly, the tobacco plant appears to have more to offer our bodies than a guarantee of certain death. Although the health benefits of smoking are far outweighed by the many very dire risks, tobacco may provide alternative relief or prevention for some diseases in certain individuals.