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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Brain Research: Drug perks up old muscles and aging brains ♦ Hydrogels' boost ability to restore eyesight and heal brains ♦ Antiviral compound may protect brain from pathogens

Drug perks up old muscles and aging brains We age, in part, because the adult stem cells in our tissues are surrounded by chemicals that prevent them from replacing damaged cells. One of these chemicals is TGF-beta1, known to depress stem cell activity. A new study shows that a drug that blocks TGF-beta1, which is now being tested for its anticancer properties, makes brain and muscle tissue more youthful..
Brains of smokers who quit successfully might be wired for success Smokers who are able to quit might actually be hard-wired for success. The study showed greater connectivity among certain brain regions in people who successfully quit smoking compared to those who tried and failed.
Hydrogels' boost ability of stem cells to restore eyesight and heal brains Scientists and engineers have made a breakthrough in cell transplantation using a gel-like biomaterial that keeps cells alive and helps them integrate better into tissue. In two early lab trials, this has already shown to partially reverse blindness and help the brain recover from stroke.
An antiviral compound may protect the brain from invading pathogens, researchers have found. Studying West Nile virus infection in mice, scientists showed that interferon-lambda tightens the blood-brain barrier, making it harder for the virus to invade the brain.
Smaller volumes in certain regions of the brain could lead to increased likelihood of drug addiction Individual differences in brain structure could help to determine the risk for future drug addiction, new research suggests. The study found that occasional users who subsequently increased their drug use compared with those who did not, showed brain structural differences when they started using drugs

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