How studying arctic ground squirrels can help advance human brain health

Unlocking squirrels’ hibernation secrets for brain health: Arctic ground squirrels’ ability to hibernate in freezing conditions for long periods has prompted researchers to develop drugs that mimic hibernation and slow the metabolic rate in humans, which may be effective in treating brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers are working on a drug that stimulates A-1 receptors, which have been found to slow metabolism in squirrels, with promising results in studies with rats and pigs.

CPAP Device for Sleep Apnea Might Also Ease Chronic Cough, Heartburn

Heartburn, chronic cough relief linked to CPAP device use: A study in the journal ERJ Open Research found that patients with sleep apnea who used a continuous positive airway pressure device regularly had 42% lower odds of experiencing nighttime heartburn at a follow-up period of two (2) years compared with patients who used the machine a little or those who did not use one at all. The acid reflux reduction was associated with an almost fourfold reduction in chronic bronchitis risk and at least a fourfold decrease in morning cough with mucus.

Belgian project to study aims to improve heart health… in space

Belgian firms develop model to study heart in space: Under the AstroCardia project, Belgian companies Antleron, QbD Group, Space Applications Services, BIO INX and SCK CEN developed a “heart-on-a-chip” that will be launched to the International Space Station in 2025 to study heart health in the space environment. “A healthy heart is important [not] only for those currently suffering from cardiovascular disease, but also for healthy astronauts exploring space,” said QbD Chief Information Officer Martijn Reniers.

Just One All-Nighter Can Rewire The Brain And Reverse Feelings Of Depression For Days:  Sleepless nights are giving scientists clues that could help them develop new antidepressants.

Mouse sleep deprivation study offers insights into depression: Sleep deprivation had an antidepressant effect in studies with mice, characterized by heightened aggressiveness and hypersexuality, which was linked to increased dopamine signaling in the prefrontal cortex, according to a study in Neuron. The findings suggest that “the prefrontal cortex is a clinically relevant area when searching for therapeutic targets … [and] reinforces the idea that … dopamine neurons play very important but very different roles in the brain,” said senior author Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy.

Biden and Xi agree to curb fentanyl production

China agrees to limit fentanyl ingredient production: President Joe Biden met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in mid-November 2023 to discuss tightening controls on Chinese companies that produce chemical elements used to make fentanyl, which is behind an increase in opioid-related US deaths. Biden said Xi agreed to work on limiting the production and exportation of fentanyl precursor molecules supplied to Mexico, a major source of synthetic opioids that end up in the US.

Celiac Disease and Higher Risk of Women’s Health Disorders

Celiac Disease tied to female reproductive health issues: Girls and women with celiac disease are more likely to have later onset of menarche and higher rates of ovarian failure, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis and infertility, according to research presented at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 2023 conference. Based on the findings, researchers suggest more diligent testing for these conditions and more frequent follow-ups with clinicians to help manage the disease.

Popular for weight loss, intermittent fasting may help with diabetes too

Intermittent fasting may offer benefits outside weight loss: Intermittent fasting techniques have gained attention as a method to aid weight loss, and experts say they also may offer benefits for diabetes patients. Researchers reported in JAMA Network Open that limiting food consumption to a particular window of time each day may help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar and lose weight. Dr. Pam Taub, a Cardiologist, said the method also may benefit people with issues such as high blood pressure.