AUG 20, 2018 10:20 AM PDT

Antidepressants Restore Inhibitory Neurons in Mice

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

The capacity of brain cells to change is referred to as "plasticity” and according to a new study a decline in plasticity is associated with sensory and cognitive decline from the process of normal brain aging.

 

Now, scientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and memory showed that inhibitory interneurons in the visual cortex of mice remained equally abundant during aging however, their arbors are more simplified and less dynamic.

Fortunately, the research study published in the Journal of Neuroscience explains that a significant degree of plasticity loss in mice was restored eventually using an antidepressant drug. The antidepressant drug is very common and known as “Prozac”.

Image Credit: CloudFront.net

Antidepressants work to ameliorate the age-related decline in the structural and functional plasticity of the visual cortex neurons. Despite common belief, loss of neurons due to cell death is quite limited during normal aging and unlikely to account for age-related functional impairments," the scientists explained including lead author of the study, Ronen Eavri. "Rather it seems that structural alterations in neuronal morphology and synaptic connections are features most consistently correlated with brain age, and may be considered as the potential physical basis for the age-related decline.

"Our finding that fluoxetine treatment in aging mice can attenuate the concurrent age-related declines in interneuron structural and visual cortex functional plasticity suggests it could provide an important therapeutic approach towards mitigation of sensory and cognitive deficits associated with aging, provided it is initiated before severe network deterioration.”

Source: Picower Institute at MIT

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
DEC 06, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 06, 2019
Federal Restrictions Make It Hard For Cannabis Researchers
With marijuana use becoming more popular in aiding health, scientists race to find clarity around its health benefits and risks. Since the legalization of...
DEC 23, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 23, 2019
Novel Drug for Treating Insomnia
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DAYVIGO™ (lemborexant) in 5 mg and 10 mg for the treatment of insomnia among adult patients ...
JAN 03, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 03, 2020
Researchers Grow Psilocybin from E. Coli Bacteria
Previously considered to be narcotic, and under tight regulation as an illicit drug for decades, research from recent years on the possible medicinal prope...
JAN 09, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 09, 2020
Can Cancer Drugs Treat Lung Damage?
Can therapeutics used in the treatment of cancer be a breakthrough for pulmonary disease? Specifically, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? &ldqu...
JAN 16, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 16, 2020
Fatty Acid Supplement Repairs Brain After Stroke in Mice
Researchers have found that supplements containing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) may be able to help the brain recover from having a stroke. This comes a...
JAN 25, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 25, 2020
Taking Psychedelics Improves Mood, says Yale Researchers
Psychedelics have long been known for their potential to enable deep reflection and modulate people’s moods. But evidence for this mostly came from a...
Loading Comments...