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Stem cell research claims insight into how SSRIs work


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Stem Cells Help in Drug Development


Stem Cell News for April 2011


Stem cells do not just hold promise for direct treatment applications but are also being viewed as an excellent method of investigating progression of pathology, effects of new pharmaceuticals, and even a way of explaining just how some of our current medications work. Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, have used ReNeuron’s human foetal-derived hippocampal progenitor cells to create a laboratory model through which the effects of widely-used anti-depressant sertraline (Zoloft) could be investigated. Whilst it has long been thought that sertraline, and similar anti-depressants, worked by regulating glucocorticoid receptor function the exact mechanism of action remained elusive until now. The scientists, whose work has been published in Molecular Psychiatry, discovered that the anti-depressant activated the glucocorticoid receptor in immature cells, thus causing them to mature into adult brain cells; a process called neurogenesis. This neurogenesis can then combat the negative effects of stress hormones which are elevated in depressed patients. Not all patients respond well to anti-depressant medications however, and this research may prompt further study using a similar stem cell model of psychiatric illness to investigate targeted anti-depressant drugs that are more effective.



This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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More on stem cells --


Scientists find chemical that could make superhealing possible

Breakthrough chemical brings stem cells stored in bone marrow directly to the site of a wound.


By Bryan Nelson

6 April 11



Scientists from Osaka University and King's College London have identified an incredible new chemical that prompts the body's stem cells to flock en masse to the site of a skin wound, allowing it to heal at an accelerated rate, reports the BBC.


The finding could lead to new breakthroughs in the field of regenerative medicine, essentially revolutionizing how medical professionals treat wounds.


The chemical, simply called HMGB1, works as a catalyst that awakens stem cells idling in the body's bone marrow, summoning them directly to the targeted wound. Researchers liken the process to that of a "megaphone going off in the system."



The discovery has also shed light on the role that bone marrow plays in healing the skin. Though medical scientists have long been aware of the connection between bone marrow and healing, the mechanisms underlying that connection were a mystery.


More research is needed before scientists will completely understand the underlying mechanism, but McGrath envisions treatments in which a drug similar to HMGB1 could be injected near a wound, thus enabling the superhealing process. At the very least, the research proves that the body's latent healing abilities are far more remarkable than ever imagined.



1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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