Dana News Email Blast: February

Below is last week’s Dana news email blast. You can sign up to receive this (and other Dana email alerts and/or print publications) by going here.

Do Antidepressants Really Work?

by William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., and Steven M. Paul, M.D.

Currently used antidepressants do not work particularly well for most patients, but they do work for many and they can literally save lives. Until new drugs are developed, the challenge is how to know at the start who will respond and who won’t. A Dana Report on Progress; other recent reports are “New Diagnostic Criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease: What do they really mean?” and “Autism: The pervasive developmental disorder.”

Off-the-Shelf Drug Rapidly Clears Alzheimer’s Protein in Mice

The drug, bexarotene, might be more useful in preventing dementia than in treating it.

Hormones, Sexual Dimorphism, and the Brain: a Primer

Many of us think of hormones as the gender-specific molecules we learned about in middle school health class — chemical messengers that govern our reproductive development and behaviors. But sex steroids like testosterone and estrogen affect the entire brain both during development and throughout adult life, shaping, activating, and fueling sexually dimorphic brain circuits involved in stress and memory as well as several psychiatric disorders. Past quarterly primers cover brain receptors, neuroanatomy, the synapse and biomarkers.

Treating Brain Cancer with Nanomedicine

Researchers find microparticles can carry treatments across the blood-brain barrier and target only tumor cells.

Love and Other (Gateway) Drugs

Even after 55 years of marriage, researchers Denise and Eric Kandel found it was no cakewalk to work together in the lab for the first time. But the results were “enormously satisfying.” From the Dana blog.

The Power of Suggestion

With growing evidence regarding a placebo response, it is important to minimize the effects as much as possible, says Guy McKhann, professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

See also: Brain in the News — scientifically vetted stories from around the Web, updated weekly

NYC Brain Bee Winner Knows Her ATP

Danling Chen, a 16-year-old 11th-grade student at Staten Island Technical High school, won first place at the 2012 New York City Regional Brain Bee. Now she’ll head to Baltimore for the national competition, held during Brain Awareness Week.

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