Such tissue-regenerating properties of thymosin β4 may ultimately contribute to repair of human heart muscle damaged by heart disease and heart attack. In mice, administration of thymosin β4 has been shown to stimulate formation of new heart muscle cells from otherwise inactive precursor cells present in the outer lining of adult hearts, to induce migration of these cells into heart muscle and recruit new blood vessels within the muscle.
That view has led some clinicians to try oxytocin as a treatment for psychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder. But the early trials have had mixed results, and scientists are now seeking a deeper understanding of oxytocin and how it works in the brain. Researchers such as Froemke are showing that the hormone boosts neuronal signals in a way that could accentuate socially relevant input such as distress calls or possibly facial expressions. And clinical researchers are starting a wave of more ambitious trials to test whether oxytocin can help some types of autism.
Cells on the surface of the skin are constantly being replaced by regeneration from below. The repair of a wound is a scaling up of this normal process, with additional complex interactions among cells, formation of new blood vessels, collagen, more extensive cell division and cell migration, as well as strict control of inflammatory cells and the cytokines they release to resolve the inflammation.
Even if you did look after yourself adequately and monitor the amount of 5-HTP you were taking, it doesn't appear to be a permanent or lasting solution. A couple of the doctors talked about something that comes up time and time again with long-term SSRI use: a dissipating effect, meaning they can feel less and less effective over time. It seems that people may have the same problem with 5-HTP. "If you push on your biochemistry hard enough, it may downregulate," Dr Paddock explained. "If you're taking SSRIs your body may downregulate the amount of serotonin it puts out so you get waning effects over time. It's similar with 5-HTP. There may be a certain level of serotonin your body is keeping you at and if you raise it or push it, your body then may say, 'Okay, we're above the set point, let's then raise that point again.'"
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A 2002 review concluded that although the data evaluated suggests that 5-HTP is more effective than placebo in the treatment of depression, the evidence was insufficient to be conclusive due to a lack of clinical data meeting the rigorous standards of today. More and larger studies using current methodologies are needed to determine if 5-HTP is truly effective in treating depression. In small controlled trials 5-HTP has also been reported to augment the antidepressant efficacy of the antidepressant clomipramine.