Obviously nobody is suggesting coming off your medication, and for many cases of depression and anxiety, a course of SSRIs and/or CBT can be life-saving. For me, during a period of bad anxiety, when I was torn between the idea of going back on antidepressants or not, I began searching for some sort of alternative aid online and soon came across a video of Jim Carrey. Carrey has struggled with depression for the majority of his adult life; he's a classic case of the sad clown. "I take... supplements," he tells Larry King in the clip I found. "Vitamins?" asks King. Not quite, but not far off either. A natural substance called 5-HTP. "It's a wonderful thing," Carrey smiles. "It's amazing." His description of how 5-HTP worked made it sound like a super-drug, a cure-all. All it would take for me would be an anonymous trip to Holland and Barrett and 15 quid. Like every other young person, I knew it as a quick fix for MDMA comedowns, but never considered buying it as a medication replacement. Obviously for severe depression and anxiety, a serious course of SSRIs or cognitive behavioural therapy would be more appropriate. But at this point, I was ready for something to ease the transition.
Fortunately for the players, despite the appending doom touted by the media, the current research suggests Tβ4 is safe. 23 non-clinical toxicology studies have been performed “that demonstrate the safety of Tβ4 for its current and planned uses in man”. Significantly, a human clinical trial in healthy volunteers found “intravenous administration of Tβ4 appears to be safe and well-tolerated by all subjects with no dose limiting toxicity or serious adverse events reported”. Admittedly, this trial is limited in that it only followed subjects for a period of 28 days, and thus there is a need for further research if Tβ4 is ever to be developed as a medication.
Cells were incubated with 200 μM H2O2 for indicated times (A). Cells were pretreated with indicated concentrations of Tβ4 peptide (0.1–5 μg/mL) for 2 hours and then incubated with 200 μM H2O2 for 60 minutes (B). Data were representative of three independent experiments. The bar graph shows the fold increase in protein expression compared with control cells * Statistically significant differences compared with the control, p<0.05. # Statistically significant difference compared with the H2O2—treated group.
Injection is the most effective way to administrate the peptide and results are seen the fastest and best. The nasal spray method is effective up to 30 – 40% because the nasal passages have poor absorption rate, you have to apply the nasal spray at least two to three times more than the injection. The injectable product of the Melanotan is very superior as compared to the nasal version. The nasal versions generally take four to five weeks for displaying the results appose to 10 days with the injection.
Affecting generosity by increasing empathy during perspective taking: In a neuroeconomics experiment, intranasal oxytocin increased generosity in the Ultimatum Game by 80%, but had no effect in the Dictator Game that measures altruism. Perspective-taking is not required in the Dictator Game, but the researchers in this experiment explicitly induced perspective-taking in the Ultimatum Game by not identifying to participants into which role they would be placed. Serious methodological questions have arisen, however, with regard to the role of oxytocin in trust and generosity. Empathy in healthy males has been shown to be increased after intranasal oxytocin This is most likely due to the effect of oxytocin in enhancing eye gaze. There is some discussion about which aspect of empathy oxytocin might alter – for example, cognitive vs. emotional empathy. While studying wild chimpanzees, it was noted that after a chimpanzee shared food with a non-kin related chimpanzee, the subjects' levels of oxytocin increased, as measured through their urine. In comparison to other cooperative activities between chimpanzees that were monitored including grooming, food sharing generated higher levels of oxytocin. This comparatively higher level of oxytocin after food sharing parallels the increased level of oxytocin in nursing mothers, sharing nutrients with their kin.
In women, oxytocin is responsible for signaling contractions of the womb during labor. The hormone stimulates the uterine muscles to contract, so labor begins. It also increases the production of prostaglandins, which move labor along and increases the contractions even more. Because of this effect, synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) is sometimes used to induce a woman to start labor if she cannot start naturally, or it can be given to make contractions stronger if a woman's labor is slowing.
Autism: Oxytocin has been implicated in the etiology of autism, with one report suggesting autism is correlated with genomic deletion of the gene containing the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Studies involving Caucasian and Finnish samples and Chinese Han families provide support for the relationship of OXTR with autism. Autism may also be associated with an aberrant methylation of OXTR.
The first study to show that Tβ4-promoted tissue repair was a dermal study performed in rats (Malinda et al., 1999). It had previously been found to promote angiogenesis and was reported to be high in platelets (Grant et al., 1995; Hannappel & van Kampen, 1987; Malinda, Goldstein, & Kleinman, 1997; Philp, Huff, Gho, Hannappel, & Kleinman, 2003). Since platelets are the first cells to enter a wound, it was clear that Tβ4 should be tested in dermal wounds in an animal model (Malinda et al., 1997, 1999; Philp, Badamchian, et al., 2003). In the first dermal study using 8 mm full-thickness punch wounds in rats, Tβ4 at 5 μg/50 μL of phosphate-buffered saline was found to accelerate wound closure, increase angiogenesis, and accelerate collagen deposition (Malinda et al., 1999). Tβ4 was only applied at the time of injury and at 48 h since after that the crust had formed. Visible macroscopic improvement was seen in the treated group by day 4. The study also found that Tβ4 promoted keratinocyte migration in vitro with activity in the picogram range. The findings were confirmed in various additional animal models (Table 1) and led to the clinical trials for hard to heal wound in patients as detailed in Table 2.
Thymosin beta 4, developed by RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals as a pharmaceutical for the healing of wounds, is a synthetic version of the natural peptide. As Dr. Allan Goldstein emphasizes, “Tb4 represents a new class of wound healing compounds. It is not a growth factor or cytokine, but rather exhibits a number of physiological properties which include the ability to sequester and regulate actin, its potent chemotactic properties. . . and its capability to downregulate a number of inflammatory cytokines that are present in chronic wounds.” When a wound heals there are many growth factors produced in the area so that additional factors, such as those currently on the market for wound healing, may help but are not necessarily lacking. Tb4 treatment, however, adds a new dimension to wound repair by providing cells with actin as needed, for cell migration, replication and differentiation.
Recent preclinical studies by us and others have revealed that endogenous neurorestoration is present after TBI, including neurogenesis, axonal sprouting, synaptogenesis, and angiogenesis, which may contribute to the spontaneous functional recovery.13-18 In addition, treatments that promote these neurorestorative processes have been demonstrated to improve functional recovery after brain injury.19,20 However, clinical trials in TBI have primarily targeted neuroprotection, and trials directed specifically at neurorestoration have not been conducted. The essential difference between neuroprotective and neurorestorative treatments is that the former target the lesion that is still not irreversibly injured and the latter treat the intact tissue.19 Thus, neurorestorative treatments can be made available for a larger number of TBI patients.
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.