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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.
Increasing trust and reducing fear. In a risky investment game, experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed “the highest level of trust” twice as often as the control group. Subjects who were told that they were interacting with a computer showed no such reaction, leading to the conclusion that oxytocin was not merely affecting risk-aversion.11 Nasally administered oxytocin has also been reported to reduce fear, possibly by inhibiting the amygdala (which is thought to be responsible for fear responses).12 There is no conclusive evidence for access of oxytocin to the brain through intranasal administration, however.
Can a supplement proven to fight blue moods also help stimulate weight loss? “Yes it can!” say experts who are now prescribing a natural compound called 5-HTP. According to top integrative health expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, author of What Doctors Eat ($15.99, Amazon), “5-HTP is converted directly to serotonin, and serotonin makes you feel good, feel happy, feel full — and when you feel that way, you’re going to eat less.” In fact, Dr. Bhatia adds that while most appetite suppressants only target physical hunger, this one also “works to reduce ‘emotional hunger’ and stress-related urges to eat.” Dr. Oz said he left impressed after consulting with a panel of 5-HTP experts, including American Board of Obesity Medicine alum Denise E. Bruner, MD. He said the supplements may even be “a secret weapon for hunger!”
Nolen, W. A., van de Putte, J. J., Dijken, W. A., Kamp, J. S., Blansjaar, B. A., Kramer, H. J., and Haffmans, J. Treatment strategy in depression. II. MAO inhibitors in depression resistant to cyclic antidepressants: two controlled crossover studies with tranylcypromine versus L-5-hydroxytryptophan and nomifensine. Acta Psychiatr.Scand 1988;78(6):676-683. View abstract.
The first time Ditzen and her colleagues did this experiment they found that for both men and women oxytocin improved communication and lowered cortisol, a stress hormone. But in a recent study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Ditzen and her colleagues measured salivary alpha-amylase (sAA)—an enzyme tied specifically to social stress—and found that men and women responded differently. Women who got oxytocin showed a decrease in sAA whereas men showed an increase and reported feeling more intense emotions. Counterintuitively, these men were also better at communication during conflict: they smiled more, had more eye-contact and were more open about their feelings. These behaviors are essential for peaceful conflict resolution.
One study investigating romantic stress that looked at nondepressed youth who went through a recent breakup and were given 60mg of Griffonica Simplicifonia (12.8mg 5-HTP) twice a day for 6 weeks in an open-label study noted reductions in percieved romantic stress when measured at the 3 week mark with no further improvement at 6 weeks; there was no control nor placebo group in this study.
Conclusions: Melanotan not a treatment or cure for anything. Nor should it be considered a preventative treatment for skin cancer. Despite this tanning peptide being known to protect the skin through the natural tanning process, it is not in and itself a guaranteed full proof UV shield. However, it is a great way for those who don't tan easily to get sun-kissed all year long with minimal exposure to the sun.
The promise of repairing sun parched aging skin is alluring, especially if damage control may be attained by applying a substance that is abundant in our body. Thymosin beta 4 (Tb4), a molecule that accelerates wound healing in animals and cultured cells, "may be valuable in repairing skin damage caused by sun or even by the wear and tear of aging?" This hopeful message of Tb4's potential to restore damaged human skin was voiced at the 5th International Symposium on Aging Skin, in California (May 2001), by Dr. Allan Goldstein, Chairman of the Biochemistry Department at George Washington University and founder of RegeneRX Biopharmaceuticals. RegeneRX is carrying out preclinical research on Tb4 as a wound healer, in collaboration with scientists at the National Institutes of Health.
Oxytocin in a nine amino acid peptide that is synthesized in hypothalamic neurons and transported down axons of the posterior pituitary for secretion into blood. Oxytocin is also secreted within the brain and from a few other tissues, including the ovaries and testes. Oxytocin differs from antidiuretic hormone in two of the nine amino acids. Both hormones are packaged into granules and secreted along with carrier proteins called neurophysins.
Adam Guastella, a clinical psychologist at University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, and a pioneer in studies of how oxytocin can help people with autism, thinks the hormone can also help people in couple therapy by facilitating empathic communication. His research has shown that people who get oxytocin are more focused on positive emotion: they remember happy faces better than angry and neutral ones. Research by others has shown that oxytocin increases trust, generosity and our ability to identify emotion in facial expressions. It is perhaps by these mechanisms that the hormone improves communication.
“The study was double-blinded and was for two consecutive 6-wk periods. No diet was prescribed during the first period, a 5040-kJ/d diet was recommended for the second. Significant weight loss was observed in 5-HTP-treated patients during both periods. A reduction in carbohydrate intake and a consistent presence of early satiety were also found. These findings together with the good tolerance observed suggest that 5-HTP may be safely used to treat obesity.”
The biologically active form of oxytocin, commonly measured by RIA and/or HPLC techniques, is also known as the octapeptide "oxytocin disulfide" (oxidized form), but oxytocin also exists as a reduced straight-chain (non-cyclic) dithiol nonapeptide called oxytoceine. It has been theorized that oxytoceine may act as a free radical scavenger, as donating an electron to a free radical allows oxytoceine to be re-oxidized to oxytocin via the dehydroascorbate / ascorbate redox couple.
In the prairie vole, oxytocin released into the brain of the female during sexual activity is important for forming a pair bond with her sexual partner. Vasopressin appears to have a similar effect in males. Oxytocin has a role in social behaviors in many species, so it likely also does in humans. In a 2003 study, both humans and dog oxytocin levels in the blood rose after five to 24 minutes of a petting session. This possibly plays a role in the emotional bonding between humans and dogs.
Established immortalized human PDLCs  that maintain the characteristics of primary PDLCs by transfecting human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) were used. These cell line were kindly provided by Professor Takashi Takata (Hiroshima University, Japan). Cells were cultured in α-MEM supplemented with 10% FBS, 100 U/mL penicillin, and 100 μg/mL streptomycin in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 at 37°C. For the experiments, the cells were seeded into culture dishes and then cultured in α-MEM containing 10% FBS for 2 days until 70% confluent, and, then, the media was replaced by serum-free medium in order to minimize any serum-induced effects on PDLCs. Subsequently, the cells were exposed to H2O2 and human Tβ4 peptide (RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Rockville, MD). All treatments were performed in triplicate and approved by the local ethics committee.
Work with cell cultures and experiments with animals have shown that administration of thymosin β4 can promote migration of cells, formation of blood vessels, maturation of stem cells, survival of various cell types and lowering of the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These multiple properties have provided the impetus for a worldwide series of on-going clinical trials of potential effectiveness of thymosin β4 in promoting repair of wounds in skin, cornea and heart.
Oxytocin is not only correlated with the preferences of individuals to associate with members of their own group, but it is also evident during conflicts between members of different groups. During conflict, individuals receiving nasally administered oxytocin demonstrate more frequent defense-motivated responses toward in-group members than out-group members. Further, oxytocin was correlated with participant desire to protect vulnerable in-group members, despite that individual's attachment to the conflict. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that when oxytocin is administered, individuals alter their subjective preferences in order to align with in-group ideals over out-group ideals. These studies demonstrate that oxytocin is associated with intergroup dynamics. Further, oxytocin influences the responses of individuals in a particular group to those of another group. The in-group bias is evident in smaller groups; however, it can also be extended to groups as large as one's entire country leading toward a tendency of strong national zeal. A study done in the Netherlands showed that oxytocin increased the in-group favoritism of their nation while decreasing acceptance of members of other ethnicities and foreigners. People also show more affection for their country's flag while remaining indifferent to other cultural objects when exposed to oxytocin. It has thus been hypothesized that this hormone may be a factor in xenophobic tendencies secondary to this effect. Thus, oxytocin appears to affect individuals at an international level where the in-group becomes a specific "home" country and the out-group grows to include all other countries.
Outside the brain, oxytocin-containing cells have been identified in several diverse tissues, including in females in the corpus luteum and the placenta; in males in the testicles' interstitial cells of Leydig; and in both sexes in the retina, the adrenal medulla, the thymus and the pancreas. The finding of significant amounts of this classically "neurohypophysial" hormone outside the central nervous system raises many questions regarding its possible importance in these different tissues.
The structure of oxytocin is very similar to that of vasopressin. Both are nonapeptides with a single disulfide bridge, differing only by two substitutions in the amino acid sequence (differences from oxytocin bolded for clarity): Cys – Tyr – Phe – Gln – Asn – Cys – Pro – Arg – Gly – NH2. A table showing the sequences of members of the vasopressin/oxytocin superfamily and the species expressing them is present in the vasopressin article. Oxytocin and vasopressin were isolated and their total synthesis reported in 1954, work for which Vincent du Vigneaud was awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with the citation: "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone."
Some work has pointed to a potential dark side to oxytocin. Carter's group found that a single low dose of the hormone given to baby prairie voles improved their pair bonding as adults, but that higher doses interfered with that behaviour — possibly because oxytocin started to activate other receptors16. And human studies have suggested that in certain contexts, a puff of oxytocin can cause people to be more aggressive in defending themselves against outsiders or competitors17. In patients with a psychiatric condition known as borderline personality disorder, a single dose of oxytocin has been found to hinder trust and cooperation18.