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Re: Mice overcome fear, depression with natural Prozac

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  • Jeff Belyea
    Makes you happy you re not a mouse, hmmmm? Maybe Aummmm is a happy tone. Swim on.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 11, 2008
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      Makes you happy you're not
      a mouse, hmmmm?

      Maybe Aummmm is
      a happy tone.

      Swim on.

      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      > Mice overcome fear, depression with natural Prozac
      > WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2008
      > From Newsdaily.com
      > The brain can produce antidepressants with
      > the right signal, a finding that suggests that
      > meditating, or going to your "happy place,"
      > truly works, scientists reported on Wednesday.
      > Mice forced to swim endlessly until they
      > surrendered and just floated, waiting to drown,
      > could be conditioned to regain their will to
      > live when a tone they associated with safety
      > was played.
      > The experiment suggests that there are good
      > ways to teach people this skill, and points
      > to new routes for developing better antidepressants,
      > said Dr. Eric Kandel of the Howard Hughes Medical
      > Institute and Columbia University in New York,
      > who led the research.
      > "The happy place works. This is like going to
      > the country," Kandel said in a telephone interview.
      > Writing in the journal Neuron, Kandel's team
      > said they used classical conditioning to train
      > mice. They had already conditioned some mice to
      > fear a neutral tone by playing the sound when
      > they shocked the animals' paws. After a while,
      > the tone itself creates fear.
      > "It scares the hell out of the animal,"
      > Kandel said.
      > They decided to reverse the study -- they
      > played the tone when they were not shocking
      > the mice. "It learned that the only time it
      > was really safe is when the tone comes on," Kandel said.
      > To make a mouse depressed, they used a method favored by drug
      > companies called learned helplessness.
      > "You put an animal into a pool of water and
      > it can't get out. It gives up and it stops
      > swimming and it just floats," Kandel said.
      > "When you give the animal an antidepressant,
      > it starts swimming again. When we played the
      > tone, it started to swim again just as it did
      > with the antidepressant."
      > Further experiments showed the tone and an
      > antidepressant drug worked synergistically, he said.
      > When they looked at the brains of their mice,
      > they saw using the conditioned "safety" tone
      > activated a different pathway than the drugs did.
      > It affected dopamine, while antidepressants
      > work on serotonin. Both are message-carrying
      > molecules called neurotransmitters.
      > The conditioning also affected a compound
      > called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or
      > BDNF -- which helps nourish and encourages
      > the growth of brain cells.
      > The learned safety did not affect serotonin.
      > Mice conditioned by the "safety" tone also had
      > more newborn brain cells in the dentate gyrus,
      > a part of the brain linked with learning and
      > depression.
      > When Kandel's team used radiation to slow the
      > birth of new cells in the dentate gyrus, the
      > effects of learned safety and of antidepressants
      > were blunted.
      > Kandel noted that antidepressant drugs appear
      > to work, in part, by encouraging the growth of
      > new brain cells -- as does psychotherapy.
      > "Learning involves alterations in the brain and
      > gene expression," Kandel said. "Psychotherapy
      > is only a form of learning."
      > This shows how effective psychotherapy, meditation
      > and other stress-reduction tools may be, and it
      > could help in the design of new drugs, Kandel said.
      > "This opens up new pathways that may profitable,"
      > he said.
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