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Prozac Rejuvenates The Brain, Study

Update Date: Nov 05, 2013 09:07 AM EST

Previously, brain development and maturation were considered to be a one-way process, but a new study doubts this consideration.

The possibility that the adult brain can revert to a more younger state like past and even regain plasticity were not considered often. But a new study published in the online open-access journal Molecular Brain, demonstrated that chronic administration of one of the more widely used antidepressants fluoxetine can easily induce juvenile-like state in specific types of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of adult mice.

FLX is also known by trade names like Fontex, Sarafem and Prozac and is a selective serotonin.

The study led by Dr. Tsuyoshi Miyakawa and his colleagues from Fujita Health University showed that FLX-treated adult mice reduced expression of parvalbumin and perineuronal nets. These are molecular markers for maturation and are expressed in specific bunch of mature neurons in adults.

The findings of the study hint about the possibility that certain types of neurons in adult in the prefrontal cortex can partially regain a youth-like state. The authors are terming this phenomenon as induced-youth or iYouth.

These researchers with some other groups of researchers previously talked about similar effects of the antidepressants fluoxetine in the visual cortex, dentate gyrus and basolateral amygdala. These were associated with increased neural plasticity in certain types of neurons in adults.

Network dysfunction in the limbic system and prefrontal cortex have their involvement in the pathophysiology of depressive disorders. These also include amygdala and hippocampus.

However there are several questions which are still to be answered. Such as What are the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying iYouth? What are the differences between actual youth and iYouth? Is iYouth good or bad?

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