"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Thursday, May 27, 2004


An Oxford team has developed a promising treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gherig's Disease. This is a degenerative disease characterized by loss of voluntary muscle control due to neuron death in the brain and spinal cord. It is fatal. The treatment involves injection of a gene triggering production of vascular endothelial growth factor, a hormone which has been found decreased in ALS patients. It is thought to have neuroprotective effects, and in mice, the therapy seems to have beneficial effects. Pretty cool, I say!

A UCLA team has found that histamine cells in the brain are inactive during the loss of consciousness of sleep, whereas norepinephrine and serotonin are inactivated leading to sleep's loss of muscle tone. This is an interesting bit, and certainly explains why antihistamines make you drowsy!

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