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
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!