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Rice bran may help prevent cancer

Researchers including one of Indian origin are conducting a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of rice bran in preventing the recurrence of colon cancer.

“While I have been trained as a molecular toxicologist, I am excited about the opportunities to deliver bioactive, cancer fighting compounds with food, and this has led to my focus now primarily on the multiple drug-like characteristics of rice bran,” said Elizabeth P. Ryan, PhD, CU Cancer Center investigator, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at the CSU Animal Cancer Center, and the review’s senior author.

“There’s a delicate balance of bioactive components in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity including the ability to inhibit cell proliferation, alter cell cycle progression and initiate the programmed cell death known as apoptosis in malignant cells,” Ryan said.

Blocking memories could help treat PTSD or drug addiction

Researchers from Western University has revealed a common mechanism in a region of the brain called the pre-limbic cortex that can control the recall of memories linked to both aversive, traumatic experiences associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and rewarding memories linked to drug addiction. More importantly, the researchers have discovered a way to actively suppress the spontaneous recall of both types of memories, without permanently altering memories.

The study could lead to better treatments for PTSD and drug addiction.
The research was performed by Nicole Lauzon, a PhD candidate in the laboratory of Steven Laviolette at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.  “These findings are very important in disorders like PTSD or drug addiction. One of the common problems associated with these disorders is the obtrusive recall of memories that are associated with the fearful, emotional experiences in PTSD patients.” explained Laviolette, an associate professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Psychiatry.

Anti-depressants could boost recovery after stroke

Anti-depressants could help stroke patients recover more quickly by ‘rebuilding’ brain, researchers have suggested.

According to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the drugs could reduce dependence, physical disability, depression and anxiety in the first year after a stroke. They could also promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain or protect other cells damaged by stroke, the research published by the Cochrane Library stated.
The researchers examined 52 studies concerning selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
“Anti-depressants have been successfully used for many years to relieve depression. However, it now appears that they also have effects on the brain that may help patients make a better recovery from the physical effects of stroke,” Professor Gillian Mead, professor of stroke said.

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