What's the buzz...

What's the buzz...

Brain protein that can block cocaine craving

Researchers have identified a key brain protein involved in cocaine addiction.
A new study conducted by a team of Indiana University neuroscientists demonstrates that GLT1, a protein that clears glutamate from the brain, plays a critical role in the craving for cocaine that develops after only several days of cocaine use.

The study showed that when rats taking large doses of cocaine are withdrawn from the drug, the production of GLT1 in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain implicated in motivation, begins to decrease. But if the rats receive ceftriaxone, an antibiotic used to treat meningitis, GLT1 production increases during the withdrawal period and decreases cocaine craving.

Ceftriaxone appears to block craving by reversing the decrease in GLT1 caused by repeated exposure to cocaine. In fact, ceftriaxone increases GLT1, which allows glutamate to be cleared quickly from the brain.

Soon, wireless body sensors to treat diabetes, heart failure

For decades, the military has used sonar for underwater communication.
Now, researchers at the University at Buffalo are developing a miniaturized version of the same technology to be applied inside the human body to treat diseases such as diabetes and heart failure in real time.

The advancement relies on sensors that use ultrasounds – the same inaudible sound waves used by the navy for sonar and doctors for sonograms – to wirelessly share information between medical devices implanted in or worn by people.

“This is a biomedical advancement that could revolutionize the way we care for people suffering from the major diseases of our time,” said Tommaso Melodia, PhD, UB associate professor of electrical engineering.

The idea of creating a network of wireless body sensors, also called a “body area network,” is not new. Development of the technology began roughly 10 years ago.

How to protect your kids’ eyes from sun exposure

Before sending their kids outside to play most parents covered them with sunscreen to protect their skin from too much of the sun`s UVA and UVB rays.

But they should also do something to protect their children`s eyes, says an expert.
“There is a lot of research that shows the harmful effects of too much sunlight for a child`s eyes. Sunlight over exposure can lead to aging of the lens and retina damage,” said James McDonnell, MD, medical director of pediatric ophthalmology at Loyola University Health System.

McDonnell suggests that if a child is going to be in the sun for 20 minutes or longer sunglasses are essential.

When choosing sunglasses for kids they should: Have a wrap-around frame to protect from peripheral light; Be transparent enough to see a child`s eyes through the lens; Not be made of dangerous chemicals such as bisphehol or phthalates; Fit properly and comfortably; Have lenses that protect from UVA and UVB rays.