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My stupid life

Running to the hills

Service resumes next week. Try not to screw things up while we're gone.

By fnord12 | September 27, 2008, 10:15 AM | My stupid life | Comments (1)| Link

We're going to Vermont

And we might not come back.

By fnord12 | September 26, 2008, 10:54 AM | Liberal Outrage & My stupid life | Comments (2)| Link

Reticulating Dendritic Splines

Dendritic spines are the sites where your brain cells communicate with each other. Apparently, with chronic drug use, the density of dendritic spines increases. It had been previously speculated that the increase in dendritic spines supports behavioural changes associated with drug addiction. Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have now discovered that the formation of dendritic spines in your brain during cocaine usage might actually help limit addiction-related responses. They call it "cocaine-induced brain plasticity". Ooooooh.

In a study appearing in the Aug. 28 issue of Neuron, researchers found that cocaine suppresses the activity of the protein MEF2 in mice. Because MEF2 normally reduces the number of brain connections, suppressing MEF2 leads to an increase in dendritic spine density. The researchers also found that when they enhanced MEF2 activity in the brain this blocked the drug-induced increase in dendritic spine density and increased addiction-related behavioral responses to cocaine.
When the researchers manipulated animals so that their MEF2 levels remained high in the presence of cocaine, the animals were more sensitive to the drug. This suggested that increased communication sites might help combat the addiction process.

The question is - what's the dedritic spine response to other drugs? And, more importantly, how is this related to the complete lack of effect Benadryl has on me when it puts everyone else to sleep? But then as soon as i stop using the Benadryl (after mebbe 1 1/2 days of usage) i get a massive headache? Are my dendrites reticulating so densely that my behavioural response to drugs is nil? At least it made the itching stop...

By min | September 8, 2008, 1:47 PM | My stupid life & Science | Comments (1)| Link

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