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The effect of clonazepam on the restless legs syndrome was studied in a group of 6 patients. Following a drug-free period, 3 patients received clonazepam for 4 weeks followed by placebo for 4 weeks thereafter and 3 patients received the same medication and for the same length of time but in reverse order. The effectiveness of the medication was evaluated by means of a self-rating system in which patients assigned a score daily to the degree of discomfort experienced in the previous 24 hours. Three patients improved on clonazepam but 2 of these also improved on placebo. Clonazepam was not shown to be significantly more effective than placebo in the treatment of RLS.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
Proinflammatory cytokines play a central role in depression-like behaviour and apoptosis in the limbic system after myocardial infarction (MI). A PUFA n-3 diet or the combination of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 probiotics, when given before the ischaemic period, reduce circulating proinflammatory cytokines as well as apoptosis in the limbic system. The present study was designed to determine if the same nutritional interventions maintain their beneficial effects when started after the onset of the reperfusion period and attenuate depression-like behaviour observed after MI. MI was induced by the occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery for 40 min in rats. After the onset of reperfusion, animals were fed with a high- or low-PUFA n-3 diet, combined or not with one billion live bacteria of L. helveticus and B. longum. At 3 d post-MI, caspase-3 enzymatic activities and terminal 2′-deoxyuridine, 5′-triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end labelling (TUNEL)-positive cells were decreased in the CA1, dentate gyrus (DG) and amygdala with the high-PUFA n-3 diet, as compared to the three other diets. Probiotics attenuated caspase-3 activity and TUNEL-positive cells in the DG and the medial amygdala. At 2 weeks post-MI, depression-like behaviour was observed in the low-PUFA n-3 diet without probiotics-group, and this behaviour was attenuated with the high-PUFA n-3 diet or/and probiotics. These results indicate that a high-PUFA n-3 diet or the administration of probiotics, starting after the onset of reperfusion, are beneficial to attenuate apoptosis in the limbic system and post-MI depression in the rat.
Myocardial infarction (MI) in rats is accompanied by apoptosis in the limbic system and a behavioural syndrome similar to models of depression. We have already shown that probiotics can reduce post-MI apoptosis and designed the present study to determine if probiotics can also prevent post-MI depressive behaviour. We also tested the hypothesis that probiotics achieve their central effects through changes in the intestinal barrier. MI was induced in anaesthetised rats via 40-min transient occlusion of the left anterior coronary artery. Sham rats underwent the same surgical procedure without actual coronary occlusion. For 7 d before MI and between the seventh post-MI day and euthanasia, half the MI and sham rats were given one billion live bacterial cells of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 per d dissolved in water, while the remaining animals received only the vehicle (maltodextrin). Depressive behaviour was evaluated 2 weeks post-MI in social interaction, forced swimming and passive avoidance step-down tests. Intestinal permeability was evaluated by oral administration with fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran, 4 h before euthanasia. MI rats displayed less social interaction and impaired performance in the forced swimming and passive avoidance step-down tests compared to the sham controls (P < 0·05). Probiotics reversed the behavioural effects of MI (P < 0·05), but did not alter the behaviour of sham rats. Intestinal permeability was increased in MI rats and reversed by probiotics. In conclusion, L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 combination interferes with the development of post-MI depressive behaviour and restores intestinal barrier integrity in MI rats.
Myocardial infarction (MI) stimulates the release of pro-inflammatory substances that induce apoptosis in the limbic system. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are considered as the root cause of apoptosis, although the mechanism is not fully explained and/or understood at this time. In addition, depression may induce gastrointestinal perturbations that maintain the elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It has been shown that some specific probiotic formulations may reduce gastrointestinal problems induced by stress and the pro/anti-inflammatory cytokine ratio. Therefore, we hypothesised that probiotics, when given prophylactically, may diminish the apoptosis propensity in the limbic system following a MI. Male adult Sprague–Dawley rats were given probiotics (Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum in combination) or placebo in their drinking-water for four consecutive weeks. A MI was then induced in the rats by occluding the left anterior coronary artery for 40 min. Rats were killed following a 72 h reperfusion period. Infarct size was not different in the two groups. Bax/Bcl-2 (pro-apoptotic/anti-apoptotic) ratio and caspase-3 (pro-apoptotic) activity were reduced in the amygdala (lateral and medial), as well as in the dentate gyrus in the probiotics group when compared with the placebo. Akt activity (anti-apoptotic) was increased in these same three regions. No significant difference was observed in Ca1 and Ca3 for the different markers measured. In conclusion, the probiotics L. helveticus and B. longum, given in combination as preventive therapy, reduced the predisposition of apoptosis found in different cerebral regions following a MI.
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