Background Autophagy is central to health, and a decline in autophagy from the youthful, healthy state correlates with disease and aging. Among the diseases in which a decline in autophagy is prominent are neurological and neuroimmune disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Psychiatric disorders are characterized almost universally by increased inflammation and oxidative stress, which are negatively related to levels of autophagy. Treatments designed to restore or increase autophagy may have efficacy in psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Findings Recent research has found that many psychoactive drugs in several different classes, such as anti-psychotics, tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and lithium, strongly promote autophagy in neurons. Other diverse interventions, such as rapamycin, trehalose, and exercise, have been shown to have antidepressant effects in animals and sometimes in humans. Most drugs used in other areas of medicine do not activate autophagy. The case is made in this paper that autophagy may play a central role in the mechanism of action of these drugs and interventions through direct effects on autophagy as well as concomitant lowering of levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. Conclusions Many drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses activate autophagy, and this may be their central mechanism of action, which lends new insight into the pathogenesis of mental illness and to potential new therapies for them.
Upon re-examination of large telomere datasets from healthy human populations, a downward secular trend in telomere length at birth was found. The authors theorized that relatively recent environmental stresses to female germ cells could have driven the observed intergenerational telomere erosion; otherwise, these trends would have pushed populations into pathological telomere length ranges within a few centuries. Strangely, the authors decided to disregard an 11-year-old theory of telomere-driven macroevolution that is based on progressive intergenerational telomere loss as the driving force behind species extinction and speciation. Additionally, Holohan and colleagues introduced a “new” interpretation of the old-father-long-telomered-offspring effect, namely as a consequence of intergenerational telomere erosion in the female lineage. Yet, an identical theoretical model has been published twice, several years before. To distinguish between a temporary trend caused by environmental pollution and a general evolutionary mechanism of intergenerational telomere erosion, we urgently need telomere length data from multigenerational studies on mammals with a short generation-time.
Twitter backchannels are increasingly popular at medical conferences. A variety of user groups, including healthcare providers and third party entities (e.g., pharmaceutical or medical device companies) use these backchannels to communicate with one another. These backchannels are unregulated and can allow third party commercial entities to exert an equal or greater amount of influence than healthcare providers. Third parties can use this influence to promote their products or services instead of sharing unbiased, evidence-based information. In the #MICEproject we quantified the influence that third party commercial entities had in 13 major medical conferences.
Quantum theory has found that elementary particles in addition to the classic field quantity have also quantum-mechanical degree of freedom. This research paper defines another hypothetical intrinsic degree of freedom which has a topological nature. A topological quantum field theory is constructed to this hypothetical degree of freedom.
The Standard model of particle physics is based on nonabelian gauge theories. Since there are observed phenomena which cannot be explained with ordinary Standard model, this theory can be further generalized. This paper treats an extension of the Standard model by introducing a generalization of nonabelian gauge theories.
Differential geometry is a powerful tool in various branches of science, especially in theoretical physics. Ordinary differential geometry requires differentiable manifolds. This research paper shows how concepts of differential geometry can also be applied to pure topological spaces. Such a theory is based on concepts like cohomology theory. It allows to define a curvature operator also on pure topological spaces without connection. The main advantage of this theory is that the only required information about the topological spaces is the structure of these spaces. A formulation of quantum gravity is also possible with this theory.