Electroconvulsive therapy, previously known as “electric shock treatment” is a method that can help patients combat severe depressions that no other treatment can alleviate. Lund University researcher Johan Hellsten has now shown in animal experiments that electroconvulsive therapy leads to new generation of nerve cells and blood vessels in precisely those parts of the brain that are affected in patients with depression. This may explain how electroconvulsive therapy makes the disease recede.
We now know that a deep depression not only causes patients great suffering but also leads to measurable changes in the brain. It has been shown, for instance, that the hippocampus, an area associated with both the memory function and emotions, is smaller in volume in depressed patients. The longer the depression has lasted, the smaller the hippocampus becomes.
For several years, Johan Hellsten, under the direction of the psychiatrist Anders Tingström at the Lund University Wallenberg Neurocenter, has studied electroconvulsive therapy in experiments with rats. On the one hand, he has shown that rats exposed to stress hormones evince a reduction in the generation of new nerve cells and, on the other hand, that electroconvulsive therapy can counteract the negative effects of the stress hormone and re-initiate the generation of new nerve cells. Electroconvulsive therapy also increases the production of blood vessel cells (endothelial cells) and the number of blood vessels in the relevant parts of the brain.
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An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
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Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
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Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
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Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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