Anti-Depressant Drug Found on Easter Island
August 1, 2012 3 Comments
Scientists in Texas are working on a way to help prevent the cognitive decline that happens with old and Alzehimer’s disease. In their searches, they have found a drug on Easter Island that could help make people smarter, less anxious, and also act as an antidepressant.
The drug is called rapamycin, and it is a by-product of bacteria. Rapamycin is currently used in cancer treatment and also as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection by the body during an organ transplant.
The experiment was conducted on mice, and results showed that the rapamycin seemed to lower anxiety and depression within the mice study group. The study involved exposing mice to a series of tunnels that eventually led to an open catwalk. The mice fed with a diet of rapamycin were less anxious up on the catwalk, and were more active in exploring the area. The second part of the experiment tested for depression levels of mice by holding their tails, which is how they are moved from cage to cage. Those mice that struggled were though to have less of an inclination to always get out of an uncomfortable situation, and more prone to getting up.
The conclusive results find that rapamycin does in fact act like an antidepressant. The rapamycin made the mice take more time to get out of the situation, rather than simply give up. Many depressed humans, when face with a difficult situation, won’t spend much time looking for a solution. Their depression leads them to quit more easily, and not work towards achieving a desired outcome. The scientists hope to do more research on this drug finding, and hope that it can one day be used to aid humans in their struggle to combat depression.