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Brain has a mechanismfor dehydration

July 27, 2014



Brain has a mechanismfor dehydration





The human brain can preserve oxygen to protect itself from the effects of dehydration, a new study finds.

Although dehydration significantly reduces blood flow to the brain, researchers in England have found that the brain compensates by increasing the amount of oxygen it extracts from the blood, Health Day reported.

"This research has helped us understand a lot more about how the human brain responds to extreme exercise in extreme conditions," study first author Steven Trangmar, a researcher at Brunel University, said in a university news release.

"We can now see that blood flow to this vital organ is significantly affected by dehydration. But we can also see that this is when the brain kicks in, preserving its own oxygen consumption to ensure it sustains its function."

This coping mechanism is likely what enables athletes who become dehydrated during exercise to keep going. The study authors cautioned, however, that their findings should serve as a reminder of the importance of proper hydration, noting that getting enough fluids is essential for athletes who want to maintain peak performance.

"These findings show that the brain has remarkable ways of protecting itself from extreme circumstances, however they also clearly substantiate the recommendation that people should ingest fluids during exercise to help optimize physiological function and performance," Jose Gonzalez-Alonso, a professor of exercise and cardiovascular physiology at Brunel University, said in the news release.





Nanoparticle alarm clock

to awaken immune systems

Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center are exploring ways to wake up the immune system so it recognizes and attacks invading cancer cells. Tumors protect themselves by tricking the immune system into accepting everything as normal, even while cancer cells are dividing and spreading.

One pioneering approach uses nanoparticles to jumpstart the body's ability to fight tumors, Nanowerk? said.

Nanoparticles are too small to imagine. This makes them stealthy enough to penetrate cancer cells with therapeutic agents such as antibodies, drugs, vaccine type viruses, or even metallic particles. Though small, nanoparticles can pack large payloads of a variety of agents that have different effects that activate and strengthen the body's immune system response against tumors.

"Our lab's approach differs from most in that we use nanoparticles to stimulate the immune system to attack tumors and there are a variety of potential ways that can be done," said Steve Fiering, Ph.D., Norris Cotton Cancer Center researcher and professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and of Genetics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. "Perhaps the most exciting potential of nanoparticles is that although very small, they can combine multiple therapeutic agents."

The immune therapy methods limit a tumor's ability to trick the immune system. It helps it to recognize the threat and equip it to effectively attack the tumor with more 'soldier' cells. These approaches are still early in development in the laboratory or clinical trials.


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Source: Iran Daily


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