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South African daffodils could aid treatment for brain conditions like depression

Published on 25/06/2012

South African daffodils may hold the key to successfully treating depression.

Compounds ound in Daffodils can penetrate the blood brain barrier

The blood brain barrier is a defensive wall that keeps the brain isolated from the rest of the body. This barrier is a major problem for doctors treating brain conditions like depression, as it contains proteins which push drugs out as soon as they get in.

Research has shown that nine in ten compounds are unable to penetrate the brain.

But scientists from the University of Copenhagen have found that compounds from several South African daffodils are able to pass through the blood brain barrier.

Writing in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, researchers stated that compounds found in plant species Crinum and Cyrtanthus- akin to snowdrops and daffodils- could eventually be used to help deliver drugs to the brain.

But Professor Birger Brodin said: ‘We examined various compounds for their influence on the transporter proteins in the brain.

‘Our results are promising, and several of the chemical compounds studied should therefore be tested further, as candidates for long-term drug development.’

But he warned the study was only the first stage, and it would be a long time before the compound could be developed into useable drugs.

If you want to be treated for depression privately, look for a health insurance policy with psychiatric cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Medical
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