Episode 35: Aging and antidepressants

This week Zach and Kelly talk about how the blood of young mice makes old mice brains look young again, and whether or not genomics can help to predict the kinds of antidepressants to which a person will respond.


Weinersmith news

Trial of the Clone–Zach’s new choose-able pathways book

On Amazon!

Through SMBC!

Through Breadpig!

Paper 1: Villeda et al. 2011The aging systemic milieu negatively regulates neurogenesis and cognitive function


Why Zebra Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

Group selection

The Guardian article covering Dr. Villeda’s talk on aging at the Society for Neuroscience conference

Serge Voronoff – surgeon who grafted monkey testicles on to human men

Paper 2: Tansey et al. 2012Genetic predictors of response to serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants in major depressive disorder: a genome-wide analysis of individual-level data and a meta-analysis


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NRIs)

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression


4 thoughts on “Episode 35: Aging and antidepressants

  1. Konrad

    The annoying part is that there are companies already making claims of working pharmacogenomic algorithms for drug prescription, based on flawed smaller studies.

    As reviewed in this post by Neuroskeptic: http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.de/2012/10/gene-guided-antidepressants.html (as I have yet to read the full cited study)

    The post also mentions/links to an earlier article attempting similar predictions, but with the use of EEG. Glaring methodological problems on both sides though. It would be great if we really could match prescriptions that way, but the apparent refusal of researchers to conduct proper randomised controlled trials is unfortunately telling.

  2. Morris Keesan

    Re: group selection for longevity.
    Humans have notably longer lives than the other apes, and one proposed explanation for this is the “grandmother hypothesis”, suggesting that if women live longer (i.e. significantly beyond reproductive age), and can care for their grandchildren, this gives a reproductive advantage to their daughters, and thus an evolutionary advantage to the longevity genes.

  3. Anthony

    Bring on the ‘vampires are real’ stories :D.

    Have you guys heard about Ben Goldacre’s new book Bad Pharma? It’s all about problems with drug trials and drug companies; I would love to hear you discuss it :).

  4. Mike Bird

    Zach was saying that Hydra were the only species where individuals don’t die naturally. I thought carp also lived as long as they had food and fresh water.


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