Purpose Glutamate is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain, and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) allows quantification of glutamate-related metabolites (glutamate/glutamine complex; Glx). In previous findings, Glx has been lower in several brain regions of patients with major depressive disorder than in those of healthy controls. However, the physiologic and characteristic distribution of Glx in the same individual remains unclear. We attempted to clarify which brain regions reflect changes associated with depression. Material and method We measured Glx in 12 patients with depression and 12 healthy controls matched for age and sex in three brain regions (left amygdala, left anterior cingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and then compared the physiologic and characteristic distribution of Glx between the two groups. Results In comparisons of the distributions, Glx was significantly higher in the amygdala than in other regions. Glx tended to be lower among the patients than the controls, although no significant differences were present between the groups. We could not detect the changes expected from major depressive disorder (reduced Glx) in the amygdala, which regulates emotions and shows higher concentrations of Glx than other regions. Conclusion Previous studies have suggested that the concentration of Glx decreases with age, and this might have influenced our results regarding changes with major depressive disorder. In addition, we could not clarify whether medications affected the patient condition, because treatment for depression increased Glx in previous studies. Further MRS studies are needed to clarify Glx distributions in the specific diagnosis of depression.
Transplanting the ovaries of young mice into menopausal mice has been shown to extend their lifespan, suggesting that the reproductive organs may play an important role in combating aging. Preventing skin aging is an extremely important matter with respect to maintaining quality of life, but little basic research has been conducted to examine this issue. The effects of treatment with cryopreserved ovarian tissue, tissue hormone therapy (THT), and hormone replacement therapy on inhibiting skin aging were investigated in experimental animals. The effects on skin elasticity (R7) and body weight changes in 6-week-old mice resulting from the transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue were evaluated, as were the effects on skin of estrogen administration after bilateral oophorectomy or transplantation. After the ovaries of 6-week-old mice were removed, the mice increased in weight over time. Their R7 temporarily decreased significantly to 3-week after oophorectomy, and subsequently improved. Mice were allocated into several different groups, including one that was given estrogen continuously for three weeks from immediately after oophorectomy and another that underwent transplantation of thawed ovarian tissue on the day after oophorectomy. While there was no difference of R7 between the hormone replaced groups and the sham surgery group, it was significantly lower in the non-replaced groups and the transplantation group than in the sham surgery group on day 14 and 18. R7 was still significantly lower on day 21 in the non-replaced group, but not in the transplantation group.R7 on day 21 in the transplantation group was significantly improved from that on day 18. These results suggest that THT and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be equally effective. If techniques for THT using cryopreserved ovaries to maintain the blood estrogen concentration above a specific level can be established, this might help prevent or improve the deterioration of skin appearance in young women who require oophorectomy due to gynecological disease and also in childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer patients.
A 57-year-old Japanese man with abdominal distention was referred to gastroenterologists at our hospital, where abdominal computed tomography revealed ascites and swollen lymph nodes. He was admitted for testing and treatment. Suffering from unremitting hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, hypotension, and hypoglycemia, he was transferred to our division for electrolyte correction and further diagnosis. Hormone stimulation testing revealed adrenal insufficiency. Upon electrophysiology, immunoelectrophoresis, and measurement of vascular endothelial growth factor, POEMS syndrome was diagnosed. POEMS syndrome may underlie adrenal insufficiency and should be considered when polyneuropathy, ascites, and swollen lymph nodes occur along with adrenal insufficiency.