Novel Herbal Treatments

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drugs currently used for treatment of anxiety and depression have significant drawbacks, low success rates, negative side effects and take as long as 4-6 weeks to notice any positive change. Therefore, there is a need for a better treatment.
Escitalopram (Cipralex) and Novel Herbal Treatment (NHT) normalized stress-induced anhedonia in a mice model of depression. Which suggests treatment of the anhedonia that accompanies depression without common side effects of Escitalopram such as decreased libido.

NHT consists of four herbs: Crataegus pinnatifida (Shan Zha), Triticum aestivum (Fu Xiao Mai), Lilium brownii (Baihe), and the fruit of Ziziphus jujuba (Da Zao). We showed that Shan-Zha was sufficient to produce an anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effect similar to NHT or Ecitalopram through activation of 5-HT1A receptor and an elevation in BDNF levels in the hippocampus and Pre-frontal cortex (PFC). Chronic treatment with Shan Zha did not alter serotonin transporter levels in the PFC, as opposed to escitalopram treatment, which suggests a different mechanism of operation.

Our hope for the future is that Shan-Zha may serve as an alternative to conventional antidepressants. In addition, the lab is looking for a faster working mechanism to achieve better treatment with a shorter duration for depression.

Our research led to the development of a food supplement named NOVELLEXE.

Treatment with Ultra-Low Dose of THC

Ultra-low dose of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been shown to reverse cognitive impairments as a result of old age or Familial Alzheimer's Disease.

After receiving a single injection of this ultra-low dose of THC, old mice showed significant improvement over controls in measures of memory and learning and the beneficial effect of THC lasted for at least 7 weeks.

A similar effect occurred in a mice model for Familial Alzheimer's Disease (5xFAD). A single injection of ultra-low THC showed cognitive improvement administered after the onset of Alzheimer's behavioral symptoms.

Effect of Premature Birth

It is well established in literature that even under low medical risk conditions, premature birth is associated with short term and log term neurodevelopmental impairments in a vast range of domains. However, the correlational nature of human studies in this field prevents an experimental exploration of the mechanisms underlaying these impairments.
The lab is looking into the link between prematurity and behavioral and biological outcomes in the offspring.