Saturday, February 16, 2008

Taking an SSRI? Read this

SOTD (study of the day):

Antidepressants of the future may work not on boosting serotonin, as SSRIs do, but on blocking a substance called GSK3ß in the brain. (OK, I had to copy and paste to get that funny little symbol at the end of the string of letters and numbers. I know it's Greek, but what is it?)

Pretty cool to think there's lots of room for improvement on the mental health front.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9F

The B-looking thing is German.

peggynature said...

Could it be beta?

Anonymous said...

It's a lowercase beta. You usually see the uppercase Greek letters in inscriptions and frats and sororities, which is probably why it's not so recognizable. Uppercase beta looks like a B.

Kira said...

That is a beta, as others have said above. You can make it display on a webpage by using the code β

Here's a page showing codes for the Greek alphabet, including beta: HTML codes for the Greek alphabet.

Kira said...

Oops, of course - instead of displaying the text of the code it displayed the letter beta. Duh! ;-) To display beta, enter the following without the space between the ampersand and the 'b': & beta;

Harriet said...

Well, it's either Greek or German.

What well-educated readers I have! I'm blessed. :-)

Fillyjonk said...

I like to get it to display on a webpage by writing the word "beta." :) Perfectly kosher, like writing "oe" when you can't get an umlaut over your "o."

And it is indeed exciting that they're still innovating with mental health care. There's so much we still don't know about brain functioning... I mean, we don't even know how some antidepressants work.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually, it would make more sense for it to be a beta, but the symbol that is there now is a German "sz" (sharp s) - I suppose the original writer got the wrong character since they look very much alike. (Probably unimportant information, but German is my mother tongue, so I kind of like to spread information about it whenever I can.)

Laura Collins said...

I don't know from German, but I've lived in Greece and it is "beta" there.

Bravo for looking at brain chemistry from all angles!