Health
Simple blood test diagnoses Parkinson's disease long before symptoms appear — A new research report appearing in the December issue of the FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) shows how scientists from the United Kingdom have developed a simple blood test to…
Early sign of Alzheimer's reversed in lab — One of the earliest known impairments caused by Alzheimer's disease - loss of sense of smell - can be restored by removing a plaque-forming protein in a mouse model of the disease,…
Parental controls on embryonic development? — When a sperm fertilises an egg, each contributes a set of chromosomes to the resulting embryo, which at these very early stages is called a zygote. Early on, zygotic genes are inert,…
Newly discovered heart stem cells make muscle and bone — Researchers have identified a new and relatively abundant pool of stem cells in the heart. The findings in the December issue of Cell Stem Cell, a Cell Press publication, show that…
BUSM researchers develop blood test to detect membranous nephropathy — Research conducted by a pair of physicians at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Centre (BMC) has led to the development of a test that can help diagnose…
New hip implants no better than traditional implants — New hip implants appear to have no advantage over traditional implants, suggests a review of the evidence published on bmj.com today…
Action needed to improve men's health in Europe — Policies aimed specifically at men are urgently needed to improve the health of Europe's men, say experts on bmj.com today…
Probiotics reduce infections for patients in intensive care — Traumatic brain injury is associated with a profound suppression of the patient's ability to fight infection. At the same time the patient also often suffers hyper-inflammation, due…
High blood sugar levels in older women linked to colorectal cancer — Elevated blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.…
Engineered botulism toxins could have broader role in medicine — The most poisonous substance on Earth - already used medically in small doses to treat certain nerve disorders and facial wrinkles - could be re-engineered for an expanded role in helping…
Where am I? > Home > News > Health

Yale University researchers find key genetic trigger of depression

Science Centric | 17 October 2010 20:09 GMT
Printable version A clip for your blog or website E-mail the story to a friend
Bookmark or share the story on your social network Vote for this article Decrease text size Increase text size
DON'T MISS —
Scientists discover how deadly fungus protects itself
Scientists discover how deadly fungus protects itself — Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how a deadly microbe evades the…
Exercise critical to recovery after knee replacement
Exercise critical to recovery after knee replacement — It may be uncomfortable at first, but doing exercises to strengthen your quadriceps after you've had knee replacement surgery…
More Health

Yale University researchers have found a gene that seems to be a key contributor to the onset of depression and is a promising target for a new class of antidepressants, they report 17 October in the journal Nature Medicine.

'This could be a primary cause, or at least a major contributing factor, to the signalling abnormalities that lead to depression,' said Ronald S. Duman, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Yale and senior author of the study.

Scientists have had a difficult time pinning down the cause of depression, which afflicts almost 16 percent of Americans in any given year and carries an annual economic burden of $100 billion.

Symptoms of depression vary widely among individuals. Most now believe that multiple physiological processes are involved in major depressive disorder. That explains why people respond differently to most commonly prescribed antidepressants, which work by manipulating the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. However, as many as 40 percent of depressed patients do not respond to currently available medications, which take weeks to months to produce a therapeutic response.

Duman's team did whole genome scans on tissue samples from 21 deceased individuals who had been diagnosed with depression and compared gene expression levels to those of 18 individuals who had not been diagnosed with depression. They found that one gene called MKP-1 was increased more than two-fold in the brain tissues of depressed individuals.

This was particularly exciting, say the researchers, because the gene inactivates a molecular pathway crucial to the survival and function of neurones and its impairment has been implicated in depression as well as other disorders. Duman's team also found that when the MKP-1 gene is knocked out in mice, the mice become resilient to stress. When the gene is activated, mice exhibit symptoms that mimic depression.

The finding that a negative regulator of a key neuronal signalling pathway is increased in depression also identifies MKP-1 as a potential target for a novel class of therapeutic agents, particularly for treatment resistant depression.

Source: Yale University


Leave a comment
The details you provide on this page [e-mail address] will not be used to send unsolicited e-mail, and will not be supplied to a third party! Please note that we can not promise to give everyone a response. Comments are fully moderated. Once approved they will be posted within 24 hours.
Expand the form to leave a comment

RSS FEEDS, NEWSLETTER
Find the topic you want. Science Centric offers several RSS feeds for the News section.

Or subscribe for our Newsletter, a free e-mail publication. It is published practically every day.

New pathway is a common thread in age-related neurodegenerative diseasesNew pathway is a common thread in age-related neurodegenerative diseases

— How are neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's initiated, and why is age the major risk factor? A recent study of a protein called MOCA (Modifier of Cell…

Discovery could lead to a new animal model for hepatitis CDiscovery could lead to a new animal model for hepatitis C

— During its career, the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus has banked its success on a rather unusual strategy: its limitations. Its inability to infect animals…

Roadkill study could speed detection of kidney cancerRoadkill study could speed detection of kidney cancer

— Large-scale data mining of gene networks in fruit flies has led researchers to a sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarker for human renal cell carcinoma, the…

New stretchable electrodes created to study stresses on cardiac cellsNew stretchable electrodes created to study stresses on cardiac cells

— Engineers at Purdue and Stanford universities have created stretchable electrodes to study how cardiac muscle cells, neurones and other cells react to mechanical…

Popular tags in Health: cancer · diabetes · malaria · obesity