Researchers find key genetic trigger of depression

Oct 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 Oct. 17 in the journal Nature Medicine.

"This could be a primary cause, or at least a major contributing factor, to the signaling 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 . 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 neurons 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 signaling pathway is increased in depression also identifies MKP-1 as a potential target for a novel class of therapeutic agents, particularly for treatment resistant .

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otto1932
1.3 / 5 (15) Oct 17, 2010
Hopefully the researchers factored the possibility of prenatal brain and neurological damage from alcohol, tobacco, and such. These things are definitely known to result in depression:

"Mental health problems - Diagnosed with ADHD, Clinical Depression, or other mental illness, experienced by over 90% of the subjects"

-In FAS cases alone:
http://en.wikiped...syndrome
Zeke65
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 18, 2010
Sounds like hopeful shilling for an industry that is wholly dependent on government protection or support to continue to exist. They did not find anything;

"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"

And,

"This COULD be a primary cause, or at least a major CONTRIBUTING FACTOR, to the signaling abnormalities that lead to depression," said Ronald S. Duman,"

And,

"The finding that a negative regulator of a key neuronal signaling 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." - (Emphasis added.)

All that was done by the drugging-knifing-electroshocking quacks was to justify human experimentation with new,expensive and likely damaging drugs. Is it not a forgone conclusion that they will be found to be effective?
Berry
5 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2010
Good science is always couched in cautious language. It is psuedo-science that is 100 percent certain of everything, even if they are wrong (which is often).
junkd
not rated yet Nov 28, 2010
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