Canadian scientists discover gene for depression

Canadian scientists have discovered a gene that makes some people susceptible to depression. Speaking in the Forum of European Neuroscience today (9 July), Professor Nicholas Barden said: “This is a major breakthrough in the field of psychiatry and groundbreaking impact on the diagnosis and development of new anti-depressant therapy.” ! br! It is known for many years that genetic factors at the root of depression and bipolar disorder, but the complex molecular networks involved remain unknown. “The actual gene, known as P2RX7, is found in humans and animals and is responsible for a depression. It has taken many years to find,” says neuroscientist, professor of Bards Chul Research Centre in Quebec. Find it very important in uncovering the molecular pathways involved in depression. The results were published in May 2006 American Journal of Medical Genetics * During their lifetimij, approximately 5-12% of men and 10-25% of women experience at least one episode of depression. People with bipolar disorder – also known as manic depression – experience extreme mood swings. The total social costs of depressive disorders is estimated at billions of dollars annually. In 2020, depression is expected to rank first in disease burden in economically developed countries. Depression has until now often associated with the serotonin system in the brain, a system that can affect mood and emotion. “What is particularly exciting is that P2RX7 has nothing to do with serotonin,” said Professor Barden. Drugs that increase the flow of serotonin can be effective anti-depressants, but take weeks to become effective. The fact that P2RX7 nothing to do with serotonin could partly explain it. Animal studies have shown that this gene is known to be expressed in brain areas involved in depression and depressive-like behavior in mice could be reversed by treatment with drugs that stimulate P2RX7.! br! br! P2RX7 also plays an important role in the response of the brains to inflammation, which is known to be part of many neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition, stress hormones decrease the activity of this gene, suggesting a mechanism for the onset of depression following severe stress. “A person can be the mutated gene, but it means ‘default setting’ that they can not develop depression. We do not know how P2RX7 work and we still believe that many genes are included in the same route that can lead to depression , “said Professor Barden. The identification of the gene means that anti-depressants in the future, the objective of the gene directly. With anti-depressants currently focused on the serotonin system, P2RX7 is beaten to a degree. In animal studies, activators of P2RX7 have an antidepressant action immediately, giving hope that a nieuweTI-depressant medication, with a new mechanism can be developed.

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