Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Animal studies suggest new paths to treating depression

16.11.2010
Research into immunity, stress and key cellular molecules may lead to more effective therapies

New animal research has identified factors, such as the stress response and immune system, that may play important roles in depression. Scientists have also found that the regulation of nerve cell signals influences depression in animals, and that new drug combinations may more effectively treat it.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.

Depression is a common mental disorder that affects more than 121 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Studies show the most effective treatment for moderate or severe depression is a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. However, 20 to 40 percent of people with depression are not helped by existing therapies, highlighting the need for new treatment targets and approaches.

Today's new findings show that:

An inability to cope with stress may play a role in depression. When placed in stressful situations, zebrafish with a mutation in a receptor important in stress management displayed depression-like behavior, which was reversed when the fish were given Prozac (Herwig Baier, PhD, abstract 884.1, see attached summary).

The immune system may be a factor in depression. When an immune hormone that carries "sickness" signals to the brain was blocked in mice, the animals showed fewer depression symptoms (Simon Sydserff, PhD, abstract 666.24, see attached summary).

Mice that lack a molecule involved in regulating nerve cell signals are more active and resilient to stressful situations, behaving the same way as animals given antidepressant drugs. The discovery offers a new target for controlling brain chemicals involved in mood regulation (James Bibb, PhD, abstract 741.9, see attached summary).

Two antidepressants may be better than one. A new animal study shows that when drugs that alter two mood-regulating brain chemicals are combined, they produce a greater antidepressant response (Marina Picciotto, PhD, abstract 769.9, see attached summary).

Other recent findings discussed show that:

Two brain molecules, p11 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, are key to making antidepressants work. In time, these results might lead to the development of faster-acting antidepressants with fewer side effects (Jennifer Warner-Schmidt, PhD, see attached speaker's summary).

"Finding treatments for disorders of the nervous system is a social imperative," said press conference moderator Robert Greene, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, an expert in psychiatric disorders. "Basic neuroscience research has formed the basis for significant progress in discovering potentially powerful strategies for new, more effective therapies to combat depression."

This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

Kat Snodgrass | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfn.org
http://www.sfn.org/am2010/press/OmniPress/data/press/004.pdf

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>