Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EU ‘Newmood’ research investigating genetic links to treat depression with new drugs


120 million people worldwide suffer from depression. An EU-funded research project launched recently will help to uncover the genetic factors linked to depression to develop new drug treatments. The Integrated Project, named NEWMOOD, has received €7.2 million in funding from the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6) and aims to identify genes involved in triggering depression. This will help researchers to develop new drugs over the next five years to treat it and improve understanding of its causes. The drugs are set to revolutionise antidepressant drugs, which have not changed much over the past 30 years. The project, co-ordinated by the University of Manchester (United Kingdom) involves partners from 13 laboratories in 10 European countries including Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.

“Depression is a widespread issue and represents a serious health problem in Europe. Everybody can feel sad. But depression is a severe and long-term problem where people feel hopeless and their professional and private life is hampered,” says European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Traditional drugs mainly target brain chemicals, and are only partially effective. By looking into the genetics of depression EU researchers can go to the very roots of the illness, and help prevent and cure it in innovative ways. European scientists working together can make a difference and achieve a quantum leap in the fight against depression”.

Feeling blue

Depression, which is marked by symptoms of reduced interest and pleasure, weight and appetite changes, agitation and fatigue, is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Chronic stress, such as long term illness or bereavement, can trigger depression in those genetically predisposed to the condition. Counselling is often used alongside drug treatment, but the NEWMOOD research hopes to find more effective drug treatments by identifying genes affecting depression in mice and rats, and later in humans.

New drugs to take effect sooner

Currently, most antidepressants work by boosting levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that allows nerve cells in the brain to communicate with one another. However, such treatments can take weeks to have an effect and only work in around 50% of patients. It is hoped the new drugs will be more effective and quicker to take effect.

Targeting and understanding depression

This gene research will help to provide new targets for the drugs and improve understanding of the key causes of depression. Researchers will develop a microchip carrying 800 genes to test which ones are active in healthy and depressed animals and humans. They will test the effects of these depression-related genes by altering their activity in genetically modified mice. Animal depression can be observed in mice by lower than usual interest in sweetened water and a tendency not to struggle as much when suspended from their tails.

Fabio Fabbi | EU Commission
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>