Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers lift a corner of the veil of Depression

16.03.2006


About 1 in 10 Europeans has to contend with some form of depression during his or her life. But how people become depressed is still largely a mystery. With their recent research, scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to the University of Antwerp in collaboration with scientists of the University of Umeå in Sweden, are lifting a corner of the veil. Their studies indicate that the TPH2 protein is involved in the development of depression and manic depression.



Depression and manic depression

Depression is one of the most prevalent disorders in the Western world, and, according to the World Health Organization, it will even be the No. 1 disorder in 2020. Ten to 15 per cent of the population - from all levels of society - experience depression during their lifetime; and about 5% has to contend with manic depression. Despite the high socio-economic costs and mortality rate, the causes of these psychiatric disorders are not yet known. However, scientists are in agreement that the origin of depression can be attributed to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors such as stress.


The role of serotonin

The hormone serotonin plays an important role in our brain chemistry. The amount of serotonin in the brain has a large influence on our thinking, emotions and behavior. Because antidepressants affect the level of serotonin in the brain, it has long been suspected that serotonin plays a role in the development of psychiatric disorders. So, the amount of serotonin that you produce and keep under control appears to be crucial in the fight against (manic) depression. Because the TPH2 protein is instrumental in regulating the serotonin level, scientists suspect that TPH2 plays a role in the development of psychiatric disorders.

Genetic study

Ann Van Den Bogaert and her colleagues from the research group of Jurgen Del-Favero have also been studying the role of TPH2 in the development of depression and manic depression. They have conducted a genetic study in which they compared the variation in the TPH2 gene between patients with depression and healthy individuals. The DNA of two random individuals are 99.9% identical - the 0.1% that is different contains the genetic variation that can originate disorders.

In collaboration with the Swedish research group under the direction of Rolf Adolfsson and Karl-Fredrik Norrback, the researchers studied the DNA of hundreds of Swedish patients with depression and manic depression and that of healthy control subjects. By comparing the genetic variations between the patients and healthy individuals, they have shown that in this Swedish population TPH2 is involved in the development of depression and manic depression.

Thus, their research brings us a step closer to a better understanding of these psychiatric disorders.

Sooike Stoops | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global threat to primates concerns us all

19.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Scientist from Kiel University coordinates Million Euros Project in Inflammation Research

19.01.2017 | Awards Funding

The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents

19.01.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>