Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover hereditary protection a factor against depression

17.10.2006
Researchers from Umeå University, Sweden, in collaboration with Antwerp University, Belgium, have found a hereditary factor that is involved in the development of depression. Their study shows that a protein called TPH-2 plays a role in the development of both depression and manic depression.

The signal substance serotonin plays a significant role in brain functions. The level of serotonin in the brain has been shown to affect our emotions and moods.

The serotonin level in the brain is important in protecting against depression. Modern medicines for depression, so-called SSRI medicines (selective serotonin resorption inhibitors), work by raising the level of serotonin in the brain. The protein TPH-2 (brain-specific tryptophan hydroxylase), which is important for the regulation of the serotonin level in the brain, has long been suspected of playing a key role in the development of depression and manic depression.

The study, which was recently completed and is being published in the prestigious journal Archives of General Psychiatry, is based on an examination of what forms of TPH-2 (at the DNA level) are found in healthy individuals compared with the forms found in individuals with recurrent depression and manic depression, respectively.

The different forms of TPH-2 people inherit can result in differing levels of serotonin in the brain, thus providing varying degrees of protection against depression.

This comparison made it possible to show that the TPH-2 forms differed between healthy and affected individuals, which means that TPH-2 is involved in the development of these conditions. Certain forms were more common in healthy individuals, indicating that they have a protective effect against these conditions. There are as yet no clinical trials that have studied different THP-2 forms. All subjects who participated in the study live in northern Sweden.

The discovery of this hereditary protective factor, which is one of many, is a major piece of the puzzle in our understanding of the genesis and treatment of these disorders. Further research and economic resources are required for the discovery to lead to enhanced treatment and help for those affected.

The research has been carried out in a collaborative effort between a Swedish team of scientists under the direction of Professor Rolf Adolfsson and post-doctoral fellow Karl-Fredrik Norrback at the Research Unit of the Psychiatric Clinic in Umeå and the Department of Clinical Science, Section for Psychiatry, at Umeå University and a Belgian team of researchers from Antwerp University led by Professor Jurgen Del Favero and Ann van Den Boogaert, PhD. The study is being published in the prestigious journal Archives of General Psychiatry (Brain-specific tryptophan hydroxylase, TPH2, is associated with unipolar and bipolar disorder in a northern Swedish isolated population, 2006).

Depression is one of the most common disorders in the Western world, and according to the WHO (world Health Organization) it will be the most frequent disease by 2020. Three of ten Swedes experience depression some time during their lives, but it is still largely not known why. It is estimated that some 10 percent suffer from recurrent depression and an equally large group experience mood swings with varying degrees of manic depressive disease.

Despite the fact that these disorders cause a great deal of suffering, increased risk of suicide, and shortened lifetimes, as well as major socio-economic costs for society, the causes of these diseases are still largely a mystery. However, scientists agree that the conditions develop through a combination of heredity and environment, such as stress. Far too few research resources are still being allocated to scientists wishing to study mental health, even though the attitude toward research on mental health is improving.

Bertil Born | alfa
Further information:
http://www.umu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery
28.02.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity
28.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery

28.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>